Lamond: we can do a theatre for less

Council candidates Bob Lamond has rejected Mid-Western Regional Council general manager Warwick Bennett’s costing of $4.7 million for buying and re-opening The Regent Theatre.Mid-Western Regional Council candidate Bob Lamond has rejected general manager Warwick Bennett’s calculation of the cost of restoring the Regent Theatre and has renewed calls for council to buy the building and re-open it as a multi-purpose entertainment centre.
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Mr Lamond, who has so far based his campaign for council on the sole issue of re-opening the Regent, said both the $4.7 million cost estimate and council’s alternative proposal for trial screenings of movies in the renovated Town Hall Theatre were “ridiculous”.

“What films will he show, how often and how will he persuade major film distributors to give him current releases?” Mr Lamond asked.

“Under [this] proposal we will still be driving to Bathurst or Dubbo to see current films.”

In a report to Mid-Western Regional Council last month, Mr Bennett put the cost of converting the Regent into two 100-seat cinemas, with a stage for live performances, at $4.7 million.

He believes a cinema could be run for less than council’s “Rolls Royce” model using volunteers, as community-run theatres elsewhere have done.

The estimate, based on a purchase price of at least $700,000, included design, consultant and application fees ($70,000), construction of theatrettes ($150,000), external lift for accessibility ($250,000), upgrading toilets ($200,000), general maintenance and upgrade including painting and carpet ($400,000), theatre fit out including equipment and seating ($530,000), kiosk ($100,000) and airconditioning, electrical upgrades and fire safety ($300,000).

The theatre would also need to be fitted with digital projection equipment, as new release films will no longer be available on film from 2013.

Items including the lift, accessible toilets, electrical upgrades and fire safety are required to meet legal standards required for a public building.

Mr Lamond said in comparison to the cost of Glen Willow Regional Sporting Complex, his proposal for the Regent could be a good deal.

Although he has not put forward his own estimate of costs, Mr Lamond has previously stated the Regent could be bought and re-opened for $1.3 million.

He believes a cinema could be run for less than council’s “Rolls Royce” model using volunteers, as community-run theatres elsewhere have done.

“Yes, Mr B, their volunteers clean toilets and they have hundreds of volunteers, especially their youth and young adults,” Mr Lamond said in response to Mr Bennett’s statement that movie lovers would not want to clean toilets.

“Our community deserves the opportunity to work together with council to bring back movies at the Regent and develop over time a viable not-for-profit multi-purpose entertainment centre.

“Sure, we are going to have to ‘crawl’ and put up with no air conditioning, no heating system, the old seats etc etc.”

“Council, you must allow our community the chance to ‘Give it a go’.”

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Coolah artist’s exhibition inspired by scrap

COSMIC: Coolah blacksmith David Sherlock with a heavenly sculpture.Renowned Coolah blacksmith and metal sculptor, David Sherlock’s solo exhibition Transformation will be held from August 1 to September 23 in the Gilgandra Art Gallery which is located at the Cooee Heritage and Information Centre, Newell Highway Gilgandra.
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The official opening will be held on Saturday, August 4 at 11.30am and everyone is welcome to attend the opening.

Mr Sherlock has put together an exciting and unusual exhibition comprising sculptural pieces depicting animals, insects, birds, abstract forms and functional pieces.

Transformation refers to the use of recycled steel, mainly from old agricultural machinery or wrought iron from wagons and other waste metal and turning it into beautifully decorative and functional objects that suit the home and garden.

He has always had a fascination with the natural world and the recent Transit of Venus drew his attention to the universe and inspired his sculptures of shooting stars, rotating planets and falling stars.

Back on earth, his sculptures include a cheeky piglet, a honeyeater bird and an ancient guardian piece to protect your garden.

David’s large accumulation of scrap metal is where he draws his inspiration from.

“I will find a special piece that triggers my imagination and then comes the fun part, looking for all the other pieces that I need to make the sculpture.

“It takes many hours to create an artwork. Using an angle grinder or oxy, it’s often reshaped in the forge, cleaned and then welded together.

“Some work is finished with a high quality clear varnish, some pieces are coloured with a baked on linseed oil treatment, whilst others are left rustic.”

Mr Sherlock started making artwork 30 years ago. He has exhibited a sea eagle at Sculptures by the Sea at Bondi and is well known in the local region for the bird sculptures in the park at Dunedoo and for his magpie sculpture at Baradine.

