Placing pressure on hospitals

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, State Labor candidate for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas and Federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Stephen Jones, take a tour of the Kyneton Hospital last week.The $7 GP co-payment was weighed up by Labor representatives as they toured Kyneton Hospital’s urgent care centre last week.
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Federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Stephen Jones, joined by Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, to visit the facility at the invitation of State Labor candidate for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas.

The trio discussed how the co-payment would affect patients needing urgent medical attention at Kyneton Hospital.

Ms Chesters explained that patients presenting at Kyneton’s urgent care would be charged the co-payment when it comes into effect, meanwhile those who present at emergency care, such as that at Bendigo Hospital, will not.

“This idea that in an emergency you have to find $7 – it’s ridiculous and it’s not right,” she said.

“People who go to the Kyneton urgent care should be treated like a patient that goes to the Bendigo Hospital emergency care and shouldn’t have to pay up front fees to attend.”

Labor is calling for the State Government to raise the matter with the Federal Government.

Mr Jones said the co-payment will put more pressure on hospitals.

“People either won’t get the healthcare they need or they’ll be travelling to hospitals and emergency wards to try and get the healthcare they need because they can’t afford to go to their local doctors,” he said.

“It costs the system more. The most expensive place to deal with healthcare is in the hospital. The cheapest and most efficient place to deal with it is in a GP practice.”

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Business owners share concerns about project

JOHN Street business owner Gayle Thompson expressed her reservations about the Town Centre Revitalisation project back in March.
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John Street business owners concerned about town centre upgrade.

The owner of The Chicken Spot, along with Paul Levick from Singleton Sound Solutions, told Singleton Councilpassing traffic was the life-blood of their businesses and any trafficmeasures that encouraged vehicles around Ryan Avenue would jeopardise their businesses.

Their other concerns included the raised pedestrian crossings, a proposal to introduce a 40kph speed limit in John Street, loss of some car parking and increasing the width of the footpath.

They asked for another 28 days todiscuss parking and traffic issues.

At the same meeting, councilunanimously approved the upgrade and expressed their desire the start the work in July.

Now, with the news stage one of the project will start on January 6 and take nine months to complete, Mrs Thompson fears this may be the final nail in the coffin for many struggling retailers on the street.

She says given the scope of the work it is going to be a “nightmare” and any

disruptions are going to be costly given the downturn in the mining industry.

“I really don’t see how the council can minimise the impact of having the road ripped up and pavement being laid,” she told The Argus.

“Pedestrian and road traffic is going to be affected and this is what mybusiness and others rely on.

“We need people to be able to park out the front of our shops and grab what they need without having to walk a long way.

“Otherwise they will go somewhere else and then it is very hard to get them back again.

“We will have to just wait and see if it is viable to remain open duringconstruction period.

“If it gets too quiet we may have to restrict our trading hours.”

Mrs Thompson is especiallyconcerned what the future will hold for a number of the newer businesses that have opened on John Street.

“These start-ups don’t have a lot behind them and they will still have to pay rent, wages and electricity even if they are not getting any customers through the door,” she added.

“I just think widening the footpaths is going to cause problems on an already congested road and it has not worked in so many other places, like Maitland and Newcastle. Why are we doing it here?”

She feels the money being spent on this part of the upgrade should have been put toward beautifying a larger section of the street.

Fellow business owner Ken Lawson, who runs a newsagency on John Street, also has concerns about the project.

“My concerns are primarily about parking space but at this stage the thing that disappoints me the most is a lack of communication on the council’s part,” he told The Argus.

“We were never consulted from the start and the only time I hear anything is when I read it in the paper.

“We haven’t heard anything from them since the council meeting.”

Mrs Thompson agrees and says the council only speaks to the Singleton Business Chamber.

“Everyone knows very few retailers on John Street are involved with the chamber so we are not kept up-to-date.”

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Dubbo boys to attend league camp

SIX Dubbo players will be among 39 of the region’s top young footballers to be mentored by former NRL players at a Western Rugby League Academy camp at Lake Burrendong this weekend.
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South Dubbo quartet Dalton Medcalf, Kaiden Hopkins, Kane McDermott and Clayton Couley, along with St John’s pair Bayden Searle and Jack Davis, will be involved as part of the academy’s under-16 squad.

The camp will see players not only run through the on-field skills component of the program, but also learn some key off-field components of the game.

Saturday will be a full day in the field with players put through their paces by the Academy coaching staff, while on Sunday Country Rugby League welfare officer Andrew Ryan will lead a workshop on the NRL CareerWise programs.

Joining the former Australian and NSW representative will be recently-retired NRL players including John Morris, Ben Smith, Michael Hodgson and Eugowra product Bryan Norrie.

