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The family home flooded because they live next door to development

After the March 2022 floods, for one family in Oakville, finding their lounge room flooded with water was the last thing they should have expected, because they live near the top of a hill. The reason was developers next door. Here's what happened, and how Hawkesbury Council's lack of responsiveness to entreaties for help has led them to choose to go public.


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Talking with Hawkesbury Business Owner Darren Pead about Windsor Mall

Hawkesbury business owner Darren Pead is committed to the economic health of the district, and also passionate about how we present and promote our town centres, balancing renewal with enhancement of our wonderful heritage. We sat down and had a chat this week and it makes for a fascinating conversation.


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The sorry state of historic Bardenarang Creek, Pitt Town

The historic Bardenarang Creek at Pitt Town is a historic place but recent floods have left it in a very sorry state. I'm asking Council what can be done to repair the damage left by recent floods.


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Hawkesbury Council Rates 2022

Are you paying too much in Council rates? News from the 2022-2023 Hawkesbury Council Budget

Hawkesbury Council's rating system is broken and unfair. However, there are developments I'd like to share with you. In the budget Council will pass in the next two months there's a proposal to move the 'base rate' from 30% back to 50%. Read on to see how this will affect you.


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The Hawkesbury-Nepean River Floods – March 2022

The Hawkesbury-Nepean river has flooded again – the second time in twelve months, rising to 13.7m Here's some video of the effects of the flood.


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A New Accountability Measure – Report cards on Councillor Attendance and Expenses

You're entitled to expect that your elected Councillors turn up to as many meetings as they can. It’s a critical part of our job. So I moved a motion at Council to cause a report card on Councillor attendance and expenses to be presented annually and before elections.


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Condolence Motion for Dick Petrikas of Tennyson RFS

We lost one of the Hawkesbury Community's greats recently with the passing of Dick Petrikas from Tennyson, at the age of 83. I offered this condolence on behalf of Council after speaking with Dick's family.


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Professor David Flint AM and The Hon. Philip Ruddock AO

Celebrating 70 years of Her Majesty’s reign

I was honoured today to be invited to the official service to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Accession of Her Majesty the Queen, with Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales and other dignitaries, held at St James' Church in Sydney.
What an absolutely extraordinary life our Queen has had. She has governed over the life of both our nation and the wider Commonwealth with grace and wisdom. She has been served by fifteen Australian Prime-Ministers...


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On ABC Breakfast Radio about Warragamba Dam (again)

This morning I was interviewed on ABC Sydney's Breakfast show by James Valentine. The well-worn subject was whether to raise Warragamba Dam. I appeared before on the same subject in 2019.


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Hawkesbury Council rejects critical flood safety measure – Again!

The long-awaited EIS has been released providing new details on the project to raise Warragamba Dam. I'm appalled that a majority of Councillors were so wedded to their ideology that, at last night's Council meeting, they voted down a motion to simply make a submission to the EIS consultation process. Shameful, reckless behaviour.


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How much land clearing should people be able to do for fire safety? The Rural Boundary Clearing Code

Here's a thorny question: How much land-clearing should rural landholders be allowed to engage in to increase their fire safety? Here's how I think we should answer that question.


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Granny Flats: You deserve more choice | Hawkesbury City Council

The way Council treats granny flats and dual occupancies in our area is insane. Some types are allowed in built up areas, but not on rural acreages. Some kinds are forbidden for reasons that don't apply to those suburbs, or become permissible just because a small modification is made to attach the dwellings. This needs to change.


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Sky News Australia are running a four-part series on flooding on the Hawkesbury-Nepean River.
This is the fourth and final part. Having laid out the risks, this installment asks: Should we raise Warragamba Dam?