“I just love what I do. It’s rare that I repeat the same thing. Like all good artists, you are forever changing, growing your skills and stimulating your imagination. I try to put life, expression and movement into my work,” he said.

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Farmers seek MPs’ support in rates battle

The Mudgee District Council of the NSW Farmers Association has called on Member for Orange Andrew Gee and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole to support their push for a review of farmland rates in the Mid-Western Regional Council.
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Local NSW Farmers branches have asked the local MPs to seek a meeting with the Minister for Local Government to consider options for obtaining a “more reasonable and equitable rate distribution”.

The Mudgee District Council lobbied unsuccessfully to have Mid-Western Regional Council reduce its farmland rate to a level comparable to neighbouring shires in its 2012/13 budget.

The farmland rate in the dollar is $ 0.061 compared to rates of $0.023 to $0.042 in other Central West shires.

In a letter to Mr Toole and Mr Gee, Mudgee District Council chairman Mitchell Clapham said based on Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Research Economics (ABARE) statistics, farmers in the Mid-Western Region were paying on average three per cent of gross income in council rates.

“In comparison, coal mines in the area have approval to mine 45 million tonnes annually (increasing to 51 million tonnes),” he said.

“Based on annual coal mining production of say 30 million tonnes with a gross value in excess of $3 billion, and an annual rates bill of $1.55 million, coal mining would be paying aproximately 0.05% of its gross income in rates,” he said.

“To put this in perspective, for every lamb that a fat lamb producer sells, he will pay in excess of $2 in rates.

“For every tonne of coal a coal mining company sells, they will pay $0.05 in rates.”

Mr Clapham said the NSW Farmers could see no future in continuing to lobby council and was seeking members’ support.

Mid-Western Regional Council has blamed the rates increase on the recent revaluation of regional properties and urged affected landholders to seek a review of their property valuations.

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Club Mudgee members $26,000 richer

BIG CASH PRIZE: Michelle Skinner picked the top suitcase containing $15,000 at Club Mudgee on Wednesday night. She is congratulated by (from left) Director Jenny Wallis, CEO Maureen Heywood, Director Wayne Marskell and Kellie Gant.Club Mudgee gave away a total of $26,000 on Wednesday night as they brought some game show flair to the evening.
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Wednesday was the culmination of the club’s 16-week ‘Crazy Cash Promotion’ where members filled a barrel with tickets.

On the night 12 tickets were drawn and the lucky ones picked had their choice of 12 suitcases each containing a mystery amount.

The suitcases were designed to look like those that form the basis of hit television game show Deal or No Deal.

The suitcase everyone wanted to have had $15,000 inside, others had a cool couple of thousand and the range scaled down to $200.

The tension built as one by one participants had their suitcases unlocked by Club Mudgee CEO Maureen Heywood to reveal the monetary figure held.

Several openings in and the big money went off as the $15,000 was found to be hiding in the suitcase picked at random by member Michelle Skinner.

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New medical students in Mudgee

University of Wollongong medical students Vanessa Hewitt, Alice Thomas and Michael Stone will take on duties at Mudgee Medical Centre and South Mudgee Surgery for the next year. The three students are pictured with program co-ordinator Dr Gary Moore and are the fourth intake of students from UoW for the region. Patients at Mudgee Medical Centre and South Mudgee Surgery will once again have a few new faces to get used to with medical students from the University of Wollongong starting work in Mudgee earlier this month.
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Michael Stone and Alice Thomas will be on-hand to help at Mudgee Medical Centre, while Vanessa Hewitt will hone her skills at South Mudgee Surgery over the next year.

This is the fourth year the University of Wollongong has sent its students to Mudgee as part of their course and all three admitted that Mudgee was high on their list of placement preferences.

“Mudgee was actually the first preference for all of us,” said Vanessa.

While here, the students will take part in parallel consulting with the doctors at each practice. Patients who consent to parallel consulting will have their case looked over by Michael, Alice or Vanessa first before a patient’s doctor attends the consultation and listens as the students present the patient’s case.

Regional academic co-ordinator for the medical school, Dr Gary Moore, says the students are near the end of their training, come with a lot of experience and hence become quite useful in both the hospital and the medical practices.

“It’s a real benefit for those in the community as well as the students,” he said.

“The placement gives them time to become engaged with the community. It also gives us the chance to promote rural general practice as a career path.”

Michael, Alice and Vanessa all agreed that feedback from previous students was one of the main reasons they had chosen Mudgee.

