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Marcus’ service honoured

“Wow, that’s incredible,” the effervescent Marcus Hanney said as he accepted a surprise certificate from Wellington Business Chamber president Ian Law.

“I’m pretty overwhelmed that people would nominate me for the Excellence In Customer Service Award,” Mr Hanney said.

Ian Law said the community had supported the intiative and he was pleased to see such positive people getting encouragement.

“Marcus is a happy, bright and positive person and does some really good work at the Caltex on the Mitchell Highway.

“I’m impressed with the community response to the awards. So much so we’ll be announcing shortly prizes for those who nominate people and an awards night to keep the positivity going,” Mr Law said.

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Ricky Gervais raises bar again with daring comedy

Simple soul … Ricky Gervais stars in the new comedy Derek. Ricky Gervais

On Thursday night on the ABC – for those who found it – Ricky Gervais’ latest comedy premiered in Australia.

Derek is a controversial series which blurs the lines between documentary, drama, comedy and just what is funny, and it was a landmark moment for the comedian who created in Derek a character who definitely pushed the boundaries.

Which is, after all, what Gervais lives to do.

All over Twitter he’s the arch atheist, trolling the faithful with glee. As host of the Golden Globes, he didn’t just bite the hand that fed him so much as tear it off at the wrist as he ripped into the assembled stars.

And in television comedy, his true element, he’s been unstoppable.

Playing David Brent in The Office he exposed the hilarity of the over-confident but under-talented boss and deconstructed the tropes of the modern workplace to show us the truth of life as a workday drone. In Extras, he stripped back the egos of actors to reveal why adults would choose a career playing dress-ups. And in Derek, well, Gervais is tossing traditional concepts of comedy out the window entirely.

Derek – created, written, directed and played by Gervais – is the story of a quiet middle-aged man who works in a slightly seedy nursing home, with his best friends the other staff and the residents.

A simple soul (the question of whether Derek is mentally handicapped has been raised repeatedly, but Gervais shrugs it off), he faces life with an almost zen-like calm and in his honest appraisal of what’s happening around him, pops out some of the funniest lines seen on screen in years.

But the huge achievement Gervais manages is this: we’re never laughing at Derek. His innocence is the filter through which Gervais’s sharp comedy has been run and the result is astounding.

In last night’s opening episode, dropped into the national broadcaster’s schedule with almost no warning, we join 49-year-old Derek Noakes as he goes about his business with a documentary film crew in tow. We meet his best mate Dougie (played by long-time Gervais associate Karl Pilkington), nurse Hannah (Kerry Godliman) and his “best friends in the world”, the home’s residents.

The pilot admirably introduced both the characters and the concept when Hannah made the mistake of confiding in Derek that she was interested in one of the residents’ visitors, but suspects he might be gay.

Derek’s solution to the problem is the direct opposite to what every other tired sitcom would have done and it’s brilliant because of it.

But as we were laughing, Gervais was already setting up one of the most heart-breaking TV scenes imaginable – and that in a year when Offspring bumped off a major player just to keep things interesting.

It was a clear indication that with Derek, Gervais has moved his past anarchic comedy in a very new direction.

This is funny, but subversive as well, challenging viewers to rethink why they laugh, why some things are taboo and asking why they should be.

Derek is no ordinary TV hero, but by episode two (screening on the ABC next Thursday), where his world is under threat from a budget-cutting council, we’re well and truly on his side.

Before its premiere in Britain, the series came under heavy fire for what the politically correct (who hadn’t even seen it) were sure would be an attack on those who can’t fight back.

After it aired, the reaction was overwhelmingly different with legions of viewers calling Derek the sweetest character in years and the series became an instant favourite.

Here in Australia, the reaction is likely to be the same.

You will laugh, no doubt about it, but chances are you’ll find yourself choked up at genuinely touching moments that no other performer would have even dared. Possibly at the same time.

Gervais, acknowledged in the comedy world as one of the best, has raised the bar again.

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Dream realised

“Who gets to see their dream come true?

