COWRA’S unique Safe Seniors project has finally ended and been declared a huge success by Mayor Bill West.
More than 100 local homes for the elderly have been made safer by the program, with more than 1200 security measures put in place.
“We would like to thank all those who participated in the Safe Seniors program and hope the security measures that have been implemented into each and every home add to the confidence our seniors deserve,” says Cr West.
Cowra Shire Council successfully developed the project and was awarded the funding to complete it.
“This was a partnership between Council, Rotary and Lions to assess homes for senior residents with the aim of seeking areas for security improvements,” says Cr West.
The Mayor has thanked Cowra businesses involved in helping to upgrade the security of senior residents.
“Your professionalism, expertise, and continued support throughout this project has been appreciated by all our senior residents and we thank you for supporting us throughout such a large, new project,” he says.
Cr West says the number of phone calls and letters of gratitude and praise generated by the program was an indication of the genuine community appreciation.
“In particular, Cowra Locksmiths have played a huge role in making this program so successful, we are lucky to have businesses of this calibre in town,” he says.
He also paid tribute to Cowra Shire Council staff, including Lil Wilson and Lisa Robertson, who conceived the project, gained the federal funding, and had overall responsibility for the project.
“Overall there have been more than 1200 security measures put in place,” says Cr West.
“These include locks for windows and doors, security screens and repairs, security lights and smoke alarms.”
The Safe Seniors project was an Australian Government-funded initiative, as part of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
CLICK the PLAY icon ►on the video panel above to hear Cowra Visitor Centre officer, Annabel Gay, chat with CCN Editor, Garry Starr, about what you need to know of what’s on in the area over the next week.
Hear details of a variety of activities on in Cowra over the next week. They include the Salvos’ Red Shield Appeal, a new landscape art exhibition, a dog show with 700 entrants, a fashion parade, two separate musical performances and a cooking class.
Annabel and Garry will give you a description of upcoming events, their location, times and any costs they may involve. If you need further information on what’s discussed you can call the Visitor Centre on (02) 6342 4333 or visit www.cowratourism.com.au.
A HOTEL security man has suffered a broken eye socket and a badly cut mouth when he was savagely assaulted by a thug, one of three men “wearing rings all over their fingers”, who tried to shove their way into Cowra’s Railway Hotel after it had closed in the early hours of Sunday.
Staff member, Scott, aged in his 30s, is recovering in Orange Base Hospital from his injuries.
Railway Hotel publican Paul Fuz says he, his wife Sharyn and staff were leaving the pub by the front door about 1am on Sunday, after counting tills and closing down for the night, when three “out-of-towners” attempted to push their way past them into the hotel.
Mr Fuz says he told the men that the pub had shut for the night, but still they tried to force their way into the premises.
“Scott said to them, ‘Can we talk about this?’, and went outside to tell them we had shut,” says Mr Fuz.
“He went outside, just out of our sight, and seconds later one of the men we could see said to the others, ‘Come on, we’re going’ and they left towards the town.
“We came outside and found Scott in a bad way on the footpath.
“Then we saw the three of them running away (west) further up (Kendal) street.
“It all happened so quickly – it was over inside two minutes,” says Mr Fuz.
Police and ambulance paramedics were quick on the scene, he says.
“We didn’t even have time to get a good description of them,” says Mr Fuz, other than the three men sported “rings all over their fingers” and one of them wore a pony tail or a rat’s tail.
“They certainly hadn’t been drinking at the pub at any time earlier that day,” he says.
“None of us has seen them before.”
Scott remains in a satisfactory condition in Orange Base Hospital, says Mr Fuz, contrary to reports earlier today (Wednesday) that he’d been transferred to a hospital in Sydney for further treatment.
“I spoke to him on the phone in (Orange Base) hospital last night (Tuesday) and he was feeling better,” says Mr Fuz.
The attacker is reportedly described as being of solid build, wearing dark clothing and possibly sporting a rat’s tail haircut.
Cowra police are investigating.
Anyone with information about the assault should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
COWRA’S new $4.6 million emergency water main, linking the town with Central Tablelands Water from Lake Rowlands north of Woodstock, has been officially opened.
MP for Burrinjuck, Katrina Hodgkinson (pictured right, with Mayor of Cowra Bill West) opened the 33km connection on Saturday.
Construction came about after the Cowra Shire Council was requested by the former New South Wales Department of Water and Energy, renamed the New South Wales Office of Water (NOW), to undertake drought emergency water planning to ensure availability of alternative sources for Cowra if primary sources were unavailable because of the ongoing drought in NSW.
Council investigated several options and determined that the best for Cowra were to provide an emergency supply main from Central Tablelands Water, and to provide an alternative extraction method from deeper in the Lachlan River bed.
The NSW Government has indicated it will fund 50 per cent of the project under its Drought Emergency Management Funds.
The main is an essential infrastructure requirement providing the township with an emergency supply of water in times of severe drought or misadventure.
