Tuesday, December 7, 2021



Rain: road closures and photos flooding in

It rained all night. And continues today. BOM rain monitor Lyn Walters reported 95mm of rain fell in the last 24 hours to 9am this morning at Green Pigeon in Kyogle LGA. The Bureau of Meteorology has kept the minor flood warning in place for Richmond and Wilsons rivers. The constant rain is causing issues.


Loud shirts … let’s talk about that

Geoff Helisma. As a shopper walks past the Yamba Fair Butchery, the ‘extra-loud’ shirts the butchers are wearing is likely to catch their attention and, perhaps, stimulate a thought: Why?


Treasure galore at your local Uniting Church Op Shop

Alba Brockie. Perhaps you have wandered past the old cream coloured building between the Uniting Church and the Butcher and wondered “what goes on in there?”, “what is the story behind this old place?” The current Aladdin’s Cave that is the Uniting Church Op-Shop is located in Tennant Creek’s oldest still used building, the Australian Inland Mission Welfare Hut.


Film night educates about Territory’s water issues

Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) and the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) were in town to talk with interested community members about water issues affecting the region, in particular, the Singleton Station water license decision.

Church closure

Historic Barellan church to close

Val Hawker. The historic Barellan Methodist Church (now Uniting) will be closing soon and to the mark the occasion they will be holding a service of closure at 10am on Sunday December 19 at 10am. The land on which the church now stands was purchased by public auction in Narrandera in August 1909. The purchaser was Carl Reinhold Bauer a farmer of Barellan and the purchase price was eleven pounds ten shillings. Later the land was transferred to the trustees of the Methodist Church in October 1920.


Gala dinner brings celebrities

Kirstin Nicholson. The Cohuna community was treated to a gala event at the weekend which involved a host of celebrities, fine dining and entertainment. The Apiam Chef and Chandeliers Gala was organised by the Cohuna and District Progress Association (CDPA) and over 200 guests attended the event at the Memorial Hall where they dined on a meal prepared by celebrity chef, Manu Feildel, using produce from the region.

Emergency preparations

Emergency location area for horses and large animals in Wanneroo

Wanneroo councillors have given their approval for the city to enter a memorandum of understanding with the Wanneroo Trotting and Training Club for a temporary animal relocation area during emergencies such as bushfires. During the 2019 Yanchep bushfire some Seatrees and Breakwater residents with horses, sheep and alpacas had to leave them behind when they evacuated.


Turtles benefit from Rio’s support

Turtle monitoring around Rio Tinto’s Amrun mine has shown the unusual benefit of a mining company that improves the environment around it. Before the Amrun mine was constructed, turtle hatchings were rare in that part of the Cape, mostly because feral pigs predated nests.


Loads of incentives for the vaccinated

Catherine Grimley. With the COVID-19 outbreak facing communities around Katherine and Robinson River, Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation has ramped up its mobile vaccination clinic in the Barkly in order to keep the community safe.


Environmentally friendly moorings

Lord Howe Island Marine Park staff have recently commenced a trial of environmentally friendly mooring designs to reduce impacts on coral and seagrass in the lagoon. There are 11 courtesy day-use moorings in the Lord Howe Island lagoon which are maintained by the Lord Howe Island Marine Park ... These moorings were originally installed as traditional block and chain swing moorings, which can limit the growth of coral and seagrass within the mooring footprint.

Touring EV

Travelling on Tesla time – for next to nothing

Angela Tillier. We drove our Tesla on a holiday in WA in August and September after buying the Model 3 SR+ - a get to know the car and the charging options. A Plug Share app shows where to charge and I calculated the distances. Wanting to see wildflowers and visit some favourite coastal towns, the trip required careful planning as some areas had no chargers.

Toy Run

Rumble for a cause

Kirstin Nicholson. The district was filled with the sights and sounds of 110 motorbikes and 44 cars on the weekend, all part of the Gannawarra Memorial Toy Run (GMTR). The toy run was organised by John Webb and his team for the Combined Churches group. Toys and money collected on the day, and in the collection bins around the district, will be used for hampers to be distributed across the district in December. 


Portland Roads stalwart has his say on proposal

Greg Westcott. More than 40 years on from the demolition of the historic Portland Roads jetty, the community is divided by persistent lobbying by a minority of local property owners for the construction of a rock wall and boat ramp that, when completed, will extend out from “the point” about 190 metres into deep water.

Bushfire recovery

When you invite Envite, the weeds are pulled and native flora saved

Two years ago, bushfire ravaged Bungawalbin land. Property owner Jimmy Malecki had to flee his home known as The Bog on the day the fire tore through the tall trees. The film maker is documenting the recovery from the bushfire which includes regular visits from the Envite team. Envite coordinator Maree Thompson said they were working with Landcare groups and about 10 private landowners and working on seven National Park reserves.


What is a ‘Story Dog’?

Story Dogs is a reading support program where selected children read to an accredited dog and its handler ... Rusty and his handler Kathy are the Clarence Valleys first Story Dog team. They visit Gillwinga Public School in South Grafton each week to listen one on one to a pre-selected group of children who benefit from Rusty’s calm and relaxed manner. 


