Saturday, February 4, 2023

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Australia Day

Local heroes celebrated

Inspirational community contributions celebrated. Well known Narrandera Shire resident Rex Evans was rewarded for his generous and ongoing contribution to Narrandera shire communities over many years with the 2023 Citizen of the Year Award ... "our town wouldn’t be what is without volunteers": Senior Citizen of the Year, Beverly Hughes.

Koondrook Barham Australia Day Breakfast

The unusually cold summer weather continued as community members and visitors gathered in Riverside Park Barham to eat together and celebrate the broader community ... "There's no doubt, I often thought the biggest influence in local communities is the volunteers": guest speaker Keith Cummins from Cohuna ... Keith believes one of the biggest dangers we face is the inability to have discussions and listen to other people’s ideas.

Australia Day

New country, new life

It’s the little things that count: A plate of food for someone lonely, new in town, from the other side of the world. A volunteer giving an English lesson. Singing together. Men chatting about crafts in their former homes. Leonamedes Bowey, Leony to her many friends, and declared Centralian Citizen of the Year on Thursday, has practised the art of making people welcome to Alice Springs for 40 years ... on Australia Day politics takes a back-seat in Alice Springs.

Our Australia Day

Large happy crowds turned out for Australia Day at both Naracoorte and Lucindale last week to celebrate local award winners, welcome new Australians citizens and participate in an Australian citizenship affirmation ... Mayor Patrick Ross read a statement from the Federal Member for Barker, Tony Pasin, then introduced guest speaker, Robertson Street Daily Market proprietor, Didar Ali ... “I came to Australia because I ran away from war."

Australia Day awards

Two of the very best

The organising committee of the Cambooya Australia Day celebrations could not split the outstanding community efforts of Rohan Greer and Christopher Collins, both receiving the Citizen of the Year award ... Rohan Greer is a well-respected and active volunteer in the community ... Chris Collins is recognised in the community as a selfless volunteer ...

Our day – We salute our local heroes

Local people and organisations were recognised for their community service at breakfast ceremonies in towns across the Towong Shire on Australia Day ... The joint Citizens of the Year are former Corryong pharmacists, Catherine and Stewart Ross, who have had a long involvement in community affairs ... Local cafè owner, Stuart Spratt, was presented with a Special Recognition award ... Community Group of the Year award went to the supporters and committee members of the Corryong & District Memorial Hall and the RSL Hall ...

Yanchep’s Sharon Conley recognised at Two Rocks Australia Day event

About 650 breakfasts – cooked and served by volunteers – were consumed at the 2023 Australia Day event in Two Rocks ... Yanchep resident Sharon Conley, who is a member of the Yanchep Netball Club, received the YTRCRA citizen award.

Australia Day

Raiders Aust Day success!

It was a full day of action for the Koondrook Barham Football Netball Club on Thursday with the famous Trend Skate and Surf and River Raiders Annual Australia Day Lilo Race and a $7,000 Raiders 22/23 Reverse Draw. The lilo race had 217 entries, which sees contestants paddle or float from the Koondrook boat ramp downstream to the Barham boat ramp.

Australia Day

Australia Day on Lord Howe Island

The Australia Day celebration started with a big turnout at the sandcastle competition. This was followed by a flag-raising ceremony and keynote speech delivered by retired High Court Judge, His Honour, Justice Murray Gleeson.

How one village is beating the cane toad invasion by crowning a king and queen

It is a new tradition on Australia Day in Bonalbo – cash prizes for the heaviest cane toad. The prize might only be $50 but it gets people out catching the toads that are then weighed before the official Australia Day award ceremony at the bowlo.

History & heritage

Best ever heritage weekend

Thanks to all the hard working Committee and Volunteers who made the Allora Heritage Weekend such a great success. The weekend brings many visitors to our town, meaning a real boost to local businesses.

