Mayor-y had a Little Lamb

During his time in politics, Eurobodalla Mayor Fergus Thomson has been accused of having the wool pulled over his eyes more than once.It’s an allegation he’d likely reject, but one that may be hard to dispute after a little lamb this week became the first real sheep to sit in the Mayor’s chair.Far from following him to school one day, Mayor-y Thomson chose to take the lamb to his workplace after it was rejected by its mother and had to be fed four-hourly.The Thomsons would usually “cross-bag” the little creature with a foster mother, which involves putting a jacket on another newborn lamb, and then putting it on the orphan to try to confuse the mother into believing she has two lambs with the same smell.But Cr Thomson said he didn’t have time to do that straight after the lamb was born, as it was weak and needed to be bottle-fed.“So, it ended up in here,” he said.“This sort of thing can only happen to a country mayor.”The act of kindness has also proven politically astute, with council flooded by responses after it shared the “it could only happen in the country” moment on Facebook.It seems little lamby has become the shire’s favourite political figure.“People have embraced it,” Cr Thomson said. “I don’t get anywhere near the publicity that lamb got!”The lamb stayed in a cage in the Mayor’s office for the day and was fed by Cr Thomson and his wife, Yvonne, in between meetings and Mayoral commitments.Cr Thomson said anyone who didn’t know the situation would have been confused by the frequent bleating coming from behind the closed door.Later in the week, Cr Thomson managed to find a foster mother for the lamb, and she is now happily grazing in the paddock with her new mother.Cr Thomson said the lamb was part of the rebuild of his herd, following the recent long drought.He said he was concerned about recent reports of a dry spell over the next couple of months.“We really don’t want to go back into a period of drought,” he said.“It would be good to see the lamb grow up in a good season.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Eight drowning deaths but no blackspot survey

By LACHLAN THOMPSONTHE Eurobodalla Shire will not be included in the initial stages of a NSW Surf Lifesaving survey of drowning blackspots, despite having recorded eight deaths in the past 12 months.The project aims to identify the localised factors which contribute to drowning deaths and is being undertaken by a special state-funded taskforce.Taskforce project manager Adam Weir said that while it would be great to include the Eurobodalla, in its first year the project would assess only the 10 most dangerous areas in NSW.Despite eight fatalities in the past 12 months, the Eurobodalla did not make the top 10 because the spots were chosen using the average number of fatalities over the past seven years.“It’s a four-year project but the sheer size means it takes time,” Mr Weir said.However he did say they hoped to assess the shire at some stage in the next four years.Among other things, theproject creates signage warning of recurring dangers.Far South Coast Lifesaving director Andrew Edmunds called for such signage at Moruya North Head earlier this year after two drownings in the spring.He said the Batemans Bay/ Moruya area not being included in the survey was “a bit strange” but recognised the enormity of the task at hand.“Any improvements we can make to reduce fatalities would be a good thing,” he said.Police and Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher says the NSW Government is committed to putting in place strategies to reduce accidental drowning deaths.“We need to identify the factors which are contributing to people drowning and put in place measures to reduce these risks,” he said.“This important project will hopefully provide us with a working blueprint for a state-wide coastal drowning prevention strategy.”A spokesperson from his office said the fact that the Eurobodalla would not be assessed for at least a year did not indicate the project was underfunded. “It’s obviously a mammoth project and I don’t know if it would be possible to assess the entire coastline in a year no matter how much money was thrown at it,” she said.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Roly’s Mudgee master class