Library upgrade celebrates Nambour’s history

A special morning tea event at Sunshine Coast Council’s Nambour and Heritage Library has celebrated the venue’s contemporary and vibrant new look. Division 10 and Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said the Nambour and Heritage Libraries formed an integral part of our hinterland community, with more than 87,000 people coming through their doors during the past 12 months.

Field trip

Hallowell home to ‘evolutionary laboratory’

Patricia Gill. Noongar man Larry Blight can feel the presence of spirits at culturally-significant sites and experiences a racing heart in those for ‘women’s business’ ... Larry was speaking at a Denmark Environment Centre-presented field trip at Koorumdinup on November 7 along with professor of biodiversity at the University of WA, Stephen Hopper.

Bike events ‘threat to biodiversity’

Mountain bike events should be held on private property to avoid conflicting use with culturally-important Noongar sites and fragile biodiversity. So says University of WA professor of biodiversity Stephen Hopper, a view which traditional owner of Koorumdinup (Mt Hallowell), Menang man, Larry Blight shares.

Invasive species

Australia’s native wildlife in grip of unprecedented attack: CSIRO

Australia is in the grip of an unprecedented alien attack on its native wildlife and environment, with experts warning more of our unique flora and fauna is in danger of disappearing by 2050 unless urgent action is taken. 

Trapped: Corn and molasses is like ‘chocolate’ to feral pigs

Andy Marson and Craig Faulkner are at a property at Bungawalbin searching out feral pigs. They use sweetcorn and molasses to lure the pigs out. “It’s like chocolate for us,” Craig said. As consultants working for ReconEco, an environment consultancy firm based in Lismore, the men are working with the Envite team at Jimmy Malecki’s place, as part of a post-bushfire program to restore the land.

Cat-astrophe no more: Novel implants to protect Australia’s wildlife from feral cats

New technology developed by the University of South Australia may put an end to predatory cat behaviours in native environments and help control Australia’s feral felines. sing polymer chemistry principles, researchers at UniSA’s Applied Chemistry and Translational Biomaterials Group have created novel Population Protecting Implants (PPIs) to provide a targeted method for controlling invasive and problem feral cats.

Blue trees

Blue lease on life

Gabrielle Duykers. A dead tree outside Lucindale has been transformed into a bright blue beacon which local suicide prevention advocates hope will help spark conversations around mental health ... While the Blue Tree Project has seen 36 blue trees pop up around South Australia, the Lucindale addition is the first to feature in the Limestone Coast. 


Corella culling begins

Gabrielle Duykers. Local council will begin its annual shooting of corellas throughout the district this month in an attempt to mitigate damage caused by the species. At its October meeting, Naracoorte Lucindale Council moved to begin its Little Corella Management Program 2021-22 which will extend to April 2022.


Timber! How will the 1930s felled hoop pine be honoured in the village?

In a village known for its 1930s hoop pines, it was a sorry sight to see one of its tallest beauties felled this morning. The tree towered above the lavender canopy of the jacaranda nestled below its branches at the Bonalbo Tourist Park ... Marion moved to Bonalbo because she “fell in love with the hoop pines.”


No longer a rocky road when breakwater gets new path

Work has started on what will be one of the most exciting pathways in Evans Head. The pavement along the southern breakwall will have a $150,000 upgrade making it easier to walk along the breakwater with the sea on both sides.


Yanchep shopping centre extension gets tick of approval

The $22m expansion of the Yanchep Central Shopping Centre has been approved by the Metro Outer JDAP after a short delay due to Main Roads WA’s concerns about future vehicle queuing along Peony Blvd during peak periods ... The shopping centre expansion is estimated to result in 106 construction jobs and up to 723 centre positions.


Staying safe around the Victorian Goldfields Railway

The Castlemaine and Maldon Railway Preservation Society, the operator of the Victorian Goldfields Railway, would like to ask the residents of Castlemaine and Maldon to be more mindful of the trains ... One child was playing extremely close to the line ... most probably would have been struck by the locomotive, had the locomotive crews not taken prompt action to bring the locomotive to a halt approximately three to four metres from the child.


City Hall lights up for Christmas

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Environment and Community Committee Chair Cr James O’Shea said after a difficult two years, the festive spirit was well and truly here with Council thrilled to be involved in the CBD’s Christmas celebrations, giving everyone something to enjoy this Christmas season.

Rural competition encourages residents to ‘jingle all the highways’

Rural households across the Western Downs are being urged to dig out their decorations and build their brightest festive displays as part of this year’s ‘Christmas Where the Gumtrees Grow’ competition. Entries are now open for this year’s challenge which encourages residents in rural areas to decorate their letterboxes, property entrances and farm machinery for a chance to win some incredible prizes.


CWA ladies get in the festive spirit

The ladies of the CWA have been getting busy at the moment as they decorate the hall in preparation for the Lions Seniors Christmas lunch to be held tomorrow. The annual event is hosted by the Lions Club, but the CWA members pitch in to help make it special by decorating the hall and creating a festive mood.


