Star readers: Emu Plains Public School

Tough stuff, reviewed by Matthew Cunningham Year 6
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“Tough stuff” is a book by Kirsty Murray full of true stories about kids and courage. From rescuers to brainboxes, from brainboxes to feral children, from feral children to superstars, from superstars to battlers, from battlers to rebels, from rebels to rulers, and from rulers to survivors. There are so many interesting and inspirational stories of children all around the world and counting and here are just a few of them but they are in amazing context and the most amazing thing about it is that they are all kids just like you and me! You will be inspired by reading about these children who have all been through so much and you will learn about many other kids all around the world.


This book is not for the faint hearted…

Some people may find some of these stories disturbing due to the fact that all of these are true modern-day stories that include kids in poverty, P.O.W. camps, and working in poor work conditions.

Overall this is a moving book that will latch onto your heart for years to come. I rate this book an eight and a half out of ten and recommend this book for an audience of year six to year nine. I loved this book and I know you will too!

Skulduggery Pleasant, reviewed by Brooke Howell, year 6

Skulduggery Pleasant is one of the books that when I start reading I can’t stop. The author of this book is Derek Landy. Derek lives on the outskirts of Dublin and he loves to write lots of spooky stories. This book is about a girl named Stephanie Edgley and a man that’s a skeleton. The skeleton’s name is Skulduggery Pleasant. Stephanie and Skulduggery met at Stephanie’s dead uncles house. When Stephanie meets this spooky looking skeleton she finds out that he has magic powers and he lives in another world with very nice and very evil people. When Stephanie finds out about this magical world will she try and get involved, if she does she could get one step closer to getting to being murdered. If you like love stories with princesses in it this is NOT the book for you but if you like stories about skeletons and people trying to kill other people then this book is PERFECT for you. If I had to rate this really great book then I would rate it 100/100 because it’s a spooky but great story!

Pretty Little Liars, reviewed by Emily Wyeth

In the town of Rosewood four ex-best friends are brought back together from the founding of their best friend Alison’s dead body who went missing three years earlier and mysterious text messages from “A”, but Alison cant be “A” so who is “A”.

Things are coming back to Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna things that only Alison could know that could ruin their pretty little lives.

Spencer’s parents won’t look at her with what happened with her sister, Hanna’s life is turning un-so-perfect, Emily has new friend who’s a bad influence and Aria’s family is falling apart. Secrets are revealed and the only thing on their mind is “A” and what happened three years ago before Alison went missing, things they don’t want to tell.

Every book is a step closer to who “A” is.

I recommend this book for fourteen or older.

Then, reviewed by Tylah

“Then” is a story set in 1942 during world war two. The main characters are named Felix and Zelda. Written by Morris Gleitzman, this book is full of drama war and sadness. So if you like sad stories of how two people came to meet and what their lives were like this book is for you.

In the beginning Felix had a plan for him and Zelda:

To become new people,

Find new parents,

And be safe from Nazis forever.

Zelda’s original parents, unlike Felix, are now dead Nazis. Instead of loving and missing them though, she feels full of revulsion for them because during her and Felix’s journey she has seen some of the cruel and horrible things Nazis do to poor people just because of their beliefs or what they look like, but luckily Felix is there to help and has become Zelda’s new family.

Unlike Zelda though Felix is purely Jewish. He’s quite scared that he is a target for the Nazis and will get Zelda and any of his new friends killed. Towards the end of the book Felix devises a plan to run away from Zelda and his new life to give everyone he knows a chance of living. Felix finds his task a lot harder than what expected as many obstacles appear along the way including the promise he made to Zelda that they will stay together forever.

So read it yourself if it sounds good to you. It might sound so good you’ll read all three books.

The Hobbit, reviewed by Caleb Stuckey, 5/6DS

The Hobbit was written by J.R.R. Tolkien and is a wonderful book for ages 12 and up.

Whisked from his comfortable hobbit-hole by Gandalf the Wizard and a band of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo and his companions face many challenges on their journey, including trolls, ogres, goblins and the treacherous road through the Misty Mountains. Will he survive the journey and succeed in the quest for riches? Is it worth the potential reward? And what does Bilbo find, that has the power to forever change his life and destiny?

