No let up in petrol prices on South Coast

There has been no let-up in fuel prices on the South Coast, with motorists’ wallets still hit hard evvery time they fill up.A lack of strong independent price-competitive operators is to blame, according to NSW University’s Frank Zumbo, an associate professor with the School of Business Law and Taxation.He said the problem was the same in Canberra, where prices are up to 10 cents higher than Sydney and other regional centres because of the lack of price-competitive operators.Despite the falls in wholesale prices for many weeks, the two major fuel providers in Bateman Bay – Coles/Shell and Woolworths/Caltex – have continued to sell unleaded (ethanol mix E10) at 153.9 cents per litre, despite price drops in Sydney and other regional NSW centres.The Australian Institute of Petroleum found that the average unleaded fuel price fell to 143.6 cents a litre in the week ending last Sunday. The NRMA fuel watch site recorded Sydney’s average price last week for unleaded fell from 149.5 cents per litre to 141.5 cents per litre by Wednesday afternoon.There was no corresponding drop here.In the Bay the price has remained steadfast for well over a month and does not drop during the weekly price cycles that motorists elsewhere eagerly take advantage of.Professor Zumbo claims “games” are being played with petrol prices across regional NSW because there was “no economic reason” for prices to vary so much.He said yesterday that in the past month the wholesale price for petrol had fallen by 12.5 cents a litre as a result of the world’s shaky economies causing a collapse in oil prices.“The problem lately is that, while retail prices continue to vary between regional centres, they have recently remained higher for longer periods,” he noted.“Which means motorists are not getting the lower prices they did in the past. Dangerously for motorists, those games tend to result in a bigger rip-off.”While the Petroleum Institute said city motorists could expect further savings in the next fortnight as a result of the falls in wholesale prices, South Coast motorists including those in Moruya (where it’s often higher) are not likely to benefit.Liberty service station North Batemans Bay operator Michael Keys claimed the number of service stations in the Bay had also dropped, reducing competition, with the two major operators now able to charge what they want.With his unleaded price usually lower, Mr Keys said he found their higher prices “amusing” because they sold an ethanol blend whereas his cheaper price was for pure unleaded.“It is a good thing there are still some independents here,” he noted wryly.However, Mr Keys said it was very doubtful whether the lower city prices were proving profitable for their operators.“They are not making money. They are fighting for the dollar,” he said.Long Beach customer Bruce Prior said he always went to independent operators first.“Once the big boys get control, that’s the end of it. They will charge what they want,” Mr Prior said.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Another five years for Anderson

Eurobodalla Shire Council has voted to renew general manager Paul Anderson’s contract for another five years but says it is unable to provide details of his total remuneration package until it appears in the annual report.Asked to provide details of his new pay package, a council spokesperson said “the only changes to the general manager’s package will be an increase in his contribution towards his vehicle, in line with the 2.5 per cent increase he will receive under the Statutory and Other Offices Remuneration Tribunal determination (which takes into account CPI and other national economic factors) under his NSW Local Government standard contract for general managers”.A further inquiry as to the salary package in monetary terms was met with the response that: “Paul has advised me we don’t have those details yet. The general manager’s total remuneration package for 30 June 2012 will be reported in Council’s Annual Report”.Council’s media release said council had recognised the work and commitment shown by Mr Anderson by supporting a motion to renew his contract for another five years.Mayor Fergus Thomson said Mr Anderson had demonstrated his professional commitment to the council and to the people of the Eurobodalla Shire.“Paul’s first term as general manager saw council become a billion-dollar organisation,” Cr Thomson said.“Over four years council has achieved in excess of $6 million in savings and efficiency gains through his introduction of a continuous improvement approach to council’s services and facilities.”He said, since his appointment in 2008, Mr Anderson had overseen the development of council’s first Community Strategic Plan and positioned the organisation so it could deliver on its objectives through the new integrated delivery and operational plans.The mayor credited Mr Anderson with the extensive review of the organisation last year that has seen the number of senior management roles halved and the creation of a new communications team.“Council is now in a position to move into the area of social media and develop its website to improve the way it gets its messages out to the community,” Cr Thomson said.He also praised Mr Anderson’s management of council’s investments following the global financial crisis.“It was a very stressful time but Paul has very competently overseen our investments since then and managed the legal actions council has been involved in to recover some of the funds we lost.”He said Mr Anderson has also overseen council’s campaign to improve the Kings and Princes Highways and played a role in the creation of the South East Regional Organisation of Councils (SEROC) that now includes the ACT, an important contributor to the Eurobodalla economy.“As a member of the executive and chair of the general managers’ group, Paul has been actively involved in assisting SEROC to raise the profile of the south-east region of NSW and in reducing council’s costs through resource-sharing activities,” Cr Thomson said.Council also endorsed Mr Anderson’s May 29 annual performance review when it met on Tuesday.“Council recognises and greatly appreciates Paul’s performance and the commitment he has shown to the Eurobodalla community,” Cr Thomson said.Mr Anderson said he and his young family were now very settled in the Eurobodalla and he regarded the next five years as a great opportunity to guide staff as they work in the organisation’s more efficient structure and to support the new council following the local government election in September.“It will be great to see the new structure fully implemented and also to follow through our plans to introduce best practice across council,” Mr Anderson said.“I am looking forward to rolling out the delivery program and operational plan so council can deliver on the objectives of the Eurobodalla 2030 Community Strategic Plan.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

