Memory of late father inspires Geitz

Hoodoo: Australian captain Laura Geitz trains in Canberra earlier this month ahead of the Diamonds’ quest for an elusive Commonwealth Games gold medal. Photo: Melissa AdamsShe might be the smiling face of Australian netball but she can also put on a brave one.
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Laura Geitz, the 27-year-old goalkeeper spearheading the Diamonds’ tilt for a long-awaited Commonwealth Games gold medal in Glasgow, has needed to in a turbulent past 12 months.

This time last year she nearly quit the game, distraught at the death of her father Ross in an accident on his farm at Allora in Queensland’s Darling Downs.

Talked out of premature retirement by her mother, the bad news for Australia’s perennial gold medal rivals New Zealand is that the whole ordeal has made Geitz even more determined.

“In that six months (after his death) you just go along feeling a bit numb and you’re not really too in touch with everything that you’re going through,” Geitz said ahead of the Diamonds’ first pool game against Wales at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on Thursday.

“But in saying that it puts things in perspective and before losing Dad I probably thought netball was some of the toughest times I’d experienced. It actually gave me a new outlook and I became a lot stronger person for it.”

The Queensland Firebirds and national captain will be joined in Glasgow by a healthy family contingent; her mother, her husband and her husband’s parents. There is an obvious absentee, but the manner that Geitz speaks of her late father gives the impression he will still play a big part in the bid to complete her sporting “bucket list” with a Commonwealth Games gold.

“Anything that I really do now out on the court, I think that Dad is never too far and he’s always looking down on me and helping me to achieve what I need to achieve,” she said.

“I often reflect a lot of what Dad taught me as a person growing up and also an athlete as well. Those thought never stray too far from me, that’s for sure.

“He was probably the most inspirational person that I’ve ever been exposed to. He had a wonderful outlook on life, he was a hard worker and he just treated people well. He was a leader in his own right – he was never an athlete – but in what he did in everyday life, his values and his beliefs were exceptional.

“Obviously as captain of the team I’ve often asked who do I look up to and take advice from and the one person that I always say is Dad in the way that he used to handle situations and always knew what to say. He was the voice of reason and he probably taught me everything that I know to be honest.”

Three months after he walked her down the aisle, to say her father’s sudden passing hit Geitz hard would be an almighty understatement.

Heartbroken, she decided to walk away from the sport in which she made her name, rising from the ranks of the tens of thousands of young girls darting around in pleated skirts on Saturday mornings to lead one of Australia’s most successful sporting teams.

It was only another voice of reason – her mother – that changed her mind.

“When tragedy strikes, and you least expect it, you’re numb and you don’t know what to feel but family has always been a massive part of my life and the priority,” Geitz said. “So for me, after we lost Dad, I needed to go home and be a support to Mum. And as much as I love netball and the girls that I play with, and they are like a second family, it was my family that was the priority.

“But it didn’t take long for Mum to convince me to stay in the game. I remember her saying ‘Dad would want you to do it’. For her it was probably a nice thing in the tough time that she was dealing with – she loves netball and loves the people it allows her to meet – so I think it was probably important for her too that I kept playing.”

It is a good thing for the Diamonds and their coach Lisa Alexander that Geitz took her mother’s advice. She bounced back to lead Australia to a 4-1 win over the Silver Ferns in the Constellation Cup in October and looms as a defensive fort for the Diamonds in a danger pool game against England in Glasgow as well as the medal rounds.

Despite winning everything else under the sun including world championships the Commonwealth Games has been Australia’s Achilles heel, not taking gold since the 2002 event in Manchester.

It is a record Geitz is desperate to correct in Glasgow.,

“There’s a lot of young girls in the team that can’t even remember seeing footage of when Australia won a Commonwealth Games gold,” she said.

“A lot of us were in the extra extra-time game in Delhi where we went down by a goal, so there’s a lot of emotions. It’s definitely a monkey we want to get off our back.”

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Gold rush: Sevens to make a play for NRL, AFL stars

Australia’s new rugby sevens coach has revealed an ambitious plan to poach players from the NRL and AFL – and even possibly athletes from track and field – specifically for the Commonwealth Games and new Olympic format.
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Geraint John, the Welshman who took the reins of the Australian Rugby Union’s sevens program a month ago and is head coach of the men’s team in Glasgow, said he planned to draw up a hit list of athletes in other codes and sports that he believes would make the transition to sevens and work with the ARU on recruiting them.

