南京夜网 16/07/2018

Resilient wallabies found in Warrumbungle National Park

ENDANGERED brush-tailed rock wallabies have been found in the Warrumbungle National Park, survivors of the devastating fire that ripped through the area last month.
Nanjing Night Net

Office of Environment and Heritage threatened species officer Todd Soderquist said images of the marsupials were captured on infrared cameras that were set up in locations where it was hoped survivors would be.

“We are pleased to now discover the cameras have picked up photographs of what we believe to be four different animals, telling us we do have survivors among a colony that we have been monitoring for the past decade,” Dr Soderquist said.

He said the rock wallabies appeared to be healthy. They were discovered in an area where animals bred in captivity were released in 2009.

It is believed some of these rock wallabies survived alongside animals native to the site.

But the full impact of the fire on wildlife is not known.

A spokesman from the Office of Environment and Heritage said estimating the numbers of wildlife killed or injured in a bushfire was difficult.

“In this case we know there have been casualties, but the Australian bush is remarkably resilient to bushfire and we always hear some incredible survival stories – kangaroos and wallabies have been seen in some areas, as have other species such as frogs,” the spokesman said.

Dr Soderquist said searches would be expanded to other sites in the park and the cameras would be monitored in coming weeks, in the hopes of finding more brush-tailed rock wallabies and other species.

Anyone who finds injured wildlife should contact their local wildlife care group, such as WIRES.

ALIVE: An infrared camera image of the endangered brush-tailed rock wallaby, which has survived the devastating fires in the Warrumbungle National Park.

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

南京夜网 16/07/2018

Stars help grant children’s wishes in Portland

HEAVENLY bodies from the AFL constellation added sparkle to Portland’s Wish Upon A Star gala ball.
Nanjing Night Net

The fund-raiser for Make-A-Wish Australia, which grants requests to children with life-threatening medical conditions, was enjoyed by about 600 people.

Patrons were entertained by a swag of Collingwood football players, musicians and a magician under a big marquee on the Portland foreshore.

Free entertainment for the public on Saturday afternoon, prior to the ball, included a flyover by the RAAF Roulettes as a tribute to emergency service workers.

But the event highlight was the presentation of wishes to two south-west children with life-threatening illnesses.

Seven-year-olds Bailey Delaney, of Lower Heytesbury, and Milly Graham, of Yambuk, were presented with their wishes to swim with the dolphins and go to the Queensland theme parks.

One of Bailey’s idols, Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley, Make-A-Wish ambassador Steve Callanan made the presentations.

Mr Callanan also sang the song Every Time You Cry to Milly.

Portland Make-A-Wish branch president Gail Jaensch said there was “not a dry eye” in the marquee following the presentations.

“To see those two little children standing with excitement, waiting and wondering what their wishes would be, no money could ever buy that magical moment,” Mrs Jaensch said.

Also at the ball were Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell, teammates Harry O’Brien, Tyson Goldsack and Alan Toovey.

They were among the social hits of the night, sitting at different tables to mingle with guests.

The Collingwood stars were again generous with their time on Sunday morning when they signed autographs for fans.

Mrs Jaensch said the Make-A-Wish ball had become a popular Portland event and enjoyed a lot of support in the city.

Saturday’s ball was “an absolute success” and next year’s event was already sold out, she said.

Bailey Delaney, 7, meets one of his idols, Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell, at Portland.

Milly Graham, 7 with Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell (left), coach Nathan Buckley and players Tyson Goldsack, Alan Toovey and Harry O’Brien at the Portland Wish Upon a Star gala ball.

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

南京夜网 16/07/2018

Young Tamworth musicians ready to take on the world

FOLLOWING an intense weekend of rehearsals in Dubbo, five Tamworth students are already preparing to take to the international stage in April.
Nanjing Night Net

The students are playing a key role in the West of the NSW Divide wind ensemble, which consists of some of the state’s top young musicians, and have completed their one and only rehearsal for their performance at the Hong Kong International Music Festival.

They will perform a 35-minute set as they go up against bands from around the world, and are also hoping for a gig at Disneyland.

Peel High School student Ryan Parker is the leader of the ensemble and said he was ready for “the added pressure of being puppetmaster”.

