Taggers hit Bellambi surf club

Wollongong City Council’s Michael Callender inspects graffiti yesterday at the Bellambi surf club hit by taggers just days after news of plans to put murals there. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODOBellambi Surf Life Saving Club has been plastered with fresh graffiti just days after plans were unveiled to revive the building with murals painted by schoolchildren.On Saturday, the Mercury reported Aboriginal artist Kevin Butler had spent three weeks working with children at Bellambi Public School to create eight mural boards for the surf club’s walls.But by Tuesday afternoon, vandals had again left their mark on the building.Wollongong City Council spends thousands of dollars each year removing graffiti from the building – a vandalism hot spot.RELATED COVERAGE ————————————- Woonona playground moved because of hoons Balgownie Public School attacked by vandals Two weeks of destruction across the Illawarra ————————————————————“It’s extremely disappointing to see that the Bellambi surf club has been hit once again by vandals,” a council spokeswoman said yesterday. The council had inspected the site and contacted police about the incident.The mural boards, each 2.4m high and 1.2m wide, are expected to be on the walls within weeks. It is hoped they will deter vandals from using the surf club walls as a blank canvas and instil community pride in the building.”The murals were designed and painted by students to reduce the amount of graffiti occurring on the building and give back some ownership to the children, families and residents in Bellambi,” the council spokeswoman said.The council’s director of community, cultural and library services, Illana Halliday, last week described the mural project as “a great initiative that not only helps prevent graffiti, but teaches younger children about the cost of graffiti to the community”.
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Teen cries as mum jailed

A Bolwarra Heights mother of two will spend Christmas behind bars for stealing electronics to fund her drug habit.
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A teenage boy wept in the public gallery as Kim Bush was taken into custody yesterday after pleading guilty to six counts of possession of a prescribed restricted substance, larceny and possession of suspected stolen goods.

Bush’s solicitor said that since his client was diagnosed with depression seven years ago she had self medicated with restricted substances while taking medication prescribed by her doctors.

Bush, 39, was found in possession of six different types of prescription drugs and stolen goods when police raided her Paterson Road home in January this year.

Court documents said she told police: “I don’t know what they are really, it’s just where I keep my pills”.

She said the pills were to help her sleep and she didn’t have a prescription.

Police found two iPods, one Bush said she’d had for several years the other she could not explain how it came into her possession.

Two GPS devices, three cameras, keys and a wristwatch still in the packaging were found at the home along with two bicycles.

The court heard Bush told probation and parole officers in a pre-sentence assessment that she was happy with her lifestyle as it was.

Her solicitor conceded his client had served jail time for similar offences. Her first conviction was in 1996 for introducing a syringe into a prison, seven years later in 2003 she was jailed for larceny and again in 2005 and 2008.

“Ms Bush has made depressingly regular appearances before this court in relation to offences of dishonesty – offences that relate to a drug dependent lifestyle,” magistrate John Chicken said.

“Unless you turn your life around you’ll spend continuing periods in


Bush was jailed three months for possession of suspected stolen goods and will be placed on an 18-month good behaviour bond for the six drugs charges when she is released on February 4.

A Bolwarra Heights mother of two will spend Christmas behind bars for stealing electronics to fund her drug habit.

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Price ready to fire up Dragons attack

Dragons coach Steve Price is adamant he has everything he needs in his playing roster to be a force in the NRL next year.
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Dragons coach Steve Price.

The club has chased a number of playing targets in recent months, most notably Cooper Cronk, Michael Jennings and 2011 UK Super League man of steel Rangi Chase.

However, in each case St George Illawarra have failed to land the key signings, leaving a number of questions over player combinations for next year following the retirement of captain Ben Hornby and lock Dean Young.

Unveiling new signings Gerard Beale and Tyson Frizell as they returned to pre-season training yesterday, Price declared the Dragons should not be underestimated, despite missing out on the 2012 finals series.

“I’m really comfortable with the playing roster at the moment,” Price said.

“We’ve got Jamie Soward, Nathan Fien and Kyle Stanley in the halves and Josh Drinkwater from Manly in NYC.

“And we’ve got a great hooker in Mitch Rein and Cameron King is going to be putting pressure on him also.

“I’m very happy with the playing roster we’ve got.”

Price admits attack will be his top priority after scoring the least amount of points of any team in the competition this year.

But in the wake of Hornby’s and Young’s exit, as well as the departure of Beau Scott to Newcastle, it presents an opportunity for Price to find new ways to damage his opponents on the scoreboard.

“There’s definitely a need to improve our offence,” he said.

“We’re certainly aware of that, but there’s certain structures we’re going to be applying ourself in the pre-season. It’s going to be very basic, but, come the first trial, everyone is going to be fully aware of what’s expected of them.”

Price said he had no pre-conceived plans about who will replace Hornby in the No 7 jersey.