“I’m living mine,” Teresa Yasserie of the Aboriginal Education Training Unit said at the unveiling of two memorial stones which she funded in a bid to get more Aboriginal people involved in sorry business, the traditional processes of dealing with death.

The memorials were placed at the Falls Road site and the old cemetery in memory of the Aboriginal families who were buried there without accurate site locations.

“I thought it was my passion but when I started everyone was thinking the same and wanted to have ownership of a significant way of honouring our family,” she said.

“In traditional times this is what we would have done. We had the right, we’ve got to get it back.

“We have started one [course] in Bourke, they come off the street some of them and it is changing their lives, making it for their mob, they’re making it their own and it is wonderful.”

At Wellington TAFE The Aboriginal Passing Program (TAPP) focused on the modelling of the two headstones with carpentry teacher Chris Woods, followed by art teacher Iris Reid teaching traditional Aboriginal art so that students could paint the monuments and create a personal and meaningful legacy.

One of the students, Alex Daley made a head stone for her uncle Henry Williams which she gave to her mother, Irene Daley.

“It was something I never thought I would do and the teacher (Chris Woods) was brilliant,” she said.

Teacher Iris Reid said that for the Falls Road site, memorial totems of the area had been used including the possum, black snake and echidna as well as the gum leaves, blossoms and wattle of the area.

She also spoke about the coffins and caskets which had been lost in floodwaters at the Falls site.

“I think there were a lot of babies’ coffins. They would have been elders; if they grew up they would have been our aunts and uncles, being picked up from the floodwaters.

“A lot of young men dived in to save the caskets.”

“It’s sad that a lot of elders’ graves are not marked in any way shape or form,” Rod Towney, manager of Aboriginal Education and Training and Western Institute of TAFE said, adding that he was proud to see what had been achieved and that the memorials were a first in Australia, if not the first.

“It’s an important part of being black, never ever deny it, grow up as a proud Australian person, see what we can do together when we talk about a cause, because working together as a group that’s the way we’re going to come forward,” he said.

Mary Henderson thanked everybody who had come on board to see the project through.

“Whether you’re black white or brindle you all have a purpose in life and if we are here for self esteem or recognition we are not going to get there, but to support our up and coming elders sitting here in their youth and recognising them for who they are that’s more valuable,” she said.

The second memorial in the Old Cemetery was placed near the grave of Mudgee Phillips and at the unveiling of the memorials, Diane McNaboe sang in Wirradjuri “come here hearing good things and talking about good things and seeing good things”.

TAFE Western is the single largest provider of Vocational Education and Training for Aboriginal people in Australia with more than 7,600 students each year. The Institute is making a reputation for itself throughout Australia and internationally for its efforts to bridge the gap in the disadvantage that Aboriginal people experience in relation to education and employment.

Currently, Iris Reid is working with a class in Dubbo on painting caskets and TAFE Western are looking for more students to take part in TAPP.

The unveiling of the Falls memorial.

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Federal election: Higgins candidates’ Q&A, Leanne Price

TWR put three questions to candidates in the Higgins electorate to help voters make up their minds at the upcoming election. Below are their responses.

What do you think of their answers? Leave a comment below.

LEANNE PRICE (Rise Up Australia)

What is the most important federal issue for the electorate of Higgins?

We have always been strong in retail and manufacturing, mostly relying on Australian made. Since the government lowered tariffs on foreign imports in the 1980s, we have seen a gradual decline in Australian made products and manufacturing. Hence, in order to stay competitive with cheaper (more inferior) brands, Australian companies are now manufacturing overseas, causing instability in job security.

Small businesses are under threat due to high rent and the effects of the bigger food chains that dominate the market. Unfortunately, shop owners are forced to walk away unable to cope with the rising prices. Tarrifs need to be reviewed, for the sake of Australian’s future in manufacturing and the livelihood of the people with small businesses.

What would be the first local issue you would tackle were you to win your seat?

On being elected I would work on issues relating to small business as there are many areas within Higgins which deal in retail. Also working with local councils in different areas, as there is a breakdown of community in some areas from what it once was. The people’s needs are the focus, not infrastructure that the people can’t afford.

