JUMPERS and Jazz in July wrapped up on the weekend with a bang as crowds exploded through Palmerin Street on Saturday and engulfed Leslie Park on Sund... Read More »
A QUANTITY of GHB, ecstasy and weapons were seized from a home in Endeavour Hills on Wednesday of last week.
A drug search warrant was executed at the Kennington Park Drive property and a 25-year-old male is currently assisting with police inquiries.
No charges have yet been laid.
LABOR candidate for Wide Bay Lucy Stanton has slammed Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss over the cost of chartered flights between Canberra and Brisbane last year.
In a statement to the media, Ms Stanton said “Warren Truss as Deputy PM has trumped Bronwyn Bishop with outrageous spending of taxpayer dollars”.
Ms Stanton’s comments refer to $21,570 Mr Truss spent on chartered travel between Canberra and Brisbane on 13 and 14 May 2014.
In her statement, Ms Stanton said Mr Truss claimed more than $20,000 in expenses to attend a conservative breakfast fund-raiser where he spoke of taking steps to ensure the Government is living within its means and to rein in the age of entitlement.
Ms Stanton said she believed Mr Truss, who is the Federal Member for Wide Bay, scheduled the breakfast event knowing Parliament sat during budget week.
“Then he decided to charter a flight for $21,570 to ferry him in luxurious style to the fund-raiser rather than take a commercial flight,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Deputy Prime Minister said Mr Truss is “assiduous” in the spending of his Parliamentary entitlements and confirmed no commercial flights were available to meet “Mr Truss’s ministerial duties on 13 and 14 May 2014.”
“In fact, on 13 May Mr Truss was required to be present in Parliament for the handing down of the 2014 Federal Budget,” the spokesperson said.
“Mr Truss had official commitments in Canberra until about 9pm that evening and was then required to travel to Brisbane to meet another budget-related commitment early the following morning (14 May).
“Parliament was sitting on 14 May, and Mr Truss was required back in Canberra by midday to fulfil ministerial responsibilities.
“Again, timely commercial flights were not available, and Mr Truss legitimately used his charter budget to meet his Parliamentary obligations. This travel was undertaken in strict accordance with the minister’s duties and responsibilities.”
VETS at Healesville Sanctuary are working to repair a koala joey’s broken leg after he was brought in by DELWP workers yesterday.
Arthur the koala joey is currently being worked on by veterinary doctors at the sanctuary’s Animal Wildlife Health Centre (AWHC) after being brought in with a broken arm and leg yesterday.
Two Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) staff members brought the koala in after finding him walking by the side of the road in Powelltown.The men were flagged down by a member of the public, and brought the animal to the AWHC on Wednesday, 29 July.
After an assessment and X-Rays, vets discovered the animal had a broken femur and forearm.The femur required surgery, to pin the broken bone, but the arm is expected to heal without surgical intervention.
After surgical preparation, Doctors Franciscus Sheelings and Meg Curnick, along with vet nurse Gerry Ross, started their work at 11am on Thursday, 30 July, to repair the leg bone.
Ms Curnick said the surgery is expected to take until about 1.30pm.Should the bones heal, Arthur, as he was named by the DELWP staff, is expected to be released into the wild in about six weeks.
For the full story, and more photos, see next week’s Mail.
CLEANING staff at Myer Fountain Gate have been underpaid, the Fair Work Ombudsman has found.
The investigation revealed nine cleaners at several Myer stores in Melbourne – including Fountain Gate – had been collectively short-changed $6300 for the pay period 4-31 May, this year.
The discrepancies were discovered after Fair Work inspectors made an unannounced visit to the Fountain Gate store last December.
Myer has a services agreement with RCS Cleaning Services, which sub-contracted to Pioneer Cleaning Australia Pty Ltd, which in turn sub-contracted to Preston-based A&K Saana Services.
Myer terminated its contract with Pioneer in June.
The Fair Work inspectors interviewed two Fountain Gate cleaners who worked for contractor A&K Saana Services, which was sub-contracted to clean Myer sites at Fountain Gate, Knox City, Highpoint, and Altona.
The two cleaners were each earning $17 an hour, regardless of the hours and days they worked. One was an employee, the other purportedly an independent contractor.
The Fair Work Ombudsman subsequently determined they should both have been classified as employees and been paid at least $22.51 an hour.
For the pay period 4-31 May, the inspectors found that the nine employees had been short-changed amounts ranging from $225 to $1009.
It was found the employees were underpaid their minimum hourly rate, minimum four-hour engagement period, broken shift allowances, penalty rates for early and late shifts, overtime rates and penalties for weekend and public holiday work.
A Myer spokesman said the Fair Work Ombudsman had informed the company on 14 July that a “sub-contractor of Pioneer Facilities Services had acknowledged it was in breach of the Fair Work Act”.
“Prior to this, Myer had been working with the FWO in its investigation into the cleaning services provided by Pioneer and its sub-contractors,” the spokesperson said.
“Over the past six months, Myer has also sought further information from Pioneer Facilities Services to demonstrate its (and its subcontractors’) compliance with workplace laws.