“I want to be able to put a list together of who the next crop of young players are, what players there are in Super rugby that would make exceptional sevens players. And I will have another page on players in other sports who (I think) ‘This player or this athlete would be a really good sevens player’,” John said.

“Then I’ll go to the ARU and say ‘We’ve got these (players)…how do we get them involved? What’s the process of putting a feeler out? How do we go about it?’ It won’t be just my decision but I’d like to be in the position where I can put all this information down and then go ‘OK, how do we go about doing this?’ Let’s have a plan and strategy in place when those names are put forward.”

John’s desire is not without obvious obstacles, not least of which is the ARU’s balance sheet, which makes luring highly paid, top-line stars a major hurdle. However, his plan reflects the increasing role the now full-time sevens format could play in the thinking of national administrators now that it is an Olympic sport.

John’s predecessor Michael O’Connor was an interested observer at this year’s Auckland Nines pre-season league tournament, and the Australian sevens team trains at Narrabeen, next door to NRL powerhouse Manly.

John does not expect to begin approaching players from other codes before the sevens makes it debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 but wants the ARU to make a play for athletes he identifies in the lead-up to the following Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.

Whether they would feature in the Super Rugby competition, and be eligible for the Wallabies, as well as playing on the sevens circuit and at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games is unclear at this stage.

“Things like this may come about more after the Olympics, than before, when people see what happens in Rio,” John said. “Tell any player – you’ve got an opportunity to go to an Olympics. It’s a big carrot for any athlete.

“So 2020 could be more attractive to them whereas 2016 could be more about the union players.

“But for me as a coach, I’m very open minded and I do believe that players from other sports – even track and field – will transfer well to the sevens game. You need that speed and physical presence. League has it, AFL provides the kicking and the aerial skills, league provides the running and passing skills. Those two sports would be very attractive from a recruitment basis.”

John, who steered Canada to sixth on the 2013/14 IRB sevens circuit before being offered the Australian job, also indicated he may push for 15-a-side stars like Israel Folau to feature in Rio despite an ARU policy demanding Olympic aspirants commit to the 2015/16 sevens season.

That would mean sacrificing the 2015 World Cup, but John said in some cases he could see Super players being able to be parachuted into an Olympic team after as little as two tournaments in 2016, which wouldn’t clash with the World Cup.

“You look at Israel Folau and ask ‘would he make an exceptional sevens player?’. Well, the answer from my end as a coach would be ‘yeah’,” John said.

“He’s got very good aerial skills, he’s got the height, he’s got the physicality, he can beat people, he can offload, he can pass. It’s like ‘whoa’. But at the moment he’s not available, he’s part of that Wallaby program and I support that.

“If he ever did become available we could play him in a couple of tournaments to get him up to speed with the sevens program.”

The Australian team in Glasgow, captained by Ed Jenkins, features two Super rugby players – Wallaby Liam Gill and Melbourne Rebels flanker Sean McMahon.

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Athletics Australia stands by its contentious funding cuts

NEWCASTLE, England- Athletics Australia has insisted that three star athletes whom they admitted had done the “right and sensible thing” by not attending a pre-Commonwealth Games camp should also be stripped of funding for not attending that camp.
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Olympic champion Sally Pearson, new joint national record holder Alex Rowe and reigning Commonwealth gold medal discus thrower Benn Harradine were all financially punished despite doing what their sporting body says was the smart thing to do.

Pearson, Rowe and Harradine all lost a third of their pre-games funding because they did not arrive in the team camp in Gateshead, England, before a July 17 deadline after each had decided competing elsewhere was more important.

In Rowe’s case he is being fined $860 – or a third of his pre-games funding – because he ran in Monaco in the race in which he equalled a national record in the 800m that has stood for 46 years.

Pearson opted out of the camp because she is scrambling to compete in as many races as possible to recover peak fitness after injury. She competed in the Anniversary Games in London on Sunday rather than attend the Gateshead camp.

