Singleton LGA Profile

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Singleton sits at connection points in the Upper Hunter Valley where those travelling by road can access either the New England or Golden Highways, as well as the Putty Road opening up northwestern suburbs of Sydney. West of Singleton via the Golden Highway are Merriwa, Mudgee, Dubbo and beyond. While the New England Highway leads north to Muswellbrook and through as far as Tamworth and Queensland. Newcastle, Central Coast and Sydney can be accessed to the south.

Rail services connect Singleton to Newcastle, Central Coast and Sydney to the South, Muswellbrook and beyond to the North.

LGA Economy

Singleton is a country town at heart and features rich farmland, producing fodder crops, stud cattle, horses, sheep and dairy products. Businesses and Industry in the region are diverse, but dominated by mining and energy production.  Other business includes retail, industrial, construction, agribusiness, federal, state and local government sectors and more. Coal, beef and wine are major exports of the Australian economy.

Singleton’s LGA features the hamlets and villages of Broke, Camberwell, Jerrys Plains, Bulga, Howes Valley, Putty, Ravensworth, Warkworth, Mirranie, Elderslie, Carrowbrook, Mount Olive and Belford. It is also home to the Lone Pine Barracks army base which includes a School of Infantry, Special Forces Training Centre and Defence Support Group.

Population and Work/Life Balance

Australian Bureau of Statistics advises that in 2016 the Singleton LGA had a total population of almost twenty three thousand people. This number included nearly six thousand families, with under six percent identifying as Indigenous and/or Torres Strait Islander people. Twenty two percent of those sampled were employed in the mining industry, four percent defence personnel and the next largest segment were those employed by take away food services.

Narrowing the sample to the Singleton township reveals a population of sixteen thousand people, consisting of four thousand families and a six percent sample of Indigenous and/or Torres Strait Island people. More than twenty three percent work in mining and almost six percent in defence. The next segment is again take away food services.

Work/life balance is typical of what many would expect from a country town with strong economic capability. The data across both Singleton and the LGA revealed a lower percentage of families where both adults were unemployed, in addition to a lower percentage of families were both parents worked full time.

Education and Health

The surrounding villages feature a number of schools and education centres including Broke, Jerrys Plains, Milbrodale, Kirkton and Mount Pleasant Public Schools. Singleton features three public primary schools in King Street, Hunter Street and Singleton Heights, as well as a public High School and TAFE Campus and Community College. Non-government schools include St Catherine’s Catholic College and the Australian Christian College.

Health services include Singleton Public Hospital and a number of health and community services.

Recreation and Culture

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Singleton is home to a number of sporting grounds, parks, playgrounds and reserves, including the award-winning Riverside Park. The Hunter River is accessible at multiple points throughout the township. Like Muswellbrook,  Singleton performs as a shopping and services hub for the LGA.  The town is a short distance from the Wollemi, Yengo and Barrington Tops National Parks, as well as features like Lake St Clair, which provides facilities for swimming, fishing, boating and camping. The township is home to three museums, the Singleton Historic Society Museum, the Royal Australian Infantry Corps Museum and the Mercy Convent Museum.

The Pokolbin area is in close proximity to Singleton and features numerous scenic villages and attractions that are flocked to by tourists. Wine, food and entertainment are specialties of the area, which has become known for it’s laid-back atmosphere and beautiful scenery.

