Occhilupo backs Newcastle 

TWO-time Surfest winner and 1999 world champion Mark Occhilupo believes Newcastle has what it takes to fill the void in Australian surfing and host a prime-rated event next year.
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The 46-year-old, who won Surfest in 1986 and 1998, is preparing to compete in the $155,000 six-star World Qualifying Series event in two weeks.

Although not making a full-scale comeback, the popular goofy-footer is keen to keep his ranking high enough to surf at selected events and scratch a competitive itch.

The Gold Coast surfer is also entering the Margaret River Pro, which is the only prime event held in Australia.

Prime events offer $250,000 in prizemoney and are the step just below the elite World Championship Tour.

The Margaret River Pro will become part of the WCT next year, leaving Australia without a prime contest.

Occhilupo said Surfest, which found the financial backing to secure six-star WQS status for the first time last year, was an ideal event to take Margaret River’s prime place.

‘‘I’m just really stoked it’s back to a six-star event now, and hopefully Newcastle might even be a prime next year,’’ Occhilupo said.

‘‘We need more primes in Australia. We should have the same as the other countries, really. We have a lot of events, but we need more bigger ones to give all the kids who want to qualify something to aspire to.’’

Brazil, mainland America and Hawaii have two prime events, while South Africa has one.

Surfest organiser Warren Smith said his event would need a $130,000 boost in support to reach the next level, but he was sure they would tick all the other boxes.

‘‘I’m confident we’d meet all the KPIs for the criteria to be a prime event but dollars would be the big thing,’’ Smith said.

‘‘It’s not only the jump in prizemoney.

‘‘There’s a domino effect with that.

‘‘Things like your sanction fee and international wages all go up.

‘‘But in terms of location and coverage and all the other aspects that make up a prime event, we have all that.’’

Given Surfest has fought hard to secure and retain six-star status, the jump in backing needed for prime rating appears a bridge too far.

Smith said he was ‘‘looking outside the square’’ with his next three-year plan for Surfest and it would focus on building the festival concept.

Regardless, Smith said the vote of confidence from Occhilupo was a boost.

‘‘It’s unbelievable to have his support and it’s not only Occy, a lot of the surfers are saying we need more big events,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s great to have a surfer of Mark Occhilupo’s calibre speaking positively about our event, and he knows what it takes to host a prime.’’

Meanwhile Merewether’s Jesse Adam recorded the highest score of round two at the four-star men’s Burleigh Pro on Tuesday.

Adam earned a best two-wave score of 16.54 to secure a place in round three, which will feature fellow Merewether riders Jake Sylvester and Ryan Callinan.

Merewether’s Philippa Anderson is in round four of the six-star women’s event.

KING OF WAVES: Surfing royalty Mark Occhilupo at Surfest on Merewether beach in 2010. Occy has been competing at the top level since the 1980s. Picture: Simone De Peak

南京夜网 22/09/2018

Single parents protest against welfare cuts

Sole parents fear a generation of children will be entrenched in poverty if the federal government doesn’t reverse cuts to single parent benefits.
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Dozens of protesters gathered in cities across the country yesterday to rally against welfare changes, which moved 60,000 single parents on to the lower Newstart Allowance.

From January 1, single parents have received between $60 and $100-a-week less under entitlement changes.

Single Parent Action Group protest organiser Samantha Seymour says 730,000 children are living below the poverty line and the figure is set to rise.

‘‘Effects of poverty include obesity, depression, suicide, developmental delays, poor school outcomes,’’ Ms Seymour told a rally in Canberra.

Single mum Bianca Maciel Pizzorno said her twin boys, aged eight, had offered to empty their piggy banks to help pay the bills.

‘‘It’s hard to explain to an eight-year-old that $10 isn’t going to help,’’ she said.

At a rally at Martin Place in Sydney on Tuesday morning, Louise Plitz, 31, was one of about 50 protesters.

She said the payment changes were already affecting her and her 10-year-old son.

‘‘For example, after rent comes out this week, there will be $100 to live off for two weeks.’’.

Shellharbour councillor Kellie Marsh is behind a local push to increase welfare payments for single mothers. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

‘‘By the time you put a full tank of petrol in, there’s not much left to cover bills.