“Despite repeated requests, Pioneer Facilities Services did not provide us with enough information to satisfy Myer.
“Subsequently, Myer made the decision to terminate its contract with Pioneer in June 2015.”
As a result of the findings A&K director Admir Kolakovic has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the ombudsman.
Enforceable Undertakings were introduced by legislation in 2009 and used against companies alleged to have breached workplace laws, without the need for civil court proceedings.
A&K Saana Services is one of a number of sub-contractors to Pioneer that has been found to have misclassified and underpaid its workers.
Employers with any uncertainty about whether their workplace practices are appropriate or not can visit www.fairwork.gov.au, or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for advice.
A PROPOSED Pakenham gun range has hit its first funding target, with organisers now preparing to submit their application to Cardinia Shire Council.
Earlier this year, a multi-million dollar plan was released detailing Pakenham as the site for Australia’s first firearm shop and on-site, multi-level shooting range.
The first phase of the project involved crowdfunding the $25,000 required to submit the application to council. The breakdown of this figure includes provisions for an acoustic report, application fee, application advertising, audit and compliance fee, accounting fee and legal fee.
Likely to be built in the industrial area south of the Princes Freeway, the plan is the brainchild of Southern Cross Firearms (SCF) managing director Chris Moore, who said earlier this week he was “delighted to announce round one funding recently closed with the campaign achieving target.”
“Many local firearm enthusiasts got behind the campaign and helped us raise sufficient funds to move the project into the next phase.”
Mr Moore told The Pakenham Gazette in May that the he saw no reason why council would not approve the plan.
“The council are being very supportive in helping us clarify our requirements,” he said.
“We have also received a communication stating that if we’re able to meet the requirements, the council sees no reason not to support our application.”
He said the success of the campaign was reflective of widespread support for the project within Cardinia.
“This achievement is a testament that law-abiding firearm owners are eager for a big change and based on feedback, they see this as an opportunity to further differentiate and widen the gap between safe sports shooting and illegal firearm ownership.”
Residents can expect to see real progress in the next few months.
“A suitable location has been identified and all going well, the application should be ready for submission within the next four to six weeks,” Mr Moore said.
ALBURYCITY is aiming to reduce the volume of traffic on George Street following concerns from the street’s residents.
AlburyCity will be launching a three-month trial to reduce traffic volume and speed on George Street by installing a median strip in Kiewa Street to stop motorists from turning right near Albury High School.
The strip will prevent right-hand turns from Kiewa Street into George Street, and right hand turns from George Street into Kiewa Street.
Two speed cushions will also be installed in George Street to slow traffic.
On-street parking and driveway access is not expected to be affected.
The chairman of AlburyCity’s local traffic committee Cr Graham Docksey said the council was responding to the concerns of residents and had been monitoring traffic flow and speed in George Street, which some drivers are using to avoid Guinea Street.
“This is a three-month trial and we want feedback from the community,” Cr Docksey said.
“We’ll continue to monitor traffic volume and speed in George Street so we can see how effective these changes are.”
Works will begin in August.
People can have their say during the traffic trial by writing to AlburyCity at 553 Kiewa Street, Albury, 2640, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
OLINDA pool committee members braved the cold on Monday 27 July to celebrate the confirmation of an agreement to commence repair works on the pool.
Yarra Rangers mayor Maria McCarthy and Monbulk MP and Deputy Premier James Merlino were also in attendance to mark the occasion and show their support for the project.
Yarra Ranges Council facility operations manager Ron Pearce said they were hoping to have the pool ready to open for public use at the beginning of the swimming season.
“We’re hoping to have the project finished by the end of November, if the weather is kind to us,” he said.
The Olinda pool was closed two years ago due to cracks appearing in the ageing structure, among other reasons.
Yarra Ranges Council voted in favour in a council meeting in November last year to allocate a budget of $770,000 to repair the pool and upgrade facilities.
Monbulk MP James Merlino last year pledged $500,000 to assist with the pool repairs and construction of a precinct playground.
While the State Government has pledged money toward the rejuvenation the pool, only half of that will go towards the pool itself.
The remaining $250,000 will be put towards a playground that will link the pool area with the developing recreation precinct on the former Olinda Golf Course.
“It’s a once in a generation opportunity to give the community use of the recreation area 12 months a year,” Mr Merlino said.
Upgrades to the pool will include installation of a liner to the swimming pool to eliminate leaks, renewal of existing infrastructure, refurbishment of existing toilet and bathroom facilities and construction of a new accessible toilet for people with disabilities.
“We’re really happy with this commitment,” Pool Committee member Duncan Brown said.
The management of the pool after the upgrades will be transferred to community volunteers with council support.
HEAD chef Lozz and owner and manager Nols, now known as ‘Australia’s fussiest eater’ from Wings & Fins Seafood Restaurant in Tooradin were a big hit when the show premiered on Tuesday 28 July. With $100,000 up for grabs, Nols and Lozz are waiting in anticipation for the final result after months of hard work in front of the camera. 142360 Picture: Channel Nine