Rank the following five issues in order of importance (from a personal perspective, not necessarily according to party policy).



Asylum seekers

Climate change

Higgins federal election candidate Leanne Price.


Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Kelly O’Dwyer

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Wesa Chau

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,James Harrison

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Phillip Dall

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Leanne Price

Federal election: Higgins candidates’ Q&A, James Harrison

TWR put three questions to candidates in the Higgins electorate to help voters make up their minds at the upcoming election. Below are their responses.

What do you think of their answers? Leave a comment below.


What is the most important federal issue for the electorate of Higgins?

We know that same-sex attracted young people have a higher risk of developing mental health issues and are much more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. This is a disturbing statistic and illustrates how important it is that our leaders send a strong, positive message to all our young people; that they will be valued and supported members of our community – regardless of their gender or sexuality. This is just one reason why marriage equality is so important. Our young people need to know that they will be treated equally and can aspire to all the things that all young people can.

What would be the first local issue you would tackle were you to win your seat?

Our world’s climate is in crisis. Polar ice is melting, glaciers are disappearing and we’re experiencing more frequent and extreme weather events. We must act now to reduce pollution and speed up the transition to clean, renewable energy. The cost of acting early will be far less than the cost of dealing with more natural disasters and extreme weather.

Our local natural environment is also in terrible condition. Gardiners Creek and our precious Yarra are flooded with plastic pollution like shopping bags and drink containers. I will work to address the causes of this pollution by supporting measures like a container deposit scheme which have been proven to drastically reduce pollution, increase recycling and raise valuable funds for local community groups.

Rank the following five issues in order of importance (from a personal perspective, not necessarily according to party policy).

Climate change

Asylum seekers




Higgins federal election candidate James Harrison. Picture: Supplied


Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Kelly O’Dwyer

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Wesa Chau

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,James Harrison

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Phillip Dall

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Leanne Price

Reporting on iPad

We can now easily write and file stories from the field by using our iPads and Story Pad.

Because Story Pad is browser based, we are no longer tied to a networked editorial production system.

Instead, we are free to roam the world looking for stories, writing them and filing them on our digital platforms for our readers to read.

News Now on your iPadOnce they are there, it is just a matter of a few mouse clicks by a news director back in the newsroom and the piece is also on a print page and ready to be printed.

Welcome to the new world of News Now.

Mobile data sharing plans on the way

Family mobile data sharing plans are expected to be popular. Photo: Steven SiewertAustralian consumers will get access to mobile data sharing plans within a year, with at least one telco promising to launch the new pricing option in coming months.

Data sharing allows customers to share a “bucket” of data among multiple devices, including smartphones, broadband dongles, mobile Wi-Fi and tablets.

Plans currently offered by Australian carriers force customers to buy individual data plans for each device, unless they activate hotspots on one device and tether others to it.

The new wave of billing options will soon allow consumers to customise speeds, downloads and spending on mobile networks, but also require carriers to invest in significant upgrades to existing billing capabilities.

Shared plans have been available in the US and Europe since 2012. Surprisingly, carriers have seen consumers spend more on mobile data as a result, not less.

Consumers tend to spend more because they buy bigger data plans and add more devices to the account. Family plans are popular and encourage everyone to use the same carrier.

Telstra has already released a mobile shared service for business customers charging a basic fee of $60 per month for 1.1 gigabytes (GB) of data, plus a $10 sharing fee and $10 per device. Up to 8 GB can be bought for an extra $60 a month.

“We will be launching data share plans for [post-paid] consumer customers in the coming months, allowing them to share data across a number of mobile devices [such as smartphones, tablets or mobile Wi-Fi]. The plans will suit people who want to streamline and make the most of the data they pay for without any complications,” a Telstra spokesman said, without giving a launch date.

An Optus spokeswoman said it was looking at data sharing, but wanted to address bill shock and international roaming first. A Vodafone spokeswoman said it considers pricing options regularly. But neither committed to a date.