‘‘It’s extremely stressful.’’

Feminist author Eva Cox, who also attended the Sydney rally, said the federal government’s reasoning that the parenting cuts would become an incentive for more people to get into the workforce was ‘‘just plain stupid’’.

‘‘For a sole parent, a child’s needs come first otherwise they’re bad parents, so this idea that people can do full-time or near full-time work is ridiculous.’’

The federal government has said the cuts, worth around $728million in savings over four years, are needed to achieve a budget surplus in 2012/13.

NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann told the Sydney rally the government was ‘‘looking at the wrong end of town to find savings’’.

Organisations such as the Benevolent Society and Australians for Affordable Housing (AAH) also supported the national protest.

‘‘It beggars belief that we can be having a national conversation about the inadequacy of Newstart, with politicians lining up to say that it is too low to live on, whilst at the same time we are forcing already vulnerable and disadvantaged families on to that very same payment,’’ said Joel Pringle, campaign manager for AAH.


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南京夜网 22/09/2018

Carving out a new career

Katrina Beams’s mother can’t believe her little girl in frilly socks has gone on to punch through ice in Antarctica.
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Ms Beams, 35, still struggles to believe it herself, having never expected she would one day be at the helm of Australia’s Antarctic flagship.

As third mate on the Aurora Australis, Ms Beams spends eight hours a day navigating the 3911-tonne research and resupply ship through ice up to 1.23 metres thick.

The West Launceston woman has also acted as a safety officer on the ship which, according to the federal government’s Antarctic division, can roll up to 45 degrees in big swells, making the angle of the deck steeper than any street in the country.

“It’s a big responsibility, you have up to 140 people on board, and their lives, and a very expensive ship, are in your control,” Ms Beams said.

She said the unpredictable nature of the job, and the harsh environment she navigated, meant she was always learning.

“Understanding the differences in the ice takes a lot of time – you need to know about areas of pressure, thickness and the weather conditions and what impact they’ll have on the ice,” she said.

“You have to choose the best route by seeing where the ice is likely to be thinnest. The ship has a flatter hull, meaning you literally come up on to the ice and break it out.

“If you’re in the lower hull it sounds like metal on metal, or fingers on a chalkboard.”

Ms Beams, who has a background in administration and hospitality, said she never planned or considered a job on the water until she took a stewarding job with the Spirit of Tasmania more than seven years ago.

She said that led to a chief steward position with P&O Maritime Services, owner of Aurora Australis, at which point her career changed course.

“I never thought of third mate as a career path until I started at P&O because it was a smaller environment than the Spirit, you were there on the ship all the time and I had access to the bridge so I could see everything that was going on,” Ms Beams said.

“I applied for P&O to retrain me as third mate and spent 3 1/2 to four years training, 18 months of it sea time and 21 months school time at the (Australian) maritime college.

“The first time I was left on my own it was overwhelming, I was full of nerves because the training wheels were off . . . then I realised it was no different to when I was a cadet, I just didn’t have someone with me – and the captain’s always just a phone call away.”

Ms Beams said there weren’t many negatives of working on the Aurora Australis, but acknowledged she wouldn’t be able to rush home for a personal emergency.

“Once the ship sails, that’s it, and I’ve told my family that if anything bad happens at home I don’t want to know until I’m back, because I don’t see the good in knowing when I’m stuck in the middle of the ocean,” she said.

“Also, I don’t book holidays within two weeks of a job’s end, because you don’t know what will happen and there can be unexpected delays – one guy I worked with almost missed his wedding last year.”

Still, she said the wonders of working in the Earth’s southernmost continent easily outweighed any downsides.

“There are a lot of bests about my job. I only have to work half a year because I get one day off for every day I work, and I get to go to places anyone else would spend thousands of dollars to see,” Ms Beams said.

“The first time I saw Antarctica it was just amazing, and it still is amazing, every minute – especially because it’s daylight all the time, you can look out the porthole and see so much change in the landscape, 24 hours a day.”

This floating hazard offers a picture-postcard opportunity.

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南京夜网 22/09/2018

New water treatment plant for Manilla

PLANS for a new water treatment plant at Manilla are well under way.
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The project, believed to be the biggest water infrastructure investment in the town in the past 50 years, is worth several million dollars.

