Saturday, May 21, 2022

News

Festival

Ulmarra shines during Riverlight

Emma Pritchard. Despite moderate flooding preventing the Clarence River from being illuminated by floating lanterns, community enthusiasm for the inaugural Riverlight Ulmarra Festival shone brightly on the weekend. More than 600 people gathered in the historic village to celebrate the event on May 15, with many expressing their wishes to see it become an annual attraction.

Burning

Trial tackles a burning issue

The first step in merging Noongar cultural burning practice with contemporary fire mitigation was taken last week with a trial burn along Wilson Inlet. A small area was selected along the Bibbulmun Track, adjoining Weedon Hill, for the demonstration trial in the big step towards more collaboration between traditional custodians and authorities in bushfire prevention.

Fire fighting

New tanker for Newstead

In addition to a 2,000 litre tank, the new tanker contains 650 litres of water set aside for crew and vehicle protection sprays in the event of a burnover. It also includes brackets to hold breathing apparatus cylinders as well as a cabin that allows a crew of five to travel safely together.

Food

Foodbank meets rising demand in Denmark

Serena Kirby. Emergency food provider, Foodbank, has begun a delivery service to Denmark to meet rising demand in the community ... Foodbank Albany branch manager Rod Pfeiffer said that while the mobile service had been running in Perth for some time, the regional need was now urgent.

Show n Shine

Swap meet a success

Mike Riley. The Naracoorte Swap Meet and Show n Shine had something for everyone last weekend. The Naracoorte Historic Vehicle Club was very pleased with the turnout after a break of two years. The number of sites was over 320 and there were plenty of buyers. Site holders were very happy with their sales and generally believed that the Meet was better than the 2019 event.

F1

Jack’s formula for success

Joan De Bondt. Young Jack Thomas from Koondrook has landed a dream job in England as a performance engineer with the Aston Martin F1 team based in Silverstone, around a hundred kilometers from London. Jack has been in his new job for three months. He is a graduate performance engineer, motivated to learn, contribute and win in fast-paced, team environments.

Housing

Home of my own: Eight people move in to new affordable housing units

There were 120 applicants for the eight new affordable housing units in Casino. Eight people now have a home to call their own. Momentum Collective with support from the State Government opened the $2 million affordable housing building in South Casino on May 6.

Mental health

Mum thrilled with the rise of Talk About It Tuesdays

One year after losing her son, Coen grandmother Jackie Perry opens up on why she helped start a movement called Talk About It Tuesday. So far it has drawn support from a cross-section of Cape York, including big organisations.

Conservation

Secret translocation to help save tree species

A species of Gondwana era tree is being translocated for the first time, with 20 seedlings being planted across four secret sites in a NSW Government initiative to save the species. Minister for Environment James Griffin said the endangered Nightcap Oak tree is only found in one region and was severely affected by the 2019/2020 bushfires.

Wildlife

Renewed hope for critically endangered faunal emblem

Eighteen Helmeted Honeyeaters have been released into a special patch of forest within the Yarra Ranges National Park, which houses one of two wild populations of Victoria's faunal emblem. Only 250 Helmeted Honeyeaters currently exist in the wild.

Barkly

Barkly vets take their services to the bush

Kate Foran. It was a terrific team effort. Together they visited Ali Curung, Ampilatwatja, Alpurrurulam, Elliott, Epenarra, Murray Downs and Mungkarta. More than a hundred dogs were desexed ... Two emu chicks were treated for injuries and bandaged ...

International

East Timor 20 years of independence celebration

The Australian Timor Leste Friendship Network was established in 2009, and in the same year, Mount Alexander Shire entered into a Friendship Relationship Agreement with the sub-district of Lolotoe, Timor Leste and Friends of Lolotoe Timor-Leste Incorporated. This friendship is based on mutual support and respect for each other’s culture. The Friendship group started work raising funds for school infrastructure, school resources, scholarships and gardening programs.

Non-profit

Non-profit veterinary service for Mt Alexander

The founding members of Regional Community Vet Clinic (RCVC), Dr Yvette Berkeley, Robyn Slattery and James Mack, were delighted to receive official confirmation from State Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards, on the success of their grant application ... RCVC, as a Not-for-Profit community veterinary clinic, will support the elderly, socially and financially disadvantaged in our community, by providing them with access to affordable preventative veterinary care for their companion animals. This will enable the most vulnerable to continue to live in their own homes with their pets.

Volunteers

Recognising our local firefighting heroes

“The first brigade was established following the bombing of Darwin during World War II, making the NTFRS the only Australian capital city fire service to serve under enemy fire. At this present time, our thoughts are certainly with the courageous efforts of firefighters in Ukraine, their dedication and commitment is a true testament of what a firefighter is when protecting the community”: Chief Fire Officer Mark Spain AFSM.

Youth

Help with hugs

Kirstin Nicholson. There has been a buzz of activity amongst the Cohuna Lions Club’s Leos and Cubs. The Leos and Cubs, which comprise children aged 9 to 18, have been busy sewing items for children in flood-affected Lismore, New South Wales.

