Grandstands closed by a centimetre

The Shellharbour Sharks Rugby League Club is one of the most go-ahead sporting outfits in the region.
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It’s home ground, named after local boy and Australian league great Ron Costello, is a showpiece and the club’s pride and joy.

It boasts outstanding facilities all built as part of a $1 million Federal Government grant that was also used to build two grandstands.

But now fans and visitors to the oval may never be able to use the grandstands, which have been closed during this season.

And it’s all over the matter of one centimetre, because the concrete steps, once used at the Sydney Aquatic Centre and then WIN Stadium, don’t comply with Australian safety standards.

The stands are off-limits until a resolution can be found, but if the club is forced to pull them down, that would be a case of safety restrictions gone mad.

If they were safe enough to be used at two of the biggest sporting venues in the state then they should be safe enough for a suburban sporting oval.

The club should be given the green light to get on and finish the project without any further delay.

And another thing …

Families who have loved ones in nursing homes will be reassured by the O’Farrell government’s ruling that all of the homes should be fitted with sprinkler systems.

The edict follows last year’s fire at Quakers Hill in Sydney where 11 elderly residents perished.

It will be a costly but worthwhile project and deserves the financial support of the federal government.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

What’s next in battle for Bulli ED?

12,000 people have signed the petition against downgrading Bulli Hospital services.Keira MP Ryan Park has vowed to keep fighting for a 24-hour emergency department at Bulli Hospital after raising the issue in NSW Parliament yesterday.
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Mr Park formally tabled a petition with 12,000 signatures calling on the state government to urgently upgrade the hospital, and not downgrade the emergency department (ED).

Wollongong MP Noreen Hay and Macquarie Fields MP and opposition health spokesman Andrew McDonald supported the upgrade of Bulli Hospital.

MORE: Taking the fight to Parliament

Mr McDonald claimed it was “ludicrous” to close the ED at night – when about 50 per cent of presentations to emergency departments typically occurred.

A group of 25 northern Illawarra residents – including members of the Save Bulli ED Group – also went to Sydney to hear the debate.

“It’s very disappointing that the government once again has refused to commit that Bulli emergency department will stay open 24/7,” Mr Park said after the debate.

“This is a service that needs additional funding, that needs upgrading. We are not asking for a service like Wollongong Hospital, we’re not asking for something we don’t already have – we’re just asking that it remains open 24/7 and that adequate funding be made available in the coming budget.

A draft report released by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District this week said the number of emergency department representations at Bulli appeared too low for “sustainable medical staffing and diagnostic capability 24 hours a day, seven days a week”.

However, Mr Park said there was a difference between people not turning up, and people not wanting to turn up.

“It’s clear when you order ambulances not to go to Bulli Hospital, when you constantly say on local media that there’s no emergency doctors available, when you haven’t put the capital upgrade into the facility that’s needed – that people are not going to go there,” he said.

“The fight doesn’t stop here – we will continue to lobby during the consultation period [which ends on August 31], not only for the benefit of northern Illawarra residents, but to take the pressure off Wollongong Hospital.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Survey to improve tourism data

Small accommodation businesses in the Mid-Western region have been given change to better track and compare their quarterly performances.
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A Tourism Research Australia (TRA) initiative to begin in January 2013 will monitor revenue and occupancy trends of small-scale accommodation houses not covered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Launched earlier this month as the “Small-Scale Accommodation Survey”, the program is set to provide a more comprehensive overview of how the sector is fairing.

Hotels, motels and serviced apartments (up to 14 rooms), visitor hostels and caravan parks will all be included in data collection.

Federal minister for tourism, Martin Ferguson, said the survey will reduce a data collection burden on participants.

“Governments and businesses will be able to use survey results for policy, planning and investment purposes and the success of the survey will depend on accommodation providers’ participation in providing data,” he said.

Tourism Research Australia agrees.

“For the Small-Scale Accommodation Survey to realise its potential it is essential that a large number of operators in the target segment provide their data on a monthly basis. Wide and committed industry support to achieve this outcome will be critical,” the organisation said.

Through the Federal Government’s Tourism 2020 plan, the national tourism research body has contracted STR Global Limited (STR) to deliver the survey.

After data is uploaded each respondent will receive an electronic report that tracks individual performance and compares it to others in a comparison set. The comparison set is likely to be other accommodation providers in the same region.

The main dataset segmented by sector and tourism region will be provided to TRA by STR for release on the TRA website toward the end of each month.

It is hoped that data back to July 2010 will be entered into the system to facilitate time series comparison of performance.

TRA will run workshops with operator groups in the next month . A webpage is being developed.

For further information head to www.ret.gov.au/tra

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.