Ten thousand signatures needed to put road safety first

NRMA Motoring & Services and the Police Association of NSW are calling on motorists across the state to sign a petition to get the NSW Government to put all revenue raised from speed cameras back into funding road safety measures.

NRMA Director Graham Blight said the NRMA would need at least 10,000 signatures so that the issue of directly linking speed camera revenue to road safety funding – known as hypothecation – is debated in Parliament.

“For years we’ve been calling for the revenue raised from traffic fines, in particular enforcement cameras, to be hypothecated to specific road safety measures such as funding road improvements, road safety education and more highway patrols across the state,” Mr Blight said.

“We want the NSW Government in its first term to legislate the hypothecation of the more than $140 million collected by speed cameras each year. The best way to make this happen is to get the 10,000 signatures we need to get this issue debated by Parliament.

“If the Government is serious about reducing the road toll then there is no reason why this revenue can’t be used as extra funding for road safety.”

The NRMA is proposing an independent panel of experts be brought together including the NRMA and the NSW Police Association to ensure that the hypothecation of traffic fine revenue is adequately allocated and expended on road safety measures and that this information is made publicly available.

“We also want the NSW Government to commit to an annual audit of all camera sites across the state to ensure they are only used in places where they make the roads safer,” Mr Blight said.

Willow Bend at risk of flood devastation

CEO of the Condobolin Aboriginal Land Council, Rebecca Shepherd, surveys Willow Bend's broken flood gates and substandard levee while a concerned village resident looks on.

By Dominic Geiger

Revelations Willow Bend Village’s levee bank is at least one metre too low to protect the community in the event of a serious flood have emerged following last Wednesday’s council meeting.

It has also been revealed one of the community’s flood gates has fallen into the river while the other one is in a state of serious disrepair.

Despite having recently passed a motion to participate in the Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program for Willow Bend Village, administered by the NSW Office of Water, Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) is not responsible for the water services provided at Willow Bend.

“[These issues] are the Willow Bend Aboriginal community’s responsibility, as it is privately owned, [however] the shire has been trying to aid the community as much as possible in their attempt to acquire funding for the project,” Director for Technical Services at LSC Kevin Smith said.

CEO for the Condobolin Local Aboriginal Land Council (CLALC), Rebecca Shepherd, said the estimated cost of raising the kilometre long levee and replacing the flood gates was somewhere in the region of $800,000.

“The CLALC is confident the NSW Office of Water will contribute towards some of the funding, however we are unsure where the remainder will come from at this stage,” she said.

“During last year’s floods we were forced to sandbag the area to protect everyone who lives in the village.

“Since then, the NSW SES has conducted priority rankings of the most flood prone Aboriginal communities in NSW, with Willow Bend coming in at number two.”

Rebecca said in the event of a significant flood the community would be forced to evacuate.

“We have lots of elderly people and little children living here, so it would be difficult in an emergency,” she said.

“Because the shire is integrated into the whole process, they have been really supportive.

“Hopefully someone might help to sponsor those repairs which won’t be funded by the NSW Office of Water.

“It could be an opportunity for any major companies looking at setting up in Condobolin and working with the local community.”

Black spot project on Wyalong road

The Lachlan Shire Council has recently announced it is anticipating the approval of a $350,000 grant under the NSW Blackspot Program to address safety concerns on the Wyalong Road.

The grant will be combined with $400,000 of funding as part of the RTA Repair Program which council must meet dollar for dollar.

If council is successful with these grant applications it will mean $1,150,000 will be made available for road works on particularly dangerous stretches of road throughout the shire in the 2011/2012 financial year.

Director of Technical Services at the shire, Kevin Smith, said the Wyalong Road’s narrow nature and restricted visibility had caused a number of accidents over recent years.

“Council is currently waiting for the state minister to advise if we’ve been successful in applying for the grant, however we’re very hopeful and news from the minister is imminent,” he said.

