Monthly archives: July, 2018

Traveller numbers mixed

Mixed reports on visitors in Gunnedah for the 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival but numbers are generally steady.Gunnedah is claiming ashare of the tourism dollars created byincreased foot traffic at the 2017 TamworthCountry Music Festival.
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Festival organisers saidon Sundaynumbers could be up as much as 10 per cent on last year’s first day attendance.

A Gunnedah Visitor Information Centre spokesperson said enquiries spiked around mid-last week andremained steady heading into day five of the festival on Tuesday.

“We haven’t seen as many recently but hotels report their bookings are steady for the next few days,” the spokesperson said.

The centre recorded 810 visitors forthe whole of January last year.As of Monday afternoon, with eight days remainingin January, visitor numbers were 667.

Some Gunnedah camp sites appeared less frequentedthis weekand the usually popular RV caravan camping area on South St was virtually deserted.The lonely few campers leftsaid some visitorsstayed inthe days leading up to the festival but none had arrived since.

But it was a different story across town at the Gunnedah Tourist Park on Henry St.

Manager Cheryl Piefke said numbers were definitely up on this time last year.

“It has been a very busy month,” Cheryl said.

“A lot of them, at least half, are here for the festival.”

Others who base themselves in the Gunnedah district for the festival, choose Lake Keepit as a convenient half-way option. But while some travellers head east to Tamworth for their daily country music fix, others are heading west, way west, all the way to Lightening Ridge.

Gunnedah’s information centre reported anumber of travellers heading in that directionrecently. It follows a29% increase in residential land valuein the opal mining town.

Later this year Gunnedah will host theannual Country Music Musterat the showgrounds.

The five-day musterheld from March 29 will feature artistsBob Easter, Rex Baldwin, Val Williamson Trevor Coombs, Jed and Trudi Hintz and Rob Breese among others.

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Eight-week-old kitten found in oil drum

ROAD TO RECOVERY: Just Cats director Rachel Beech with 8-week-old Sila who was found in a drum full of engine oil in Launceston and is now recovering at Just Cats at Longford. Picture: Paul Scambler.Little black kitten Sila has had an unlucky start to life.
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The eight-week-old kitten was foundafter she had fallen into a drum of used engine oil in the Launceston CBD last Monday.

The tiny cat had ingested some of the oil and was drenched in the thick substance that covered her coat.

Just Cats director Rachel Beech said she had received a call about the kitten and sent a volunteer to recover the then-unnamed cat.

“It was a bit touch-and-go because often the outlook for cats who have ingested engine oil is not good, she had to have a lot of car,” she said.

Sila had to get the oil out of her system and there was the potential for permanent damage to her liver.

After a small relapse, the shy kitten has bounced back and is now on the road to recovery at Just Cats.

“It looks like she hasn’t gotten any permanent damage to her liver, which is really good news,” Ms Beech said.

Now her coat and skin has begun to peel, we think she will lose her coat but then she will grow it back.”

There have been more than 20 applications for adoption.

Eight-week-old kitten found in oil drum Some of Just Cats 87 kittens available for adoption from the Longford cat centre. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Some of Just Cats 87 kittens available for adoption from the Longford cat centre. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Some of Just Cats 87 kittens available for adoption from the Longford cat centre. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Some of Just Cats 87 kittens available for adoption from the Longford cat centre. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Some of Just Cats 87 kittens available for adoption from the Longford cat centre. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Some of Just Cats 87 kittens available for adoption from the Longford cat centre. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Some of Just Cats 87 kittens available for adoption from the Longford cat centre. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Some of Just Cats 87 kittens available for adoption from the Longford cat centre. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Some of Just Cats 87 kittens available for adoption from the Longford cat centre. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Some of Just Cats 87 kittens available for adoption from the Longford cat centre. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Some of Just Cats 87 kittens available for adoption from the Longford cat centre. Pictures: Paul Scambler

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Sparks fly over state energy policy clash

POWER: The past, present and future of South Australia’s energy plan have been a hotly-contested issue recently. State Shadow Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan says state Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis’ claims about State Liberal energy policies are ‘complete rubbish and a complete misrepresentation’.
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In a mediarelease issued on Sunday January 22, Mr Koutsantonis said it is ‘incredible’ that state Opposition Leader Steven Marshall thinks he can say he’ll increase reliability and lower prices withoutexplaining how.

“I can only assume Mr Marshall is proposal to buy back elements of the electricity grid that his Liberalparty sold … ” Mr Koutsantonis said.“…Because that’s theonly way he could bring the loss-making, privately-owned Northern Power Station back online, as hehas said he would do.”

