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Button and Diane Powellpark the school bus after three decades

After 30 years Button and Diane Powell have turned off the ignition to their school buses one last time. Two of Nyngan's long serving school bus drivers have hung up the keys to their school runs, after almost 1.5 million kilometers of driving. Mr Powell has driven the school bus to Mullengudery for nearly 30 years, with wife Mrs Powell driving her bus on the Coffils Lane-Pangee Road run for the same time. The pair bought the bus in 1989 becoming Powell's Bus Service, and quickly they became second parents to the school children they have driven too and from school each day. READ ALSO: Mrs Powell finished up her school run on March 16, exactly 30 years on the day she started. “It was an emotional day, the kids said 'when we get to Miandetta can we have a speech?', so I slowed down and as I started to talk I had to pull up because I couldn't see through the tears,” Mrs Powell said. “I couldn't talk but all I said is 'you've all been wonderful and ..

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After 30 years Button and Diane Powell have turned off the ignition to their school buses one last time. Two of Nyngan's long serving school bus drivers have hung up the keys to their school runs, after almost 1.5 million kilometers of driving. Mr Powell has driven the school bus to Mullengudery for nearly 30 years, with wife Mrs Powell driving her bus on the Coffils Lane-Pangee Road run for the same time. The pair bought the bus in 1989 becoming Powell's Bus Service, and quickly they became second parents to the school children they have driven too and from school each day. READ ALSO: Mrs Powell finished up her school run on March 16, exactly 30 years on the day she started. "It was an emotional day, the kids said 'when we get to Miandetta can we have a speech?', so I slowed down and as I started to talk I had to pull up because I couldn't see through the tears," Mrs Powell said. "I couldn't talk but all I said is 'you've all been wonderful and there's not much I can say'. "I bubbled all the way home and the only thing I could say to my husband is 'thank you for buying that bus, because I've had a good life'. "I don't cry normally, I'm a hard old bird, but I just said 'thank you'." Looking back over the years, Mrs Powell couldn't pick her fondest memory, saying all the kids she had ride on her school bus were as delightful as each other. "I've been lucky with superb kids, I've never had to go crook on anybody," she said. "They all had their own seats and got on and sat down, it's just been wonderful. "I just don't know what my fondest memory is because they're all good. "You look after them all like your own and I have just thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience." In her thirty years of driving almost 320 kilometers a day, Mrs Powell said she has only had one sick day in her life. "I was only saying the other day I broke my shoulder about nine years ago … and in 30 years that's the only time I've had off," the bus driver said. "I have never, ever had a sick day, it was only that I broke this jolly shoulder and I had to have about six weeks off." She however said she was pleased she could give the children on her run their last Easter eggs. "I have always all these years bought the kids Easter eggs and chocolates at Christmas, and I said to Button 'guess what? I get to give them their last Easter eggs'," Mrs Powell said. "It's just something you do and they get excited." While Langleys have bought the bus and taken it on, Mrs Powell said she and her husband have no plans of leaving town. "I'm not an overseas person, I'm a homing pigeon," she said. "My husband's a clay target shooter and we've got our caravan, I've always gone places with him clay target shooting … I'm just happy to jump in the caravan and go wherever he wants to go. "But we've got our family here … life's pretty simple."

After 30 years Button and Diane Powell have turned off the ignition to their school buses one last time.

Two of Nyngan's long serving school bus drivers have hung up the keys to their school runs, after almost 1.5 million kilometers of driving.

Mr Powell has driven the school bus to Mullengudery for nearly 30 years, with wife Mrs Powell driving her bus on the Coffils Lane-Pangee Road run for the same time.

The pair bought the bus in 1989 becoming Powell's Bus Service, and quickly they became second parents to the school children they have driven too and from school each day.

READ ALSO:

Mrs Powell finished up her school run on March 16, exactly 30 years on the day she started.

"It was an emotional day, the kids said 'when we get to Miandetta can we have a speech?', so I slowed down and as I started to talk I had to pull up because I couldn't see through the tears," Mrs Powell said.

"I couldn't talk but all I said is 'you've all been wonderful and there's not much I can say'.

"I bubbled all the way home and the only thing I could say to my husband is 'thank you for buying that bus, because I've had a good life'.

"I don't cry normally, I'm a hard old bird, but I just said 'thank you'."