Pearson ran third in the London meet in The Mall, coming in behind Briton Tiffany Porter and reigning world champion Brianna Rollins in a time of 12.71s.

Like Rowe, Pearson will lose a third of her funding but as an athlete on a higher funding rate than Rowe she will be docked more than the young Melbourne university student’s $860.

Athletics Australia High Performance Manager Simon Nathan admitted the athletes had all done the right thing but they were all being financially punished anyway.

He then in the press conference mistakenly quoted Rowe as being out of pocket $1300 not the $860 he will be docked because he joined the team as a B qualifying athlete not an A. Regardless, Rowe is not receiving a third of his preparation funding.

“We are, and I know it probably doesn’t look like it or feel like it, we are a sensible organisation, and we will … make sure none of the preparations for those athletes is compromised by what happens here but there is a clear message about how we operate.

“(Rowe) did the sensible thing not coming through (the camp) , and in a sporting sense he did the sensible thing but there had to be a consequence for that because other people did come through and changed heir plans in other ways.

“None of (Pearson, Rowe or Harradine) are deliberately avoiding the camp, none of them are trying to undermine anything they are doing the right things for themselves but I wanted to have some consistency along the way.”

Nathan said he admitted Rowe could not have foreseen months ago that he would be invited to compete in Monaco and he had done the right thing by competing there and not attending the camp.

“What I wanted (Rowe) to do is what he did to be honest … but for him to do that then there is a consequence,” Nathan said.

“(Racing in Monaco) was the right place for (Rowe) to be – he needed to run against (world record holder and Olympic gold medallist David) Rudisha but it meant he didn’t come through the camp.

“I would rather Alex in a perfect world came in earlier in to the camp and had still been able to get across to Monaco but circumstances didn’t work that way and so he did the sensible thing of not coming through.”

Nathan admitted that despite the fact the athletes had done what was right it was a case of “bad luck”.

He said he would review the situation for future camps and that “it’s not something I would have chosen if I lived my life again but I think being consistent is incredibly important.”

Rowe was generous and diplomatic about the situation saying he had known the situation and was only disappointed there was no discretionary rule that could have applied.

“I knew as part of the agreement if I missed the team camp by the 19th I would forgo some funding. I knew that and I accepted those consequences,” he said.

“I made the decision to go straight to Monaco as the best preparation possible. I wanted that Australian record so it is not about some small issue of funding it is about running fast times.

“I have run the time and I am absolutely thrilled and I am saying this honestly I haven’t given (the funding) a thought … As the rules state in the agreement I knew what I was getting into. Do I agree with the rules? Well they are the rules and I knew what they were.

“Potentially if there was a discretionary clause within that maybe I would have liked that to have been exercised but there wasn’t. Having said that you have to look at the support Athletics Australia have provided me through my whole career.”

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Coochie Art Group set for show

Robin Matfin, of Cleveland, and Stuart Hall, of Kooralbyn, prepare for Coochie Art Show starting on Friday at RPAC. Photo by Stephen Archer
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Pomo for Coochie Art Show to start Friday July 25 at theb Redland performing Arts Complex. Pics By Stephen Archer. Gillian Rich of Cleveland and Hilary Wakeling of Birkdale.

Coochie Art Group members are finalising their paintings for the annual art show, which opens on Friday, July 25 at 6.30pm at the Redland Performing Arts Centre in Middle Street, Cleveland.

Artist David Henderson, who divides his time between Brisbane and Italy, is this year’s judge and will announce the winners during Friday’s opening. Drinks and light refreshments will be available. Cr Paul Biship will open the show.

More than 60 paintings have been entered for juding in the mediums of watercolours, acrylics, oils, pastels, mixed media and pencil.

Entry is free and the show continues until August 9.

Members of the Coochie Art Group will attend each session of the show and will be able to discuss the paintings and aspects of the art being presented. All paintings are for sale. Cards painted by members of the Coochie Art Group will be on sale and are often bought by visitors eager to add these miniature paintings to their collection and for display.

