Policeman has complaint upheld

FOUR Wagga police officers have won the fight for justice after being involved in a Police Integrity Commission (PIC) investigation.Detective Senior Constable Timothy Scott Briggs had his complaint upheld, finding the PIC’s Operation Whistler (2007) denied him and other officers “procedural fairness”.The secondary investigation, Operation Alford, found Senior Constable Christopher John Jackson, Senior Constable Julie Teresa Philpott and Constable Amanda Rae Deissel had also been wronged by Operation Whistler.The report concluded that no further action should be taken against any of the officers involved in the investigation.Operation Whistler investigated the arrest of Allan Hathaway in Wagga on February 6, 2003 and the related prosecution of him in the Wagga Local Court. The PIC report was handed to NSW Parliament yesterday, finding material and opinions included in Operation Whistler n Continued Page 2n From Page 1should never have been included and be regarded as invalid.At this stage it is unclear as to what the result means for the officers but goes a long way to clearing their names over the alleged 2003 arrest and assault of Mr Hathaway.The quartet has been under intense scrutiny since the Hathaway case and subsequent civil case, which has been appealed by NSW Police.The PIC investigator found all officers were unfairly treated and not given due process.”The Commission regrets that the breaches of procedural fairness occurred and apologises to Detective Senior Constable Briggs, Constable Deissel, Senior Constable Jackson and Senior Constable Philpott,” the report said.”The above-mentioned portions of the Whistler Report affected by the failures to accord procedural fairness should not have appeared and should be regarded as invalid.”Wagga police did not wish to comment on the issue when contacted by The Daily Advertiser yesterday.The full Operation Alford and Operation Whistler reports can be found at the Police Integrity Commission website, www.pic.nsw.gov.au.
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Students wait on Uni advice

RELAX and take a deep breath.That is the advice to students who are about to commence their Year 12 studies at Wagga schools from this year’s outgoing students.Wagga’s HSC students received their subject scores yesterday and today, ATAR results are in but according to many, if you have a plan then the experience is not as bad as it seems.The HSC exams are often described as one of the most stressful and demanding times in a person’s life but there are some important elements to a successful exam period.Laura Wallace from Wagga High School said it was important to plan.”Pace yourself, don’t peak too early and don’t stress. It is important to sleep and have some relaxation time to take your mind off things,” she said.”After your exams get on with life. I think we all realised the HSC is not everything even though it has been drilled into us all year.”Emily Butler from The Riverina Anglican College (TRAC) said balance was the key to success.”You definitely need a bit of balance, breaks and everything are really important,” she said.”Chill after every exam. You’ve got to take some time off otherwise you’ll burn out and won’t perform as strongly.”TRAC principal Ian Grant echoed those thoughts, saying he told students to make time for friends, social life, sport and music.
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Stolen bins are big business

THE year 2009 will be known has the year of the stolen rubbish bin.More than 200 rubbish bins were reported stolen to police in the past 12 months, systematically stolen from every city suburb mainly on rubbish collection nights.Residents are being warned not to leave their bins on the curb for too long or risk paying the estimated $150 replacement fee.Central Wagga has seen the most bins go missing with 70 stolen in the last 12 months. Kooringal, Tolland and Ashmont were also dangerous for lonely bins. Police are hunting the bin bandits.
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Call for witnesses to blaze

A SPECIAL phone line is to be manned on Monday by detectives investigating last week’s deliberately lit fire that threatened the township of Wallendbeen in the Riverina’s north-east.Strike Force Henderson is investigating 14 fires, including the Wallendbeen blaze, that are believed to have been deliberately lit between Wallendbeen, Coolac and Cootamundra since October.Affected landholders in the Wallendbeen region can report damage to police, or pass on information about who was responsible, by calling 6942 0017 between 9am and 3pm on Monday, December 21.Cootamundra Detective Inspector Dean Smith said the fire, which ignited near the Old Gundagai Road and Olympic Highway intersection about 11.30am last Tuesday, was “definitely suspicious”.”The nature of this fire, and others, makes it definitely suspicious � the way they’ve come about, the time of day they have started, by the side of the road, etcetera,” he said.”Investigators would also like to hear from anyone who suffered damage to their property if they haven’t already reported it. All this information will be compiled for our report to the coroner.”
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Referees association slams comments made by Sayer

