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Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten link arms to stand up to family violence in Indigenous communities

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten came together to link arms at the No More event in support of ending family violence in Indigenous communities. Photo: Andrew Meares Representatives from Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land on the forecourt of Parliament House for the No More event. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten with representatives from Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

In Rirratjingu culture, there is a sacred, rarely seen ceremony that honours the two Djan’kawu sisters who created life on earth. On Monday at Parliament House, it was the powerful opening scene of an event demanding an end to family violence in Indigenous communities.

Dancers came from North East Arnhem Land to join the biggest achievement so far of the No More campaign, a gathering that saw Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, dozens of other MPs and Gurindji journalist Charlie King link arms to call for change.

“They were holy and sacred,” Rirratjingu elder Witiyana Marika said of the sisters. “Women are holy. Because they are creators, they bring life, our offspring.”

The No More campaign, led by King, has taken hold amid the appalling rates of violence facing Indigenous communities, where women are 11 times more likely than non-Indigenous women to be murdered as a result of family violence and 34 times more likely to be hospitalised.

The aim of the campaign – which has reduced violence in almost all the communities that have adopted it – is to stand up to offending men, imploring them to change, and encourage organisations to adopt domestic violence action plans.

It has been strongly backed by Northern Territory police, community leaders and prominent Aboriginal women Professor Marcia Langton and Josephine Cashman, a lawyer and member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council.

The Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation praised the show of unity as a way of elevating the issue to the national stage.

“Symbolism is important. And now we need action. That’s more important,” chairman Bakamumu Marika said.

“What we would like to see is a requirement for domestic violence action plans in government tender documents – if you don’t have a good plan, you don’t get a government contract.”

Some Indigenous and family violence policy observers have questioned the government’s commitment to solving the issues, pointing to sweeping funding cuts for community legal centres, women’s shelters and Indigenous programs since 2014.

The Turnbull government has unveiled a $100 million women’s safety package, including $21 million for Indigenous-specific programs. Last month, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion outlined $25 million for therapy, diversion programs, case management and legal services in communities.

Professor Langton said the ceremony at Parliament House shows family violence is not cultural: “The Rirratjingu are saying it’s exactly the opposite – we have to love and respect women because they created the world.”

“That the Parliament, the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, all these senators and members of the House here today have linked arms and with Charlie King…is profoundly important to Aboriginal women and children across the country and to all those Aboriginal men who do not commit to violence and who are opposed to violence.”

King called on people and organisations across Australia to “march all the time” against these crimes and said the positive stories should be appreciated, observing the Rirratjingu community’s success at reducing family violence by 27.9 per cent.

“That’s extraordinary, isn’t it?” he said.

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

Noisy Stolthaven works at Mayfield expected to finish next month

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

The noisiest period of construction at Stolthaven’s Mayfield terminal is expected to wind up next month.FUEL logistics company Stolthaven has guaranteed fed-upresidents who live near its Mayfield site that noisy pile-driving work is nearing completion.
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The company announced on Monday that the noisiest period of construction at the Mayfield No 7 terminal was expected to draw to a close next month, possibly as early as December 21, in time for the Christmas break.

Stolthaven, which operatesfuel storage tanks at the western border of the former BHP steelworks site, has been upgrading its facilities since April.

Upon completion, ships will be able to pump directly into the terminal, instead of pumping fuel from a kilometre downstream.

But to do that, the company has had to drive large steel poles directly into the Hunter River usinghydraulic hammers, generating “banging” noises across Mayfield, Carrington and Stockton.

Crebert Street’s Jacqui Standen said residents had found it“impossible” to live peacefully with the noise, and felt powerless to do anything about it.

“Unless you live here, you cannot imagine what it is like,”she said.

Mrs Standen wrote to the company several times to complain about a lack of scheduled drilling times.

“It is just a constant‘bang, bang, bang’, and it just goes on and on and on,”Mrs Standen said.“Maybe if there was some structure, if they didn’t start before a certain time, it would be better.