Australia Day awards

Super volunteer recognised

A staunch advocate of women in agriculture, long-time Landcare supporter, strong community proponent and anti-cancer fighter has received an Order of Australia (OAM) in today’s honours list. Julie De Hennin of Talgarno was recognised for her service to the North East community and is well known in the Upper Murray.

Gannawarra Australia Day citizens recognised

An emergency services leader and a passionate musician have taken out Gannawarra Shire Council’s 2023 Australia Day Awards. Kerang Fire Brigade captain Ramon Steel was named Gannawarra Shire Council’s Citizen of the Year, and Deaken Fawcett presented with Council’s Young Citizen of the Year Award.

Barkly’s Australia Day Awards focus on our local heroes

Tennant Creek’s born and bred doctor Sarah Goddard took the top honours in the Local Government 2023 Australia Day Awards for Tennant Creek. Dr Goddard has spent well over a decade reaching her goals to become a doctor and Citizen of the Year Awards adds to her list of growing accolades, winning best Indigenous doctor in Australia late last year in the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) awards.

Australia Day awards

Three locals honoured in Australia Day awards

A community leader, a teacher and an SES Unit Commander have been recognised for their decades of dedication to the region in the annual Australia Day Awards honours list. Three Clarence Valley residents, Mr Peter Dougherty, Mrs Meghanne Wellard and Mrs Susan Chapple were respectively awarded the prestigious honours of Medal of the Order of Australia, Public Service Medal and Emergency Services Medal.

Indigenous

NAIDOC Survival Day march

Narrandera’s Narrungderra NAIDOC March down East Street on Sunday was joined by participants of all ages, including noted Aboriginal personality Stan Grant Junior. ... The march moved to the Memorial Gardens in East Street where a smoking ceremony and other activities took place.

Land use conflict

Action needed on land conflict: NSW Farmers

Farmer blockades of mining trucks will escalate unless real action is taken to resolve land and water use conflict, NSW Farmers warns. On Saturday police were called to a state forest near Gunnedah after more than 60 farmers blockaded Santos trucks amid a dispute over potential water extraction and fracking. Local communities feared the Sub-Artesian Basin and aquifers could be forever polluted if coal seam gas projects went ahead, and saw no option but to take action after the NSW Government renewed a petroleum exploration licence in the area.

Water pricing

A final word – Water inequality and District Council of Coober Pedy financial sustainability: Tim Jackson

"Since late 2019 Coober Pedy water consumers have been calling on successive State Governments to introduce SA Water pricing in Coober Pedy. This would result in prices being reduced by two thirds. Unfortunately, no State Government commitment has been secured. In that time Coober Pedy consumers have paid $5 million more for their water than if they lived in Adelaide. This is scurrilous": Tim Jackson, Administrator, District Council of Coober Pedy.

NT

Grog ban first step

The recommendation to reinstate alcohol bans in Alice Springs town camps and outback home lands was described as “finally some commonsense” by the Independent MLA for Araluen, Robyn Lambley. But she says Dorrelle Anderson, who made the recommendation, should now go back to her work and “sort out child protection, the most critical problem in Central Australia” and “keep off the streets” children causing trouble.

Infrastructure

Stripy lizard holds up $2m safety project

A striped legless lizard “possibly” seen near the Riddoch Highway 17 years ago is holding up a $2million intersection realignment aimed at making it safer for people who use it. The area has been deemed “a significant environmental site”. But there appears to be no photos of the lizard to prove its existence at the site.

NSW election 2023

iVote scrapped for NSW state election

Candidates for Clarence in the upcoming state election have expressed their disappointment in the NSW Electoral Commissions decision to scrap the iVote online voting system. Launched in 2011 by the Labor party, iVote provided eligible voters with the opportunity to cast their vote online or over the telephone in state elections and more recently local government elections.