D’Arcy, Monk shot down over photo scandal

WHOA, whoa, whoa! Everybody, just hold your fire for a second.What an overreaction that was last week to a photo that surfaced of swimmers Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk posing with guns.Now, admittedly it wasn’t the best look for two young men who have been in the headlines for the wrong reasons in the past, but they had done nothing wrong and this was one of the biggest media beat-ups I’ve seen in a long time.Shooting, for those of you who didn’t know, is an Olympic sport!The two men fired weapons in a controlled environment at a gun range and the owner of the shop offered to take a friendly photo for a keepsake.What is wrong with that?As champion swimmer Eamon Sullivan said on Sunday, would a member of the Olympic shooting team be disciplined for being photographed in his or her swimmers? I think not.But I’ll take it one further. Would, for example, Stephanie Rice or Leisel Jones be reprimanded if they posted a photo of themselves with guns on Facebook? Again, I think not.Of course, you would think that with their previous misdemean-ours in mind, D’Arcy and Monk would’ve thought better than to post the picture on social media, but come on, let’s give them a break and let them focus on bringing home gold medals from London!HORRIBLIES RECOVER FROM SCOTTISH NIGHTMAREA week on and I’m still getting over the sleeping pill that was the so-called “Test” match between the Wallabies and Scotland.In what were terrible conditions – wind and rain hammered New-castle’s Hunter Stadium – neither side could manage a five-pointer as the Scots recorded a rare win on Aussie soil with a 9-6 triumph.To use the word “triumph” is probably an overstatement but they did win the match.Three penalty goals to two – yes, I’m sure the 20,088 spectators who braved the conditions turned up hoping to see such a nail-biter.It really begs the question, is it not time to change the scoring system in rugby?Teams are less and less likely to play for a try when three points are so freely on offer from the boot.In fairness, the Wallabies did respond in style with a hard-fought 27-19 win over Wales on Saturday night.Will Genia starred as the Aussies remembered where the try line was not once, but three times!EUROS SET CRACKING EARLY PACEThe European Champ-ionships kicked off in Poland and Ukraine over the weekend and there were some early shock results.My tip for the tournament, Holland, lost to 1992 champions Denmark 1-nil and is now in serious danger of not progressing past the group stage.However, off the field, racism has continued to show its ugly head.It just beggars belief how in this day and age people can still have that attitude.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Clyde campaigns continue in cruise control

CLYDE United maintained its dominance over the Eurobodalla Football All Age men’s competition on the long weekend with two wins from its double header.Matt Jackson’s side passed what was a tricky test at Gundary Oval on Sunday with a 3-nil win over Moruya before it backed up with an 8-nil thrashing of 10-man Narooma on Monday.Moruya held firm the first 30 minutes of play on Sunday, but its resistance cracked when Daniel Shaw headed home Matt O’Neill’s outswinging corner.The defending champions then went for the jugular before half-time and doubled their advantage a short while later.Jack Rixon went on a typically dazzling run down the wing before he rounded Blues goalkeeper Michael Kelliher and set up defender Kalian Barnes for a rare goal.United sat on its lead until the break but was tested at times by Moruya, particularly through the hard work of William Davis and Ryan Staunton.The second half was a largely scrappy affair as both sides struggled to maintain any sort of meaningful possession.The Blues had some golden chances to hit back, mainly from set pieces, but Davis and Robbie Kidd both sent their long-range efforts narrowly wide.Those misses proved telling as Clyde went 3-nil up with around 30 minutes left to play when Rixon hammered the ball into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.United was more ruthless 24 hours later when it travelled to Dalmeny to take on a Narooma side that was missing young gun Brian Jamba, among several other key players.Shaw added to his already impressive goal tally with a brace, as O’Neill pitched in with a double and Rixon also got on the score sheet for the second match in a row.Ben Smith and Patrick Armstrong stood out for the hosts with impressive shifts in the midfield, while young striker Ivan Armstrong toiled up front with little support from his heavily depleted side.In the weekend’s other All Age men’s results, Broulee beat Bay FC 5-1 on Sunday before going down 2-nil to Bodalla on Monday.Bodalla also had a productive 48 hours with a 3-1 win over Narooma on Sunday, while Moruya only had the one match due to Bay FC’s forfeit on Monday.In the All Age ladies, Clyde United won both of its matches, with a 5-nil win over Moruya on Sunday and a 2-nil win over defending premier Broulee at Dalmeny on Monday.Those results extended United’s lead at the top of the table to nine points after 10 rounds.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Tiger cubs ground high flying Eagles