The squads for the camp are:

UNDER-16s: Ethan Kennedy (Orange CYMS), Adam Fearnley (Bathurst), Bayden Searle (St John’s Dubbo), Kane Arriola (Oberon), Warren Baxter (Forbes), Dalton Medcalf (South Dubbo), Jack Davis (St John’s Dubbo), Kaiden Hopkins (South Dubbo), Kane McDermott (South Dubbo), Bradley Gaut (Red Bend), Clayton Couley (South Dubbo), Tom Burke (Mudgee), Charlie Bible (Narromine), Feliti Mateo (Orange CYMS), Felix Quinn (Bathurst Panthers), Aiden Kilburn (Bathurst St Pat’s), Ethan Monk (Cabonne), Matt Nicholson (Red Bend), Hudson Spicer (Orange CYMS), Jesse Bethelle (Bathurst Panthers)

UNDER-17s: Jaydon Orth (Mudgee), Lachlan Munro (Orange CYMS), Jack Beasley (Mudgee), Jack Bastick (Orange), Jesse Parker (Parkes), Charlie Clayton (Mudgee), Mitch Andrews (Forbes), Lachlan Farr (Blayney), Rick Nobes (Cowra), Nick Miller (Lithgow), James Goonrey (Red Bend), Billy Burns (Parkes), Matt Woolnough (Red Bend), Izaac Scott (Red Bend), McCoy White (Bathurst St Pat’s), Jay Slavin (Parkes), Josh Rivett (Oberon), Aidan Baker (Orange CYMS), Joe Dwyer (Parkes Marist)

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Boatman achieving the ultimate goal

Ashleigh Boatman has been named as one of the top 100 under-23 ultimate frisbee players in Australia. Photo: Greg KeenJUST like any sports-loving child Ashleigh Boatman dreamt of representing her country.
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But she never expected that opportunity would come through the sport of ultimate frisbee.

Boatman arrived at Dubbo in January this year and after impressing locally and at a representative level she has been named in the under-23 All-Australian squad, a group of the top 100 players in the country.

The top 100 will meet in Melbourne in early December and from that session a final squad will be named for the World Under-23 Ultimate Championships in London next year and Boatman admits when she began playing the game socially she was unaware an opportunity like this was even possible.

“I had no idea, when I first started it was just for fun and to play with friends, I never thought frisbee could go this far, I was always a netball and tennis girl so I didn’t even know frisbee was a sport until I started playing at uni,” the 22-year-old said.

“It’s pretty indescribable, when you’re a kid you always imagine playing sport for Australia, that’s always the dream but to actually get the chance to have that opportunity is amazing.”

Boatman admitted she was shocked to even make the top 100 after missing the selection trial and only submitting the required sporting resume.

But the strength of that resume got her through and she is now determined to make the final team and go to London.

“I think I have a really good chance to make the team, I’ve been playing for quite a few years now and some of the girls are still quite young so I think I’m a chance but it all depends on how it goes on the day,” she said, before speaking about what it would mean to go to the Ultimate Championships.

“I think this is my last chance to do something like this before I have to settle down and get a real job so I thought I’d have a go and it would be amazing if I got to go to London.”

Boatman has played at national level competitions before but expects the trials at Melbourne to be an even higher standard than that and said the strength of the local Dubbo Ultimate Frisbee Federation (DUFF) competitions has helped her prepare.

“I didn’t expect the Dubbo competition to be so big, coming from Wagga they don’t have a town league so I was shocked when I found how many people were into it and it’s got even bigger since I’ve been here this year, they’ve added two more teams to the league,” she said.

Boatman’s final trials for the All-Australian team are on December 6-7 at Melbourne with the Ultimate Championships held in July of next year.

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‘It is as though there were boys just on tap’

John Denham in 2008. AN atmosphere of fear and despair at Adamstown’s St Pius X high school where a principal caned students for reporting sexual abuse by priest and teacher John Denham ensured the ‘‘sadistic’’ paedophile thought he could get away with his offending, a court has heard.
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Judge Helen Syme said on Thursday that the Catholic school’s principal, late priest Tom Brennan, ‘‘must have’’ colluded with John Sidney Denham, punishing boys who spoke up about abuse in the 1970s.

The Sydney District Court was told Brennan, now deceased, would order a student to report to Denham, who would then abuse the boy and send him back to class with instructions to tell the principal ‘‘to send the next boy’’.

‘‘It is as though there were boys just on tap,’’ Crown prosecutor Michael O’Brien said in sentencing submissions.

Denham, 72, has pleaded guilty to 25 charges involving the abuse of 18 boys between 1975 to 1979.

He is already in jail after being convicted in 2010 of crimes against 39 boys and is not eligible for parole until 2022.

Mr O’Brien said the schools at which Denham taught, especially St Pius X, were characterised ‘‘by their harsh brutality where fear appears to have been a predominant feature of every day school life’’- a ‘‘pre-Dickensian’’ situation.

Bullying was rife among students and teachers, and victims feared speaking out.

He described Denham’s offending as ‘‘abhorrent, persistent and frequently of a sadistic nature’’ and a gross abuse of the trust placed in his position.

Most boys were in year seven when Denham targeted them.

Mr O’Brien cited one incident where a victim went to Father Brennan for help but was ‘‘yelled at and he was then given six of the cane.

‘‘That bears witness to the hopelessness…and the despair that many of these victims experienced while they were at St Pius X.’’

‘‘…The offences were conducted within an atmosphere of knowing that as it were, the offender could get away with it.’’

Judge Syme will sentence Denham in January.

Father Brennan died in 2012 after he was charged with concealing Denham’s crimes, and sexually assaulting a child. ’