PMK governing council meet postponed

The PMK has postponed its much-expected governing council meeting, planned to be held on January 25, to January 31. While the leadership was not reachable, party sources said it may have wanted to wait and see the developments in the AIADMK after the likely return of influential former leader V.K. Sasikala to the city on January 27.

The party leadership is expected to make a decision about the future of its alliance with the AIADMK, as the ruling party is yet to respond to PMK’s demand that Vanniyars be provided internal reservation in education and jobs, within the MBC quota.

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Richmond Valley Council announce Aust Day nominees

Richmond Valley Council has announced their Australia Day award nominees ahead of their celebrations in Coraki to mark the occasion.

Coraki Memorial Park will be host to RVC’s Australia Day celebrations which include a full program of activities as well as a citizenship ceremony and an award ceremony.

“Each year council elects to hold the Richmond Valley Australia Day celebrations in a different town or village to celebrate the uniqueness of all corners of the Richmond Valley,” Richmond Valley Council mayor Robert Mustow said.

“This year it’s Coraki’s turn, and I couldn’t be prouder to celebrate this important day in such a fantastic setting.”

This year’s awards include Citizen of the Year; Volunteer of the Year, and Young Sportsperson of the Year.

Nominees include: Stuart Holm, Paul Cowles, and Michelle Pagotto for Volunteer of the Year; Trish Brims, Gwendolyn Gray and Paul Bengtson for Citizen of the Year; Sky-Maree Oldham, Lachlan Coe, Ella Keep, and Connor Turner for Young Sportsperson of the Year.

“I look forward to seeing residents and visitors joining me for these important celebrations,” Cr Mustow said.

Updates to the event program will also be published to the Richmond Valley Australia Day Facebook page

The day wraps up at 1pm so people can continue their celebrations at local businesses or with friends and family for a backyard barbecue at home.

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Adelaide Oval hotel dog Charli’s canine attacker found and euthanased by council

A Staffordshire bull terrier cross that fatally mauled a puppy that was recruited to welcome guests to the new Adelaide Oval hotel has been euthanased, almost three months after the attack.

Charli, a 20-week-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was killed in late October when it was attacked by another off-leash dog in the north-eastern Adelaide suburb of Hampstead Gardens.

The attack happened just a month after Charli starred in the opening of the Adelaide Oval hotel.

Authorities launched an appeal to find the dog responsible for the attack and its owners.

Witnesses had reported seeing a man, woman and child with a Staffordshire bull terrier cross with a dark coat and white markings that attacked the puppy.

The street in Hampstead Gardens where Charli was attacked.(ABC News: David Frearson)

The City of Port Adelaide Enfield today confirmed that investigators had found the dog and its owner in the Hampstead Gardens area.

“In serious dog attacks such as this one, community safety officers obtain a warrant to seize the dog involved, which occurred in this instance.

An extremely adorable brown and white Cavalier King Charles spaniel in a person's arms.
The dog that attacked Charli was deemed to be “unduly dangerous”.(Supplied: Adelaide Oval Hotel)

“Following the seizure of the dog and a full investigation, it was determined that the dog was unduly dangerous in accordance with the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995.

“As a result of this, a destruction order was issued and the dog was euthanased this week.”

While the dog has been put down, it is still not clear if its owner will face any penalties.

“Our first priority was the seizure of the offending dog and the outcome of the dog destruction order,” the council said.

“A decision has not yet been made about penalties for breaches of the act.”

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Northern Land Council opposes NT park entry fee plan, citing tourism impact

One of the Northern Territory’s most powerful land councils is opposing the NT Government’s introduction of national park entry fees for now, citing the impact it could have on tourism during the pandemic.

The NT Government has confirmed it will start charging international and interstate visitors entry fees to popular Top End tourism drawcards such as Litchfield National Park during the next financial year.

The Government says the entry fees will not apply to Territorians taking a day trip.

But Marion Scrymgour, the chief executive of the Northern Land Council (NLC), said the peak body for the Top End’s traditional owners “did not support the introduction of park-use fees at all NT parks at this time”.

“Mainly because of the negative effect that could have on the tourism industry, in particular the many Aboriginal tourism operators working in the NT Parks estate,” Ms Scrymgour said.

“The NLC accepts that there may come a time — particularly once the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have decreased — when the NT Government should consult on park-use fees.”

Marion Scrymgour says during a global pandemic is not the time to introduce park entry fees.(Supplied: Northern Land Council)

Some traditional owners from around the Litchfield National Park have cautiously welcomed the move towards fees, however only under the proviso there is sufficient consultation and transparency.

Koongarakan traditional owner Helen Bishop said fees would be “good”, providing all of the revenue from them went towards park management and heritage protection.

“It would only be good if they’re going to set up a system that’s going to be recognising the traditional interests in that land,” Ms Bishop said.