Eaglehawk Motel has sold

Christopher Creek and Deborah Benson have have owned and run the Eaglehawk Motel since January 2013. They have now secured a buyer for the motel after having it on the market for the past three to four years ... Chris is excited to settle down in Maldon and is hoping to spend his time completing a revised edition of Rich Vein, to try and include more of the First Nations’ account. 


Environmental defenders inducted into Hall of Fame

Geoff Helisma. Clarence Valley environmental defenders John and Pat Edwards were inducted into the Allen Strom Hall of Fame at the Nature Conservation Council’s NSW Environment Awards ... “Individuals for this award have been actively involved in the conservation movement for many years, have made a constant and invaluable contribution to the environment and have displayed qualities of integrity, reliability and commitment.”


Adventure: Making her own tracks with five camels and a rest stop in Bonalbo

The first thing Sophie Matterson does at a new camp spot, after she has unloaded the packs from her five camels, is to put the billy on and make a cup of tea. In April last year, the 33 year old Brisbane woman set off on a camel trek from Shark Bay in Western Australia. On Sunday night she was bedding down at the Bonalbo Showground in the chicken shed.


Researchers examine COVID-19 modelling to improve regional NSW strategies

Recent research by a team at Charles Sturt University aims to help develop a robust research framework for regional New South Wales to help improve the control strategy for COVID-19 at the regional level in NSW. It can also assist other infectious disease epidemics.


Goulburn Hospital delivers first class care

The Southern Tablelands community will benefit from a major upgrade of hospital services with the official opening of Goulburn Hospital’s clinical services building ... Minister Hazzard said the four-storey building brings state-of-the-art healthcare services together under one roof, providing seamless care in a modern health facility.


100 year milestone for Phillip Island’s little penguins

Today marks a significant milestone for Phillip Island Nature Park and the very popular little penguins − which were put on the map as a must-see experience 100 years ago today ... Penguin numbers on the island have almost tripled since the mid-1980s − from 12,000 to around 32,000 breeding birds today thanks to extensive conservation work.


Meet Lukkanu – the star of the Barkly!

An unbelievable discovery unfolded in the Barkly on Tuesday after one of the most endangered species in Australia - the Bilby - was found near Bootu Creek Mine. Tennant Creek's Barkly Vet Practice was contacted by a woman from the mine who came across a mother Bilby’s body, and held onto it until Central Land Council Rangers came to pick it up. In the mother’s pouch was a baby.

New frog species ‘hopping’ into protection

A new frog species has been discovered in Wollumbin National Park in northern New South Wales, and is one of only two known species that store their tadpoles on their bodies. Researchers from University of Newcastle and the South Australian Museum recently identified the species as distinct from its close relation, another ‘hip-pocket’ or pouched frog Assa darlingtoni, after genetic analysis. 

Turtles on the move across Greater Shepparton

Greater Shepparton City Council has received several reports of turtles exploring local lakes and wetlands, with the rainy conditions triggering turtles to look for safe sites to lay their eggs.


New infrastructure protects ancient petroglyphs at Ewaninga

New infrastructure at a Central Australian conservation reserve will help protect prehistoric Aboriginal rock engravings and enhance visitor safety to the site. The new viewing platform and boardwalk at Napwerte/Ewaninga south of Alice Springs, enables visitors to have an optimal view of the petroglyphs which date back around 30,000 years, while preventing inadvertent damage to the works by visitors.

War memorial

Avoca War Memorial has new lease on life

Avoca’s iconic War Memorial will be celebrated this week, following months of restoration work ... Built in 1921, the Avoca War Memorial was constructed by the local community to remember those who fought in the First World War. The memorial was later rededicated in 1988 to also commemorate soldiers who served in the Second World War.

History & Heritage

Geraldton commemorates 100 years of air services

This year marks 100 years since the first subsidised air-mail service in Australia, and Geraldton holds a rich history in the momentous milestone. In 1921, Major Norman Brearley, a decorated pilot with the Royal Air Force, was awarded a Government tender to deliver the country’s first subsidised air-mail and passenger contract. Tragically, during the inaugural flight, one of the three planes flying from Geraldton to Carnarvon met with disaster near Murchison House Station. 100 years later, that milestone is being commemorated with an RAAF aerial acrobatics display and the launch of a historical booklet.


Vollies: Blazing a trail of 99km of fencing since bushfires

For 2789 days, BlazeAid volunteers have been helping fix fences on rural properties destroyed in the bushfires. BlazeAid camp coordinator Ron “Spud” Murphy said most of the volunteers are ‘grey nomads’ ... BlazeAid came to Richmond Valley in November 2019 after the bushfires.

Farmers wanted

Are you a farmer who has been affected by bushfires?

Farmers who have been through a bushfire are wanted for a research project looking to gain a better understanding of the psychological impacts of bushfires and the support that farmers want in the aftermath. The lead researcher, Dr Kate Gunn, Senior Research Fellow and Clinical Psychologist from the University of South Australia, herself grew up on a farm near Streaky Bay in South Australia.