Indi not ignored by the Coalition

NATALIE Kotsios may not have lived in the region for long but that is no excuse for not doing her homework.
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She should have done a five minute basic search into her own newspaper’s files before claiming that the $12 million in the recent budget allocated to Indi “is the likes of which this electorate has rarely seen” (The Border Mail, May 16).

The reason the Coalition is giving $10million for the Wodonga CBD is because the railway line has been removed from central Wodonga — thanks to $45million previously obtained by Sophie Mirabella. And what about the more than $350million to finally fix the Hume bypass after more than 30 years of delay?

Or more than $300million allocated by the Coalition to upgrade of the local Thales explosives and propellant factory? Or the $23million package for local tobacco growers?

Or the tens of millions of dollars in grants to local manufacturers like Bruck textiles to keep jobs in Indi?

The facts speak for themselves.

Coalition governments have not and do not ignore Indi.



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Carnival comes to stop

Brooke Purtell controls the ball for the Riverina team in the NSW CHS titles at the Albury Hockey Centre before the deluge. Pictures: PETER MERKESTEYN
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Riverina’s Jessie Nixon in action against Sydney South West yesterday.

LIGHTNING and hail forced an early end to the opening day of the NSW combined high school hockey tournament in Albury yesterday.

Riverina, with 10 of its 14 player squad based on the Border, was a goal down to Western with 12 minutes to go in the first half when the Albury Hockey Centre found itself in the middle of the afternoon deluge.

Competition organiser and Albury High teacher Erin McNair said it was simply too dangerous to continue.

“We had lightning, hail and torrential rain,” she said.

“I can’t remember a game being abandoned at the hockey centre, but there was no option.

“The girls will resume tomorrow afternoon with the clock set to where they were and trailing by a goal.”

Earlier in the day the team, including Spitfire Brooke Purtell, had gone down 5-1 to Sydney South West.

In all 10 regions are represented at the carnival — a CHS squad to be chosen to play against the Catholic and Independent schools at a latter date.

“We are a pretty young group and we’ll probably struggle against the better sides which on past form are the two teams we play on day one,” McNair said.

“But hopefully the weather improves and we are able to get through the rest of the carnival.”

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Retail hub a boost for Ettamogah

A SUPERMARKET, medical centre and shops could be on the way under a plan for the Ettamogah village.
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Ettamogah Pub owner Leigh O’Brien is behind the development, which is now being promoted by Albury real estate agency First National Bonnici and Associates.

Sales representative Lexley Sewell said the new retail hub was “a great sign for the area”.

“And it’s backed by Albury Council, including at a community meeting held at Table Top a couple of weeks ago,” she said

Mrs Sewell said there were also options for several other retail outlets.

The agency has “in-principle agreements” for the addition of a pharmacy and a medical centre.

It has begun talks with a boutique supermarket chain, a hairdresser, a lolly shop “and a couple of other retail outlets”.

“Planning and environment director Michael Keys from the council told everybody that they were very excited about, that they were happy to back the development,” Mrs Sewell said.

“He said there was a pharmacist and a medical clinic already set to go in there.

“There will be much more added later, but right now they will go into that front section that used to be the tavern.

“Later on it will be extended up further and there will be a lot more shops.”

Mrs Sewell said a lot of what was expected to go into the village centre was in the planning stage.

“But Leigh is aiming at the end of this year,” she said.

“He hasn’t got it set in stone as there’s obviously got to be some readjustments to the critical building.

“As soon as that’s done they will be able to go in.

“We’re just aiming at that timeframe at the moment.”

Mrs Sewell said she would like to hear from anyone interested in either moving an existing business or setting up a new one at the village.

“You could have a business such as a cafe,” she said.

“There’s so much happening out there in terms of residential development, with quite a few lifestyle lots including ones we’ve got next door.

“It all promotes the village concept.”

The agency is seeking people to lease the retail outlets, or buy one of the adjacent nine residential blocks.

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Guilty plea on sex count

A WODONGA man yesterday admitted that he had sex with an underage teenager after grooming girls on Facebook.
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Steven James Hyatt pleaded guilty in the Wodonga Magistrates Court.

That now paves the way for his sentencing, which is likely to start on Friday.

Hyatt has been in custody for several months and once again appeared by video link.

The latest development follows extensive consultation between his barrister, Diana Price, and the prosecution.

A week ago, Ms Price said the likelihood of Hyatt making a plea on the charges, contained in two briefs of evidence, was in the range of “90-95per cent”.

Hyatt had been charged with four counts of sexual penetration with a person aged under 16.

After he was arrested and charged, Hyatt was given bail in Wodonga last November with strict bail conditions.

