Jul 22

Small businesses wade through floods in soggy Elwood

Dr Elizabeth Foo outside Laird’s pharmacy, says it’s hard to estimate the cost of the damage. Photo: Penny Stephens Andrew Sarratore from Jerry’s milk bar in Elwood: “Please slow down… or no coffee tomorrow.” Photo: Penny Stephens
Nanjing Night Net

Walking into Jerry’s Milk Bar on Friday morning, one could be mistaken that Thursday’s flash floods were a distant memory. The floors of the iconic Elwood cafe are dry, the coffee machine is brewing, and customers are streaming in and out of the front door.

Perhaps that’s because owner Andrew Sarratore has learned his lesson. Being the third time since he bought the century-old business in 2010 that it fell victim to flash flooding, he now knows what to do to avoid costly damage.

On his first day in business, Mr Sarratore recalls, heavy rain swamped the place, sending what he estimates as $20,000 worth of supplies — eggs, fruit and fresh vegetables — sailing through the store. It took him six days to clean up the mess.

Four years later, when wild storms lashed the suburb, water gushed up from the drains and streamed down the road from the nearby canal, flooding the cafe yet again, says Mr Sarratore.

But this year, as he heard the rain pummel down and the canal break its banks, Mr Sarratore knew what to do.

He put crates on the road to divert traffic away from the water that had built up on the side of the road, as it struggled to make its way down the drains. To the crates he added a sign that read, “Please slow down… or no coffee tomorrow.” And he put sandbags at each of the property’s three entrances to prevent the water from making its way under the doors.

He then took a shovel and cleared the drains outside, in an effort to enable the water to pass through more easily, and when the rain eventually stopped, he took a mop and swept out any water that had made its way inside.

“Customers who live nearby offered assistance,” says Mr Sarratore. “By this morning, the place was dry and we opened as usual.”

Nearby, on Tennyson Street, an employee at the local Laird’s Pharmacy is squeezing water out of towels that had earlier lined the front door of the shop.

Inside, between serving her customers, owner Dr. Elizabeth Foo says it’s hard to estimate the cost of the damage to her newly inaugurated store.

Stock that had been shelved low to the ground was ruined. She returned to work today to discover the fridge had exceeded the optimal temperature for storing medicines — which she suspects may have occurred due to a temporary power outage — and now she must go through that stock to see if it is still viable. Meanwhile, the carpets will need to be cleaned to avoid any fungal infections.

Not only had water made its way through the two entrances to the store, despite her efforts to lay rolled-up towels at the doors, it had seeped through the roof, too.

“I put buckets on the bench to collect the water,” she says.

The flood comes just one month after the store was officially inaugurated by the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, says Dr. Foo with pride, showing off photos of the occasion.

A few doors down, the washing machines are spinning at Tennyson Street Laundry. Just yesterday evening, manager Tobias Kilsby had been sweeping out water that flowed over the drain, through the back door, past the washing machines, and out the laundromat’s front entrance.

Fortunately, there was no damage to the machinery. “They’re industrial grade and their machines sit high up off the ground,” explains Mr Kilsby.

The small businesses on Ormond Road, Elwood’s main shopping strip, appear to have gotten through the flash flood scot-free.

“The water rose up high where the cars are parked outside, but it didn’t make it past the footpath,” explains Joanna Pidcock, who works at The Grumpy Swimmer bookstore.

“That was lucky for us, because water could do a lot of damage to our stock,” she says with a smile, looking at all the books and gift items stored on shelves down to the floor.

Some neighbouring stores hadn’t taken any chances. While their shopfronts bear signs saying, “Taking a break for Christmas. See you in 2017,” sandbags and towels line the front doors.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jul 22

Melbourne weather: Small businesses wade through floods in hard-hit Elwood

Andrew Sarratore had a plan to spare Jerry’s Milk Bar in Elwood from the freak storm. Photo: Penny Stephens A warning sign for motorists at the front of Jerry’s Milk Bar. Photo: Aimee Amiga
Nanjing Night Net

Dr Elizbeth Foo says it’s hard to estimate the cost of the damage to Laird’s Pharmacy in Elwood. Photo: Penny Stephens

Tobias Kilsby, manager of the Tennyson Street Laundry, had a lot of sweeping to do but was one of the luckier small business operators. Photo: Penny Stephens

Walking into Jerry’s Milk Bar on Friday morning, one could be mistaken that Thursday’s flash floods were a distant memory. The floors of the iconic Elwood cafe are dry, the coffee machine is brewing, and customers are streaming in and out of the front door.