References

Australian Army Infantry Museum 2015, Exhibition Highlights, AAIM, viewed 10 August 2020, <http://www.infantrymuseum.com.au/&gt;.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2019, Quickstats, Singleton 2016, Code 1028 (SUA), ABS, viewed 1 August 2020, <https://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/1028&gt;.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2019, Quickstats, Singleton 2016, Code lga 17000 (LGA), ABS, viewed 1 August 2020,  <https://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/LGA17000&gt;.
>Australian Christian College 2020, Australian Christian College Singleton, ACC, viewed 11 August 2020, <https://www.acc.edu.au/singleton/index.html&gt;.
Australian Community Media 2019, Singleton’s Riverside Park has been Named Best in NSW, Singleton Argus, viewed 20 August 2020, <https://www.singletonargus.com.au/story/6180142/riverside-park-named-best-in-nsw/&gt;.
Good Education Group 2020, Schools in Singleton, The Good Schools Guide, viewed 10 August 2020, <https://www.goodschools.com.au/compare-schools/in-singleton-2330&gt;.
Destination NSW 2020, Lake St. Clair, NSW Government, viewed 1 August 2020, <https://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/hunter/hunter-valley/singleton/attractions/lake-st-clair&gt;.
Hunter Economic Development Corporation 2018, Leading Defence in the Hunter, HEDC, viewed 1 August 2020, <https://web.archive.org/web/20110217000312/http://www.williamtownaerospace.com.au/uploads/documents/Leading_Defence_in_the_Hunter.pdf&gt;.
Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea 2020, Who We Are, ISMAPNG, viewed 12 August 2020, <https://institute.mercy.org.au/about-us/archives-and-heritage/heritage-centres/&gt;.
New South Wales Government 2020, Finding a Public School, NSW Government, viewed 9 August 2020, <https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/going-to-a-public-school/finding-a-public-school&gt;.
New South Wales Government TAFE NSW 2020, Singleton, NSW Government TAFE NSW, viewed 10 August 2020, <https://www.tafensw.edu.au/locations/hunter-central-coast/singleton?gclid=Cj0KCQjwvb75BRD1ARIsAP6Lcqt2WyKcowq3qBuT54w0_mIw91gwNe29TT0vgOOxFRoDigbjEhDbGCkaAnPbEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds&gt;.
Singleton Council 2019, Community Health, SSC, viewed 12 August 2020, <https://www.singleton.nsw.gov.au/505/Community-Health&gt;.
Singleton Council 2019, Parks, Playgrounds and Reserves, SSC, viewed 10 August 2020, <https://www.singleton.nsw.gov.au/199/Parks-Playgrounds-and-Reserves&gt;.
Singleton Museum and Historical Society 2016, Information About the Society, SMHS Inc, viewed 12 August 2020, <http://www.singletonmuseum.com.au/&gt;.
St Catherine’s Catholic College 2020, St Catherine’s Catholic College Singleton, viewed 11 August 2020, <http://www.singleton.catholic.edu.au/&gt;.

Muswellbrook LGA Profile

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Muswellbrook sits at a junction in the Upper Hunter Valley where highway travellers can choose the New England or Golden Highways. This accesses Merriwa, Mudgee, Dubbo and west beyond; north to Tamworth, Armidale through as far as Queensland; and south to Newcastle, Central Coast and Sydney.

Muswellbrook also sits at the rail junction of the Main Northern Railway Line and the former cross country line to the west. The west line still servicing mining interests in the area.

LGA Economy

Tourists know the Upper Hunter for its premium wine and rich farmland, producing fodder crops, stud cattle, horses, sheep and dairy products. Businesses and Industry in the region are diverse, but dominated by mining and energy production.  Other business includes retail, industrial, construction, agribusiness, federal, state and local government sectors and more.

The Local Government Area (LGA) includes hamlets and towns like McCully’s Gap, Muscle Creek, Denman, Baerami, Wybong, Martindale, Widden and Sandy Hollow.

Population and Work/Life Balance

Census data from 2016 reveal a total population of 16, 086 across the Muswellbrook LGA, consisting of a little over four thousand families. Slightly more than eight percent identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. Just over twenty percent of residents reported working in the mining industry, with the next largest segment being the horse-breeding industry which employs three percent.

Statistics change slightly as the sample area is narrowed to just Muswellbrook, with a population of just over twelve thousand, consisting of around three thousand families and a slightly higher percentage of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people at nine percent. Mining employment is higher at twenty one percent, with the next largest segment of employers being supermarkets, grocery stores, energy services and takeaway food services.

Education and Health

The surrounding villages feature a number of schools and education centres including Martindale, Sandy Hollow and Denman Public Schools. Muswellbrook features two public primary schools (Muswellbrook Public and Muswellbrook South Public) as well as one public high school. Public and high school education options include the Pacific Brook Christian School, the Richard Gill School, St James Primary and St Joseph’s Primary in Denman.

TAFE features across two campuses in the town, with the University of Newcastle, UON Upper Hunter, located in the education hub in the CBD.

Health services in Muswellbrook include a recently upgraded hospital and three mecial practises. There are considerable health and community services to assist.