These included a ban on him using a phone with internet capacity, on him operating a Facebook account and from using social media.

Hyatt was banned also from having contact with girls under 16 and was required to submit his phone for police inspection.

At the time, magistrate John O’Callaghan expressed concern that Hyatt would “groom and be predatory to young woman on social media” and that the charges were “at the very upper end of seriousness”.

But Hyatt then went on the run from police, leading to an appeal for information to track him down.

After his eventual arrest he was also charged with breaching the conditions imposed with his bail.

Last Thursday, another unrelated matter was also adjourned — until June 2 — to allow time for the legal resolution being pursued in relation to the sexual offences.

Sentencing submissions will be taken in the County Court in Wodonga on Friday.

Hyatt did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody.

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Cat back for a crack at Yack

Cat Canteri
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A MELBOURNE musician will be returning to one of her favourite venues in Yackandandah for a live performance of her debut solo album.

The Star Hotel will host Cat Canteri, who will fill the venue with her ’70s rock, blues and outlaw country inspired music from 8pm on Friday of next week.

Her free show makes up one of five stops on her tour promoting her album When We Were Young.

Canteri is well known as the singer-songwriter and drummer with alt-country group The Stillsons.

Visiting for the fourth time, she said her music is well received in the North East.

“I’ve played a lot at Beechworth, Yackandandah and Bright and I always love coming to Indigo Shire, everyone loves the music,” Canteri said.

“When you tour a lot, there is nothing like a family owned pub, a community pub.

“It’s always a very different vibe when the person who owns it lives there and is part of the community.

“There are a few of those places around Australia I try to play at because it is always really great.

“They are such great supporters of live music.”

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When will they give an answer?

POLITICALLY, I am right wing and naturally accept that Leigh Sales and Emma Alberici are biased to the left.
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Like them, I am fed up with politicians avoiding fair questions.

I have heard Bill Shorten asked the question as to how he is going to pay for his promises three times in a row and getting the same nonsense reply such as “I am coming to that but let me first say that Tony Abbott can’t be trusted”.

How can Sales and Alberici ever get straight answers without interrupting the vacuous diversive answers being given?

If their attitudes are regarded as rude, let me tell you that there are thousands out here who would have been a damn sight ruder if the answers to our questions were similarly treated as though they had never been asked.

Why must we citizens have to put up with fools trumpeting obvious political drivel when the questions we want answered are ignored?

To protect the ability of Sales and Alberici to do their jobs on our behalf, why can’t the rule be that if a question is not reasonably answered after one prompt, the interview is terminated?



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Tired body calls time on a stellar career

Josh Fluss will be able to spend more time with his sons Aiden, 5, and Christian, 17 months, after he retires on Saturday. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICKJOSH Fluss will hang up the goalkeeping gloves after Saturday’s clash with Melbourne City at La Trobe.
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The Melrose 300-gamer made the switch to newly-created NPL1 team Murray United at the start of the season but has struggled with injuries.

Fluss is already part of the goalkeeping coaching staff and will now take a more permanent role in match day operations.

The 30-year-old said a combination of family, work and injuries had driven his decision.

“We have another child on the way, I’m working for myself and really struggling to come up week after week,” he said.

“It’s not one chronic injury just a sequence of niggles and on Saturday night I lost all power in my right knee — I just can’t do it any more.

“I don’t think it will sink in until the weekend arrives.

“I see my future in helping to develop some of the young guys we have coming through the keeping ranks.

“I want to take a more active role in that area and on game day.

“We have some great kids and they are the future of Murray United.”

His playing legacy as well as AWFA includes stints at the Victorian Institute of Sport, Australian Institute of Sport and Melbourne Knights in the Premier League.

Murray United senior coach Mick Richards talked Fluss into playing until the home game against Melbourne City after he initially planned to pull the pin three weeks ago.

“He has been a great keeper at AWFA level and really stepped up to help us out and play at this level,” he said.

“But in recent weeks he has been under siege and his body just can’t take it any more.

“He will now take a more active role in further developing our goalkeeping stocks with Ben Russell and Nathan Brown.

“Most of the Melbourne sides have four and five on the coaching staff but we are forced to shuffle it around — we share the responsibilities for the under-20s and seniors.”

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End of an era as Brad Jones retires Tallulah

Fabian Coulthard’s original V8 Supercar has been retired and will be replaced with a new version for the next round in Darwin.DESPITE two podiums in the past two V8 Supercar rounds, including a second at Winton Raceway on Sunday, Brad Jones Racing has decided to retire Fabian Coulthard’s Freightliner car.
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Tallulah, named after the Cool Runnings movie, will remain in BJR’s Albury garage as the team’s most successful V8 Supercar.