IT was relatively quiet this week for our Moruya runners but things certainly get busier next week, reaching a crescendo with the Batemans Bay Cup meeting on July 13, at the Moruya Jockey Club, bringing to an end a fantastic season for our horses, trainers and jockeys.Last week kicked off at Goulburn on Friday with Chris Hensler’s popular old campaigner Blow Up The Pokies being the only Moruya runner on the card.He stepped out in the Benchmark 60 event over the mile on the heavy surface and as usual he jumped quickly to take the lead where he stayed for much of the race until the chasing pack overwhelmed him in the straight and he finished unplaced.Dear old Pokies will turn 10 in a few weeks and has been a great earner for Chris on the country circuit, amassing $114,450 in prize-money over his 84-start career.Interest then moved to Mudgee on Sunday where Roly Saxton had six riding engagements on the seven-race card.His winning ride aboard Conch for Mark Milton of Gulgong was nothing short of a master class for all riders in the Benchmark 55 mile event.Jumping from an outside gate Roly decided to ride him patiently well back hoping to have one last crack at them coming home.He was virtually last as they fanned at the turn and instead of going wide with so many horses in front of him, he elected to save ground and ride for luck up the straight.All he needed was luck and that came for him as he weaved his way through the big field with doors, or at least gaps, opening in front of him and he emerged from the pack at full bore to win by 1.5 lengths.Conch, who Roly had ridden to victory two starts back at Dubbo over the same distance, returned an amazing $19.20 on the tote for the win.Roly’s other rides on the day, all at double-figure odds, did not get into the placings.Praise in the riding department must also go to Tim Phillips who’s travelling the state on the Picnic Racing circuit, where he’s enjoying success.I reported a few weeks ago on Tim’s win in the Mallawa Cup in the far north aboard Annette’s Pumpkin, and two weeks ago his success continued at the Talmoi picnic meeting at Garah where he placed a half-neck second in the Talmoi Cup and ended with a win in the Memorial Trophy race from his three rides.Last Saturday he rode at the Duck Creek picnic meeting at distant Nyngan where he took out the first two races and finished third in the time-honoured Duck Creek Cup.For those of you who subscribe to the Racing NSW monthly magazine, I strongly suggest you check the regular Picnic Racing report where you’ll find Tim’s name appearing continually as a winner or placegetter atvirtually all picnic meetings across the state.Today Tim heads a little closer to home to the Cowra picnic meeting where he has rides in all six races on the card and Kevin Cassidy has Effie Mia in the Cup and Longbro as second emergency in the Trophy handicap.All things being equal, Tim will probably be riding at the Wean Picnic meeting in the Hunter Valley tomorrow – go journeyman Tim!John Marzol had three runners step out at Wagga Wagga on Monday, they being Mineral Deposit, Possess and Bad Kitty.Mineral Deposit ran a mighty race in the Class One sprint, leading for much of the run up the straight but was collared late by a bunch of swoopers out wide to be relegated out of the placings.Bad Kitty ran the best race of her current campaign to rattle home for second by a length in the Benchmark 55 sprint.Today racing returns to Nowra where Moruya runners line up in all but one of the eight races on the card and Joe Azzopardi and Roly have rides.I’m looking forward to seeing Colbey Hill’s Certino run second-up in race three after his great second placing first-up a few weeks ago, as well as Luke Pepper’s Lawyer’s Limits who jumps in race seven, fresh from a spell.Peter Afflick’s Peekay is our only nomination for Canberra’s meeting on Sunday and Lynda Bundy has Moorings Royal nominated for the main race at Kembla Grange on Tuesday.Don’t forget it’s Batemans Bay Cup day at Moruya next Friday, where all members of the Soldiers Club get free entry on production of their members badge.The final fields will appear in next Friday’s edition of theIt’s a tight four-way tussle between John Marzol, John Law, Chicka Pearson and Luke Pepper in the trainers’ premiership, which may not be decided until the very last race.Until next week, good luck and good punting.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Oh Aussie tennis stars, where art thou?

I’M going to make a bold statement here, but it’s one that I think is on the money.Craig McLaughlin’s comedy career is in a better state than Australian tennis at the moment.And if we didn’t have sporadic moments of success from Sam Stosur, then we’d be in an even deeper hole.The way that Bernard Tomic carried on in his first-round loss at Wimbledon last week was nothing short of disgraceful.He simply didn’t want to be there and he made that abundantly clear with his lack of effort. Then, to give the appearance that he cared, he started smashing his racquet to pieces.To see him then get booed off by the Wimbledon crowd was very satisfying.In his post-match press conference, he said there were some personal issues playing on his mind.Well, that might be the case but if you’re not in the right frame of mind to take part in the most prestigious Grand Slam of all, then give your spot to somebody who actually wants to be there and is willing to put in the effort.At least Lleyton Hewitt, whether you like him or not, gives everything he’s got to give.On an unrelated note, you may remember reading in Back Chat several weeks ago about my distaste for excessive grunting in women’s tennis.Well, it seems I’m not the only one who holds that view as the Women’s Tennis Association is set to crack down on unnecessary grunting.Umpires could soon be carrying handheld devices that measure noise levels to determine whether grunting is below an “acceptable level”.Maria Sharapova is finally going to have to come up with a new game plan.SYDNEY’S GIANT DERBY FLOPIf the AFL was to have one massive anti-climax this season, then Saturday night’s match between the Sydney Swans and the GWS Giants was it.I’ll admit, I didn’t watch all of the game but the bits I saw were more than enough. Of course, the Giants weren’t expected to win (and realistically they probably won’t win a derby for a few more years), but this was as one-sided and dull as derbies get.A crowd of 22,565 turned up at ANZ Stadium – not bad, you might think. Well, it was a crystal clear night in Sydney, the game had more than its fair share of build-up in the press and there were no big NRL matches in the harbour city on Saturday.Not to mention, more than 38,000 turned up for the corresponding fixture in round one. But it wasn’t just that; the atmosphere at the ground was as flat as the occasion.SPAIN CONQUERS ALL IN KIEVSpain confirmed its status as one of the greatest football teams in history on Monday morning with an emphatic 4-nil win over Italy in the final of Euro 2012.You might think after a 4-nil demolition that the result was somewhat expected, but in fact it was the first time in almost 100 years that Spain had beaten the Azzuri in a competitive match.Not even outspoken Italian striker Mario Balotelli could prevent the Spanish onslaught.Balotelli made headlines before the final when he warned Spanish defender Gerard Pique that he would make him look silly in front of his pop star girlfriend Shakira.“I will invite Shakira to the final, so that she can see what I will do to her boyfriend,” Balotelli said pre-game.For the record, Balotelli stormed off the pitch in tears after the match.Follow @Dean_Benson14NoneThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Bjorn Baker’s relocation lands him the dough

