Monthly archives: October, 2018

Freak storm guts Guyra spud festival

Disaster zone: Volunteers from the local SES branch commence the clean-up on Friday afternoon as rain continues to fall after the storm which flattened the 31st Guyra Lamb and Potato Festival.Six people are injured after a wild storm lashed the Guyra Lamb and Potato Festival on Friday afternoon.
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Game plan: Emergency response teams plan the clean-up beside Guyra’s iconic lamb which, just moments earlier, rested under a marquee that became airborne.

Music program director Ian Russell is out ofintensive care but still in Armidale hospital after suffering a fracturedskull.

Mr Russell was in a corner of the music tent when suddenly the whole thing went up in the air.

Some residents say it was like a“tornado” ripping through town.

Stall holder Lindsay Stemp suffered massive bruising and lacerations and had 12 stitches to his hand. His wife Noala suffered bruises.

Another stall holder, Christine Finch sprained onewrist and her little finger on the other hand.

Winds were so strong that resident Hayley Eddy watched two children cling to a fence while a bike blew across the middle of the road.

“We had two kids pinned up against the fence and they couldn’t move,” she said.

Festival volunteer Jeff Reeves was preparing food in the gazebo when the storm began to escalate.

“I was standing in the gazebo looking out,” Mr Reeves said.

“I could see the rain swirling around and you couldn’t see through it.

“There was a gust of wind and it just lifted the whole lot and put it straight up the top of the tree.”

Massive clean-up: A stall beside the gazebo is flattened in the storm, leaving owners with nothing left to salvage from the wreck.

Long-time volunteer Bertha Reeves also watched the 31st festival transform into a disaster zone.

But luckily she hadthree big potato bakes prepared for volunteers who worked through the evening cleaning up.

The festival is up-and-running again and will wrap up on Sunday, January 29.

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What’s in your child’s lunchbox?

TAKE NOTE: Parents are being urged to swap white bread for wholegrain; poppers with a high sugar content for coconut water poppers; a standard musli bar for a wholegrain version; and chips, sweet biscuits and salted crackers for popcorn.Cancer Council Queensland has urged parents to think twice about their child’s health and wellbeing when packing snacks, to eat at school, and filling lunchboxes.
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Spokeswoman Katie Clift said readingfood labels and checkingthe health star rating on packaged products was important for parents to do, as a child’s lunchbox could contain many hidden calories.

“Too often lunchbox snacks are promoted as healthy choices, but contain high levels of saturated fat, sugar and salt, which can negatively impact children’s health and wellbeing,” she said.

“The majority of lunchbox items should be wholefoods from the five recommended food groups.”

Ms Clift encouraged residents to pack whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, lean meats, eggs, poultry, wholegrain breads and low fat dairy products –including plain milk, yoghurt and cheese.

“Processed and packaged foods should be avoided as much as possible,” she said.

“Parents should check the kilojoule content on packaged food products, keeping in mind that one serve of a ‘discretionary food item’ is 600kj.

“It is also important to read the ingredients list and take note of the sugar, saturated fat and sodium (salt) levels.

“Try to avoid large amounts of added sugars.

“Aim for less than 15g of sugar per 100g and check that sugar is not listed high on the ingredient list.

“The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend four and a half serves of vegetables daily for children four to eight, and five serves a day for children aged nine to 11.”

For more information on how to prepare a healthy lunchbox, visit the Cancer Council Queensland’s website at cancerqld.org419论坛.

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Prices up but sites scarce

Property prices in the Great Lakes are either stable or rising, thanks to steady demand and scarcity of sites.Land values are up generally, according to the latest NSW Valuer General’s report on land values across the MidCoast region.
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The results reveal a consistent rise in overall residential land values across the three former council areas between 2015 and 2016.

Across the Great Lakes, the trend was varied with residential land showing a moderate increase of 7.3 per cent; rural land showing a slight five per cent increase due to increased demand for hobby farms and rural sites; while commercial and industrial land values were steady. The moderate property increase in the Great Lakes was driven by increased demand due to a decrease in the number of properties available.

Village zoned properties at Tarbuck Bay showed a slight decrease. Non-waterfront village zoned properties at Pindimar showed a moderate decrease andproperties at Coomba Park with water views showed a strong decrease due to reduced demand with lower sales volumes. Land values in Hawks Nest were generally steady.

Overall the Great Lakes recorded an increase in land values of 6.6 per cent.

In Taree there was a slight increase in overall land values but again the trend was varied between the different zones with residential land showing a moderate increase (5.3 per cent); rural land showing a slight increase (4.1 per cent); commercial and industrial land values were steady.