The system has the capability of working in the reverse – with the addition of two pump stations – allowing water to be supplied to Woodstock, and to Central Tablelands Water, should the need arise in the future.
The usefulness of the pipeline came into focus when there was a breakdown in the river pumps earlier in the year.
“This is the type of situation that the 33km pipeline was designed for – for times when Cowra’s primary water supply is reduced or threatened due to drought or mechanical problems,” says Cr West.
“After the breakdown of the pumps in the river, preparations were made to call on this emergency supply.
“Even though it wasn’t required to source water in this instance, having the emergency supply available indicates its value,” Cr West says.
THE winner of the Recycled Art For Cowra Award (RAFCA), announced yesterday (Sunday), is local artist Ken Hutchinson with his piece called Seat of Steam Power (pictured above).
The sculpture is fashioned from welded steel fishplates, recycled buttons woolpack and foam.
The win nets Mr Hutchinson $5000.
In explaining his creation Mr Hutchinson (pictured far right with Len Wallace, who received a Highly Commended Award), says:
“Railways opened up our farming communities – towns that had the railway had special economic power in our society’s development.
“Farming produce was shipped speedily to major centres to feed and clothe our society.
“People could come to our town much more easily and quickly. Cowra flourished.
“I have included a recycled cushion made of a woolpack to give reference to the movement of produce on the rail system.
“The buttons represent the people of our town and other places that had the new technology of steam at their disposal to make speedy trips to and from our country town.
“Remember that the only alternative was horse travel.”
Wyangala Dam Public School won the People’s Choice Award and their school’s category in the competition.
Despite the cold weather, the awards attracted a large crowd who were entertained by a performance by the Cowra Town Band, the Torsion Dance Ensemble performing a segment of their production Cowra – The History So Far and a presentation by the Wagambirra Aboriginal Dance Troupe.
A demonstration and talks on using recycled materials to build artworks by winner Mr Hutchinson also attracted keen interest.
Below: An automatic slideshow of all RAFCA prize winners and entertainers.
Above: Cowra High School students exploring the new laptops (seated l-r) Nikita Morandin, Imajen James, Jessica Collett, Caragh O’Brien, Kaitlyn Rogers and James Gregory; (back l-r) Ken Muhling, Cowra Optus representative Sophie Bull, Robyn Coffey, Aboriginal Programs co-ordinator Cheryl McAlister and Diana McLean.
COWRA High School’s after-school homework program has just become a whole lot easier to undertake – thanks to a $7850 donation from Optus for 15 laptop computers.
The program aims to support indigenous students from Cowra Public, Mulyan Public and Cowra High Schools in completing their homework.
The schools say they are already seeing results, with an increase in homework quality and enthusiasm among students, says Cowra High School principal Charles Gauchi.
Right: Cowra High School pupils work on the new laptops (seated l-r) Nikita Morandin, Imajen James and Jessica Collett; (back l-r) Ken Muhling, Sophie Bull and Robyn Coffey.
“A number of indigenous students do not have ready access to books and computers which can make it harder to complete their homework and assessments,” says Mr Gauci.
The annual Optus Community Grants program awards funding of up to $10,000 to not-for-profit organisations that help build social inclusion and reconnect disengaged youth in communities.
Since 2008, Optus has awarded $880,000 in grants to 165 community organisations across Australia.
Left: Mulyan pupils familiarise themselves with their homework laptops (seated l-r) Jessica Collett, Kalia Williams, Niar Collett and Kaitlyn Rogers obscured; (back l-r) Sophie Bull, and Ian Pattingale.
Mr Gauci and Cowra High School’s Aboriginal Programs co-ordinator Cheryl McAlister, teachers and schoolchildren attended the school’s Community Learning Centre last Monday to discuss the success of the enhanced after-school project.
COWRA’S annual Red Shield Appeal for the Salvation Army takes place over the next two weekends.
The fund-raising begins this Friday with a business breakfast, starting at 7am for 7:30am service, hosted by restaurateur Tommy Jeffs at the Imperial Hotel in Kendal St.
The new Salvation Army officer in Cowra, Captain Louise Beamish (pictured left with her husband Sean), has told CCN the event is to allow local businesspeople to learn about the services that the Salvos provide.
The guest speaker will be Captain Vanessa Garvin, who was the Salvation Army officer in Cowra eight years ago.
Captain Garvin will speak about the recovery program for recovering addicts run by the Salvos.
In a slight change to the usual Red Shied Appeal, there will be static donation stations outside each of Cowra’s supermarkets over each weekend.
The Salvation Army has also arranged to have people doorknocking local houses to give people a further chance to donate.
Captain Beamish advises that householders should check the identification cards of doorknockers.
In her interview with CCN, Captain Beamish outlines many of the services that the Salvation Army provides, including the recovery program and youth activities.
She also outlines her past, including why she moved from Maroochydore on the Queensland Sunshine Coast to Cowra.
Click the PLAY icon on the audio panel below to hear the complete interview.