Georgia revels in the dance

Celtic dancers Josie Davis, dancing for 10 years, and Georgia Webb who has been dancing at the Beechworth Celtic Festival for 20 years. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSONGEORGIA Webb is just as much a part of the Beechworth Celtic Festival tradition as the pipe bands and parades.
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The Irish dancer, 28, has performed at every festival since it began 20 years ago, and she’s looking forward to doing it again next month.

“I get satisfaction in knowing we are keeping the tradition going,” she said.

“I’ve been teaching dance for eight years and I love seeing the younger ones improving.”

This year’s festival will run from November 7 to 9, starting with a gala Celtic dinner on Friday night and ending with the grand parade on Sunday afternoon.

There will be a concert, markets, pipe bands and the fun Ceilidh on Saturday afternoon.

For a schedule and to buy tickets, go to beechworthcelticfestival南京夜网.au.

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Let McGowan do her duties

I AM disturbed at the vicious and seemingly orchestrated campaign against the member for Indi Cathy McGowan.
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It demeans those who are party to it and underestimates the intelligence of the electorate.

I find it unacceptable that a correspondent to The Border Mail referred to Ms McGowan as “that woman” — would “that person” like to be referred to in that way?

Long before Cathy McGowan became a politician this country bestowed on her its highest Australian award: an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her “eminent achievements and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia”.

You can’t apply for that award.

You can’t buy it.

You have to earn it over a long period.

You don’t even know about it until you receive a letter from the Governor-General’s office inviting you to accept it.

It was the culmination of her many achievements for others (often at a personal cost), including a Churchill Fellowship which has benefited the rural industry, and childcare services to rural communities.

Ms McGowan is an intelligent woman and the electorate recognised her ability by electing her to Parliament.

Mud sticks to the hands and conscience of those who throw it.

It will take a lot of scrubbing to remove the present lot.

Let police do their job and encourage the incumbent member to do hers, and we will all benefit.

— JEAN WHITLA,

Wodonga

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It’s time to get even

AFL Victoria has given the strongest indication yet equalisation in the form of salary caps and player points systems will be “fully implemented” in 2016.
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The AFL Victoria player payments working group will present its recommendations at the annual leagues conference on October 22 at Healesville.

It is shaping as a landmark gathering in the drive to curb player payments and make the state’s leagues more even.

The Ovens and Murray is one of the biggest spenders with its 10 clubs outlaying about $2.5million paying players.

AFL Victoria general manager Steven Reaper said all city and country leagues would be represented at the conference.

“A major agenda item will be implementation of a statewide set of guidelines to address the rising costs of player payments and the impact this has on clubs’ sustainability,” he said.

“Leagues will have a chance to provide feedback on the guidelines before they are most likely trialled without enforcement in 2015 with a view to full implementation in 2016.”

As part of its investigation, the working group has conducted an online survey to ascertain how much money clubs spend.

“More than 430 clubs responded to a survey on the issue, with their responses providing the basis of the working party’s proposed guidelines,” Reaper said.

The lopsided nature of the OandM prompted the formation of an action group of former coaches, players and administrators — Peter Tossol, Tim Sanson, Nic Conway, Jon Henry, Fred Longmire and Adrian Villella — during the season.

Tossol yesterday said the group would watch the October 22 announcement with interest.

“The important thing is this whole push doesn’t get bogged down in bureaucracy and red tape which can easily happen,” he said.

“We trust AFL Victoria will lead strongly on this and the best interests of all clubs across the state are served.

“The two key things from our point of view are every club believes it has a chance to compete as well as survive.

“A rigorous player points system is central to that aim.”

AFL North-East Border regional manager John O’Donohue has been part of the player payments group.

One of the major agenda items at the conference will be implementation of a statewide set of guidelines to address the rising costs … STEVEN REAPER

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War time link to square name

An updated artist’s impression of the urban square to be built in central Wodonga.PLACES Victoria has widened the possibilities for the naming of the soon-to-be constructed urban square in Wodonga to a war time connection.
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The authority in charge of the redevelopment has invited submissions from the community for a suitable name for the first public open space area to be created on the former railway land.

Suggestions were expected to be limited to the former rail precinct’s heritage or the city’s indigenous connections.

But names recognising Wodonga’s Anzac history were also encouraged as part of the 100-year anniversary of Anzac forces landing at Gallipoli next year.

The square is expected to be opened in the first half of next year.

Places Victoria precincts general manager Simon Wilson said suggestions would close on October 24.

“The name has been used as a working title during the planning phase of the project,” Mr Wilson said.

“Now that we are moving closer to commencing construction we need to give it a real name that will help create a unique character for the space.

“We want a name that resonates with the local community.

“We want the community to take pride in urban square so we strongly encourage everyone’s involvement in the naming process.”

But war time options might be limited, with Anzac and Victoria Cross already used for major roads in the city.

Also, Australian recipients of the Victoria Cross have been honoured with street names in the White Box Rise housing estate.

Wodonga’s place names committee will be involved in the final selection of the name with a recommendation forwarded to the council for approval.