Opening hours are 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1pm on Saturday. For further information, contact Hilary Wakeling on 0448 888 524 or go to www.coochieartgroup.org

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JOIN IN:Find a group for you

Rotary Club of Wellington PointTHE club is a non-meal club with the aim of friendship and socialising while volunteering for charities, fundraising or helping local, national and international organisations. It meets at the Redlands Sporting Club, Anson Road, Wellington Point, each Wednesday from 7pm- 8pm. Enquiries to 0499 623 908.
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Healing Rooms are openREDLANDS Healing Rooms are open every Monday from 6pm to 8pm at the Salvation Army Bayside Community Church, 1 MacArthur Street, Alexandra Hills. It is free and no appointment is necessary. Contact Greg on 0418 726 004 or Jos on 0423 179 142.

Yurara Art SocietyJassy Watson will hold a one-day workshop on July 26 see website for details. Corrine Colombo will hold a one-day workshop on September 6 called Get creative with coloured pencils. Phone Val Chapman on 3206 9993 to book these workshops. Yurara is at Pinklands reserve, Cleveland/Redland Bay Rd Thornlands. Visit www.redlandyurara南京夜网.

Victoria Point Legacy CareTHE group will meet on July 28 at Sharks Sporting Club at Colburn Ave at 10.30am for the AGM. Members requiring transport, phone 3488 1199 on Friday, July 25. For general information, phone Fay on 3207 6609 or Ian on 3829 2482.

Create and play morningTHIS play morning will be held at Redland Community Centre, 29 Loraine Street, Capalaba on Monday, July 28. Play dough, painting, collage, story time and music and movement will feature for parents and children, aged five years and under. Cost is $5 per family, with morning tea provided for the children. To register your interest, phone 3245 2117.

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Only one teams remains undefeated

Rod Hampstead Electrical Darts Challenge Winter Competition now has only one team unbeaten as one;of the Wellington Hotel teams had a very bad night of darts.
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The mystery player this week was Greg Whiteman who hit a high score of a 125 but it was not quite good enough, so the prize keeps rising with 9 middies up for grabs next week.

Greg Whiteman’s reign with the belt is over after Cindy Croker gave him a good spanking with a 2-1 result.

The top five in the Eugene Spicer Wood Carting Pointscore sees Allan Brown 39pts, Alf Wilson 36pts, David Wilson 33, Parish Petrovic and Daryl Brown 32pts.

The top five in the high scores sees David Wilson 38, Alf Wilson 28, Scott Dutfeild 25, Allan Brown 24 and Garth Watts 17.

The first round of the semi-finals will be played on the Monday night of the long weekend of October.

In what was supposed to be the match of the night the Federal Hotel Dave’s Devils took on the Central Hotel Wood Cutters, who are getting desperate for a win and they will be even more desperate after yet another loss.

Doubles games were shared with the doubles champs from the day before Daryl Brown and Dave Stace losing to Garth Watts and Parish Petrovic 0-2.

In the other Scott and Tim Dutfeild put the cleaners through Rod Hampstead and Eugene Spicer 2-0.

Dave’s Devils won the majority of the singles as well as the teams game.

Singles results were: Nikkie Ball beat Eugene Spicer 2-0, Tim Dutfeild lost to Garth Watts 0-2, Scott Dutfeild beat Parish Petrovic 2-1 and Daryl Brown beat Rod Hampstead 2-1.

Final result Federal Hotel 5 Central Hotel 2.

The battle at the Wellington Soldiers Memorial Club saw the two local teams battle it out with the Phantoms looking to show there authority over the S.S Soldiers and rule until at least round 2, so who would take the victory?

The Phantoms got off to a strong start by winning both doubles games as well as the majority of the singles games which pleased the phantoms no end.

Results were: Jason Brown and Alf Wilson beat Margie Mills and Mal Nunn 2-0 with Allan brown and Richard Kent beating Philippe Bell and Vicki Button 2-0 as well.

Singles results were Allan Brown beat Teena Hill 2-0, Richard Kent beat Tania Button 2-1, Jason Brown lost to Mal Nunn 0-2 and Alf Wilson beat Margie Mills 2-0 they did lose the teams game to finish the night with a five games to two victory.

On a night that saw fun more than darts being shown the Wellington Hotel T.B.Gs keep going along on there merry way with another ;convincing win over the Wellington Bowling ;Club Cracker Jacks with ;the T.B.Gs only dropping ;one game and finally ;winning a teams game to boot.