I believe the answer is "yes, and urgently". Although I applaud Sky News for furthering the debate, some of the aspects in this story require more nuance: Not only would lowering the permanent storage level of the present dam endanger Sydney's water supply (mentioned), but the impact it would have on flooding is not enough. When the 1:5 probability February 2020 flood began, the dam was at 42%. It lowered the resulting flood by about 3m. But in the event of a 1:100 flood this wouldn't have been enough to prevent major damage. Worse, if we had implemented a policy of reduced capacity on the basis of an imperfect forecast, there are times within the last decade when the dam would have been nearly empty due to drought, such as 2016.

Pre-flood drawdowns have a similar disadvantage: If water had been released when the East Coast Low that caused the March 2021 flood was on its way, it would have lowered the flood by only ~30cm. This Sky News story misses that point.

Only raising the dam will confer a significant mitigating effect. That and implementing planning codes that prevent inappropriate development on the floodplain.

In addition to this video, I recommend the following FAQ from Infrastructure NSW:
www.infrastructure.nsw.gov.au/media/3279/warragamba-dam-and-flooding_faqs.pdf
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2 days ago

Comment on Facebook 432816998851777

I thought this was reasonably balanced given the source. My key takeaway was ‘stop putting people in harm’s way’ rather than support for raising the dam.

I wouldn’t be relying on Sky News to give a factual and accurate representation.

Thank you for sharing Nathan, and listening to both sides it's obvious to me that the Warragamba Dam is the key to alleviating 2 huge problems at once. Sydney’s primary water supply has had water restrictions many times due to lack of storage which could also serve as Flood mitigation. Build a new dam elsewhere for storage and have the WDam reduce to 60%. or raise the existing wall which would make far more sense. Either way, we must do something! Doing nothing is far more damaging financially and environmentally for all affected by droughts & floods! People's own biases against development aren't solving the issue for those of us in affected areas.

Sky News are running a four-part series on the impacts of major flooding on the Hawkesbury-Nepean River. This is part 3.

There are up to 25,000 houses at risk on our floodplain – the greatest unmitigated flood risk in the nation. As part of a larger strategy, in the Flood Emergency Plan our Council adopted in 2020, the maintenance of effective evacuation routes was listed as a critical priority.

I raised the lack of action at a meeting with the National Recovery and Resilience Agency as part of my attendence to the Australian Local Government Association conference in Canberra this week. They have funded $50M towards 37 projects in a national Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program. Not a dollar of that fund is spent in our catchment. I gave them an earful.

Pitt Town Progress Association President Peter Ryan and Secretary Vince Rayfield showed Sky news the parlous state of Pitt Town's only escape route if the worst comes to pass.

Thankfully, the State Government has allocated $5m to a Flood Evacuation Road Resilience program in this week's State Budget.
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3 days ago

Comment on Facebook 432070552259755

I thought this was very good, but barely scratches the surface with respect to evacuation routes, and their inadequacy.

I hope the State Government step up and for fill the promise of gravely needed funding to help Pitt Town and other parts of the Hawkesbury like Lower Portland, Colo, Sackville, Wisemans Ferry where many people are still displaced and without power and water, Pitt Town is not the only area in dire straits its all the low lying area townships and river developments 😓

Thanks for all the hard work you do for our area

I am sorry Nathan but Sky news are not known for using facts,.........

I missed the first 2 eps do u know if Sky will be broadcasting an encore of it at all??

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In the aftermath of the terrible fires, Council wanted to hold a street parade to thank our emergency services and other volunteers. 
Then there was a pandemic. Then there were floods.

Even as the list of those we needed to be grateful for grew, the word came back from those service groups that it wasnt about accolades or parades; it was about helping people.

Council pressed its case. We wanted to say thank you, on behalf of the community. The compromise was the belated function we held tonight at the Crown Plaza at Windsor.

As elected representatives, Councillors and MPs gave our heartfelt thanks to a number of groups who have given their all over the last few years. Theyve saved lives, saved homes, mucked in, cleaned up, helped rebuild, and where needed, hugged us better.