Looking back over the years, Mrs Powell couldn't pick her fondest memory, saying all the kids she had ride on her school Read More – Source

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Australia election: PM Morrison’s security team in car crash in Tasmania

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A car carrying the Australian prime minister’s security team has crashed in Tasmania during an election campaign visit.

Four police officers were taken to hospital with “non-life threatening injuries” after the car and another vehicle collided, authorities said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not in the car, but the accident prompted him to cancel the rest of his campaign events on Thursday.

The other driver involved was not hurt.

Tasmania Police said initial investigations suggested the second car had “collided with the rear of the police vehicle, while attempting to merge”. It caused the unmarked security vehicle to roll off the road.

The two Tasmania Police officers and two Australian Federal Police officers were conscious when taken to hospital for medical assessment, the prime minister’s office said.

“Family members of the officers have been contacted and are being kept informed of their condition,” a statement said.

“The PM is always extremely grateful for the protection provided by his security team and extends his best wishes for their recovery and to their families.”

Australians go to the polls on 21 May. Mr Morrison – prime minister since 2018 – is hoping to win his conservative coalition’s fourth term in office.

Polls suggest the opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is favoured to win. However, Mr Morrison defied similar polling to claim victory at the last election in 2019.

Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition holds 76 seats in the House of Representatives – the minimum needed to retain power.

Political observers say the cost of living, climate change, trust in political leaders, and national security will be among key issues in the campaign.

In recent weeks, the prime minister has faced accusations of being a bully and once sabotaging a rival’s career by suggesting the man’s Lebanese heritage made him less electable. Mr Morrison has denied the allegations.

Mr Albanese stumbled into his own controversy this week when he failed to recall the nation’s unemployment or interest rates.

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-61103987

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Sydney airport warns delays could last weeks on third day of travel chaos

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Long queues at Sydney airport’s domestic terminals have continued for a third day, with some passengers missing international connections, as the airport warns delays resulting from a surge in travellers and a shortfall in security staff could continue for weeks.

Chaotic scenes were reported in the departure halls as early as 4.30am on Saturday, with some frustrated travellers, many of whom heeded the pleas of airport chiefs to arrive at least two hours before their domestic flight was due to take off, claiming only one security line was operating.

While the queues that formed early on Saturday are understood to have cleared later in the morning, the airport apologised to affected travellers.

“Traffic numbers are picking up and the close contact rules are making it hard to fill shifts and staff the airport. We appreciate your patience,” Sydney airport said on its Twitter account.

A wave of families travelling as the term two school holidays begin this weekend, combined with close contact rules that are understood to be taking out about 20% of security shifts in any given day, are driving the problem.

Certis, the company that Sydney airport contracts for its security operations, is desperately trying to recruit personnel, while the airport has reallocated back office, IT and retail workers to the departure hall to comb queues so they can prioritise passengers at risk of missing their flight.

“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals bringing passengers forward in order of priority,” a Sydney airport spokesperson said.

He added that the airport is “anticipating it will [be] busy right through the school holiday period and peak over the Easter and Anzac Day weekends, in some cases at 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels”.

“We’re deeply grateful to passengers for their ongoing patience and we’re sorry to everyone who has been inconvenienced,” the spokesperson said. “We would also like to thank passengers for getting to the airport early and treating staff and each other with kindness and respect.”

The Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was forced to clarify comments he made on Friday that passengers were “not match fit” and that those forgetting to remove laptops and aerosols from their bags at the security check contributing to the delays.

“Just to be clear, I’m not ‘blaming’ passengers,” Joyce said. “Of course it’s not their fault,” he said.

Qantas shed thousands of staff during the pandemic, and outsourced ground crews in a decision that was challenged in court.

On Saturday, Qantas also apologised to a Melbourne family left stranded in Sydney, after domestic flight delays caused them to miss an international trip.

Javiera Martinez, her partner Daniel Capurro and their three children were supposed to be flying to Chile on Friday to visit relatives they had not seen in three years.

But after their 8am Qantas flight from Melbourne was delayed by half an hour, baggage handling and airport transfer delays in Sydney meant they couldn’t make their 11.30am LATAM Airlines flight to Santiago.

Martinez said the airline’s procedures at the airport were chaotic.

“We think Qantas didn’t behave appropriately. I got berated by the person at the counter – they never apologised, they never assumed any responsibility at all,” she said. “It was a rude conversation. We have been mistreated badly I would say.”

The PCR tests they need to travel have now expired and they will have to take them again as they wait for seats on the next flight to Santiago from Sunday.