Perhaps that’s because owner Andrew Sarratore has learned his lesson. Being the third time since he bought the century-old business in 2010 that it fell victim to flash flooding, he now knows what to do to avoid costly damage.

On his first day in business, Mr Sarratore recalls, heavy rain immersed the place in water, sending what he estimates as $20,000 worth of supplies — eggs, fruit and fresh vegetables — sailing through the store. It took him six days to clean the mess.

Four years later, when wild storms lashed the suburb, water gushed up from the drains and streamed down the road from the nearby canal, flooding the cafe again.

But this year, as he heard the rain pummel down and the canal break its banks, Mr Sarratore knew what to do.

He put crates on the road to divert traffic away from the water that had built up on the side of the road, as it struggled to make its way down the drains. To the crates he added a sign that read, “Please slow down… or no coffee tomorrow.” And he put sandbags at each of the property’s three entrances to prevent the water from making its way under the doors.

He then took a shovel and stroked the drains outside, in an effort to enable the water to pass through more easily, and when the rain eventually stopped, he took a mop and swept out any water that had made its way inside.

“Customers who live nearby offered assistance,” says Mr Sarratore. “By this morning, the place was dry and we opened as usual.”

Nearby, on Tennyson Street, an employee at the local Laird’s Pharmacy is squeezing water out of towels that had, moments earlier, lined the front door of the shop.

Inside, between serving her customers, owner Dr. Elizabeth Foo says it’s hard to estimate the cost of the damage to her newly inaugurated store.

Stock that had been shelved low to the ground was ruined. She returned to work today to discover the fridge had exceeded the optimal temperature for storing medicines — which she suspects may have occurred due to a temporary power outage — and now she must go through that stock to see if it is still viable. Meanwhile, the carpets will need to be dry cleaned to avoid any fungal infections.

Not only had water made its way through the two entrances to the premises, despite her efforts to lay rolled-up towels by the doors, it had seeped through the roof, too. “I put buckets on the bench to collect the water,” she says.

The flood comes just one month after the store was inaugurated by the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, says Dr. Foo with pride, showing off photos of the momentous occasion.

A few doors down, the washing machines are spinning at Tennyson Street Laundry. Just yesterday evening, manager Tobias Kilsby had been sweeping out water that flowed over the drain, through the back door, past the washing machines, and out the laundromat’s front entrance.

Fortunately, there was no damage to the machinery. “They’re industrial grade and their motors sit high up off the ground,” explains Kilsby.

The small businesses on Ormond Road, Elwood’s main shopping strip, appear to have gotten through the flash flood scot-free.

“The water rose up high where the cars are parked outside, but it didn’t make it past the footpath,” explains Joanna Pidcock, a sales representative at The Grumpy Swimmer bookstore.

“That was lucky for us, because water could do a lot of damage to our stock,” she says with a smile, looking at all the books and gift items stored on shelves down to the floor.

Nonetheless, some neighbouring stores hadn’t taken any chances. While their shopfronts bear signs saying, “Taking a break for Christmas. See you in 2017,” sandbags and towels line the front doors.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jul 22

Christmas gift takes the long way round

Bridie and Oliver Booth with their new T-ball set, which was found in Richmond on Boxing Day. Picture: Kimberlee BoothOliver Booth and his sister Bridie are enjoying their new T-ball set. Getting it, which took some hard work.
Nanjing Night Net

Bridie Booth (5) with her brother Oliver (2). Photo: Supplied by Kez Stephenson

The Christmas gift destined for two-year-oldOliver was found in Richmond on Boxing Day after it fell out of his relatives’ car boot.

An anonymous man handed the present in atWindsor Police Station, as he waskeen to deliver it to the rightful owner.

The man had posted information about the present on social media, but had not any luck finding the right person.

A card attached to the present indicated the giftwas intended for a person named Oliver.

The Hawkesbury Local Area Command posted on Facebook about the missing item on Monday afternoon.

Within two hours, the command received a response from Oliver’s cousin Kez Stephenson.

On Facebook, Ms Stephenson wrote that her family had picked up the present and would give it to Oliver as soon as possible.

A screenshot of the Hawkesbury Local Area Command’s call out on Facebook.

Ms Stephenson told the Hawkesbury Gazette the present was intended for two-year-old Oliver Booth.

She said the present had fallen out of the family’s car on Christmas Day.

“Our boot popped open when we were driving to the family’s Christmas lunch and the present must have fallen out then,” she said.

“We didn’t notice it was missing until we were handing out presents and one of Oliver’s was missing.”

Oliver’sgrandmother delivered the present to him on Tuesday, much to the delight of Oliver and Bridie.