Traditional owner Helen Bishop, wearing glasses, looks towards the camera, with green foliage in the background.
Koongurrukun traditional owner Helen Bishop wants to see a representative body set up to oversee where the fee revenue is spent.(ABC News: Matt Garrick)

Calls for new body to add oversight

Ms Bishop said she wanted to see a new representative body set up to provide oversight on exactly where future fee revenue would be spent — an idea echoed by other traditional owners.

Mak Mak Marranunggu traditional owner Peter Henwood said he wanted to see a new board formed that included stakeholders from the region, including station owners and tourism operators.

“I believe if we have a board, or a type of board where everyone has a voice at the table, then it would be more transparent all around,” Mr Henwood said.

Peter Henwood, with a long beard, purple shirt and glasses, looks out over a green backyard.
Mak Mak Marranunggu traditional owner Peter Henwood wants to see consultation and transparency.(ABC News: Matt Garrick)

A spokeswoman for NT Parks Minister Selena Uibo said the Government would be “consulting with traditional owners, tourism operators and other stakeholders about a new online booking system and fee arrangements” in the coming weeks.

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Council to sell off assets

Clarence Valley Council are on the lookout for a licenced real estate agent to auction off three Lower River properties.

The expression of interest was announced late last month on the council website with two properties in Short St, Maclean and another in Park St, Ilarwill to go under the hammer.

“The property at Ilarwill was a former Sewer Treatment Plant, which has been remediated and 2 and 4 Short Street Maclean are properties that Clarence Care and Support operated from when it was under the auspice of Council,” Acting General Manager Laura Black said.

“All three properties are surplus to needs and Council has resolved they are to be sold by auction.”

Ms Black said the sale of these properties was the subject of a Council report in December 2020 in which “Council embarked on a property rationalisation program following amalgamation of four general purpose councils and two water authorities to form Clarence Valley Council in 2004.”

Expressions of interest submissions are required to address the following criteria:

  • A real estate licence
  • Marketing proposal
  • Marketing period and proposed auction date
  • Remuneration or commission rates including schedule of associated costs.

A copy of the contracts and required information will be given to the successful applicant.

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Wodonga and Henty shows called off due to COVID, bushfires and council works | The Border Mail

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The show will not go on in Wodonga or Henty, with a horror 2020 causing both towns to cancel this year’s events. Wodonga Show secretary Vanessa Bartling said 2020 was a heart-breaking year with bushfires, the pandemic and restrictions leaving the society unable to operate the caravan park they need to generate funds. For more than eight months the society had no income as the showground was transformed first into an evacuation and relief centre to house those displaced in the Black Summer fires and later into a COVID-testing clinic. “We thought we’d be right at Christmas time, we opened up the caravan park but next minute there’s a COVID testing clinic on site,” she said. “It’s been a really rough year.” IN OTHER NEWS: Mrs Bartling said the committee was devastated about the cancellation of the March show but had no other option. “There’s nothing we can do but grin and bear it,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking for us. “We love to run the show because we run it for the people of Wodonga… it’s heartbreaking because we feel we’re letting people down.” The society applied for grants through the government’s Supporting Agricultural Shows scheme but because the 2020 event was unaffected by COVID they were unsuccessful. It will be the second time in the annual event’s 74 year history the show will not run. Similarly, the Henty Agricultural Show schedule for February will not go ahead for just the second time in its 116 year run. Society secretary Kerry Small said council’s redevelopment of the Henty Sportsground meant neither the football nor the show could be hosted on the ground until after March. Without being able to run the horse events, the show wouldn’t be the same, Mrs Small said. However the final death knell was the fear COVID-19 would spread to the small town. “We decided it wasn’t worth the risk,” Mrs Small said. “It’s disappointing because we’ve only missed one in the whole time the show has been running, in the war years. “We’re very sorry we’ve called it off but it’s out of our hands.” Both Mrs Bartling and Mrs Small called for their respective communities to come out and support them in 2022 when the annual events start again.


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Council provides ammunition for smashing windows


A long-time businessman says the council is inadvertently providing the missiles used to break windows in the Mall.

Darren Burton says he will be standing for council in the local government election later this year, partly in a bid to sharpen its response to vandalism.

He is the owner of the icecream parlour Uncle Edys – now closed – at the southern end of the Mall where vandals break loose pavers and smash windows with them.

The shop was the target 46 times in the past four and a half years. Each window cost $900.

There is a large number of CCTV cameras in that spot yet they seem to yield no useful information, he says.

He discussed the issue with Council CEO Robert Jennings some months ago.

He says Mr Jennings declined to provide compensation but promised to ensure the pavers of the Mall – a council responsibility – would be fixed in a way that prevented them from being used as missiles.

“It won’t happen again,” Mr Burton quotes Mr Jennings as saying.

Mr Burton says nothing was done, and now Mr Jennings has not responded to several requests for further discussions.

“He was paying lip service to me,” says Mr Burton.