“It was quite a daunting experience at first. There’s a lot of responsibility, but I enjoy the challenge,” he said.

Ryan, along with other locals Kurt Prentice, Amber Minett, Michael Hodge and Austin McGrane, returned to school this week. They have been practising non-stop since returning from Dubbo.

While rehearsing in Dubbo, the band recorded a DVD to audition to play at Hong Kong Disneyland, which Ryan said they had a good chance of achieving.

“I think we’ll get it. The recording we sent in was great – the whole band was really good, so hopefully we get to do the gig at Disneyland,” he said.

New England Department of Education regional arts co-ordinator Di Hall, who is also the conductor and co-

ordinator of the ensemble, shares Ryan’s confidence.

She said they had a good chance at securing the Disneyland spot and praised the students for their hard work.

“The process of moulding them into a team wasn’t difficult for these music kids, because they’re quite used to working in bigger teams. They’ll be off practising with their CDs now,” she said.

Mrs Hall said the band was a great opportunity for rural students to meet people from around the state and travel overseas.

“They will be doing workshops by people from around the world,” she said.

Austin McGrane of Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School said being the lead trombone player “takes a lot of leadership and communication skills”.

“The music is challenging, but it’s also fun to play, so hopefully it will all pay off,” he said.

The ensemble heads to Hong Kong on April 11 and will spend a week there.

They will take part in master classes and welcome dinners in addition to the main performance on April 13.

MUSICAL ENSEMBLE: Ready for the international stage are, from left, Austin McGrane (lead trombone, Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School), Ryan Parker (ensemble leader, Peel High School), Amber Minett (flute, Tamworth High School), Kurt Prentice (bass guitar, Tamworth High School) and Michael Hodge (baritone sax, Oxley High School).

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

南京夜网 16/07/2018

Drugs defendant alleges a set-up

A PORT Stephens man facing trial for supplying a commercial quantity of LSD will argue that he was set up by a bitter drug dealer who was raided by police days earlier, a Newcastle District Court jury was told on Tuesday.
Nanjing Night Net

Police found cannabis, amphetamines, methylamphetamine and thousands of tabs of LSD when they searched Stephen Finch’s Pindimar home on the evening of September 1, 2010, Crown prosecutor Wayne Creasey told the jury.

Mr Finch, 47, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of supplying drugs including a charge of supplying a large commercial quantity of the hallucinogenic.

His barrister, Michael Pickin, told the jury that Mr Finch was a drug user who had a cannabis and methylamphetamine habit in 2010, but another man was responsible for most of the drugs found in the house.

That man was angry and agitated after his property was raided by police and his dog was shot three or four days before Mr Finch’s home was searched, Mr Pickin said.

The man was charged with serious drug offences after police uncovered a hydroponic cannabis operation, but the man was released on bail and went to Mr Finch’s home where he accused Mr Finch of ‘‘giving him up’’.

The man said he would shoot the police if his dog died and Mr Finch was worried about the man before they drank some alcohol and smoked some cannabis together.

The man left the LSD and some of the other drugs at Mr Finch’s home after asking him to hold onto them, Mr Pickin said.

The man then went to the police on September 1 and ‘‘told them certain things’’ before they obtained a warrant to search Mr Finch’s home, Mr Pickin said.

Mr Creasey said Mr Finch was seen to run from the front of the house to the rear after police announced their arrival at 5pm that day.

In total, police seized eight grams of amphetamine, 139grams of methylamphetamine and thousands of paper and cardboard tabs of LSD weighing 107grams.

The trial before Judge Peter Berman continues.

Stephen Finch.

南京夜网 16/07/2018

Smaller towns wait longer for ambulances

PATIENTS are waiting longer for paramedics to reach them in small south-west towns despite ambulance response times improving for Warrnambool and other regional centres.
Nanjing Night Net

Latest figures show response times have gone backwards, with patients waiting for nearly 30 minutes in Port Fairy, Terang, Camperdown and Colac.

The statistics for January to June last year reveal mixed performance results.

Ambulances reached emergencies faster in Warrnambool, Hamilton and Portland, but taking country patients to major regional centres rather than the closest hospitals is blamed for lagging times in smaller towns.

Camperdown topped a list of waiting times provided to The Standard by the state opposition under the Freedom of Information Act.