“We live two doors down from Industrial Drive, but never before have we ever heard anything like this.We have lost our quality of life.”

Correct Planning and Consultation for Mayfield Group convener John L Hayes said the suburb had become exceptionally noisy with both theStolthaven andTourle Street Bridge works running at the same time.

“It’s a combination of the two that has just builtup,” he said. “It’s been going on for a very long time. Residents shouldn’t have to be put to the sword with this sort of noise.”

A Stolthaven spokesman said the company had fully complied with state regulations on the project.

“Stolthaven is fully committed to minimising disturbances affecting local residents, and is fully complying with regulated stipulations including work hours and noise levels,” he said.

“Stolthaven apologises for any inconvenience that development activities cause during this period.”

The works are part of the Port of Newcastle’sMayfield Concept Plan.

Symbio Wildlife Park monkey theft: police search for third pygmy marmoset Gomez

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Police hopeful of finding missing monkey Gomez Gomez. Pictured in 2015.
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Symbio Wildlife Park managing director John Radnidge (right) comforts park supervisor Ryan Leahy at a public appeal for information on Saturday. Picture: Robert Peet

Jo is the mother and breeding partner of the three stolen monkeys. Jo has shown signs of stress since the theft and zoo staff are unsure whether family’s complex social structure can be restored. Picture: Robert Peet

Pygmy Marmoset monkey Adora and her four-week-old sibling remain safe and well at the park, after their twins were stolen overnight Friday. Picture: Robert Peet

Symbio Wildlife Park managing director John Radnidge at the Pygmy Marmoset enclosure following Friday night’s break-in. Picture: Robert Peet

Jo is the mother and breeding partner of the three stolen monkeys. Jo has shown signs of stress since the theft and zoo staff are unsure whether family’s complex social structure can be restored. Picture: Robert Peet

Symbio Wildlife Park managing director John Radnidge (right) comforts park supervisor Ryan Leahy at a public appeal for information on Saturday. Picture: Robert Peet

TweetFacebookSymbio’s Matt Radnidge speaks on the return of two of the park’s monkeys.Post by Symbio’s Matt Radnidge speaks on the return of two of the park’s monkeys..

The crime manager was also unable to provide information on how police came to find the two monkeys that have been found, only saying it was “members of the public coming forward and providing information via Crime Stoppers”.

Police have revealed the baby monkey was found in a car at the rear of a hotel in Appin on Sunday afternoon.

A second monkey, Sofia,was found after police inquiries led officers to a home in Campbelltown on Sunday evening.

Detective Inspector Ainsworth reissued a public appeal to find the monkey that remains missing.

“We’re looking for the help of the public. The recovery of the two [monkeys] yesterday led to some good work and good information by members of the public via Crime Stoppers and we’re hoping that will continue today [Monday],”

Symbio’s general manager, Matt Radnidge, told the Mercury it was critical to get Gomez back as soon as possible to avoid the social structure of the family disintegrating.

“There’s a couple of people out there that must have given some information, and they’re the heroes of yesterday,” Mr Radnidge said.

“We’re ecstatic at the result thus far, but still very concerned about the remaining animal,” he said.

The zoo’s four-week-old baby marmoset was reunited with her mum late on Sunday afternoon.

A post on Symbio’s Facebook page said: “Mum cradled the baby straight into her arms and bub immediately began to feed.

“Early observations this morning are promising, with two bright-eyed twins observed on mums back – so a great result.”

Detective Inspector Ainsworth said CCTV footage from the zoo had been viewed by police, but the vision was of little assistance to investigators.

“There is footage there, but nothing that captures the enclosure the monkeys were taken,” he said.

Anyone with information, Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

Illawarra Mercury

House of the week: 83 Lookout Road, New Lambton Heights

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Romance of a bygone era | photos TweetFacebook Richmond LodgeThe 1930s mansion in New Lambton Heights. They don’t make them like this anymore.
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This magnificent manor – with its chandeliers, tapestry brick fireplacesand servants’ quarters – would not look out of place in the English countryside.

