Thunder at Sportspark

T20 Big Bash League team, Sydney Thunder, will hit Blacktown International Sportspark at Rooty Hill tonight (December 17) to take part in the Blacktown T20 Bash against a Sydney grade invitational XI.

The Sydney Thunder squad includes some of the world's best cricketers, including former Australian Test cricketer Mike Hussey, English international Eion Morgan and former Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Minchinbury local Gurinder Sandhu is also part of the team.

The Thunder will use the game as part of their preparation for their first T20 Big Bash League match this Saturday night against crosstown rivals Sydney Sixers at the SCG.

Gates open at 6pm for a 7.30pm start.

Entry and parking are free

Blacktown International Sportspark is on Eastern Road, Rooty Hill.

Lifeline appeal

Plumpton Marketplace has partnered with Lifeline Western Sydney to offer a Christmas gift-wrapping service for the second year in a row.

Have your gifts wrapped by Lifeline volunteers at Plumpton Marketplace by making a donation at the stand outside Big W.

Proceeds will go to Lifeline Western Sydney, which offers a 24 hour crisis telephone service.

"We're delighted to be joining forces with local organisation Lifeline Western Sydney again this year to provide a gift wrapping service that also helps those in need," Plumpton Marketplace marketing manager Stephanie Miller said.

The gift wrapping stand is open from 11am to 2pm daily and 5pm to 8pm on Thursdays.

Christmas card wins

Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies MP has announced the winners of the 2013 Mulgoa Christmas card competition.

Budding Picassos submitted artworks, competing to be the winning entry to be used as Mrs Davies' Christmas card that will be sent to our community.

Children were asked to recognise the Christmas season and were encouraged to be creative, humorous or reflective of the local area or local people.

The overall winner this year was Riya Renju, a year 1 pupil from Penrith Anglican College.

She received a $100 voucher to ToysRUs for her efforts.

Jerome Christopher Lapid, from Wollemi College, and Zane Harrington, from Clairgate Public School, were joint winners of the year 3-6 category.

Public housing tax

State Opposition Leader John Robertson and Labor candidate for Londonderry Prue Car have met with Whalan public housing tenants about the government's bedroom charge.

Mrs Car launched a local petition calling on the state government to reverse its decision to tax public housing residents.

The new tax will force some pensioners and families with spare bedrooms in their public housing homes to pay up to $1500 a year more.

The bedroom charge on public housing tenants with a spare room costs $20 extra a week for a single pensioner and $30 extra a week for a couple.

"Many pensioners have lived in these homes all their lives - they've raised children, built social networks, even got to know the local doctor," Mr Robertson said.

"I am calling on Mr O'Farrell to show some decency and end this dreadful tax."

This story BRIEFS first appeared on St Marys-Mt Druitt Star.