Robyn Preston MP - Member for Hawkesbury and Susan Templeman MP gave video addresses.

Represented among those we thanked were
NSW SES Hawkesbury Unit Commander Kevin Jones, 
NSW RFS - Hawkesbury District Superintendent Karen Hodges,
Hawkesbury Police Area Command Chief Inspector Peter Jenkins,
Fire and Rescue NSW Station 081 Windsor Station Commander Kim Roche,
Fire and Rescue NSW Station 082 Richmond Commander Bradley Spaulding,
RAAF Richmond Airbase Group Captain Nicholas Pratt,
St John of God Health Care Director of Nursing Midwifery and Community, David Simmons,
St John Ambulance Hawkesbury Unit Superintendent Andrew North,
Hawkesburys Helping Hands founder, Linda Strickland,
Australian Red Cross, Brett Evans,
Anglicare Sydney, Debra Russell,
Peppercorn Services Executive Officer, Jessica Innes,
Hawkesbury Valley Baptist Church, Peter Webb,
Macdonald Valley Association President, Rosemary Scott, and
Mountain of Joy, Karen Stuttle.

So: Thank you. We are profoundly grateful for all the work you do.

In the aftermath of the terrible fires, Council wanted to hold a street parade to thank our emergency services and other volunteers.
Then there was a pandemic. Then there were floods.

Even as the list of those we needed to be grateful for grew, the word came back from those service groups that it wasn't about accolades or parades; it was about helping people.

Council pressed its case. We wanted to say thank you, on behalf of the community. The compromise was the belated function we held tonight at the Crown Plaza at Windsor.

As elected representatives, Councillors and MP's gave our heartfelt thanks to a number of groups who have given their all over the last few years. They've saved lives, saved homes, mucked in, cleaned up, helped rebuild, and where needed, hugged us better.

Robyn Preston MP - Member for Hawkesbury and Susan Templeman MP gave video addresses.

Represented among those we thanked were
NSW SES Hawkesbury Unit Commander Kevin Jones,
NSW RFS - Hawkesbury District Superintendent Karen Hodges,
Hawkesbury Police Area Command Chief Inspector Peter Jenkins,
Fire and Rescue NSW Station 081 Windsor. Windsor Station Commander Kim Roche,
Fire and Rescue NSW Station 082 Richmond Commander Bradley Spaulding,
RAAF Richmond Airbase Group Captain Nicholas Pratt,
St John of God Health Care Director of Nursing Midwifery and Community, David Simmons,
St John Ambulance Hawkesbury Unit Superintendent Andrew North,
Hawkesbury's Helping Hands founder, Linda Strickland,
Australian Red Cross, Brett Evans,
Anglicare Sydney, Debra Russell,
Peppercorn Services Executive Officer, Jessica Innes,
Hawkesbury Valley Baptist Church, Peter Webb,
Macdonald Valley Association President, Rosemary Scott, and
Mountain of Joy, Karen Stuttle.

So: Thank you. We are profoundly grateful for all the work you do.
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4 days ago

Comment on Facebook In the aftermath of ...

I was so surprised to see Kevin Jones in civvies that I forgot to take his photo!

How nice. I hope all councillors were there to thank these amazing individuals who have literally propped up the whole community through fire,pandemic and floods. Thank you to all our amazing volunteers and emergency services.

I never stopped feeding the community in Richmond. From The Living Room Food Pantry. During the pandemic. Always wanting to help the community

Thank you and CONGRATULATIONS to everyone involved on your Awards last night. I saw first hand the commitment, hardwork and caring that so many put in to help get the Hawkesbury back on their feet. An almost war-recovery effort. Makes me so proud to live in the area and to be an aussie. True aussie spirit and mateship. THANKYOU and God bless you all 🙏❤🌞

Good idea

Thank you

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Sky News Australia are running a four part series this week on flooding on the Hawkesbury-Nepean river. This is part 2, which focuses on the human cost of these natural disasters.