Instead, ‘Richmond Lodge’ sits atop Lookout Road in New Lambton Heights, a stone’s throw from John Hunter Hospital.

The home was constructed in the 1930s by John Hall and his wife. The couple often featured in the social pages, with old newspaper clippings telling of the extravagant balls they would throw at the property.

Its guest quarters have hosted the likes ofDouglas Pratt and Blake Twigden, both renowned Australian artists.

The sprawling grounds accommodate a tennis court, saltwater swimming pool –the second ever constructed domestically in Newcastle – and an orchard with olive, macadamia and fig trees.

A circular driveway winds past arose garden to the grand residence itself. Much of the home is in original condition, including three art-deco bathrooms, a library and the maid’s scullery and flower room.

A sweeping staircase leads to six bedrooms, the master with a study nook and sunroom. Other period features include cathedral ceilings and leadlight windows.

The kitchen has been sympathetically renovated, with the addition of stone benchtops, two integrated fridges and a temperature-controlled wine cellar.

Aside from the vendors, the home has hadonly one other owner;Archie Lee, a partner in a well-knownHoldencar dealership and a former‘Rat of Tobruk’.

HOUSE OF THE WEEK

New Lambton Heights

83 Lookout Rd

7 bedrooms 4 bathrooms 4 garage

Price guide on request

Auction: Wed December 14 6pm, Watt Street Commercial Centre

Agent: PRDnationwide Newcastle Rodney Goodwin 4926 0600

Why we need protection from unhealthy choices

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

A healthy country is a wealthy country. The link between health and a productive economy mustn’t be forgotten. A central role of government is to protect us. Once it was from infectious diseases. Now it’s pervasive harmful food and beverages that require the same approach – regulation and legislation –as experience from tobacco control has shown.
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Governments’ efforts are failing us despite at least a decade of sound evidence of what needs to be done. National leaders are yet to heed the calls for protective policies. As with the hard road to reduce smoking, industry opposes the experts. They cry, “nanny state”and infringement of the free market and argue for people’s rights to make harmful choices as well as healthy ones.

NO SUGAR COATING: Expecting individuals to keep themselves healthy in a world where there is a vast array of unhealthy products is unrealistic.

Expecting individuals to keep themselves healthy in a world where there is a vast array of unhealthy products and barriers against making the right choice is unrealistic.What is starkly obvious is that where people live influences their health –wealthier suburbs are healthier suburbs but chronic diseases affect all of us, rich and poor.

The problem of chronic diseases is not one of poor behaviour by individuals, it is a problem of contemporary environments and working and living styles that put us all at risk, and that most affect those with the least resources.

This is why national leadership is necessary.

In 2009, Australia introduced mandatory folic acid fortification of wheat flour used in bread to reduce the numbers of infants born with spina bifida. Reformulation of food saves lives. Reducing the salt content in processed or pre-prepared foods has the potential to save more than 3000 lives a year by lowering our average blood pressure.

This month, both the presidents of medical colleges and the Australian Medical Association publicly called for a sugar tax. The negative effects that high levels of sugar consumption have on health are known. Overweight and obesity affects one in four children. Young people are consuming more than 23 teaspoons of sugar daily. And public opinion supports a sugar tax.

The Australian Health Policy Collaboration, a think tank at Victoria University, has launcheda policy report calling on Australian governments to lead in protecting us.The report has been developed with a national collaboration of experts, clinicians and organisations.The report,Getting Australia’s Health on Track, urges governments, state, local and federal to collaborate and implement 10 priority policy actions on risk factors that are effective and affordable.

Protection and promotion of good health and prevention of avoidable death and disease are central tenets of our national values. They are characteristics of thriving communities and a thriving economy. Australia has led the way in protecting people from the impacts of smoking and in preventing road deaths. We have invested in providing national access to high-quality health services and to lifesaving and health-promoting technologies and treatments. We know that good health, and recovery from illness, cannot be left to the capacity and resources of individuals.