Residential values were mainly driven by increased demand for single dwelling sites in the coastal localities of Old Bar, Harrington and Wallaby Point. Residential zoned properties at Black Head showed a slight reduction in land value for sloping sites in the higher value segment of the market. Residential land values at Wingham, Taree West and Taree North were generally steady.

Land values for commercial property at Wingham increased in value by around fiveper cent, whileindustrial land values at Wingham increased “moderately”.

Overall the former local government area’s land value went up by 4.5 per cent.

Gloucester’s land values were steady with the exception of residential which showed a slight increase (3.1 per cent)and commercial which showed a slight decrease (minus four per cent) due to lower demand and sales volumes. Residential sales were mainly driven by increased demand for privately owned single dwelling sites.

“The exception is rural residential home sites south of Gloucester where land values have increased strongly over the past year.”

Industrial and rural land values remained steady. Land values for the small degree of broad-acre rural properties generally remained stable over the past 12 months.

Gloucester’s total land value increase went up by 0.8 per cent.​

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Australian pride celebrated in style

AUSTRALIA DAY CELEBRATIONS: Walcha’s oldest resident Poppy McLaren raises a flag to kick off Australia Day festivities. Mrs McLaren turned 100 years old late last year and received a letter from Her Majesty the Queen.
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Every year on January 26 the nation joins together to celebrate the characteristics of mateship, courage and determination that drive Australians.

This year Walcha residents will be joined by ambassador Ron Delezio who shares a story of true resilience.

In2003 the Delezio family was thrown into the spotlight when then two-year-old Sophie was trapped under a burning car that had crashed into the Roundhouse Childcare Centre in Sydney.

Ms Delezio suffered burns to 85 percent of her body and lost both feet, her hand and her right ear.

Mr Delezio and his wife Carolyn founded the Day of Difference Foundation, a charity that raises funds for research into pediatric burns.

Walcha Australia Day committee secretary Steve McCoy said he hoped the community would benefit from Mr Delezio’s words.

“We’ve had quite a few fantastic ambassadors in Walcha over the years, we get a mixture of all different types of people –one year we had the lady who does the voice of Blinky Bill,” he said.

The Australia Day festivities kick off at 7:30am with a barbecue breakfast in McHatten Park, followed by a flag raising ceremony at 8:30am by the local fire brigade.

At 9am the ceremony will be officially opened by Walcha mayor Eric Noates.

“The mayor will give a speech, we also give out five special awards including Citizen of the Year, Junior Citizen of the Year, Sportsperson and Junior Sportsperson of the Year and Community Group or Event of the Year,” Mr McCloy said.

“Those successful people are chosen by a committee of the mayor and the presidents of the three service clubs in Walcha.

“It’s a bit of a surprise on the day, everyone comes along to find out who’s won an award because nobody really knows so I think they’re all interested to know who it is.”

The speeches will be followed by music and bush poetry by Gordon Edmond.

The ambassador will be taken on a tour of Walcha and stop at the Riverview Aged Care centre for a visit with Poppy McLaren.

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Musician overcomes distance barrier

Committed: Year 9 St Columba Anglican School student Abigail French travels to Newcastle regularly to have face to face lessons with her teacher. West Haven resident Abigail Frenchhasn’t let distance stop her from pursuing her passion for music.
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Abi travels to Newcastle fortnightly forlessons after she received a scholarship from the Newcastle Conservatorium in 2014.

On alternate weeks Abi participates inteleconferencing lessonsbetween the NewcastleConservatorium and St ColumbaAnglican Schoolwhere she is currently in Year 9.

“It’s one of the frustrating parts of living away from the city and studying music at that level is that you have those barriers,”Abi’sfather Greg French said.

“Technology is starting to break those down a little bit.

“Still it’s not as good as being face to face and the request has been made for her to do a weekly journey this year.”

Mr French said it is expensive to commute to Newcastle and Abi has to miss a day of school.

However Mr French said the benefits of musical education outweigh the issues that arise with distance.

Abi said she is excited to practice her violin everyday.

In 2017Abi will be complete her eighth grade under the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) and will participate in theproduction of Into the Woodsat The Players Theatre.

It is Abi’s dreamto play with an international orchestra and be involved ina couple of seasons on Broadway.

Abi has gone through times when she hasn’t been motivated to practice but she said it is important to commit tothe instrument.

“I went through patches where I didn’t want to pick it up but once you get over them it’s so much fun,” she said.

Abi started playing Suzuki violin when she was four-years-old in Perth.

She was inspired by watching her mother play the flute in a Perth orchestra.

At 13-years-old Abi was the youngest recipient of the James Hannah Scholarship with Sinfonia Mid North Coast.

Abi is also involved with the Mid North Coast Strings Alliance (MNCSA)and was leader of the youth orchestra when the group went on tour to Adelaide in April, 2016.

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