Successive floods in 2020, 2021 and 2022 have left many exhausted and anxious, especially compounded with the effects of bushfire and pandemic.

This week I learned at the Australian Local Government Association conference that the annual cost of natural disasters to Australia is $38 billion a year. That cost could rise to between $73B and $94B p.a by 2060, depending on the approach we take to mitigate risk, adapt and build the resilience of our communities.

But this risk to property should not disguise that the social, mental and personal costs of disasters are equally taxing.
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4 days ago

Comment on Facebook 431691562297654

And, therefore there are lessons to be learned from history (including flood records) and NOT keep developing in the flood plain/valley where the models already show what can be inundated.

Get off the Climate change crap. It’s been happening all through out our history. It’s a flood plain.

The same broadcaster that wants fossil fuel to remain and dismisses climate change. 🤪

Sky News 😂 top shelf journalism there.

Rob Bray

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Back in March, James and Nadine lived in Harkness Road in Oakville. It's squarely in the area we call Vineyard Stage 1, a location of intensive development.

When the rains came, finding their lounge room flooded with water was the last thing they should have expected, because they lived near the top of a hill, well above areas that flooded from the rising river. The house, built in the 80's, had never flooded before. The reason? Residential subdivision over the road, and massive earthworks that turned the top of a hill into a muddy basin with a spout – one that was pointed right at their home.

Their property was ruined, with damage into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Their story is as tragic as that of many other households whose homes were ruined by the floods. But their story is distinctive because of the substandard response they have received since from Hawkesbury City Council.

James and Nadine never wanted to go public with their story. But now months have elapsed and neither I, nor Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett, nor they could get answers to some key questions from Council, they came to the conclusion that publicity was the only way they could get some action.

It's bad enough that Vineyard is being ruined with subdivision, but if we can't keep the developers on a short leash by enforcing the conditions of consent, then what's the use of this Council? I'm here to defend you, not the organisation, and I'm cranky.

Watch the video, and more details at this link:

councillorzamprogno.info/2022/06/18/the-family-home-flooded-because-they-live-next-door-to-develo...
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5 days ago

Comment on Facebook 428939285906215

You have got to admire an independent councillor

And the plan to raise Warragamba will only give them further reason to keep building on the flood plain which WILL still flood no matter how high the dam wall goes.

Good call out Nathan.. Cross fingers something will be done to help this family

When I submitted my d.a for my property, I needed to get a hydrology report, environmental report etc. Is a development like this exempt from these studies? Clearly something terrible has gone wrong and the purpose of all these expensive studies is to prevent a disaster like this!

Hawkesbury Council is an incompetent council. And seems to encourage developers to do what they like when they like if they like. We are living in a period of self centred greedy people who care very little about the people in the community . It is beyond belief that the council staff are not answering or responding to these matters. It is unconscionable . Hawkesbury Council needs to be thoroughly investigated .

Well done for brining this to the forefront. There are many with the same opinion. We are not flooding like we use to.

It appears that most government bodies will allow developers to get away with almost anything. Ahh the almighty dollar. Council should have been on site and aware of these types of issues. That’s why council are there.

Thanks for bring this up . There a lot of things we dont know about due to our busy lifestyles with work etc. This is an absolute joke. Council putting money first b4 the people.

Council is hopeless ,they approved a house built in a watercourse , a few houses down from me , regardless of submissions by neighbours, which included photos and videos ,it was approved and during the recent heavy rains ,the inevitable happened ,the slab was inundated by water . The irony is that while council said they had no record of a watercourse ,the inspector that came out to check my septic , had to make sure it was far enough from the watercourse ,that doesn't exist 🙄 Do the people that make the yes/no call ,actually have qualified experience in what they're asked to approve ?