THE wisdom of former Bathurst resident Bjorn Baker’s decision to open an Australian stable was put into a financial perspective when Mr Tipsy and Havana Rey continued the New Zealand product’s end-of-season streak on Saturday.Baker was a pharmacist by trade when in Bathurst, but made the decision to take up training alongside his father Murray in New Zealand.Together the duo found success before Bjorn branched out on his own and now he has returned to Australian soil, that success has continued.Mr Tipsy, backing up after winning at Rosehill last week, took an inside run to beat Sour Mash in the Markey Saddlery Handicap (2200 metres) at Warwick Farm on Saturday to give 34-year-old Baker his first double as a trainer.“He’s a very special horse for the family and it’s just great he was part of my first double,” Baker said.Apprentice Lauri Wray drove Mr Tipsy ($12) along the fence and he finished too well for Sour Mash to win by a long neck.Despite the significance of Mr Tipsy’s win, Havana Rey’s all-the-way victory under jockey Glyn Schofield in the Pluck @ Vinery Handicap (1600m) confirmed Baker’s decision to relocate and set up base in Sydney last year is turning out to be the right one.“With the BOBS bonus this is probably the equivalent to winning a $150,000 race back home in New Zealand,” Baker said.“It’s taken time to get established, but any doubts about moving over aren’t there now with stakes like this.“I’ve got to pinch myself sometimes.”Havana Rey was a first-up Warwick Farm winner but dropped back in distance from an unplaced 1900m run at Rosehill last month.The three-year-old was allowed to set an even tempo and he kicked strongly for Schofield to beat Flying Zero ($5.50) by 21⁄4 lengths with Disciple ($18) another 11⁄4 lengths away third.Baker said Havana Rey came from a modest background to become a flag bearer for his Warwick Farm stable.“I’ve got a lot to thank Havana Rey for,” Baker said. “He came from a pre-trainer in Orange and I didn’t know a lot about him.“He was my first Saturday winner here and he’s won three city races, so I owe him a lot.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Letters to the Editor

Your front page of last Wednesday’s Bay Post/Moruya Examiner (27/6/12) was eye-catching for two reasons.The positive attraction was the photo and theme, but the negative aspect refers to the unAustralian term “trails”.It is unfortunate that those who are not familiar with our heritage and language have to rely on foreign terms and ignore the language of our pioneers.Perhaps it is the continuing cringe, which believes that we are not as good as the traditions from England or the USA.Americans have great confidence in their heritage and would not use the language of other countries, even for the reason of increased tourism, which Australia does without shame.Most Americans come to Australia to experience our culture, not see it as an extension of their own.Other than for poetic reasons, the word trail did not exist in the Australian vernacular until Australian bureaucrats visited the USA to learn fire control and national park techniques.These people started off with the term “fire trail”. Conversely, while trying to save one part of our heritage they saw no conflict in destroying another, a part of the language that had passed down to us.Having known pioneering stock from the Upper Deua River, and elsewhere, who constantly used bridle tracks as means of transport until recent times, I can assure doubtful readers that the term they used was bridle track.We pay great homage to our fallen in wars overseas, but why not show respect for our pioneers who came before us, who battled the hardships of isolation, drought, bushfire, lack of medical service and other privation? They built this country and gave us our unique and often colourful language.In his 1890 poem A Word to Texas Jack, Henry Lawson wrote: “Where’s my country gone?”.I suspect old Henry would be rolling in his grave if he could see and hear the disrespect shown for our language today.I suggest that if people are interested in the terms track and trail they use the website: http://simplyaustralia南京夜网/article-tracktrail.html.Chris Woodland, TermeilThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Bats spoiling people’s lives

