Monthly archives: November, 2018

It’s time for desexing

Kittens: Crookwell Vet Hospital says desex your pets this February. Photo: fileFebruary is ‘Desexing Month’, so Crookwell Vet Hospital encourages all owners with non-desexed pets to book them in.
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Whether cat or dog, male or female, young or old, responsible animal owners have all pets and working dogs desexed.

Pets are rarely too old to desex.Significant health benefits result, including prevention of two serious disease conditions.


Pyometra is a life-threatening infection of the uterus seen in middle-aged to older non-desexed female dogs, eight to 12 weeks after coming into season (less commonly in cats).

It is dangerous for the pet and requires major surgery and intensive care to treat successfully, but desexing stops pyometra developing.


More than 80 per cent of non-neutered eight-year-old male dogs can develop painful prostate disease, making it difficult to pass faeces and urine. Castration causes the prostate gland to shrink.

Castrating dogs before they are one year old stops the development of prostatic disorders altogether.

It is also safe and common practice to desex puppies and kittens from eight weeks of age. Health benefits include:

Females desexed before their first heat have little to no incidence of mammary tumours, their most common cancerDesexed female pets will not develop life-threatening pyometraCastrating dogs before one year of age prevents prostatic disorders and testicular cancerDesexed male cats are less likely to urinate inappropriately and fight for territory. Fights between cats cause abscesses and increase the risk of contracting potentially fatal viruses such as feline immunodeficiency virus (feline AIDS) and feline leukaemia virus.

The environment benefits hugely too. Feral cats right across Australia kill huge numbers of native birds and small mammals.

During February, the Crookwell Vet Hospital is offering 10 per cent off all desexing surgery and half-price geriatric blood screen before surgery for older pets.

Jennie Churchill is co-owner ofCrookwell Vet Hospital. Phone4832 1977

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Coolana presents huge opportunity at 2017 sale

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MARCHING IN: Coolana Angus females and their 2016 drop calves being mustered at Coolana.

In life, people only regret the chances they didn’t take.

For the Gubbins family at Coolana, succession planning has always been big on the agenda and, as a result, they have made the decision to end 45 years of seedstock cattle breeding in March.

This will present an opportunity for cattle producers like few others, with what is believed to be the largest ever dispersal of more than 1200 seedstock Angus females at the Victorian Chatsworth base on Thursday, March 2 and Friday, March 3.

When senior principal Mark Gubbins took on the property from his father, Peter, in 1985, Coolana sold 18 bulls.

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Such has been the success of the program that Mark and his wife, Anna, had virtually become slaves to their own business.

“There is not a lot of point in growing the roses if you don’t ever get a chance to smell them,” Mark said.

“For a better life balance, hard decisions had to be made and with our son Max now home and well entrenched in the property management, it was the obvious time to step back and allow the next generation to follow their own dreams.”

Mark said it was not a case of abandoning ship, but rather sailing a course to calmer waters.

The sheer volume of work involved in running more than1200 registered Angus females, plus about 300 Black Simmentals from their more recent cross-Simmental breeding venture proved to be too much for the family, and, it would be unfair to expect Max to carry on single-handedly.

Once the momentous decision has been fully enacted, the Coolana properties at Chatsworth, Vic, and Meningie, SA, will revert to running commercial cattle and sheep.

But that will not be finalised until September 2018 when the last of the current bull drops will be sold.

This will see autumn and spring bull sales being staged in 2017 and 2018, with only Angus bulls being offered in autumn and both breeds being offered in the 2017 and 2018 spring sales.

This dispersal will also include their cross-Simmental Black Simmental herd, comprising of about 300 females.

The sale will take place on Tuesday, February 28, offering world leading genetics from the renowned Lewis herd in Canada, originally imported as embryos.

In what will be a huge week for the Gubbins, having previously made the decision to hold only one autumn Angus bull sale this year, they will then be offering 140 top Angus bulls at Chatsworth on Wednesday, March 1.

This makes the schedule of four sales in four days, offering 1500 Angus and Black Simmental females and 140 Angus bulls, presenting an amazing opportunity for seedstock and commercial cattle producers like no other.

Those who make the most of these chances will most certainly stand to gain the benefits of 45 years of dedicated genetic breeding that has produced wonderful high performing cattle off grass.

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Australia DayPublic urged to plan ahead

Aussie pride: Twin sisters Marit and Marlon Van Breenen dressed up in Australia Day flag last year.MID North Coast Local Area Command are urging members of the public to plan ahead to make Australia Day safe and fun for everyone across the community.
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Police will launch Operation Goldsmith, a high-visibility policing strategy, involving officers from across NSW to ensure all Australians enjoy themselves this Australia Day.

Mid North Coast Local Area Commander, Superintendent Paul Fehon said extra local police will be out and about across the whole of the Mid North Coast as part of Operation Goldsmith.

“We will have the Police Dog Squad, Police on bikes, in vehicles and on the water to ensure the safety of everyone during this time of celebration,” Supt Fehon said.