“The project will entail road widening on the Wyalong Road and additional monies being used for work on all regional roads within the shire.

“This will improve safety significantly; particularly when trucks and buses pass each other.

“Sometimes these vehicles must go on to the gravel to pass each other.

“Council has also received a number of complaints from visitors with caravans.

“The safety of this road is an issue which has been raised by members of the community for a significant amount of time.”

Free Cuppa for the Driver campaign shifts up a gear

By Dominic Geiger

The success of the ‘Free Cuppa for the Driver’ campaign will see the initiative expand well beyond the borders of Forbes, Parkes and Lachlan Shires when it is reintroduced in Easter next year.

The campaign, which was first run last Christmas holidays, invites participating businesses to offer free cups of coffee or tea to drivers passing through town with the aim of combating driver fatigue in rural areas.

Speaking at the recent Lachlan Shire Council meeting, Road Safety Officer for the Forbes, Parkes and Lachlan Shires, Melanie Suitor, said businesses as far north as Moree would now be asked to participate.

“It was an interesting campaign and we learnt a lot from it,” she said.

“We had about 75 people who took part in the project fill out feedback forms and who also went into the draw to win various prizes.

“The feedback we received from businesses was that summer was too hot for people to want coffee or tea, so that’s why we’ve moved it to the Easter holidays this time.”

Melanie said the campaign also offered businesses a chance to promote themselves.

“We’ll be creating posters and stickers as well as erecting banners at the entrances to towns to help raise awareness about the scheme,” she said.

“We’ll also cross promote towns through tourism information centres and caravan parks.”

In Condobolin, approximately five businesses took part in the campaign last Christmas.

Angela Coceancic, from participating business Nolls Bakery, said she found very few people actually asked for the free cuppa, despite having promotional posters on the windows of the bakery.

“We found we offered the drinks more often than the customers asked for them,” she said.

“People were very appreciative, but it seems if people actually want coffee, they’re going to pay for it rather than be looking for something for free.”

Beware of hopping hazards on NSW roads

Central west drivers are being encouraged to watch out for kangaroos on the road with recently released figures from NRMA insurance stating the marsupials accounted for 75 percent of all animal related collisions last year.

The insurer said data also showed NSW had the highest rate of collisions compared to the other states with over 7,000 claims.

NRMA Insurance Head of Research, Robert McDonald, said kangaroos continue to pose a serious hazard on country roads.

“Kangaroos are often looking for food at sunrise and sunset and it’s during this time that an increased number of collisions occur.

“We have seen a reduction in animal related collision claims this year, which may be due to many of the regions moving out of drought conditions, which means animals tend to be less active near busy roads or highways, hunting for food.

“We want to urge all drivers to be aware when at the wheel.

“How you react when you see a kangaroo on the road can potentially save lives.

“Drivers should also be mindful when dogs and cats are near the road with data showing that dogs are the second most likely animal to be involved in a collision.

The Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) said kangaroos are an iconic feature of the Australian countryside.

WIRES General Manager, Leanne Taylor, said certain areas have seen the numbers of particular species of kangaroos dwindle with traffic accidents significantly contributing to the decline.

“If you hit a kangaroo and it is critically injured, please call WIRES or your local wildlife group or call the police,” Ms Taylor said.

NRMA Insurance offers some advice for NSW drivers: If you see a kangaroo on or near the road, you should try and brake, but not swerve to avoid a collision; reduce your speed inside sign posted wildlife areas; if you hit the animal and safety permits, you should try to help by moving it to the side of the road to prevent further crashes; don’t force the animal to eat or drink and contact a local veterinarian or a wildlife rescue centre such as WIRES.

Animal collision hotspots in the Central West area include: Dubbo with 101, Parkes with 42, Orange with 39, Forbes with 31 and Condobolin with 30.