Oliver’s cousin Kez StephensonRobin Graham:Good work to the person who found it and turned it in. Honesty has been found.

Peter Tilbrook:Definate (sic) legend the honest bloke. Your blood is worth bottling.

Lost propertyHave you lost an item?

The NSW Police Force has now established an community portal for people to make an online report re-discover lost property.

To find out more, visithttps://portal.police.nsw.gov419论坛/

– The Hawkesbury Gazette

Jul 22

Farmer fury at ‘vigilante’ do-gooders

File photo from a piggery.A Riverina pig farmer has criticised “vigilante activists” who break the law in search of sensational photos and videos.
Nanjing Night Net

Peter Cartwright has owned Pine Park Piggery near Temora for more than 30 years and is just one of 38 farmers targeted by animal liberationists who seek to expose cruel practices.

However, Mr Cartwright said he’d had hundreds of vet students through the farm over the years and wasn’t trying to hide anything.

“I checked with a consultant vet in Wagga, he looked and said unless we’d changed things dramatically we hadnothing to worry about,” Mr Cartwright said.

“We’ve opened our doors and if (the activists) had the decency to ask we’d probably have given them coffee, brekky and a guided tour, but like mongrel dogs they sneak in.”

Mr Cartwright isn’t alone in his criticism. For years, farmers have complained of break-ins and they were discussed at a private meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and NSW police, RSPCA and NSW Farmers last year.

A summary of the meeting said piggeries in the area, along with poultry farms in other states, were known to have been “invaded for the purpose of installing unauthorised surveillance devices, ostensibly to ‘reveal’ animal husbandry practice believed to be poor”.

Outspoken animal activist Lisa Ryan had previously told Fairfax Mediathat activists were “forced to act” when regulatory bodies failed to do so.

“Theybecome so frustrated they feel they have a moral and ethical obligation to inform the community and public about what’s going on,” Ms Ryan said.“Exposing animal abuse is a very non-violent approach. If you’ve got nothing to hide then what’s the problem?”

Mr Cartwright said the activists thought they were above the law.

“Most pig farmers I know try to do the right thing, it’s in our interest to have the animals in their best condition,” he said.

“I’ve had pigs since I could stand up, I’ve been here 35 years and when people say I don’t love these animals it makes me angry.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jul 22

Farmer fury at ‘vigilante’ do-gooders

File photo from a piggery.A Riverina pig farmer has criticised “vigilante activists” who break the law in search of sensational photos and videos.
Nanjing Night Net

Peter Cartwright has owned Pine Park Piggery near Temora for more than 30 years and is just one of 38 farmers targeted by animal liberationists who seek to expose cruel practices.

However, Mr Cartwright said he’d had hundreds of vet students through the farm over the years and wasn’t trying to hide anything.

“I checked with a consultant vet in Wagga, he looked and said unless we’d changed things dramatically we hadnothing to worry about,” Mr Cartwright said.

“We’ve opened our doors and if (the activists) had the decency to ask we’d probably have given them coffee, brekky and a guided tour, but like mongrel dogs they sneak in.”

Mr Cartwright isn’t alone in his criticism. For years, farmers have complained of break-ins and they were discussed at a private meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and NSW police, RSPCA and NSW Farmers last year.

A summary of the meeting said piggeries in the area, along with poultry farms in other states, were known to have been “invaded for the purpose of installing unauthorised surveillance devices, ostensibly to ‘reveal’ animal husbandry practice believed to be poor”.

Outspoken animal activist Lisa Ryan had previously told Fairfax Mediathat activists were “forced to act” when regulatory bodies failed to do so.

“Theybecome so frustrated they feel they have a moral and ethical obligation to inform the community and public about what’s going on,” Ms Ryan said.“Exposing animal abuse is a very non-violent approach. If you’ve got nothing to hide then what’s the problem?”

Mr Cartwright said the activists thought they were above the law.

“Most pig farmers I know try to do the right thing, it’s in our interest to have the animals in their best condition,” he said.

“I’ve had pigs since I could stand up, I’ve been here 35 years and when people say I don’t love these animals it makes me angry.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jun 20

Farmer fury at ‘vigilante’ do-gooders

File photo from a piggery.A Riverina pig farmer has criticised “vigilante activists” who break the law in search of sensational photos and videos.
Nanjing Night Net

Peter Cartwright has owned Pine Park Piggery near Temora for more than 30 years and is just one of 38 farmers targeted by animal liberationists who seek to expose cruel practices.

However, Mr Cartwright said he’d had hundreds of vet students through the farm over the years and wasn’t trying to hide anything.

