League’s best offer a hand to Jets

Jets players Jack Maher and Matt Renshaw got the chance to train with O and M stars Adam Prior and Brayden O’Hara. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON
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STARS of the Ovens and Murray Interleague squad are the latest footballers to throw their support behind the Wodonga Jets.

Only weeks after training at Collingwood’s Melbourne base, the all abilities football team found themselves at Martin Park last week at the same time as the interleague squad.

Coach Matt Deegan said some of the stars of the Ovens and Murray competition were only too happy to help out.

“Brayden O’Hara and Adam Prior were keen to get involved and not only worked on their football ability but at the same time provided a thrill for the Jets,” he said.

“In association with Volunteer Friends Wodonga and the Wodonga Bulldogs Football Club, over the past five years the Jets have gone from playing one game a year to participating in four home and away games, three round-robin carnivals and of course, culminating in what the players see as the pinnacle, their half-time game at the O and M grand final.”

The Jets’ next game will be after the Wodonga Bulldogs v Wangaratta Magpies OandM clash on June 6.

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Melba makes name return

ABOVE: The original Wodonga Shire Hall.LEFT: The former Melba Theatre.Pictures:WODONGAHISTORICALSOCIETY Dame Nellie Melba biographer Ann Blainey says the name Melba Square could be a great choice for Wodonga’s new city square. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL
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COULD a dark horse be making a last-minute dash across the finish line in the race to name Wodonga’s urban square?

Well, perhaps not so much dark horse as divine diva — a Border Mail poll suggests Melba Square is leading the people’s choice as a name for the new public space at the corner of High Street and Elgin Boulevard.

The unofficial online poll showed 51per cent of people chose Melba Square, 35per cent Junction Square, 6per cent Drover’s Rest, and 4per cent each for Aurora and Harmony squares.

The Melba square name is not in fact direct reference to opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, but to the theatre named for her that once stood opposite the square, where the Woolworths supermarket now stands.

Either way, historian Ann Blainey reckons it’s an excellent choice, and one the dame would approve.

Mrs Blainey — wife of historian Geoffrey Blainey — was on the Border yesterday for a talk about Melba, coinciding with the singer’s birthday.

As a Melba biographer, Mrs Blainey said she’d found Melba actually had several links to the area, with several performances on the Border in the early 1900s.

Her father owned Bethanga Park for many years, meaning as a child she would have spent time here, although her formative years were spent in Melbourne.

“She was the first person to sing at the Albury Mechanics Institute … and at that concert for those who couldn’t get seats she made sure they opened all the doors so everyone could hear,” she said.

Wodonga Council had previously stated its preference for a name reflecting the precinct’s railway heritage, but Mrs Blainey thinks the Melba name can almost encompass that too.

Melba did after all travel regularly on the line from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and, upon her death in 1931, a procession was held at Albury station as her coffin was moved from one platform to the other for the journey from Sydney to Melbourne.

Wodonga Historical Society members have agreed the Melba name could be perfect, but pointed out one key factor: the council has stipulated it does not want to name the square after a person, living or dead, in order to ensure it is inclusive.

Society member Uta Wiltshire said that the name wouldn’t, however, necessarily be commemorating a person, but a place.

“To have Melba square would be fine, as long as in 20 years time people do remember there was a theatre of that name was once stood by that site,” she said.

The Melba Theatre was in use for 60 years which was of significance to Wodonga.

The council is taking feedback on the five names until May 28.

A report will go to next month council’s meeting, where councillors will choose a name to put forward to the Registrar of Geographic Names.

The council has stressed it will consider the public response.

People can go to makewodongayours南京夜网419论坛 to vote, or leave a dot on polls posted at the council offices and other venues including The Cube, Library, community centres and the Visitor Information Centre.

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4000 nappies to help mums in need

Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare manager Peter Matthews, The Nappy Collective Albury-Wodonga team leader Sophie Richards and volunteer Penny Collis boxed nappies donated to help mums in need. Picture: KYLIE ESLERMORE than 4000 nappies have been packed for mums in need.
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The Nappy Collective group has been collecting the baby essential for the past two weeks to donate to families who can’t afford them.

It was the second time a nappy drive has been held on the Border, the first was in October and only 500 nappies were donated.

A volunteer with The Nappy Collective group in Albury, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she could see the benefits of the nappy donations after once being in need herself after escaping domestic violence.

“I was left with nothing and it’s the first thing you notice,” she said.

Nappies were collected at drop off points at the Lavington library and the Albury Library Museum, set up by Halve Waste, and the Wodonga library and Target.

The Nappy Collective Albury-Wodonga team leader Sophie Richards said she was overwhelmed by the generosity.

“I’m thrilled with the response and hopefully it’s enough to meet the demand so we don’t have to get any from Melbourne,” she said.

