High speed train network could save the day

A Whyalla resident has said a high speed train network could boost jobs on the Eyre Peninsula.A Whyalla resident is calling for community support to petition the state government to build a high speed train network that would connect the Eyre Peninsula to Adelaide.
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Suganya Nagarajan said a commercial passenger train network, able to travel more than 200 kilometres an hour, could see people stay in Whyalla but work in Adelaide or the greater region.

While not directly affected by recent resource sector redundancies, Mrs Suganya said it was something that would affect the wider community and it should be everyone’s concern.

“Everyone will be affected,” Mrs Suganya said.

Mrs Suganya said people and their families may be forced to move elsewhere to gain employment and the effects would be felt by the wider community.

“If these people leave, their partners who provide valuable skills and service to the community leave too,” Mrs Suganya said.

“This could mean further job losses.”

Mrs Suganya said the government should be taking steps to ensure employment opportunities were created for people being made redundant.

Mrs Suganya said a high speed train network could potentially create hundreds of jobs.

In its construction phase it could provide an opportunity to utilise local industries for manufacturing, local contractors could be involved in construction and once completed, train drivers and staff would be needed to operate the network.

A similar train network had been proposed for the eastern states which would connect Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne across a dedicated 1748 kilometre route.

A Beyond Zero Emissions report detailed a high-speed rail network that would be faster, cheaper and cleaner than air travel.

Trains would move faster than 250 kilometres an hour and allow people to travel from Sydney to Melbourne in two hours and 44 minutes, and Sydney to Brisbane in two hours and 37 minutes.

The design envisages a network powered by 100per cent renewable energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from regional travel by 150million tonnes of carbon dioxide over 40 years.

A rail system in South Australia could stabilise and strengthen regional development by allowing people in regional cities to commute to Adelaide for work.

The report anticipated that the network would make living in regional areas more attractive and in turn alleviate pressure on house prices in capital cities.

Internationally, high speed rail is contributing positively to national economies and urban and regional development.

Mrs Suganya said the train network could also assist in road safety and ease the number of people needing to be on the roads.

“What’s been happening with the road fatalities, this could be a solution,” Mrs Suganya said.

Mrs Suganya said it would also connect a wider portion of the community with services in Adelaide such as elderly people with health care and specialist treatment who may not be able to afford to fly or are unable to drive the distance.

It would also provide alternative travel for community members to go on holidays or visit family and friends in Adelaide or along the route.

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Hawks finish regular season with 70-point victory

STRONG BOOT: Jared Isaac prepares to launch a kick downfield for the Big River Hawks. Photo: MARYANNE LEWISTHE Big River Hawks finished their regular season with a strong win against the St Marys Saints at TIO Stadium No. 2 on February 14 by notching up a 70-point buffer on the scoreboard.
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With the Hawks resting a few regular players with one eye on this week’s finals campaign, Isaac Bell took on the role of captain for the week, won the toss and chose to run with the breeze in the first quarter.

The Hawks dominated the clearances right from the first bounce, and the glut of possession amounted to a 6.4 (40) start, while the Saints failed to bother the scorer in the first stanza.

Caleb Clyden was at his mercurial best, reading the taps, winning the ball in space and at pace, and then using his laser-like left boot to penetrate deep into the forward line, if not between the big sticks himself.

With several regular starting players sitting on the bench to begin the game, this was a really positive sign for the team as the younger, less experienced players were able to show their ability against capable opposition.

The second quarter started like a switch had been flicked and the two teams had swapped jerseys at quarter-time.

The Saints came out and kicked the first four goals straight, with their tall ruckman punching the ball long and straight down the middle from the centre bounce.

The flow required coach Andy Bilske to orchestrate Kurtley Silver loose in the backline to stem the onslaught.

Silver was able to use his great leap, speed and amazing recovery and reflexes to turn the tide and rebound the ball out of the defensive half.

This, along with shifting Paddy Kossack into a role up front as a leading forward, resulted in the Hawks responding with two goals to the Saints’ solitary major to finish off the first half.

The Hawks led by 24 points at half-time.

It was still a pensive half-time breather with the Saints very much back in the game.

The third quarter resulted in the switch being flicked again, as the Hawks regained total control to pile on another six majors for the period.

With Sylvester Wurramara having a breakout game across centre halfback and in the ruck, and the consistent, indefatigable efforts of Bell, Jess Buderick, Wewak Ross and Lyndon Gumbula, the young men in brown and yellow steamed home.