Flood recovery - Vic

Students return to schools in Rochester after floods: Hutchins

Students in Rochester will return to their schools this week after being affected by the devastating flooding across Victoria last year. It’s the first time the students at Rochester Primary School and Rochester Secondary School will be able to walk back through the school gates since the flooding left both schools inundated with water.

Floods - WA

Nutrien Ag Solutions & Elders dig deep to kick off donation drive for flooded Kimberley graziers: Rural Aid

Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, has joined forces with the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association (KPCA) to create a fundraising drive for flood-affected graziers in Western Australia’s Kimberley region ... Ex-tropical cyclone Ellie brought unfathomable volumes of rain to Fitzroy River catchments – up to 800 millimetres in a week for some locations - resulting in a flood that exceeded previous water levels by more than two metres. Properties such as Yeeda Station, just outside of Derby, were battling up to 40 kilometres of flood frontage.

Trade

Exports to Singapore get a digital boost: DAFF

Australian exporters will see faster export documentation and easier access into Singapore’s markets, as certification between Australia and Singapore moves towards paperless trading ... “Using electronic export certification (eCert) means the relevant information is sent directly to overseas government agencies almost instantly, allowing for quicker clearance times so producers can get their goods to market faster”: A/g Deputy Secretary Nicola Hinder.

Councils

International delegation to provide lasting benefits for the Lockyer Valley

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor, Cr Tanya Milligan is honoured to be part of an upcoming international delegation to north America, which is set to focus on a range of issues for the Lockyer Valley. The Council of Mayors South East Queensland delegation will put a spotlight on waste management issues and better transport connectivity ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Profile

Celebrating 45 years with local business

Donna Layton knows a thing or two about the true meaning of loyalty, commitment, and devotion. As the General Manager of J Notaras and Sons Sawmill proudly reflects on 45 years with the local business, where she is well respected by her friends and colleagues, she said she can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Timber

Announcement of agreement to sell J Notaras & Sons business and assets

After more than 70 years supplying quality hardwood timber and timber products, the Board of J Notaras and Sons (“the Company”) is pleased to advise that the business will be continuing its strong legacy and commitment to the family-owned service ethic and outstanding quality its customers have come to admire and respect under the direction of the Marshall family.

Opinion

Are farm machinery dealerships doomed?

Why do we have so many new car dealerships, machinery dealerships and electronic shops when the buyers are embracing the world of virtual e-commerce platforms for purchasing everything from clothing to cars? ... We need a revolution in how we buy and sell our farm machinery as the hidden costs of an old outdated system are being loaded onto the prices making expensive equipment even more expensive.

Funding

East River funds to bring relief for channel users

Patricia Gill. An overdue public toilet block will be built at Prawn Rock Channel ... The toilets will be a welcome facility in the peak holiday times for many families of picnickers when the nearest public facility is at Ocean Beach. Walkers in the area have complained about the state of the PRC water and surrounds due to there being no toilets.

Council - SA

Mayor seeks legal advice

Legal advice is being sought by Naracoorte Lucindale Council over a motion by Cr Trevor Rayner to reduce the deputy mayor’s term. In rules explained by CEO Trevor Smart on November 30 last year, Cr Monique Crossling was named deputy mayor for four years after Cr Cameron Grundy’s name was pulled out of a hat, following a tied vote ... “I would like to rescind that motion,” Cr Rayner said in his written statement.

Council - Vic

Porcupine Village woes

It was an announcement that was significant enough for the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events to visit Maldon in May last year: a State Government decision to invest $1.7 million in a development at Porcupine Village ... After eight months, progress on the Porcupine Village development has stalled, with works shut down by Council owing to lack of compliance regarding appropriate planning permission.

Porcupine Village update

The Times spoke to Porcupine Village owner Frank Hutchinson this week about the recent shutdown of works at the site. From the start of this project, Frank and the management team were taking advice from a Town Planning consultant with over 30 years’ experience ... Frank is now working with a Melbourne-based group of town planners who have a great deal of experience in dealing with complex planning issues.

