MP Bob Baldwin in bid to throw out work safety cases

FRIENDS: Hilton Grugeon and Paterson MP Bob Baldwin.PATERSON MP Bob Baldwin sent letters to the Premier and senior ministers about workplace safety prosecutions that were denying defendants “natural justice” but says the lobbying wasn’t intended to benefit only Liberal donor Hilton Grugeon, who was then being prosecuted.
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The state government is under pressure to explain why charges against Mr Grugeon and fellow Hunter Quarries owner Graham Chevalley were withdrawn in 2012, over the death of worker Darren Smith whose truck rolled at the Karuah quarry in 2005.

The government changed workplace safety laws in 2011, bringing them in line with federal laws from 2012.

Mr Baldwin wrote in late 2011 to then attorney-general Greg Smith, with copies sent to then premier Barry O’Farrell, finance and services minister Greg Pearce, police minister Mike Gallacher, resources minister Chris Hartcher, Port Stephens MP Craig Baumann, Maitland MP Robyn Parker and Newcastle MP Tim Owen.

The government released the letter yesterday following questions from Labor, showing that Mr Baldwin sought a judicial review of whether outstanding prosecutions under the old laws should proceed.

“I am aware of defendants suffering severe hardship and personal distress in defending matters where they have been denied natural justice without a presumption of innocence,” the federal MP wrote.

Asked who the defendants were, Mr Baldwin said yesterday he was not just advocating for Mr Grugeon.

“I told Hilton at the time ‘I am not writing this letter to get you off, I am writing this letter so that the legislation applies equally’,” he said.

Mr Baldwin, who described Mr Grugeon as a close friend, said “I didn’t even get the courtesy of a reply” from the state government.

Mr Grugeon was the target of a recent corruption inquiry over alleged secret political donations to Liberal state campaigns, but was already a prominent Liberal donor. Mr Hartcher and Mr Gallacher were also targets of the inquiry.

Labor MP Michael Daley said the government had to explain why the charges were dropped: “A man has died leaving two young children behind.

“All of a sudden they just walked away from it. There are still serious questions for this government to answer,” Mr Daley said.

Mr Grugeon said he too had not received an explanation for the charges being withdrawn other than being told it was not in the public interest for the prosecution to continue.

But he believed it was due to “trumped up evidence” the prosecution sought to rely on.

He said that would be exposed as part of an appeal against the conviction of the company Hunter Quarries.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Resources Minister Anthony Roberts said “the decision to withdraw proceedings was taken by the Division of Resources and Energy following receipt of legal advice from the Crown Solicitor”.

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Jacob Cooke-Harrison flies over Ben Lakin and Jordy Schmidt, Horsham Saints v Horsham WFL Grand Final. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Football scores:

Wimmera Football League

2014 Seniors

HORSHAM SAINTS v. HORSHAM

Grand Finals Grand Final – 20/09/2014

Horsham 4.4, 7.8, 9.9, 12.10 (82)

Horsham Saints 3.3, 5.6, 11.8, 11.10 (76)

GOALS, Horsham :

Joel Geue 4, Beau Nelson 2, Jordyn Burke 2, Billy Lloyd 1, Jack Mentha 1, Alex Thomson 1,

Nic Pekin 1

Horsham Saints :

Gavin Kelm 9, Kyle O’Connor 1, Dennis Adams 1

BEST, Horsham :

Billy Lloyd, Ben Lakin, Jack Mentha, Nathan Kelly, Sean Christopher, Beau Nelson

Horsham Saints :

Gavin Kelm, Daniel Rees, Michael Rowe, Dennis Adams, Steven Thomas, Ryan Bird

MATCH REPORT:

WFL Reserves 2014

DIMBOOLA v. HORSHAM SAINTS

Grand Finals Grand Final – 20/09/2014

Dimboola 3.2, 4.5, 6.7, 8.8 (56)

Horsham Saints 1.2, 1.5, 1.7, 5.11 (41)