In the US, AT&T and Verizon offer data, voice and message sharing on up to 10 devices. These carriers charge a fee for data and for each device. For example, a basic shared plan on Verizon costs $US40 per smartphone, $US10 per tablet and $US70 for 4 GB of data.

Senior mobile analyst at Ovum, Nicole McCormick, said she expects to see more than one Australian carrier offering this new pricing structure by the end of the year.

“Consumers do benefit from these plans since it is cheaper to have a unified account. However, this results in subscription revenue loss for the telco in the case that a person consolidates their multiple accounts [eg dongle, tablet and smartphone] with that telco. Ultimately, these plans are part of the operator’s anti-churn management strategy, since a subscriber – either a connected person or connected household – is less likely to churn on a shared plan.”

Goldman Sachs telecommunications analyst Raymond Tong recently released a report showing monthly spending in the US increased by about $US10 a month after shared plans were introduced and that the number of devices using networks increased substantially.

“Strong take-up of shared data plans has encouraged incremental take-up of additional connected devices [eg tablets] and greater data usage. This has resulted in strong growth in average revenue per account. Demand has been strong since Verizon and AT&T launched these plans in mid-2012, with 36 per cent of wireless accounts at Verizon already on these plans,” Mr Tong wrote in a note to clients.

Sharing has become possible thanks to new billing technology, according to Alcatel-Lucent’s vice president for payments, policy and charging, Fran Heeran.

Consumers tend to ease back on data usage when they get close to a monthly cap, rather than fork out for additional data, Heeran said.

“When carriers add it all up, they see people use more data and buy more data in a shared plan than in individual plans.”

The real-time billing allows families to control how much data each device gets to use and when, allowing parents to turn internet access off during certain hours or limit their children’s data usage.

Alcatel-Lucent has also found app-specific billing options were quite popular overseas. Consumers could stream unlimited video through a service, such as iView or Foxtel, for a small additional fee every month, or buy speed boosts to make particular apps run faster.

How much you can save

A small business that supplies phones to four employees could save $100 per month using data sharing.

Four phones would cost $100 per month on Telstra’s shared plans for businesses, compared to $200 for four phones on individual plans. The difference is all four phones would share 1 GB of data every month, rather than having 1 GB per phone. Increasing to 3 GB of shared data would cost an extra $30 per month, still $70 cheaper than individual plans.

However, data sharing on two phones and two broadband dongles is not necessarily cheaper. The maximum of 8 GB data sharing would only be about $10 cheaper and have less data than two individual phone and two individual dongle plans. This would cost $150 per month for the four devices with 1 GB per device. Increasing to 4 GB per device would cost a total of $170 per month.

Sharing would cost $100 per month with 1 GB of shared data, and increasing this to 3 GB or 8 GB would cost an extra $30 and $60 respectively.  So the option is $160 for a total of 8 GB or $170 for a total of 10 GB.

Australian reseller Dodo already offers data sharing on up to five devices. It charges $5 per month for each additional SIM card, plus a $20 activation fee per SIM. So sharing 4GB among five devices would cost a new customer $65 per month plus $80 set-up fee.

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FEDERAL ELECTION: Liberal Martin Zaiter






Liberal candidate for Parramatta Martin Zaiter announced today the Coalition will invest $500,000 in a hydrotherapy pool at Merrylands if it is elected at the 7 September election.

Mr Zaiter was joined at today’s announcement by Deputy Leader of the Federal Opposition Julie Bishop and the Mayor of Holroyd City Council Ross Grove.

“I am proud to announce this $500,000 funding commitment by the Coalition, which will see a hydrotherapy pool built at Merrylands,” Mr Zaiter said.

“The funding will be provided to Holroyd City Council which will construct the hydrotherapy pool at Merrylands Swimming Centre – which is in the Parramatta electorate.

“Hydrotherapy is a great way for people who are less mobile or who have been injured to get exercise or complete a rehabilitation program.

“Some people are unable to complete land based exercise or treatment due to pain, but in a hydrotherapy pool there is much less stress on their joints.

“The hydrotherapy pool will be incredibly valued by the local community and it is something Holroyd Council has been proposing for some time.”