The team in green was unable to add to its three-quarter time tally in the final period, despite having the breeze at their backs, and the Hawks added a further two goals to round out the match.

The clash was a terrific tune-up for the team ahead of the upcoming finals series, with hopes high within the club.

The Hawks will battle the Darwin Buffaloes at TIO Stadium No. 2 on February 21 in the NTFL under-18 qualifying final, with the victors securing the chance to take on the minor premiers the following week for a shot at the grand final.

The first bounce is at 1.15pm.

BIG RIVER HAWKS 16.10 (106) defeated ST MARYS SAINTS 6.0 (36)

Big River Hawks

Goal kickers: C. Clyden 5, F. Hall 4, P. Kossack 2, D. Turner, J. Braun, J. Buderick, J. Isaac, M. Sampson 1

Best players: I. Bell, S. Wurramara, K. Silver, P. Kossack, C. Clyden, J. Buderick

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Council backs road beyond Nerriga

Shoalhaven City Council endorsed the ‘Beyond Nerriga Route Options Report’ at Tuesday’s Ordinary Council Meeting.
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The report recommends South East Australia Transport Strategy (SEATS) and the five adjoining council areas lobby federal and state governments for funding to upgrade the Nerriga to Tarago route to B-double standard. The project is estimated to cost $250 million.

The report, undertaken by consultancy firm, GHD and project managed by (SEATS), also recommends the Main Road 92 upgrade between Nerriga and Braidwood remain a SEATS priority project.

Owner of Soilco in Shoalhaven company owner Tony Emery also supports the move to upgrade Nerriga Road.

Mr Emery’s company carries product to markets in the Monaro and Riverina and further west.

He said Kangaroo Valley, Cambewarra and Barrengarry mountains were hard on trucks and drivers.

“Just the fuel efficiency of a top gear run up the escarpment to Nerriga will be a great benefit to maintaining freight costs,” Mr Emery said.

“The road network across the Tablelands is a reasonably good standard for a regional road.

“As soon as Oallen Ford Bridge is upgraded, Soilco will definitely be using the road more often,” he said.

Shoalhaven City Mayor, Joanna Gash said the GHD report highlighted the concerns of local motorists saying it was imperative that the area continued to lobby for a high standard freight corridor to the west of Nowra.

“Shoalhaven City Council has had a longstanding commitment to assisting local industry in the moving of freight across the escarpment,” Cr Gash said.

“To haul a B-double truck from Nowra to south of Yass means adding an additional 100 kilometres to the trip by having to travel via Mount Ousley and Picton Road.

“This additional mileage results in an extra 90 minute travel time on the original journey through heavily populated areas.

“The alternate via Nerriga and Tarago will cut more than 120 minutes off that journey providing huge economic benefit to the local area.”

Shoalhaven City Council’s decision to ‘endorse’ as a priority Beyond Nerriga route options that have poor benefit cost ratios and cost over $250 million, will compete with efforts to fund Berry to Bomaderry Princes Highway duplication according to councillor Andrew Guile.

“This is only a win for politics over good policy,” said Cr Guile who has been lobbying Council to back calls for federal funding for Berry to Bomaderry.

“The Mayor had been working the phones to report several Shoalhaven businesses who would benefit from Beyond Nerriga routes. Yet if you perform the same exercise for the completion of the Princes Highway; the list would have taken all night to read out. It is this failure to put our local economy’s road funding priorities into a proper context that will confound decision makers.

“Repeated calls for even more funding from the NSW Government shows no appreciation of the investment they have already made with around $1 billion of State roads funding either spent or committed to the region over the last four years. Not one federal government cent has gone to the Princes Highway projects.

“The Member for Kiama, Minister for Roads and the NSW Treasurer have all been up front with us on future options saying it is time for the federal government to make a contribution for the final stage.

“We should be concentrating our lobbying and advocacy efforts on backing these calls rather than throwing another expensive ‘ask’ into the mix. We haven’t even called on the federal Member to support this cause while she is instead focusing on replacing the old Shoalhaven River Bridge which is a state government asset that they are obliged to replace when it reaches the end of its life.

“With work on the Berry bypass due to complete and no funding commitment for the final stage, we are in danger of having our major piece of economic infrastructure unfinished. While Main Road 92 is also unfinished, surely it is clear which project will derive the most benefits to our region. Incremental investments by councils to improve Beyond Nerriga will eventually draw more traffic volumes that will justify its completion,” Cr Guile said.

