Monthly Archives: December 2018

Residents invited to join Maitland City Council weed blitz this weeken

Lantana is one of the weeds being targeted during the weekend’s weed blitz.Residents of Maitland Vale Road, Tocal Road and Lemon Grove Road in Maitland have been invited to participate in a weed blitz weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday Maitland City Council will ­encourage local residents to help build on the weed control initiatives undertaken on public land and road reserves.

Residents should target any lantana, bridal creeper and asparagus fern from their properties.

The waste can be deposited in skip bins which will be at the entrance of Tocal College between 9am and 5pm both days of the weekend.

Staff will also be at Tocal College to answer questions and hand out free information brochures.

To register interest in this project or to receive a free weed information pack, contact the coordinator on 4978 4029.

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Men of League continue to unite for worthy cause

Ben Ross will be the special guest at the Men Of League golf day later this month. Photo: GETTY IMAGESAs a code, rugby league cops its fair share of criticism but there is plenty of good things that happen within the game.

One of those is the Men Of League Foundation, which helps out former players, coaches, referees, committee members – basically anybody that has had anything to do with the game – when they fall on tough times.

The Dubbo branch is headed up by Martin Cook, who was heavily involved with the group from its beginnings a number of years ago, and members will come together on Friday, October 30 for their annual golf day.

Former players Jason Death and Ben Ross will join Dubbo’s own current NRL star Isaah Yeo in attending the day, while other local legends such as David Peachey, Ronny Gibbs and Wes Maas will also be involved.

Ross achieved rugby league and Australian television infamy earlier this year when he broke his arm while arm-wrestling Wendell Sailor live on The Footy Show but he had an esteemed career that saw him play representative football on multiple occasions.

He played 173 NRL matches across four clubs and represented his home state of Queensland on six occasions.

Entry fee for the day is $50 per player or $150 for a team of three, with the event being played as a three-man ambrose.

Money raised on the day will support the Dubbo branch of the Men Of League, which has done plenty to help out since its inception four years ago.

Perhaps the biggest feat achieved locally for the group was a fundraising dinner for the family of Chris Thompson, who left behind three children when he was killed in a motor vehicle accident last year.

The funds raised from that dinner went into a trust which is being used to help his three children get a quality education

“Our local Men Of League has assisted plenty of good rugby league people in its time, and we’re currently helping a couple of people,” Cook said.

“We’ve provided assistance to Kailem Barwick, who is an 18-year-old that played 10 years of junior league with South Dubbo Raiders and is doing it tough with Ewings Sarcoma.

“And there’s David Whitfield, a Dunedoo local who has cancer-related illnesses and requires a hip replacement.

“Men Of League are assisting with the renovation of his bathroom as he currently has a shower with a very high hob, which is making getting into and out of the shower increasingly difficult.”

The entry fee for the golf day covers prizes, green fees, a barbecue brunch, lunch, a Men Of League golf ball, finger food and guest speakers.

There are also opportunities for sponsorship, with banners on tees and greens coming at a cost of $400 while a banner on either a tee or a green will cost $200.

Nominations for the event can be made by contacting Craig Mears at the Dubbo Golf Club pro shop on 6882 2201, while further information on the event can be obtained by contacting Ross Tighe on 0428 289 324.

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Volunteers make it happen

Helping hands: Some of the volunteers from last year s event, from left Nat Green, Megan Velardi, Jamie Beresford, Laura Velardi, Fred Axford, Jordan Hanimair, Tallara Duck, Jodie Duck, Monika Hanimair and Geoff Duck.ON Sunday more than 1000 brave athletes will converge on Port Macquarie for the annual Port Macquarie Ironman 70.3 event.

Pivotal to its success every year is the number of volunteers that spend hours assisting in all sorts of ways, from handing out drinks to keeping the competitors on the course and everything in between.

Each year volunteers give up their time to assist and it is very much appreciated according to Adam Renn, Event Director of the Port Macquarie IM 70.3.

“They’re crucial to any of our Ironman events anywhere all over the world,” he said. “It’s as simple as this – if we don’t have them then the event doesn’t run.

“What makes Port special and what defines the character of the event is the way the community gets involved.

“It is what makes Port such a great location according to Mr Renn. Every year they receive get a great amount of support.

“They help to create some of the magic and it is one of the things we often hear in our athlete feedback which reflects on the success of the event,” he said.

“I’d say to anyone thinking about volunteering to please do so. We’d love to have you on board with the team and it is exactly that – a big team.”

