From the editor’s desk

THIS last week, whilst Kerrie was sipping cocktails in Bali, i was sitting at the Assistant Editor’s desk.

The Assistant Editor’s desk really isn’t anything different, in fact it is the same desk that i normally sit at, but that is besides the point. I feel very lucky to be working as part of a team who trusts me in this role – even though i’ve only been in the job since April.

Working for an independent paper I realise how important independent media is in Australia, a country where there are only two mainstream newspapers in our biggest metropolitan cities.

It was recently announced in The New York Times that the sydney Morning herald and other Fairfax mastheads might stop publishing a paper throughout the week, choosing to only publish newspapers on the weekends. if that happens the only person in this country printing newspapers 7 days a week will be Rupert Murdoch.

The greatest thing about independent media is it doesn’t have to follow the mainstream, meaning we can think outside the box and we can put the community first. Nepean News is different, swimming against the mainstream, because we bring stories about local legends doing legendary things without all the negativity and specific political party line toeing.

All the opportunities I’ve been given here at Nepean News have been given to me because of our independent nature. I’ve been able to to pursue politicians of all persuasions during elections, push for more transparency on the western Sydney airport, and fight for the rights of greyhound owners and trainers on the eve of the greyhound racing ban.

I can’t wait to see what other things I can fight for in this community of western Sydney  across my time here at Nepean News and Western News, proudly independent.

I’d also like to give a special thanks to our dedicated readers, consistent advertisers and the community for supporting local media.

Do you have something to say or a story to tell? send me an email at keegan@nepeannews.com.au

This editorial appeared in issue 182 of Nepean News.

Penrith city council

Council catch up with Keegan Thomson

JULY’s council meeting was the second last meeting before the upcoming election on September 10 and it celebrated a few local wins and welcomed the Youth Mayor and Deputy Mayor into the chambers.

Mayor Karen McKeown announced the student winners of the 2016 Youth Mayor Competition. Cr McKeown said the award is a great opportunity for the students to learn more about local government.

“This will give them [the winners] a greater understanding of how council and local democracy works which has always been the main objective of this program,” she said.

Billie Kuczynski, from Cranebrook High, was named Youth Mayor after she submitted her poem, Dream To Fly. Niamh O’Keefe, from Emmaus Catholic College, was named one of the two Deputy Mayors.

In the same breathe Mayor McKeown announced all 26 council run child care centres across the LGA have been assesses against the national quality standard, with all 26 passing with flying colours.

There was a bit of a tiff between a few councillors when it came to the decision on a development on Reserve street in Penrith.

Currently the vacant lot on Reserve street is used as a temporary car park, with council saying there is room for 107 cars, but the area is set to be redeveloped as a “modern village for baby boomers”.

Cr Marcus Cornish, who is staunchly against any development that might upset the amount of car parks in Penrith opposed the development with the debate quickly turning into an argument about the development of car parks in Penrith’s CBD.

The next council sitting will be be the last before the election so I’m sure we’ll see some bold campaigning and some disgruntled disagreements during the next council meeting.

Featured in issue 180 of Nepean News. More at www.wsnewsgroup.com

Iconic Parklea Markets sold for redevelopment

The future of Sydney’s Parklea Markets is up in the air this week after it was sold to developer Dyldam for a reported $1 billion redevelopment.

On Wednesday Dyldam released a statement saying Parklea Markets will continue to operate under current management with “business as usual” for the next 3 to 5 years, though it is unclear what will happen to the iconic marketplace after that.

The 21.6 hectare sale includes the Parklea Markets site, it’s carpark, a service centre, two chain restaurants, a free standing residence and vacant land.

In the statement Dyldam said that over the next few years the planning and proposal stages of the redevelopment will ensure the iconic site will be apart of a development that is worthy of its location.

Managing Director of Dyldam, Sam Fayad, said the land would be redeveloped so the ‘landmark site’ could harness its potential and capacity.

“We are looking forward to working closely with Blacktown Council and the relevant authorities to bring this significant landmark site to its full potential. We plan to create a vibrant mixed use precinct of commercial, retail and residential that will promote positive social and economic outcomes for North-West Sydney” Mr Fayad said.

The acquisition of the land has been seen as a highly strategic one due to the amount of growth in the region.

Located on Sunnyholt Road, the markets are situated on prime North-Western Sydney real estate, only 12 kms from the ever expanding Parramatta CBD and no more than 30 kms from the centre of Sydney.

Around the adjacent area new infrastructure is being built by the New South Wales state government including upgrades to the local roads and public transport, and currently the under construction Sydney Metro Northwest Line station at Bella Vista.

Parklea Markets opened in 1989 and has been servicing the community of Parklea and Western Sydney with wholesalers and small businesses for the past 27 years.   

First appeared in the April 8th, 2016 issue of Western News.

Name unveiled for new Western Sydney school

The name of the new state-of-the-art school for children with physical and intellectual disabilities being developed in Glenmore Park has been announced.

Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli and Member for Mulgoa, Tanya Davies, announced the school, due for completion in Term 1 2017, will be known as Fernhill School.

“After consulting with the community, the name Fernhill stuck. It is a name of historical significance here in the Mulgoa Valley,” Mr Piccoli said.

The name is taken from the Fernhill Estate in Mulgoa, a 1400 acre residency and equestrian farm built in the 1830s.

Mister Piccoli and Miss Davies inspected the site of the purpose-built facility, which will accommodate up to 160 students from Kindergarten through to Year 12.