Mr Koutsantonis’ claim follow his calls for state Liberal Leader Steven Marshall to announce ‘serious energy policy’ after being the Liberal Leader for 1448 days.Port Augusta based van Holst Pellekaan strongly denied these claims and when asked about the alleged state Liberal plans to buy back elements of the electricity grid, said he has ‘never heard of these ideas’.

“Don’t believe everything he (Mr Koutsantonis)says, we’ve never said we were going to buy back the power station, that’s complete rubbish and a complete misrepresentation,” he said.“His suggestion that the state Liberals ever suggested buying back the power station is complete rubbish, in fact, Alinta offered the state government to have the power station back for free.

He said his earlier claims to reopen the Port Augusta Power Station,would have involved, “When Alinta said we’re in strife, the state government should have said we will give you that help and we’ll help you stay open for 2 years, 4 years, or 6 years or whatever the appropriate time would be so we could have an orderly transition from fossil fuels to renewables,”

He denied that plan would involve keeping the power station open indefinitely and said the money Alinta was asking for was ‘absolutely minute’ compared to the cost that the state has borne since the power station closed.

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New tool in Eurobodalla to identify weeds

Batemans Bay landholder Isabel Darling tries out the new Weed Finder to help identify a noxious asparagus fern, assisted by Eurobodalla Shire Council’s invasive species supervisor Paul Martin. Identifying weeds is now much easier thanks to Eurobodalla Shire Council’s new online Weed Finder.
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Launched by Council’s environment team, the tool enables users to enter keycharacteristics of aweed – such as branch structure, leaf shape, flower and fruit colour – and search results on an extensive database.

It matches possible weeds and provides information on each, including plant description, habitat, dispersal and control methods.

Council’s invasive species supervisor Paul Martin said the initiative helps people to identify weeds on their property and make decisions about how to control them.

“The database features more than 100 species of the most commonly-found weeds in Eurobodalla backyards.

“The finder itself was created with the help of university students, trainees and work experience students, who were involved in the mammoth task of entering data and categorising the various plants.”

The Weed Finder is already proving popular on the new Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens website since it went live in October last year.

Mr Martin said it would continue to grow with the addition of new weeds as needed.

Batemans Bay landholder Isabel Darling said the finder was useful to learn what was growing in her garden.

“It’s good to have a resource to identify local weeds in the area,” she said.

“There’s plants I didn’t realise were weeds. It’s fun to explore.

“The format is great too because it’s mobile-friendly so you can take your device out into the garden and compare the plant to the wide range of photos in the finder.”

Use the finder on the new Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens website at 梧桐夜网erbg.org419论坛/weeds.php or search “Eurobodalla Weed Finder”.

Ifyou still can’t find what you’re looking for, email a photoof the plant to [email protected]论坛

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Crane opens world of dance to students

LAUNCH PAD: Crane Academy can be a springboard for dance dreams.This year Crane Academy of Dance will be celebrating 36 years in the industry.
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Established back in 1981 on the Central Coast, and now with its Weston studio going into its third year at the Weston Civic Centre, it is sure to be another great year for all students at Crane Academy of Dance.

Crane Academy has offered students many opportunities to learn from world-renowned choreographers in all styles of dance since they opened and are looking forward to continuing that again this year.

Zoe Hayward – principal and teacher of Crane Academy at Weston – is very excited about giving all children the chance to learn the wonders of dance at an affordable cost.

“We believe at Crane, that all children should be able to experience the wonderful world of dance,” Zoe said.

“Crane Academy can do this by having classes starting at $7 and offering individual capped prices of $26 per week and family-capped prices of $36.

“We also don’t have any expensive enrolment or registration fees.”

This year Crane Academy Weston will be offering tuition in jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, cheerleading and musical theatre.

Crane will also be offering classes for students wanting to do their dance exams in 2017.

Crane offers classes for children of all ages from toddlers all the way through to seniors and are very excited about seeing all their returning students and meeting all their new students.

If you are interested in joining the Crane family this year, Crane Academy of Dance will be holding registration days on Wednesday, January 25 and February 1 at Weston Civic Centre from 3.30pm to 6pm. Classes resumeMonday, February 6.

For more information, call Zoe Hayward on 0412 989 960.

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Historic house may be saved

First move: the gatehouse after its initial relocation in the first part of the C20. picture: Sue Guthrie.An historic building that was once the gatehouse for the Ballarat Botanical Gardens is hopefully to be returned to its original home, says the current owner.
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Sue Guthrie, whose grandparents bought the cottage on the site it now occupies in Gregory Street in 1928and whose auntRuth Beatonlived in the cottage until she diedaged 101 in 2014, says an agreement has been reached with the Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens (FBBG) to support the historic gatehouse’s return to a suitable position within the gardens.