GOALS, Dimboola :

Darren Jones 5, Darcy Dubois 1, Cameron Ellis 1, Ashley Avery 1

Horsham Saints :

Matthew Hoe 1, George Walker 1, Tom Ballinger 1, Heath Kelm 1, Beau Cassidy 1

BEST, Dimboola :

Darren Jones, Jackson O’Neill, Daniel Greig, Kieran Fraser, Ashley Avery, Mathew Everett

Horsham Saints :

Cooper Bateson, Matthew Hoe, Tom Ballinger, Bowen Friend, Heath Kelm, Benjamin Martin

MATCH REPORT:

Wimmera Football League U17 2014

STAWELL v. HORSHAM

Grand Finals Grand Final – 20/09/2014

Horsham 2.3, 5.5, 9.8, 11.9 (75)

Stawell 2.4, 5.4, 6.5, 8.8 (56)

GOALS, Horsham :

Ryan Kemp 4, Alex Harfield 3, Trent Woolman 2, Jarman Reid 1, Jack Merlo 1

Stawell :

Pilo Dagiaro 4, Mitchell Kelly 2, Aidan Jensz 1, Dj Grundler 1

BEST, Horsham :

Ryan Kemp, Alex Harfield, Sid Hernon, Trent Woolman, Brandon Patterson, Riley Williams

Stawell :

Robert Armstrong, Pilo Dagiaro, Mitchell Kelly, Mitchell Collins, Sam Williams, Jesse Barber

MATCH REPORT:

Wimmera Football League U14 2014

HORSHAM SAINTS v. STAWELL

Grand Finals Grand Final – 20/09/2014

Horsham Saints 0.2, 4.5, 4.5, 7.10 (52)

Stawell 3.1, 4.1, 8.2, 8.3 (51)

GOALS, Horsham Saints :

Jack Butler 3, Will Kennedy 1, Mitchell Martin 1, Angus Gove 1, Thomas Berry 1

Stawell :

Caleb Bretherton 4, Riley McGregor 2, Calder Richards 1, Ryan Nellthorp 1

BEST, Horsham Saints :

Thomas Berry, Angus Gove, Joshua Hedt, Jeremiah McKenzie, Jared Morris, Will Tickner

Stawell :

Enovy Tungi, Joshua Kelly, Tom Walker, Caleb Bretherton, Bailey Taylor, Angus Butt

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Gentlemen, start your electric engines

READY TO RACE: Getting some practice in ahead of the opening of the Atrium’s giant slot car track this weekend are (from left) Dean Woods, Josh Worpel, Dave Willis and Tom Smith. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 170914GOD01IT’S hosted dinosaurs, segways and even an ice-skating rink, and the Atrium is about to reveal its latest school holiday trump card.
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A 25-metre slot car track, one of the biggest in NSW, will be unveiled tomorrow as part of the Tamworth shopping arcade’s annual September holiday program. The two-lane Scalextric track is a throwback to a bygone era, when slot cars were king in arcades and lounge rooms across Australia.

Atrium owner Bruce Read said, while many of today’s kids may have only seen cars racing on a screen, they will quickly embrace the old-school game. He said the track would also offer a nostalgic flashback for adults.

“They’ve been around for a million years but what they’ve done, just as they have with Lego and Barbie, is evolve with the market,” Mr Read said.

“They’re now all digital and the performance is far better.”

The track will be open for eight days from tomorrow, with a competition day offering nearly $1000 in prizes from Toyworld on September 28.

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Netball’s night of nights

MOUNT Isa Netball Association held its presentation night at the Buffs Club last Friday.
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RUNNERS-UP: Division 1 runners-up Strikers.

It commemorated a strong season by teams in all five divisions, recognising the hard work by all members of the committee.

Major award winners included Most Valuable Players each side, grand final winner, Best and Fairest of each division and representative awards.