“The previous three years have all had good things to say about Mudgee. We haven’t heard a bad word about it,” Michael said.

“And so far everything they’ve said has been true,” Alice added.

The culture surrounding the Mudgee region was another draw for the three students, with each looking to “immerse themselves in the community” according to Michael.

“I think we’ll have a really good work/life balance while living here,” Alice said, something that all three agree is hard to find whilst living and working in the city because of the different workloads of the doctors there.

“They come to the community for a year and we really hope that because of their experiences while here that they’ll come back in the future”, Mudgee Medical Centre Practice manager Colleen Best said.

“It’s a fantastic experience for them.”

Mrs Best says that with many of the Mudgee region’s doctors thinking about retirement within the next five years, the region has to make sure we have doctors for the future.

While in Mudgee, the three students will be staying in the University of Wollongong student doctor house on Lions Drive

“The house has made it all the more welcoming,” Michael said.

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Wet start for three-day ride from Mudgee to Young

Robert Shutz sets out on the first leg of his 330km bike ride surrounded by members of The Mudgee Bushwalking and Cycle Club. Robert is raising money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation by riding from Mudgee to Young. “It might be a bit of a wet start.”
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Might is a bit of an understatement judging by the rain pouring down across Mudgee on Thursday morning. Robert Shutz had been hoping for a clear day as he began his three-day bike ride from Mudgee to Young but Mother Nature seems to have had a different plan.

“I stopped looking at the forecast a few days ago,” Mr Shutz said.

Mr Shutz set out from Petries Mitre 10 on Thursday morning for the start of a three-day bike ride to raise money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Mr Shutz will have ridden around 330km by the time he makes it to Petries Mitre 10 in Young.

Mr Shutz first started riding in November after getting out of hospital and making the choice to get fit. He decided to ride from Mudgee to Young because he “had to have a goal to work towards” and choose the route because he had to “pick a figure.”

Members of the Mudgee Bushwalking and Cycle Club turned up to escort Robert out of town.

“We’ll ride with Robert as long as the weather lets us,” said one member as they prepared to brave the wet.

Robert expected to arrive in Bathurst around 5:30pm on Thursday afternoon. He will continue from Bathurst to Cowra on Friday and then ride from Cowra to Young on Saturday morning.

A support vehicle driven by Mr Shutz’s mother Margaret will travel with Robert throughout the entire journey.

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More than 100 trees illegally cut at Avisford Reserve

Some of the 119 trees illegally felled in and around Avisford Nature Reserve.More than 100 trees have been illegally cut down along a fire trail at Avisford Nature Reserve on the western edge of Mudgee.
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“It’s absolute carnage – a huge mess,” said National Parks and Wildlife Mudgee Area Manager David Crust. “Someone has taken a chainsaw and an axe to 45 trees within the nature reserve and another 74 along the boundary.”

NPWS employees uncovered the 45 trees in the reserve during a routine patrol, and were alerted to further trees cut down along the reserve boundary by a mountain bike rider.

“This has been quite a bit of work, so it was obviously premeditated,” Mr Crust said.

“Whoever it was must have been up there for a day or two.”

Mr Crust said the trees appeared to have been cut down in a deliberate attempt to block a fire trail through the reserve.

“This trail is very important as a fire control line and is regularly used by walkers and mountain bike riders as well as providing access to private property,” he said.

He said the trail was also used illegally by trail bike riders and 4 wheel drivers, which the NPWS is working with council and police to control.

“Avisford Nature Reserve is home to several endangered species, including the Capertee Stringybark which is listed as vulnerable under the Threatened Species Conservation Act,” Mr Crust said.

“NPWS officers are examining whether any Capertee Stringybarks have been cut down; regardless, there are heavy fines for cutting down trees and damaging vegetation within a nature reserve or national park.”

Many of the fallen trees fell into other trees or landed on power lines, and Mr Crust said the combination of the trees’ size and the way they fell meant the culprit was lucky not to have been hurt.

“The NPWS wants to protect our natural environment and encourage people to look after their own neighbourhoods and environments, so we are appealing to the public for any information that might help us track down who is responsible. Someone may have seen something, heard the chainsaw or noticed something suspicious,” he said.

“Hopefully, someone can come forward with some information that can help us track down whoever did this. Anyone with information is asked to call NPWS in Mudgee on 6370 9000.

“The popularity of Avisford Nature Reserve has been increasing over recent years, with many people using the reserve. Bush walking and mountain bike riding are welcome activities but trail bikes, horse riding, dogs and firearms are not permitted.”

