QantasLink policy needs review

QANTASLINK needs to consider a more appropriate way to enforce its policies in relation to unaccompanied minors using their services.
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As was revealed earlier this week, a male nurse from Wagga was left feeling “humiliated” after a staff member asked him to move seats shortly before take-off on a recent flight between Wagga and Sydney, after he had been allocated a seat next to a 10-year-old girl flying by herself.

QantasLink justified the decision by claiming the company had a policy in relation to unaccompanied children, stating that they cannot be seated next to an adult male.

There are two important points to be raised on this issue.

Firstly, how is it that adult males are a greater threat to young children than adult females?

It could well be argued that in some instances, adult females are just as “dangerous” as an adult male, as the airline knows nothing of the background of its passengers or the potential risk that they may present.

The fact is, they are merely trying to reduce the odds of an incident not remove them.

Surely a better approach would be to eliminate them by placing the child in a single seat even if it means leaving a vacant seat on the flight.

The second point is how the man came to be seated beside an unaccompanied minor in the first place.

QantasLink allocates the seats and to wait until minutes before take-off merely drew undue attention to the situation.

The final insult was the indifference displayed by the company towards the man’s complaint it was only after the incident gained attention on social media that they were interested in addressing his concerns.

Perhaps this is a fine reminder for Qantaslink that it needs to treat its passengers as people and not numbers such an approach would have avoided this embarrassing situation.

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Heat’s brothers light up the court

ANY opposition wanting to rough up one of Wagga Heat’s Tye brothers during a game has been warned they have each other’s back.
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Bobby, 21, and younger brother Dom, 20, have been playing side-by-side since their childhood days shooting hoops in the backyard.

The pair now form a dangerous combination as part of the Heat’s most successful team in 15 years, and will this weekend play in front of a home crowd for a spot in the State League Basketball semi-finals.

Wagga Heat has enjoyed its best season in recent history and Bobby said the experience had been made that much better knowing his brother is on the court with him.

“It’s good playing alongside family,” he said.

“Dom and I are pretty close, we have each other’s back.

“The support we have had from mum and dad is great, too, they’ve helped us out a lot.”

Bobby, a 188cm-tall point guard, and Dom, a 190cm-tall shooting guard, will take on Ryde at Bolton Park Stadium on Saturday night in the competition quarter finals.

It will be the first time in 15 years Wagga has hosted an SBL final after the Heat finished top of their competition pool.

The Tye brothers have been playing basketball in Wagga since they could tie their own shoelaces and Bobby is confident the Heat can go a long way in the finals.

“This is definitely the most successful season we’ve had,” he said.

“We have a young running team, we don’t worry about the opposition and we get the job done.

“Training was great (on Tuesday) everyone trained well and the boys are very motivated for the weekend.”

The quarter final starts at 6pm on Saturday and Wagga Basketball Association is urging members of the public to dress in white and support the Heat.

BROTHERS IN ARMS: Wagga Heat brothers Bobby and Dom Tye will take to the court at Bolton Park Stadium on Saturday night for the State League Basketball quarter final against Ryde. Picture: Oscar Colman

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Dugald’s back from the brink and fully recovered after brain injury

SEVENTEEN months ago, Dugald Storie’s life hung in the balance when he had a serious accident on his property near Inverell.
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But after months of rehabilitation and hard work, Mr Storie is now back to 100 per cent.

His story of recovery has been highlighted as part of Brain Injury Awareness Week and has seen him join the Wall of Fame at Tamworth hospital’s transitional living unit, Kameruka, this year.

To have his story selected for the Wall of Fame was something Mr Storie hoped would inspire others as they faced similar challenges.

“When I was doing my treatment in Tamworth I’d read some of those stories, and gosh, some of those guys were so brave and so strong … so to be asked to do this, I feel deeply honoured,” he said.

In March last year, Mr Storie was working on his property with a friend when he was hit in the head by a piece of steel from a grain bin while preparing for a sorghum harvest.

He was rushed to Inverell hospital and put in an induced coma, then airlifted to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle for emergency surgery.

The accident bruised Mr Storie’s brain, shattered his skull above the left temple, cracked his brow, cracked the floor of his skull and shattered the right side of his skull, leaving him with post-traumatic amnesia for four weeks, a few days of delirium and a ruptured left frontal sinus.

For two days, the neurologist did not know if Mr Storie would even survive.

After stints in intensive care and the neuro ward, he went into rehabilitation at Newcastle before heading back to the northern region for further rehabilitation at the brain injury unit at Tamworth.

His rehabilitation focused on speech pathology and occupational therapy and by August 2011, he had finished.

Mr Storie thanked his family – including children Emma, Angus and George, and his “beautiful” wife, Anna – for being the “true champions” for all their support and strength through the ordeal.

Tamworth hospital social worker Paul Whiting told The Leader the rehabilitation team hoped to raise awareness of the hard work that went into recovery from a brain injury, as well as instill hope in those who were in the early stages of recovery.

“I think his was such a positive story,” Mr Whiting said.

“I certainly know, when we first got the referral for Dugald, we didn’t expect to see the recovery we did.

“His absolute determination, the absolute rock-solid support of his family was reallyinspiring.”

