Horsham Young Citizen of the Year 2015 Greg McKinnon to devote career to youth well-being

Horsham Young Citizen of the Year 2015 Greg McKinnon to devote career to youth well-being Greg McKinnon is Horsham Rural City Council’s Young Citizen of the Year for 2015. Pictures: PAUL CARRACHER
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Greg McKinnon is Horsham Rural City Council’s Young Citizen of the Year for 2015. Pictures: PAUL CARRACHER


‘‘In 2012, Greg was the recipient of the Rotary Club of Horsham East Citizenship Award and in 2011, he was awarded the Horsham College Alexander Noel Glancy Scholarship,’’ he said.

Mr McKinnon said he loved being involved in programs that supported and motivated students, such as the Youth Alive school tour and Horsham College’s breakfast program.

The Operation 19:14 Family Fun Day is the 2015 Community Event of the Year.

Cr Radford said the joint church initiative, which provided a free day out for Wimmera families, was a deserving recipient.

‘‘We congratulate the organising committee on this highly successful and extremely well-run community event,’’ he said.

‘‘This event has been running for four years, with more than 1300 children registered in 2014.’’

Operation 19:14 organiser Mark Busbridge said the committee felt honoured to receive the award.

‘‘I heard a few people had nominated us and we are very humbled by that,’’ he said.

Mr Busbridge said the committee consisted of about seven people from four Horsham churches.

‘‘One of the main thrusts behind Operation 19:14 is bringing people together for a common purpose and giving families a really good day out,’’ he said.

‘‘We’d like to give a big thank you to everybody who has supported it in the past few years, including the sponsors, because without them it wouldn’t be possible.’’

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Record crowd predicted for Great Western Cup

READY: Great Western Racing Club secretary Michael Barry, with Tiarna Barry, 10, and Leigha Lehmann, 10, have helped prepare the Great Western Racecourse for the Seppelt Salinga Great Western Cup on Sunday. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRIGREAT Western Racing Club expectsa huge crowd at the SeppeltSalinger Great Western Cupon Sunday.
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Club secretary Michael Barrywas confident the meetingwould attract large numbers thisyear, after crowd numbershovered around 2000 people inprevious years.

‘‘Camping numbers are up, wehave more people here at thetrack than we’ve ever had,’’ hesaid.

‘‘We’re very excited about theraces this year.

“For the first timewe will be a TAB meeting, so theraces will be shown on television.’’

Mr Barry said there wereplenty of events for people toenjoy between the races.

‘‘We’ve got Emma Dean fromMasterchef coming down to dofood demonstrations at 11.30amand 2.45pm,’’ he said.

‘‘We had her here last year andshe was very popular sowe’vegot her back.’’

Mr Barry said the Tuckers HillQuarry Famous Boat Race wouldbe on again this year.

‘‘People can come and dressup and decorate their boats andgo in the race,’’ he said.

‘‘We have heats and then afinal because we have so manynominations.

‘‘Last year the race was won bya group of people who paintedthemselves blue and wore whiteclothes like the Smurfs.’’

Mr Barry said first prize for theregatta was $1000, second prizewas $500 and third prize was$300.

There is also a prize of $500 forthe best Australian-themed boat.

Mr Barry said the annualracing event would include fashionson the field and children’sactivities.

He said there would be freeshowbags for the first 100 childrenthrough the gates.

‘‘We will have a band calledPlastered playing between races six and seven and the regattafinal will be between races fiveand six,’’ he said.

Mr Barry said there was freepublic transportation from Ararat,Stawell and Halls Gap to theracecourse.

He said people could bookonline at www.countryracing南京夜网.au/seppelt-salinger-greatwestern-cup.html.

The fields for the race will befinalised on Thursday morning.

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Armed robbery at Willawarrin Pharmacy

Robbed: Willawarrin PharmacyPolice are appealing for public assistance following an armed robbery at Willawarrin, 30km north-west of Kempsey.
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Shortly before2pm(Tuesday 20 January 2015), three men entered thepharmacy on Main Street, armed with a sawn-off shot gun and machete.

The group threatened the male attendant with the weapons and demanded he open the safe and register.

The men fled the location a short time later with cash, medication and other property.

The attendant was not injured during the incident.

They were seen getting into a dark blue Holden Commodore, where a male getaway driver was waiting for them.

The vehicle was last seen travelling north on Main Street.

Officers attached to Mid North Coast Local Area Command were contacted a short time later and attended the pharmacy

A crime scene was established, which was examined by detectives and specialist forensic officers.

Police conducted an extensive search of the surrounding area but failed to locate any trace of the robbers.

Inquiries into the matter are continuing and police are urging anyone with information, particularly in relation to the getaway car,to come forward.

You can call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Kempsey Police Station on 6561 6199

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Teens assaulted and robbed in Canley Vale

Police are seeking public help after two teenagers were assaulted and robbed in Canley Vale last night.
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At11pm,two boys, aged 13 and 14, were riding their push bikes north along Sackville Street with three other friends, when they approached a group of at least six males seated at a bus stop.