Hospitality & tourism

Family dream being realised with Sedgers redevelopment

The realisation of a more than decade-long dream for the McGeary and Gilmore families will begin next month when the redevelopment of Iluka’s iconic Sedgers Reef Hotel commences ... “Everyone is welcome to come and farewell the old Sedgers Reef Hotel right up until the time we close”: Rowena Drew.

Harwood Marine’s $1.3m barge refit for accommodation

A huge vessel being guided into the Port of Yamba by two tugs and a pilot boat last weekend is now berthed at its temporary home, Harwood Marine ... “Harwood Marine previously has done work for TSA and have now been engaged to build a floating accommodation block for the vessel”: Harwood Marine owner Ross Roberts.

Fire

Plumes of smoke seen for miles

Hot windy conditions last Wednesday morning led to two fires developing at Old Talgal and Pratten with smoke visible from Allora, Hendon and Deuchar. A 'Prepare to Leave" warning was issued by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Wednesday afternoon for the Old Talgai fire, which also affected Ellangowan and Victoria Hill.

Awards

Brigade’s proud service record is recognised

More than 20 members of the Tintaldra Fire Brigade were recently presented with Long Service Medals by CFA Commander, Trevor Ebbels, totalling an amazing 650 years of service in total. The longest serving current member is Phillip Coysh who has been involved with the brigade for 50 years with Laurie Forrest chalking up 45 years.

Commemoration

Louise remembered one year on

A hideous fatal fireground accident near Lucindale was one year old last week. Recalling the day, a sombre group gathered at the Lucindale CFS Station for the unveiling of a plaque in honour of CFS fallen volunteer Louise Hincks.

Wildlife

New challenges and solutions at WCTTAA Forum: Cape York NRM

It was a year of new challenges for turtle nesting protection on the western Cape York Peninsula, with unprecedented early nesting, vehicle breakdowns, weather events, shifting landscapes and data collection unreliability ... Rangers from Apudthama Land Trust and the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council (NPARC), Napranum Aboriginal Land Council, Mapoon and Pormpuraaw gathered in Weipa in December for the annual forum on the turtle nesting season.

Infrastructure

New bridge takes shape

The first of three spans of girders are now in place as the basis of the new Towong Bridge deck slab begins to take form. The first five pre-cast bridge girders were craned into place early this week with each spanning up to 20 metres in length and weighing up to 30 tonnes.

Floods

Country Hour in Benjeroop

ABC rural reporter Angus Verley was on location last Friday, January 20 in the flood ravaged Benjeroop area ... “We haven’t been flooded out in 100 years but we’ve been flooded out twice in 13 years,” Mr Schultz told Mr Verley. “Something’s not quite right and that’s what we have got to get to the bottom of.”

River health

Exploding carp numbers are ‘like a house of horrors’ for our rivers. Is it time to unleash carp herpes?: CSU

With widespread La Niña flooding in the Murray-Darling Basin, common carp (Cyprinus carpio) populations are having a boom year. Videos of writhing masses of both adult and young fish illustrate that all is not well in our rivers.

Environment

Mineral sands project set for public environmental review

A public environmental review has been set for a mineral sands project proposed for about 21km east of Ledge Point and 800m south of the Moore River due to the extent of further information required, the number of preliminary key environmental factors identified and the moderate level of public interest in the project. When the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) published its decision to assess the Bidaminna project proposal it said out of the 156 submissions received 153 had called for public environmental review.

Flood recovery

State Government finalises strategy to reconnect Great Northern Highway through Fitzroy Crossing: Saffioti

Sections of the highway around Fitzroy Crossing were completely washed away in the recent one-in-100-year flood event, while the Fitzroy Crossing Bridge sustained significant damage and will need to be fully replaced. The plan will involve the implementation of a barge system across the river, which will initially be operated by tugs, with a cable system to be operationalised shortly after.