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Police officer enters guilty plea to drink driving charge

A POLICE officer haspleaded guilty to drink drivingafter she wasstopped for a randombreath test in Walcha latelast year.
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Tarra Ann Murray, asenior constable attachedto Oxley police, waspulled over by fellowofficers while she wasoff-duty about 8.25pm onDecember 21, 2014.

Murray was stopped bypolice in Commercial Lnin Walcha and failed aroadside breath testbefore she was taken to anearby police station.

According to courtfacts, Murray laterrecorded a blood alcoholreading of 0.062.

The legal blood alcohollimit to drive is 0.050.

Following an internalinvestigation, the37-year-old was chargedwith low-range PCA.

Murray did not appearin Walcha Local Courtyesterday when her casewas mentioned for thefirst time but pleadedguilty.

A Tamworth solicitor submitted the writtenplea on her behalf, askingher client be excused andrequesting the case to betransferred to Tamworthfor sentencing.

But Magistrate KarenStafford refused theapplication and told thecourt the case should beheard in Walcha wherethe offence wascommitted.

The court heardMurray was a policeofficer in the Walchasector, attached to Oxleypolice.

Magistrate Stafford hasordered Murray to returnto court in April to besentenced.

NSW police haveconfirmed the officer issuspended from dutieswith pay.

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Kirkconnell Correctional Centre will reopenVIDEO

REOPENING: Member for Bathurst Paul Toole at Kirkconnell Correctional Centre on Tuesday morning. KIRKCONNELL Correctional Centre will reopen within months, less than four years after it was controversially shut by the NSW Government.
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Member for Bathurst Paul Toole yesterday confirmed the Government would spend $4 million upgrading the centre before it is reopened to house up to 260 minimum security inmates in 13 accommodation units.

The jail’s closure in 2011 cost 20 corrections staff their jobs and sparked loud protests across the Bathurst and Lithgow regions.

But Mr Toole would not be drawn yesterday on whether the decision to shut Kirkconnell was a mistake.

“Prisoner numbers were lower in 2011,” he said.

He said at the time the Government gave an assurance that Kirkconnell would be reopened if the prison population was to increase, and it had honoured that promise.

The correctional centre and grounds have been maintained since the closure.

“I’m pleased to see mylobbying of government ministers about getting Kirkconnell reopened has paid off,” Mr Toole said.

He said when Kirkconnell closed, 12 staff took up voluntary redundancies and 40 accepted positions at other jails, including Bathurst, Lithgow and Oberon.

Now 60 corrections jobs ranging from manager to administrative personnel will be available prior to the jail becoming fully operational by the end of June.

VIDEO: Listen to Mr Toole talkabout the reopening ofKirkconnell Correctional Centre

Mr Toole said it would be up to management to determine if this will include former staff of the Kirkconnell Correctional Centre.

Bathurst Correctional Centre general manager Bill Fittler, who will oversee operations at Kirkconnell, said he expected there to be a lot of interest in working at the jail.

“We will certainly have a big pool of people to draw from. It’s a great place to work,” he said.

“I think this is fantastic news.

“There is a real need for these additional beds as the number of inmates increases across NSW.”

Mr Fittler said upgrading work at Kirkconnell would be carried out by a combination of contractors and inmates.

He said up to 60 inmates would be relocated to the correctional centre over the next two weeks for this purpose.

Mr Fittler said there would be a strong focus on education and vocational training at Kirkconnell.

In addition, inmates will be exploring industry involvement, most likely the forestry industry.

“We will also return to doing community work with the people in Yetholme,” he said.

Attorney General Brad Hazzard said recent legislative changes and active policing had resulted in an increase in the prison population.

It meant the NSW Government had to take additional measures to house inmates.

He said the reopening of Kirkconnell Correctional Centre followed staged expansions at centres including Long Bay and Lithgow, where 635 beds were added over the past year.

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Chief’s “cut and paste” report on Korea trip

Wodonga chief executive Patience Harrington.SOCIAL ENTERPRISE WORLD FORUM: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
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PURPOSE OF DISCUSSION PAPER

To provide a report on the attendance of Cr Mahood and the Chief Executive Officer at theSocial Enterprise World Forum conference in Korea held in October 2014.

BACKGROUND

Wodonga’s future requires new approaches to doing business, and social enterprise presentsa vehicle for achieving this. Social enterprises:

– operate for more than profit alone;

– foster social and environmental innovation; and

– are accountable to their employees, consumers and communities.

Taken from: wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_enterprise

Social enterprise is, and will be, critical to the economy of Wodonga and the social enterprise business model could be an active choice for many of our city’s most innovative groups and entrepreneurs.