It’s alleged the males assaulted the two boys and took their property including the older boy’s wallet and mobile phone, as well asthe younger boy’s bike.

Their friends took refuge in a nearby park where they contacted Triple Zero (000).

Cabramatta police attended the scene a short time later.

Officers, along with the help of the Dog Unit,conducted an extensive search of the surrounding area; however the group were not found.

The two boys sustained minor injuries and were treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance Paramedics.

The menhave only been described as being Pacific Islander/Maori in appearance and about 16 to18 years old.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Fracking chemicals found in water

An aerial photo of AGL’s coal seam gas operations in Gloucester. A LABOR government would implement a “moratorium on coal seam gas activity across the state – including Gloucester” if elected at the March polls Opposition Leader Luke Foley said.
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It comes after AGL advised the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) that ground and surface water monitoring data from its Gloucester operations during November had detected traces of a chemical used in fracking.

An AGL spokeswoman said the company was undertaking a full review of the sampling and testing process for its November 2014 water monitoring, which detected the presence of extremely low levels of monoethanolamine.

Monoethanolamine borate is a chemical used in the hydraulic fracturing process to alter the viscosity of the fracture stimulation fluid. This helps the fluid carry sand into the fracture openings and release coal seam gas.

“While it is a constituent of hydraulic fracturing fluid, our baseline sampling found background levels of monoethanolamine in groundwater and surface water in September and October 2014, before hydraulic fracturing operations commenced,” the AGL spokeswoman said.

“Monoethanolamine also is a known constituent of mammal urine and associated with agricultural land and bush areas.”

The EPA’s chief environmental regulator Mark Gifford said the results appear to show an anomaly, which required further investigation.

Commenting in a statement released by Groundswell Gloucester, water resources engineer Jeff Kite said the spike in the levels of monoethanolamine near the fracking site was alarming.

“A monitoring bore sample, taken from between two fracked wells which are only 800m apart on November 17, showed less than one part per billion of this chemical,” he said.

“After completion of fracking on November 20, the concentration was 60 parts per billion.

“That is 60 times the pre-fracking reading. AGL’s Environmental Protection Licence (EPL) requires a zero concentration be present at testing sites.

“The delay between the spike occurring and AGL’s awareness of it, is a huge problem.

“It’s not so much the concentration that’s a worry, it’s the significant increase, across eight different monitoring locations on one day, that suggests fracking chemicals travelled a lot further than AGL expected.”

AGL provided the data to the EPA on January 13 prior to publishing the data on its website.

MidCoast Water said the detection of traces of a chemical used in fracking supported the need for longer background sampling of potential contaminants in local waterways.

The authority said on the day the monoethanolmine was detected there was no river flow and very little groundwater flow. Sampling on two following days returned negative results.

“While MidCoast Water has confirmed the extremely low levels detected and lack of river flow at the time combined to pose no problems for the water supply, longer background sampling of all potential contaminants and not short term sampling would allow for a better understanding of background water quality,” general manager Robert Loadsman said.

AGL was required to undertake a risk assessment of monoethanolamine borate as part of its application to conduct hydraulic fracturing at Waukivory.

The chemical was approved by the Office of Coal Seam Gas for use in the fracking operations at Waukivory.

Groundswell Gloucester said even more disturbing was the lack of test results for another chemical, Tolcide (THPS; Hydroxymethylnasulfate).

“They’re not in the report at all, even though the EPA requires a zero detection limit for this chemical and requires AGL to test for it,” Groundswell spokesman John Watts said.

“AGL’s report states that the EPA didn’t approve the methodology for testing Tolcide levels until December 19, after all four wells had been fracked.”

THPS is a biocide used to kill bacteria in the well. It is considered by water authorities to be extremely toxic to aquatic organisms found in wastewater plants.

AGL said water samples taken during the fracking process were being analysed for THPS levels.

The company said its fugitive methane emissions monitoring in Gloucester during the Waukivory Pilot found “no significant change” to baseline levels recorded before hydraulic fracturing.

AGL fracked four existing Waukivory pilot wells between October 27 and November 26 last year.

Methane emissions monitoring was conducted on November 7, during the hydraulic fracturing phase of the pilot.

“The monitoring was undertaken using the highly sensitive Picarro device which was fitted to a vehicle driven from AGL’s Gloucester site office, along Bucketts Way, Jacks Rd and Fairbairns Rd,” a spokeswoman said.

“Pacific Environment’s interim report to AGL showed “no significant change in ambient methane concentrations detected … when comparing data sets pre and post fracture stimulation.”

The EPA said it would review AGL’s monitoring data and determine the next steps once the analysis was complete.

The Greens spokesman on mining Jeremy Buckingham said the “community’s worst fears had been realised” and called for a complete ban on coal seam gas in NSW.

Story courtesy of the Gloucester Advocate.

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