LAST month, the Bay Tigers under 18s looked a demoralised outfit when they went down by a whopping 70 points to the Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles.On Saturday night, they looked like a team ready to take on anyone after Joel Pietch’s last-minute field goal secured a dramatic 25-24 win over the same opponents.The young halfback’s heroics sealed back-to-back wins for the Bay and what is arguably the biggest upset of the Group 7 season so far.“I was totally surprised,” Tigers under 18s coach Shaun Creswell said.“We played (the Eagles) three weeks ago and they put us to the cleaners 80-10 so it was a massive turnaround.”The visitors opened the scoring early on at Mackay Park on Saturday before the Tigers hit back in the 17th minute through Nick Broad-McGregor.Pietch kick started his brilliant afternoon with a simple conversion for 6-all.The Tigers hit the front just three minutes later after some more fine work from the star halfback.Pietch broke the Eagles’ defensive line and sprinted clear but was eventually pulled down by Jordan Harty.However, Bay dummy half Mathew Temple made the most of the broken play to put winger Ronnie Brown into space and he made no mistake by touching down out wide.Pietch was again on target from the kicking tee for 12-6, an advantage the Tigers took into half-time.The Tigers let their guard down early in the second half and the Eagles took full advantage when first Brock Skelly strolled under the posts before Kurt Holloway and Josh Sainsbury added converted tries all in the space of five minutes.But that would be the last time the Eagles registered points as the Bay launched an audacious comeback.Alex O’Connell got the ball rolling when he crossed after Dillion Johnston’s neat flick pass before two late tries from centre Sean Connell levelled the scores with less than a minute to play.However, that was all the time Pietch needed to slot a field goal and send the home fans into raptures.“Everyone was thrilled (with the win) and I’ve let them know that if that’s the effort they put in, the results will come,” Creswell said.First grade scoreboard:ALBION PARK-OAK FLATS EAGLES 30 (D Sartori 3, Derek Gray, Matthew Stone tries; M Carroll 5 goals) defeated BATEMANS BAY TIGERS 18 (N Wood, A McCann, A Stone, M Hensley tries; Wood goal).Under 18s scoreboard:BATEMANS BAY TIGERS 25 (S Connell 2, A O’Connell, N Broad-McGregor tries, J Pietch 4 goals, Pietch field goal) defeated ALBION PARK-OAK FLATS EAGLES 24 (B Skelly 2, K Holloway, J Sainsbury tries; Skelly 4 goals).This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Fox pleased despite another loss

