Council admits residents should have been told

PUBLIC CONCERNS: Whyalla City Council chief executive officer Peter Peppin says the council should have told residents of its decision to transfer stockpiled mulch to the Newton Street site.Whyalla City Council has conceded it should have told its residents about the transfer of stockpiled mulch to the Newton Street site.

Following an outpouring of disgust from local residents,including member for Giles Eddie Hughes, Whyalla City Council admitted residents should have been notified.

Mr Hughes said it would have been far more “preferable and professional” for the mulch to have beencleaned up before it was spread.

He said using the mulch in its current state did not represent good practice and questioned the council’s decision making.

Whyalla City Council chief executive officer Peter Peppin said the council acknowledged the public concerns about the mulch being spread on the site before the “removal” of “non-organic” materials such as plastic.

“Significantly, the Environmental Protection Authority has advised that processing of such material to ensure the removal of all non-organics is difficult,” Mr Peppin said.

“That is the reason for spreading it on the site.

“Once all the stockpiled mulch is spread, it enables us to remove the plastics and any other non-organics before covering the mulch with top soil.”

Mr Peppin said the benefits of the procedure were less cost to the community and lesser impact on the environment.

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Goolwa South suspicious fire

Police are investigating a suspicious fire that destroyed a carport at a Goolwa South property on Saturday, July 19. Police are investigating a suspicious fire that destroyed a carport at a Goolwa South property on Saturday, July 19.

Police and fire crews were called to Colman Road, Goolwa South, at 4.15am and found a car alight. The fire had spread to the carport and to the eaves of the house, butwas extinguished bya neighbourbefore itspread any further.

The occupants of the house were not at homeat the time of the fire.

Crime scene investigators attended the scene on Saturday morninganddetermined the fire wasdeliberately lit.

Anyone who saw any suspicious behaviour in the Colman Road area or who has any information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Athletics Australia is stubbornly blind to common sense


Sally Pearson, Alex Rowe and Benn Harradine had all done the right thing, the sensible thing, the smart thing … so of course they had to be fined.

An athlete can be at once right and wrong according to the perverse logic of Athletics Australia.

The athletes’ smart decision was to not attend the team’s Gateshead camp by a deadline date and instead go out to compete. Good idea AA said. Well done. Whatever is best to get you right.

Oh, but by the way, we won’t give you any money if you don’t at least walk through the camp.

These are not the sport’s minnows. Sally Pearson has held the sport together for years. She is one of the greatest athletes Australia has seen. She should be entitled flexibility to get herself right. The pre-games funding is after all for preparation, not pocket money to spend at the Gateshead tuckshop.

Harradine is trying to defend his Commonwealth Gold medal and Alex Rowe has in days become a significant figure.

Rowe’s run in the 800m on Friday night was thrilling. He ran quicker than any Australian man in 46 years and matched one of the most storied – and enduring – national records on the track.

AA – rightly – spent the weekend tweeting and proudly boasting of Rowe’s performance in recording the same time as Ralph Doubell then – wrongly – sanctioned him for being in the race in the first place.

Rowe will lose a third of the funding he might have got, or about $860. It is not a large amount of money (which is also precisely the point about why it is being quibbled over in the first case) but this is the funding for a 22-year-old university student athlete who as yet still does not have a shoe sponsorship.

Ridiculously Rowe would not have lost funding if he had flown into Gateshead, clocked in and flown out again for Monaco.

Pearson will also lose a third of her bit of this funding, but she was on a larger rate so her chunk of cash is slightly more. She can better afford it than Rowe, but that is not the point.

Amusingly, the person who made this rule and was presented to explain the crushingly ironic logic of this situation, Simon Nathan, carries the title of high performance manager. What the athletes all did was, the high performance manager admitted, the best thing for their high performance.

To be fair, he at least had the decency to look sheepish and personally unconvinced by the conflicted position he had knotted himself into.

“I know it probably doesn’t look like it or feel like it (but) we are a sensible organisation,” he said.

It didn’t help that he then quoted the wrong figure for how much out of pocket Rowe was to be (he’s out a third of his money like the other two but for Rowe’s funding level  that equates to $860 not the $1300 that Nathan said.)

AA has a profound capacity to seize disaster from the glorious. This is the same organisation that this year was not funding Melissa Breen when she became the fastest Australian woman ever and then waited months before giving her a fraction of the funding she should have been entitled to.

The same one that had to be bullied by the Australian Olympic Committee to add Genevieve La Caze to the London Olympic team when she ran a qualifying time moments after an arbitrary final deadline had past.