There is no lack of evidence about the growing economic burden of preventable chronic diseases; there is ample evidence of what needs to be done to reduce that burden. Our economyand communitiesneed urgent action to improve our national health.

Rosemary Calder is director of theAustralian Health Policy Collaboration,Victoria University.

Ultimate Art’s Michael Formosa hoping Inter Dominion first-round winners looking for easier runs in Bunbury

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

Ultimate Art captured by Ashlea Brennan during his Inter Dominion preparations in Perth.MICHAEL Formosa is counting on some respite from opening-round heat winners Hectorjayjay and Bettors Fire when Ultimate Art tries to stay in contention for the $1.1 million Perth Inter Dominion final on Tuesday night.
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Ultimate Art and his Ellalong trainer-driver were seventh in their first heatat Gloucester Park on Friday night and need a better result at Bunbury on Tuesday to give themselves a realistic chance of qualifying for the 10-horse decider on December 9. Ultimate Art picked up four points to sit 21st in the 30-horse series after the first of three rounds of heats. The last round is on Friday night at Gloucester Park.

After drawing gate six in the opening heat, Ultimate Art gained seven, the extreme outside of the front line,for Tuesday’s 2100-metre qualifier where Hectorjayjay and Bettors Fire drew two and four respectively.

Ultimate Art was unable to make up significant ground fromlast after a slow early tempo and wide run on the home turn on Friday night, but Formosa was hopeful of a turnaround.

“He pulled up good and never had a hard run, so he’s going to definitely benefit from that,” Formosa said.

“He’s just going to need that bit of luck to get some points now. Seven, it’s a lot tougher from there and it’s a fairly hard heat withtwo heat winners in it, drawn two and four. I’m just hoping they are going to want easy runs and that will give me a chance to get into the race.”

The heat is scheduled for 10.15pm (AEDT).

On Friday’s heat, Formosa said he was hoping to finish fifth or better but his plans to sit midfield and finish strongly were thwarted by the relatively slow first half. His aim was drive Ultimate Art more aggressively on Tuesday night.

“Once they sorted their positions out, nothing happened then,” he said.

“Once Lennytheshark went forward Ihad to go then or not at all, but in saying that, I didn’t think I’d be last. I thought there would be a couple behind me.

“A couple of horses further up the line, they stopped a long way out. The leaders got away, and it made it a lot harder for us.Hindsight’s a great thing, isn’t it? But we’ll try to take the luck out of it next time.

“But he seems to be reallyfull of himself at the moment and is raring to go.”

Heat five of the series is:

1 OUR JERICHO NZ

2 HECTORJAYJAY

3 TRICKY STYX NZ

4 BETTORS FIRE NZ

5 ELEGANT CHRISTIAN NZ

6 MAJOR CROCKER

7 ULTIMATE ART

———- Second Row ———-

8 BEAUDIENE BOAZ NZ

9 GUARANTEED

10 PHOENIX WARRIOR NZ

A-League: Forgotten man Labinot Halilti in frame as Jets prepare to battle leaders Sydney FC

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

SET TO STRIKE: Veteran Labinot Haliti is in line to return to the Jets squad for the battle against Sydney FC. Picture: Jonathan CarrollFORGOTTEN man Labinot Haliti is set to be recalled for the Jets’crunch clash with Sydney FC at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.
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What’s more, the veteran striker could start.

Haliti has played28 minutes in two appearances off the benchsince his return from a knee reconstruction in round two.

But with Morten Nordstrand (hip flexor)under a fitness cloud and Aleksandr Kokko (jaw)sidelined for at least another fortnight, the seasoned front-man looms as a key figure.

“We have found it difficult without a No.9, a target man, to hold the ball up,” coach Mark Jones said.“Labiis someone who you want in your team when he is fully fit and right to go.”

Jones “lost a fair bit of sleep” over the decision to leave Haliti out of the squad which went down 2-0 to the Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday.