MVP Team Awards: Bullets – Amy Davy, Starbursts – Kayleigh Knight, Socialites – Zoie Belingham, 2PH Redbacks – Brooke Wessels, Start – Sarah Gale, St Joeys – Lenore Krutzfledt, Fantales – Christeena Haines, Matariki Just Do It – Tynaya Toumau, Matariki C – Danica Crebbin, NQ Rescue Vixens – Trudi O’Brien and Jessica O’Connor, Thunder – Kimberley Thornton, Supernova – Kimberley Stokes, Panthers – Kathy MacDonald, Workpac Wildcats – Liz Constable, HV & IS – Ashley Burke, VS – Tara Gadischke, Sapphires – Nicola Caldwell and Jennifer O’Neill, GSCC – Pheobe Ryder, 2PH Shots – Latasha Venz and Joanne Drier, Strikers – Tamhara Holder, Marariki MIGATE – Mareta Alexander.

MVP per Division: Division 1 – Mareta Alexander (Best and Fairest) and Tamhara Holder (Best and Fairest runner-up), Division 2 – Ashley Burke (Best and Fairest) and Katie Luckman (Best and Fairest runner-up), Division 3 – Danica Crebbin (Best and Fairest) and Kathy MacDonald (Best and Fairest runner-up), Division 4 – Sarah Gale/Christeena Haines (Best and Fairest) and Lenore Krutzfeldt (Best and Fairest runner-up), Division 5 – Kayleigh Knight (Best and Fairest) and Amy Davy/Zoie Bellingham (Best and Fairest runner-up).

MVP of Grand Finals: Division 1 – Kate Donaghy, Division 2 – Paige Drewe, Division 3 – Amelia Adams, Division 4 – Rachel Thwaites, Division 5 – Hayley King.

Representative Awards: A Grade Players Player – Mareta Alexander, A Grade Coaches Choice – Mareta Alexander, B Grade Players Player – Kimberley Stokes, B Grade Coaches Choice – Latasha Venz.

President’s Award: Lenore Krutzfeldt and Hayley Hogan, Spirit of Netball Award: Amy Clark

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Tipping places his hopes on Rapman

IT’S not often a maiden event is the race that a trainer targets, but that’s exactly the plan for Mount Isa’s George Tipping in Winton tomorrow.
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The 1200-metre maiden plate, worth $10,000, is the race Tipping desperately wants to win on Winton’s six-race program.

Tipping is hoping his three-year-old colt Rapman is up to the task.

“I thought he had a strong chance before the barrier draw, but being given the outside track (barrier 9) is going to be tough,” Tipping said.

“He has only raced three times before and looked good in his last start in Birdsville, so we are hoping he continues to improve.

“Winton is a relatively small track so it it could be a hard task for him, especially with a strong field assembled.”

Tipping expects Julia Creek trainer Grant Wiles to saddle up the favourite with Russian Black.

Jockey Alannah Badger will partner Rapman, along with Tipping’s other three runners on the day.

“Month Of Sundays had a decent run in Cloncurry and if he didn’t get impeded at the start, he would have gone very close to the placings,” Tipping said.

After disappointing in Birdsville as a $1.50 favourite, Tipping hopes his top sprinter General Web can return to form.

“He simply didn’t turn up at Birdsville, which I’m putting down to him not being used to travelling that kind of distance,” Tipping said.

“Hopefully, he has learnt from that because Alannah believes he is getting back to the form he showed before Birdsville.

“If that’s the case, he should be right up there in the 1200m class 1 handicap.”

Tipping’s final runner of the day is Buffett, but the trainer isn’t expecting too much from him in the 1400m benchmark 70 handicap.

“We are running him this weekend as a bit of a warm-up to the Longreach Cup next weekend,” he said.

“The distance looks to be a shade too short for him, but it will give him a chance to get his legs under him again.

“It will also give Alannah another chance to ride him before her final meet of the year next weekend as she is heading home for the year after Longreach.”

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