Taken from http://www.hie.co.uk/about-hie/our-priorities/strengthening-communities-and-fragile-areas/social-enterprise.html

The common thread of a social enterprise approach is to move beyond a ‘business as usual’‟ approach to tackling economic and social challenges.

There are many opportunities in the Wodonga economy where social enterprise can have a significant beneficial impact.

These include the creation of jobs for people excluded from work, local communities designing innovative solutions tochallenges they face, and community investment in the green economy.

Taken from socialenterprise.org.au/

Key themes during the conference included social enterprise as an employability solution, social care and health innovations in social enterprise, as well as workshops dealing with social investment, social innovation, education, and creating supportive social enterprise ecosystems.

Taken from www.socialenterprise.org.uk/

What is a Social Enterprise?

Social enterprises are businesses whose primary purpose is the common good. They use the methods and disciplines ofbusiness and the power of the marketplace to advance their social, environmental and human justice agendas.

Three characteristics distinguish a social enterprise from other types of businesses, not-for-profits and government agencies:

– It directly addresses an intractable social need and serves the common good, either through its products and services or through the number of disadvantaged people it employs.

­ Its commercial activity is a strong revenue driver, whether a significant earned income stream within a not-for-profit’s mixed revenue portfolio, or a for- profit enterprise.

— The common good is its primary purpose, literally “baked into” the organisation’s DNA, and trumping all others.

In its early days, the social enterprise movement was identified mainly with not-for-profits that used business models and earned income strategies to pursue their mission. Today, it also encompasses for-profits whose driving purpose is social.

Taken from www.se-alliance.org/what-is-social-enterprise

Social Enterprise Leverage

Social enterprises produce higher social returns on investment than other models.

On one hand, they produce direct, measurable public benefits. A classic employment-focused social enterprise, for example, might serve at least four public aims:

– Fiscal responsibility — It reduces the myriad costs of public supports for people facing barriers, by providing a pathway to economic self-sufficiency for those it employs.

– Public safety — It makes the community in which it operates safer by disrupting cycles of poverty, crime, incarceration, chemical dependency and homelessness.

– Economic opportunity — It improves the pool of human capital and creates jobs in communities in need of economicrenewal.

– Social justice — It gives a chance to those most in need.

Social enterprises produce these benefits while reducing the draw on public and philanthropic funds.

Their earned income streams can supplement or replace grants and donations to produce a higher return on investment.

For example, a not-for-profit that earns 50% of its budget through its social enterprise is effectively matching every dollar of “public income” with a dollar of “marketplace income”, doubling the social return on investment of those public dollars.

Taken from www.se-alliance.org/what-is-social-enterprise

Social entrepreneurship is the product of individuals, organisations, and networks that challenge conventional structures by addressing failures, and identifying new opportunities, in the institutional arrangements that currently cause the inadequate provision or unequal distribution of social and environmental goods.

Social enterprise is a business model which contributes to a more sustainable society by offering the prospect of greater equity in economic participation.

Taken from Australian stories of Social Enterprise, by Cheryl Kernot and Joanne McNeill, University of NSW, 2011

Social enterprise offers a business model where people can be given a direct voice in running their organisation, and where people can positively change their lives and the lives of those around them.

The value of social enterprise can be seen beyond its economic contribution. It embraces the principles of mutualism, participation and community ownership, while being driven by

competitiveness, productivity and sustainability.

Social enterprise is an approach that brings together the best of business and communitydevelopment.

http://socialenterprise.org.au/

As Wodonga grows and experiences increasing demand for services it will be important to work with the community to ensure that those people and groups that struggle to gain employmentare actively engaged in activities that impact productively on their every-day lives, and have meaningful links to the community.

Wodonga already has many community managed organisations that are social enterprises or have similar characteristics (e.g. Westmont and Uniting Care), however the opportunity to grow this sector utilising the learning from the conference are significant.

Since attending the conference in Seoul council is defining the opportunity to conduct acommunity forum that showcases existing social enterprises in Wodonga. New and emergingopportunities for the private sector to be involved in supporting these ventures are beingorganised. This may involve some of the key participants who were in attendance at the special enterprise forum in Seoul.

Not lifted, words by Patience Harrington

Wodonga’s approach will be threefold:

1. Continue to invest in building the capacity, confidence and business skills of those individuals and groups

who are most vulnerable and often marginalised from employmentopportunities;

2. Empower communities to acquire, manage and exploitcommunity assets for community benefit; and,

3. Enable sustainable growth in the social economy through strong social enterprises.

Taken from scotland.gov.uk/topics/government/state-aid

Chief Executive Officer – Patience Harrington

In providing this advice as the report author,I have no interests to disclose in this report.