The existing plant at Court St was brought online in 1933 and has passed its useful life.

Tamworth Regional Council water enterprises director Bruce Logan said the council bought a 34-hectare property east of Manilla, between Kanangra and Reservoir roads, in recent months and work to develop a concept design had started.

“The abundance of space at this greenfield site provides many design opportunities, as well as buffers for environmental and safety consideration,” he said.

“The site is also near the existing reservoir in Manilla which offers advantages for operational and capital cost savings.”

Mr Logan said construction was not expected to start until next year, but would involve refurbishing the Namoi River weir pump station, a new raw water pipeline to the new treatment plant, and a new treated water pipeline to the existing seven-megalitre storage on Reservoir Rd.

There will also be a raw water supply pipeline built from the Manilla River to the new plant.

The Namoi River weir is Manilla’s source of raw water, while the Manilla River is a secondary source.

The new water treatment plant will result in a greater volume of treated water for the Manilla community and improvements in the quality of the water.

“The new plant will provide the ability to treat a greater volume of water and a broader range of raw water quality,” Mr Logan said.

“New process units will be included in the plant’s design, to provide a better quality of treated water – such as iron and manganese removal, which is not possible at the existing plant – and there will be new process controls, which will lead to improvements in operation and reliability.”

Manilla will soon get a new water treatment plant.

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南京夜网 22/09/2018

Tamworth youth get in right headspace

MENTAL health services for the region’s youth have been boosted with the opening of Tamworth headspace this week.
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Headspace is for young people aged 12 to 25 and brings together mental health support and counselling, as well as general physical health, drugs and alcohol and education and employment services.

Yesterday saw the service receive its first clients, who can make appointments themselves or be referred by a GP or other provider.

Manager Helen Carter said headspace was a “one-stop shop” where young people could go to get help with a range of issues.

“It’s about improving access for young people who perhaps haven’t felt confident about seeking help before and weren’t sure where to go,” Ms Carter said.

Just one in four young people who need help for mental health issues receive it.

But it was expected the new service would be well-used – Ms Carter said, on average, headspace centres helped about 600 people each year, with more-established services seeing about 1000 clients.

She said the service would work alongside existing mental health services and provide assistance to young people on the mild to moderate end of the mental health spectrum.

Headspace is operated by a consortium led by Centacare New England North West, with Hunter New England Mental Health Service, Northwest Health, a4e, Aboriginal Employment Strategy, the PCYC and local police also involved.

The centre is staffed by seven full-time employees and visiting practitioners, including GPs from Northwest Health and psychologists from Centacare.

“(They are) very excited, very enthusiastic; they’re a very dedicated team, they just want to make a difference for young people,” Ms Carter said.

A reference group made up of young people has overseen the building, design and service delivery processes of the centre.

Youth who want to access the service can call 6762 9290, email [email protected]南京夜网.au or visit the centre at 2 Darling St to make an appointment.

Service providers can get referral forms at www.headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/headspace-tamworth

YOUTH-FOCUSED: Staff of the newly opened Tamworth headspace, front from left, Bree Constable, Mel Murphy and Lisa Staples, and back from left, Helen Carter, Jennifer Fisher, Barbara Eames and Katie Bryant, are excited about the new service. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 050213GOB02

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南京夜网 22/09/2018

Pool visitors lap up cool splash to beat heat

RECORD breaking temperatures across the state in December and January didn’t lead to record breaking attendance records across the Tamworth region’s pools, but they were a huge improvement on the 2012 summer period.
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More than 100,000 people visited the six Tamworth regional pools – Tamworth city and south, Barraba, Kootingal, Nundle and Manilla between December and the end of January – 30,000 more than during the same time last year.

Council’s technical officer of pools, Gary Johnson, said a stand out for attendance was Barraba.

“It had been on track to set a record for attendance since council amalgamated in 2004,” he said.

Unfortunately the cooler weather in that final week of January pushed the record a touch out of reach.

“Barraba is just 110 visits behind its record of 9872 visits to the end of January, set over the summer of 2005-2006,” Mr Johnson said.

“The new pool supervisor at the Barraba pool this year, Shaun Wilson was pleased with the visitors.”