SOCCERBy Simon BrunsdonWAGGA Football Referees Association (WFRA) president Henri Moreels has slammed comments made by Football Wagga president Mark Sayer regarding the refereeing situation for next season.The ongoing feud between these two governing bodies continued after Moreels responded to Sayer’s comments published in The Daily Advertiser.The friction started almost two months ago when WFRA members received an email from Football Wagga informing them they no longer required their refereeing services.Ever since it has been a tennis match of comebacks firing back and forth.When referring to president Sayer and Football Wagga, Moreels quoted two well-known Australian sayings; “Tell him he’s dreaming” (The Castle) and “It’s a poor tradesman who blames his tools”.Football Wagga is aiming to improve the standard of the competition by replacing the Wagga Football Referees and South West Slopes Referees associations with their own “as yet un-established referees council.””To raise the standard of your football you must raise the standard of the players and playing conditions,” Moreels said.”The standard of refereeing in Wagga and District has been first class for as long as I can remember, and I have been a member of the footballing fraternity in Wagga for nearly 50 years.”Moreels also said that if Football Wagga was planning to increase the number of teams in first grade, the option would be to bring teams up from reserve grade, which he said would further diminish the football quality.Moreels says the “unanimous club decision” to introduce a new body of referees by Football Wagga is entirely false.”What a load of rubbish. Most of the people from a lot of the clubs I have spoken to don’t even know what Football Wagga are up to, let alone change the referees,” he said.Moreels was disappointed with the recent meeting held between Football Wagga and Football NSW.Despite the fact that the executives from both Wagga Football Referees and South West Slopes Referees associations were present, both refereeing bodies felt that nothing was resolved.Moreels says that despite Sayer’s comment, the WFRA did provide enough referees for matches last season.”The truth is there was only one match we failed to cover last season,” he said.”And we have 76 active members, not 36.”To top that off Football Wagga expects to cover all matches next season, including the increase in at least three first-grade teams and maybe more, with 20 members of their referees’ council. What was that line from The Castle?”Moreels was shocked at the suggestion there were issues with young referees in senior grades.He said at the meeting with Football NSW, Sayer stated there was no problem with junior referees and that the WFRA received no complaints from the clubs or Football Wagga.”The development and training he talks about won’t come from Football Wagga because there is no one with the qualifications or ability,” he said.”The dedicated members of the WFRA were the only people mentoring and developing the young referees.”It is hoped the feud between these two major sporting bodies will be resolved before next soccer season to benefit Wagga soccer overall.
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Pro-Am drawcard

WAGGA PRO-AMBy Les MuirINTERNATIONAL touring golf professional Paul Gow is poised to headline the $50,000 Wagga Pro-Am at Wagga Country Club in March.Signalling one of the biggest sporting coups for years in Wagga, the 39-year-old Australian golfer has given a clear indication he intends to play in the Wagga Pro-Am.Born and bred in Coonabarabran, Gow was an outstanding amateur player before turning professional in 1994.In recent years Gow has been a regular on the US PGA Tour, but has lost his “card” to play on the lucrative circuit in 2010.Wagga Golf Club resident coach Ian Ferguson yesterday revealed Gow’s inability to play on the PGA Tour was the major factor in considering a start in the Wagga Pro-Am on March 10-11.Ferguson said he had discussed Gow’s playing schedule during a meeting at the Australian Open at NSW Golf Club earlier this month.”Paul told me he’d loved to play in the Wagga Pro-Am, but couldn’t make a firm commitment at this stage,” Ferguson said.”He (Gow) said March was a fair way off and he was still working out his schedule.”He said he would certainly consider it. “He would definitely be a huge drawcard, but nothing is set in concrete.”Ferguson said Gow had the potential to tear apart Wagga Country Club at the Wagga Pro-Am, which is sponsored by Country Energy.”He’s a nice bloke and can really play the game,” he said.”You don’t shoot 60 at Castle Hill if you’re not a very good player.”That’s 12 under.”Gow won the rich Canon Challenge at Castle Hill in 2000 before returning the next year to defend the title.Although he failed to win again, Gow shot a sizzling course-record 60 during the tournament.Playing on the US PGA Tour, Gow burst to international prominence when he finished second to American Jeff Sluman in the $3 million B C Open in New York State in 2001.However, he has failed to keep his playing privileges on the American circuit for 2010.Since returning to Australia, he has played in the Australian Open and Australian PGA and is currently 55th on Order of Merit.Away from the golf courses, Gow is a regular golf commentator on Sydney radio.
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JB Hi-Fi finds home on Morgan Street

IT’S finally going to happen ? JB Hi-Fi is coming to Wagga.A large black and yellow sign to announce the impending arrival of the electronic megastore was strung up inside the shopfront at 75 Morgan Street yesterday that was once home to Go-Lo.More than 30 jobs, full-time and casual, are to be created when JB opens in late April or early May in 2010.JB Hi-Fi’s national property manager Bruce Sinclair said it was coup for both the company and Wagga.”Our stores are very busy and trade seven days a week with extended hours for late-night shopping. We’ve been looking for quite some time for the right place in Wagga,” Mr Sinclair said.”The owner (of the building) has a bit of work to do before we can get in there. It’s what we wanted, 1000 square metres, which will take about eight weeks to fit out and stock up once that work is done.”We think we’ll do well in Wagga ? it’s a prosperous city and that’s one of the reasons we were keen to open.”The Wagga JB Hi-Fi will be a “full-range” store, stocking everything from game consoles to home theatre, printers and cameras to iPods and in-car entertainment.Principal of Knight Frank Wagga, Jill Toohey, has co-ordinated the signing of a 10-year lease between JB Hi-Fi and the property owner, a private investor.Inquiries from large, national tenants who want to rent space in the Wagga retail market had increased out of sight, she said.”The retail market in Wagga is performing strongly. There is growing recognition from national retailers that the market has remained comparatively immune from the worst effects of the global financial crisis,” Ms Toohey said.”Inquiry levels are strong as is competition for the available space.”Wagga has recently welcomed Aldi to Glenfield Park and this week, Bunnings has re-opened a larger premises at the corner of Dobney Avenue and Pearson Street.
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Bernard at the top of the class