The Hobbit is a marvellous book set in the olden days and written in the genre of fantasy. It introduces a variety of new and exciting characters, with the main character being a hobbit, which is a human-like being, only much smaller (about half our size). It is so much fun that you could read it over and over again. The Times called it a “flawless masterpiece”. I feel it was a wonderful adventure, full of mystery and action, and I highly recommend it.

The Witch In The Lake, reviewed by Hannah Rose East, 5/6DS

The Witch In The Lake is a good book for ages 10 and over. It is the story about a witch who lives at the bottom of a lake near a little village. The witch comes out at full moon waiting, waiting for someone to come, then she grabs them and gobbles them up for supper. The main character is Leo, a boy trying to control his wizardry powers, at the same time as coping with the loss of both a close friend, and his father, Marco.

Through his memories, Leo recalls his father’s guidance that he must seek out “The Thing”, and look towards its heart. He was warned that “The Thing” may change its shape, but its heart will always remain the same. But how can “The Thing” help Leo in his desire to control his powers?

Leo, and his friend, Merilee, visit the lake and Leo is the one to swim at full moon. Merilee screams at him to get out, when she sees the witch, but Leo stays to challenge the witch in the hope he can finally find out the truth. But what secrets does she have to tell him?

I rate this book a 10 out of 10. I really enjoyed reading this book and I think anybody who reads it will enjoy it too.

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

Press release: David Bradbury hails plain packaging tobacco law

Federal MP for Lindsay, David Bradbury, has welcomed the decision of the High Court to reject the legal challenge by the big tobacco companies against the Gillard Government’s world-leading plain packaging laws.
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“This is a victory for everyone in our local community who has lost someone to a smoking related illness,” Mr Bradbury said.

“This decision is a relief for every parent who worries about their child picking up this deadly and addictive habit.

“This world-leading legislation will remove the last remaining form of tobacco advertising in Australia and send a clear message that the glamour of smoking is gone.

“In years to come, this measure will mean a reduction in cancer rates and less pressure on our health system.

“Plain packaging is a vital preventative public health measure, which removes the last way for big tobacco companies to promote their deadly products.”

Plain packaging will restrict tobacco industry logos, brand imagery, colours and promotional text appearing on packs. Brand and product names will be in a standard colour, standard position and standard font size and style.

All tobacco products sold in Australia must be in plain packaging by December 1, 2012.

Mr Bradbury said the big tobacco companies fought this legislation because they know it will work.

“The big tobacco companies are concerned about their profit margin; we are concerned about the 15,000 people who die from smoking each year and the $31.5 billion it costs taxpayers each year,” Mr Bradbury said.

“This is a great victory in the fight for this vital preventative public health measure.”

Further information about the Gillard Government’s plain packaging legislation can be found at

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Press release: Greens call for Penrith town hall

The Nepean Greens are calling for the old council chambers site, on the corner of Station and Henry streets, to be transformed into a town hall for community use.
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Greens candidate for East Ward, Peta Holmes, says “We want a town hall so the people of Penrith have somewhere to gather – as a place for community engagement.

“We want for there to be community forums where members of the public can engage directly with Councilors outside of council meetings. A town hall would be a perfect place for this to happen, as well as acting as a symbol of Council’s commitment to this community.”

Michelle Tormey, Greens candidate for North Ward, agrees that the central and easily-accessible location of the old council chambers site would make it an excellent location for a town hall. She also adds, “All great cities around the world have some kind of central communal location and we believe that Penrith deserves no less.”

“Greg Davies recently said that the “Penrith is Here” logo is about promoting the region to the rest of the country. A town hall would really say that we – that all of us – are here.”

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

Press release: Greens candidate Peta Holmes

Peta Holmes, local High School History teacher and a vocal advocate for special needs and disabilities resourcing, has been selected as the Greens’ candidate for East Ward.
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When Penrith South’s Early Intervention class was cancelled without consultation at the end of 2009, Peta started a campaign to reverse the decision that had unnecessarily disadvantaged fifty already vulnerable children.