The $2.3million urban square will be the first of three public open spaces to be built in Junction Place, with construction to start before Christmas.

A former Thai restaurant building and whitegoods outlet are poised to be demolished in coming days.

The council is providing $600,000 for the square and at last month’s meeting it awarded Nustone the tender for the supply of pavers for the urban square for a sum of $239,404.

Nustone has previously supplied council with natural stone paving on large landscaping projects in Church Street, High Street and Elgin Boulevard.

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Victory next on Volvo’s menu

Jenny and Stephen Tanner, of Stephen Tanner Automotive Services in Albury, yesterday met Volvo drivers Robert Dahlgren and Scott McLaughlin on their way to Sunday’s Bathurst 1000. The Tanners invited their Volvo-driving customers to meet the V8 competitors. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK
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The car is fast enough to contend for a win but it is a long day … A podium finish is a pass mark, top five would be great, but we want to win it — that’s the goal. SCOTT McLAUGHLIN

AT the same time dual Bathurst winner Jim Richards was declaring Scott McLaughlin the favourite for Mount Panorama, the young Kiwi was tucking into jam and cream scones in Albury’s Australia Park.

It’s been a breakout year for McLaughlin with Volvo Racing GRM, steering his S60 to two wins and four other podiums in the car’s debut V8 Supercars season.

But yesterday it was a chance to catch up with the fans and film for the Channel 7 package that will be part of the Bathurst 1000 coverage on Sunday.

Along with owner Garry Rogers, teammate Robert Dahlgren and the pit crew dropped in to see the faithful on the Border, including local Volvo mechanic Stephen Tanner, as the team bus made its way to the biggest race on the V8 calendar.

“We are in with a shot,” McLaughlin said.

“The car is fast enough to contend for a win but it is a long day at Bathurst as everyone knows.

“A podium finish is a pass mark, top five would be great, but we want to win it — that’s the goal.

“If we are outside the top 10 we’d be very disappointed, but we are going there with high hopes and hopefully we might be carrying a celebration hangover when we get back on this bus on Monday morning.”

McLaughlin said Bath- urst was a special event.

“The track is unbelievable, but it’s not just about the race, it’s the whole festivity about the week leading up to Bathurst,” he said.

“It’s a big road trip and being our first year at Volvo makes it pretty special as well.”

McLaughlin expects the re-surfaced 6.213-kilometre circuit to be only slightly quicker than last year.

“It has been some time since they re-surfaced it so you expect cars will go quicker, but there are people saying it will be seconds faster and I don’t think that is going to happen,” he said.

Rogers said luck would play a part.

“It’s our first year and there is a question mark about whether the car can go flat out for 1000 kilometres — we just haven’t done it before,” he said.

“There is no doubt we have the speed, the drivers and the team, but Bathurst is a long day.

“I hate to talk about luck but if things don’t go your way you just can’t win a race like this.”

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You can support June’s message

I RECENTLY met and walked with a most remarkable woman.
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June Norman and a small band of friends arrived in Wangaratta on foot on their way from Melbourne to Canberra.

June last year walked from Cairns to Canberra to demonstrate her deep concern at the mounting threats to the Barrier Reef.

Its eco-system is under siege from an unprecedented expansion of the coal industry.

What are Victorians contributing to climate change? And what are we doing about it?

The answer to the first question is a lot, the answer to the second question is not much.

Victoria is one of the largest per-capita emitters of greenhouse gases, with 50per cent of Victoria’s emissions coming from the burning of dirty brown coal.

With an election only weeks away, Victorians need to ask themselves a few questions.

Is the Liberal-National Coalition governing Victoria in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry?

Is our federal Liberal government dominated by climate science deniers? Is it fully committed to supporting a meaningful renewable energy target?

Or are our state and federal governments working together to abandon the Renewable Energy Target or water it down?

June is spreading a powerful message that wind and solar power is the future and that coal is yesterday’s technology.

Let’s get on with the job of shutting down those out-dated power plants that are putting the living planet, as we know it, at risk.

For those who would like to walk a small part of the way with June, the itinerary can be found at climatewalk.org.au.

— CASSANDRA POLLOCK,

Wangaratta

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Uniform must have respect

IN my wardrobe at home there is an Australian army uniform sporting two hard-earned stripes on the sleeves. On a shelf are my service medals and three different- coloured lanyards — one from each battalion of the Royal Australia Regiment with which I served.
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This is the same uniform that I wore as part of a guard of honour at the military funerals in Brisbane for three of the 18 young men who lost their lives for this country at the battle of Long Tan.

I wore my uniform at these funerals, not only with a heavy and solemn heart, but also with an immense pride for these young and brave Australians and for all who have served our nation in uniform in the past, as well the present and the future.

It saddens me no end today that our leaders of all services have removed the pride of wearing an Australian uniform by asking those who wear it with the respect and the pride it deserves, to now cower behind it and hide it.

I see nothing here other than a win and a strengthening morale boost for a few terrorists who will now play on this act of cowardice in the face of the enemy as a recruitment advertisement.

