Despite police warnings, some Highlanders are still not securing their vehicles before leaving them and are falling victim to theft.
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Unknown offender/s have targeted vehicles in the Highlands by testing for unlocked doors on parked vehicles to allow them to access to rummage for valuable items.

Between 5.30pm on May 23 and 9.30am on May 24, items were stolen from six unlocked vehicles in Bowral and Yerrinbool, with two unlocked vehicles targeted in the same driveway at an Appennine Road residence in Yerrinbool.

A small amount of cash was taken from the centre console of a Holden Commodore station wagon parked in the driveway of a Bendooley Street home in Bowral some time between 5.30pm on May 23 and 7am on May 24.

About $20 and a pair of designer sunglasses were taken from the glove box of a Mazda sedan parked in front of a residence in Warenda Street in Bowral between 6pm on May 23 and 8.30am on May 24.

In Yerrinbool, sunglasses, a GPS unit, CDs and a golf club were taken from a Subaru parked in front of a Government Road home, while a steering wheel lock was taken from one of the two cars targeted in front of the Appennine Road residence.

A walking stick was also taken from a car parked in front of another Yerrinbool residence.

Police said in a statement that these incidents were examples of “soft targets”.

“This type of criminal behaviour has been made easier due to owner’s lack of care and responsibility,” police said.

“Despite constant reminders from police in regards to property and vehicle security people are still leaving valuables inside vehicles and leaving vehicles unsecured.”

The recent string of incidents comes after a spate of similar offences in the region in March, during which there were seven cases of theft from unlocked vehicles reported to police between 8am on March 25 and 8.20am on March 26.

Six of these occurred after 5.15pm on March 25.

Anyone who witnessed an incident or who has more information should contact Bowral Police Station on 4862 9299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Ella Moran shepherds the ball from Chevalier. Photo by AJ MoranOXLEY College’s Junior B hockey team beat Central Coast on the weekend to make it four wins in a row.
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The team was comprised of 11 Year 7 students who made their debut for Oxley this year.

Though only a couple of the girls had held a hockey stick prior to their first training, four weeks into the ISA competition they are all proving to be very handy on the field.

In their first match against Redlands they scored three very impressive goals to win 3 – 0.

Chevalier College was their next opponent and though extremely close, they edged out a 2 – 1 win.

In another close encounter with Blue Mountains Grammar, they achieved their third win, 1 – 0, and last week they came up against the always competitive Central Coast Grammar School.

The weather was definitely in the Highlanders’ favour.

As the CCGC girls stepped off the bus wrapped in donnas and blankets, they were greeted with cold and windy conditions. The Junior Bs’ teamwork was solid and though all contributed to the four goals scored, the last sticks on the balls belonged to Georgie Wade, Sasha Gonzalez-Malcolm and Catriona Uliana.

Tahlia Alekna has been playing goalie for the team and has adapted to this new position brilliantly.

She has been tough, agile and fearless, all necessary attributes of a great goal keeper.

In other hockey matches on Saturday against CCGS, the Junior As won 2 – 0 , the Seconds lost 2-0, the Firsts lost 4-0 and the Thirds played Blue Mountains Grammar School and lost 2-0.

This weekend the Junior B girls come up against the undefeated St Andrew’s Cathedral School team who are travelling down to Oxley for the last of the home games.

It is the school’s annual Oxley Day where past, present and future students and their parents gather at the college for a day to share the Oxley spirit.

The Oxley P and F will be providing delicious food and there will be a tour of the school at 10.30am.

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MOSS VALE under-10 Dragons have had a tough time of it, playing up a division from last year, but recorded their first win of the season against Camden Rams on the weekend.
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The boys finally realised their potential in B grade.

Caleb Te Ua opened up the match with a hat-trick of tries.

Coming out in the second half, the boys faced a Rams team determined to win the game, who came within two points before the Dragons took control of the match.

Aiden Moule was named man of the match while Joshua Truscott, Jacob Temahanna, Joel Douglas and Harry Jaffos also stepped up.

The under-6 Dragons played Warragamba Wombats, who helped the team by loaning one of their players to make up a full side for Moss Vale.

Manager Luke Hannon said despite the shortage and not scoring any tries it didn’t stop their enthusiasm, with Brody Martin popping offloads from tackles and Jayden Smith creating chances in attack to allow Tyler Hannon and Charlie Woolfrey the chance to hone their skills on the oval.

Under-7 coach Horace Smythe took his team to Robertson to face Thirlmere where they played an impressive game of football.

Jai Keith and Johno Rowe made impressive ground whenever they ran and were backed up by tackling sensations Josh Whittington and Kemp Seville.

Under-8s coach Peter McGunniess said he was impressed with his boys’ performance.

Mitch Bottalico lead the way in ball distribution and offloads.