Recreation and Culture

The town and surrounding populations feature numerous schools and park lands. The Hunter River is accessible at multiple points throughout the township and Muswellbrook performs as a shopping and services hub for the LGA, as well as Aberdeen and Scone to the North.  Muswellbrook is a short distance from national parks and features like Glenbawn Recreational Area and Lake Lidell Recreation Area. Annual events for Muswellbrook include the Upper Hunter Show.

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Sources

https://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/LGA15650?opendocument

https://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/SSC12868

Getting the Most out of Security

Getting the most out of security is sometimes easier said than done. If you’re outsourcing security for your organisation and the security guards being provided aren’t giving you the outcomes you need the problem may come back to the price that you’re paying.

Security Guard companies will often present the lowest bids possible for a contract. That sounds like a good thing but there is a danger. Some companies bid at break-even, or even at a loss, in order to attain or retain a contract. This can make a contract difficult to deliver to the client’s standards.

The ‘cheaper rate’ that seemed like a great deal at the time can turn into risk. Crime risk, safety risk, reputation risk and the list goes on. There could also be the intent of the security company to exploit their own workers, similar to the scandal with 7-ElevenStores.

Issues have been documented relating to non-payment of superannuation, dodgy contracts and sham contracting- where employees are asked to get an ABN and illegally operate as a business entity without insurances or necessary licenses as detailed in this article by ASIAL.

At the end of the day, if something looks too good to be true than it probably is. If you want the best out of your security start by making sure they are being paid fairly. Security are the people who will be there for you when there’s an incident at your business, so it makes sense to ensure you are getting the best out of them by not signing a contract that exploits people.

Secure Your Business

Access control

Access control systems can be security systems, building management systems, evacuation systems, personnel management systems and the list goes on. An electronic access control system controls the movement of people in and out of a building and can keep a log of the doors used, how often they are used and by whom.

A typical access control system may include:

  • An identification device – users are given an ID device such as an electronic tag, photo ID card or personal identification number (PIN) to access the building
  • Readers (such as PIN, Wigand, Proximity, Biometric, Magnetic stripe or other) which enable users with ID devices to gain access to pre-programmed areas
  • Door controllers that decide whether to allow or deny entry based on the information received by the reader

Read the full article from ASIAL here http://www.asial.com.au/consumers/secure-your-business

Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR)

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione has welcomed the latest crime data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) for the 24 months to December 2014, which shows 16 of the 17 major offence categories are either stable or falling.

‘Steal from dwelling’ is the only offence category to have recorded an increase of 3.2 per cent.

BOCSAR reports that most of this increase are offences occurring outside the residential building, including thefts from yards, carports, garages, verandahs, driveways and sheds.

Common items stolen include parts of the house such as hot water systems, mail, letter boxes, bicycles, scooters, tools and garden accessories.

Mr Scipione is urging residents to be more vigilant, to keep their items secure and to take sensible measures to stop themselves from becoming targets of crime.

Read the full announcement here: http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/news/media_release_archive?sq_content_src=%2BdXJsPWh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGZWJpenByZC5wb2xpY2UubnN3Lmdvdi5hdSUyRm1lZGlhJTJGNDU2NTcuaHRtbCZhbGw9MQ%3D%3D

What is a Security Consultant?

Nearly everyone I meet who is selling any type of security product or service in NSW call themselves a “security consultant” or “security advisor”. Before an individual enters the security industry, they need to finish a course over approximately 2 weeks. They then possess entry-level qualifications in the security industry and go about building experience and knowledge as a security guard.

They are not a consultant or advisor. To be licensed as a Security Consultant in NSW, an individual is required to complete further training or have previous skills and experience. Most security consultants are uniquely qualified and many have academic or trade credentials in areas like electronics, public safety, law or management, just to name a few.

