Monthly Archives: December 2018

Accused dealer extradited

Queensland arrest: Daniel McKirdy was extradited to NSW by New England detectives and taken to Armidale Police Station where he was charged and refused bail. A MAN has been extradited from Queensland to face charges he cultivated more than 1400 cannabis plantsfour years ago in the New England.
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Daniel James McKirdy allegedly skipped court in Armidale in 2014 on five drug-related charges stemming from an illegal haul seized by police three years earlier.

McKirdy is facing charges of cultivating a large commercial quantity of cannabis, supplying a prohibited drugs and three counts of possessing a prohibited drug.

He was due to stand trial in Armidale District Court on August 18, 2014, but he failed to appear.

Judge Clive Jeffreys issued a warrant for his arrest.

New England Acting Inspector Matt Crotty said NSW police were alerted to McKirdy’s location in Queensland last week.

“New England detectives were alerted by interstate counterparts that a man had been arrested in Logan in relationto alleged property offences,” he told The Leader.

“That accusedappeared in Beenleigh Magistrates Courton November 11 where extradition proceedings were commenced.”

Detectives travelled to Queensland where they were successful in McKirdy’s extradition.

“The accused was taken into the custody of New England detectives and transported toNSW where he wascharged by virtue of the bench warrant at Armidale Police Station,” Acting Inspector Crotty said.

“He appeared at Armidale Local Court where he was refused bail by the court.”

He made no application for bail during an appearance in Coffs Harbour District Court where Judge Laura Wells remanded McKirdy into custody with a new trial date to be set after another mention of the case later this month.

McKirdy was arrested at a property near Tenterfield on January 19, 2011 by police from the Target Action Group and New England Criminal Investigation.

Officers raided properties at Liston where 1140 cannabis plants were seized along with equipment used to cultivate cannabis.

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Success on ‘Logan Listens’

FUN AND CLEAN: Holly Thompson, 7, is just one of many residents who enjoy parks throughout our region – a maintained council facility listed as a top priority for residents on the ‘Logan Listens’ survey. The latest ‘Logan Listens’ survey has revealed more than 77 per cent of local participants are satisfied with Logan City Council services.
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Throughout the month of September, more than 800 residents –from both urban and rural areas–were asked to score council facilities and provide feedback on what the local governing body could improve on.

City Treasurer Trevina Schwarz said residents were least satisfied with the amount of public transport throughout the region, as well as road maintenance in the area.

Parks, playgrounds, cemeteries and libraries were noted as the most satisfactory council facilities.

“It’s important to know where council is doing great, and what facilities and services we can improve,” councillor Schwarz said.

“We’ve increased theroads maintenance budget every year in response to the results of this survey, as well as we have for parks –plus we can see what other facilities council needs to put funding towards in the 2017 to 2018 budget.

“I think it’s a disservice to the public to say that we’ve hit the bench mark, when there’s always room to improve.”

The survey also revealed that supporting local business, attracting new business, protecting bushland and wildlife, waste collection, disaster management,and undertaking community safety programs werehigh priorities for residents.

“Everything seems to be trending upwards in terms of satisfaction, but there is always room for improvement,” councillor Schwarz said.

Mayor Luke Smith said he was pleased with the survey results –in its sixth year.

“Council returned its most impressive results to date (…) so we are very pleased that the people surveyed this time around have continued to say we are doing a good job,” he said.

“What’s really pleasing for me is that the satisfaction with Logan’s performance in 22 out of 26 key service areas –including waste collection, community consultation and parking enforcement – was better than other comparable metropolitan councils.”

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What’s on your mind? Letters

Arson awareness and information on the Southern Highlands Renal Appeal are the focus of the latest letters to the editor.Arson overlooked?Probably the first bad fire of this season, the blaze at Cranebrook, was deliberately lit, with young men arrested.
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In our own area, we have already seen fires at the historic Maltings, Mittagong, and the Goulburn Orphanage, become subject to investigation.

Our fire service is excellent, but their public service announcements concentrate on gutters, rubbish and having a fire plan.

All essential, but arson, which the Australian Institute of Criminology site indicates could be responsible for half of the approximately 52,000 bushfires a year in Australia,with those fires being deliberately lit or suspicious, is never a real focus. It is as if Australians believe it is just nature’s way that warm weather means immediate fires. Not so.

While in the USA, I was impressed with states which ran public service announcements in hot weather. The messages alerted the community about suspicious behaviour, asked parents to keep an eye on their children, especially in school holidays, and informed people of heavy penalties for deliberately lit fires.

Unfortunately, bored youths are often the culprits. We already have media warnings on pool fencing and litter, so warnings about the crime of arson, should be simple.

I have been in touch many times with NSW Emergency Services Ministers and others who could look at this. After all, arson often means the deaths of people, including firefighters, death of wildlife and domestic pets, and loss of property and bushland, butthey do not seem to believe public media warnings can help here.

Even though Victoria now alerts the community, it is disappointing that I was told by a NSW authority that people know the penalties for arson already, as they are given at Rural Fire Service press conferences.