The stench, the screeching, and the excrement dumped by thousands of flying foxes roosting in the Batemans Bay water gardens is continuing to spoil the lives of their human neighbours.However, there could be relief in sight.Bega MP Andrew Constance said he would contact Environment Minister Robyn Parker about the problem.He said the flying foxes were not just in Batemans Bay but had also moved in near his home at Lilli Pilli.However a NPWS spokeswoman said a check of the colony last Friday revealed a 60 per cent drop in numbers, with around 2000 bats still remaining around the water’s edge.She said this could fluctuate and it would be monitored.Historical Society president Tony Whelan, whose museum is next to the water gardens, has resorted to playing loud classical music on his radio to try and move the flying foxes away.“They are making a mess all over the place. They shit on the roof, the walls and it stinks,” he said.“They are stripping bare all the trees.“I put the radio out in the yard and play the classical music loudly and they do move away. They don’t like the music.”Mr Whelan said everyone should start doing that.He said museum visitors do comment on the smell,“Every time we go in we have to clean the windows. And the steps and ramp are slippery (from excrement),” he said.Bob Hogan, from Clyde Autos, said the flying foxes had become a terrible nuisance, with staff having to wash the cars every day because of their excrement.“If we don’t then the bat shit sets like cement. It’s disgusting stuff that must be scraped off,” he said.“Unfortunately they are protected. They need to be culled or moved on.”Residents on nearby High St have had enough.Emily Pitt said the problem with noise and the smell had become disgusting over the past four months and “makes it hard to live here”.She said it used to be enjoyable to visit the water gardens and feed the ducks but it was not now because of roosting bats.Keven and Vicky Quinn said it was a disgusting problem, the smell atrocious, and likely to have an adverse effect on elderly residents.Mrs Quinn said a neighbour’s cat at their villa complex had become ill and a vet said a bat, or bat droppings, could be the cause.The couple continually clean their driveway because of the mess from bats.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Second man sought in Tuross shooting

A Tuross Head man, accused of shooting into an occupied home with a high-powered weapon, has been refused bail as police seek an alleged accomplice.Wesley Hayles, 46, appeared in custody before Batemans Bay Local Court on Friday charged with firearm offences with police alleging he fired a bullet from a 6.5mm Carl Gustav Mauser bolt action rifle into the Grenville Ave unit just before 11pm on March 25. Two women were inside watching television at the time.Mr Hayles is charged with firing a firearm at a dwelling house with reckless disregard to safety, firing a firearm in a manner likely to injure, possessing an unregistered firearm in a public place, not keeping a firearm safely, possessing an unregistered firearm, possessing an unauthorised firearm without a permit, possessing ammunition without a permit, and contravening an Apprehended Violence Order.Defence lawyer Jennifer Power, in an unsuccessful bail application, said the police charge against her client was serious but was as yet untested.She took issue with the police assertion that Mr Hayles had made an admission, saying she gave him legal advice (when arrested) not to take part in a police interview.Ms Power said he told her that he would follow her advice but then gave an interview and allegedly made admissions after police told him “to come clean” because it was in his best interests.Ms Power said she had concerns about this then referred to police facts before the magistrate stating that a co-accused had not been charged.She had sought conditional bail of $250 with her client to live at Tomakin.Bail was opposed by police prosecutor Sgt Marc Chaplin, who said there was a presumption against bail (because of the serious nature of the charges and allegations), and there was nothing in the defence argument to rebut that presumption.Sgt Chaplin said there was an alleged co-offender at large whom police alleged used a firearm in an offence involving the accused, and that there would be a risk to the accused and others if he were granted bail.He said it was an extremely serious matter in which a firearm was used to fire into a house when people were inside.Magistrate David Degnan said police facts indicated someone had gone to a neighbouring property saying something was going to happen tonight because “we have had enough of her”.That person was told if they heard something then not to call police “as you know it’s just us”.“The person said these words early in the evening before the offence took place,” Mr Degnan said.The magistrate said he was also concerned that the firearm found by police had been loaded.He said it was a high-powered rifle and consistent with the calibre of weapon used that night.When queried by the magistrate, Sgt Chaplin said no bullet was found at the scene.Police have also seized a telescopic sight and ammunition.Refusing bail, Mr Degnan then adjourned the matter to July 23.Police have confirmed that the arrested man was taken to Moruya Hospital for treatment after his arrest and charged on his release.Police urge anyone with information to contact Batemans Bay Police on 4472 0099 or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