The reason that those farces occurred is the same reason that this stupidity has been allowed to manifest: because AA has been stubbornly blind to common sense. They have now allowed the greatness of Rowe’s performance to be overshadowed by the niggardly and doctrinaire.

The premise of the idea to tie funding to attend the camp is a good one, but it needed to be a flexible one. The rules when introduced were meritorious, as AA wanted to stop athletes thumbing their nose at the sport and splintering off into small camps with their own coaches.

Rightly AA said ‘if you want to do your own thing, that is fine, just don’t ask us to pay for it’.

But that is not what these athletes were doing. Rowe and Harradine both arrived at the camp but only after competing. They were a little late.

Pearson would have been at the camp too but only decided late to accept the offer to compete in the Anniversary Games because she knows that after her hamstring twitch she needs races more than camps.

They were all doing the right thing. The sensible thing. The smart thing. It was their sporting body that was not.

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Richie Porte’s Tour diary: Who said a transition stage was easy?

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Stage 15: Tallard to Nimes – 222km

And stage 15 of the Tour de France was meant be a transition one?  All I can say is that I’m glad to get it behind us. It was nuts. Even before it started raining, it was crazy with the wind … The only thing we didn’t have on Sunday was snow.

It was an amazing stage with all the conditions that saw blue skies turn to black as the storms rolled over us, to the echelons caused by the winds and nervous energy inside a clearly tiring peloton that is racing to the Tour finish in Paris on Sunday.

Probably leaving the biggest impact of all the weather gods threw at us was the rain. It pelted down so hard you couldn’t see through your glasses, and then when you took them off, the spraying of rain blinded you – not to mention hurt as it hit you.

It didn’t help that over the last five kilometres there were about five roundabouts, made all the more treacherous by rainfall making them more slippery and tougher to pass.

This sort of finale is never easy in any race, let alone after two weeks of a grand tour.

It may look like we are coasting, but in the back of our minds we are always thinking of the finale, and if not about winning it as the sprinters’ teams would have been on stage 15, then of surviving it unscathed for time loss in any late splits or crashes.

It is always dangerous, and in such circumstances you can never afford to switch off.

For me, with the goal of a top overall classification behind me, the main aim was to regroup from the mayhem and finish as fresh as possible so as to have a chance of  recovering from my chest infection on the rest day in Carcassonne.

Which I can say I did with the official results showing I finished in 70th place at 16s to the stage 15 winner, Norwegian Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) who won in a sprint.

With a rest day on Monday that I am really looking forward to, I am still in 15th position overall, but now at 16m 19s to the Italian race leader, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).

Obviously, this rest day will be different from last Tuesday’s when I was still placed second overall and excited about what may happen.

Now I am sick and trying to recover from a chest infection. But I think everybody in the peloton is happy for the rest day to come, and there are a lot of guys sick in the peloton.

I’ll be honest. When I look back at what happened with me – irrespective of my illness – the worst thing is knowing that it has been a big opportunity missed.

But there is nothing I can do about it, and my health is the most important really.

What I will do differently this rest day, compared to last week’s day off, is to really make sure that I spend a lot of it resting and recuperating.

I really hope if I do that, I can knock this bug off before the Pyrenees that start on Tuesday with stage 16.

I have copped a bit from some people saying that I am not up to it [the podium], but at that top level if you are not 100 per cent you lose time.

Cycling is too hard a sport to avoid being caught out when your health is not optimal.

My health hasn’t been and you can see what happens.

But finishing this Tour in Paris is still a major goal for me – and who knows, along the way if I can recover enough – maybe I can muster the strength to try for a late stage victory in the Pyrenees.

If not … so be it. This is all experience in the bank which I hope sometime will pay off.

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More arrests over Deer Park death

A third arrest has been made over the death of a man in Melbourne’s west on Australia Day.

Homicide Squad detectives arrested the man on Monday afternoon over the death of Michael Sleiman in Deer Park..

Police executed two warrants in the outer Melbourne suburbs of Bacchus Marsh and Darley.

A Darley man, 23, was arrested and is being interviewed.

Two Caroline Springs men, aged 23 and 24, were arrested on Monday morning and are still being interviewed.

Two men have already been charged with the murder of  Mr Sleiman, 20, who was killed on Australia Day this year.

Benjamin Borg, 19, from Deer Park, will face the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday after being charged with murder on Friday night.

Matthew Delamothe, 22, was charged with murder last Wednesday.

Two other men have been released pending further investigation – a 19-year-old man from Burnside and a 22-year-old from Deer Park.

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