I beg to differ, as most people know exactly the cost of, say, parking fines, but how many of your readers know that penalties for arson can be ten to fourteen years jail?I have contacted Stephen Jones MP and am contacting Jai Rowell MP, as the more people who understand the truth about arson, the safer the area will be.

Susan JohnsonBowralRenal appeal answersThere has been articles published recently in some local media concerning the activities of the Southern Highlands Renal Appealand some of itscommittee members.

The facts concerning the Renal Appeal are:

In 2001 representatives of local Lions and Rotary clubs, together with carers and interested persons formed the SHRA.In 2002 South West Sydney Area Health Service (SWSAHS) agreed to fully support the appeal and establish a fivechair Renal Dialysis Unit and to finance recurring costs.To ensure community funds were not sent out of the shire, the committee set rigid conditions within the Trust Deed restricting the use of funds.SWSAHS had a change of mind and is no longer committed to funding the Dialysis Unit at Bowral District Hospital.The Committee is seeking legal adviceto determine the implications of changing the Trust Deed to enable funds to be utilized within the Shire for health related purposes.It isdisappointing when professionals including solicitors and accountants donate significant time and effort into assisting the local community organisations only to be criticised.These detractors should take a good hard look at themselves and also the number of hours volunteers donate to the community. Without volunteers our community would be significantly worse off.Decent members of the community should focus their energy on ensuring government supports community efforts instead of discouraging volunteers from making a difference.

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Hurst’s home truths

Peter Hurst is a homegrown success story. Over 30 years operating Hurst Homes, Mr Hurst has forged a reputation as both a leading builder and a passionate industry advocate. He spoke with The DAabout why honesty and authenticity are the building blocks of any great career.
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BUILDING SUCCESS: Peter Hurst of Hurst Homes says a work ethic and attention to detail have helped him achieve success.

What was your first job?

I worked for my dad in his transport depot business from a young age. I helped deliver beer to all the pubs in the main street. It really taught me the value of a work ethic –if you want to achieve something, you need to put your head down and your bum up.

How did you get the idea for the business?

I always thought I had more to offer than just being a carpenter. I remember when I started, we launched a home and land package in Glenfield that sold for $95,000. We’re locally owned and operated and the buck stops with us. Customers have a local contact and relationship. We’re not coming in from a metro area with no real skin in the game.

What’s the best professional advice you’ve been given?

Assumption is the root of all evil –communication is massive. We try and be as transparent as possible. We let customers be educated to make their own decisions. Building a house is an emotional journey for people and you have to respect that.

What are the main challenges facing your business?

The changing media landscape over the last five years has made it a challenge to get our message across. Land supply in Wagga has always also been a big issue. There’s also lots of competition here.

How do you balance your work and home life?

We’ve got four kids and that balance can be hard to achieve. I go into work nearly every day and work is so accessible now with technology. Christmas is a pretty crucial period for our family; it’s a shutdown period and we try and get away on holiday. I’m probably doing 70 hours a week but self-employment still gives you some flexibility. I make sure I go to school presentations and other milestone events, and I coach my young fella’s footy team.

Where would you like your business to be in 20 years?

Good question. People always talk about succession planning but I don’t know if that’s applicable to us. I’d hate to see all the processes we’ve put in place wasted so I’d like to take on a mentoring role eventually.

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GP to be demolished

POPULAR Bella Vista doctor Walid “Wally” Jammal will have tomovehis general practice clinicafter theJoint Regional Planning Panel approved the decision to demolish and replace the building he leases.
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Dr Jammal has run Hills Family General Practice for 16 years atBella Vista Drive, Bella Vista and has 11,000 patients in his books.

He now has the tough decision to shut down or relocate, as his premises will be replaced with a three-storey mixed-use development consisting of 25 units, 11 attached dwellings, ground floor retail and 146 parking spaces.

“The decision is not within my control, and as a tenant, I recognise that,” Dr Jammal said.

“I acknowledge this might cause some difficulty and disadvantage for many of my patients.

“Wewill have to relocate. I’ve been here for 16 years and been part of the community.

“Being here for so long, having to move may causes some emotional turmoil,” he said.

Two months ago,Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited Dr Jammal’s clinic to launch Health Care Homes, which is designed to improve care for people with chronic and complex health conditions.

One of Dr Jammal’s patients, Yvonne Reynolds, spoke at the fiery JRPP meeting and told the panel that residentsdo not want to see the clinic moved.

“The loss to the community would be devastating,” she said.

“I have walked to and from his clinic for many years.”

Dr Jammal said he was “humbled” by the support from residents who spoke at the meeting on Thursday, November 17.

Residents also argued that the $21million development should not go ahead as it would worsen horrible traffic conditions during peak hours.

They also addressed the height and character of the development.

JRPP chair Mary-Anne Taylor told an upset gallery that the development was “a suitable use of the site and is appropriate in the public’s interest.”

In defending the decision, Ms Taylor added the applicant’s planswould not have an adverse impact on traffic conditions.

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