Drug bill for cancer patients

THE Cancer Patients Assistance Society fears it could be spreading its help a lot more thinly following a decision that will see Daffodil Cottage outpatients paying for medication., The Cancer Patients’ Assistance Society offers financial assistance to cancer patients, helping pay for things like telephone and power bills., Last month Mid Western Area Health Service began supplying cancer drugs to outpatients at Daffodil Cottage on scripts using the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme rather than for free., This brought Bathurst Base into line with Orange and other hospitals, saving MWAHS at least $80,000 a year., But Cancer Patients’ Assistance Society (CPAS) secretary Rebecca Charlton said the decision meant CPAS was likely to have to help patients pay for pharmaceuticals – something it has never done before., Full story in the Western Advocate.
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Bethune praises Australian government

Anti-whaling activist Pete Bethune has praised the Australian government’s efforts to stop whaling in the Southern Ocean.However, the New Zealander, who returned home on Saturday after five months imprisoned in Japan with “rapists, murderers and mafia”, told a press conference in Auckland today that he was “disgusted” with his own government.”I remain disgusted with the way [New Zealand Foreign Minister] Murray McCully has treated us from day one,” Bethune told reporters.”He immediately sided with the Japanese, unlike the Australian government.”New Zealand has become like a fat little lap dog. We should be standing up for ourselves, not rolling over.”Bethune, 45, was handed a two-year suspended sentence in Tokyo last week and banned from entering Japan for five years after he was convicted on five charges relating to clashes with Japanese whalers in Antarctic waters during which he hurled rancid butter and scaled a Japanese vessel.The New Zealander was captain of a futuristic carbon-and-kevlar powerboat, the trimaran Ady Gil, which sank after a collision on January 6 with the Japanese whaling fleet’s security ship the Shonan Maru II.The father of two tried to serve a citizen’s arrest warrant to the captain of the Shonan Maru II over the sinking of his vessel and what he alleged was attempted murder of him and his crew, but was captured.”On the day the Ady Gil sunk, Murray McCully put out a statement saying what did we expect if we went to Antarctica to protest,” Mr Bethune told journalists today.A spokesman for Mr McCully said the minister did not have any comment.In June, the Sea Shepherd group banned Bethune from taking part in further anti-whaling protests, but the group’s leader, Paul Watson, said the move was just a legal strategy during the trial.Bethune said he believed “booting him out” of the organisation was only a ploy; however, at the time he felt “betrayed” by Sea Shepherd.”That was the worst day,” he said.”I was fine for the first four months, but for the last month I was miserable.”I still don’t understand the Japanese legal system, so I don’t know if it helped my case or not.”Bethune said he wasn’t sure if he would return to the Southern Ocean this year and was keen to spend some time with his daughters, Alycia and Danielle.”I’ve sacrificed a lot and whether I’ll be back in Antarctica this year, I don’t know.”Whether it was worth me spending five months in prison, I don’t know.”He said he had made no legal commitment in Japan not to go, but if he was caught again by the Japanese he would run the risk of being jailed for the two years of the sentence, which is currently suspended.”I don’t discount that someone is going to die down there sooner or later. There’s no shortage of people willing to go down and risk their lives, but if someone were to die it would be someone from Sea Shepherd.”AAP
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Tear gas used to disperse prisoners

POLICE yesterday surveyed the damage at Lithgow Jail after 100 inmates were dispersed with tear gas in a stand-off with guards on Sunday.
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Inmates at the maximum security jail remained in lock down following the one-hour stand off with guards in which they refused to return to their cells.

The incident came two days after 80 of the jail’s inmates were involved in a two-hour stand-off with officers on Thursday.

A Corrective Services spokesman said the jail remained locked down and officials would meet today to discuss punishments for the inmates.

The inmates damaged one of the jail’s wings, smashing a few windows and furniture.

They were returned to their cells after chemical agents were used to disperse them.

The spokesman said Friday’s protest was aimed at voicing prisoner concern about a riot at Goulburn jail earlier in the week, as well as issues with local management.

Full story in the Western Advocate.