The airline has apologised and paid for a night’s accommodation in Sydney.

“We sincerely apologise that the family missed their connecting flight on another airline due to delays moving through Sydney airport on Friday,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

The family is among many affected by hold ups amid the busiest travel period in two years, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports warning passengers to arrive two hours before domestic flights.

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Grace Tame says caller ‘threatened’ against criticising PM

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An Australian of the Year and sexual abuse survivor has said she received a “threatening” call warning her not to criticise the prime minister.

Grace Tame made the allegation in a speech on Wednesday, where she said she’d been called by a “senior member of a government-funded organisation”.

She added she was asked to promise not to say anything “damning” about Scott Morrison.

The government has denied knowledge of the call and said it will investigate.

On Tuesday, Mr Morrison made a formal apology to former political staffer Brittany Higgins more than a year after the young woman went public with the allegation that she had been raped by a male colleague in a ministerial office.

Her story sparked national anger, and an inquiry into parliament’s culture which found more than a third of workers had been sexually harassed.

Both Ms Higgins and Ms Tame have been heralded this past year for prompting a national conversation about abuse, power and gender inequality.

On Wednesday, the pair delivered a highly anticipated joint address at the National Press Club in Canberra.

Asked by journalists if she could name the threatening caller and their organisation, Ms Tame said: “if I was willing to name either, I would have put them in the speech”.

But she said the caller had been concerned about what she would say on the evening her successor as Australian of the Year was named.

She said the caller had described her as an “influential figure” and that Mr Morrison would “have a fear” about what she might say “with an election coming soon”. Australia is due to hold a general election before 21 May.

“Sound familiar to anyone? Well, it does to me,” Ms Tame said, before drawing a comparison with her former abuser – a teacher who had raped her as a child and pressured her to stay silent.

Mr Morrison’s office said it had not been aware of the call before Ms Tame’s speech, adding “the individual should apologise”.

“The PM and the government consider the actions and statements of the individual as unacceptable,” a spokesperson said.

But Ms Tame said launching a probe “misses the point entirely”.

“Stop deflecting, Scott. It’s not about the person who made the call. It’s the fact they felt like they had to do it at all,” she tweeted.

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Australia

Button and Diane Powellpark the school bus after three decades

After 30 years Button and Diane Powell have turned off the ignition to their school buses one last time. Two of Nyngan's long serving school bus drivers have hung up the keys to their school runs, after almost 1.5 million kilometers of driving. Mr Powell has driven the school bus to Mullengudery for nearly 30 years, with wife Mrs Powell driving her bus on the Coffils Lane-Pangee Road run for the same time. The pair bought the bus in 1989 becoming Powell's Bus Service, and quickly they became second parents to the school children they have driven too and from school each day. READ ALSO: Mrs Powell finished up her school run on March 16, exactly 30 years on the day she started. “It was an emotional day, the kids said 'when we get to Miandetta can we have a speech?', so I slowed down and as I started to talk I had to pull up because I couldn't see through the tears,” Mrs Powell said. “I couldn't talk but all I said is 'you've all been wonderful and ..

Published

on

After 30 years Button and Diane Powell have turned off the ignition to their school buses one last time. Two of Nyngan's long serving school bus drivers have hung up the keys to their school runs, after almost 1.5 million kilometers of driving. Mr Powell has driven the school bus to Mullengudery for nearly 30 years, with wife Mrs Powell driving her bus on the Coffils Lane-Pangee Road run for the same time. The pair bought the bus in 1989 becoming Powell's Bus Service, and quickly they became second parents to the school children they have driven too and from school each day. READ ALSO: Mrs Powell finished up her school run on March 16, exactly 30 years on the day she started. "It was an emotional day, the kids said 'when we get to Miandetta can we have a speech?', so I slowed down and as I started to talk I had to pull up because I couldn't see through the tears," Mrs Powell said. "I couldn't talk but all I said is 'you've all been wonderful and there's not much I can say'. "I bubbled all the way home and the only thing I could say to my husband is 'thank you for buying that bus, because I've had a good life'. "I don't cry normally, I'm a hard old bird, but I just said 'thank you'." Looking back over the years, Mrs Powell couldn't pick her fondest memory, saying all the kids she had ride on her school bus were as delightful as each other. "I've been lucky with superb kids, I've never had to go crook on anybody," she said. "They all had their own seats and got on and sat down, it's just been wonderful. "I just don't know what my fondest memory is because they're all good. "You look after them all like your own and I have just thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience." In her thirty years of driving almost 320 kilometers a day, Mrs Powell said she has only had one sick day in her life. "I was only saying the other day I broke my shoulder about nine years ago … and in 30 years that's the only time I've had off," the bus driver said. "I have never, ever had a sick day, it was only that I broke this jolly shoulder and I had to have about six weeks off." She however said she was pleased she could give the children on her run their last Easter eggs. "I have always all these years bought the kids Easter eggs and chocolates at Christmas, and I said to Button 'guess what? I get to give them their last Easter eggs'," Mrs Powell said. "It's just something you do and they get excited." While Langleys have bought the bus and taken it on, Mrs Powell said she and her husband have no plans of leaving town. "I'm not an overseas person, I'm a homing pigeon," she said. "My husband's a clay target shooter and we've got our caravan, I've always gone places with him clay target shooting … I'm just happy to jump in the caravan and go wherever he wants to go. "But we've got our family here … life's pretty simple."