While the shop has been closed for some time, he is still paying rent.

The Alice Springs News is seeking comment from Mr Jennings.

Mr Burton says the council needs to focus on “Roads, Rates and Rubbish” rather than worrying about which “which flags fly on what hill.”

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Albury, Greater Hume and Federation among council issued with total fire ban | The Border Mail

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A total fire ban has been issued for Albury and the wider southern and eastern Riverina region on Sunday, December 27. Forecast hot and windy weather has increased the fire danger in several parts of NSW. IN OTHER NEWS: Council areas affected by the ban are Albury, Coolamon, Greater Hume, Junee, Lockhart, Wagga Wagga, Berrigan, Edward River, Federation, Murray River and southern parts of Murrumbidgee. Residents in those areas are asked to review their bush fire survival plan and know what they will do if threatened by fire.


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Joondalup council secures Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry boss as new CEO

“You can be a global city and still be located near one of the most isolated capital cities in the world being Perth.

“The tyranny of distance does not exist like it used to, that’s something I’m confident Joondalup can take full advantage of.”

Mr Pearson said the last 15 months had shown how important going digital was for commerce and the community.

“That’s one of the things I’ll sit down with my economic development team when I take over the reins and understand with them where the best opportunities are,” he said.

The new chief executive pointed to how Joondalup was already at the forefront of the digital era with a successful cyber security program at its Edith Cowan University.

The city only has five years to take advantage of the program, however, with the course set to move to a new Perth CBD campus in 2025.

Joondalup is one of the fastest growing population centers in greater Perth.

Aspects of the local economy which will need a boost coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic include tourism, according to Mr Pearson.

“Creative and imaginative ways of boosting and sustaining that as we recover from the pandemic are going to be really important,” he said.

Mr Pearson said he had the skills to be effective in a short period of time once starting a new job.

“No doubt the council will be keen for me to put my networks to good use and I know people in my networks will be interested in the opportunities in Joondalup,” he said.

“When people have found out about my new role, quite a number of them already know about Joondalup and know about it in the most positive ways.

“That’s as good a sign as any Joondalup has profile.”

Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said Mr Pearson was an experienced candidate with business and government nous.

“Mr Pearson’s experience working with all tiers of government as well as his proven business
acumen ensured he was the standout candidate after a rigorous selection process,” he said.

“He articulated his vision for Joondalup, outlining who we are, where we are aiming to go as a city and how he will help to take us there.”

Mr Pearson’s first day at the city is slated for March 15.

He replaces long-serving chief executive Garry Hunt who finished up after 16 years at the city on Friday.

Mr Pearson is set to earn $360,555 a year – more than WA Premier Mark McGowan’s annual salary – with his contract in place until March 2026.

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Brisbane mansion Lamb House to be sold by council over unpaid rates after years of uncertainty

There has been a breakthrough in the future of the heritage-listed property known as Lamb House, with Brisbane City Council confirming it will take steps to auction it by March.

The Kangaroo Point mansion has been unoccupied for years and has become a haven for squatters.

The once-grand house is now badly dilapidated with rotting timber, holes in the roof and ceiling and an overgrown garden.

The owner of the 118-year-old property, Joy Lamb, failed to meet the December 16 deadline to pay at least three years’ worth of rates bills.

The exterior of Lamb House has fallen into disrepair, making a haven for squatters.(Supplied)

In a statement, a council spokesman said it “worked in good faith with the owner for many years and gave the owner every chance to repay their unpaid rates”.

“We only ever take the next step of notice of intention to sell if all other avenues have been exhausted,” he said.

“On the 1 September, [the] council resolved to recoup outstanding rates owed by the owner of Lamb House.

“To do this, [the] council is required to follow the statutory processes outlined by the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012 (Sections 132 to 136).”

A mansion with a mouldy roof fallen in.
Brisbane City Council says a notice of intention to sell was a last resort.(Supplied)

It said, as part of the process, the council issued the owner with a Notice of Intention to Sell on September 16, where the owner was given three months to pay the outstanding rates.

“We will now continue to follow the steps outlined in the regulation, which requires [the] council to commence action for sale within three months,” the council spokesman said.

“We understand the Public Trustee has been appointed to represent the owner and will now work with them as this process progresses.”

Joy Lamb ‘very sad’

Owner Ms Lamb said she had not paid the rates bill because she blamed the construction of nearby houses for damage to the structure.

“It’s been subjected to illegal rock breaking in this day and age, when it was completed in 1903, founded directly to the rock,” she said.

“I mean, it suffered vibration damage.”

A black and white image of a mansion.
Joy Lamb says she is considering her legal options, with the house remaining in the family since it was built in the 1900s.(Supplied: State Library of Queensland)

Mrs Lamb said she was considering her legal options.

According to the council regulations, once a property is sold, the proceeds would be used to pay any outstanding land tax, rates and fees with the remainder going to the owner.

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