Community

Recipe for community success

Emma Pritchard. While discussing how they could help locals affected by the recent floods during the past several weeks, members of the Clarence Valley Community Church and the Lower Clarence Presbyterian Church embraced the idea of opening a community kitchen in Maclean. The two congregations promptly started researching and organising recipes, scouting for a suitable location within the township, and drawing up a roster of volunteer cooks. 

Rehab

Consultation starts for new rehab facility location

“With the new Board of Directors, and myself as Chair of BRADAGG commencing in March this year, we are keen to start moving ahead with a clean slate on this sorely needed alcohol and other drug (AOD) therapeutic treatment facility. The NT Government first committed funding towards a new facility in 2018" : Barkly Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Group Chair, Elliot McAdam. 

Medicine

‘We deserve better.’ A mother and medical student’s mission to improve regional health services

A mother-of-two from Parkes has made the move to Orange to pursue a career in medicine to help address the doctor shortage in rural Australia. Ms Hannah Hawker tells of how she balances study and home life with two children as the University celebrates all its mothers ahead of Mother’s Day on Sunday 8 May.

Nursing

Celebrating nurses in the Barkly region

Nurses around the world were celebrated yesterday as part of International Nurses Day ... This year’s theme is “Nurses: A Voice to Lead - Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health.” We put the spotlight on local Registered Nurse Rizza Pagayon from Tennant Creek Hospital’s GP Clinic.

Sports

Dream comes true for local sport

The new clubhouse and changerooms at the Narrandera Sportsground were officially opened on Saturday with the Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke joining the Member for Farrer Sussan Ley, Narrandera Shire Council Mayor Neville Kschenka and members of the local community for the big event.

Wildlife

Frog alert!

Suzie Christensen. Recent heavy rain on the eastern coast of New South Wales provided some unprecedented challenges for our biosecurity team both on and off the Island. The Hastings River rose very high and ran fresh for some time. Potentially tens of thousands of frogs were washed out of the surrounding lands and found themselves searching for refuge. Now, if you were a frog, where would you go? It seems the logical choice for our amphibian friends was the giant green lily pad also known as the Island Trader.

Governance

Plain language guide to the Lord Howe Island Act

The Island is now home for some 350 people, many of whom have roots going back to its early settlement in the 19th century. Unlike the rest of NSW, the law has never allowed freehold title to be created on the Island. All land on the Island continues to be owned by the Crown ... By 1953, the NSW Government considered that a special Act of Parliament was required to better provide for the care, control and management of the Island. The Government recognised the Island as a unique State tourist asset whose beauty should be preserved.

ANZAC Day

Ramornie unites for ANZAC Day service

Emma Pritchard ... Following the Anzac Address, which was read by Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, wreaths were respectfully laid at the base of the cenotaph and alongside a plaque commemorating the many animals who also served in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.

ANZAC Day 2022 – Koondrook Barham

“Some 2,000 Australians were killed or wounded on 25 April. It was a day of confusion and fear. One soldier called it ‘a day of sorrow’ as he remembered the dead and wounded ... In December, the Anzacs were evacuated. By then, about 8,700 Australians and almost 2,700 New Zealanders had been killed. They were some of at least 130,000 soldiers on both sides who lost their lives at Gallipoli” : Greg Hall, Barham RSL.

Tennant remembers our fallen soldiers

For a small town Tennant Creek always seems to have an excellent turnout for ANZAC Day. Community volunteers, service organisations, visiting serving Defence Force members, former service personnel and family members of those who had served gathered at the Transit Centre for the march to the RSL for the Main Service.

Hornet highlight: Video and photos of the fast jet in the sky

Richard Malawkin managed to take some stunning photos of the F/A-18F Super Hornet flying over Kyogle on April 25. The jet was fast yet Richard captured an image. Here’s how he did it ...

Narrandera pays tribute to ANZACs

"Today we remember the men and women who never made it home - today is their day and that of their mates. We do not glorify war as it is certainly the darkest side of mankind. Today we honour those who died to protect our way of life - today is simply a day of remembrance" : Sgt Daniel Johnson, RAAF Wagga.

Crime

Fuel, firearms, batteries and trailer thefts

Sheryl Lowe. Police are seeking assistance from the community to be on the look-out for suspicious activities. With the price of fuel going up, there has been an increase in fuel theft in the South East particularly in centre pivots in the irrigation system.

Tobacco bust at Thule

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has seized and destroyed over 276,000 kilograms of illicit tobacco across two separate properties in regional NSW. Illicit tobacco equivalent to the weight of approximately 14 bulldozers was seized, with a total estimated foregone excise value of more than $52 million.

Community radio

Radio Waves hit Harcourt

On ANZAC Day the Harcourt Bowling Club was crowded with people from community radio for the celebration of the sector’s 40th birthday and launch of a new commemorative book, Radio Waves. The Bendigo region’s community radio service began from the Harcourt railway station building on ANZAC Day, 25 April 1982. From those beginnings, it grew to the media force it is today, with four operating stations, PhoenixFM, KLFM, FreshFM and MainFM.