Mr Crust said many of the trees would regrow from their stumps, and in the long term the reserve would regenerate naturally.

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Region on show as Mudgee hosts tourism awards

Helen Harwood is excited that Fairview ArtSpace is a finalist in this weekend’s CountryLink Inland Tourism Awards, to be announced in Mudgee this weekend. When Parklands Resort hosts the 2012 CountryLink Inland Tourism Awards tomorrow night (Saturday, July 28) it could be one of the largest ceremonies held for the annual awards.
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Organiser Belinda King said ticket sales suggested Mudgee’s first time hosting the event would be a big night.

“It’s shaping up really well. We’ve sold 245 tickets, which is fantastic,” she said. “It’s going to be one of the biggest awards nights we’ve ever had and everyone’s really excited, looking forward to a great weekend.”

The awards are held annually to acknowledge excellence in the four regional areas of NSW; Central, Inland, Murray and Riverina.

“The awards culminate in a great fun night that recognises how important regional tourism is,” Ms King said.

“They’re really a business development tool. For a lot of businesses it’s their annual ‘check-up’ and it makes them take a strategical look at everything from marketing to business plans to customer service.

“It’s a way of taking an outsider’s look into their business and seeing how they can improve.

“The awards night and the end result of winning would be the icing on the cake but for a lot of people it’s about the work that goes into it to get to that point.”

Of the 42 finalists announced earlier this month, seven are based in Mudgee.

Ms King said Mudgee’s strong showing in the awards and its support of the event was good to see.

“We’re really excited that Mudgee has got seven finalists and it’s also really encouraging to see that so many people in the town are coming along to support the evening,” she said.

“We’ve had a really good response and a huge number of tables booked from Mudgee, in terms of being a host town they’ve been wonderful, great to deal with and ticked all the boxes.”

One of the seven Mudgee finalists is Helen Harwood of Fairview ArtSpace, who has had a stellar six months after also winning her category in the 2012 Clock Awards.

Ms Harwood said she was pleased to be able to compare Fairview to its industry peers and see that the gallery was healthy and headed in the right direction.

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Mudgee police briefs

This page will be updated as soon as new Police briefs are available, check back hourly for more news.
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Mudgee Guardian Facebook page

Mudgee LAC – NSW Police Force Facebook page

Mendooran Sector

A residential address in Benewa street was broken into between 3pm on Saturday and 3pm Monday. Entry was gained by smashing a window to the side of the house. Once inside the offender/s have stolen a quantity of money. Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspicious in Benewa street between these times.

Coonabarabran Sector

A quantity of drugs and other property were allegedly seized by Police after they executed a search warrant in the Coonabarabran township yesterday afternoon. Police will allege that they seized drugs believed to be amphetamines and cannabis as well as implements used in the administration of drugs. A number of other items including a police scanner, an Ipad, a chainsaw as well as other items were also allegedly seized. Further enquiries will be made and possible charges laid as a result.

Coolah Sector

A 55 year old Coolah male will appear in Court at a later date after being allegedly detected by police driving a motor vehicle on the Merriwa road at Cassilis at about 11.45pm on Saturday evening. He was stopped and breath tested which allegedly returned a positive reading. During a subsequent search, Police will allege that they located a small quantity of cannabis in his jacket pocket.

Mudgee Sector

A 21 year old Mudgee man will be summonsed to appear at the Mudgee Local Court after Police allegedly located a small quantity of drugs in his wallet. Police will allege that the male, and another male were stopped in a motor vehicle on the Ulan road just near the intersection of Henry Lawson Drive in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Cannabis caution to be issued

Police will allege that a small amount of cannabis was located when a motor vehicle was stopped and searched in Church street Mudgee in the early hours of Monday morning. A 30 year old and an 18 year old male will receive cannabis cautions in relation to the cannabis. A 48 year old Charlestown male was charged in relation to the same offence.

Brief case and mobile phone stolen

Between 6.45pm and 6.50pm on Sunday 29 July, a motor vehicle was broken into whilst parked in Douro street, in front of the High School. As a result, a brief case containing personal papers and a Samsung Galaxy S2 mobile phone were stolen. The front door of the vehicle was unlocked at the time.

Man charged with assault at reserve

A 53-year-old Mudgee man has received a Court Attendance Notice for Common Assault, Intimidation and Offensive Language following an alleged incident in the Avisford Nature Reserve on Sunday, July 22.