Ms Bishop said the $500,000 funding will greatly benefit local residents.

“Martin Zaiter has been incredibly persistent in fighting to get funding for the hydrotherapy pool at Merrylands,” Ms Bishop said.

“Martin is a first-rate candidate and if elected he will be a powerful advocate for the people of Parramatta in Canberra.


A Coalition government will work with surf lifesaving, the Royal Life Saving Society and AUSTSWIM to reduce the number of drownings across Australia says Martin Zaiter, Liberal Candidate for Parramatta.

“This is a practical plan that works with water safety experts to reduce the number of drownings on our beaches, waterways and rivers and in pools and bathtubs,” Mr Zaiter said.

“Australians love the water, but sadly five people every week lose their life to drowning.

“Most drownings are, in some way, avoidable: that is why we must invest in prevention.

“Our policy funds the experts whose work saves lives every day: Australia’s surf lifesaving clubs, the Royal Life Saving Society and AUSTSWIM.

“Our plan will provide local surf clubs will average grants of $25,000 over five years to assist them purchase needed equipment, first aid and medical supplies.

“A typical surf club spends $3,000 a year on medical supplies like lotions, band-aids and bandages, so these grants will help surf clubs make ends meet.

“We will also provide $2 million to expand the successful Beach Drowning Black Spot Reduction programme.

“As currents can be as dangerous as rips, our policy also works with the Royal Life Saving Society to Australia to identify ways of improving water safety on our inland waterways. This includes targeting alcohol consumption, the safe use of watercraft as well as providing practical training on things like water safety and CPR.

“This is a practical policy that will, over time, save many families from heartache.

“The Coalition’s $15 million commitment is part of our Real Solutions Plan to build a stronger Australia and a better future – for all Australians.”

Coalition promise to Parramatta schools: We will match funding

“Schools need certainty and so the Coalition will match the dollar-for-dollar commitments already made by the government to schools over the next four years,” Martin Zaiter said.

“While the Rudd-Gillard Government has made a mess of school funding arrangements with seven different Gonski deals in place, we know that schools and parents need certainty.”

The announcement by Tony Abbott means that if elected, a Coalition government will:

– ensure Commonwealth schools funding committed by Labor for school year 2014 will flow to all states and territories irrespective of whether they have signed a deal with the Gillard or Rudd Government;

– amend the Australian Education Act to ensure the states, territories and non-government sectors keep authority for their schools; and

– match the Commonwealth funding for schools committed by Labor over the forward estimates.

“Most importantly, local schools will have the funding certainty but without a national takeover of schools.

“We will work co-operatively with the States and Territories to deliver a better education system.

“I want schools to deliver better quality education through better teaching, better teachers, more community engagement, and more principal autonomy as well as through fair funding,” Martin Zaiter.


A Coalition Government will cut the company tax rate by 1.5 per cent from 1 July 2015.

Thousands of businesses in Parramatta will benefit from the tax cut said Liberal candidate, Martin Zaiter.

“This tax cut will boost jobs and strengthen the economy,’’ Mr Zaiter said.

“I know that businesses are under pressure and people are concerned about their job security. Cutting company tax will increase investment and jobs and build a stronger economy with higher wages.

“Local businesses are doing it tough with thousands of new regulations, the carbon tax, the latest FBT hit and uncertainty in the economy – and they need relief from cost pressures, just like families do.

“With unemployment already at the highest level in 14 years – and set to surge further to nearly 800,000 on the Government’s own forecasts – cutting tax is crucial to strengthening the economy and creating the right environment for jobs.

“I know that not every small business is registered as a company, but many are and that means they will get the benefit of a new 28.5 per cent company tax rate.

“Lowering the company tax rate is part of our Plan to build a strong, prosperous economy with more investment and more jobs.

“The Coalition’s Real Solutions Plan will create one million new jobs within five years – and we will do it by cutting company tax, abolishing the carbon tax, cutting $1billion in red tape and not proceeding with Labor’s $1.8 billion FBT hit on cars.

“For six years Mr Rudd and Labor have talked about a company tax cut but have not delivered – if elected, the Coalition will deliver a company tax cut.’’