He was backed by Bailey Babula and Joel Perkins who were tackling machines.

The under-9s faced a determined Thirlmere Roosters team who were equally as keen as the Dragons.

In a tough, hard game the boys played well, with James Horton running all day and backed up by player of the day Reece Masters and Jack Dunley who led the way in defence.

Matt Burke’s under-11 team faced Warragamba and walked away 26-6 winners.

The team was solid all game with the likes of Duncan Stone, who was relentless in defence, while in attack Jake Whittington and Sam Evans left no stone unturned in assisting their team in some great displays of attack.

Under-12 coach Alex Petersen said he watched his team throw away another game.

While the Dragons had two players put in the bin, they trailed top of the table Thirlmere by just 12 points at halftime.

“The boys had the chance to grab an unexpected win if they put their heads and tried,” Petersen said.

“Unfortunately only a few realised while others had already chucked the towel in. Congrats to Thilmere, you played a great game of football. To my boys life carries on, thank you to those that try.”

Michael Sutton’s under-13 team were relentless in their annihilation of Appin, winning 56-0.

Lachlan Harris was powerful in his running, scoring two big runaway tries.

Player of the day Will Smythe led the charge along with Bryce White, James Hagger and Frankie Palasanto.

All the boys put in a solid effort with players missing due to illness and injury.

It was also a tough day at the office for the under-14s.

Coach Steve Fairbairn watched as his under-strength side, missing players to rep duty and injury, copped a harsh lesson in football.

Moss Vale congratulated Tom Angel and Lachlan McClean on making the Group 6 rep side this weekend.

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HIGHLAND Hawks found it tough going on the weekend when they faced Shellharbour Swans.
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The under-9s faced a strong opposition, with Nathan Bowditch kicking the goal of the day with a big bomb into the forward line.

It was a close match for the under-11s who went down 38-20.

Ethan Bambridge, Jock Heinrich and Gakin van Kruyssen were the goal scorers for the Hawks.

Sam Lawrance featured in the play of the day when he broke through three opposition players to kick downfield to Sav Suares for another attacking play.

Bambridge kicked the goal of the day, playing up from under-9s, when he was engaged in a contest with the largest opposition player and won a free kick.

He then went back and slotted the goal.

Denzel Bambridge was involved in some fantastic tackles to win the ball for the Hawks.

Matt Stamoulos’ overhead marking was a feature of the match.

Samuel Huer and Lochlan Kolster were excellent in defence, particularly Kolster’s kicking game.

It was a long day for the under-12s who lost 119-12.

Samuel Lawrance and Joel McAloon kicked the goals for the Hawks.

While the team worked well in defence, the Swans were just too quick for the Hawks to gain any possession in open space.

Lawrance had an excellent kicking game in the first quarter.

Good play by the Hawks allowed McAloon to put a second goal on the board.

While it was a hard game for the boys, they maintained their enthusiasm and walked off the field with pride.

It was also a difficult day for the under-14s, however a good team effort moving the ball through the back line and into the centre allowed Will Humphrey to finish off the play with a goal.

Humphreys and Eric Mell worked tirelessly all day with consistent second and third efforts at the ball.

Jayden O’Brien was a standout with three back line clearances in the face of a few Swans defenders.

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AFTER a tough start to the season, Highlands FC (HFC) struck back last Saturday with wins in all three senior grades.
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Playing in extremely windy conditions against Shell Cove at Myimbarr Park, youth grade won 2-1 courtesy of striker Nick Laus. Lachlan Marsh and Mike Dyer had strong games in mid field and defence respectively.

Reserve grade continued a good day for Highlands FC, winning 3- 0, with Shane Fitzpatrick slotting home two goals and Duncan Urquhart one.

The HFC first grade team chimed in with a quality performance, recording their first win of the season, 5-3.

In a pulsating fixture, Shell Cove opened the scoring after 16 minutes but were then pegged back by Scott Friedewald and James Braid, for the visitors to lead at the break.

Eight minutes after the change of ends, James Donlan pushed the Highlands out to a two goal lead before Shell Cove reduced the arrears ten minutes later.

When a Highlands player received a second yellow card in the 72 minute and was sent from the field, the Cove side may have felt they were half a chance of getting something from the game, but their hopes were dashed just 60 seconds later when the lead was again stretched to two with John Friedewald scoring.

One last push from Shell Cove resulted in them pulling a goal back, four minutes from full time time, but Braid made sure of the points for HFC with his second goal in extra time.

HFC teams and supporters celebrated their clean sweep with a race night fundraiser held at the Scottish Arms on Saturday night.

HFC will play their next game against Shell City Falcons this Sunday at David Woods Fields in East Bowral.

Youth grade kicks off at 11am, reserves at 1pm and firsts at 3pm.