Doubles results were: David Wilson and Terry Kyle beat Robert Driscoll and Cindy Croker 2-0 and Greg Whiteman and Warren Carrey beating Jason Cornish and Ken Fairley 7;2-0 as well, singles games saw Terry Kyle beat 7;Ken Fairley 2-1, Warren Carrey scrap home against Robert Driscoll, David Wilson beating Jason Cornish in the match of the night 2-1 and Greg Whiteman choking against Cindy Croker 1-2, final result was 6 games to 1 win to the T.B.Gs.

The Wellington Hotel Bulls looking to keep there unbeaten run going were taking on the Federal Hotel Thumpers, but alas they couldn’t in what turned out to be a one sided match with the Federal Hotel Thumpers winning very game on the night.

Doubles results were: Matt Boatswain and Ian Smith beating Wendy Wilson and Tristtan Thompson 2-0 and Graeme Kent and Tre Ball beating Bronwyn Thompson and Jenny Barnes 2-1.

Singles results were Matt Boatswain beat Tristtan Thompson 2-1, Graeme Kent beat Kirsty Wilson 2-1,7;Ian Smith beat Wendy Wilson 2-0 and Tre Ball beat Bronwyn Thompson 2-1. Final result was Thumpers 7 Bulls 0.

Draw for round 4 of the Rod Hampstead Electrical Darts Challenges Winter Competition sees Federal Hotel Thumpers v Wellington Hotel T.B.Gs, Wellington Bowling Club Cracker Jacks v Federal Hotel Daves Devils, Wellington Hotel Bulls v Wellington Soldiers Memorial Club Phantoms, Wellington Soldiers Memorial Club S.S Soldiers v Central Hotel Wood 7;Cutters.

High scores from last week’s Rod Hampstead Electrical Darts Challenge saw Matt Boatswain 140, 134, 100, 95, 83, Richard Kent 140, 5x80s, Philippe Bell 139, 80, Allan Brown 130, Scott Dutfeild 125, 3x90s, 5x80s, Greg Whiteman 125, David Wilson 123, 109, 100, 81, Rod Hampstead 119, Alf Wilson 117, 2×100, Parish Petrovic 102, 2x80s, Ian Smith 102, Teena Hill 2×100, Graeme Kent 100, 95, 82, Tristtan Thompson 100, 81, Garth Watts 3x90s, 2x80s, Mal Nunn 2x90s, 85, Eugene Spicer 95, Vicki Button 92, Warren Carrey 90, 2×81, Terry Kyle 4x80s, Jason Cornish 3x80s, Robert Driscoll 2x80s, Daryl Brown 85, Kirsty Wilson 84, Dave Stace 83.

Ladies highest peg from last week was Tania Button with 16.

Men’s highest peg from last week was Allan Brown with 130.

Points table after round 3 of the Rod Hampstead Electrical Darts Challenge sees Wellington Hotel T.B.Gs 6pts+9, Federal Hotel Thumpers 4pts+5, Wellington Soldiers Memorial Club Phantoms 4pts+3, Federal Hotel Dave’s Devils 4pts+3, Wellington Hotel Bulls 4pts-1, Wellington Soldiers Memorial Club S.S Soldiers 2pts-1, Central Hotel Wood Cutters 0pts-7, Wellington Bowling Club Cracker Jacks 0pts-11.

The Men’s Singles Championships which are kindly sponsored by the Wellington Bowling Club will be played on Sunday September 14 with nominations and a $10 fee to be paid by September 1.

The Oche

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GALLERY: Winter wonderland

GALLERY: Winter wonderland These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.
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These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

These pictures were taken by Stephen Boyd on Friday morning out on Clements Road near Wyangala Dam.

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American rabbis visit South East

SPREADING GOOD ENERGY: Rabbis Moishe Wilschanski and Zalmy Mochkin are in Mount Gambier with the hope to connect with Jewish people. Picture: CAITLIN KENNEDYTWO American rabbis have hit theroad in a mobile synagogue to connectwith Jewish people living inregional Australia.
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Zalmy Mochkin and MoisheWilschanski are visiting MountGambier along their travels aroundAustralia, reaching out to those inthe community for a chat, prayer orto answer questions they may have.