Paramedics took up to 35 minutes to respond to code one emergencies in 90 per cent of cases.

Two paramedics and a team of community volunteer officers serve Camperdown, which has a population of 3463.

Patients in Port Fairy waited up to 29 minutes but only up to 18 minutes in Warrnambool.

Ambulance Employees Association (AEA) secretary Steve McGhie called on the state government to provide small towns with extra resources if ambulances continued to travel to city emergency departments.

“The workload has increased in those towns,” Mr McGhie said. “Terang only has two paramedics and they’re also supported by community volunteers.”

Ambulance Victoria (AV) has pointed to better survival rates among patients who are transported to larger hospitals.

AV Barwon South West regional manager Mick Cameron said hospitals in Warrnambool and Hamilton were better equipped to deal with emergencies.

“While it can take us longer, our research shows that it improves their outcome and in the case of cardiac arrest our survival rates have more than doubled in rural Victoria since 2008,” he said. “Over the past few years we have added a number of new resources including a MICA single responder unit at Warrnambool, upgraded our branches at Hamilton and Portland to 24 hours on shift crewing.”

Statistics for winter are often higher due to peak demand because of winterrelated illnesses

State Opposition health spokesman Wade Noonan used the figures to show that response times had increased since the Coalition came to power.

Response times are measured both by averages but also a 90th percentile — which is stated by the Victorian auditor general to be when patients can most expect an ambulance to arrive.

Latest figures show ambulance response times have gone backwards, with patients waiting for nearly 30 minutes in Port Fairy, Terang, Camperdown and Colac.

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

南京夜网 16/07/2018

Working together for Colac hospital funding solution

PLANS to save emergency care at the Colac hospital will be laid on the table next month after a meeting of doctors, administrators and community members on Monday night.
Nanjing Night Net

Overnight urgent care at Colac Area Health (CAH) had been earmarked for closure last Friday but was saved by an 11th-hour rescue package from Barwon Medicare Local (BML).

On Thursday the BML board revealed it would pump $75,000 into the hospital’s coffers, offsetting the closure for three months and allowing the breathing space to find alternatives.

The move followed a mass gathering of 800 Colac and district residents, angry over the decision to leave the town with just a single ambulance to respond to overnight emergencies.

Both CAH and BML met with doctors and community members at a 90-minute meeting on Monday night to seek ways to find savings.

BML chief executive Jason Trethowan said no options had yet been revealed.

“It’s too early to talk about solutions. The meeting was about getting everyone on the same page,” Mr Trethowan said.

“The end of March is the timeline for a recommendation to go to the Colac Area Health board.”

CAH still has to find $255,000 in its budget as a result of federal health cuts last year.

“That’s the issue CAH have had a real challenge with. We’d like to look at other measures but in the end we need urgent care to stay open,” Mr Trethowan said.

The service also lost $1 million, according to its 2012 annual report.

The steering committee will meet again next Monday.

Colac Area Health was approached for comment but did not respond by deadline yesterday.

Overnight urgent care at Colac Area Health (CAH) had been earmarked for closure last Friday but was saved by an 11th-hour rescue package from Barwon Medicare Local (BML).

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

南京夜网 16/07/2018

Emily inspires campaign for school bus seatbelts

VICTORIAN parent groups are launching a campaign calling for mandatory seatbelts on school buses, especially when travelling on dangerous country routes, to prevent more children being injured in crashes.
Nanjing Night Net

The campaign comes after Nullawarre schoolgirl Emily Blake, then 10, was brain damaged in a bus crash on her way home from school in 2009, and six-year-old Shayla Perry was injured last year when a bus braked sharply near Alexandra.

The Australasian College of Road Safety has also called for urgent action, saying even though it was well-known that seatbelts saved lives they were not in use in school buses on high-speed routes in Victoria and New South Wales.

And Child Safety Commissioner Bernie Geary last year wrote to Transport Minister Terry Mulder saying he had received regular correspondence over the past three years from people concerned about the lack of seatbelts in school buses, particularly when they were overcrowded and travelling fast in rural areas.

Emily’s mother, Susan Blake, said her daughter was in hospital for 10 months.

‘‘With brain injury you lose everything, she went back to babyhood,’’ Mrs Blake said.