More recently, Peta has spoken out about the negative impact that the State Government’s ‘Every School, Every Student’ policy will have on special needs education in NSW. Meeting with members of the local media outside Braddock Public School alongside Greens MP John Kaye, she revealed that the school was set to lose $95,000 in funding and was one of 272 schools in NSW that would be impacted in this manner.

The mother of four sons, two of whom have an autism spectrum disorder, Peta knows how important adequate support and early intervention are in providing special needs children with the best possible chance of living a full and rewarding life.

“Not only does it mean a better quality of life for these children at a time in their lives when intervention is most important, but it will also mean that less taxpayer dollars will have to go into fixing the Government’s mistakes in the future.”

Peta also insists that local council has an important role to play in making Penrith an inclusive place. For example, she will be pushing for Council to install liberty swings in public parks, arguing that “kids in wheelchairs should be able to play at the park as well.”

Peta believes that it’s important for Penrith’s residents to look to the future, without repeating the mistakes of the past. This means not only supporting our children, but working to make Penrith a more inclusive and sustainable area for all of its residents.

“In recent years we’ve seen both major parties fail to respond to the needs of our area. There’s a real disconnect between how they think Western Sydney should work and how we live our actual lives.

“We need to think of Penrith as a developing city in and of itself, not just a place we live so we can go and work in the city.

“We need to push back against obvious failures in planning and unsustainable development, while working to turn Penrith into a place that we can be even more proud to live in.”

Peta, who believes that Penrith should be developed with ‘greenification’ in mind, argues the Gipps Street landfill site is one example of where Penrith council has dropped the ball when it comes to local development.

“We’ve been waiting long enough. The site needs to be finished once and for all.”

Peta is critical of Penrith Council’s focus on catering to the needs of big business, arguing that it’s equally important to develop the infrastructure of the area in order to support any financial growth that is going to happen.

“I don’t want Penrith to just be a place for big business, I want Council to shape Penrith into a place that is, first and foremost, a place for local people – a place for families.

“We need to make sure that we have local voices on Council, who care about real democracy and are working to meet the needs of the area as a whole. If that sounds important to people, then I believe that they should vote for the Greens.”

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

Hearing tests

Australian Hearing is offering free hearing checks at its Penrith office, promoting hearing health awareness during the upcoming Hearing Awareness Week, which starts on Sunday, 19 August 2012. All visitors undertaking a hearing test will be given a voucher for refreshments at one of the local cafes.
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Visitors can come and find information on a range of common hearing issues and view a display of easy-to-use hearing devices for around the home.

According to David Maple, Manager at Australian Hearing Penrith and Springwood, hearing loss is a prevalent issue in the community, with 60 per cent of Australians over 60 suffering from some form of hearing loss.

“The hearing checks are conducted by experts from Australian Hearing and take around 15 minutes to complete. Our team will also be on hand to guide you through what next steps you may have to take in regards to your hearing.”

People who visit can also learn more about products that make everyday hearing easier, such as headsets for watching the TV and alert systems for doorbells.

“Not everyone who is experiencing problems hearing needs a hearing aid. Sometimes it’s just hearing the TV at normal volumes, hearing your doorbell, or hearing your friends on the phone that’s the problem,” Mr Maple said.

“To book a hearing test at our Penrith office, simply call our friendly staff on 4720 3400.”

Australian Hearing provides subsidised hearing services for eligible people, including pensioners and most veterans, at over 110 permanent centres and more than 330 visiting sites across Australia. For more information call 47203400 or visit www.hearing南京夜网.au

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

Press release: Marcus Cornish

Conservative Independent candidate for Penrith City Council Marcus Cornish has declared the new garbage bin system to be a “spectacular failure”.
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Mr Cornish said that fortnightly garbage collections were out of step with ratepayers expectations.

“The people I talk to when doorknocking keep raising this issue, I know myself that it’s too hard to run a business with fortnightly collections,” Mr Cornish said.

Mr Cornish said that it is unreasonable for Council to expect people to endure the stench of rotting garbage and soiled nappies for up to two weeks before they are collected or pay a penalty to regain the service they once had, but with a reduced bin size.