After 30 years Button and Diane Powell have turned off the ignition to their school buses one last time.

Two of Nyngan's long serving school bus drivers have hung up the keys to their school runs, after almost 1.5 million kilometers of driving.

Mr Powell has driven the school bus to Mullengudery for nearly 30 years, with wife Mrs Powell driving her bus on the Coffils Lane-Pangee Road run for the same time.

The pair bought the bus in 1989 becoming Powell's Bus Service, and quickly they became second parents to the school children they have driven too and from school each day.

READ ALSO:

Mrs Powell finished up her school run on March 16, exactly 30 years on the day she started.

"It was an emotional day, the kids said 'when we get to Miandetta can we have a speech?', so I slowed down and as I started to talk I had to pull up because I couldn't see through the tears," Mrs Powell said.

"I couldn't talk but all I said is 'you've all been wonderful and there's not much I can say'.

"I bubbled all the way home and the only thing I could say to my husband is 'thank you for buying that bus, because I've had a good life'.

"I don't cry normally, I'm a hard old bird, but I just said 'thank you'."

Looking back over the years, Mrs Powell couldn't pick her fondest memory, saying all the kids she had ride on her school Read More – Source

Continue Reading

Australia

Australia election: PM Morrison’s security team in car crash in Tasmania

Published

on

A car carrying the Australian prime minister’s security team has crashed in Tasmania during an election campaign visit.

Four police officers were taken to hospital with “non-life threatening injuries” after the car and another vehicle collided, authorities said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not in the car, but the accident prompted him to cancel the rest of his campaign events on Thursday.

The other driver involved was not hurt.

Tasmania Police said initial investigations suggested the second car had “collided with the rear of the police vehicle, while attempting to merge”. It caused the unmarked security vehicle to roll off the road.

The two Tasmania Police officers and two Australian Federal Police officers were conscious when taken to hospital for medical assessment, the prime minister’s office said.

“Family members of the officers have been contacted and are being kept informed of their condition,” a statement said.

“The PM is always extremely grateful for the protection provided by his security team and extends his best wishes for their recovery and to their families.”

Australians go to the polls on 21 May. Mr Morrison – prime minister since 2018 – is hoping to win his conservative coalition’s fourth term in office.

Polls suggest the opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is favoured to win. However, Mr Morrison defied similar polling to claim victory at the last election in 2019.

Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition holds 76 seats in the House of Representatives – the minimum needed to retain power.

Political observers say the cost of living, climate change, trust in political leaders, and national security will be among key issues in the campaign.

In recent weeks, the prime minister has faced accusations of being a bully and once sabotaging a rival’s career by suggesting the man’s Lebanese heritage made him less electable. Mr Morrison has denied the allegations.

Mr Albanese stumbled into his own controversy this week when he failed to recall the nation’s unemployment or interest rates.

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-61103987

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Sydney airport warns delays could last weeks on third day of travel chaos

Published

on

Long queues at Sydney airport’s domestic terminals have continued for a third day, with some passengers missing international connections, as the airport warns delays resulting from a surge in travellers and a shortfall in security staff could continue for weeks.

Chaotic scenes were reported in the departure halls as early as 4.30am on Saturday, with some frustrated travellers, many of whom heeded the pleas of airport chiefs to arrive at least two hours before their domestic flight was due to take off, claiming only one security line was operating.

While the queues that formed early on Saturday are understood to have cleared later in the morning, the airport apologised to affected travellers.