‘‘She couldn’t feed herself, she couldn’t talk or walk, she couldn’t control her bodily functions.

“It’s a miracle she is actually stringing two to three words together now and it’s three years down the track,’’ Mrs Blake said.

Parents Victoria executive officer Gail McHardy said the issue was even more timely given the government this year gave preps free storybooks stressing the need for greater road safety awareness.

She said it was a shame that despite the road safety campaign, Mr Mulder knowingly allowed students to commute on buses unrestrained.

But Mr Mulder said research showed students who travelled by bus were significantly safer than those who travelled by car.

‘‘A report prepared for the Australian Transport Council in 2002 concluded that the implementation of measures such as seatbelts on buses would be very expensive and would not contribute materially to a reduction in the national road toll,’’ he wrote to Mr Geary last year.

The federal government mandated that buses and coaches built or imported after 1995 have lap sash seatbelts following two catastrophic bus crashes near Grafton and Kempsey in 1989, in which 54 people were killed.

However, buses on scheduled routes or those with less than 17 seats are exempt. Buses without seatbelts are being used to take children to and from school in country Victoria.

Parent groups representing children at both state and private schools in Victoria will band together to lobby the government ahead of the 2014 state election to mandate seatbelts. -THE AGE

Nullawarre mum Susan Blake and her daughter Emily, 13, have helped inspire a campaign by Victorian parent groups to make seatbelts mandatory in all school buses.

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

南京夜网 16/07/2018

Researchers discover benefits of a healthy break

FINNISH medical researchers are world leaders in reducing the incidence of heart disease and type two diabetes.
Nanjing Night Net

And when it comes to their own health, they know the best way to deal with Finland’s long, cold winters is to head south to a Warrnambool summer.

That is what two leading Finnish researchers have done as part of a ongoing relationship with the Greater Green Triangle University Department of Rural Health (GGT UDRH), which has offices at Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus.

They are part of a group of up to 25 medical researchers taking part in an annual two-week retreat in Warrnambool, during which they discuss the results of their research so far and plan the next stages.

GGT UDRH director, Professor James Dunbar, said Finnish medical researchers had helped set up the rural health department about 12 years ago and had been coming to the annual report writing retreat in Warrnambool for the past 10 years.

Word has spread through the medical research community, drawing other overseas researchers.

“Success breeds success and our partnerships have grown significantly over the past few years and more have wanted to become involved,” Professor Dunbar said.

He said the retreats included guest speakers but were mainly an opportunity for participants to bounce ideas off each other.

The department’s deputy director Dr Mike Coates said the retreat showed that even in the present era of multi-platform information technology, there was “nothing like face-to-face contact”.

Topics to be discussed at this year’s retreat range from patient safety to diabetes risk factors and the role of practice nurses.

The GGT UDRH is a collaboration between Flinders University and Deakin University.

Medical researchers Mike Coates (left), from Warrnambool, Tiina Laatikainen and Erkki Vartiainen, of Finland, Edward Janns, Melbourne, Tim Kenealy, New Zealand, Warrnambool’s James Dunbar, Robyn Clark, Queensland, Michael Ackland, Melbourne, and Susan Dovey, New Zealand, prepare for a two-week retreat in Warrnambool.

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

南京夜网 16/07/2018

Warrnambool hospitals in national plea for cancer specialists

WARRNAMBOOL hospitals have launched a large-scale campaign to recruit cancer specialists to the region as increasing numbers of local patients are forced to travel to Geelong for treatment.
Nanjing Night Net

A joint push by South West Healthcare (SWH) and St John of God (SJOG) hopes to secure an oncologist for the Warrnambool Base Hospital by the middle of this year.

The campaign will result in every registered oncologist in Australia receiving an information packet promoting Warrnambool’s unique lifestyle.

Demand for services in Warrnambool has risen steadily, due partly to cancer patients living longer from improved treatments.

But specialist numbers have not kept up, creating heavy workloads for the south-west’s single cancer clinic which treats up to 600 new cases of cancer annually.

Warrnambool remains the regional centre for cancer care, despite a Geelong specialist visiting Portland, Hamilton and Colac once a month.

Warrnambool oncologist Doctor Terri Hayes told The Standard she was forced to stop taking on patients in December because of waiting times.