The “Green bin” needs to be scrapped in favour of a shredding service several times a year, I cannot see how placing 5-10Kg of plastic garbage bin in front of every residence in Penrith can be called a “green initiative”, the health of our families must come first and this can be achieved by better management with family needs at the forefront.” Mr Cornish said.

Mr Cornish said if elected he would:

1. Scrap the green bin in favour of a shredding service,

2. Restore weekly general garbage removal,

3. Increase the size of the general garbage bin.

Contact Marcus Cornish: 0427 385 546

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

Press release: Greens candidate Michelle Tormey

Michelle Tormey, community worker and the mother of one, has been selected as the Greens candidate for North Ward in the upcoming Local Council elections.
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Michelle, who was born and raised in Nepean, has a strong commitment to helping Penrith grow and become a better community for all of its residents – particularly its young people. She believes that there needs to be more activities that engage with young people and that their interests should be taken into consideration when planning for Penrith’s future.

Michelle believes that some of the issues that Penrith’s young adults face arise because Council is disconnected from those that represent the area’s future. If elected, she insists that she will “bring a fresh point of view to Council – one that focusses on a young person’s experience of living, working and raising a family in this area.”

In particular, Michelle believes that more work needs to be done to engage young women in decision-making processes.

“I want to be seen as a role model for young women and to encourage them to get involved in representing their community. They need to know that they can have their voices heard.”

As well as wanting to bring more diversity to Council, Michelle believes that we need to do more to protect our local environment.

“We have so many beautiful public spaces and we need to maintain them. I want to see Werrington Lake cleared of garbage and dangerous materials. I will also seek to protect local bushlands and the large areas of Cumberland Plain woodlands in this electorate.”

However, she will not only focus on better protecting and preserving our natural heritage, but will also push for initiatives that are aimed at cleaning up our streets.

“I love this area, but I also recognise that there are some places that require more maintenance than others. I think that Council should be looking to identify these hotspots and allocating more resources to making sure that our streets are clean. When I’m walking around with my daughter, I want to see my love and respect for this area reflected back at me.”

Michelle strongly believes that there are a number of initiatives that can be taken up by Council in order to further develop a sense of pride in the area’s residents.

“We should have an Arts Precinct and more cultural events, to foster a sense of belonging. We should be promoting active transport, such as walking and cycling, while improving our access to public transport. We should be actively working towards making sure that Penrith is a home and not just a dormitory town.

“And where some might see graffiti as a problem that needs to be met with harsher punishment, I think that we should be looking to the Blue Mountains Street Art Collaborative, or the Marist Youth Care’s mural in Blacktown, as examples of how something assumed to be a negative can actually be turned into a positive.”

Michelle realises that some may want to dismiss her in favour of more seasoned candidates, but she would urge them to think carefully before making any final decisions.

“Experience is important, but we need to make sure that it doesn’t become stagnation. And while youth is often assumed to be a sign of inexperience, it can also mean innovation and passion.

“I, like so many other young people, just need the opportunity to show that I have what it takes.”

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

Press Release: Greens candidate Patrick Darley-Jones

The Nepean Greens’ local council candidates wholeheartedly support council’s decision to approach Minister for Planning, Brad Hazzard, about the proposed changes to state planning laws. However, they question whether this move was prompted by genuine concern for the rights of the community, or if this is just another example of the ongoing political fight between Labor and Liberals.
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The changes proposed by the State government would threaten residents’ right to challenge unwanted developments, as well as handing over decision-making rights to independent committees.

According to the Greens’ South Ward candidate, Patrick Darley-Jones, “the matter at hand, which is actually very important, seems to have been less interesting for councillor’s from both the major parties than their ‘Labor versuses Liberal’ fight.

“Instead of having a spat over whether it was a Labor or a Liberal State government trying to override council’s planning decisions – and they’ve both had a crack at it, let’s not forget that – council should have been focusing on the bigger picture.”

Mr. Darley-Jones believes that there are many dangers in the proposed changes.

“Not only would these changes lock the community out of voicing their opinions about specific developments, but the members of these so-called ‘independent’ committees would be State-appointed.

“The details about how those appointees would be selected is vague. But, with the removal of environmentally sustainable development as an objective of the new act, I can’t see it going well for the local area.