With defender Iain Fyfe short onmatch fitness,Wayne Brown carrying a calf niggle and untried Andy Brennan starting,Jones needed cover on the bench.

“It was extremely difficult not to take Labi to Melbourne,” the coach said.“We knew that there were some people who might not last a full game.It limits whoyou put on the bench if you know that one playerdefinitely has to come off and maybe another one.”

However, Jones didn’t bank on Nordstrand having to be replaced at half-time.The Dane was still feeling tightness in his hip flexor on Monday. He will be assessed later in the week but Jones was hopeful that he would be available for the second clash in five weeks against the runaway leaders.

Haliti reacted to his omission by scoringa spectaculargoalin the youth team’s 2-all draw with the Mariners on Saturday.

“He responded the right way,” Jones said.“It’s hard for him to have to go back and play youth league. It is a dent to his pride. But it was good for him to get some game time and match fitness. His attitude has been exceptional. It’s a team game and we need to keep everyone doing what is best for the team, and Labiunderstands that.”

The Jets had a season-low35% of possession against Victory.

“We turned the ball over in transition quite a bit,” Jones said.“In the first half we defended really well but there were moments in transition we could have done better.”

A lack of ball hasbeen an ongoing issue.The only game the Jets have finished in front in the possession stakes was the 2-0 loss to Wellington in which they had50.1%.

“We have tried to play out …our biggest downfall so far has been our ability to keep the ball in transition,” Jones said. “We need people who are confident on the ball.”

Newcastle quartet selected in Bush Blues for Australian Country Championships

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

BUSH BLUES: Newcastle bowler Thomas Allen has been named in the NSW Country squad. Picture: Josh CallinanTwenty-year-old Wests bowler Tom Allen will make his Bush Blues debut at the Australian Country Championships in Wollongong in January.
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Allen was one of four Newcastle players named in the 14-person NSW Country squad on Monday, joining incumbents Nick Foster (Stockton) and Joe Price (Wests) as well as recalledPat Darwen (Merewether).

Allen and Riverina’s Jarryd Hatton were the two under-23 players selected, which this season became aCricket Australia requirement for all participating states.

Central North skipper Tom Groth is again the wicketkeeper while former Merewether and Cardiff all-rounder Kaine Harmsworth also made the cut.

Tamworth’s Jeff Cook, who played at Cardifflast summer,will coach the side

The team announcement was made after the weekend’s NSW Country Championship final with Western easily accounting for Central Coast by seven wickets at Ourimbah.

It was Western’s third title in five seasons.

Newcastle were unable to defend their crown after finishing fractionally behind Central Coast on the overall standings in the group stage atNarrabri a fortnight ago.

The nine-day national carnival starts on January 3. Two-day matches have been scrapped. Instead the six teams will play two full rounds of one-day and T20 fixtures.

NSW COUNTRY: Peter Gallichan (Central Coast), Tom Allen (Newcastle), Djali Bloomfield (Southern ACT), Pat Darwen (Newcastle), Nick Foster (Newcastle), Keiran Gray (Southern ACT), Tom Groth (Central North), Kaine Harmsworth (Central Coast), Jarryd Hatton (Riverina), Ben Mitchell (Southern ACT), Jordan Moran (Western), Jonathan Nicoll (Riverina), Joe Price (Newcastle), Cameron Suidgeest (Southern ACT).

PREVIOUS: Tom Allen’s life on the road

STORM: Newcastle’s bizarre NSW Country Championship campaign

EDGE: Steel win T20 double header

PHOTOS: Newcastle district wrap from Saturday

OPINION: Should ball tampering become legal?

Blayney seeks full review

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Despite a reduction in size, a rezoning proposal for Orange Airport is yet to convince other stakeholders.
Nanjing Night Net

An Orange City Councilproposal to rezone 114 hectares ofprimary production and environmental management land just south of the airportto a mix of general industrial andbusiness is currently on public exhibition.

The proposal has been a contentious one for Orange Council raisingthe ire of nearby landholders concerned about water pollution, and the use of prime agricultural land for industry.

