A road by any other name

Most people have to move house to change addresses, but for the residents Of Pokes Road and Brunts Road they have stayed put and had the streets change around them.
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With another change on the horizon, the residents hope it will be rectified once and for all.

Poke’s Road, which points towards the Brunt residence, was formally known as Strawberry Lane,whileBrunt’s Road points towards the old Poke residence.

Moving into the street over 30 years ago, David and Christine Brunt notified the engineer at the time that their road did not appear to have a name and they were given the option to name it.

Strawberry Lane was born,aptly named for the delicious strawberriesgrown by the Brunt family.

The address stuck and was known by that name by localsuntil 2010 when the council decided to change the addresses of the propertiesunder the rural addressing system and make Brunts Road and Pokes Road official.

Confusingly enough, the new names did not accurately reflect where the families reside due to an error by the Nomenclature Board in 1984.

Jenny Brooks said that over the 25 years she has lived on the road, she has had five differentaddresses.

“I rang up because the insurance address didn’t match my postal address and I was actually told it was cheaper to live at 64 rather than 43,” Ms Brooks said.

The local residents joked together about a time when correspondence from the council was being sent to the houses on Pokes Road still addressed to Strawberry Lane.

While there is a funny side to the ever shifting addresses, what is not funny is the confusion they have caused emergency services.

“I have had to call ambulances twice for neighbours and both times have actually had to go and wait for them to guide them to the house,” Mr Brunt said.

“It was the only way to make sure.”

At the Waratah-Wynyard council meeting on Monday, Councilor Darren Fairbrother raised a motion to change the name of Brunts and Pokes Road to accurately reflect the families heritage.

According to Cr Fairbrother, the error in the naming of the roads was made by the Nomenclature Board in 1984 the Nomenclature Board rejected the proposal backed by council to rename Pokes Road Strawberry Lane in 1997.

The motion to change theroad’s names was supported unanimously by council, however residents of Pokes Road would like to see it revert back to the name they refer to it as rather than have the names switched.

“You say Strawberry Lane and everyone knows where you mean,” Andrew Richardson said.

Beneath smiles lays frustration : Andrew Richardson, Jenny Brooks, David Brunt, Angela Steynes with six-month-old Joseph, Chris Brunt and Brian Miller. Picture: Cordell Richardson

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Success is celebrated

TV Financial Services director Tamara Virgo with the award for WA Best Regional Office in the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) Awards and Better Business Awards.Esperance business TV Financial Services haswon the title of WA Best Regional Office in the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) Awards and Better Business Awards.
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Both industry awards recognised top performing finance brokers and offices that had led the way by harnessing best practice client servicing and business innovation.

TV Financial Services,run by director TamaraVirgo, will now progress to MFAA’s national award night, competing against the state winners for the national title in Melbourne on July 14.

Ms Virgo grew up on herfamily’s farm and moved away to gain qualifications and experience, then returned to Esperance to provide financial services.

“I believe that just because we are a regional community doesn’t mean locals shouldn’t have access to the best service, state of the art technology and diversified products and services without having to travel to Perth,” Ms Virgo said.

“Therefore, I started the business with a very clear charter – to provide all types of lending and financial advice to meet the needs of the community.

“With that in mind I have expanded the business to cover more services than anyone else in our area.

“For instance, we currently are the only finance broker based locally accredited in the commercial and agribusiness space.

“Since farming plays an important role in the Esperance community, it’s vital to our clients to have access to someone local they trust to be able to provide these services.”

Ms Virgo said community support underpinnedthe success of the office.

“We feel very lucky to be recognised amongthe industry for doing something that’s rewarding in itself. This recognition will further inspire the branch to continue giving back to our community.”

Vow Financial general manager Leighton Kingand the aggregator of TV Financial Services said the accolades reflects the dedication of Ms Virgo and her team over the past year.

“TV Financial Services ispassionate about providing an integrated approach to mortgages and wealth management and their enthusiasm for achieving the best outcome for their clients is evident in everything they do,” he said.

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League tag team keen to have clean sweep

After a clean sweep throughout the season, the Singleton Greyhounds under 14s girls league tag team have made itthrough to the semi finals.
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SEMI FINALISTS: The Singleton Greyhound u14s girls league tag side has made it through to the semi finals.