“A woman who was 33 weeks pregnant with twins was even keen to help.”

Ms Richards said nappies were not always affordable and she often heard of them going to waste due to babies growing out of them.

They boxed the nappies according to size at Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare and manager Peter Matthews said often people were asking for those types of products.

“People who need emergency food have an income that’s under stress,” he said.

“They won’t just go to people with a low income but also those with sick children or other issues.”

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Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority to get an overhaul

Environment Minister Lisa Neville wants to clarify ‘if the EPA is our environmental protector or regulator or both’.The state’s environment watchdog will be overhauled to ensure that polluted industrial sites are safely cleaned up before they are converted into residential land.
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Environment Minister Lisa Neville has ordered a public inquiry into the Environment Protection Authority to ensure it has the right powers and skills to meet the challenges of policing pollutants in a period of rapid urban development.

The inquiry, to be chaired by former Justice Department secretary Penny Armytage, was an election pledge.

The main focus will be to ensure that the agency is capable of meeting the public’s needs. Legislation regulating the agency is 45 years old and the government wants to learn if there are new polices available to avoid major land contamination in the future.

Alcoa’s Point Henry Smelter, which closed last year, is just one of many potentially contaminated sites the agency will need to police in the near future, alongside the factories and plants left behind as Ford, Holden and Toyota wind down their Victorian operations.

Many of the factories were built before strong environmental controls were established.

And with Victoria’s population expected to double by 2050, there will be continued demand for high density urban development, much of it on former industrial land.

“Increases in resource consumption, traffic and waste volumes will follow.  Demand for housing and urban density will continue bringing communities into closer proximity with potentially contaminated land, industrial areas and with each other,” Ms Neville said.

“We need to better protect Victorians from exposure to chemicals and pollution than we unfortunately sometimes have in the past.”

Since coming to office, Ms Neville has been critical of the EPA’s performance, including the agency’s failure to tell locals about an ash slurry leak into waterways near Yallourn Power Station.

In April she also said the EPA’s failure in 2014 to let the public know about a Geelong refinery chemical spill into Corio Bay was “not good enough”.

Ms Neville also wants quicker and more up-to-date information for the community about spills, leaks and air quality.

Labor expects evidence before separate inquiries into the CFA training centre at Fiskville and the Hazelwood Mine Fire to inform future policy for the EPA.

The inquiry has been asked to make sure the agency has the resources and skills to respond to the public concerns about contaminated sites, water quality, air pollution and exposure to asbestos.

Ms Neville said the inquiry would ask “if the EPA is our environmental protector or regulator or both”.

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Man continued to use ice after sentencing, court told

A CONVICTION for trafficking the drug ice didn’t stop a Ballarat man from using the drug again, caught driving while high on the substance last December, a court has heard.
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Ballarat Magistrates Court on Tuesday heard Callagun Mann, 21, was placed on a community corrections order last year for trafficking ice, but continued to buy, use and drive on the substance in the months after being sentenced.

With Mann pleading guilty to a string of drug, driving charges and deception charges, magistrate Michelle Hodgson said she was inclined to make an example of him, noting his excuse of being “young and dumb” didn’t sit well with her.

“Why wouldn’t I make an example of someone,” Ms Hodgson said. “It’s just exhausting listening to such pathetic excuses“It’s just nonsense.”

In a consolidated plea hearing, police prosecutor Senior Constable Kathleen Hewitt told the court of an incident on November 5 last year when Mann, driving despite holding a suspended licence, was intercepted by police about 4.30am after being seen coming out of a suspected drug dealer’s house.

The court heard police searched Mann’s car, finding three small plastic bags, two of which contained ice.

Senior Constable Hewitt said Mann was again driving on December 4 when he entered a breath testing site in Doveton Street.

The prosecutor said Mann returned a positive oral fluid test, indicating he was on ice at the time.

“Honestly, I didn’t think it would be in my system, with such a small amount,” the court heard he told police.

Providing the magistrate with three letters of support, one from Mann’s mother, one from UnitingCare and one from his doctor, lawyer David Tamanika said his client had been in “a rut” at the time of the offending.

The magistrate said she didn’t accept the submission Mann had changed his attitude in a matter of months.

Ms Hodgson deferred sentence until June 16, telling Mann he had to demonstrate he could stay out of trouble.

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Sex abuse toll in Ballarat horrifying

Hearing: Justice Peter McClellan during Tuesday’s hearing in Ballarat.CLERGY sex abuse survivor Philip Nagle asked for a minute’s silence following his testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday.
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Mr Nagle was honouring his 12 fellow St Alipius Christian Brothers Primary School pupils who have committed suicide – out of a class of 33.

The shocking statistics were some of the evidence presented about abuse on the first day of the hearings that victims have described as a “carnage” that has fractured Ballarat.

Mr Nagle was repeatedly assaulted by disgraced priest Stephen Farrell when he was a grade five pupil.