$160k for local radio

Gabrielle Duykers. Community radio station 5TCBFM has received a sizable cash injection to update its studio equipment and ensure broadcast continues. At its April meeting, Tatiara District Council voted to grant the station $80,000 to replace broadcast and studio equipment, and approved an additional $80,000 loan to help facilitate further infrastructure upgrades. 

Gardening

Library’s seeds a gift that keeps on giving

Serena Kirby. The Denmark seed library has given out 1300 seed packets since it began in November 2020. Instigated and run by the Denmark Library, there is a biannual Seed Library gathering held at the start of autumn and spring where library members can meet and access free seeds.

Sensory garden

New sensory garden at Maldon Hospital

With the plantings now in place, residents enjoy walking around the central garden bed. They sit and enjoy hearing the water falling in the water tank feature. They hear the sounds of insects and birds, smell the aromatic plants, watch the various patterns of foliage from different plants, and feel the textures of leaves.

Floods

Locals patrol their own community to deter looters as town rebuilds after floods

When Woodburn resident Melanie Connell heard that looters were taking what little people had left, she decided to do something about it ... Melanie wanted residents to know that if they see torches shining into empty backyards, it is the community group looking out for them.

Dunoon & District Sports & Recreation Club

The Dunoon Sports Club was pleased to be able to help people needing a safe place to shelter, and was used for an evacuation centre during the first floods in early March. Thank you to our amazing community of volunteers as they wrangled donations and food, comforted residents and provided cups of tea and coffee, as well as a listening ear through the unfolding disaster.

Investors snap up cheaper flood-hit homes in Woodburn

Houses in Woodburn are selling for 30% less since the floods. Flood damaged homes are on the market but most listings don’t show the asking price ... It is a sensitive time with some residents deciding to sell and leave the area. Some simply can’t face another flood.

Delivered: 25 out of 2000 housing pods for people made homeless by floods

Twenty-five of these homes, also called pods, were delivered to Wollongbar Sports Fields in Ballina Shire this weekend. Many more homes are expected to be delivered to Richmond Valley, Tweed, Byron and Lismore LGAs. Suitable sites in these areas are being discussed.

Trees

Significant Tree Register to help protect shire’s natural history

Trees of significant community or historical value can now be recorded on the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale’s Significant Tree Register, which aims to provide further protection for the trees, as well as recognising the important roles trees play in community health and wellbeing.

Coastline

More protection for the Cotton Tree coastline with new Maroochy Groyne works to start

Sunshine Coast Council will start coastal protection works on Stage 2 of the Maroochy Groyne Field Renewal project next week to help shield the Cotton Tree foreshore from the current and future impacts of coastal erosion.

Invasive species

Seen any feral pigs? Report it

Geoff Helisma. The North Coast LLS’s invasive pests, team leader operations, Dean Chamberlain, said he had not received any recent reports about feral pig sightings in and around Iluka ... “We know from past experience that these pigs are usually moving in and out of the national park, so we work in coordination with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Clarence Valley Council. However, nothing happens if no one tells us; otherwise, we are just sitting in the dark – we need to know so we can take some action.”

Rewilding

New feral free rewilding site for NSW: Griffin

Environment Minister James Griffin said the newest of the seven feral free areas is a 2,000-hectare forest in South East Forest National Park near Bombala, called ‘Nungatta’ ... "when the site is feral predator free, we’ll reintroduce native mammals that were once abundant in this habitat, such as the long-footed potoroo, eastern bettong, smoky mouse, and eastern quoll." ... ARR.News asked a few questions of the Minister and received answers from a departmental spokesperson.

Wildlife

Wildlife monitoring shows species springing back after Black Summer

Small native mammals including bandicoots, antechinus and Bush Rats are showing remarkable recovery two years on from the Black Summer fires, long-term camera monitoring in State forests south of Eden shows. Forestry Corporation of NSW Senior Field Ecologist Rohan Bilney said Forestry Corporation of NSW has been monitoring wildlife at 40 sites in State forests south of Eden since 2007 as part of the Southern Brown Bandicoot Species Management Plan, and every monitoring site was impacted by fires in 2019-20. 

Research

Crocodiles are changing their diet, research shows

Scientists have uncovered evidence that suggests the diet of saltwater crocodiles has shifted away from marine prey towards land-based animals. Researchers at Charles Darwin University compared bone samples from saltwater crocodiles killed around the 1960s, held at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, to those of contemporary saltwater crocodiles.

Wildlife

Star of the Barkly thrives with VIP treament: living proof for the need for a bilby sanctuary

Kate Foran. On 1 November last year, Gladys Brown, Dianne Stokes, Ann Marie and Janita Waistcoat and Joyce Benson happened upon a Bilby that had been hit by a car, out bush north of Tennant Creek. They found a tiny joey in her pouch and brought him into the Barkly Vet clinic for a checkup.