Recommendation

That the report on the Social Enterprise World Forum Seoul South Korea be received and noted.

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Member for Katherine ’absolutely delighted’ with cabinet reshuffle

MILESTONE MOMENT: Member for Katherine Willem Westra van Holthe is sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister at Government House on February 10.MEMBER for Katherine Willem Westra van Holthe is officially the Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister following a swearing in ceremony in Darwin on February 10.
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The ceremony and corresponding cabinet reshuffle were the result of a failed leadership coup earlier this month, in which Mr Westra van Holthe attempted toreplace Adam Giles as the Territory’s chief minister.

As part of theministerial reallocations, the Member for Katherinebecame the Public Employment Minister, while also losing the controversial Mines and Energy portfolio toborn-again minister Dave Tollner.

Mr Westra van Holthe said he was “absolutely delighted” with the cabinet reshuffle, adding that he believed he had the skillset needed to deliver for Territorians with his new portfolio.

“I think that we’ve got a terrific team going forward, and it really does focus on the strengths of the individual minsters,” he said.

“I’m a reasonable negotiator, in my view, and obviously being involved in the public sector, strong negotiation skills are essential.”

When asked whetherhe was pleased that theMines and Energy andPrimary Industry and Fisheries portfolios had beenseparated, he said he had never believed holding both ministries had presented a problem.

“I mean, I’ve never really accepted that there’s ever been a conflict between the two,” he said.

“I’m more than capable of separating the work around both of those with a view to reaching the best possible decisions we can.

“I’m sure Dave Tollner will do an excellent job as the Minister for Mines and Energy,” he said.

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Herald Breakfast – February 18

Weather:Partly cloudy. Areas of fog, mainly about the Upper Hunter, early this morning. Slight (30%) chance of a shower. Light winds becoming E/NE 15 to 25 km/h in the middle of the day then becoming light in the late evening. Daytime maximum temperatures around 30.
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Traffic: No major incidents reported on Hunter roads.

Trains: No current delays.

Beachwatch:NE swell 2 ft @ 9-10 seconds. NE winds 4 knots. Small semi clean surf, S facing locations will be the best bet for a wave. We have a high tide at 8:32am so it will fill up on the beach breaks, we should start to see a increase in swell later in the day and winds will increase from the NE later on.

Morning Shot:Instagrammer @raeallen shared this shot of her trip to Newcastle.

Rail document found in Owen office: Labor:A CABINET document that shows the government rejected advice from Transport for NSW about the best light rail route in Newcastle was found in former Liberal MP Tim Owen’s office, it has been revealed.

Councils get $17m handout:HUNTER local councils have been handed more than $17million in ‘‘no strings attached’’ handouts from the federal government, in the latest round of financial assistance grants.

Live rabbits found in raid on greyhound property:HUNTER greyhound trainer John O’Brien has admitted keeping eight live European rabbits in cages on his Congewai property, but denied any involvement in live baiting after explosive evidence of systemic cheating uncovered by ABC’s Four Corners program.

Players go unpaid as ATO seizes Tinkler revenue stream:THE pressure on Nathan Tinkler intensified on Tuesday when it emerged the Australian Tax Office had stepped in to seize the Football Federation Australia funding used to pay Newcastle Jets players.

As Bali nine duo wait on death row, US states look to bring back firing squad executions

The firing squad execution chamber at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two of the Bali nine members, are facing death by firing squad in Indonesia. Photo: Anta Kesuma
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The firing squad execution chamber at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah.

The firing squad execution chamber at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two of the Bali nine members, are facing death by firing squad in Indonesia. Photo: Anta Kesuma

The firing squad execution chamber at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two of the Bali nine members, are facing death by firing squad in Indonesia. Photo: Anta Kesuma

New hope for Bali nine pair as transfer postponed

New York: With the Bali nine duo preparing to face death by firing squad in Indonesia in a matter of days, a shortage of lethal injection drugs has seen a push to bring back the firing squad in two American states gather pace.

The Utah House of Representatives narrowly passed legislation last week that would allow firing squads to carry out executions in situations where lethal injection drugs could not be procured within 30 days of a planned execution. The legislation must now go to the state Senate for approval.