“Traffic numbers are picking up and the close contact rules are making it hard to fill shifts and staff the airport. We appreciate your patience,” Sydney airport said on its Twitter account.

A wave of families travelling as the term two school holidays begin this weekend, combined with close contact rules that are understood to be taking out about 20% of security shifts in any given day, are driving the problem.

Certis, the company that Sydney airport contracts for its security operations, is desperately trying to recruit personnel, while the airport has reallocated back office, IT and retail workers to the departure hall to comb queues so they can prioritise passengers at risk of missing their flight.

“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals bringing passengers forward in order of priority,” a Sydney airport spokesperson said.

He added that the airport is “anticipating it will [be] busy right through the school holiday period and peak over the Easter and Anzac Day weekends, in some cases at 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels”.

“We’re deeply grateful to passengers for their ongoing patience and we’re sorry to everyone who has been inconvenienced,” the spokesperson said. “We would also like to thank passengers for getting to the airport early and treating staff and each other with kindness and respect.”

The Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was forced to clarify comments he made on Friday that passengers were “not match fit” and that those forgetting to remove laptops and aerosols from their bags at the security check contributing to the delays.

“Just to be clear, I’m not ‘blaming’ passengers,” Joyce said. “Of course it’s not their fault,” he said.

Qantas shed thousands of staff during the pandemic, and outsourced ground crews in a decision that was challenged in court.

On Saturday, Qantas also apologised to a Melbourne family left stranded in Sydney, after domestic flight delays caused them to miss an international trip.

Javiera Martinez, her partner Daniel Capurro and their three children were supposed to be flying to Chile on Friday to visit relatives they had not seen in three years.

But after their 8am Qantas flight from Melbourne was delayed by half an hour, baggage handling and airport transfer delays in Sydney meant they couldn’t make their 11.30am LATAM Airlines flight to Santiago.

Martinez said the airline’s procedures at the airport were chaotic.

“We think Qantas didn’t behave appropriately. I got berated by the person at the counter – they never apologised, they never assumed any responsibility at all,” she said. “It was a rude conversation. We have been mistreated badly I would say.”

The PCR tests they need to travel have now expired and they will have to take them again as they wait for seats on the next flight to Santiago from Sunday.

The airline has apologised and paid for a night’s accommodation in Sydney.

“We sincerely apologise that the family missed their connecting flight on another airline due to delays moving through Sydney airport on Friday,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

The family is among many affected by hold ups amid the busiest travel period in two years, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports warning passengers to arrive two hours before domestic flights.

source

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Australia

Grace Tame says caller ‘threatened’ against criticising PM

Published

on

An Australian of the Year and sexual abuse survivor has said she received a “threatening” call warning her not to criticise the prime minister.

Grace Tame made the allegation in a speech on Wednesday, where she said she’d been called by a “senior member of a government-funded organisation”.

She added she was asked to promise not to say anything “damning” about Scott Morrison.

The government has denied knowledge of the call and said it will investigate.

On Tuesday, Mr Morrison made a formal apology to former political staffer Brittany Higgins more than a year after the young woman went public with the allegation that she had been raped by a male colleague in a ministerial office.

Her story sparked national anger, and an inquiry into parliament’s culture which found more than a third of workers had been sexually harassed.

Both Ms Higgins and Ms Tame have been heralded this past year for prompting a national conversation about abuse, power and gender inequality.

On Wednesday, the pair delivered a highly anticipated joint address at the National Press Club in Canberra.

Asked by journalists if she could name the threatening caller and their organisation, Ms Tame said: “if I was willing to name either, I would have put them in the speech”.

But she said the caller had been concerned about what she would say on the evening her successor as Australian of the Year was named.

She said the caller had described her as an “influential figure” and that Mr Morrison would “have a fear” about what she might say “with an election coming soon”. Australia is due to hold a general election before 21 May.

“Sound familiar to anyone? Well, it does to me,” Ms Tame said, before drawing a comparison with her former abuser – a teacher who had raped her as a child and pressured her to stay silent.

Mr Morrison’s office said it had not been aware of the call before Ms Tame’s speech, adding “the individual should apologise”.

“The PM and the government consider the actions and statements of the individual as unacceptable,” a spokesperson said.

But Ms Tame said launching a probe “misses the point entirely”.

“Stop deflecting, Scott. It’s not about the person who made the call. It’s the fact they felt like they had to do it at all,” she tweeted.

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