National Farm Safety week

Allan Helyar and an old John Deere tractor at a past Condobolin Show. Old tractors like these don’t have the safety features of modern machinery.With around 44 deaths in 2010 from farm accidents across Australia, the Ambulance Service of New South Wales is urging the rural community to maintain safe work practices on the farm to prevent serious injury and death from accidents.

Some high risk situations and incidents on farms involved; tractors, quad bikes, machinery, horse riding, roaming livestock, dams and exposure to chemicals.

By taking these following safety precautions you will be able to prevent incidents such as the above and keep yourself, work mates and family members safe.

Some safety advice includes:

• When driving a tractor, never let other people especially children, stand on the side and always attempt to drive on level land.

• Prior to reversing, walk around your vehicle to check for obstacles or children, it only takes a few seconds.

• When towing tall equipment look up for power lines.

• Install approved rollover protective structures that add to safety, and slow down when using vehicles such as quad bikes.

• People who are not used to being around animals need to be careful as animals can be unpredictable.

• Educate your children from an early age about hazardous areas on your property and how to dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency.

• Ensure you wear appropriate safety gear and work within well ventilated areas when operating machinery that requires petrol or diesel and wear an approved helmet when riding horses or using a quad bike or motorbike.

It is important to note that in an emergency, don’t panic and do not drive yourself or someone who is sick or injured to the hospital. You can do more for the patient by staying calm, reassuring them and applying first aid while you wait for paramedics to arrive.

Roundabout confusion in Condobolin

Compiled by Dominic Geiger

Last week’s vehicle collision at a Condobolin roundabout has highlighted a disturbing trend amongst Lachlan Shire motorists.

Many of us don’t know how to navigate roundabouts correctly.

Melanie Suitor, Road Safety & Injury Prevention Officer for Forbes, Parkes and Lachlan Shires, said many people in the region are unclear about how to drive through roundabouts.

“In particular, [people are confused about] how we should indicate and who has right of way,” she said.

Tarmia Healey, who works at Shell Service Station in Condobolin, said she often saw people drive through the service station to avoid the roundabout altogether.

“They come flying through [the car park] just so they don’t have to use the roundabout,” she said.

Kellie Mooney, who also works at Shell Condobolin, said she found it extremely dangerous when driving through roundabouts in town.

“Nobody seems to know the rules,” she said.

“I admit I’m probably one of the worst offenders though.

“They seem to nearly cause accidents everyday; kids also play on it and use it like a skatepark.”

Melanie Suitor said the confusion was understandable considering roundabout rules had changed over the past decade.

“Remember [when approaching] a roundabout: slow down, give way and indicate,” she said.

“Approach a roundabout with care.

“Slow down and be ready to give way to traffic already on the roundabout if there is any risk of collision.

“Enter the roundabout only if there is a safe gap in the traffic and show courtesy to others that have been waiting longer.

“Don’t forget to indicate as you are exiting the roundabout.

“Be aware of other road users such as pedestrians and cyclists when using a roundabout and remember the road is there to share.”

 

Bells Line Expressway campaign shifts up a gear

By Dominic Geiger

The Mayor of the Lachlan Shire, Des Manwaring, has recently added his support to the campaign to construct an expressway on the Bells Line of Road between Lithgow and Sydney.

The road, which was listed as NSW’s most dangerous road earlier this year, is one of the most popular routes for people travelling from the Lachlan Shire to Sydney.

Des said the construction must start by 2015 if Government is to adequately manage future economic and population growth in Sydney and in the Central Western region.

“There is renewed urgency to start construction of the Bells Line Expressway by 2015 to accommodate future population, agriculture and transport trends,” Des said.

“The Bells Group and the Western Research Institute have compiled new and updated data that clearly shows why the Expressway must commence by 2015 and the benefits it will bring to local communities such as Condobolin and the whole of Lachlan Shire.”

Despite this, the project has drawn criticism from environmental groups in the region.

Keith Muir, Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, said the enormous amount of environmental feasibility studies, property acquisition, and construction work required for the proposed highway meant it would not be economically productive.