The car gave Coulthard his first V8 Supercars Championship race win at Symmons Plains in 2013 and first pole in Pukekohe that year.

“It’s a pretty proud moment for me to be able to retire this car with a lot of great achievements,” he said.

“Seven pole positions, eight race wins, 25 podiums and two lap records at Winton and Bathurst — the lap record at Mount Panorama being one of the highlights.”

Work started on the new chassis in April, with the gaps between the Tasmanian — Perth and Winton — Darwin rounds used to focus on the project.

It is the fifth Car Of The Future chassis built in the East Albury workshop.

Coulthard will debut the new Freightliner Racing chassis when the V8 Supercar Championship heads to Darwin for the next round of the series in about a month’s time.

“Any time you get to roll out a brand new car is a good day,” he said.

“It is a cool experience for my team to be building this new car.

“Obviously we want to achieve even more than what we did with Tallulah, my team are really excited to make this happen.

“As for the name of this new car, stay tuned!”

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Tiger Hyde waits on tribunal

ALBURY co-coach Chris Hyde is in danger of missing next week’s blockbuster showdown against Lavington after being charged by the Ovens and Murray match review panel.
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Hyde was reported for charging Wodonga’s Jackson Russell during the opening quarter of Saturday’s clash at Martin Park.

Wodonga asked for the case to be heard by the tribunal after he was charged, and he will face the panel tonight.

Hyde has never been previously reported since joining the Ovens and Murray league for the 2009 season.

With the interleague bye this weekend, any suspension will result in Hyde missing the most anticipated clash so far this season between the Tigers and the Panthers, who sit first and second on the ladder.

Albury is yet to lose a game while Lavington suffered its only loss of the season against Myrtleford in round 3.

The defending premier can ill-afford to lose their inspirational co-coach, with Angus Graham (knee), Setanta o’hAilpin (suspended), Aisake o’hAilpin (suspended), Luke Daly, John Mitchell, Jay Koehler and Joel O’Connell all missing.

Aisake o’hAilpin has already served one match of a two-match suspension after being found guilty of rough conduct against Wodonga Raiders.

Albury have appealed the decision.

The case will be heard by AFL Victoria Country at Visy Park tonight.

Aisake o’hAilpin will be represented by high-profile player advocate Iain Findlay.

The Tigers will regain Setanta, who has served a one-match suspension.

The Panthers will welcome back classy midfielder Luke Garland, who also missed playing last week through suspension.

Veteran utility Jamarl O’Sullivan is also expected to be fit to face his former team after missing the past fortnight with injury.

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Wodonga West school waiting on timeframe

Christian Walsh, 11, shadow education minister Nick Wakeling and Rylee Butters, 11, at Wodonga West. Picture: KYLIE ESLERA WODONGA principal is demanding a timeframe from the Victorian government for the construction of two new buildings.
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Money was set aside last year to rebuild outdated structures at Wodonga West Primary School.

Now, principal Jocelyn Owen wants to know when the money will be put to use.

The call comes following a meeting between Mrs Owen, shadow education minister Nick Wakeling and Benambra MP Bill Tilley yesterday, who were urging the Andrews government to “get moving” on the project.

The Coalition set aside $3.8million 12 months ago plus an additional $650,000 to replace the buildings from the 1950s.

Mrs Owen met Mr Andrews when he visited the school as opposition leader in 2013.

Now, Mrs Owen is waiting to hear from Mr Andrews as to when the funding will come through.

The school has been lobbying for new buildings since 2007 and according to Mr Wakeling work may not commence until late this year.

“It appears the rebuild is going to take three years to complete, it’s completely unacceptable,” Mr Wakeling said.

“The money is sitting there in the budget and we call on Premier Andrews to ensure the funding that was allocated is delivered, so work can start on the site and we can see these kids educated in 21st century facilities.”

Mr Tilley invited the shadow minister to the Border where they met with principals including from Corryong College, Wodonga Middle Years Huon Campus and paid a visit to Melrose Primary School.

He labelled the government’s failure to deliver the project as “incredible hypocrisy” and questioned Education Minister, James Melino’s ability to “manage” the portfolio.

“Daniel Andrews stood on this school site two years ago and said ‘get on with it’.

“Our philosophy was to prioritise schools, no matter what seat they fell in, the priority was determined by an audit by the Department of Education,” Mr Tilley said.

In response to yesterday’s meeting, a spokesperson for the Department of Education said a detailed design was proceeding and construction would take place later this year.

However they were not able to put a timeframe on it.

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