Mr Johnson said warmer weather and a tweak to the pool’s opening hours appeared to attract more members of the community to the pool this summer.

“The hot weather means elevated water temperatures and while most people attend the pool to cool off they don’t tend to like cold water much,” he said.

“It’s been a pleasant season in the water.”

With school swimming carnival season fast approaching, Mr Johnson said, about 35 swimming carnivals would take place over the coming months.

“That traditionally means attendance rates at the six pools are very stable regardless of the season,” he said.

During the 2012-2013 summer season 35 staff have been employed by council to deliver services at the six pools.

“This year that number included instructors delivering the council initiated Swim and Survive program, which in the past was delivered by the Department of Sport and Recreation,” he said.

More than 200 children participated in the various nine-day Swim and Survive programs at each of the six regional pools.

GREAT SEASON: Pools around the region were well attended during December and January. Pictured is lifeguard Megan Hunter helping out young swimmer Megan Johnson. Photo: Steve grubbing

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南京夜网 24/08/2018

From fast food to fine dining: a world first for Warilla Maccas

McDonald’s Warilla is the first Maccas outlet in the world to offer plates, cutlery and table service with its dine-in meals.
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The fast food giant’s global headquarters in Chicago has given the outlet the go-ahead to trial table service in a move that has gained international attention.

McDonald’s Warilla franchisees Glenn and Katia Dwarte came up with the idea after Mr Dwarte started serving his parents and mother-in-law meals that way during their weekly visits to the restaurant.

It immediately attracted the attention of other people who asked ‘‘How do I order that?’’

They took it a step further during a visit by McDonald’s Australia chief executive Catriona Noble just before Christmas when they pitched the idea and served her a meal with crockery and glassware.

Ms Noble thought it was such a good idea she contacted Chicago who gave the approval for a five-week trial which started on Monday.

Mrs Dwarte said the initial reaction from diners had been positive.

‘‘Most of the people who came in decided to try it,’’ she said.

‘‘Most were quite excited. We actually had a group of eight people who asked me to take a photo of them so they could put it on Facebook. We are also providing customer surveys so we can gauge the feedback.’’

Mr Dwarte said for the next month anyone ordering a Grand Angus, Big Mac or Chicken Deluxe meal to eat in on a Monday or Tuesday night between 5pm and 8pm at Warilla would have the option of having it delivered to their table with cutlery and on a plate.

Katia and Glenn Dwarte help James Dwarte and Renee Rodrigues dine in style at Warilla. Picture: DAVE TEASE

McDonald’s Chicago headquarters has even designed and produced a flyer promoting the service.

It is not the first time the Dwartes have created overseas interest in their franchise innovations.

‘‘Last week we had a visit from two people from America who came to have a look at our mobile ordering trial where people can download an app on their iPhone and can place and pay for it before they get here,’’ Mr Dwarte said.

Mrs Dwarte said corporate staff from many countries had visited the restaurant to see how the mobile ordering trial system was working and she now expected even more visits from McDonald’s corporate staff.

‘‘They are quite keen to see if this [mobile ordering] will take off,’’ she said.

‘‘And they were certainly aware we were doing this trial.’’

The Dwartes have owned the Warilla restaurant for 20 years.

Mrs Dwarte has been involved with McDonald’s since 1978 when she started working at McDonald’s Warrawong, the first in Australia with a drive-through service. The couple are also franchisees at Warrawong and Stockland Shellharbour.

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南京夜网 24/08/2018

25 years of Festivale

For its first seven years Launceston’s popular food and wine event Festivale was held in the city’s business district as a big street party.
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Then it moved to historic City Park and will celebrate its 25th birthday in a venue most patrons agree is just about ideal.

Organising committee chairwoman Lou Clark said that making the move to City Park had been the making of Festivale.

“The focus of the event shifted to showcasing Tasmania’s renowned food and cool-climate wines,” Ms Clark said.

“This meant we had to move it out of the CBD to a more controlled space.

“In this day of social media we get a lot feedback and people talk about the great ambience and atmosphere in City Park.”

Charging an entry fee was a controversial issue with the move to City Park but had helped ensure the event’s financial viability and its reputation as an event for everyone.