Leanne O'Brien

Terry Gaudron Colleen McGrath coll

I cleaned my boots off after walking in my paddock of cows. I could have sworn I scraped off the Hawkesbury councilors and staff. The stench from this was undesirable. Let’s clean up this beautiful town by cleaning out all the 💩 at the council chambers. Useless bottem feeders.

So my house sits above 1-100 level and been flooded by Hawkesbury city council Pitt town basin. But Nathan won’t help me!!.

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The Hawkesbury-Nepean River will flood again. It's a statistical certainty.
Worse, climate modelling shows the risks of a major flood, similar to that seen in 1867 is higher now than ever before.
Being prepared involves many things: Planning codes that discourage development on the floodplain. Functional and maintained evacuation routes. Community education.
But the biggest 'bang for buck', the thing that would best improve our safety on the floodplain, is to raise Warragamba Dam.
Lowering the water level would have only a tiny fraction of the mitigating effect that raising the dam would.
The need for Government to commit to this project is urgent and growing. We have a moral duty to act.

I am heartened a major news outlet like Sky News Australia are running a four part series on flooding, which started tonight. Here's the first part. The rest will be released on successive nights this week.
Please share and follow my page for future updates.
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6 days ago

Comment on Facebook 430644055735738

The most immediate thing that could happen and hasn't, is mitigation. The data shows that we are currently in a rain cycle yet they refuse to change legislation to allow mitigation. It's almost like they want it to [email protected][email protected] We are also still in level 1 water restrictions as they realise that if it suddenly stops raining today, they isn't enough water for Sydney, even with the desalination plant. We have been arguing about this stupid dam wall raising for years now and still nothing has been done. All this extra water being flushed through the system and we haven't been able to work out how to store it safely for our every growing population? I would like to hope that if the dam wall EVER successfully gets built, that the change in legislation goes hand in hand as I can imagine that would easily turn into some sort of cash grab for the government 🤔

So we are expecting to have more rains and floods. So raise the dam.. What happens when that then gets full. It's not flood mitigation 🤦

If you raise the wall of Warragamba Dam, you are creating another problem for thousands of homes that didn’t get affected by the flooding last time but will most definitely come if overflow of the extra extended section will flood so many kms further than the last because of the extra water it’s got on board, waterways need to create a new way of channeling the water a different direction. Things will be so much worse for people who are already struggling after being hit 2times already. I’m actually in an area of the Hawkesbury which is reasonably high so I’m not as affected as some. But I do get cut off to most areas due to landslides and flooding. It just affects me in different ways

What about those choke points downstream? Has anyone considered major reconstruction to allow easier flow for flood waters?

Ok let’s use the current dam for mitigation NOW! Change the legislation to be able to use Warragamba Dam for flood mitigation for extreme weather conditions.

What about dredging the river like they used to do in the past. It is well overdue & could help reduce the choke points further upstream

Yep, raising the wall a second time on 1950's foundations is a great idea, everyone should get a free boat before you do it.

Build a bloody dam.... Are we waiting for a continual ground hog day situation which is already happening. Why you are voted in to actually act and action not just promise!!!! Things need to be done RIGHT NOW stop running stories and posts on Facebook DO SOME ACTUAL ACTION otherwise it's a load of bullshit recycled over and over again!!!

No Nathan, raising the damn wall is not the answer.

So if we know this in the data and the lived experiences of those who have lived through multiple floods. What is the hold up. Who or what is preventing this needed work.

How many homes were affected during last floods? I thought it was 100s not 1000s

Thanks for sharing!

Raelene Hodgskin - SKY NEWS!!! PANIC!!!

Ridiculous Raising the wall will only benefit land developers

Rob Dower

Steve Mizzi Brendon James Carolyn McDonnell Peter Scott Chris Masonwells

Glen Kelly. Jason Callander. Dave Pennycuick

Ben Salkeld Crystal Salkeld

Leanne O'Brien

Bianca Kyle

Rod Hodgskin

David Hanson

Terry Gaudron Colleen McGrath

Jan Slorach Ranson

Kris Albronda

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I was tremendously saddened to hear this morning of the passing of former Hawkesbury City Councillor, Paul Rasmussen of Yarramundi.
Paul served on Council for 22 years and I had the pleasure of serving with him from 2016 to 2021. Weve known each other most of my adult life.

