Friday, February 3, 2023



Back to school for Barkly kids

Teachers and students headed back to school on Tuesday after the six-week break to start the new school year. Plenty of nerves and excitement as students look forward to seeing friends and getting to know new teachers ... One big change this year that has been welcomed by staff and parents, is the introduction of the mobile phone ban.

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.

New portal shows huge program of works

Moyne Shire Council has launched a new roads portal to give the community quick access to information about council’s road network and planned upgrade works across the shire. The portal includes a map pinpointing road renewal and resealing works, before and after photos, expected timeframes and information about how the works are funded.

Construction companies shortlisted to build $8 billion worth of new hospitals and major expansions: D’Ath

Queensland Health has established a supplier panel of major construction companies to accelerate the delivery of three new hospitals and nine major hospital expansions under the Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland Health and Hospitals Plan ... “The building contractor shortlist of 12 was established based on an expression of interest process and through Queensland Health’s broader engagement with industry": Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath.

Regional Tech Hub launches new book-in phone service: NFF

Say goodbye to connectivity frustration in rural, regional, and remote Australia with a new and convenient book-in phone support service from the Regional Tech Hub. The team is ready to provide free, independent personalised connectivity assistance, answer questions, and provide advice on internet and mobile options, no matter where you live in regional Australia.

Celebrating 160 years as our local library

This year The Maldon Athenaeum Library will have been operating as our local library for 160 years. Its inaugural meeting was held on January 26, 1863, when several good citizens of the town gathered to establish the original Maldon Athenaeum Mechanics Institute.

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.

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.

Palaszczuk Government signs off on over $370 million for Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline: Palaszczuk, Butcher

The pipeline will carry raw water from Wivenhoe Dam and connect with Toowoomba Regional Council’s existing water infrastructure to deliver water to Warwick and will be an opportunity to deliver treated water to the Toowoomba region communities of Cambooya, Greenmount, Nobby and Clifton. Importantly the pipeline provides drought contingency for residents of Southern Downs Regional Council.

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.

Footbridge, gutter danger

Maldon’s heritage-listed gutters in Main Street and High Street may look good and are effective during heavy rain events, but they can be tricky to negotiate when getting in and out of your car. The wooden footbridges can also be dangerous, particularly for people with balance problems.

New year funding bonanza

Locals will be able to make a day out at Narrandera water tower under plans to build a picnic shelter, barbecue area, playground and toilet, thanks to $660,000 from Round Five of the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund. Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the new playground would be an extra reason to visit and spend time near the iconic artwork on the Narrandera water tank.

Feedback needed for policy on footpath trading

Southern Downs Regional Council's Regulatory Services Team is currently responsible for issuing approvals for various footpath trading activities ... interested in obtaining feedback from participants and/or clients of disability groups and agencies of service providers about what some of the issues/ concerns are that people with disability have with the current commercial use of footpaths in the region.

Upgrade works at Leslie Dam complete

Part of the Queensland Government's $19 million Southern Downs Drought Resilience program included upgrade works to the intake pump station at Leslie Dam. Water Minister Glenn Butcher said the upgrade work includes replacement of three 55-year-old pumps, pipework and the electrical switchboard.

Vital link’s ‘missing middle’: NSW Farmers

Farmers are frustrated by a stoush between state and federal governments that is holding up the construction of a vital freight link. On Tuesday Transport Minister Catherine King said the federal government would fund the start and end of the Great Western Highway upgrade, but there was “no money for the middle section” – a tunnel proposed by the state government.

Mobile phone microcell consultation summary

Suzie Christensen, LHIB. The Lord Howe Island Board has received a proposal from Telstra to install a mobile phone microcell, funded through the blackspot program. The tower is to be built on crown land, and as such, the Board’s role is to determine whether or not to grant Owner’s Consent ... 90 of the 131 responses (68%) were not in favour.

No banks or cash in 10 years says Speirs

Chris Oldfield. There won’t be any banks in Naracoorte or anywhere else in 10 years’ time – not in the country or the city, according to Opposition Leader David Speirs. Mr Speirs said there won't be any cash in 10 years time either ... “There won't be any banks in Naracoorte or anywhere else in 10 years’ time. There are no banks in my electorate,” Mr Speirs said ... “So, let's not allow our progress to be held back by that.”

Beach safety concerns prompt ramp closure

Patricia Gill. The boat ramp at Ocean Beach will be closed on Friday, December 23 due to storm damage until the end of January when the closure will be reviewed. The Shire of Denmark says safety is the reason for the closure.

Newell Highway reopens south of Forbes: Farraway

The Newell Highway has reopened between Forbes and West Wyalong after flood waters and extensive damage forced a 49-day closure. Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said it was a credit to the Transport for NSW crews who worked around the clock to have the highway open before Christmas for families looking forward to spending the festive season with loved ones.

All systems are go: new birthing suite to come online in new year

For the first time this century, expecting mums in Weipa and the surrounding community will be able to give birth in a local hospital when a new service begins early in 2023. The Weipa Hospital has a fully equipped birthing suite and a top team of staff lined up to welcome Cape York’s newest arrivals.

Shire of Ashburton first in Western Australia to use Guardian Emergency Dashboard  

The Shire of Ashburton is the first local government in Western Australia to join forces with Queensland based company QIT Plus to bring a collated Emergency Dashboard resource to the community ... Having resources such as road conditions, power outages, weather warnings, river heights, airport schedules, boating forecasts, quick links and more on one accessible platform will help to inform the community and highlight how to prepare for incidents and events that impact the area.

Railway history

A History of the Castlemaine to Maryborough Railway is a recently published book written by Ken James and David Langley. At 428 pages, it’s a doorstopper of a book that is painstakingly researched, well-illustrated and comprehensive in its scope. For railway tragics and history buffs, it’s a must-buy; and for others, it’s a cracking good read.

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