“It will [also] create a massive swath of destruction through the World Heritage Blue Mountains; it’s a ridiculous idea,” he said.

Bells Line Expressway chairperson, Ian Armstrong, dismissed these claims, saying that as costing had not yet been done on the studies, it was impossible to predict what they would eventually amount to.

“Anyone trying to talk about project costing can not have a base of knowledge to go off,” he said.

“Firstly, If Sydney’s population growth us is to expand as projected, Sydney will have to spill west over the mountains.

“Sydney can not go north, south or east; it must go west.

“Secondly, [Studies] have listed the Bells Line of Road as the route that will achieve this with the least amount of environmental impact.”

“Bells Line of Road is the most dangerous road in NSW by twelve percent, it is essential we have a safe route over the mountains.”

 

New RFS station tanker for Ootha

The Ootha Rural Fire Brigade celebrate the opening of their new Rural Fire Station.

Compiled by Dominic Geiger

The Ootha Rural Fire Service recently conducted a ceremony to announce the opening of a brand new Rural Fire Brigade station and the acquisition of a new category one tanker.
The new two-bay station replaces the former one-bay station the brigade had been using in the town.
Team Manager at the Forbes Office Mid Lachlan Valley Team, Ken Neville, said the upgrade meant the Ootha Brigade now had state of the art equipment held in a station that would preserve the machinery well in to the future.
“The tanker is able to respond to any type of incident, including motor vehicle, grass, bush and structural fires,” he said.
Ken said although Ootha is located on the north west edge of the Forbes Shire, the brigade is active with responses to emergencies in their local area.
“The Ootha brigade is able to respond to emergencies in both the Lachlan and Forbes areas and both brigades have worked together in the past.”
Funding for the station was obtained through the Rural Fire Fighting Fund with local companies and trades people undertaking the majority of the construction.

Watch out, animals about!

An RTA spokesperson has announced the launch of a radio safety campaign to help increase awareness among rural motorists about the dangers animals on the road can present.
“While most crashes involving animals are minor, in the past five years there were 967 crashes on western NSW roads involving an animal where someone was killed or injured, or a vehicle was so badly damaged it had to be towed,” an RTA spokesperson said.
“One in five crashes on rural roads involves an animal, and not just wild animals, straying stock like cattle and sheep, also present a risk to motorists.
“Crashes involving animals are on the rise because of the large amount of food available next to roads.
“Also, as winter approaches the days are becoming shorter, so there are more drivers on the road during the high risk times of dusk and dawn.
“This is when native animals are most active and when the safety campaign will air on local radio stations. The advertisements aim to alert motorist to the risks and remind them to take extra care.”
“Motorists should be on the lookout for animals on rural roads especially if there are animal warning signs displayed in the area.
“Reduce your speed – you’ll have more time to see and respond to an animal on the road if you are travelling slower. If a crash does occur, it will be less severe.
“Finally, remember that swerving may result in you losing control of your vehicle.
“If a motorist swerves the vehicle can veer into the path of another vehicle or run off the road.
“Injured native wildlife can be reported to Wires on 1800 641 188,” the spokesperson said.
Radio advertising will be heard until the end of June on various radio stations in the west of the state.

Winter fire safety

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Mid Lachlan valley Team is urging people living and visiting Forbes, Lachlan, Parkes and Weddin shires to be vigilant about winter fire safety.
“Winter is traditionally the most dangerous time of year for home fires and it’s important that visitors and holiday makers, as well as residents, remain vigilant to the risk of fire,” said Superintendent Ken Neville, team manager.
“People need to be aware of the risks associated with using heating and other electrical appliances during the colder months.
“Households should regularly check heating appliances for faults, turn off electric blankets when not in use and use ember guards on wood-fired heaters and dispose of the hot ash properly.
“It is also vital that people take simple fire safety steps such as ensuring they have working smoke alarms and evacuation plans.”
“The emergency services may need to travel a considerable distance in remote areas, so it is vital that people in rural and isolated locations are conscious of the need to take fire safety precautions.
“Whether you’re at home or on holidays staying in a motel, bed and breakfast, guesthouse or cottage, you should know how to escape in the event of a fire and where to go once you’re out,” he said.
“In the event of a fire, you should get out, call Triple Zero (000) and wait for the emergency services to arrive.”
“Families should discuss this plan with their children so everyone knows what to do. If you are in an isolated location, it is even more important that you can escape the fire quickly and stay safe until the emergency services arrive,” said Superintendent Neville.

