No fairytale for Nyngan after defeat by CYMS

Dubbo CYMS prevented Nyngan from writing their own fairytale by defeating the Tigers in their first official match as part of Group 11 on Sunday.
HangZhou Night Net

CYMS made the trip to Larrikin Oval for the first official trial for both clubs, the Dubbo team handling the wet conditions best to run out 34-12 winners.

Justin Yeo, the Group’s leading try scorer and player of the year last season, picked right up from where he left off by scoring two tries for CYMS, second rower Alton Oates also crossing twice.

In front of a good home-town crowd, who turned out to support the fledgling team despite the persistent rain, Nyngan scored first in the match to take a 6-0 lead.

But that only stung the visitors into action who scored four unanswered tries before half-time to take a 22-6 lead into the break.

Prop Nic Wilson, who barged over after taking an inside ball from halfback Luke Jenkins, Oates, Robbie Dunn and Yeo all found their way over the tryline – Yeo’s four pointer a simple show of strength with the powerful centre too strong for the Tigers defence from 10 metres out.

Oates scored again at the start of the second half and in almost a mirror image of his first try Yeo then crashed over again, the captain-coach setting the example for his players.

CYMS were caught short out wide and Nyngan scored a consolation try late in the match, but it wasn’t enough to prevent an impressive CYMS from taking honours.

The win has set the scene for an intriguing local derby this Friday night when CYMS and Macquarie clash in the last of their official Group 11 trials.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Read more

Rixon urges debutant Pilon to relax

New South Wales cricket coach Steve Rixon wants Pura Cup debutant Nathan Pilon to treat the crucial match against Victoria starting this week as just another day at the office.
HangZhou Night Net

Rixon yesterday acknowledged the pressure the St George wicket-keeper would be under when he walked on to the SCG turf on Friday in the four-day match.

Pilon, 24, replaces regular keeper Brad Haddin, who arrived in India on Monday to fill in for the injured Adam Gilchrist in Australia’s three-day match against a Board President’s XI starting yesterday.

But it will be a tough initiation.

The Blues moved to six points behind Pura Cup leaders Queensland and Victoria (28 points) on the Pura Cup table with their outright victory over the Bulls at the SCG on Monday.

NSW will play both these sides in a bid to make the final on March 23 to 27.

Rixon said Pilon, originally from Dubbo, would perform better in the pressure cooker atmosphere of first class cricket if he relaxed.

“The best results come from those who are most relaxed,” Rixon said.

“My emphasis will be on him just going about his job like another day’s play.

“If we start to think of it as anything but another’s day play, it’ll start to build pressure that’s not needed.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Read more

Dam close, but ‘near enough not good enough’

Short of significant rainfalls this week, the combined dam levels, currently at 39.45 per cent, won’t get to the restriction-easing 40 per cent mark, water authorities said .
HangZhou Night Net

Queensland Water Commission CEO John Bradley said today that"near is not good enough. There will be no easing of the water restrictions because half a per cent represents 10 billion litres of water, or half a day’s supply. I’m sure the community will understand."

Brisbane residents may now have to wait until this summer for the dams to pass the threshold.

"We would need 35 to 40mm sometime this week to get up to 40 per cent," said Mike Foster, a spokesman for SEQ Water.

"If we don’t get those, the catchments will start to dry out again."

Bureau of Meteorology Senior Forecaster Vikash Prasad said although falls of 30mm are expected with late showers on Friday, Brisbane will only have isolated showers during the week.

"The catchments might get a few millimetres, but confined to a few places [in the catchment]," he said.

Mr Foster said the recent rain had been a welcome surprise, as winter is typically a low-rainfull period for the region.

"Usually we’re gearing up for a dry spell," he said.

Not reaching 40 per cent has doused hopes that water restrictions might be eased.

Mr Foster said the easing of restrictions from Level 6 to Level 5 would have meant residents could have used 170 Litres a day, up from the current 140 Litres

He addded that they would have also been allowed minimal watering of gardens with a hose and bucket.

Even though water releases from the dams are expected to overtake inflows on Monday, the past week of rain Mr Foster said the recent rain has added between eight to ten weeks.

"This [rain ] has been a great benefit," he said. Source: The Sun-Herald

Read more

We’ll find a solution

The Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO) has reaffirmed its commitment to find a solution for a family of six living in an asbestos-riddled home in South Dubbo.
HangZhou Night Net

AHO chief executive James Christian yesterday reiterated the offer to rehouse Wayne and Angela Wilson and their four children who have lived in the potential death trap for almost three years.

