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News Tributes flow for Whitlam PAST and present Australian politicians have paid tribute to former prime minister Gough Whitlam (pictured) who died yesterday aged 98. Mr Whitlam served as prime minister from 1972 until November 11, 1975 when governor-general Sir John Kerr dismissed him. In his short period as prime minister Mr Whitlam brought in sweeping changes to social policy, education and health care funding and encouraged multiculturalism in Australia. Former Labor prime minister Julia Gillard said he transformed the nation. ‘‘He is alive in our universities and the many lives he changed by giving free access to university education, my life included in that count,’’ she wrote in a piece for the Guardian. ‘‘Alive in Medicare and the uniquely Australian health system we now take for granted. Alive in our suburbs and in our family law. Alive in our suburbs and in our family law.’’ Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten paid tribute to Mr Whitlam in Parliament. ‘‘Regardless of one’s policies the nation has lost a legend. He redefined our country and in doing so he changed the lives of a generation,’’ Mr Shorten said. ‘‘He reimagined Australia as a modern nation where equality of opportunity belonged to all.’’ Now the small dogs can get a great run All-sized fun: Cristine, Rhys and Natasha Benson with their dogs Byron and Kelso. They are excited to see the new dedicated small-dog area at the Elderslie dog park. Picture: Simon Bennett SMALL dogs will be able to have their day every day at the Elderslie off-leash area. A new section specifically for smaller dogs will allow little canines to enjoy the River Road park without having to survive the rough and tumble of the bigger dogs. Spring Farm resident and dog owner Cristine Benson said dog parks like the Elderslie off-leash area were important for dogs of all sizes. ‘‘It is especially good in this area where a lot of people don’t have very big backyards,’’ she said. ‘‘It gets the dogs out of the house.’’ Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak said smaller dogs would be able to ‘‘enjoy the facility without being over- whelmed by larger dogs’’. ‘‘Fencing and signage has now been installed to distinguish an area for dogs that have a maximum shoulder height of 40 centimetres,’’ she said. ‘‘Council has also installed solar lighting at the facility so that those who wish to exercise their dogs can do so until 8pm, when the lights will automatically switch off.’’ Unions predict higher power bills By Kerrie Armstrong THE Macarthur Unions Group is worried the NSW government’s plan to offer for lease power poles and wires could cost jobs. The group is part of a campaign, called Stop the NSW Power Selloff, against the government’s plan, which would see 49 per cent of the poles and wires offered for lease and proceeds used to build infrastructure. Group member Lisa White said the move would bring higher electricity prices and job losses. ‘‘The provision of electricity is an ¦ Coalition defends electricity plan essential service and I don’t think that should be in private hands,’’ Mrs White said. ‘‘I think the government has a responsibility for making sure it is delivered safely and efficiently.’’ Mrs White said if the government’s plan goes through, a private company would be focused on making a profit at the expense of consumers and employees. She said the government was focused on the short-term financial Macarthurs Leading Supplier of Quality New & Used Of?ce Furniture gain over long-term consequences. Endeavour Energy has two depots in Macarthur, in Narellan and Picton, and employs 177 people. Camden MP Chris Patterson said the former Labor government had planned to lease call of the network. ‘‘It will be leased, not sold, and will provide $20 billion worth of infrastructure,’’ he said. Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell said the government had listened to the community when finding money to deal with an infrastructure backlog. Mr Rowell said the government would be taking the proposed poles and wires lease to the public at the March election. ‘‘We see infrastructure as an important thing,’’ he said. ‘‘We listened to the community and we’re not selling it, which was Labor’s plan at some point in the past,’’ he said. Campbelltown MP Bryan Doyle described the unions’ opposition to the government’s plan as a ‘‘scare campaign’’ and said the lease was part of a commitment to rebuild NSW. INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH Do you have dif?culty eating? Do you have bad teeth or do you wear dentures? Specialising in Commercial & Home Of?ce Do you want an affordable, permanent solution once and for all? 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