“Just after Christmas I closed my books for new patients because the next available appointment was in February, which is just unacceptable,” Dr Hayes said.

Previous efforts to fill an oncology position have been unsuccessful.

“We’ve been trying to recruit someone for three or four years and for some reason the oncologists aren’t coming,” she said.

“Cancer care is complicated, there are lots of side effects to monitor but more patients are living longer and that naturally increases the work load.”

Dr Hayes said there were also talks on whether patients could see oncologists through video link-up.

“It’s one of the things we’re discussing — can we use video conferencing to minimise patient travel,” Dr Hayes said.

SWH chief executive John Krygger said the advertised position would cater to both public and private hospitals.

“We have listed the current vacancy on the Medical Oncology Group of Australia website and are currently distributing information packs on Warrnambool to every registered oncologist in Australia,” Mr Krygger said.

He said there was also the possibility of academic appointment with Deakin Universities Medical School.

Dr Hayes said funding for a south-west integrated cancer care centre remained crucial to bringing another specialist to the region, explaining young graduates were choosing to work in established cancer care centres.

“I think the solution for recruiting another cancer doctor is to have a comprehensive and modern service.”

A joint push by South West Healthcare (SWH) and St John of God (SJOG) hopes to secure an oncologist for the Warrnambool Base Hospital by the middle of this year.

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

南京夜网 16/07/2018

Boardriding legend to shut down surf store

Wollongong boardriding icon John Skipp is calling quits on the surf fashion business after 45 years on the city’s main street.
Nanjing Night Net

Crown Street store Skipp Surf will close next month after a slowdown Mr Skipp has attributed to the global financial crisis, parking meters, online competition and the passage of time.

He was in his early 20s, a surfer and recently schooled board shaper, when he began sourcing fashions suited to the burgeoning Wollongong surfing community.

The first store opened in North Wollongong in 1967 and moved to lower Crown Street the following year.

Illawarra surfers wore football shorts in the water then, popular because they were loose around the legs and didn’t catch on their knees.

Form-fitting jeans and tight James Dean-style T-shirts were in vogue but Mr Skipp, a subscriber to the first surfing magazines, knew the surf world’s trendsetters were the Californian boys, who wore baggy jeans and loose-fitting T-shirts.

‘‘It was a different world [in California]. Most surfers were fit, but you didn’t show your fitness; you wore baggy pants and loose T-shirts,’’ Mr Skipp said.

‘‘I always knew that surfing was about more than surfboards. It’s a way of life and there was clothing to go with that.’’

For a while the store was the only surf shop between Sydney and Melbourne. When the surf was good he would put up a sign ‘‘back at 12’’ and hit the waves, returning to find customers waiting to get in.

He sourced baggy jeans from a menswear store in Kings Cross and bought Lee jeans from a company supplying wharfies and seamen. He opened an account with Levi’s before the company had opened its Australian office.

He later formed a friendship with a Speedos rep and convinced the company to bring out a T-shirt with big, loose sleeves. He bought them in batches of 144 to keep up with the demand.

He learnt quickly of the surf world’s tendency to support its own, and built much of his supply chain around friendships and the credibility he had won through his board-shaping business, which will continue to trade on FlindersStreet into its 50th year.

‘‘Gordon Merchant called in one day and said, ‘Me and my wife are making board shorts. We’re going to call them Billabong. Do you want them?’.

Skipp Surf retail outlet founder John Skipp and his youngest daughter Chloe. Picture: KEN ROBERTSON

‘‘There were few guys who tried to break in, but unless you lived the lifestyle the brands never got in.’’

A father of five, Mr Skipp’s children and his wife Maret have taken over much of the day-to-day operations at Skipp Surf in recent years.

John Skipp in 1988.

The business continues to enjoy a loyal clientele, but had suffered under the GFC, online competition and parking meters, Mr Skipp said.

He credits daughter Chloe Skipp, the shop’s principal buyer, with keeping an eye on shifting trends and making good buying decisions.

Ms Skipp said it had been a long time since the store had ordered a 144-batch of T-shirts.

‘‘Back in those days they had one style and they did it well. Fashion is so diverse now. We’ve got so many different lengths of boardshorts and you have to have a little bit of everything,’’ she said.

The family hopes someone will take over the premises, which were fitted out only five years ago.

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