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Total solar eclipse across Pacific

A total solar eclipse has drawn an 11,000-kilometre arc over the Pacific, plunging remote isles into darkness in a heavenly display climaxing on mysterious Easter Island.The skies grew black in the middle of the day as the moon slipped in front of the sun and aligned with the Earth, blotting out the sunshine that just moments earlier had swathed the island’s silent, ancient stone guardians.Were you there? How was the experience? Did you take any photos? Message 0424 SMS SMH (+61 424 767 764), email us or direct message us on Twitter @smh_news with information or images.Applause erupted from thousands of stargazers who began gathering days ago on this remote Chilean outpost for the rare four-minute, 41-second eclipse.”It was like being in the stadium at night with artificial light. It was like being in a dark room with a 10-watt bulb,” awe-struck local official Francisco Haoa said.”It started with a shadow. The skies were perfectly blue, with lots of wind that chased away the clouds. Everyone applauded.”We saw a luminous object near here and people started saying they were sure it was a UFO.”In Tahiti, where the solar eclipse began its trek, the effect was so stunning that crowds of football-mad Polynesians turned away from the World Cup final on their television screens to look to the skies instead.”It was like the sun was smiling,” said eight-year-old Hinanui. “The sun seemed like a horizontal crescent, then the moon covered up the bottom of the sun, which reappeared again as a crescent.”Beginning at 1815 GMT (4.15am AEST), when the umbra or shadow fell about 700 kilometres south-east of Tonga, the eclipse zipped in an easterly arc, cloaking Easter Island at 2011 GMT (6.11am AEST).It finished with a pass across southern Chile and Argentina, where it came to an end at 2052 GMT (6.52am AEST), just before nightfall in Patagonia.An estimated 4000 tourists, scientists, photographers, filmmakers and journalists flocked to this World Heritage site of only 160 square kilometres, doubling the barren island’s population.The sun is 400 times wider than the moon, but it is also 400 times further away. Because of the symmetry, the lunar umbra that falls on the face of the Earth is exactly wide enough to cover the face of the sun.Throughout human history, superstition, awe and dread – fears for the birth or death of kings, victories or defeats, bumper harvests or gnawing hunger – have attended the moment when the Earth is plunged into daytime darkness.Easter Island authorities increased security, especially around key heritage sites, including the 3000-year-old large stone statues, or moai, that put the far-flung ethnic Polynesian islanders on the world culture map.In local ancient lore, such an eclipse “would have been seen as a very powerful signal of upcoming upheaval” as their world view was rooted in nature, in “the earth, the sea and especially the sky”, Patricia Vargas of the University of Chile said.A French and a Japanese tourist were both arrested yesterday for mounting “platforms where they are not allowed to touch and climb the statues”, police chief Cristian Gonzalez said.Mayor Luz del Carmen Zasso said visitors were asked to treat the island with respect. “Easter Island is an open-air museum, and the eclipse is part of this museum,” she added.The eclipse has brought a tourist boom to Easter Island and Tahiti, where film director James Cameron was among the stargazers helping to bring a $US10.8-million tourism bonanza to the archipelago.Meanwhile, in the small Patagonian town of El Calafate, just across the border from southern Chile in the snow-capped Argentine Andes, hundreds of people gathered to witness the natural phenomenon.”We are pleased and excited by the interest generated by the eclipse. The five daily flights arriving in El Calafate were full on Friday and Saturday, and the climate is excellent for watching,” tourism director Ana Ianni said.Forecasters were predicting clear skies with below-freezing temperatures in the southern hemisphere winter, with all-terrain vehicles needed to brave the snowy mountains.The more adventurous could choose to spend the day in heated tents, high up in mountain spots accessible only with the help of guides but with the stunning Perito Moreno glacier as a backdrop.AFP
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Two new executives at CSU

CHARLES Stun University has appointed two new Deputy Vice-Chancellors in line with last month’s announcement of a new senior executive structure.
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Professor Ross Chambers and Professor David Battersby have been appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) respectively.

The appointments will form a key part of the University’s new senior executive group.