“I checked with a consultant vet in Wagga, he looked and said unless we’d changed things dramatically we hadnothing to worry about,” Mr Cartwright said.

“We’ve opened our doors and if (the activists) had the decency to ask we’d probably have given them coffee, brekky and a guided tour, but like mongrel dogs they sneak in.”

Mr Cartwright isn’t alone in his criticism. For years, farmers have complained of break-ins and they were discussed at a private meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and NSW police, RSPCA and NSW Farmers last year.

A summary of the meeting said piggeries in the area, along with poultry farms in other states, were known to have been “invaded for the purpose of installing unauthorised surveillance devices, ostensibly to ‘reveal’ animal husbandry practice believed to be poor”.

Outspoken animal activist Lisa Ryan had previously told Fairfax Mediathat activists were “forced to act” when regulatory bodies failed to do so.

“Theybecome so frustrated they feel they have a moral and ethical obligation to inform the community and public about what’s going on,” Ms Ryan said.“Exposing animal abuse is a very non-violent approach. If you’ve got nothing to hide then what’s the problem?”

Mr Cartwright said the activists thought they were above the law.

“Most pig farmers I know try to do the right thing, it’s in our interest to have the animals in their best condition,” he said.

“I’ve had pigs since I could stand up, I’ve been here 35 years and when people say I don’t love these animals it makes me angry.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jun 20

Farmer fury at ‘vigilante’ do-gooders

File photo from a piggery.A Riverina pig farmer has criticised “vigilante activists” who break the law in search of sensational photos and videos.
Nanjing Night Net

Peter Cartwright has owned Pine Park Piggery near Temora for more than 30 years and is just one of 38 farmers targeted by animal liberationists who seek to expose cruel practices.

However, Mr Cartwright said he’d had hundreds of vet students through the farm over the years and wasn’t trying to hide anything.

“I checked with a consultant vet in Wagga, he looked and said unless we’d changed things dramatically we hadnothing to worry about,” Mr Cartwright said.

“We’ve opened our doors and if (the activists) had the decency to ask we’d probably have given them coffee, brekky and a guided tour, but like mongrel dogs they sneak in.”

Mr Cartwright isn’t alone in his criticism. For years, farmers have complained of break-ins and they were discussed at a private meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and NSW police, RSPCA and NSW Farmers last year.

A summary of the meeting said piggeries in the area, along with poultry farms in other states, were known to have been “invaded for the purpose of installing unauthorised surveillance devices, ostensibly to ‘reveal’ animal husbandry practice believed to be poor”.

Outspoken animal activist Lisa Ryan had previously told Fairfax Mediathat activists were “forced to act” when regulatory bodies failed to do so.

“Theybecome so frustrated they feel they have a moral and ethical obligation to inform the community and public about what’s going on,” Ms Ryan said.“Exposing animal abuse is a very non-violent approach. If you’ve got nothing to hide then what’s the problem?”

Mr Cartwright said the activists thought they were above the law.

“Most pig farmers I know try to do the right thing, it’s in our interest to have the animals in their best condition,” he said.

“I’ve had pigs since I could stand up, I’ve been here 35 years and when people say I don’t love these animals it makes me angry.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jun 20

Local young achiever nominated for award

Forbes High School Principal, Mr Charles Dwyer, presenting Monica Pascoe with the Caltex Best All Rounder Award in 2016.Recent Forbes High graduate, Monica Pascoe, has been nominated for the Aboriginal EducationCouncil’s Aboriginal Education Award.
Nanjing Night Net

The 18-year-old was nominated byForbes High School Aboriginal Education Officer, Barry Merritt.

Mr Merritt putforward Monica’s application based on her outstanding academic, sporting and cultural contribution throughout her secondary schooling.

During her time at FHS, Monica held a positionon the Student Representative Council, participated in sporting and cultural events and went on to becomeHouse Vice-Captain.

“Monica’s contribution to the school has been amazing. Students follow her lead and want to emulate her.

“Students in the school and wider community have benefited from Monica and her enthusiastic approach to her culture and enriching and imparting her knowledge on the younger students,” Mr Merrittsaid.

In the last two years, the goal-driven young woman has been recognised for achieving across all areas.

“Shewas always striving to attain her own personal goals, whether they were in regards to school or her personal life,” Mr Merritt said.

Whilst at FHS, Monica received theBlaze Little Memorial Award,Blue andGold Citizenship Award andCertificates of Excellence for representing her school and region at state level in both cross country and athletics.