“I would know when an attack was coming because he would always remove his glasses first,” Mr Nagle said.

“It was a scary time. I couldn’t work out what I was doing that made the abuse happen because the physical pain made it feel like I was being punished.”

A tough day for #Ballarat. If you need help, call @beyondblue | 1300 22 4636 Or @LifelineAust | 13 11 14 or CASA Ballarat 1800 806 292

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ENTER AT RISKBarnawartha saleyards intersection ‘dangerous and wrong’

TRANSPORT operators have spoken out about the danger posed to motorists at the entry to the Barnawartha North saleyards, with one driver saying if changes aren’t made, the consequences could be fatal.
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The intersection on the Murray Valley Highway has been labelled “short-sighted” by Kevin Keenan, the vice- president of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters’ Association, who has called a meeting to highlight the problems.

Representatives from Wodonga Highway Patrol, VicRoads, Wodonga Council and WorkSafe have inspected the entry and heard about the issues faced by truck drivers and other road users.

Mr Keenan said the first thing he wanted to see was an audit of traffic conditions by Wodonga Council and VicRoads.

“The intersection is totally dangerous, it’s wrong, it’s been badly made and I’m worried someone will be killed there,” he said.

“It has been made to minimum standards to keep costs down but it’s not going to help safety.

“I just find these developments don’t take into account traffic flow and the size of the traffic.

“The main thing I want to get out there is to make drivers aware on foggy days and during busy traffic periods there will be transport in and out of that gateway.

ENTER AT RISK | Barnawartha saleyards intersection ‘dangerous and wrong’ The saleyards entrance.

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Pell ‘assisted abuse cover up’

A Ballarat bishop knew Australia’s worst paedophile priest had abused boys when he moved him between parishes with Cardinal George Pell involved in at least one decision to move him, an inquiry has heard.
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Then Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns knew Father Gerald Francis Ridsdale had abused boys “so he was taken out of there” and again moved to another parish, the abuse royal commission heard on the opening day of three weeks of hearings in the city devastated by decades of abuse.

Senior counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness SC said Ridsdale was discussed at a meeting of the bishop’s advisers — the College of Consultors — in September 1982, where Cardinal Pell was present.

The meeting minutes say the bishop advised it had become necessary for Ridsdale to move from Mortlake parish, but do not disclose what reasons Bishop Mulkearns gave.

“There will be evidence that Bishop Mulkearns knew it was because Ridsdale had abused boys in Mortlake, and that he had offended in this manner in 1975,” Ms Furness said.

“Several of the consultors had been present at meetings, or were members of the College of Consultors, on each occasion in the past when Ridsdale was moved.”

Ridsdale was moved from Mortlake to Sydney’s Catholic Enquiry Centre, with then Father Pell at a college meeting that allowed him to stay for a further year.

Cardinal Pell was not at the college when Ridsdale was moved on three earlier occasions and was not at the meeting when he was first appointed Mortlake parish priest in January 1981.

Ridsdale abused more than 50 children as he was moved between nine Victorian parishes over three decades, and also abused an altar boy in Sydney.

Ms Furness said it was not until June 1988 that Ridsdale was suspended, 13 years after Bishop Mulkearns first knew he was abusing boys.

The Ballarat hearing heard Ridsdale was a prolific offender in Mortlake, with his replacement believing Ridsdale had molested every boy aged 10 to 16 in the Victorian town’s school.

Ms Furness said his behaviour around boys was no secret in Mortlake, but Bishop Mulkearns later told a Catholic Church Insurances investigator that he did not take it as his position to report him to police.

Convicted Ballarat priest Paul David Ryan has told the inquiry Bishop Mulkearns knew about him in 1977.

“Ryan thought Bishop Mulkearns buried his head in the sand about the sexual abuse issues,” Ms Furness said.

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‘Two-up’ policing policy must be workable

Wangaratta Superintendent Paul O’Halloran wants a workable solution.
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A POLICY that bans Victorian police officers from working alone is straining resources in the North East.

Victoria Police is this week expected to announce changes to the policy, which forces most officers to work “two-up”.

The measures were announced earlier this month in light of increased security risks and concerns officers may be targeted and attacked.

The policy means police are being moved between stations, and police in smaller communities are forced to cover a wider area.

Many local officers have welcomed the added safety of the working two-up, but there are concerns about the effect the changes are having on response times.

Police Association secretary Ron Iddles recently told members via a newsletter there were some issues with the policy.

“Understandably, the changes have generated much discussion among our members,” he said.

“Like any change, teething problems always occur.

“Our discussions with Victoria Police have been productive (and) we expect that a revised policy will be released to members in the near future.”

Wangaratta Superintendent Paul O’Halloran said plans put in place needed to be “workable”.

“It needs to balance officer safety with community service,” he said.