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Moss Vale High School Year 12 two-unit English students Kathryn Jones, Nicola Griffiths, Jodie Donovan and Abbey Cubit are travelling to Sydney for extra HSC tuition.Photo by Ainsleigh Sheridan Moss Vale High School Year 12 two-unit English students Kathryn Jones, Nicola Griffiths, Abbey Cubit and Jodie Donovan are travelling to Sydney with head teacher Anthony Parro for extra HSC tuition.Photo by Ainsleigh Sheridan
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YEAR 12 students are going the extra mile to try to ensure HSC success – all the way to Sydney, in fact.

Moss Vale High School two-unit English students Abbey Cubit, Jodie Donovan, Kathryn Jones and Nicola Griffiths are setting off for school extra early on Monday to the Information Access day for HSC English.

The all-day seminar will host 34 Australian authors, poets, directors, actors, filmmakers and professors who’ll speak on the texts students face in exams.

Organisers expect thousands of HSC English students from across the state.

“We’ve been before so we know the effort is definitely worth it,” Kathryn said.

Jodie said the seminar gave “a different perspective” on the HSC texts.

Head English teacher Anthony Parro said the girls were typically studying four hours of English outside school time in up to 20 hours of HSC study weekly.

The Moss Vale students are attending sessions on novel The Fiftieth Gate, the film Bladerunner, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Peter Skrzynecki’s poetry, although all HSC English texts have a dedicated seminar session on the day.

The Information Access day for HSC English is at The Wesley Conference Centre, 220 Pitt Street, Sydney on Monday, June 4. Tickets: $23 per student. For information or bookings go to www.hscenglish. net or call 1800 624 430.

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CHALLENGE Southern Highlands Inc at Welby has received a $12,000 grant from the Federal Government as part of the NDIS Readiness Fund.
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Federal Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones, congratulated the group saying the funding would help prepare the group for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which will roll out in locations across Australia from mid-2013.

“We want all areas of the disability sector to be ready to make the change, including the fantastic enterprises like Challenge, who provide employment and training for over 50 people with disability in our region”, Mr Jones said.

The money would help with the costs of new upgrades to computer software and information technology, training and information services and new equipment.

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A truck heading through Medway Village on its way to the Berrima Colliery. Photos supplied. A cleaned section of roof on a house in Medway Village showing the coal dust that resindets deal with on a daily basis.
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A truck driving almost in teh middle of Medway road, heading towards the village. Photo submitted

THE future of residents in Medway Village is hanging in the balance as the state government’s Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) completes its report on the proposed expansion of Berrima Colliery.

The company has applied to almost double the production of the mine to 460,000 tonnes of coal a year until the end of the decade.

As well as supplying the Boral cement works, the excess coal would be transported down to Port Kembla for export.

Boral, which also runs the mine, has said it needed the income from the exported coal to keep the mine operational.

Medway residents recently met with the PAC to raise their concerns about the proposed expansion regarding traffic, noise and dust pollution.

“We’ve been here a bit over three years. We bought the place knowing that the mine was there but certainly what they’re proposing to do is going to be a lot different than it is now,” resident Nigel Browne said.

“The noise is certainly a big issue, the trucks are sometimes loud enough to vibrate the windows of the house.

“You also get a bit of dust from the mine as well as dust from the road.

“That’s a concern because we’re on rainwater out here and anything that lands on your roof ends up in your water tank.

“So you end up with black filters that need replacing every month as opposed to every year. Obviously there’s a health issue there and it costs money to keep replacing the filters.”

“My kids get on the bus right here at our driveway and have to contend with trucks coming both ways while they stand at the roadside waiting for the school bus.

“And with the expansion, they could potentially end up being B-doubles with one passing by every six minutes.”

The residents have enlisted the help of Berrima-based civil engineer Robert Parker who has experience and expertise in designing and building major roads.

Mr Parker said the road going through the village did not meet national standards and should have been upgraded years ago.

“We don’t want this situation out here occurring one more day let alone one more month. It should never have been allowed to go on for as long as it has,” he said.

“The road has no centre line marking and no shoulders and the conflict of trucks on a narrow road is not currently acceptable and is quite apart from what would happen under any increased output.

“The problem is the consent authority and operational authority out here does not seem to have sufficient conviction to pull this up.”

Mr Parker said it was a double standard given the liability that the council would suffer if there was an accident.

“If the local council put a load limit on this road tomorrow, the money would come flying out of Boral so fast it’s not funny and the thing would get fixed.

“The culture seems to be: lets have a go at the little bloke but don’t go after the big company because that might cause us too much grief.”

Wingecarribee council has supported the expansion of the mine under the condition that Boral pay for the widening of the road in the village by 2013 and approaching the village by 2014.