Services a security consultant might provide include:

  • Writing and implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Security Procedures and Plans, as well as other procedures.
  • WHS Policies, Procedures, Writing and Advice of SWMS, JSA, risk control and more
  • Electronic daily and monthly reports for tracking trends that might lead to solutions to problems occurring around your business, premises or community.
  • Electronic security hardware and software solutions
  • Solutions to privacy concerns for individuals and business entities
  • Security, threat and risk assessments, Theft and Loss assessments, Fire Assessments and planning
  • Clarification of legislation, Acts, standards at a State and/or National level, including information-related Australian and overseas laws
  • Emergency planning and advice
  • Advice on information system ethics and privacy legislation
  • Assistance developing information management policies (ethical use, privacy, acceptable use, internet use, email privacy, anti-spam, social media and workplace monitoring policies)
  • Advice on transborder issues, protecting intellectual assets, identity theft
  • Personal threat deterrence advice (the use of devices to protect yourself)
  • Assist with security planning for private events and functions
  • Assistance in organising security requirements including human resource requirements, including supply and coordinate security, investigations, electronic solutions, IT, event organisers, any other requirements.
  • Building management system basic knowledge
  • Preventative maintenance Skills

 

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Tamworth Country Music Festival

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NSW Police have released some security guidance information for people heading to Tamworth for the annual country music festival.

“Camping is considered an important part of the Tamworth Country Music Festival experience and we remind festival campers to be mindful of their own safety and security,” Operation Commander, Superintendent Jim Stewart said.

“With thousands of people in some of these camping areas, we ask everyone to look out for themselves and each other and in an emergency, contact police immediately.”

Tips for campers:

• Plan your trip in advance and if possible, make a booking

• Get to know your surrounding campers

• Leave valuables at home – if you must take valuables with you, ensure they are secured and kept out of sight ie laptops, iPods, stereos, GPS

• Lock your caravan or campervan when unattended

• Where possible, use a lock to secure your tent

• Where possible, use a portable alarm in your tent or camper

• Ensure valuables are not left in unattended vehicles

• Report any suspicious behaviour to police

Source: www.police.nsw.gov.au/news/latest_releases?sq_content_src=%2BdXJsPWh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGZWJpenByZC5wb2xpY2UubnN3Lmdvdi5hdSUyRm1lZGlhJTJGNDM3MzYuaHRtbCZhbGw9MQ%3D%3D.

Picture by Rod Edwards (assisted by “Truffles”)

Home security tips when you go away for the holidays

We all enjoy bit of a break from work and the everyday routine. A trip away is something most look forward to each year and can mean saving for some time to pay for. Going away and coming back to find someone has broken into your abode while you were taking a holiday is a terrible feeling- something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who intentionally look for houses that are empty over holiday periods.

There are lots of tricks and hints to keep your home secure while you take a break. Most of them don’t require a lot of effort or money. There’s always the usual alarm systems and CCTV cameras, but they do cost a lot of money and are only ever as good as the people operating them. What about some little tricks that give your house the appearance of being occupied?

I recently took a much-needed break and these are some of the things I did to make my home look like its owners are still at home and to protect the contents. It even fooled my mum.

For starters, don’t leave your spare car keys near doors or windows – car theft through burglary is on the rise and a visible set of keys through a window is a bit like waving a red flag at a bull. I took my spare car keys with me over the holidays. I left my spare house keys with a trusted relative.

Protect your identity at the same time by hiding or locking away passports and official documents. Identity fraud is on the rise and made easier with originals of passports, birth certificates and bank details.

Quality lighting and fencing is another sure way to be secure. When it comes to outdoor lighting, solar lights have come a long way and are easy to install. Sensor lighting also makes sure that you don’t disturb neighbours but you still perturb criminals lurking around. Criminals will do their own risk assessment of a location, just like you and I do a risk assessment before a task at work. For a criminal, being caught in the act or identified afterwards are big risks. Good security lighting and solid fences that allow visibility are two tips to increase the risk to a thief of being caught in the act, or identified later by a witness.

Don’t advertise your home to burglars on social media. The social media savvy among us tend to publish their whereabouts during the holiday season, including any vacation locations. This potentially lets burglars know when your house is going to be empty and when exactly that will occur. Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also encourage the wrong people to notice you.

Before going away, be sure to cancel any newspaper subscriptions, or have someone collect them with your mail. Arranging a neighbour to park on the driveway creates the impression someone is home. My own mother rang me during my holidays to see if I was home already when she saw a car in the driveway. Having someone come by to water the plants, combined with light timers, can also create a superficial impression of a lived-in home.

Make sure that things like garden tools and ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not accessible. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment. Make sure the yard, garden shed and garage are secure with good quality chains and/or locks.

Finally, burglars know all the usual spots for hidden door keys so don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to family or a trusted neighbour.

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