Getting a sufficient supply of the drugs usually used to carry out lethal injections – the primary method of execution in all states that still administer capital punishment in the USA – has become a significant problem in recent years, after at least two major drugs companies in Europe, which previously exported the substances to the US, refused to continue to do so on the grounds they did not want to be involved in the implementation of capital punishment.

This disruption has led to some states looking either for alternative new drug combinations or other methods of execution.

Utah Republican Representative Paul Ray is the chief sponsor of the bill, called HB11, which would, in his words, make the firing squad a “back-up” option if the state was unable to procure the drugs required to carry out a lethal injection in the 30 days before a scheduled execution.

He believes it is “definitely more humane” than other methods, and says the State still has the infrastructure to carry it out, given the firing squad was used in the recent past.

Until 2004, prisoners sentenced to death could opt to choose the firing squad over lethal injection as method for their own death, with the last execution by firing squad in Utah carried out in 2010.

“It was not controversial here in Utah,” Mr Ray told Fairfax Media. “It was in Europe and other places, more liberal places, but here it is an accepted means of carrying out the death penalty. The media circus that we get is international press and press from the East Coast here in the US.”

A similar push is gathering pace in Wyoming to reintroduce firing squads, with legislation there also recently passing the State House.

An eyewitness report from the 2010 execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner in Utah described how the prisoner was strapped to a chair surrounded by sandbags, with a target affixed to his chest.

A journalist from the Associated Press described how Mr Gardner clenched his fists and tried to lift his arms as the bullets tore through him.

Critics of the bill oppose it both on the grounds of broad opposition to the death penalty, and concerns about the specific method.

“If not shot in the heart, the prisoner bleeds to death slowly,” said Utah Representative Brian King, a Democrat, according to Reuters. He also raised concern about the the impact on those in the firing squad who may experience “psychological trauma of participating in a cold-blooded execution.”

Representative Sandra Hollins, an African American woman and Democrat, objected on the grounds that capital punishment “disproportionately affects my community… [it] also is not fairly given over social economic status, race or gender lines.”

Attempts to get around the drug supply shortage through experimentation with new combinations of drugs has led to claims of prolonged, painful botched executions and sparked a Supreme Court Review.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Centre (DPIC), told Fairfax Media he believed states pushing for the reintroduction of firing squads would prefer to continue lethal injections, which are viewed as a more “clean” and “modern” and a less controversial method.

“Firing squad may be quick but if anything goes wrong then you bleed to death and it’s slow, there have been instances in the US where just a slight movement by the inmate caused the shooter to miss the heart and so, slowly, the person dies from loss of blood,” he said.

“I think they’ll find a way to get different drugs or make the drugs themselves, these efforts are an attempt to tell the courts not to interfere with secrecy and trying new drugs,” he said.

“If the death penalty is to survive it’s got to look at least technologically adept and modern and humane… the firing squad… it’s messy, it’s loud… it would be very surprising if that became our method.”

Support for the death penalty as punishment for murder has dropped substantially in the past few decades in the USA but 55 per cent of Americans remain in favour of the practice, according to a 2013 Pew study.

Though lethal injection is the primary method of execution in the US, several states still allow electrocution, gas and hanging, while Oklahoma, like Utah, also allows firing squad in the event lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional, according to the DPIC.

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, two Australian members of the Bali nine, may soon face a firing squad in Indonesia, although their transfer from Bali has been delayed giving some small amount of hope to their supporters and families.

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Man held former partner captive for three weeks in Sydney’s west, police say

A man who allegedly held his former partner captive for three weeks in his home in Sydney’s west has been charged with assault and kidnapping offences.
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The 46-year-old will appear in Liverpool Local Court on Wednesday after allegedly detaining the 50-year-old woman in Canley Vale last month.

Police will allege in court that the woman went to her former partner’s home in Canley Vale in January to collect her belongings, when the man turned violent and would not let her leave.

The man is accused of being in possession of a prohibited weapon during the three weeks he allegedly held her captive in his home.

A NSW Police spokesman said the extent of the woman’s injuries was not clear, and no further details were available about what happened during the three weeks she was held.

The woman was allegedly freed on the weekend and alerted police, who arrested the 46-year-old man at Cabramatta Police Station on Tuesday morning.

He was charged with six offences, including assault occasioning actual bodily harm, contravening an apprehended violence order, detaining a person in company with intent to get advantage or occasion actual bodily harm, and possessing or using a prohibited weapon without a permit.

The man was refused police bail to appear in court on Wednesday.

Police have urged anyone with information about the incident to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

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