BAY Tigers coach Deryck Fox believes his side has “turned a corner” despite losing for the fifth time in a row on Saturday night.Fox’s injury-depleted side led for 58 minutes before going down 30-18 to the fast-finishing Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles at Mackay Park.However, a spirited display from his players had Fox in an upbeat mood after the match.“I just asked for a little bit of heart from everybody today and that’s what I got,” he said.“We showed some creativity and the boys tackled themselves to a standstill, so I can’t ask for any more than that.“The guys have got self-belief now and I’m hoping this is a turning point for the second half of the season.”Eagles’ fullback Danny Sartori was the undisputed star of the show with a hat-trick, while halfback Matt Carroll also put on a classy performance.The home side got off to the best possible start in the icy cold conditions when fullback Nathan Wood touched down and then converted for 6-nil after five minutes.The Eagles looked shell-shocked and countless handling errors meant they struggled for field position throughout the first half.Batemans Bay made the most of the situation and extended its lead in the 23rd minute when young winger Adam McCann somehow grounded Rhys Burazor’s neat grubber kick.Full of new-found confidence, the Tigers continued to surge forward and thought they had a third try when Wood barged over in the 30th minute.However, celebrations were cut short as referee William Drury ruled the fullback had lost control.Then a minute later, Sartori collected his own chip kick and scored under the posts to reduce the deficit to four at half-time.Whatever Fox said to his players in the sheds worked a treat as the Bay started the second half as it did the first – at a high tempo with and without the ball.And when Burazor’s well-placed kick earned the Tigers repeat sets in the 52nd minute, it set up dummy half Adam Stone to score and put the hosts ahead 14-6.But that was as good as it got for the home side as Sartori and Carroll combined to devastating effect.Sartori completed his treble either side of Derek Gray’s 64th-minute try as the Eagles put the match out of the Bay’s reach.Winger Matthew Stone put the icing on the cake for the visitors for 30-14 in the 76th minute before Mat Hensley’s acrobatic leap two minutes later was mere consolation for the Tigers.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Top seeds shine in shire’s tennis showpiece

TOP seeds Jarryd Chaplin and Melissa Anderson lived up to their pre-South Coast Open hype and took out the men’s and women’s singles crowns respectively on Monday.Chaplin overcame third seed Nathan Lewis 7-6, 6-1 in the Open Men’s final after Anderson cruised past No 4 seed Gabrielle Hooker 6-1, 6-1 to win consecutive South Coast Open crowns.“I played some tennis I was really happy with, considering some tough conditions on the final day,” Chaplin said.The 20-year-old used his powerful serve to his advantage and he said the slick Hanging Rock courts worked in his favour.“My game is coming along really well, I’m happy with where it’s at and my serve was really effective this week,” he said.“The courts are really fast and so I was able to get a lot of free points off my serve.”Chaplin, who is based in America at the University of Tennessee, was the red-hot favourite in the lead-up to the four-day tournament but he insisted that added pressure didn’t play on his mind.“It’s a credit to the tournament how laid back they made it feel and that didn’t place any extra pressure on me,” he said.“There were a handful of guys that could’ve won the tournament and I knew that, so I had my work cut out for me from the start.”Of this tournament (his second appearance) at Hanging Rock, Chaplin said it was “a pleasure” to take part.“I thought the tournament had really good organisation and it was a pleasure to play in,” he said.In the women’s draw, Anderson made light work of most of her opponents although she insisted that some of her results didn’t do her competition justice.“It was a great result for me and it’s always such a great tournament to play,” she said.“The competition was definitely strong and I had some tough matches throughout.“I can’t say that the score lines in a couple of my matches reflected just how tough they were.”Eurobodalla players also got on the winners’ list.Batemans Bay Tennis Club members Sandra Smith and Linda Knight took out the C grade women’s doubles.Another tournament highlight came early on day two when 13-year-old Corey Greenwood saved four match points before winning against Ben Hayman in the A grade men’s draw.Click ‘play’ to check out this awesome rally in the open men’s semi-final!NoneNoneThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Letters to the Editor

Put students first!Public school teachers across NSW are currently fighting for the continued provision of a quality public education system. We believe that every student has the right to have access to a quality education regardless of race, geographical location or learning specialties.Public education has at its core the belief that education systems cannot be reduced to a marketplace of winners and losers.Public education is not for sale!Presently the O’Farrell Government is beginning to make changes to public education under a policy called Local Schools, Local Decisions.The government continues, through the Education Department, to implement this policy and related policies in haste, secrecy and without sincere negotiations or consultation with teachers, communities or parent groups.The government won’t guarantee that under Local Schools, Local Decisions your child’s learning conditions and teachers’ working conditions will be protected.It has been shown that when changes like this were made in Victoria and overseas that governments spent less on public schools, which has meant fewer teachers, bigger class sizes and less individual support for students.The government wants to give schools a local budget. This means it will be the amount of money, not the number of students, which will determine how many teachers, executives and support staff will be at schools. Forget the bogus philosophy and rhetoric from the government; this is purely an exercise in cost-cutting.As proud teachers in the public education system we believe that students must be put first and that all educational change needs to be centred on the educational needs of students. All children have the right to quality public education regardless of race, religion or social status.Public education is an investment in the well-being of our society, not an expense.Let’s all start “putting students first” and preserving the provision of public education in the state of NSW.Support your local school teachers when they take action to stop these changes and register your concerns by contacting our state MP.Julie Thompson, on behalf of the Batemans Bay Teachers AssociationThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Red tape strangling GP efforts