If you are interested in volunteering click here.

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Canberra United looking to extend their reign to make W-League history

RIGHT: Dubbo’s Nicole Begg kisses with W-League trophy after she captained Canberra United to last year’s title. Photo: GETTY IMAGESCANBERRA United’s experienced core group of players sets them apart from the rest of the competition and gives them a fighting chance to create history as the first W-League champions to go back-to-back.

That is the opinion of Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who returns – after missing last season while she recovered from a knee reconstruction – to further strengthen Canberra’s title ambitions.

Williams is one of seven foundation players, including star Dubbo sisters Nicole Begg and Ashleigh Sykes, in the star-studded Canberra squad for Sunday’s season-opener against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

While all the off-season talk has centred around competition newcomers Melbourne City and their impressive recruiting spree, Canberra have quietly added the necessary pieces to complement their existing structure.

It is that consistency and knowledge of each other’s game that Williams believes will prove crucial in the long run.

“I think we’re definitely in the top four and definitely in play-off contention,” Williams said.

“I think there’s a lot of hype surrounding Melbourne City and they’ve recruited some big-name players, [but] it’s the marathon that’s going to win the race and not a sprint.

“Canberra’s proven that we don’t always start out strong, but we do finish really strong.

“This season, having the core of last season still here, we don’t have to start from scratch again, so we can improve on that.”

Begg, Sykes, Williams, defenders Ellie Brush and Rebecca Kiting, and midfielders Grace Gill and Caitlin Munoz are survivors of Canberra’s inaugural team in 2008-09.

Matildas striker Michelle Heyman – the W-League’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 50 goals – will also return for the defending champions.

Canberra has also added Mexican midfielder Veronica Perez, English striker Jodie Taylor and New Zealand international Emma Kete, and home-grown trio Emma Checker, Jenna McCormick and Nickoletta Flannery in their quest to to win the grand final in successive years.

“In all leagues around the world it’s really tough to do the double,” Williams said.

“It’s going to be hard, but it’s not an impossible feat at all.

“The beauty that Canberra has is that not a lot of people come and go.

“The team has been training pretty much for each other for years on years now.

“There might be a little bit of tweaking, but as soon as pre-season started, we could go into how we wanted to play, which is an advantage for us compared to the other teams.”

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Accused drug dealer Brendon Thomas arrested outside Orange court

AN accused drug dealer remains in custody after he was arrested for 20 supply charges on Monday as part of Strike Force Rupas.AN accused drug dealer remains in custody after he was arrested for 20 supply charges on Monday as part of Strike Force Rupas.

Brendon James Thomas, 23, did not apply for bail in Orange Local Court on Tuesday and it was formally refused.

He was charged with 15 counts of supplying a prohibited drug greater than the indictable amount, two counts of supplying drugs in small amounts, two counts of supplying drugs in commercial quantities – 944 grams and 125 grams respectively – and supplying on an ongoing basis.

The drug offences allegedly occurred between December last year and April this year in Newcastle, Charleston, Warners Bay and Macquarie Hills, and involved ecstasy and ice. Thomas was also charged with knowingly participating in a criminal group.

His solicitor Michael Madden said Thomas needed to show cause to be granted bail.

“That’s on the basis of the commercial quantity charge, but I would argue that’s not the case,” he said.

But after further deliberation, Mr Madden asked for the release hearing to be held on Friday, where it would be taken over by Legal Aid.

Thomas did not appear before the court.

He had already attended court on Monday for driving with ecstasy and ice in his system in May, which put him in breach of two good behaviour bonds for drug possession and resisting and assaulting police from last year.

At the hearing, Mr Madden said Thomas had undergone full-time rehabilitation and argued the police-related offences, where he kicked an officer in the chest, were alcohol-fuelled, not drug-related.

The pre-sentence report said Thomas has abstained from drug use since his arrest and drank less often.

Magistrate Terry Lucas handed Thomas $600 in fines and a three-month disqualification period for the drug driving charge, but did not act on the bond breaches. He also quashed a habitual offender’s order after Mr Madden argued it was three years old.

“When you go home, you need to thank your solicitor – there will be no action on the Section 12 bonds because of the good reasons provided in the pre-sentence report and the submissions from Mr Madden,” he said.

“Breach it again and it’ll be ugly.”

But the reprieve was short-lived and Thomas was taken back into custody by strike force police outside the courthouse. Thomas has links to Newcastle, where the strike force is targeting a drug syndicate.

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