“The last thing we need is for a bunch of ‘expert,’ State-appointed developers, for example, making decisions about what’s best for our communities.”

Mr. Darley-Jones would also like to know where this fiery response from Labor councillors was when the O’Farrell government passed the Local Government Amendment Bill 2011, which removed restrictions on councillors taking part in decisions from which they stand to financially benefit.

“Neither of these decisions made by the State government does a single thing to promote a community-centric development of the area, but I guess it’s easier to fight a battle when it threatens you rather than benefits you.

“I firmly believe that councillors need to be making their decisions with the people of Penrith in the forefront of their minds. Otherwise, I have to wonder – and I encourage others to ask – what is motivating their decisions?”

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

Raiders grab closely fought win

Leader: Vaipuna Tia Kilifi attempts to keep the ball alive with an offload to Kieran Moss. Picture: Gary WarrickTHE Panthers Toyota Cup side fell 28-22 to competition leaders the Canberra Raiders last weekend for their fifth loss in six games. While the reigning premiers are next on the young cubs’ schedule, coach Garth Brennan knows they’re not unbeatable — his troops trumped them just two months ago.
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What were your thoughts on full-time against the Raiders?

Disappointment. The game was there to be won and we were probably the better side for most of it but just didn’t get the result.

The Panthers led 18-16 at half-time. What was most disappointing about their second half?

We made too many errors — basic schoolboy errors — and you can’t do that if you’re going to compete against good sides.

Why do you think the side lapsed in concentration?

I don’t know.If it was under-12s and under-13s you could understand but we’re talking about the best under-20s competition in the world and the errors we made don’t resemble that at all.

You pointed out last week that the side wasn’t getting flogged by dud football teams and that a win was not too far away. Was Sunday’s loss another step towards that win or a step backwards?

I don’t think it was a step backward. Hopefully, we can keep believing in ourselves. It’s certainly not panic stations on my behalf.

Which players impressed you with their performance?

Vaipuna Tia Kilifi really stood out and carried the team like a good captain should but some other guys need to get on-board with him and start pulling their weight because he can’t do it all the time.

You’ve got another difficult clash and trek to Auckland on Sunday. How tough will it be against the Warriors?

This is the ultimate road trip in the NYC. It’s always tough going over there but it’s also exciting. They’re coming off two loses themselves and I’m sure they’re going to be desperate to bounce back but so are we, so it should be exciting.

Is there any other team news?

Matt Lodge and Chris Smith won two Test matches with the Australian Schoolboys side against Great Britain. That tour is now finished and it was a successful campaign so hopefully they can bring that confidence back with them for the next few weeks and back end of the year.

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

Law change could signal more homes for Orchard Hills

ORCHARD HILLS could lose its semi-rural character under state government changes to local development planning laws, according to Penrith Labor councillors.
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Penrith Council’s local environment plan excludes Orchard Hills from massive development.

However, last February the Planning Department told the council that land owners had suggested 25,000 new homes for Orchard Hills.

The local state Liberal MP for Mulgoa, Tanya Davies, said the application in Orchard Hills was for the rezoning of some land.

“There is no mention of 25,000 homes,” Mrs Davies said.

But the council did note that the department’s list had suggested 25,000 new homes for Orchard Hills.

“The review follows a general invitation by the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Brad Hazzard, to owners of large landholdings to have their land considered for housing development,” the council report stated.

Bob, who did not want his surname used, has lived in Orchard Hills for about 30 years.

“Twenty-five thousand new homes here would mean thousands of people getting in and out of this area every day,” he said.

“With a development of this magnitude, when you get big rains it’s going to flood”

Residents met Labor councillors Prue Car and Karen McKeown, South Ward Labor candidate Todd Carney and state Labor’s local government spokeswoman Sophie Cotsis in Orchard Hills last Monday.

“The real concern we have is more pressure on The Northern Road, which is already choking,” Cr Car said.

However, Mrs Davies said Penrith Council had been “involved in every step of the assessment process”.

“If the rezoning is approved, every development application will come back to the council to be decided,” she said.

Ms Cotsis said this would not be possible under the state government’s proposal for panels to replace local councils to decide development applications. But Mrs Davies said the green paper proposed “more community consultation”.

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