“One of the things the committee has done is to work pretty hard to ensure that we have a safe and family-friendly event,” Ms Clark said.

Festivale has it origins in a multi-cultural food and social event organised by Paulene Gaetani at the Australian-Italian Club at Prospect in 1987 and probably also drew some inspiration from the Launceston Mardi Gras of the 1950s and ’60s that featured music, street theatre and parades.

The first mardi gras in 1953 was organised by the Launceston Junior Chamber of Commerce as part of celebrations for the centenary of municipal government in Tasmania.

The first Festivale in 1988 was organised as part of Australia’s bicentenary celebrations and the combination of food and drink and entertainment proved a hit.

Bruce England, who has served on the Festivale committee for 25 years (with five as chairman), was a member of the bicentenary committee.

The inaugural Festivale was so well received that it became an annual event organised by a hard-working committee of volunteers.

It is still run by volunteers who have also taken on the organisation of Launceston’s annual New Year’s Eve function in Royal Park.

“The turnover on the committee has been relatively low over the years,” Ms Clark said.

“People tend to stay on it for quite a long time, but there’s still been a lot of people involved over the years.”

As well as providing great entertainment and showcasing Tasmania’s best food, wine and beer, Festivale is important to the tourism industry.

Last year more than 35,000 people attended the three days of the event, which costs around $700,000 to stage.

The demographic is wide, from young families to retirees and everyone in between.

An annual survey of patrons, conducted by year 12 students from Scotch Oakburn College, found that more than 1000 attendees last year were from overseas and nearly 3000 were from interstate.

“Festivale has a strong and loyal following of patrons,” Ms Clark said.

“Our 2012 survey indicated that 69 per cent of patrons chose some form of commercial accommodation to stay in throughout the weekend of Festivale, with 19 per cent of patrons staying three nights or more and 14 per cent staying for two nights in commercial accommodation.”

And the 2012 survey found that 77 per cent of patrons strongly agreed they would attend future events.

“Festivale rates as one of the best food and wine festivals in Australia,” she said.

“In culinary terms I think we’ve got the recipe pretty right.”


WHAT: Festivale.

WHERE: City Park, Launceston.

WHEN: Friday, 5.30pm to 10.45pm; Saturday, 11am to 10.45pm; Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

COST: Friday night $20, Saturday $20, Sunday $15. Children under 14 free if accompanied by an adult.

TICKETS: Launceston Travel and Information Centre or at the gate.

More information: www.festivale南京夜网.au.

Some of crowd at Festivale held in the streets of Launceston in 1991. The food and wine spectacular will celebrate 25 years this weekend.

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南京夜网 24/08/2018

Decision about proposed Narrabri grain facility

THE Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) will determine the fate of a development application to establish a $30 million grain-handling facility near Narrabri.
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Narrabri Shire Council development and planning services manager Nick Wilton said the panel was expected to consider the application, along with another regarding the extension of a quarry, possibly in early March.

The $30 million grain-handling facility has been proposed by Queensland Cotton.

Mr Wilton said if the facility was approved it would be located 20km south of Narrabri, near the Narrabri Coal Project.

The other application is for the expansion of a gravel quarry proposed by Johnson’s Concrete and which is opposite Boral Concrete’s quarry.

“The expansion of the quarry is a result of increased demand on concrete and aggregate materials, following substantial increases in development activity, including within the mining industry in the Narrabri shire,” Mr Wilton said.

“Johnson’s Concrete had reached its capacity with respect to mining of aggregates in Moree shire and has strategically moved its quarry operations to Narrabri, due to sustained and strengthened demand.”

The expansion of the Wavehill Quarry on Wavehill Rd, about 15km south-east of town, would allow for 200,000 tonnes of materials per year to be extracted overall.

“The environmental impact statement for the quarry has to be assessed in a report prepared by the council to be submitted to the JRPP prior to the meeting date,” Mr Wilton said.

“Council has received a large number of submissions from concerned residents regarding the development, generally relating to dust on Wavehill Rd.

“The company will be required to demonstrate that there will be no additional cumulative impacts within the area of its operation and, further, will need to demonstrate acceptable levels of dust mitigation on local roads within the area.