It is alleged that the male verbally abused the victim before spitting on them and instructing the horse he was riding to move forward into the victim.

He will appear at Mudgee Local Court on October 17.

Break and enter at Mudgee businesses

Between midnight and 1am on Friday, July 27 unknown persons broke into a general store in Market Street, Mudgee.

Damage was done to the premises but at this stage it appears nothing was stolen. Unknown persons also attempted to gain entry into a business premises in Byron Place.

Driver to appear in Mudgee court

A 27-year-old Mudgee woman has received a Court Attendance Notice for Disqualified Driver after police stopped her on the night of Tuesday, July 24, for a random breath test.

The woman will appear in Mudgee Local Court on September 19.

Woman charged with drink driving

A 49-year-old Mudgee woman was stopped in Bawden Road, Mudgee for a random breath test on Tuesday evening, July 24.

The woman had a positive roadside breath test and later returned a breath analysis reading of 0.159.

She has received a Court Attendance Notice to attend Mudgee Local Court on 19 September 2012.

Police are investigating the theft of seven firearms from a property at Mudgee last weekend

Sometime between 4pm on Sunday, July 22, and 12.30pm on Monday, July 23, an unknown number of people forced their way into a shed on the Edgell Lane property.

The thieves ransacked the machinery shed and stole seven firearms stored in a gun safe.

Police from Mudgee Local Area Command established a crime scene which was examined for forensic evidence.

The licensed firearms stolen are two Lithgow .303 calibre rifles, a Winchester .22 calibre rifle, a Chas Boswell 12 gauge shotgun, a Sako .222 calibre rifle, a Brno calibre rifle and a single barrel shotgun.

Anyone with information about the theft or who might be offered the firearms is urged to contact Mudgee Police Station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Warning over threatening SMS

Police are warning the community that there has been a large number of mobile phone services in NSW that have received SMS messages demanding the payment of money. The messages appear in the following form or similar;

“Sum1 paid me to kill you. get spared, 48 hrs to pay $5000. If you inform the police or anybody, death is promised… Email me now [email protected]南京夜网”

These SMS messages are a scam and not to be responded to in any way. If you receive one of these, or similar messages, please contact your local police station or the Police Assistance Line on 131444.

Man fined for refusing to quit pub

A 41-year-old Mudgee man will be receiving an infringement notice for failing to quit a Mudgee licensed premises in the early hours of last Saturday morning. Police allege that he was seen to be aggressive towards security staff after being refused entry due to his level of intoxication. After being directed to leave the area on numerous occasions by police, the male became aggressive towards Police.

Police test 1224 for drugs, alcohol

Mudgee Police and the Traffic Technology Section conducted a random breath and drug testing operation last Thursday and Friday.

Over the two days, police conducted 1003 random breath tests and 221 random drug tests.

Police detected 1 person for low range PCA and four people tested positive for drugs

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Zone’s showjump champs

CHAMPIONS: (l to r) Maddie Cox, Savannah Mealing, and Lucy Barton at the recent NSW Pony Club State Showjumping Championships. 240712/0613Dunedoo and Mudgee Pony Clubs were represented at the NSW Pony Club State Showjumping Championships recently.
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Dunedoo’s Lucy Barton and Maddie Cox joined Mudgee’s Savannah Mealing in Nyngan during the July school holidays to represent Zone 6 Pony Club.

The Zone 6 area covers Coolah, Dunedoo, Gulgong, Hargraves/Triamble, Mudgee and Rylstone.

About 130 riders attended to vie for the Ranvet State Showjumping Championships.

The weekend commenced with Trot Up where teams are inspected on their presentation and fitness of the horses. A lot of work goes into looking as spectacular as these girls did. All three girls rode brilliantly.

Maddie placed first, third, ninth and 10th in her four events, giving her an overall place of third in the Under 13’s B-grade Championship.

Lucy placed second, seventh, and then collected two firsts to be crowned champion rider (highest point score) in under 13’s restricted C-grade.

Savannah placed first, third, second, and third to also win the Champion rider in the under 15-17’s restricted B-grade.

Zone 6 spokesperson and Hargraves/Triamble Pony Club president Jackie Perring said the weekend saw tough competition and the girls did well to place in every one of their events

The three girls brought home 12 ribbons and two champion ribbons.

“This was a fantastic effort from the girls. A special thank you needs to go to the families who take the time to take their children to competitions at various locations so that they can gain the experience to compete at these State levels,” Perring said.

For sport as it happens around the region

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