By LOUISE AYLING
A Snowy Mountains landholder says he's becoming increasingly concerned for his personal safety, with nearby neighbours reportedly conducting hunting activities across his property in the dead of night.
Dalgety's Peter Robin says he has confronted the shooters a number of times, and even called police but without evidence they have been shooting onto his land nothing has been done.
Mr Robin says he's been dealing with this for around 12 months and it appears to be escalating.
"The most serious offence was where it looked like the barrel of a gun was pointed straight at me, it was difficult to see in the dark, but given the position of the guy- there was only two places the barrel could have been- down by his leg or pointed right at me. Three guys are coming and shooting at roos over my land, and I bailed them up and told them to get the hell out of there, the guy in the middle actually swung around to the left and fired three to five shots into the ground,"
Mr Robin says he's not really sure what to do about the issue anymore, and doesn't believe local police have much authority to deal with illegal hunting in the local area.
"After the latest events which were last Sunday, I really do feel that one of these guys is gonna have a go at me when I confront them, because I won't back down and I'm quite prepared to confront people with firearms who are doing the wrong thing. I reckon one of these guys is gonna take a pot-shot at me sooner or later," he said.
There's a push to establish greater support for people dealing with depression and mental health concerns in the Snowy Mountains.
The Snowy Mountains Neighbourhood Centre held walks in Jindabyne, Adaminaby and Berridale at the beginning of the month to provide a chance for people who have been affected by suicide to come together in solitary.
Centre volunteer Noel Braun says with several of the attendees they have now formed an action group to start making progress in the local area.
"We've formed a little group- still very much in the early stages, working out what our objectives should be and what we feel that we are able to do. We've called ourselves 'Actions For Suicide Awareness and Prevention'- ASAP- and with a subtitle of 'life is worth living'.
Mr Braun says it's early days, but they're are starting work to compile a list of resources in the local area to help people with their mental health concerns in the lead up to an influx of new residents over winter.
"I think we're even discussing the idea of including a little leaflet in the welcome kit for the winter workers, and among the materials that are provided we might include some information about mental health and where they might be able to find some aid, if they're experiencing those sorts of problems," he said.
By LOUISE AYLING
The exhibition period for the draft Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Management Plan has been extended by six weeks.
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife service says the high level of public interest and media attention has led them to push back the closure for community input until 5pm on Friday the 19th of August.
President for the Snowy Mountains Brumby Sustainability and Management Group Alan Lanyon says they're thankful for the extra time, but says they may still require more time to prepare submissions.
"I think that it was a gesture of reasonable good will, on behalf of the government and the office of environment and heritage. Quite possibly it may come down to the fact that getting close to that 19th of August we re-submit application for an extension again. I mean, this plan was 3 years in the making, so to expect us to- an ordinary layman - to be able to come up with a submission- an alternative document- in a very tight time frame is not a very intelligent move," he said.
While Peter Cochran from the Snowy Mountains Bush User's Group says its better than nothing.
"The Snowy Mountains Bush Users Group made a request to the Minister for Environment and Conservation to extend the period of time that residents could make submissions. I wasn't happy that the extension only goes until August- I would like to see it to go through to October, but we'll take what we are given and make sure our submissions are in," he said.
In an email to individuals who have previously expressed interest in the management of the wild horses, it was advised a great deal of misinformation in regard to the draft plan has been presented in both media reports and social media.
The email says it has been wrongly represented that the draft plan proposes to use aerial shooting or recreational hunters/shooters for ground shooting as control methods for example.
In an effort to better inform stakeholders and the community in regard to the draft plan a common Question and Answers section has been added to the ‘Protecting the Snowies’ engagement website.
The NPWS will also host a series of community ‘open house’, information and feedback sessions in relation to the draft plan in Tumut, Jindabyne and Queanbeyan and with the extension of the exhibition period, these will now be held in July.
Rhe Snowy Mountains Brumby Sustainability and Management Group is holding a community forum at the Lake Jindabyne Hotel tomorrow at 2pm.
Anyone interested in the plight of the Kosciuszko brumbies are being urged to attend, to help formulate submissions against the state's government's draft wild horse management plan.
By LOUISE AYLING
Snowy Monaro Regional council says construction at the back of Nugget's Crossing in Jindabyne should be complete for the June long weekend.
Council has been installing new storm-water drainage infrastructure along Snowy River Avenue around Gippsland and Kalkite street, as part of the precinct upgrade and overall Jindabyne 2020 Action Plan.
Council's Manager for Operations, Gary Shakespeare, says they have done their best to limit the impact on businesses and motorists, but it can be difficult to anticipate.
"We've tried to keep any disruptions to a minimum, I know its not pleasant walking and travelling alongside construction traffic but for the majority of the time- 95% of time we have managed to keep at least one lane open. We do have to play it a little bit by ear, though, as-once you start digging, you don't really know what's underground," he said.
The project is predicted to be completed by the June long weekend and with council staff looking to return in August or September of 2016 to complete phase 1 of the Snowy River Avenue upgrade.
BY LOUISE AYLING
A historic building in the Snowy mountains has been destroyed in a blaze, in what fire authorities say is being treated as suspicious.
Around 6am on Saturday morning the rural fire service was called to reports of a building engulfed at Khancoban.
RFS spokesman Peter Jones says when they arrived it was too late to save the building.
"Our brigade from Khancoban called Bringabrong- attended- they found the structure well alight- it was an old backpacker hostel which used to be the Snowy Hydro admin block. It was fully engulfed in fire. Brigades from Bringabrong and also CFA from Corryong and Fire and Rescue NSW from Tumbarumba came down and assisted- sadly the building was a total loss," he said.
He says while putting it out wasn't too problematic, clean-up could be more difficult due to the presence of asbestos in the old structure.
"When you're putting water over the top of asbestos- the threat isn't as bad. But certainly sifting through the wreckage to do the investigation and the removal of all the asbestos-type material now that the building has collapsed- that will have some issues and obviously that will have to be cleaned up,".
The cause of the blaze remains unknown.
Winter is well on its way across the Snowy Mountains, with each of the region's ski-resorts reporting a smattering of overnight snow-fall and more expected.
Perisher has reported a dusting of snow across all four resort areas including Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Guthega and Blue Cow.
While Charlotte pass received 5 centimeters of snow.
Charlotte Pass Spokesman Christine Parker says it's pretty exciting, and while it's a litter later than last year they're amping up to start their own snow creation in the next few weeks.
"We have usually had some falls in April, so it is a little bit later, but hopefully that's a good start for us. If temperatures stay like this we'll be gearing up snow-making in the next few weeks," she said.
A number of staff from the Thredbo team even camped out overnight to welcome the first falls.
Thredbo Media spokesman Luke Kneller says it started coming around 3am.
"We camped up there overnight actually- Lucas Wilkinson, Tiggy Cameron and myself- the media team- to capture the first snowfall and there wasn't much up until about 3am this morning but we woke to around 2-3 centimeters up top and with deeper patches of wind-blown," he said.
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