Safety training DVD for Currajong Disability

Left: Crossing safely - John Dwyer, Timbo Wheeler and Bonita Brady • Right: Melanie Suitor with Currajong Disability services providers and the camera crew. DG

By Dominic Geiger

Clients at Currajong Disability Service are starring in an innovative local road safety training DVD aimed at reinforcing safe behaviour when crossing the road.
Michelle Mahlo, Day Programs Coordinator from Currajong Disability Service, says the development of the training DVD has been made possible through grant funding from NRMA and the assistance of Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils.
“This training DVD aims to educate our clients on the basic pedestrian safety principle – STOP. LOOK. LISTEN and THINK.
“Over the past few months our clients have enjoyed starring in the training DVD, which is being filmed at various locations in Parkes, Forbes and Condobolin.
“The training DVD is aimed specifically at our clients and the benefit of filming locally is that they will recognise all of the places shown,” Ms Mahlo said.
Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, says the training DVD will be a valuable training resource that Currajong Disability Service’s clients will understand and relate to.
“I’ve been conducting road safety and specifically pedestrian safety programs with Currajong Disability Services’ clients since 2003.
“The training DVD will really enhance these programs by visually showing clients the correct and safe road crossing behaviour at places that they know and use regularly.
“The training DVD explains the STOP. LOOK. LISTEN and THINK message and shows clients and a support worker crossing the road at pedestrian crossings, pedestrian refuges, traffic lights, at bus stops, using railway crossings and more,” Ms Suitor said.
The training DVD will be used regularly to support Currajong’s Disability community access programs and educational/community programs. It will also be made available to other local disability services in the region.
“Once all the filming and editing is complete there will be an official premier with local stakeholders to celebrate all the hard work,” Ms Suitor said.
For further information please contact:
Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, on (02) 6861 2364 or
Currajong Disability Services’ Day Programs Coordinator, Michelle Mahlo, on (02) 6863 4713.

Safety concerns prompt new event banner poles

By Dominic Geiger

Representatives from Lachlan Shire Council were in the main street of Condobolin last Wednesday to select a suitable place to construct new poles to hang event banners from.
The decision to create the poles as an alternative to hanging banners from opposing buildings follows safety concerns after the ‘Condo 750’ Todd Porter, Kevin Smith, Director of technical services at Lachlan Shire, George Cowan General Manager of Lachlan Shire, and Councillor Ray Shieldssign fell down and caused traffic delays two weeks ago.
The new site for the poles will be on the Western end of the shopping precinct in Bathurst Street, with one garden bed needing to be moved to provide room for the construction.
Two similar projects will also be undertaken in the towns of Lake Cargelligo and Tottenham.
Lachlan Shire General Manager, George Cowan, said all three towns had a history of supporting major local events and the construction of the banner poles would help groups promote their events more easily.
“We’ve been talking about the need for something like this for three years now,” he said.
“It’s primarily a safety thing; we’ll be keeping all the car parks and simply moving the garden bed (on the southern side of the street).”
Councillor Ray Shields said it was great to be finally getting the project completed.
“Events such as the Condo 750 are important to tourism,” he said.
“It’s essential to support them in a noticeable and safe way.”