All up the project is estimated to cost $16.1 million and is joint funded by the New South Wales and Federal governments.

Miss Davies said the school offered an exciting step forward for the community of Mulgoa.

“The new school will provide a high quality, purpose-designed environment for students and their families residing within the region, lifting any previous burdens or unnecessary difficulties that previously faced them,” Miss Davies said.

Included in the state-of-the-art school will be purpose built special education classrooms, interactive and outdoor learning spaces, a hydrotherapy pool and a multipurpose hall.

First appeared in the April 7th, 2016 issue of Nepean News.

Old Sault in the studio

Old Sault opens up about overcoming her fears and sharing her music

Gold Coast singer songwriter Angie Farr, 23, is the voice, sound and melancholy heart behind Old Sault, an artist who’s just released her harrowing debut single, Ghost. 

Old Sault’s introduction to music came in 2002 when her brother made her a mix tape filled with the latest punk and emo  music at the time. “My brother made me a mixtape with the likes of Sum 41, Rancid and Taking Back Sunday, and I was obsessed with music from that moment forward,” she said.

With early influences like Sum 41 and Rancid there is no wonder why Old Sault has such raw emotion in her music.

Old Sault

From the opening bars and driving guitars, to the powerful drums and explosive chorus of Ghost, it is clear Old Sault pulls in influences from the Smiths, the Triffids and Manchester Orchestra.

Although her sound is powerful and sombre, her songwriting processes are a little more easy going. “I write about everything that happens to me. So life influences my music the most,” she said.

Even with her easy going songwriter style Old Sault says she’s been battling with the thoughts of sharing her debut EP with the world. “The writing process is easy. It just comes out. Sharing the EP though, has definitely been something I’ve been putting off for a really long time,” she said.

Old Sault added, “My music reflects the part of my personality that I am too afraid to bring to the surface in everyday situations.”

In the studio with Old Sault

Despite her fears Old Sault has come to a resolution. She’s managed to figure out a way to push past her doubts and have the strength to share her stories. “I figured, fuck it, maybe there’s other scared people out there that can take something from it. We’ll see what happens,” she said.

She said, “I just realised at some point that it’d be silly to give a shit about what people might think when this is my outlet, and I’m gonna share it because it’s a huge part of me. People are going to hate it and I don’t care.”

Old Sault recording

In 2016 Old Sault said she’s planning on focusing more on her music and finishing off her debut EP, “I’d like to get this EP out, I’d like to settle down with a band, play some shows, eat some cake, maybe someone will buy me a beer because I am heaps poor.”

On answering the quizzical question of what musical instrument she’d be and why, Old Sault answered, “That’s easy. I’d be a Cello. That way when I don’t feel like being a Cello anymore, you can turn me on my side and CELLO, you got a bass.”

Look out for Old Sault’s debut EP later on this year as it is sure to be a goodie.

Listen to Ghost on soundcloud now.

This story originally appeared in the International Blotter – a collective online zine and blog expressing all things now and original. 

Alex Lahey

Alex Lahey on her debut single, letter writing and Willie Nelson’s guitar

Hailing from the soy-latte, street art and capricious weather capital of Australia, Melbourne, Alex Lahey is a 23-year-old bandless bandleader whose just released her killer debut single.

Air Mail sees Lahey explore her experiences in a long distance relationship and the amount of letters she’d write back and forth, across landlocked continents, boundless space and vast oceans.

“I got involved with someone who went overseas for an extended period of time and we wrote letters to each other while they were away, along with the classic 21st Century methods of communication,” Lahey said.

Reflecting on letter writing, Lahey said there is a real intimacy associated with writing a letter to someone. She said, “If you receive a letter from someone, then you know they’ve taken time to think about you and what they want to say to you. That’s always a nice feeling.”

Alex Lahey

Alex Lahey

The song is an instant classic with driving bass riffs, jingly rhythm guitar and a busting chorus that sounds so classic it could be something off an early Bruce Springsteen album.

As soon as the song breaks into the all out jam that is the guitar solo/ epic closer, you can really hear Lahey knows what she is doing and she is clearly having fun whilst she’s doing it. She’s not scared to rock out with passion and furious enjoyment.

When asked about her influences Lahey mentioned, “Good people, not so good people, good music, good stuff that happens, shit stuff that happens, Bruce Springsteen” so it is clear she takes a wholistic approach to her musical influencers.

There’s a real intimacy that I associate with writing letters to someone.

Even in her song songwriting, Lahey has a no-bullshit, tell the story as it is with all the feelings involved approach. “I was having a conversation with someone recently about how I struggle with ‘grey area’ and I guess that’s kind of reflected in my lyrics – they’re pretty to the point, but people seem to find room for interpretation,” she said.

We asked Lahey the quintessential question of, ‘if you could be one musical instrument what would it be and why?’ and she delivered a well thought out answer.

“Willie Nelson’s nylon string guitar. It’s called Trigger. It has its own Wikipedia page and many documentaries made about it. Imagine seeing the things that guitar has seen,” she said.

Alex Lahey rocks out with passion and fun

In the next few month Lahey will be playing the Shady Cottage festival, just outside of Melbourne, but her real ambitions for 2016 include “drink all the beers, release my debut EP, play heaps of shows, write better and better songs, drink all the beers.”

Alex Lahey’s debut single, Air Mail, is out now and you can download it from iTunes.

KT