He gave 30 years of service to the RAAF, including five years as Base Commander of RAAF Richmond. 

He served on many, many community groups and committees including Chairman of the Friends of the Hawkesbury Art Community, Chairman of Hawkesbury Community Radio, and as a member of the Kurrajong Community Forum and Hawkesbury Sports Council.

Paul represented a huge well of wisdom and shared memory about the Hawkesbury community. Ill-health precluded him standing for Council at the recent elections and my sympathies are with Pauls family.

Paul will be sorely missed. Vale, Paul Rasmussen.

I was tremendously saddened to hear this morning of the passing of former Hawkesbury City Councillor, Paul Rasmussen of Yarramundi.
Paul served on Council for 22 years and I had the pleasure of serving with him from 2016 to 2021. We've known each other most of my adult life.

He gave 30 years of service to the RAAF, including five years as Base Commander of RAAF Richmond.

He served on many, many community groups and committees including Chairman of the Friends of the Hawkesbury Art Community, Chairman of Hawkesbury Community Radio, and as a member of the Kurrajong Community Forum and Hawkesbury Sports Council.

Paul represented a huge well of wisdom and shared memory about the Hawkesbury community. Ill-health precluded him standing for Council at the recent elections and my sympathies are with Paul's family.

Paul will be sorely missed. Vale, Paul Rasmussen.
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2 weeks ago

Comment on Facebook I was tremendously ...

Sad news. Commisserations

Very sad to hear this news.Sending our thoughts to Paul's family,and may he rest in peace.

A true gentleman . It was an honour to work alongside and learn from him. He will be greatly missed x

Oh I’m so sad to hear this news ! He was always such a nice man . Condolences to his wife and family . RIP Paul .Cherilyn

I am so sad for his family. I have very fond memories of working with him at RAAF Base Richmond. He was a lovely man.

Paul was a tremendous supporter of so many community groups. I am saddened to hear of his passing and my thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

Sincere condolences to Paul's family. 😢

Very sad news. I’ve known Paul since I was a teenager and he was the chairman of Hawkesbury Radio for nearly the whole time I was with the station.

That is so very sad to hear. What a good and considered man he was and now a loss for the Hawkesbury.

RIP, condolences to family and friends.

Another pillar of our society lost but never forgotten. Condolences to his family. RIP wise man!

Very sad to hear about Paul. He was a tremendous community leader. Condolences to his family.He will always be remembered for his commitment for a independent voice in council & the efforts & support he gave to making the Hawkesbury a great place to be part of. 🙏

Very sad news. Worked so hard when on Council

Very sad to hear this news.

A good man, gone too soon. I am proud to have worked alongside him and to call him friend.

RIP and thankyou for your service

RIP Paul

RIP Sir. One of my most respected Commanding Officer's I had the pleasure to serve under. I salute you, Sir.

Sincere condolences

A sad loss for the hawkesbury...RIP xx

Very sad 😢

RIP.

RIP

RIP.

Lionel Clarence

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What a wonderful city we live in!
Vivid Sydney is back from its COVID-enforced hiatus and is bigger and better in every way, encompassing new sites and showing off our city’s architecture old and new.

This is my tribute to VIVID, which is now so big I had to do it over two nights in perfect weather!
It runs until the 18th of June, and I thoroughly recommend it if you can get to it.

#vividsydney
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3 weeks ago

A stiff drink, a plate of pasta, and Antony Green bingo.

A stiff drink, a plate of pasta, and Antony Green bingo. ... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

Comment on Facebook A stiff drink, a ...

Pizza, red wine and Antony here.

What’s your feeling Nathan?

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