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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : April 1st 2009
MB INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, April 2, 2009 17 NEWS Call for young teetotallers A MEDICAL research pro- fessor wants to find out exactly what binge drinking is doing to the brains of teenagers. But first, she needs to find Sydney's 16- and 17-year-old drinkers and alcohol ''vir- gins'' to put their brains under an MRI scan. And those who haven't touched a drop of the hard stuff are proving difficult to find, despite government statistics that show 20 per cent have not been exposed to alcohol. Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute pro- fessor Caroline Rae is con- ducting yet to be financed research and needs 160 vol- unteers -- 80 who drink often, and 80 who have had less than two glasses of the hard stuff in their lifetime. Then, Prof Rae thinks she can prove, for the first time, that alcohol is messing with the minds of developing bodies. ''I'm not sure what prompted the idea, aside from sitting in a restaurant one weekend and seeing some drunken teenagers,'' she said. Further research showed there was no hard evidence to show how badly alcohol can affect the teenage brain. ''There are studies, but only in animals,'' Prof Rae said. Prof Rae's official title is global professor of magnetic resonance in the school of brain sciences, which essen- tially means she studies brain patterns. Already, scientists know two things: The part of the brain that helps people think like an adult -- with things such as forward plan- ning -- continues to develop until we're 25; and teenagers can physically consume more alcohol than older people and reach higher brain alcohol levels. This means there is a likelihood binge drinking is seriously affecting the de- velopment of young minds. ''But we want some facts,'' Prof Rae said. ''Hopefully hard evidence will then really alert people to the dangers.'' Volunteers will sit a couple of tests at Randwick and spend 45 minutes under an MRI scanner. Those who want to take part in the research can call Louise Mewton on 9385 0217. BRIEFLY Boost for aged ASHFIELD and Canada Bay are set to receive a boost in aged and community care services after Presbyterian Aged Care secured more than $350,0000 in funding from the Health and Ageing Department. The additional funding will complement existing services provided by councils and covers the cost of respite services for carers of frail older people and those with dementia. Paul Sadler, CEO of PAC, said the additional services would be operational before winter. ''This government allocation supporting primary carers acknowledges the quality of care and range of services which PAC offers in the Inner West region,'' he said. The new Drummoyne facility will house people who are not able to live independently. Artist accolade THE Presbyterian Ladies College's 2009 Adelaide Perry Prize has been awarded to Ken Searle for Drawing with his pastel and charcoal work, Midnight Shakes the Memory. Searle, an exhibiting artist with Watters Gallery, said he drew his inspiration from the place that Captain Cook renamed Botany Bay in 1770. This year's judge of the $15,000 prize was Deborah Edwards from the NSW Art Gallery. Proposed mixed-use development at 78-90 Old Canterbury Rd, Lewisham About the project The Department of Planning has declared a development proposal for 78-90 Old Canterbury Rd Lewisham to be a major project under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EP&A Act). The proposal by Tony Owen NDM Architects, on behalf of Demian Constructions, is for a mixed-use residential and retail complex at the site. This proposal has been declared a major project because it is a residential, retail or commercial project worth more than $50 million which is considered to be of State or regional planning significance. Assessment stage This proposal is currently at a preliminary stage in the assessment process. The Department has placed a number of documents on its website about the proposal, including: • A request for the proposal to be declared a major project; and • The Department's requirements outlining issues to be satisfactorily addressed in the proponent's formal environmental assessment If the proponent submits an environmental assessment which meets the Department's requirements, then it will be placed on public exhibition for a minimum of 30 days. Members of the public can keep track of the project on the Department's website. It can be found by searching for the project in the "Marrickville Council" field on http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au About the Part 3A assessment system The Part 3A development assessment system: • Ensures key planning issues are publicly identified and addressed early in the assessment process; • Elevates community engagement by routinely making proponents respond to issues raised in submissions and making all relevant information about the project available on the Department's website; • Provides a tailor-made assessment system for projects of regional or State significance. For more information on the assessment system, go to www.planning.nsw.gov.au/assessingdev/duapsrole.asp or call 1300 305 695 796787v3
March 25th 2009
April 8th 2009