“It would be council’s preference that a section 94 contribution be levied on the operation, to ensure future ongoing maintenance of the road and to enable sealing of the sections of road that are currently a gravel surface.”

The JRPP will determine the fate of a development application to establish a $30 million grain-handling facility near Narrabri.

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南京夜网 24/08/2018

POLL: First Responder plan ‘already operating’

A contentiousprogram that would enlist firefighters and emergency services volunteers to respond to Illawarra medical emergencies is already operating in 48 locations in NSW, including at Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands.
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The Ambulance Service of NSW revealed details of existing Community First Responder arrangements yesterday after the Health Services Union warned its members could strike if the program was rolled out to city areas, as is being considered by the state government.

Personnel from Fire & Rescue NSW, the Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service have received advanced first aid training and attended 2398 medical emergencies as Community First Responders (CFRs) in country areas in 2011-12.

MORE: Response plan ‘risk to public’

The first responders were called on when they were closer than the nearest available ambulance, and only after an ambulance had been dispatched, according to an Ambulance Service of NSW spokeswoman.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.‘‘This program is not about replacing experienced paramedics,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s about supplementing response times to get to patients as soon as possible, in particular in those cases where every minute is crucial like a cardiac arrest.

‘‘Given the spread of Fire and Rescue officers, Rural Fire Service volunteers and SES crews across NSW it makes sense to use these resources to assist when they are not committed to fire suppression or other rescue activities, and where they can make a difference to patient care.’’

The spokeswoman said first responders were trained by ambulance clinical educators in advanced first aid.

They are trained in basic patient assessment and are able to administer limited medications such as pain relief. They are also able to give oxygen and use a defibrillator. They are equipped with a defibrillator and oxygen resuscitation pack and have communications with responding paramedics.

In the past nine days first responders have attended 20 medical emergencies statewide, including a car accident, a mental health issue and a complaint involving chest pains.

The case put forward by the ambulance service is at odds with that of Health Services Union secretary Gerard Hayes, who

said this week ‘‘only a clinically trained paramedic can arrive at an emergency with the tools and knowledge necessary to keep a suffering patient alive…our membership have had enough of this and will make their voice heard’’.

The union will hold rallies across the state next week.

Illawarra paramedics have also expressed concern the program is a cost-saving measure, aimed at covering staff shortages.

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南京夜网 24/08/2018

Widower pleads for firies to treat patients

A Shellharbour man has thrown his support behind plans to involve firefighters in medical emergencies after a harrowing night which robbed him of the love of his life.
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Darren, who wants his identity protected, said he waited 25 minutes for paramedics to arrive when his fiancee collapsed at an Illawarra venue.

A defibrillator was placed by her side, but there was no-one working at the establishment that night trained to use it.

‘‘She was singing, laughing, having a good night, then the next thing she passed out, fell to the floor and then she was dead,’’ Darren said yesterday.

‘‘The ambulance was stuck on another job.

‘‘This is not about giving paramedics a hard time. But I would have been relieved to see a firie trying valiantly to save my fiancee. Somebody working on her doing something, anything is better than nothing,’’ he said.

MORE: Response plan ‘risk to public’

The man shared details of the worst night of his life – March 24 last year – because he feels strongly about the proposal to allow Fire and Rescue NSW officers to treat patients when paramedics are unavailable.

Under the plan being considered by the state government, Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service volunteers could also be tasked to patients in the Illawarra.

‘‘It’s not about replacing them [paramedics]. The problem is we need more of them, more doctors, more nurses, more police. But the fact is, there are always problems getting ambulances.

‘‘They are so busy and get stuck on jobs, they’re understaffed, so why shouldn’t we have another option?

‘‘That night was the absolute worst night of my life. I don’t want anyone to have to sit there waiting and watching someone they love die without being able to do a thing.

‘‘Here was a defibrillator sitting right there, but there was no-one trained to use it.

‘‘Sadly my partner of 10 years, my best friend, passed away.’’

Darren said firefighters were already trained to use defibrillators so the plan made sense.

‘‘They have fairly advanced emergency kits with oxygen in their trucks and they have essential first aid training,’’ he said.

‘‘If the ambos get there, good, if the firies get there before them, let them get to work.’’

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