Thursday, December 7, 2023



Drone helps firefighters battle silo blaze

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters battled a blaze in a grain silo at Leeton and discovered a new use for their Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), or drones, that is expected to significantly reduce the length of emergency operations. The Leeton crew is now preparing to share this newfound capability with their firefighting colleagues across the nation.

Shearer continues to make strides

Lockhart female shearer Nicki Guttler continues to make a name for herself in the male-dominated field of shearing ... Nicki started off shearing in the Open competition as the only female competing and surprised even herself by coming sixteenth out of 35 leaving quite a few seasoned Open shearers in her wake.

Narrandera’s koala colony is thriving

Narrandera's koala colony, which has now grown to more than 290 over 1600 hectares, is being studied as part of the $190 million NSW Koala Strategy as a model for how to re-establish populations ... Drones with thermal cameras have been used to count the koalas and sound recorders are being installed in national parks, and on Crown land and farms along a 100-kilometre stretch of the river.

Water Bill opens old wounds

Communities who carried the burden of a Basin Plan corrupted by politics are once again looking down the barrel of mass buybacks. The impacts of water buybacks cannot be understated as communities were ripped apart, football clubs closed, huge areas of food production and habitat provision were dried out, industries retracted, driving increased costs and undermining sustainability, and the price of water was sent out of reach of many young farmers.

“The doctor won’t see you now…“

Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) is once again under the spotlight as the Barham Hospital had been left with no doctors after the contractual arrangement with Ochre Health ran out on November 30 ... Having the multimillion-dollar facility sitting idle due to a bureaucratic standoff has greatly frustrated local doctors and distressed patients seeking treatment.

GBH redevelopment commitments confirmed amidst community concerns

A spokesperson for NSW Health Infrastructure has revealed planning for the Grafton Base Hospital (GBH) redevelopment is continuing, and confirmed there has been no change to the NSW Government’s $263.8 million investment commitment to improve health outcomes for residents of Grafton and surrounding communities ... following the recent release of the updated Clarence River Flood Model by CVC, there has been an increase in the Probable Maximum Flood Level across Grafton.

Remembering 13 lives tragically taken 80 years ago

It was around 5pm on December 11, 1943. They were more than halfway across the Clarence River, returning to the mainland after attending a picnic on Susan Island, when a storm began to form in the western sky ... Only a small number of the boys could swim.

Beccy wins Natural Olympia, crowned World Champion

It’s been a decade long journey lifting thousands of kilos in the gym and last month Maclean bodybuilder Beccy Pateman achieved her dream when she was crowned overall winner of the Professional Figure category in the Natural Olympia contest, plus overall winner of the Professional Fit Body category at the WNBF World Championships.

60 new nurses to work in Northern Rivers

Sixty nurses from the UK and Ireland have been recruited to work in the Northern Rivers ... Indian national Kavitha Mathew will work at Kyogle Multi-Purpose Service ... “I’m very happy to work in Kyogle,” Kavitha said.

Demolition of flooded supermarket, new design plans with ‘submarine room’ almost finished

Woodburn IGA is being knocked down. Tanya and Neale Hundy have gone away during the demolition because it’s “emotional” to watch ... The IGA supermarket was renovated and modernised a year before it was flooded to the ceiling in the 2022 floods.

Murray Darling Basin Plan rescued: Plibersek

“This is one the biggest things any government has done for the environment in a decade. I said from day one that I was determined to deliver the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in full, including the 450GL of water for the environment. That’s what I’ve done ... we’ve worked with people across the Parliament to strengthen this legislation and make it law ...": Tanya Plibersek.

Buloke Times editorial: Nuclear power – is it time?

We have believed for a long time now that Australia’s ban on the use of nuclear energy, for the manufacture of anything but medical isotopes, was not justified. Politicians will generally not talk about it. But now we have some data put on the table, for consideration by the powers that be ... Taking Finland as a guide, their power station when it came online produced a drop of 75 per cent in the price of electricity.

Tourism silver and gold for Love Lord Howe!

NSW Tourism Awards were held at the White Bay Cruise Terminal in Rozelle ... Love Lord Howe was nominated in two categories; Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services as well as Excellence in Food Tourism.

20 years of captive care for Dryococelus australis

Rohan Cleave, Kate Pearce. A big thank you for hosting us on Lord Howe Island (LHI) in September, where we celebrated Threatened Species Day at the LHI Community School and a community event ... The LHI Stick Insect (Dryococelus australis) is one of the world’s most critically endangered invertebrate species. 

The vessel that launched 10,000 planes

In Spanish, Reposado means ‘calm or peaceful rest’, but being shipwrecked could hardly be described as a ‘peaceful’ event ... It was an inglorious end to a top-end boat that had begun life as the Taconite, a luxury motor cruiser commissioned by Bill Boeing, the founder of the Boeing Aircraft Company.

Water wars: Labor and Greens unite to drain rural communities

The environmental, economic and social value of water to our floodplain communities is once again washed away under a tide of political games ... Once again, South Australia leads the Feds around by the nose while glossing over the impacts of the barrages, the south east drainage scheme, the topography and even the estuarine nature of the area. 

Female tradies get head start

Eight young women have been given the head start they need in seeking a potential career in the trades sector. The Girls Can Too! program is designed to teach and empower the next generation of female tradies.

Micah spreads Christmas kindness and cheer

Micah Campbell, an 11 year old Narrandera Public School captain with a love for leading and serving his school community and a passion and enthusiasm for life and people, has mounted a campaign to make Christmas brighter in his town and overseas.

Basin Plan deal: Let the ‘Hunger Games’ begin

The fate of regional communities in the Murray-Darling Basin now rests with a handful of Senate crossbenchers after the Labor and the Greens struck a deal to enforce another 450GL in water buybacks from farmers within four years ... "The Minister’s insistence that buybacks are not the only option is disingenuous at best ... To add insult to injury, it is well documented that any water recovered cannot physically be delivered where it is intended to go ... ": NSW Irrigators’ Council CEO Claire Miller.

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