On Friday May 20, the girls will battle against Scone ‘white’in the hopes of makingit through to the grand final.

If the team claims the victorythey will have one week off before the final match.

However if the girlsare unable to defeat Scone, theywill have to play a further team to make it through.

Coach Jocelyn Johnson says the team has performed wonderfully throughout the competition and arehoping to continue the season undefeated.

The opportunity for the girls to get involved with league tag has also proved to be an incredible success and they have had great support from their sposnors; the Clubhouse Hotel and Ty Merrick Building.

The club is hoping to widen the age brackets in the coming years in orderto allow more teams to get involved with the sport.

The current u14scompetition consists of five teams, being Scone white, Scone blue, Muswellbrook, Denman and Singleton.

Howeverwith such apositive response to the sport, the club is hoping that it will continue to become bigger and better each year.

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Blacktown’s backlogs for roadwork highest in Sydney, NRMA finds

Roadwork: As well as a $51.25 million backlog for road maintenance, the estimated annual maintenance of $25 million for Blacktown roads fell short of $8.7 million of the actual costs.Blacktown roads have accounted for almost half of the infrastructure backlog in western Sydney, a reporthas found.
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The Funding Local Roads report, released by the NRMA, found in 2015, Blacktown hadbacklog of $51.25million, the highest in theSydney metropolitan area.

It accounts for 43.6 per cent of the $85 million of the total backlog shared between the councils at Blacktown, Parramatta, Holroyd and Auburn (now the Cumberland Council).

“What this reports shows is when you look at the result for western Sydney, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done,” NRMA spokesman, Peter Khoury, said.

Mr Khoury attributed Blacktown’s massive backlog to its high population density and industrial zones.

“There are a lot of major roads and major motorways running through it,” he said.

“Whiththese you will expect considerable congestion and compared to other council areas.

“The amount of industry in Blacktown [attracts] more trucks resulting in more maintenance on those roads.”

Councils are responsible for 80 per cent of the the costs associated withrepairing and upgradingof road networks.

“Councils alone can’t do the work alone and they’re carrying the lion share of the bitumen,” Mr Khoury said.

“They need continued support from federal and state government.”

The latest federal budget outlined a $50 million per year from 2019-2020 for theRoads to Recovery program to clear the backlog by 2027.

Over $15.2 billion from the fuel excise tax is also going into NSW roads, but there is no guarantee the rate of the excise will remain the same.

The NRMA said they would support the party which presents both a faster and more permanent solution to the problem.

“We can close this shortfall by 2027, but 11 years is too long to wait,” Mr Khoury said.

“We’re only just into the election campaign, and we’re seeing policies being announced by the both the government and opposition.

“We’re waiting to get a sense of which party will met the shortfall to ensure councils get the road they need.”

Man bailed after alleged attack

A MAN accused of a violent aggravated burglary in Melbourne says he travelled to Mildura and missed his court dates because his knowledge of a murder put his life at risk, a claim the prosecution dismiss as a “ruse”.
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Gary Knibbs, of Melbourne, was granted bail when he appeared at Mildura Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The court heard Knibbs and his partner left their Melbourne home, despite bail conditions requiring him to live at a static address, and travelled the state in a caravan.

The pair spent time in Mildura and were planning on driving through Hay on the way to Albury before Knibbs was arrested by a NSW police officer on the Silver City Highway.

Knibbs is accused of making a “frenzied attack” at a Melbourne premises in February, confronting the victim – who was know to his partner – with a hammer and squeezing a bottle of unknown liquid at the victim.

The court heard he failed to appear at court twice following the alleged attack, and when police couldn’t find him at home after his second non-appearance, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Giving evidence to the hearing, Knibbs’ partner said they were travelling around in a caravan and not staying at their fixed Melbourne address because of “risks” they felt they were under and a desire to start fresh.

The court heard Knibbs had knowledge about an alleged murder in the UK and claimed to be dealing with the federal police.

But police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Bush put to Knibbs’ partner that the story about knowledge of a murder in the UK was a ruse and they were using it as an excuse to leave.

In granting bail, Magistrate Ross Maxsted said Knibbs could end up staying in custody longer than any prison sentence he might be given if he was remanded in custody.

He granted bail with conditions including a $15,000 surety, for Knibbs to reside at a static address and abide by a curfew.

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