Helping learner drivers become safer drivers

Free two hour workshop for Condobolin

A free workshop for parents and supervisors of learner drivers will be held at the Lachlan Shire Council offices in Condobolin on Wednesday 4th May.
The free two hour workshop, Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers, will offer parents and supervisors hands-on advice on how to provide the most effective driving practice for learner drivers.
Lachlan Shire Council’s Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, who is presenting the workshop says it is well worth attending.
Mel Suitor showing how to correctly display an L plate“Parents and supervisors of learner drivers have a crucial role to play in making our roads safer.  That is why Lachlan Shire Council have teamed up with the RTA  to hold these FREE two hour workshops to offer practical advice to parents and supervisors on how to help learner drivers become safer drivers.
“The workshop covers topics such as; the new license  conditions for learner and P-plate drivers, how to use the Learner Driver Logbook, the benefits of on-road driving sessions and tips on supervising a learner driver.
“Parents and supervisors who have attended this workshop in the past have found that it boosted their confidence, helped them better plan driving sessions and allowed them to share their experiences with other parents and supervisors,” Ms Suitor said.
Condobolin’s Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers workshop will be held at the Lachlan Shire Council offices on Wednesday 4th May commencing at 6pm.
Light refreshments will be available during the workshop.
Bookings are essential and can be made by calling Ms Suitor on (02) 6861 2364.
For further information please call Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, on (02) 6861 2364.

The Condobolin Argus – 10 years old

With The Condobolin Argus’ 10th birthday nearly upon us, first week of May, it seemed appropriate for a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the issues and events that have been critical in making The Argus the influential and relevant community newspaper it is today.
With so many editions archived in the depths of the Argus library, the task of revisiting important stories and campaigns seemed daunting at first, though with much perseverance, the team at The Argus has managed to compile a fairly concise list of ten achievements it feels have been most relevant to the Lachlan Shire community.
They are (in no particular order):
Joining the battle to keep the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station up and running.
In March 2009, The Argus reported on the NSW Labor Government’s decision to close the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station (CARAS). A surge of public protest culminating in a rally in Condobolin’s main street reversed that decision.
Helping prevent the closure of Target Country in Condobolin.
In January 2003, The Argus confirmed Condobolin Target Country would remain open despite pressure to close the store. The Argus supported the store during the resulting six month trial period through a ‘shop local’ campaign.
Helping to promote the Condobolin skate park project.
The Argus has been supporting the Condobolin skate park project for a number of years. The project is finally becoming a reality with the final draft becoming available for public comment following Lachlan Shire Council Meeting on 20th April.
Supporting the RTA’s ‘Three Shires’ initiative to help reduce the region’s road toll.
This project aims to increase road safety throughout the Lachlan, Forbes and Parkes shires. Part of this project has been the wheelie bin initiative, encouraging children to decorate wheelie bins in an effort to highlight road safety. The Argus played a large role in encouraging people to take part in this project, and now also has a very happy looking bin.
Providing full yet sensitive coverage of breaking news including human tragedies.
For example on the 2nd of December 2005, a ten-seater Piper Chieftain light plane crashed on Neil Baxter’s property ‘Craig End’. Unfortunately, the incident resulted in the loss of several lives and resulted in an Australian Transport Safety Bureau inquiry. The Argus printed continuous coverage of the incident from the crash to release of the inquiry.
Coverage of natural disasters.
The Argus has been instrumental in keeping the community aware of various fires and floods which have affected the region over the past ten years. With the real time news delivery available with the internet, The Argus can now deliver information to readers as soon as natural disasters unfold. This was most recently demonstrated during the floods in Ungarie last month.
Promotion of local tourism initiatives, particularly ‘Utes in the Paddock’.
Owing to the Argus’ commitment to improving tourism in the Lachlan Shire (and perhaps due to the fact our editor is one of the artists) Utes in the Paddock has become a ‘must see’ on any visitor’s to do list. Beginning in 2007, The Utes in the Paddock Project now includes 15 ute artworks and has been nominated for a NSW Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award and People’s Choice Tourist Experience Award.
Coverage of Aboriginal issues and events in the Lachlan Shire.
The Argus has strived to help ‘close the gap’ on Indigenous inequality though a focus on providing fair and unbiased reporting on events and issues important to the Wiradjuri community. The Argus has frequently reported positively on Aboriginal tourism, educational and employment initiatives.
Promotion of major events such as the Condo 750, Tattoo,  Condo B & S and our Australian Idol Shannon Noll.
The Argus has thrown its support behind various community oriented events over its ten year history. This promotion has been in the form of editorials, advertorials and extensive advertising features before, during and after events.
Support of local Charity Organisations
When major charity events and fundraisers happen in the Lachlan Shire, The Argus is always in the thick of the action, lending its promotional power to the event. Various charities and charitable organisations.