In 2016 Monica received the Caltex Best All Rounder Award, from one of Australia’s most respected secondary education recognition programs.She also took out Forbes High School Sports Woman of the Year.

“Monica had a goal to achieve in her final years of schooling and she made the most of all available resources that could be offered to her,” Mr Merrittsaid.

During a difficult period in her life last year, Monica remained self-motivated and driven to complete her studies.

Her advice to Indigenous students going through a tough time while trying to complete their education:

“Never give up. Iknow it gets hard but there isalways a way out of it and always ways of coming up bigger. They just need to remember there isso much more out there than what’s going on in front of them,” Monica said.

Taking out the Aboriginal Education Award would be huge for Monica. “It would mean the world to me.It is hard work paying off in the end. It would be really good for our community in Forbes for someone to get that award,” she said.

After receiving several Band 5’s in her HSC, Monica has now relocated to Murrumbateman.

She willbegin an Associate Degree at ANU in Canberra this year, before going on to study accounting.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jun 20

Centrelink rorts crackdown could hit regions harder

Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters believes Centrelink’s new automated debt recovery system could unfairly target people in regional areas due to poorer communication services.
Nanjing Night Net

Over the Christmas period, she said she had been contacted by several welfare recipients in central Victoria who hadtheir payments incorrectly suspended by the new system, designed to crack down on welfare fraud.

Centrelink can now automatically cross check records with the Australian Taxation Office to detect overpayments, and sends letters requesting an explanation within three weeks.

It has raised $300 million in overpayments for the government following 169,000 reviews.

But Ms Chesters said it was a flawed system that failed to take into account a number of factors for those living in regional areas.

“Over the Christmas period I was contacted by several people who had their payments suspended. For most of them it appeared to be no fault of their own,” she said.

“Quite often people do not know they have to attend an appointment because appointment letters have not arrived before the scheduled appointment or a text message telling them to attend an appointment, they attend only to be told no appointment exists.

“Days later their payments are suspended for a ‘failure to attend’.

“It’s unfair to suspended a payment if you don’t know you have to attend an appointment.”

Several instances of incorrect recovery attempts have been reported in Australia over the Christmas period, including one woman who was informed she owed Centrelink $24,000.

The revelation led Labor to call for the system to be suspended.

Since September this year, more than 70 per cent of people who received a compliance letter have resolved the matter. Of those, 97.8 per cent did not need to provide supporting documentation.

Centrelink previously relied on manual checks to find those rorting the system.

The Coalition government has defended the automated approach, claiming there had only been 276 complaints out of the 169,000 reviews.

Human Services Minister AlanTudge said rorters will be tracked down.

The data matching techniques used to detect Centrelink fraud were also applied to people receiving other government payments, such as pensions and student payments.

This article first appeared on the Bendigo Advertiser

Jun 20

Mayors open to Supercar future round

RACE CHANCE: V8 Supercars have signalled their intention to establish an event in regional Victoria, in addition to Winton, where Tim Slade won this year.
Nanjing Night Net

BOTH Albury and Wodonga mayors Kevin Mack and Anna Speedie are open to hosting a round of the V8 Supercars championship.

Supercars chief executive James Warburton revealed a long-term plan for an event in regional Victoria earlier in December, after the final event at Sydney’s Olympic Park street circuit.

The proposed regional event will function as a replacement for the Sandown 500.

Supercars recently struck a three-year deal to continue racing at Sandown, but that contract is widely tipped to be the last with developers keen on the land.

Albury mayor Kevin Mack said it would be remiss of the two cities not to consider a bid for the event, which would likely prove to be very lucrative.

“I think we would certainly bid for it of there was an opportunity to do so,” he said.

“It would bea great event.

“It’d be up to us to make something of it, but between the two cities we would certainly have the capacity to host it.

“Certainly it’s something we’d be happy to look into.”

Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie agreed with her Albury counterpart, saying the Border was uniquely placed to host such an event.

“It would be great for Wodonga and the Border to host such a high-profile sport like the V8 Supercars,and is fitting considering the Border is home to the only regional team in Brad Jones Racing,” she said.

“Obviously there would be a lot of work to do in determining the logistics and hosting of such an event and it would not be possible without significant support but certainly we are open to having those discussions.”

Albury businessman and motorsport identity Tim Farrah believes a Supercars event would prove to be a major windfall for the Border economy.

“It’s an enormous opportunity for the region,” he said.

“Townsville have recorded an audited economic benefit of roughly $26 million dollars from their round –not too manyevents can bring that sort of money in a three-day period.

“There would be a lot of other benefits, the international and national coverage would bemassive.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.