Professor Chambers brings to the portfolio extensive experience as a senior academic. He has been Dean of the University’s Faculty of Arts since 1992 and has played a lead role in bringing new professions such as policing into higher education.

Professor Battersby previously held the position of CSU Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Dean, Faculty of Health Studies and Head of the Albury Wodonga Campus. He has a strong background in university management and leadership.

Full story in the Western Advocate.

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Russell Street re-opened

TRAFFIC heading for Gormans Hill can take a direct route again with the reopening of Russell Street.
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Russell Street had been closed between Havannah Street and the Country Energy substation on Alpha Street since late February.

Traffic was diverted over the Rocket Street rail bridge and along Alpha Street during the first stage of roadworks.

In the second stage traffic had to detour along Vale Road, past Bathurst Saleyards, to get to Gormans Hill.

The closures allowed for extensive earthworks to raise Russell Street over the new flood levee and reconstruct the road between the rail underpass and Torpy’s Bridge.

Late yesterday Russell Street was sealed and Russell Street reopened to traffic.

Bathurst City Council works engineer Doug Patterson said the council had concentrated on finishing the road so it could be reopened – avoiding the extensive detour through South Bathurst.

“The difference will be a road that’s fully kerbed, guttered and sealed, and the old culvert near Police Paddock has been eliminated,” Mr Patterson said.

He said this removed the bottleneck effect near Police Paddock.

Mr Patterson said it would be a few weeks before the project was completed with several items still on the agenda. These include linking the kerb to Torpy’s Bridge, footpath construction, installation of a guardrail over the levee and general restoration work.

Mr Patterson said the new road was much higher quality than it had been before.

The council expects to reopen Alpha Street next week.

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Irate Green chases lost millions

DANNY GREEN will initiate legal proceedings that, if successful, could bankrupt the NSW Combat Sports Authority. The boxer claims that, on top of its ”farcical” decision to not sanction his bout with Paul Briggs, the organisation had also cost him millions of dollars by damaging his reputation after last year’s victory over the great Roy Jones.Green claimed yesterday that an ”unnecessary” investigation into the hand wraps he wore in the victory over Jones ruined his chance to promote a lucrative ”super bout” against the legendary Bernard Hopkins in Sydney.”I’ll roll with the punches, but I guarantee heads will roll at the Combat Sports Authority by the time I have finished with them,” he fumed yesterday. ”These guys have a lot to answer for. This matter is not going to rest.”On Thursday, Green was forced to relocate his IBO world cruiserweight title defence from Sydney to Perth after the Western Australian Boxing Commission said it would stage the July 21 bout. The fight had the endorsement and financial backing of the state government-run Events NSW.The sports authority ruled that after three years of inactivity, 34-year-old Briggs was unfit to fight Green. Briggs said it had based its decision on an industry rumour that he had suffered dizziness as a result of a neurological problem. His MRI and reports from leading Sydney neurologist Armin Mohamed and veteran fight doctor Lou Lewis that said he was fit to fight were allegedly ignored by the CSA.Last year the authority gave credence to what was found to be a baseless complaint by Jones’s manager that Green used illegal wraps in the upset that lasted only 122 seconds.”Their representatives at the fight all checked the wraps and said they were in accordance to the rules,” Green said. ”However, after Jones’s management sent a letter expressing an opinion that should never have been entertained, they launched the inquiry. They basically doubted their own people’s competence by launching an inquiry into its own authority. I found it incredible but [they] destroyed my negotiations with Hopkins in the process.”The NSW Boxing Authority threw the matter out, because they concluded there was no case to answer, the wraps were legal. However, [that ruling came] only after I’d spent tens of thousands of dollars on legal representation and fees in an attempt to protect myself from unsubstantiated claims that should’ve been ignored from the outset.”At the conclusion of the inquiry, Green reserved the right to take legal action against the CSA for the damage he had suffered. He will instruct his lawyer, Tony O’Reilly, to invoke that right after he fights Briggs.Hopkins provided Green’s case with extra ammunition in April when, in an interview, he intimated that he had formed a poor opinion of Green based on the hand wraps investigation and decided to instead fight Jones, despite there being little interest in the bout. ”The Danny Green thing to me was a fluke,” Hopkins said of the win over Jones.”I mean, I don’t think you even knew who Danny Green was [before the fight].”When I think of Danny Green and take the alleged hand wraps and all that stuff that Roy has protested, filed petitions … ”Green has urged the Premier, Kristina Keneally, to launch an investigation into the Combat Sports Authority. ”They have taken a stand and it’s all wrong,” he said.The CSA’s chairman did not return The Sun-Herald’s calls yesterday.What is the Combat Sports Authority?■ The NSW Combat Sports Authority replaced the Boxing Authority in 2009. The job of the nine board members, and their chairman, Terry Hartmann, is to regulate and control all combat-based sports conducted throughout the state, including boxing, mixed martial arts, ju-jitsu and cage fighting.■ Among the authority’s role is to ensure all participants – as well as referees, promoters, trainers, cornerman, judges and seconds – are registered. Last year candidates who wanted to fill positions in the authority were advised they were expected to ”demonstrate a capacity to exercise good judgment in a high pressure situation, a willingness to undergo any training which is required for members of the authority, and a commitment to the efficient operation of the regulatory system. Interested persons should also be able to demonstrate good communication and negotiation skills.”■ Members are paid an annual allowance according to the guidelines issued by the NSW Premier.
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Businesses must organise V8 parade