Desertion and cowardice in the face of the enemy were once punishable (and I believe still are) by firing squad and hiding the uniform because some might take offence towards it can only be described as cowardice.

Destroy the pride service people have in wearing a uniform and you will destroy their will to serve.

Is this truly what our leaders are after or is it that they simply fail in the field of tactics?

— ANGUS MACKAY,

Nabawa, WA

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Mark finds healing in hitting road

MARK Hore says running has changed his life.
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The Lavington resident, 48, was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year after a routine health check.

His prostate was removed, preventing the cancer from spreading.

While he’s now cancer free, Mr Hore admits the weeks and months following the diagnosis were tough.

“A lot of things go through your mind,” he said.

“I just remember going to my mum’s house and breaking down, thinking ‘why me, am I going to die?’.

“I really didn’t know.

“It was something I never expected.”

His father died of a brain tumour at 55, but Mr Hore never expected to be affected by the disease.

“I knew I’d live past 55, but in hindsight I wouldn’t have,” he said.

“I would have made age 50, but I would have been very sick.

“If it gets into your bones or around your body, you’re knackered.”

Mr Hore was surfing the internet while healing from his operation, and stumbled upon an advertisement for an Albury bootcamp which promised to teach people how to run five kilometres in eight weeks.

He took up the challenge and hasn’t looked back. He is preparing to run a half-marathon in Melbourne.

“Running has changed my life, really,” he said.

“It’s great.

“I did go through a stage — I wouldn’t call it depression — but a stage where I was sad, asking ‘why me?’.

“Running just cleared my head, it was really good for me.”

The Albury hospital worker will continue to run for as long as he avoids injury, and has already finished two half-marathons this year.

After he completes the Melbourne run next Sunday, he plans to complete a full marathon.

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Ley latest to can a rail hub at Logic

Sussan Ley says there is no logic to the idea of a rail hub at Barnawartha.
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THE member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, is the latest to oppose the creation of a rail hub at the Logic industrial estate near Barnawartha.

Ms Ley yesterday joined the debate after her state Liberal colleague in Benambra, Bill Tilley, said at the weekend he couldn’t blindly support the hub without seeing a feasibility study into the multimillion-dollar plan, which is seeking financial support from ratepayers and taxpayers.

There is already a rail hub in Ms Ley’s electorate at Ettamogah, operated by Colin Rees.

“I have absolutely no problem with healthy commercial competition,” she said.

But she asked whether a second rail hub in the same region, essentially performing the same functions, was something that should receive substantial taxpayer money.

“My guess is there is greater public demand for improved passenger services in the North East which could take priority right now,” she said.

Wodonga Council has wanted a Barnawartha rail hub since Logic’s creation in the mid 2000s.

The former Victorian Labor government offered $4million for a rail hub with the council providing $6million and the federal government asked for the balance of the project then valued at $21million.

A report on freight in the Hume region, compiled last year for the Hume Regional Development Australia committee, acknowledged hubs already existed outside its boundaries at Toc-umwal, Ettamogah and Deniliquin.

A similar centre at Logic is not specifically mentioned with only “further planning in place” for the hub recognised.

But “key actions” for Regional Development Australia include backing the major intermodal terminals and promoting planning for a network of intermodal terminals in the region.

The Woolworths distribution centre is the largest tenant at Logic.

The 60,000squaremetre warehouse operates 24 hours a day with up to 450 truck movements.

Speculation is building funding will be ann-ounced in the lead-up to the Victorian election for the Logic rail hub.

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Bid for gun shop goes to council

The site of the proposed gun shop in North Albury. ALBURY councillors will decide whether a gun shop can open in a residential area in North Albury.
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Albury Council confirmed yesterday due to “significant public interest” in the development application lodged in late August by Habitat Planning, on behalf of Toys for Big Boys Pty Ltd, it would not be decided by staff under delegated authority.

The operators are proposing to open the shop at the western end of Buckingham Street.

“A report will be presented to next week’s planning and development committee meeting making a recommendation on the proposed change of use for the premises in Buckingham Street,” the council’s planning and environment director Mich- ael Keys said.

“The report will be available from Friday and the committee will consider the report on October 13.”

The report will be presented with a staff recommendation, with the planning committee decision to be voted on by the council on October 27.

Cr Daryl Betteridge retained the planning committee chairman’s position recently.

The council wouldn’t divulge the number of submissions received on the gun shop application.

The proposal lodged with the council revealed the front part of the building would be used for firearm sales and the rear for storage and assembly of firearms from pre-manufactured parts.

All loading and unloading of goods would take place inside the shop and, in most cases, in the storage and assembly area at the back.

Three people would work at the shop, but the hours of operation weren’t definitively outlined in the application.

“The hours of operation will be the same as those for most retailing activities,” the application stated.

“The building will be secured in accordance with the requirements of the NSW Firearms Registry.”

Alterations required include window guards and reinforcement of other potential building entry points.

NSW Police officers have inspected the building and made recommendations.

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