Support for Community much more than just words in a newspaper.
Born out of a large gathering of members from right across the community forming the view more could be done to promote our region, The Condobolin Argus actively pursues promotional opportunities in may different ways.
The paper looks to attract staff with high level skills and talents that offer its community additional benefits. One staff member worked tirelessly on submissions and promotion for the Professional Bull Riders event. That event attracting large crowds enhancing business for the local community. Yet another staff member successfully competed the local Show Girl promotion being awarded State Runner Up at the Royal Easter Show, thereby doing a magnificent job of promoting our region.
Focus for The Condobolin Argus is very firmly on assisting local community to promote itself, diligently managing advertisers funds to employ high level skills providing a holistic service. One portfolio sponsored by The Condobolin Argus in this way is that of ‘Community Promotions Officer’.
All of this has only been made possible by your strong support over the past ten years. Thank you for helping us to provide this service to our community.
To help your local community newspaper celebrate its 10th birthday and plan for many more, please drop on by the office at 93 Bathurst Street Condobolin during the first week of May -We’ll have some birthday cake.

One third of over 50s have experienced a home invasion

Alarming new figures show almost one in three Australians over 50 (31%) have been the victim of a break-in while at home, according to research from leading national over 50s insurance provider Apia.
Even more disturbingly, almost two-thirds (63%) of those who have had their home broken into while they were there, were not even aware the intruder was in the house.
Apia Executive Manager Craig Dingle said the research highlighted the importance of older residents remaining security conscious, even when at home.
“Apia’s research found that a third of Australians over 50 (33%) admit they are apprehensive or uneasy about leaving their home empty when they go on holidays in case it is broken into while they are away, but the data shows that many thefts can occur even when the home is occupied,” Mr Dingle said.
“Coming face to face with an intruder during a home invasion can be a frightening and dangerous experience, so it makes sense to reduce the risk of a break-in by following some basic security precautions while at home.
“Consider taking some simple steps like locking external doors and windows if you’re going to be out in the garden or in another area of the house, and not leaving handbags or keys within easy reach of open windows.
“On a more positive note, our research actually found that people over 50 were the most likely of all age groups to warn others in the neighbourhood if they were the victim of a break-in, with 87% saying that they would alert their neighbours to the risk,” Mr Dingle said.
Apia’s research, released to coincide with the start of New South Wales Seniors Week, also found that many people aged over 50 failed to take basic security measures to protect their home when they went out.
17% of over 50s nationally said they sometimes left a spare house key under a door mat or pot plant.
34% said they sometimes left their front or back door unlocked when they probably shouldn’t.
28% said they sometimes left window locks unlocked.
39% of people aged over 50 with home security systems admit they sometimes go out without switching the alarm on.
“Opportunistic thieves will take advantage of an unlocked door or unlatched window to break into a home, so taking some simple home security precautions can make a big difference,” Mr Dingle said.
“Apia encourages all Australians, regardless of age, to remain security conscious and stay safe both at home and when out and about.”

Is your place safe and secure?