THE city’s businesses are being called on to contribute money and manpower to this year’s V8 race street parade.
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The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has contracted Belinda’s Secretarial Centre to contact up to 200 Bathurst businesses to ask their willingness to contribute to the annual parade.

This followed a discussion forum on Wednesday night at which Bathurst councillors accused the business community of apathy.

CBD businesses and the city’s major employers will be asked by telephone whether they are prepared to participate in the street parade, held in association with the 2002 V8 Supercar race.

If businesses are not prepared to enter a float they will be asked to contribute to the overall cost of the event.

Chamber of Commerce president Lachlan Sullivan said he hoped each business would contribute at least $200 towards the parade. He said if 200 businesses contributed $200 this would give the parade a $40,000 budget.

Businesses will be contacted on Wednesday and Thursday.

Mr Sullivan said the chamber would also approach the Panthers and RSL Clubs for support and had requested the city’s pubs to help out.

“Council is saying a community group should take it (the parade) up, yet what is council – council represents the community,” Mr Sullivan said.

Debbie Campbell of Bathurst Florist has also offered to help coordinate the parade.

Australian Hoteliers Association Bathurst branch president Roger Joyce said he hoped to raise Mr Sullivan’s proposal at the next meeting of publicans.

“The local businesses have got to support it (too) – restaurants and motels get just as much out of it (as pubs),” he said.

Mayor Ian Macintosh said the council had recognised the need for a carnival atmosphere in the CBD during race week.

“You don’t have motor races up the Mount totally in isolation,” he said.

Cr Macintosh said the city should “work towards a parade – it fits well within the concept of motor racing … but it has to be well organised, well funded and well run”.

He said the council was likely to continue coordinating events but was looking for more community input and support.

Cr Macintosh said it was not possible to run a great parade if the whole task was left to council because it did not have the resources to run it.

“It has to be a community effort.”

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Expensive seat

I agree with Cecilie Roberts (Adv, Oct 29) and ask, why are our politicians so keen to join such a wet squib organisation as the UN?
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With so many areas in Australia starved for money, we read that our government gave billions to the Caribbean, Pacific Islands and African countries.

Plus the bid cost of $25million, all for the purpose of winning a temporary seat.

The Treasurer says that $17billion is still needed to get his budget balanced. Perhaps if our government stopped giving away such huge amounts, the budget would be much closer to expectations.

DUGALD SKEGGS

Somerset

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Begging bowl

Now the forestry talks have collapsed, how long before the begging bowl comes out from the pro-forestry league for more public money to subsidise it?
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It has just turned down a massive monetary opportunity so, in my opinion, it had its chance and blew it.

No more slugs on the public purse. No-one else gets a chance to double dip.

PETER M TAYLOR

Midway Point

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