One of the cardinal tenants ofJudaism is that all Jewish peopleare “one” regardless of geographicdistance and every individual hasa right to learn and participate intheir living heritage.

They aim to bring Judaism intothe 21st Century by combining technology,positivity and religion, whiletravelling in their kosher campervan fully equipped for long-termtravel.

During their time in Australiathey are documenting their adventureson social media.

“We are trying to spread our messagewith a smile,” Mr Mochkin said.

“Simplicity and good energyspread fast and that is what we aimto do during our time here.”

The travelling rabbis are in MountGambier for the next few days andcan be contacted on [email protected]南京夜网 or 0425 730 412.

Wellington wins Pennants clash

Seven brave hearty souls ventured out to the Golf Course last Wednesday but after initially deciding they would play a sudden cloud burst put paid to their day on the course, though I believe Jan and Wendy played 9 holes.
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Wednesday’s Event

This week we have the Woodonia Cup and 18 hole “Cure for Cancer” Par Event.

Bev and Gae have drawn Card/Starters duty.

Mens 4BBB Central West Finals

Last Sunday three teams ended up venturing to Cowra for the Finals Day with all three coming in with very good scores of 42, and 41 but unfortunately the winning score was 44, well done guys.

Friday Pennants

Friday we had our Pennants team of Denise, Marie, Jan, Cheryl and Kathy battle it out with Condobolin on a nice cool/wet day in Parkes in the last eight of the Western Districts Pennants event – Wellington were victors three matches to two.

Welcome Home

We say a big hello to Noella Baker now she has returned back from Sydney and hope everything is going as well as planned and you will be out hitting a few balls with us in the Summer months.

A Few Holes

Why not venture out in your spare time for a few holes of golf, the course is in magnificent condition and Alan is only too willing to offer you some sticks and a good deal to get you on the course.

Don’t wish to come by yourself well bring a friend or two.

Where are all those youngsters that come to Coaching Days?

You mum and dad can have a few holes maybe even a challenge.

We have a beautiful course and it is there for everyone to use as well as availing yourselves of the Club’s Catering for Functions or Conference facilities with close by accommodation.

What more could you ask for in the winter months?

A big warm wood fire to sit around.

Hope to see everyone ready to play this week.

Dimples

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Donald forum wants Buloke Shire Council investigated

Donald 2000 secretary Daryl Warren.
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A DONALD community forum wants to have Buloke Shire Council investigated.

Donald 2000 secretary Daryl Warren said the group’s members tabled the proposal at their meeting last week.

If the proposal is successful, Donald 2000 will ask the Minister of Local Government to inquiry into the governance, financial management and operation of Buloke Shire.

Members are also seeking a restructuring review, to decide the most appropriate way to deliver local government services across the shire.

Mr Warren said amalgamating with another council could be an option.

He said members would write to relevant politicians to ‘express grave concerns about the ability of Buloke Shire to operate as a sustainable business, given its current financial position and hence the ability of the ratepayers to sustain the continued poor governance and financial mismanagement overseen by council’.

The proposal will be put to a vote at Donald 2000’s meeting on August 20.

Mr Warren encouraged Donald residents to consider the idea and attend the meeting to have their say.

New council chief executive John Hicks said he was keen to speak with Donald 2000 about the proposal.

Buloke Shire Council increased rates by six per cent this financial year.

Kerbside garbage and recycling service charges increased to $380 a service.

Council has budgeted for a $7-million borrowing program this financial year, while seeking to slash expenditure by $1.3 million.

It foreshadows further cuts of more than $3 million a year.

Asset renewal will consume more than half of council’s $7.78-million capital works program.

More than $6 million of that money will come from external grants.

Council is still suffering from the devastation of the 2010 and 2011 floods.

Mayor Reid Mather said in his budget preface more than $42 million had been spent on repairing the road network. Works were finished in June.

“Council’s emphasis now needs to be on securing long-term financial sustainability,” he said.

Council expects to finish the financial year with a surplus of $900,000.

Council’s cash position is budgeted to rise by more than $4 million because of the $7-million loan and reduction in capital spending.

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