The house has been the topic of much debate since Miss Beaton’s death, with the FBBG lobbying for the return of the building since it was placed on the market.

It is the oldest surviving building related to the botanical gardens, having been constructed in the late 19thCentury to house the gatekeeper at either the north or south end of the reserve. It has not been established conclusively which gatehouse the Gregory Street building is at this point.

Elizabeth Gilfinnan is the redevelopment convenor for the FBBG. She says the Friends made three applications for the house to be removed to the gardens over two and a half years. All three were rejected by council. They have now applied to have the issue put before the newly-elected council in the hope of a favourable outcome.

She says while the FBBG are aware of the obstacles that stand in front of them, they have secured the support of not only Ms Guthrie, but of a Melbourne architect willing to help adapt the building for modern use, and a donation from a member of the public to pay for the relocation.

For Sue Guthrie, the potential to save the building from likely demolition is a long-fought-for outcome.

Restoration and preservation: the historic gatehouse in its current situation in Gregory Street, Ballarat.

She says the family were about to sell the block with the building on-site, which may have sealed its fate in the hands of a developer hungry only for profit.

“We got to the point where we were going to auction it –out of the blue, before we spoke to them, Elizabeth Gilfillan contacted us saying they did want it and they had been misrepresented by other parties in the process.”

Ms Guthrie said she met withMelbourne architect Richard Teed who saw potential of the building for the FBBG, and reported he had received a positive reactionfrom the council executive to the relocation.

“He’s offered to work pro bono, and Master Builders Victoria have offered help.”

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Hit the court in Moss Vale

NEW SERVICE: Moss Vale Tennis Club president Vic Gerada, Erika Riddle, Scott Halls, Stephen Halls and Alec Pero from Revolution Tennis. Photo: supplied. The Moss Vale Tennis Club has announced a new coaching program.
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Revolution Tennis, a team of fully qualified and Tennis Australia certified professional coaches, has been appointed by the Club to provide a complete coaching and junior program service at the Moss Vale courts. This will add to the current activities run by the Club which focus mainly on adult competition.

The Revolution Tennis team is headed by founding members Stephen Halls, Scott Halls and Erika Riddle.

The Halls brothers were originally from the Highlandsand attended Chevalier College. Erika originates from the US and has an extensive background in Strength and Conditioning for over 20 years. She has an extensive physical education background to help better condition players at all levels.

Alec Pero has a wealth of experience and success working with players at all levels and has been appointed as head coach for Moss Vale and will be responsible for the program at the courts.

He has a genuine passion for tennis and enjoys working with players at all levels, from a very early age through to their progressive years.

In combination with the Revolution Tennis team Pero will offer a range of services to the local community including:

The Tennis Australia Hot Shots Junior Development program, squads, clinics and camps leading to social competition and preparation for higher levels of playTournaments and tournament trainingPrivate lessons for individuals’ skills development.Adult coaching including Cardio Tennis for fitness in a social and fun environment or preparation for social play or competition.Advanced stroke analysis and correction, using the latest in technology.Full range of tennis playing services from racquet fitting to restringing and repairs.The Revolution Tennis team in conjunction with Moss Vale Tennis Club will be holding an open day on Saturday the February 11 from 10am to 2pm.

This will give visitors the opportunityto sample the new programs, more information and a sausage sizzle.

The Moss Vale Tennis Club hasthe Revolution Tennis coaching team and through their services, said they hoped toextendthe use of its courts to a wider section of the Highlands community.

To keep informed about upcoming announcements or fore more detail on the start of programs, visit the Moss Vale Tennis Club website on 梧桐夜网tennis南京夜网419论坛>mossvaletennis or 梧桐夜网facebook南京夜网/mossvaletennisclub.

To contact the Revolution Team directly phone 0432 700 178 or email [email protected]南京夜网419论坛.

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Shooter’s pig-gusting act

Health hazard: Areas in red show some of the dead pigs dumped near Carroll.
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Pig hunters have come under fire after a more than a dozen dead animals were dumped near a school bus stop earlier this month.

Feral pigs allegedly dumped near a school bus stop.

The feral slips, or piglets, had been shot anddiscardednear the corner of Normans and Clifton roads, Carroll.

Long-time resident Kevin Wilkinson said 13carcasses were left to rot near where local children catch the school bus.

“It’s a disgrace,” Mr Wilkinson said.

“They probably think it’s smart leaving them there but it’s not a laughing matter.”

The former abattoir worker said it was not a good look for the hunters.

“They’re getting a bad reputation, cutting fences and leaving gates open,” he said.