Families in Parramatta will be an average of over $550 better off next financial year as a result of the Coalition’s plan to scrap the carbon tax said Liberal candidate, Martin Zaiter.

“Kevin Rudd’s carbon tax adds to the cost of living. It is a tax on electricity, it’s a tax on gas and it hurts family budgets,’’ said Mr Zaiter.

“As the carbon tax goes up, so will families’ cost of living.

“Only the Coalition will reduce your cost of living by abolishing the carbon tax.’’

Mr Zaiter said that on the Government’s own figures, the carbon tax will increase six

-fold between mid-2014 and mid 2019 reaching $38 a tonne by 2019 and increasing to $350 a tonne over time.

“That means if Labor is re-elected, average families will pay $3,000 in carbon tax over the next six years.

“Only the Coalition will scrap the carbon tax lock, stock and barrel.

“And the Coalition will also keep the current income tax thresholds and the current pension and benefit fortnightly rates while scrapping the carbon tax.’’

Mr Zaiter said this means local workers, families and pensioners will keep the tax cuts and fortnightly pension and benefit increases provided in Labor’s carbon tax package, but without the carbon tax.

“As a result, these tax cuts and fortnightly benefit increases will become genuine cost-of-living relief, worth around $4 billion a year, rather than partial compensation for Labor’s damaging carbon tax hit.’’

Mr Zaiter said this means that– based on the Government’s own figures –under the Coalition:

– average families will be better off by more than $550 a year in 2014-15, rising to around $900 a year in 2019-20; and

– over the next six years, average families will be $3,000 better off under the Coalition than under Kevin Rudd’s carbon tax.


Liberal candidate for Parramatta, Martin Zaiter said the election is a clear choice between more of the same from Labor and real change from the Coalition.

“The choice between the major parties could not be clearer,’’ Mr Zaiter said.

“At this election, the Coalition offers strong, experienced and stable government, a stronger economy, stronger borders, a stronger Australia and a better future for all Australians.

“Labor is offering just more of the same: more talk, more chaos, more division, more

debt, more deficits and more taxes.

“Only the Coalition can form the strong, stable government to deliver a stronger economy with more jobs, real help for families and small business, lower taxes and secure borders.

“We are getting a positive response in Parramatta and throughout Australia – people want a government that can deliver more jobs and a stronger economy.

Mr Zaiter said the Real Solutions Plan lays down 10 clear actions that we will take which will make our country stronger and families more secure:

– We will build a stronger, more diverse economy with lower taxes, less waste.

– We will get the Budget back under control

– Help families get ahead by freeing them from the carbon tax

– Help small businesses grow by reducing business costs

– Build a Five-Pillar economy

– Generate one million new jobs over the next five years and two million new jobs within 10 years

– Build more modern infrastructure to get things moving

– Deliver better health and education services with local communities in charge

– Build a 15,000-strong Green Army to clean-up the environment

– The boats will stop with tough, proven measures not talk from proven boat failures.

Mr Zaiter said he will be campaigning every day between now and the election on the positive choice offered by the Coalition at this election.

“It is only by voting for the Coalition that our community can get a strong voice in a better government.”


The Shadow spokesperson for Families, Housing and Human Services, Kevin Andrews, and Liberal Candidate for Parramatta, Martin Zaiter, met with child care providers in Western Sydney yesterday.

“Despite promising to address child care affordability, Labor has delivered increased costs and serious shortages of qualified staff,” Mr Andrews said.

“There is incredible pressure on child care centres to increase fees over next few years due to Labor’s red tape drowning the sector.”

“Over the last three years, child care costs have increased by 27 per cent.’’

“This is having a real impact on families in Parramatta and across Australia,” Mr Zaiter said.

At the 2007 election Labor promised to “end the double drop off” and to build 260 child care and early childhood education centres. Kevin Rudd said it was “critical” to give families access to “quality, affordable childcare”.

Labor dumped this promise in April 2010, when only 38 centres had been committed to.