Opponents have stated that Orange Council should wait post-merger before proceeding with the plan.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment ruled the rezoning would not go ahead unless the councils agreed to an addendum to the Blayney Cabonne Orange Rural and Industrial Lands Strategy.

But Blayney mayor Scott Fergusonsaid he wanted to see a full review.

The Blayney Shire already has 40 hectares of industrial land serviced by road, rail and gas, with another 40 hectares available for expansion.

“We have concerns any industrial development would have a severe impact on our site,” he said.

“We’ve sold little bits and pieces and we’re not seeing a lot of demand.”

Among those looking carefully at the proposal will be Blayney and Cabonne councils and member-elect for Orange Phil Donato due to concerns about water quality and industrial land supply.

Mr Donato said he wanted to see the rezoning held in abeyance until the proposedamalgamation between the three councils was dealt with.

“There’s three jurisdictions that relies on and that’s the first obstacle,” he said.

“We’re opposed to prime agricultural land, which is what it is, being rezoned into industry or commercial and it’s a water catchment area as well.”

Orange council spokesman Nick Redmond said demand for industrial land in Orange itself was highand while it was important to get the balance right, it was inevitable any expansion of the city would cut into agricultural land.

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

Debate over plans for Railton’s free van site

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

A stoush has erupted over aKentish Councilproposalto lease afree camper van area at Railton to the Campervan andMotorhome Club of Australia for the exclusive use of its members.
Nanjing Night Net

Happy campers: Rodney McCarthy, of Railton, chats to Queenslanders Peter and Chris Blackley and Michael and Chris Chilcott at the free van site.

The plan has upset some Railton ratepayers who wroteto the council to object. Rodney McCarthy, president of the Railton and Districts Development Association,said the councilwas urged to consult morebefore adecision ismade.Kentish MayorDon Thwaitessaid the CMCA approached the council to develop the siteand waskeen to establish new parks in Tasmania. The CMCA told the councilitwould bring more vansto Railton.

“TheCMCA hasbig plans to improve the amenities at a number of parks which they would manage and get a caretaker in to look after their parks,” Councillor Thwaitessaid. It would cost CMCA members $6 a night to stay at the Railton site.

“We were trying toget as many low-cost campers as we could there,which seemed like a good idea,but Rodney is not convinced, andhe is asking us to look at analternative, and I think that’s fair enough,” the mayor said.

Hesaid the council would discuss the objections raisedata workshop on Tuesday night. Herejected theideathe council did not publicise itsplans well enough. “It was discussed at one of the regular community meetings we have every six months and people at the meetingwere in favour of it.”

Councillor Thwaites said this wasstill the consultation period andthe council hadnot made a commitment. Hesaid alease arrangement or development application would haveto go before council. Councillor Thwaites said if theCMCA did leasethe site, others could camp at afree site offered by the Railton Hotelor at Sheffield or Lake Barrington. He said the council toldthe CMCA anyoneshould be able to use thedump point if the lease went ahead.

“We’re not doing it for the moneywe’re trying toincrease the people staying there. Whatever we do wewill have to take a gamble,” the mayor said.

Mr McCarthy said the free area isused byself-contained campervans and caravans. He said itwas established by the community which negotiated to get the council to extend it. He said a Tasmanian Community Fund grant was used to add outdoor exercise equipment andbusinesses helpedwith donations. “Thereason the council isdoing this is so itcan wash itshands of it and minimise itsresponsibility for the area,” he said.

“I’m wary a deal has been done.”

Mr McCarthy said he understood adevelopment application has beenlodgedto take over the free camping area,which includesRailton’s onlyoff-leash dog area, for the exclusive use of CMCA members.“Forevery person they attract I think they are going to turn someone away,” he said.

“Overthree days I surveyed campers and 75% of people staying there were not CMCA members. It’s a town asset at the moment and the council wants to hand that to an exclusive cub which we’re not happy with.”

Mr McCarthy saidhe had nothing against CMCA members camping atRailton.

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