Both the AHO and Department of Aboriginal Affairs have also offered to cover demolition costs of the three-bedroom house. But the family is refusing to budge without guarantees they can return to a new house on the same Bennett Street site.

The issue was brought to light this week by the property manager, Dubbo Koori Housing Corporation, which said the AHO “should come to the party” and pay for the rebuilding.

Mr Christian described talks with the corporation as “ongoing” although the allocation of funding for this year’s capital works had been finalised.

In a carefully-worded statement he also referred to the “effective management” of housing properties but refused to say whether the running of the corporation had itself raised concerns.

“The AHO’s funding decisions are firstly based on need and then the identification of an appropriate organisation to manage housing assets,” Mr Christian said.

“Sometimes this involves funding being provided to an Aboriginal community housing organisation or a lands council.

“But this is only after they are able to demonstrate that they can provide appropriate and effective management of property and tenancies.

“If there are any concerns that the organisation is experiencing management difficulties the office will not consider providing capital funding and will instead offer assistance with management training.”

Housing authorities have known for more than a year about floating asbestos fibres from the Bennett Street property but concerns date back much further than that.

In 1994 a Dubbo City Council inspection rang alarm bells about “extensive weathering” of the roof surface.

A recommendation to seal the surface was, however, ignored by a previous corporation.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Read more

Court delays due to underfunding: Oppn

The risk of inexperienced lawyers handling complex issues remains in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions because of chronic underfunding, Shadow Attorney General Mark McArdle said last night.
HangZhou Night Net

Queensland’s Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions remains "seriously compromised" by underfunding after it was given $3.5 million over four years for extra staff in yesterday’s Budget, Mr McArdle said.

It had requested $17.8 million extra over three years to boost its $32 million budget to $47.8 million in a draft report to the Government, leaked by Mr McArdle last month.

"The report makes it quite clear that inexperienced lawyers will be handling complicated legal matters and these lawyers are the ones that represent the interest of the public," Mr McArdle said.

He said the risk to the public was a possible miscarriage of justice.

"The person in the street is facing long delays. Their interests may not be best served because the lawyers acting in their interest are not sufficiently trained and the risk of miscarriage of justice significantly rises," he said.

The report leaked by Shadow Attorney General Mark McArdle last month recommended the ODPP could recruit an extra 49 Crown Prosecutors over the next three three years with that funding.

However the report was never adopted by the State Government, though a final report has now been given to the Department of Justice and Attorney General.

A spokesman for Mr Shine today said the extra $3.5 million would allow the ODPP to employ four new prosecutors and four new legal officers during 2008-09.

However Mr McArdle said the funds were not a meaningful response to what he described as Queensland’s "justice crisis".

"By its own assessment the ODPP is in crisis and recommended a funding boost of $5.9 million per year for the next three years to better represent the interests of victims of crime – and the broader community – in Queensland courts," Mr McArdle said.

The Shadow Attorney General said the funds in yesterday’s Budget were simply not adequate.

However Mr Shine said he had asked for the report to be prepared by the former director of the Office of Public Prosecution, now Judge Lane Clare.

"I asked her office to prepare a comprehensive report on those issues for my consideration, because the efficient operation of the criminal justice system is so fundamental to our system of democratic government," Mr Shine said.

"That report made a number of suggestions as to areas where improvements could be made or where alternative systems may help to improve the operation of the system."

Mr Shine said the report was part of an overall review of Queensland’s justice system.

"One such matter relates to the jurisdiction of the various courts for criminal offences," he told State Parliament.

"At present, certain matters can be dealt with in the Supreme Court or in the District Court," he said.

"Often it is at the election of the defendant in which court the matter is dealt with. My department is looking at ways in which at times those matters, particularly pleas of guilty, may be able to be dealt with in the Magistrates Court, thus reducing pressure on the DAB."

He said the Queensland Law Society and the Queensland Bar Association were also being consulted.

Mr Shine also disagreed that it was fair to judged Queensland’s prosecutors salaries on those in New South Wales.

"For example, the types of matters that the New South Wales DAB dealt with are only the most complex 40 per cent of matters that Queensland’s DAB deals with," he said.

"The other 60 per cent of matters dealt with in Queensland are committal in the Magistrates Court and minor charges that are no longer dealt with in the higher courts of New South Wales. The point is that a straight comparison of numbers is, in fact, misleading.

"We are not necessarily comparing apples with apples."

Read more