A Eurobodalla GP has taken the fight for more rural doctors to Canberra, telling a Senate committee “a morass of red tape” was preventing him recruiting desperately needed colleagues from overseas.Veteran Batemans Bay GP Dr David Rivett gave evidence last month to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee hearing into the supply of rural health services and medical professionals.The Batemans Bay Hospital VMO, who chairs the Australian Medical Association’s rural medical committee, said his own practice needed doctors.“Since I graduated I have practised in Batemans Bay,” he told the committee.“The population has grown from about 1700 to 17,000 and we now have five nursing homes. We are not pulling in new doctors, so people at the end of their working lives, like me, are being forced to work harder and harder, which is just not tenable.“I have been advertising for six months now for doctors and spent about $4000 on advertising and the only applicants who have been interested are people from Iran, India and others outside the country.”Several doctors have spoken out in recent months about the acute shortage of GPs in Batemans Bay, with patients waiting weeks for appointments.Yet Dr Rivett said securing “area-of-need” status to fast-track the appointment of an overseas doctor was not easy.“I am three doctors down in my practice,” he said.“I am trying to go through an ‘area-of-need’ process, which I can assure you is an absolute morass of red tape. I have been told I can apply for one doctor at most. You cannot get three ‘area of need’ positions, even though I need three people desperately.”Dr Rivett said older doctors were under increasing pressure to delay retirement.“All the doctors in my practice are over 60 and hanging on, wanting to get out and just slow down. But they feel they cannot do that, because they want to provide a community service.”Dr Rivett said action was needed now to attract young doctors.“It is a real crisis and it is getting worse, because thepeople with the experience … like me, are over 60 now. They are not going to be around for much longer. We need to get younger doctors into the loop now, while the older guys are still there to show them around. It has got to happen in a hurry, not in 10 years’ time. It will be all over then.”Dr Rivett said young people needed incentives to work in rural areas and should not be coerced or expected to work unsustainable hours.“The old days of dinosaurs like me trying to do everything at once and working crazy hours are long gone,” he said.“If we look back to that old model and say that it is going to happen again, we are losing the plot altogether.“We have to get robust systems in place to attract more doctors to go rural. We are not seeing incentives to get them there.“I do not know how many meetings I have been to about planning for rural health, and everybody listens and takes the attitude that it is all too hard, let’s just sweep it under the table and admit we can’t win. I think you have to have a damn good go.“I am very enthused that there is a Senate committee actually looking at this and hopefully going to bring forward some robust solutions.”The alternative was “more and more people getting flown out expensively”, Dr Rivett warned.“We have a helicopter just about every day now, sometimes several times a day.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

O’Farrell must commit to Kings Hwy

Shadow Special Minister of State and the former Member for Monaro Steve Whan has called on the O’Farrell Government to commit new funding of at least $12 million in this week’s Budget for the Kings Highway section between the top of the Clyde Mountain and Mongarlowe River.”Over the last few years, significant improvements have been made to sections of the Kings Highway between Queanbeyan and Braidwood. This has left the sectionbetween Mongarlowe River and the Clyde Mountain needing the most urgent new upgrade,” Mr Whan said.“This section of road has a 90km/h speed limit, no shoulders and is very high risk.“The roads authority has already undertaken design work on this section of the road and Eurobodalla Shire Council (who undertook some of the work) estimated the cost ofupgrade at approximately $12 million.“I have no doubt the Clyde Mountain and Mongarlowe River section of the Kings Highway should be the next to receive an upgrade.”Obviously we would also expect the normal maintenance work and the projects underway between Batemans Bay and Nelligen to be completed.”Over Labor’s last term in government, more than $42 million was spent on the Kings Highway. People in this region have a right to expect that this level of spending would at least be maintained, if not increased.“Last year’s $5.4 million allocation for the road by the O’Farrell Government was just not enough and this year we should see nearly three times that amount delivered for the highway.”Eurobodalla Shire Council has identified some $60 million worth of work it believes needs to be undertaken and the O’Farrell Government needs to ensure that this workis planned and budgeted for in a reasonable time frame.”The Kings Highway has seen a lot of work over recent years but there is still plenty to do and there are still far too many tragic accidents. I would emphasise though that even if all the work had been undertaken it, like any road, requires patience and respect from road users.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.