“Significant numbers are expected to celebrate at various locations and while we want everyone to have a good time, we won’t tolerate behaviour that places others at risk.

“This year we will increase our presence along the beaches including Lake Cathie.”

The northern end of Horton Street (Town Green) will be closed to all traffic from 6am until 4pm on Thursday to cater for Port Macquarie Australia Day celebrations.

All vehicles are required to be removed from this area prior to 6am.

Any vehicles parked in the area after 6am will not be accessible until after 4pm and could be subject to a fine. The road closure will be sign posted to assist traffic detour and control.

Alcohol is prohibited in all Port Macquarie-Hastings parks, beaches and beach reserves from sunset on Wednesday 25 January until sunrise on Friday 27 January.

These areas are called Alcohol Prohibited Zone’s (APZ) and the NSW Police Force will be actively enforcing the ban. The restriction overrides all existing park and beach signage during this period.

There are currently no current alcohol free zones in either Wauchope or Laurieton

“Remember, it is a time to enjoy but not to spoil it for others,” Supt Fehon 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.

“Most importantly we are urging people to take notice of Alcohol Prohibited Zones across the Command.

“Special restrictions operate on Australia Day which includes alcohol being prohibited in all parks, beaches and beach reserves across the Port Macquarie/Hastings area.”

For further information on Australia Day activities across the Port Macquarie-Hastings region visit pmhc.nsw.gov419论坛/australiaday or contact Council on 6581 8111.

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From Launceston to Tamworth

COUNTRY PASSION: Musician David Lee has been participating at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, busking on the streets of New South Wales. Picture: supplied.
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Launceston musician David Lee has ticked off one of his bucket list items by busking for the first time at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Mr Lee has performed at country shows around Tasmania but said he had never busked or performed at Tamworth before.

Country music has always been Mr Lee’s passion, since he was a toddler.

“I’ve always enjoyed it; I grew up listening to people like Charlie Pride and people like that,” he said.

“I love the sound, I love the stories behind the songs.”

Mr Lee said he had always wanted to attend and participate at Australia’s biggest country music festival but it took a bit of prodding from his wife to give him the motivation to attend this year.

Mr Lee said he learned to play the guitar when he was 13-year-old but has only played country shows in Tasmania before Tamworth.

“I was on the Coca-Cola stage the other day, that’s a pretty big one to get on to, and the atmosphere was amazing,” he said.

He said he was able to play cover songs from Lee Kernaghan and Charlie Pride as part of his busking scene but he also played some original songs that he co-wrote.

“I released an album just before I got up here so it was great to be able to play some of those songs, I haven’t really played any of them public before because I was saving them for here,” he said.

He said he’d learned a few things while at the festival he hoped to bring back home for his performances in Tasmania.

“The atmosphere is so welcoming, it’s so positive but there’s a lot happening,” he said.

Mr Lee said he’d definitely come back to Tamworth. He is travelling with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

Tamworth Country Music Festival is held at Tamworth, New South Wales from January 20-29.

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Giwining to reopen

Giwining was badly damaged by flood in December 2015.Tucked away off the Victoria Highway, Giwining, or the Flora River Nature Park, is a beautiful spot ideal for a quiet weekend away spent tossing a hopeful line into the river or watching out for the many different birds living in the forests.
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This tiny 78 square kilometre park protects 25km of the Flora River and with it amazing looking animals such as the pig-nosed turtle, fascinating rock formations called tufa dams and spectacular forests that fringe the river.

The traditional custodians of Giwining are the Wardaman people and the park helps protect their cultural landscape. Senior custodians perform ceremonies and songs and tell stories along song-lines that traverse the area and around the parks sacred sites.

Rainfall over the Christmas week of 2015 smashed many records across the Top End. A monsoon trough produced falls of between 230mm and 852mm in a few days over the lower Daly River catchment including the Flora River with more than half of this falling in about 24 hours over Christmas and Boxing Day.

That much water in 24 hours!

Giwining will feelthe effects of this weather event for many years to come.

Floodwaters badly damaged infrastructure inside the park with walking tracks, toilet blocks, bore pumps and access tracks all needing repair or replacement while the small boat launch was washed away entirely.

The biggest change was in the forests that fringe the river. Usually home to many different critters, these thick shady swathes of greenery almost disappeared. Floodwaters uprooted huge fig trees and tall palms alike with raging waters scouring even the top soil away in many parts.

Giwining has been closed to visitors since the flood. Rangers have been working hard to repair or replace the toilet blocks and walking tracks so that visitors can enjoy this beautiful spot again in 2017. Weed management programs inside the park have also been in full swing with many problematic introduced plants popping up in the bare soil.

What we can’t immediately replace are the age old trees from along the river bank. These will definitely return to provide shade and shelter, one day, in their own time.

The Parks and Wildlife Commission hopes to have Giwining up and running for the dry season of 2017 so why not plan for a short mid-year break, watching the birds, staring up and the stars and waiting for the world to turn.

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