The PAC’s recommendation will be critical to the government’s decision on whether to approve the mine expansion.

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LARRY, hold those indoor aquatic centre plans mate. I’ve got a better idea.
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Just put a lid over the Moss Vale Pool, drain the water and turn the old duck pond into a mushroom farm. We’d save a lazy fourteen million and generate a great little earner for the ratepayers of Wingecarribee Shire. Jobs would be created with a booming mushroom business flourishing in the dark, cold, concrete cavern where the pool once was.

You could landscape a lovely plover habitat over the top, ticking all the environmental sustainability boxes, while saving heaps of money to use on community facilities and potholes, as well as gaining a valuable addition to the Highlands food trail.

THEY say mushrooms thrive when kept in the dark and fed on you-know-what. You’ll find plenty of that out at the Moss Vale saleyards every Wednesday and some mug even suggested we could collect buckets of the stuff from the council meeting room, but I soon set him straight Larry, telling him there was none of that, just pearls of wisdom wafting around the table of knowledge.

MANY councils have an indoor heated swimming pool – bit like bums really, everyone’s got one – but mushroom farms are something different – a niche opportunity right on Council’s back doorstep. Let’s face it Larry, swimming is such a weird activity isn’t it? Paddling around in water is just not natural. If we had been meant to swim we’d have gills and fins and webbed feet. As someone (not sure if it was Larry, Barry or Harry) suggested during a fiery leisure centre debate a few years back; “If you are so keen to go swimming, then why don’t you go home, run a bath and play with your duck?”

BACK in the day when we were putting together a proposal to heat the local pools I learned then that the council was never going to please everyone when it came to swimming facilities. The lap swimmers didn’t like the water too hot, the intrepid fitness freaks preferred it cold, the oldies wanted tepid bathwater, whilst the water polo players weren’t fussy, provided it was deep enough and they could get a cold beer after the game.

But nearly everyone likes mushrooms.

A LOCAL real estate agent once told me a swimming pool is a liability in the Southern Highlands.

“A house with a pool is hard to sell in our cold climate,” he said, suggesting people prefer a tennis court or low maintenance garden.

He related a tale about one well known Bowral businessman who was sick of cleaning his swimming pool that nobody ever used, so he covered it over and created a brilliant wine cellar.

“Best thing he ever did,” he reckons, because when he put the property on the market, the wine cellar clinched the deal, but a pool would have cost him the sale.

THERE are already plenty of water-holes around the shire for those people who love to take their clothes off in public and get wet.

Like down at the Wollondilly River where a couple of old-timers from the retirement village were having an excursion at the local ‘clothing optional’ resort.

The three old blokes were sitting beside a swimming hole, watching the passing parade when an absolute stunner appeared before their eyes – stark naked, nineteen and beautiful. The first bloke trembled a bit and said, “my goodness, I’d like to give her a kiss.”

The second bloke looked long and hard before saying, “I’d like to give her a big hug.”

Old Dud nodded in agreement, but looked a bit vague.

“I’d like to take my clothes off,” stammered Old Dud, “and what was that other thing we used to do?”

ANYWAY Larry, have a chat to the working group about growing mushrooms in the Moss Vale Pool rather than spending all that money on a new swimming shed.

This way you won’t need to dip into the infrastructure recovery strategy funds and you’ll have an extra $14 million to toss into potholes.

All you will have to do is change your title as chair of the Indoor Aquatic Working Group to chair of the Mushroom Committee, get the lads out at the depot to knock up a rough lid to put over the pool, ask the bushcare crew to landscape a suitable plover habitat on the top and we’re off and running – growing Shiitakes and making money. Too easy!

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Mittagong resident Dell Dempster doing her part to keep the town tidy. Photo by Roy TruscottA MITTAGONG resident has spoken out in favour of new draft legislation proposed by the NSW Greens that would introduce a 10 cent refund for each used bottle or can that is recycled in an effort to reduce public littering.
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Mittagong Chamber of Commerce treasurer and resident Dell Dempster said the Highlands would benefit from the proposed Cash For Containers scheme because it would potentially reduce the amount of litter dumped in parts of the region, particularly on the Old Hume Highway.

“Today (Monday), I drove from Bowral to Mittagong via Old South Road and Range Road and noticed numerous bottles lying on the side of the road,” she said.

“Perhaps, our environment would be much tidier if we retained the bottles and collected them to get a refund.

“Wouldn’t it be a good lesson for our children to learn, that throwing bottles and cans away, is equal to throwing money away.”

According to Clean Up Australia, beverage-related rubbish is the most common type of waste found by volunteers during Clean Up Australia Day events and represented 48 per cent of reported rubbish dumped in public areas Australia-wide.

Federal and state environment ministers will meet in August to decide between the refund scheme and public place recycling.

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