New mural at Batemans Bay skate park

The new mural at the Batemans Bay Skate Park will incorporate the previous memorial to the late Trent Budinsky, even if the words “RIP Trent” are a lot less prominent.The new mural will incorporate previous ones, and the mural featuring the words “RIP Trent” will be replicated in a 1.2 metre wide section of it.The previous mural was painted in 2006, the year after 13-year-old Trent was killed by a car in Batehaven.Reflecting Trent’s love of skateboarding, the “Shred for Trent” skateboarding competition was held at the park in 2008.Council has been planning for the past few months to work with the community to create a new mural at Hanging Rock. Workshops to develop the design with a Eurobodalla artist were held last weekend in Batemans Bay, with everyone in the community, including friends of Trent involved in painting the previous mural, invited.“The invitation to get involved in the new design has been on Facebook for three months,” Eurobodalla Shire Council facilities management co-ordinator Chris Tague said.“It is time to change the mural to reflect what is happening now.”However Mr Tague said that he had encountered some opposition to replacing the mural, much of it from friends and family of Trent.Trent’s sister Natalie expressed her dissatisfaction on Facebook on Monday.“Something I don’t understand is the council wants the community to get involved in redesigning it yet no one in the community wanted it changed? The council clearly doesn’t take anyone’s thoughts into consideration.”However Mr Tague claimed Natalie had expressed acceptance of the changes. He has also been in contact with Trent’s father, Vlado Budinsky, about the decision to replace the mural, and Mr Budinsky has mixed feelings about it.“When I spoke to Chris about six months ago, I told him that I would really like to keep the same memorial, and that I was surprised that those who built the memorial would then want to destroy it, but I understand Chris’s point of view,” Mr Budinsky said.“I am happy that a memorial to Trent will be included in the new skatepark, and that his school friends, who helped to paint the original mural, are involved again.”Mr Tague said that council was looking at providing another memorial to Trent at Caseys Beach, where he and his father used to walk.The new skate park will be open this Saturday, the new mural finished soon after, and the grand opening held on July 14.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Moruya’s first female Rotary president

Women are putting their mark on Moruya, according to Clare Hack, who is the first woman to take the reins of the town’s Rotary club.With the local government elections looming and more women being encouraged to stand for council, the Bingi resident has been elected as Moruya Rotary Club’s first ever female president.Heading up the once all-male club, Ms Hack says women are now putting “their stamp on history”.“In Moruya, we’re making our stamp as well,” she said.Ms Hack took over aspresident last week, after being elected at the club’s annual general meeting late last year.She has been the club’s secretary for three years and found it hard to hold back her excitement at being the first ever female president of the club.“I was surprised, I never expected it!” she said.Ms Hack is one of five female Moruya Rotarians, who work alongside about 50 men.However, this doesn’t faze her in the slightest.“The role of women has changed so much in the community,” she said.“When my mother was a young girl, women didn’t go to work. But now we have a woman Prime Minister, and we have women in very important roles in Australia.“I think women are the backbone of every community and you have to promote yourself.”She said more women were needed in leadership roles, including on Eurobodalla Shire Council.“Women think differently to men and I think they’re more flexible on some issues, and sometimes they’re a little bit more driven,” she said.“I think it’s because women have had to fight to get to where they are.“I think they value the role that they’re in, I certainly do! I never dreamt I would be doing what I’m doing today.”Ms Hack has a list of goals for the year ahead for the Rotary Club – the biggest is attracting some new members, including younger men and women.“We would like to invite more women into the club,” she said, “but finding women to join Rotary is difficult.“There is a perception that it is a men’s club.”However, she says this is not the case.When she joined in 2009, there were only two other women in the club but it didn’t feel strange.“They’re a very friendly bunch of people,” she said. “I was made very welcome and I was included in everything.”Ms Hack joined the club two years after her husband, a former Rotarian, passed away.“I used to be a partner of a Rotarian,” she said. “The club gave me so much support at a time when I really needed it.”When she joined, she was determined to give something back.“I have found this whole process very stimulating and it has made a difference in my life.”While she doesn’t have a “favourite” Rotary project to focus on during the next 12 months, she does have a soft spot for the Shelterboxes, which Rotary sends to disaster areas around the world.The club is also in the process of getting a “wishing well” people can use to donate to local projects, including the refurbishment of the Moruya Oncology Ward and scholarships for local youth.However, she said local help doesn’t stop there.“If people in the community are aware of a need in the community, they should contact the Moruya Rotary Club and we’ll look at it,” she said.“Sometimes we can [help], sometimes we can’t.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.