“Labor’s approach has been to increase the costs for child care service providers, increase bureaucracy, and to reduce support to parents. Labor has no plan, only broken promises.

“The Coalition offers real change and will deliver a genuinely united government and a better future – for all Australians,” Mr Andrews concluded.


Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, visited the electorate of Parramatta on Thursday to hear the concerns of small business owners in Parramatta and Harris Park, with Liberal candidate for Parramatta, Martin Zaiter.

Mr Turnbull and Mr Zaiter had a highly informative discussion with business owners in Parramatta at Coffee Emporium, before moving onto nearby Harris Park.

“The local business community is concerned at the lack of consumer confidence, resulting from Labor’s carbon tax which is driving up the cost of living for local residents,” Mr Zaiter said.

“Business owners themselves are also being hit with double-digit utility price increases, which they have to absorb, given they receive no compensation from this Labor Government.

“Mr Turnbull – as a self-made businessman before entering Parliament – could identify with these problems and has first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing businesses.

“Business owners were also hesitant to invest in new staff or equipment for fear of Labor imposing more sudden taxes, such as the recent fringe benefits tax (FBT) changes to salary-packaged vehicle arrangements.

“I would like to thank Mr Turnbull – who would be an integral part of a Coalition cabinet – for engaging with our local business community.”

Mr Turnbull said the concerns raised by business owners in Parramatta echoed those he had heard as he travelled across the country.

“Wherever I go, I hear the same thing; businesses are worried that Labor continues to announce new taxes and cut spending often without any notice or long-term planning,” Mr Turnbull said.

“In recent weeks, we have seen the introduction of ill-considered changes to FBT arrangements, NBN cost blowouts and now a potential tax on bank savings, to name but a few.

“It’s little wonder that business and consumer confidence is low here in Parramatta and across the country.

“We have a strong team, with a proven track record of stable Government and delivering strong economic growth.”

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Tickets on sale for new variety show

Bookings opened today at Home and Office Furniture for a night of music and humour as Wellington Amateur Theatrical Society (WATS) presents Fancy That.

Fancy That is a delightful variety show introducing young new talent and experienced old troopers. It showcases solos, duets, piano recitals and dance.

The unforgettable ‘stars’ from Les Miserables will be performed by Les Andrews who has an operatic background.

Our melodrama Unhand Me Squire is bound to amuse. Meet our heroine Sweet Fanny Adams, always in peril as she is relentlessly pursued by the villian, the evil Sir Jasper.

Youth and experience, laughter and song is the order of this performance.

Fancy That takes you down memory lane with some big show stoppers from some of WATS’ previous shows.

Bali Hai, Don’t Cry for me Argentina, Oklahoma, Do-re-mi, The Black Hills of Dakota to mention a few.

Two shows only at the Wellington Soldiers Memorial Club, Dinner Show, Saturday September 7, 7pm. Tickets $35, matinee Sunday September 8, 2pm. Tickets $15. A very enjoyable show, don’t miss it.

Come and let WATS entertain you.

Tickets need to be bought by Thursday August 22.

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Mallee voters have more choice

The emergence of a candidate for the Family First party hasbolstered the number of candidates vying for the seat of Mallee to eleven.

Voters have just three weeks in which to make their informeddecision on who they will vote for, before we head to the polls on Saturday,September 7 for the federal election.

Some in the electorate may believe having 11 candidates isfar to many, that it will only create more confusion. However, on the other endof the scale, it provides choice and healthy debate, all the right ingredientsfor a democracy.

The seat of Mallee has been held by The Nationals fordecades and with a big majority, but there are some who believe this will bereduced at the September election, others who are confident the seat will notonly be retained, but with an increased margin.

Perhaps the only let down for voters in Stawell is thatbeing part of such a vast electorate, stetching all the way up to Swan Hill, wedon’t tend to see or hear from candidates as much as we would if they lived onour doorstep.

That distance hasn’t prevented several of the candidatesfrom campaigning hard in areas like Stawell, where they know every vote isimportant and are aware how committed Stawell people are to ensuring we are animportant piece in the big Mallee jigsaw.

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