A Gunnedah Shire Council spokesperson said depending on the location of the dead animals, council can arrange disposalof dead animals.Those whoare concerned about the presence of dead animals in the area should contact council immediately.

“We haven’t been contacted about this particular instance, however, we urge members of the public to contact us should they have any information about any kind of illegal dumping, including animals,” the spokesperson said.“That way, we can ensure the appropriate action is taken.”

The spokesperson said jobs of this nature were unfortunately an occasional occurrence for council.

“We encourage anyone that is participating in pig chasing to be responsible and think about the impacts that leaving dead animals around could have, particularly near a bus stop where children may be.”

Feral pigs are declared pest animals under theLocal Land Services Act 2013.

This declaration means that feral pigs are to be continually suppressed and destroyed by land managers, according to theNSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

It is illegal to keep or transport live feral pigs.

DPI lists the definition of feral pigs as pigs born in the wild, pigs that have lived in the wild, pigs that demonstrate wild and erratic behaviour andpigs that are not domesticated.

FeralPigScan is a free community website for users to record and map sightings of feral pigs, damage, and control activities.

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Paramedics get ready to hit the road

BOOST: Three new paramedics are coming to central Victoria under a plan to improve the ambulance system.THREE of the48 new paramedics who started their induction training yesterday will be deployed in central Victoriaunder a state government plan to improve ambulance response times.
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The threeparamedics include two ambulance community officers–first responders employed on a casual basis to provide advanced first aid in communities with a low caseload–who willbecome fully qualified paramedics.

Theywill be based at Castlemaine, Kyneton and Woodend.

An Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said the locations were determined “based on a range of factors including where paramedics can be effectively trained, exposed to a range of experiences and matched with the area of greatest need”.

A performancereport from July to September last year showed 54 per cent of the most urgent cases in Mount Alexander Shire, which includes Castlemaine, were responded to within 15 minutes, with an average response time of 18 minutes and 16 seconds.

In the Macedon Ranges, this figure was 59 per cent and an average time of 14 minutes and 48 seconds.

For Ambulance Victoria as a wholethe proportion was 77 per cent, but the statewide target was 85 per cent.

The 48 paramedics are the first cohort of 450 additional paramedics the government has promised to recruit over the next two and a half years as part of a $500 million package aimed at improving the ambulance system.

Three of the 48 are ambulance community officers.

The new paramedics will be out and ready to respond to emergencies from February 13.

Under the government’s improvement plan, there will also be six new “super response” centres, 15 new or upgraded stations, and 12 new rural services.

Pyramid Hill, Lockington and Dingee will be serviced by one of these rural services, which will be staffed by a paramedic community support co-ordinator who will both provide emergency response and workwith other health services.

Tongala, Stanhope, Nagambie and Moira West will also share a new rural service.

Loddon Shirehad just 39 per cent of its most urgent cases responded to within 15 minutes between July and September last year, whilein Campaspe Shire this figure sat at 65 per cent.

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Lachlan Local Area Command urges community to celebrate Australia Day safely

Lachlan Local Area Commander Superintendent Chris Taylor is urging the Parkes community to celebrate safely this Australia Day on Thursday.Lachlan Local Area Command are urging members of the public to plan ahead to makeAustralia Day safe and fun for everyone across the community.
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Millions of Australians will celebrate our national day with family and friends at events and parties throughout the state this Thursday.

Police will launch Operation Goldsmith, a high-visibility policing strategy, involving officers from across NSW to ensure all Australians and their loved ones enjoy themselves this Australia Day.

Acting Deputy Commissioner, Frank Mennilli, encouraged everyone to have a great time but do so in the true Australian spirit of mateship.

“Australia Day is more than just a public holiday – it’s about celebrating everything that’s great about being Australian. We want everyone to do so safely,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Mennilli said.

“With safety as our top priority, we will deploy additional officers on the ground, on the water and in the air, to provide a highly-visible and mobile policing response.

“Those planning to have a drink – know your limits and don’t carry on with foolish behaviour.

“Consider the consequences of your actions and think before you drink – alcohol impairs your judgement and can turn anyone into an offender or victim of crime.”

Lachlan Local Area Commander, Superintendent Chris Taylor said extra local police will be out and aboutas part of Operation Goldsmith, not only to deter crime but arrest anyone breaking the law.

“Significant crowds are expected to celebrate at towns and villages across the command and while we want everyone to have a good time, we won’t tolerate behaviour that risks other people’s safety,” Superintendent Taylor said.

“Plan your day in advance – including how you’re getting home – and if you’re planning to drink, don’t get behind the wheel.

“Finally, anyone lucky enough to be going away for the long weekend is urged to take simple precautions to ensure their home is protected from thieves while they’re away,” Supt Taylor said.

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