Saturday, October 25, 2014
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Snowy Mountains Local News from the Capital Radio Newsroom

Fire bugs put on notice - you will be fined and will go to jail.

From Andrew Page in the Radio Snowy Mountains Newsroom:

Tough new penalties will empower the NSW Police Force and the Rural Fire Service to bring those who deliberately and recklessly disrespect total fire ban warnings before the courts.

The NSW Parliament has passed the Rural Fire Amendment Bill 2014.

Under the new laws, offenders will face fines of up to $132,000 and up to 7 years jail time.

A difficult fire season ahead is predicted.

District Technical Officer with the Monaro Rural Fire Service Alish Pope said, while most people want to do the right thing, fire permits are now required.

“People are required at this time of year to have a permit and provide 24 hours notice to the fire control centre and to their neighbours that they are intending to burn,” Ms Pope said.

“They are also required to ensure that the fire does not escape their property,” she said.

“People just need to be aware, although we want them to undertake hazard reduction and we're happy for people to burn, they need to know the rules”.

Waste less, recycle more

From Andrew Page in the Radio Snowy Mountains Newsroom:

Cooma-Monaro Shire Council recently received a grant through the NSW Government's Waste Less Recycle More Initiative to introduce a kerbside organic waste collection system.

Part of the funding required council to undertake an audit of domestic waste bins to see how much waste was organic.

Councils Waste and Resource Operations Manager Jeff Tate said out of 224 bins selected, more than 65 per cent of material in an average bin does not need to go to waste at the landfill.

“We'll be diverting the waste away from the landfill and composting it at our compost facility at the Cooma landfill and turning it into a commercial grade compost that can then leave the site and be used back in our gardens and sports-fields and farms to use a valuable fertiliser,” Mr Tate said

“The cost benefit to the community is that the landfill will last us much longer than it would if we currently kept filling it and that’s important because the landfill does have a use by date,” he said.

Cooma-Monaro progress association calls for NBN

From Andrew Page in the Radio Snowy Mountains Newsroom:

Following calls in the community to speed up the roll out of the NBN in Cooma, Eden Monaro MP Dr Peter Hendy said he would be happy to work with a committee to oversee the roll out.

Ian Ware from the Cooma-Monaro Progress Association said recently at a Cooma-Monaro Shire Council meeting, that fibre optic is up to 1000 times faster than ADSL2+ and has the benefit of faster uploads which means less time waiting for workers.

“When you go to optic-fibre, it's not just all to do with the download, you get the same as an upload and all of the businesses in town are desperately seeking fast uploads to be able to put their goods onto the internet through the day and at night-time,” Mr Ware said.

Dr Hendy said he will speak with the group and he is aware of the existing fibre optic infrastructure.

“People have raised with me in the past the fact that parts of Cooma are actually laid with existing fibre, I have already passed that information onto NBN Co in recent months and I've also talked to the ministers office about that,” Dr Hendy said.

“The NBN is preceding with roll out in Eden-Monaro across the whole of the region, we are also constructing wireless towers in areas of Cooma-Monaro, Snowy River and Bombala Shire,” he said.

Snowy Mountains Neighbourhood Centre receives grant

From Andrew Page in the Radio Snowy Mountains Newsroom:

The Snowy Mountains Neighbourhood Centre is set to undergo a major refurbishment thanks to a $40,220 Community Building Partnership grant from the NSW Government.

The refurbishment will provide better access, more space and a private meeting room for confidential sessions at the centre.

The centre already offers information, referrals, free Wi-Fi plus affordable printing, faxing and scanning services

The centre had over 1000 visitors during the ski season this year, with up to 50 visitors a day during peak periods.

Wild dog control program receives boost

From Andrew Page in the Radio Snowy Mountains Newsroom:

South East Local Land Services says all major Wild Dog Baiting Programs are coming to an end for the season and so far the program appears to have been a huge success.

The news follows a state wide announcement yesterday from the Minister or Primary Industries involving the laying of 3850 baits across 27 local properties and national park land, covering 16000 hectares.

Senior Bio Security Officer from Local Land Services Ben Serafin said the programs have been extensive in the Snowy Mountains & Monaro.

“This had large scale broad-scale baiting involving private and public land managers, we've also had our aerial bating programs finish up and that was in the Adaminaby area, working in conjunction with The National Parks & Wildlife Service,” Mr Serafin said.

“There is still the odd wild dog about, but generally across the broader region is has been very successful,” he said.

Steve Whan concerned communities are being forgotten in council amalgamations

From Andrew Page in the Radio Snowy Mountains Newsroom:

Country Labor Candidate for Monaro Steve Whan has expressed concerns on how the NSW State Government is handling it's policy on Council Amalgamations.

Mr Whan said the government appears to talking about what it wants to do, before listening to the interests of the community.

“The Premieres speech to the local government conference once gain ramps up his rhetoric about amalgamations and it's pretty clear, despite the fact that the government is still saying that this is voluntary, that the Premiere is getting stronger and stronger in everything he says,” Mr Whan said.

“He's pushing councils before they've even had a chance to talk to their communities about this and that's a critical thing,” He said.

“This shouldn't be about what the Premiere or even what councillors want, it's about what the community wants”

Monaro MP John Barilaro says the choice will remain in the power of local councils, despite the refusal of the Premiere to give a direct re-assurance earlier in the week.

“There's in excess of 60 recommendations across the local government sector, this Fit for the future about mergers is only one part of it, this is a range of policies that's been called for to strengthen local government,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We know how important it is, we want to make it sustainable and viable long term, we've said consistently this is a choice for local government, they'll make the decisions at a local level on where they want to go,” he said.