INSPIRING: Inverell farmer Dugald Storie is back to enjoying life with wife Anna and kids Emma, George and Angus after a ‘remarkable’ recovery from a serious brain injury. Photo: Robert Chappel 150812RCA007

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Joe’s big finish earns WDFNL under 17 best and fairest honour

OLD Collegians midfielder Joe Kenna credited a strong finish to the season for his Warrnambool and District under 17 best and fairest win.
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Joe, 16, won the H. Johnson Medal best and fairest last night at the league’s vote count.

He polled 28 votes to edge out East Warrnambool’s Allie Clarke on 25.

South Rovers’ William Paulin was third with 23 votes and Panmure’s Tom Mahony fourth on 20.

“I felt I had a great end to the season,” Joe said. “I was a bit rusty at the start.”

Joe, who has never won a club best and fairest, said he would either play for Old Collegians again next season or test himself in the Hampden league.

Warriors under 17 coach Ben Van de Camp said Joe was a midfielder who was capable of going forward.

“He has been really consistent,” he said.

“He has a great set of hands and good composure when he has the ball in his hands.

“He is good in terms of communicating and good in terms of positioning around the contests.”

Van de Camp said Joe, a strong overhead mark for his size, was a dedicated trainer.

“He is easy to coach,” he said.

Van de Camp said Joe’s win was pleasing from a club point of view and also for his family.

Old Collegians will play Timboon Demons in the qualifying final on Sunday.

Van de Camp said while he expected the Warriors to do well, finals were a different ball game.

South Rovers’ Joshua Campbell won the goal-kicking award with 78.

His best haul for the season was a bag of 10 against Nirranda.

Old Collegians player Joe Kenna, 16, tastes under 17 award success last night at City Memorial.

Joe Kenna, 16, celebrates as he hears the final result.

17 & Under Netball Best and Fairest winner Eliza Moloney, 17, Kolora Noorat Football Netball Club.

There was only standing room left as the District League junior count started.

Under 17’s Football Best and Fairest winner Joe Kenna, 16, Old Collegians Football Netball Club, and runner up Allie Clark, East Warrnambool Football Netball Club.

Under 17’s Football Best and Fairest winner Joe Kenna, 16, Old Collegians Football Netball Club.

17 & Under Netball Best and Fairest winner Eliza Moloney, 17, Kolora Noorat Football Netball Club.

Netball Rising Star Molly Bourke, 15, Kolora-Noorat Football Netball Club.

15 & Under Reserves Netball winner Nicole Sandow, 13, Merrivale Football and Netball Club.

15 & Under Netball winner Amelia Brooks, 14, Old Collegians Football and Netball Club.

Leading Goal Kicker Under 14 & 1/2 Luke Tebble, 15, Kolora-Noorat Football Netball Club.

17 & Under Netball Best and Fairest winner Eliza Moloney, 17, Kolora Noorat Football Netball Club.

Under 17’s Leading Goal Kicker Josh Campbell, 17, South Rovers Football Netball Club.

Under 17’s Football Best and Fairest winner Joe Kenna, 16, Old Collegians Football Netball Club.

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Interim deal aim to end tree-sit demos

TREE sits and protesters chaining themselves to logging machinery would be a thing of the past under an interim agreement on forestry struck yesterday by environment and industry groups.
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The interim agreement covers durability and a sawmillers’ exit package, but a deal on the criticial aspects of new reserves and wood supply is another four to six weeks away.

Forest Industries Association of Tasmania chief executive Terry Edwards said complaints would be dealt with in a “structured way” overseen by a “signatories council” but the exact process had not yet been determined.

“There are issues about a disputes and grievances procedure to ensure we don’t go back to the old days of people having to climb trees or hang off machinery to voice their opinions.

“There will be a mechanism in the agreement to deal with that.”

However, it’s unclear how protests by groups outside the formal negotiations, such as Markets for Change, would be stopped.

“We’re not about trying to use draconian measures to do that. What we’re trying to do is create an environment where people don’t want to do that or don’t need to do that because we will finally have an agreed position on forestry in Tasmania,” Mr Edwards said.

Under the agreement signed by the Wilderness Society, Environment Tasmania and the Australian Conservation Foundation, they would be required to “publicly and proactively” support the industry in markets for Tasmanian forest products.

Environment Tasmania’s Phill Pullinger said there would always be debate in a democratic society.

“What we’re trying to do is build into this agreement the sort of mechanisms that drive incentives for everyone to constructively support this agreement rather than try and pull it apart,” Dr Pullinger said.

Premier Lara Giddings praised the interim agreement, including the durability clauses supporting the sale of forest products in oversees markets.

She admitted that some fringe groups might never support the outcomes of the peace process.

Markets for Change spokeswoman Peg Putt said she was considering the interim agreement and would make a statement today.

The negotiating groups have also called for the $15 million sawlog contract buyback program to be opened to sawmillers immediately. They also recommended that the state and federal governments begin negotiating with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community over ownership and control of the land to be placed in reserved.

Forest Industries Association of Tasmania chief executive Terry Edwards and Environment Tasmania director Phill Pullinger announcing the interim deal. Picture: LORETTA JOHNSTON

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