A section of the Dragons’ hierarchy has discussed the prospect of using the cash available in their salary cap to chase Queensland and Australia playmaker Johnathan Thurston next year.

They are also monitoring Craig Bellamy’s situation at Melbourne, but, after taking over from Wayne Bennett last year, Price said he was more comfortable in the Dragons’ hot seat the second time around.

“There’s always high expectations of our footy club and I expected nothing less,” he said.

“I have high expectations of myself, but, in saying that, I feel like I’m a lot more confident in my second year and I’m just looking forward to getting this pre-season right.”

Stanley is on the comeback trail from injury, but Price claimed the versatile young playmaker was on track to be available for their trial games in February.

Price said he was close to making a decision who will replace Hornby as captain, with second-rower Ben Creagh a likely candidate.

“I haven’t made a set call on who will be captain within our footy club,” Price said.

“There’s a number of candidates there and I’ll make that call in the next couple of weeks and go from there.

“Benny Creagh has been outstanding, he’s been in our leadership group for a number of years now and Nathan Fien and also Matty Cooper. So I’ll make that decision over the next couple of weeks and go from there.”

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Boss happy with Kelinni in Melbourne Cup

A few days ago, Glen Boss didn’t have a Melbourne Cup ride.
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He had harried and hustled connections of those who had already secured a spot in the 24-horse field.

None wanted to throw Makybe Diva’s pilot, the man who steered the great mare to three straight Melbourne Cup wins, a chance.

Now he is convinced Kelinni, who won through to the Melbourne Cup in the Lexus Stakes, the great race’s last chance saloon, will loom to win at some stage in today’s $6 million race.

“I’m pretty confident that at some stage he’ll be called a winner,” Boss told The Mercury. “Whether he’s got that class or the killer punch to put them away I don’t know. He’s got the turn of foot, but whether he’s got the class or the killer punch we won’t find out until the day.”

What Boss is sure about is the fact Chris Waller, who only gave Boss the nod on Saturday afternoon, has his best chance to date to win the Cup.

Jockey Glen Boss. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

All because the Irish-bred import somehow escaped penalty from Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter following his Lexus win.

Kelinni will carry just 51kg in the Cup – eight kilograms less than topweight and defending champion Dunaden.

“He’s got no weight and he didn’t get rehandicapped which I was so rapt about,” Boss said, who took over the mount from Kelinni’s regular heavyweight rider, Nash Rawiller.

“He’s in the race and I didn’t want them to give him any more weight. He’s got 51 [kilograms] and now with the spread from top to bottom it gives him a realistic chance.”

Sidelined through injury following a freak trackwork accident aboard ill-fated Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily last spring, Boss returned to his peak with the help of Cox Plate hero Ocean Park.

He said now it was time for multiple Sydney premiership-winning trainer Waller to take his turn to scale a Group 1 mountain.

Not that he expects there to be a dry eye at Flemington if that’s the case.

“For Chris Waller and his team that is around him it will be an amazing day,” Boss said. “He’s just rapt to be here with a realistic chance at the moment.

“I’m sure you’ll see him go right off [if Kelinni wins]. If he goes off there will be a sea of fake tan running down the straight because everyone will get it.”

Kelinni was last night listed a $21 shot.

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Businesses call for RBA to drop interest rate

Economic figures released ahead of the central bank’s monthly board meeting have failed to deliver a clear-cut case for an interest rate cut, but business believes a further reduction is needed now.
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Financial markets are priced for a less-than a 50 per cent chance of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) making another 25 basis point reduction that would take the cash rate to 3 per cent, following up on the cut in October.

But most economists expect the central bank to keep up the tradition of altering the cash rate on Melbourne Cup Day for a seventh straight year, and what would take the cash rate to the trough seen during the 2008-09 global financial crisis (GFC).

Acting Treasurer Penny Wong wouldn’t speculate on decisions taken by the independent RBA.

“But the government’s fiscal discipline has given the RBA maximum room to cut interest rates if they think it’s appropriate to do so,” Senator Wong, who is finance minister, said.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) director of economics and industry policy Greg Evans believes business needs another rate cut now.

“If not tomorrow, certainly December,” he said.

“The economy could well stall if the Reserve Bank decides to leave rate cuts until what would be February next year.”

The RBA does not hold a board meeting in January.

The ACCI business expectations survey for the September quarter, released yesterday, showed conditions continuing to deteriorate.

The business conditions index was 43.6 points, down from 44.4 in the previous quarter and staying below the 50-point level that separates growth from contraction.

More worrying was a fall in the expected economic performance index to 41.1 points, from 43.1.

“There seems to be an ingrained pessimism in Australian business,” Mr Evans said.

Weak business sentiment has hit demand for workers with the ANZ job advertisement survey falling for a seventh month in a row in October, plunging by 4.6 per cent.

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey said the figures “continue to show a pretty disappointing picture of the Australian economy”.


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