WAGGA High School student Bernard Lagana has hit the right note in his HSC music exam to come equal first in the state.The 18-year-old saxophone maestro from Wagga received the recognition he deserved yesterday when it was confirmed he had scored equal top in his Music 1 subject.Bernard received his award from Premier Kristina Keneally at a ceremony held at Australian Technology Park in Sydney, watched on by his proud mum Frances Nethery.For Bernard, it is another accolade for the extensive portfolio he has built on his musical talents since first picking up a saxophone at age 13.He has performed extensively across the United States, China and Sydney.In September, on the day he was to sit his exam, Bernard discovered he had been recognised with the Minister’s Award for Excellence in student achievement.Yesterday, Bernard was on top of the world.”I feel pretty stoked right now. It hasn’t really sunk in. I just love my music,” he said.Mrs Nethery said she had not experienced too many ups and downs along Bernard’s HSC journey.”He’s worked hard and consistently all the way through so there was no mad rush at the end,” she said. “For the last three years, he’s travelled to and from Sydney for music lessons on a regular basis. We’ve tried to give him the best opportunities to develop but still give him the benefit of growing up in the country. I am an extremely proud mum.”Despite his successes, Bernard has a realistic outlook on a full-time career in the music industry.”I’m tossing up between studying at the Sydney Conservatorium next year or Charles Sturt at Albury in physiotherapy. There’s so much instability in music so I’m thinking that physiotherapy would be a good way to earn an income,” he said.Full HSC results for all students are available from 6am today by visiting www.hscresults.nsw.edu.au.
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Carroll still committed to Wagga

WELL-KNOWN Wagga cardiologist, Doctor Gerard Carroll said yesterday that his recent appointment as the Dean of Medicine at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney campus will not disrupt his work commitments with Riverina Cardiology. The leading Wagga specialist was offered the position in Syd-ney as a full-time job, but was only willing to accept if he could still live and work in Wagga.For the past four weeks, Dr Carroll has been leading the Sydney School of Medicine as it expands and enters its third year.”It’s a great privilege and opportunity for me, and I hope to be able to contribute to medical student education across Australia, particularly emphasising on rural areas,” Dr Carroll said. “This will in no way disrupt the existing quality and array of clinical service in Wagga.”Riverina Cardiology will still go on.”There are currently three full-time cardiologists at Riverina Cardiology; Dr Mike McCready, Dr Peter Ruchin and Dr Arnagretta Hunter.Three other visiting specialists from Sydney will also assist with the workload at Riverina Cardiology.Dr Carroll will work in Sydney for three days and continue to practice in Wagga hospitals for two days every working week. “There is lots to see and lots to learn and I am confident I can make it all work,” Dr Carroll said. “I will be seeing patients in rooms in both hospitals every week and will continue to do cardiac procedures in hospitals every week.”I have no intention to move.”Dr Carroll said for the past six years he has been out of Wagga for days at a time because of other medical commitments, and admitted the only change the new job will cause is a day less per week with Wagga patients.
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Farrer League to herald new-look competition

FARRER LEAGUEBy Matt MalonePREMIER Collingullie-Ashmont-Kapooka will meet Marrar in a grand final replay to open next year’s Farrer League season.Farrer League officials have organised a blockbuster opening round to kick off the new-look eight-team competition next year.A replay of this year’s fiery grand final between the Demons and Bombers will headline the opening round, along with a clash between new Farrer League clubs Eastern Hawks and North Wagga.AFL Riverina football operations manager Shane Buchanan said the opening round blockbusters were a deliberate ploy to add excitement to the rejuvenated competition.”It’s a new initiative that should add some spice to the opening round,” Buchanan said yesterday.”Last season’s grand final was a good one and it was probably only fitness that separated the two in the end.”Marrar has recruited pretty well so it should be a good game to kick off the year.”Buchanan believes the Eastern Hawks and North Wagga clash will also attract plenty of attention.”Eastern Hawks have recruited fairly well and North Wagga seem a bit of an unknown,” Buchanan said.”Being the two new teams in the competition, everyone will be keen to see how they go so it should add some spice to the season opener as well.”Temora will host Northern Jets in a local derby in round one.The Rock-Yerong Creek will take on Rivcoll in the final game, a rivalry from last year after the Bushpigs scored their drought-breaking victory over the Magpies.The new-look Farrer competition will play a 16-round home-and-away season.Each team will play each other twice, plus two extra rounds.The five-team finals series will take place over four weeks and conclude with grand final day on Saturday, September 11.Buchanan said there were several features of the draw.”Marrar and The Rock are holding their Anzac Day match again,” Buchanan said.”It was a great success last year so it’s good to see them do that again.”There is also a good mix of same-day footy with Northern Jets and Temora.”
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