Superintendent O’Halloran said there were challenges.

“But they cannot come at the expense of operation safety for members,” he said.

“I would welcome increased police numbers, but that’s really a matter for the government and Victoria Police executive command to consider.

“If there’s an expectation of two-up patrols across the force, then that’s something that the government and executive command may need to look at.”

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EDITORIAL: Stories need to be heard so city can find a way forward

As the hearings for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse roll on, more horrific details will emerge about what happened in our city and the stories will become harder to hear.
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While Ballarat is not alone in what occurred, the city is set to hear some of the terrible details first and the impact that will have on many in our community should not be underplayed.

What is important is that Ballarat as a community faces up to what happened all those years ago, because as hard as it may be for many of us to read and listen to those stories, it pales in com-

parison to what the survivors will go through over the next few weeks.

And we need to listen to those survivors so we can understand what they went through.

A tough day for #Ballarat. If you need help, call @beyondblue | 1300 22 4636 Or @LifelineAust | 13 11 14 or CASA Ballarat 1800 806 292

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True to her word, Doris turns 106

Reunited with Border Mail journalist Olivia Lambert. Picture: JOHN RUSSELLWHEN she turned 105, Doris Macken finished her interview with The Border Mail by saying “see you next year”.
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Yesterday, her 106th birthday, the Albury resident stayed true to her word, greeting the same reporter for her latest milestone.

As that journalist I couldn’t believe how she had managed to keep her biological clock ticking.

Miss Macken’s lips were still polished with lipstick, her neck adorned with pearls and her spirit still that of someone half her age.

“I’m pleased to see you — well not really,” she said yesterday.

“You don’t want your photo taken when you’re 106.”

Doris Macken yesterday celebrated her 106th birthday with her great niece Louise Hobson and niece Lesley McClintock.

In the past year Miss Macken has moved into the new Albury and District Nursing Home on Logan Road, but not much else has changed — except for her love of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

At her 105th birthday, Miss Macken said he was her favourite out of the 25 prime ministers she has lived to see but she began to question that affection after he awarded a knighthood to Prince Philip.

I had hoped, that in the past 12 months Miss Macken might have figured out the secret to her longevity.

But just as she told me last year, she said “if I knew I’d patent it”.

Miss Macken surprises many with her age, her 82-year-old niece Lesley McClintock has even been mistaken as her sister.

“I don’t know if I’m getting older or if she’s getting younger,” Ms McClintock said.

Miss Macken is close to take the record for the oldest woman to live in Albury — it is held by Daisy Gill who died just short of her 108th birthday in 2012.

Miss Macken did not promise to see The Border Mail next year.

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Knuckledusters were ‘in case I get attacked’

NORTH Albury man Connor Eyers has twice been the victim of assaults and had knuckledusters in his possession for his protection.
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But a court heard police officers found the silver metal knuckledusters along with a pipe used for smoking ice when they searched Eyers at Lavington last month.

He had attracted police attention by being involved in the theft of a motorbike from a residence in Tulla Street, North Albury.

Eyers went there with other unknown men about 8.30am on April 28.

They went to a back shed through an unlocked side gate and took a 125cc thumpster motorcycle.

It was wheeled down the driveway and the handle bars were loosened to get the bike in the back seat of a Commodore.

Eyers removed the side guard.

But police were notified of the theft and stopped the car in Shirleen Crescent at Lavington.

Eyers, 19, of Tarakan Avenue, pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court yesterday to charges of stealing property, possessing a prohibited weapon and possessing equipment for administering a prohibited drug.

Solicitor Mark Cronin said Eyers was a passenger in the car and simply tagged along with the others.

Mr Cronin said Eyers is unsure whether others involved in the theft have been charged with the motorcycle theft.

“That has been recovered. Thankfully there was no damage to it,” Mr Cronin said.

Eyers was put on two-year bonds and fined $300 on the other two charges.

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Cow has drivers in a spin

A STRAY cow has caused havoc on the Hume Highway, with five vehicles driving into the animal.
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Three cars and two trucks hit the Hereford cow near the Broken River bridge at Benalla about 7.30pm on Monday.

Police are amazed no one was injured in the incident, with three cars towed from the scene and the undercarriage of one of the trucks damaged.

“One of the truck drivers couldn’t believe it,” Sergeant Jeffrey Kyne said.

“One of the cars hit the cow while travelling beside the truck, became airborne, landed squarely and the driver managed to bring it to a stop without any further incident.

“All the vehicles have clipped the cow and run over it.

“Everyone has been extremely lucky.”

Sgt Kyne said it was hard to see the animal at night, especially when high-beam lights were not in use.

A lack of feed in paddocks was causing animals to wander, he said.

“There is more feed available for animals and wildlife on the edge of the freeway than in paddocks,” Sgt Kyne said.

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