With a recent spate of vandalism in Condobolin, you might be wondering about the best way to keep your home (or your windows) safe from crime.
As a result, The Condobolin Argus caught up with a number of security business owners to find out what the trends and latest developments are when it comes to keeping homes secure.
Ken Mitchell, owner of Mitchell’s Security Services, said home invasions were becoming increasingly common during working hours.
“In Bathurst, 72% of break-ins in private residences happen during daylight hours,” he said.
“Home invasions are also significantly more common than business break and enters.”
Ken said the growing trend was for people to install surveillance cameras on their properties.
“CCTV networks are no longer terribly expensive,” he said.
“With all the new mobile phone technology, you can even get the stream of pictures from the cameras straight to your phone.
“In addition to that, alarm systems are as popular as ever, as are security screens.”
Ken said despite these security systems, the easiest way to deter home invasions was to use common sense.
“If people go away, it’s important not to leave their bins outside for collection and to get someone else to collect their mail; they’re both dead giveaways that there’s no one home,” he said.
“It’s also important for people to not leave their spare keys in obvious places like in pot plants or under a doormat.”
Col Lamrock, owner of Glassplace, said there was a real need for people to use security screens and doors to protect homes and businesses from unnecessary damage.
“Damage to property can be from burglaries and direct criminal activity, though is more likely through senseless vandalism,” he said.
“Fitting high quality security doors such as woven steel products can deter most attacks of this nature.”
For a do it yourself installation security system for your home or business, drop into Condobolin Retravision.
Or if you would prefer to have one installed for you, give Paul Riley Electrics a call.

Increasing awareness of Diabetes during Senior’s week

This week is NSW Senior’s Week and the Australian Diabetes Council is calling for older Australians to take a proactive approach to their health to prevent Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease – diabetes – and its related complications.
Many older people are unaware they are living with the preventable disease, which can lead to a number of serious complications further down the track.
In fact: • 40.9% of people living with diabetes are aged over 64 years of age. • In the year 2008-09, 17,491 people over the age of 60 were hospitalised due to diabetes in NSW alone
Diabetes often leads to a range of further complications including stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease, erectile dysfunction, ulcers, nerve disease, and blood vessel damage which can lead to limb amputation
Don’t just blame old age. 15 March 2011 (SYDNEY) – Older Australians are urged to take a proactive approach to their health to prevent Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease – diabetes – and its related complications.
Diabetes is a particularly significant issue for seniors, with 40.9% of people living with diabetes aged over 64 years of agei. However, many older Australians aren’t aware they are living with the disease, as symptoms of diabetes may go unnoticed or mistaken as a natural part of aging – which can lead to worsening symptoms and further complications before it is correctly diagnosed and treated.
“The message this Seniors Week is to live your life. Don’t just put health warning signs down to ageing, be proactive and look after yourself. Seeking medical advice, not merely assuming new symptoms are a part of the process of aging is an important part of ensuring older Australians are able to live their lives to the full,” says Nicola Stokes, CEO of the Australian Diabetes Council.
Diabetes often leads to a range of further complications including stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease, erectile dysfunction, ulcers, nerve disease, and blood vessel damage which can lead to limb amputation. In the year 2008-09, 17,491 people over the age of 60 were hospitalised due to diabetes in NSW alone, and the year before, 60% of national diabetes-associated hospitalisations were of people aged 65 and older.
Symptoms of diabetes may include blurred vision, skin infections, slow healing, tingling and numbness in the feet.
“Prevention and management of symptoms and complications helps people to live healthy, fulfilling lives. You are never too old to make a healthy change”, says Stokes.
There are a number of ways older Australians can prevent the onset of diabetes: Five simple tips for preventing diabetes and complications: • Follow a healthy eating plan, low in fat and high in fibre (three meals per day). • Cut down to a maximum of 1-2 standard alcoholic drinks per day. • Participate in regular physical activity, aiming for around 30 minutes daily. • See your doctor regularly – have blood pressure, cholesterol and eyes examined. • Check your feet daily for discoloration, bruising or sores.

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