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Green innovators rewarded at GAIA function

TWO inspirational innovators in the agriculture industry were recognised on Saturday night.
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The annual Green Agriculture Innovation Awards were presented at a dinner function at The Wharf Restaurant in Merimbula.

The recipients for this, the fifth and final GAIA presentation, were Lynne Strong and Tanya Privitera, both passionate advocates for the dairy industry.

Ms Strong initiated Dairy Youth Australia and the innovative Art4Agriculture programs including Picasso Cows and the Archibull Prize, which use art and multimedia to engage thousands of students across Australia in learning about the valuable role farmers play in our nation’s future.

When collecting her prize of $5000 she highlighted the future of farming lies with today’s youth – “people with fire in their bellies”.

Ms Privitera runs a small dairy herd – “they all have names” – with her family. She said her father Barry has supplied milk to Murray-Goulburn for 60 years.

She was one of the instigators of Gippsland Dairy Youth, served on the Dairy Committee of the Royal Melbourne Show, was a recipient of the $10,000 Victorian Rural Ambassador Award and winner of the Victorian Youth Fellowship competition.

The awards were presented by long-time Angledale dairy farmer Ken Kimber.

Mr Kimber started in the Bega Valley with 80 cows and now milks 1000 over 1800ha.

He is a convert to the green agriculture and healthy soil science advocated by, among others, GAIA organiser Dr Christine Jones.

Dr Jones congratulated the two award recipients, but was “humbled” by the great achievements of many in the room Saturday night.

“I really appreciate the venue, but the most special thing about tonight is the people here,” Dr Jones said.

“We are here to celebrate the two winners, but you all have such amazing achievements in your landscapes, on your farms and in your lives.

“I’m humbled and honoured to have you all here tonight.

“I hope you’re all feeling proud of what you have achieved.”

Dr Jones also shared a few thoughts on the Federal Government’s “Direct Action” policies – and not positive ones.

“We all got very excited last year with the carbon farming initiative, but since then not one single payment has been made to a farmer for soil carbon,” she said.

“We then were very excited before the election [about Direct Action], but there has been no talk since.

“On Thursday, the Coalition government announced that any movement on Direct Action would need to have an appropriation bill passed before any expenditure could happen and ‘maybe they’ll do something next year’.

“If you were holding your breath, breathe again now because it looks like it is going to take a very long time.”

Green Agriculture Innovation Award recipients (from left) Lynne Strong and Tanya Privitera are congratulated by GAIA organiser Dr Christine Jones at a gala function at The Wharf Restaurant on Saturday night.

GAIA organiser Dr Christine Jones and Angledale dairy farmer Ken Kimber present Lynne Strong with her award.

GAIA organiser Dr Christine Jones and Angledale dairy farmer Ken Kimber present Tanya Privitera with her award.

Lisa Roberts from Provincial Plants chats with dairy farmer Ken Kimber during pre-dinner drinks at Saturday’s function.

Enjoying pre-dinner drinks in the Merimbula aquarium are (from left) Denis and Jenny Baker with Charlie and Anne Maslin.

Gary and Karen Hooley enjoy the GAIA awards function on Saturday night.

GAIA award recipients Lynne Strong and Tanya Privitera take in the sights of the Merimbula aquarium before the official dinner function.

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Cheika’s scouting mission opens doors for Blue Bulls

ALWAYS on the lookout for rugby potential, Michael Cheika will be keeping a watchful eye on Central West players this Saturday night.
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The NSW Waratahs coach will be in Orange as an assistant coach to Blue Bulls mentor Matt McRobert for the HeartKids Rugby Cup clash between the Central West and the Deadwood Rugby Club at Endeavour Oval this weekend.

In a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Cheika will be extending an invitation to any Blue Bulls player that shows potential to come and train with his Super Rugby franchise this pre-season.

“It’s one thing he’s been doing with subbies and club rugby this year. If you’ve got potential, come down and train for a day and show us what you’ve got,” Australian Rugby Union western NSW development manager Mark Debrincat said.

Rarely has a team of the calibre of Deadwood ventured to the Central West to test the region’s best players; even rarer has been the chance to train with professionals.

“But that’s what he’s about,” Debrincat continued.

“It’ll basically be last year’s Central West side. Matt McRobert and the team are going to use this game as a way of kicking off their season.”

Orange City’s hooker Josh Tremain is the only Lion confirmed as a starter for the clash.

Parkes, Dubbo Roos and Bathurst clubs CSU and Bulldogs make up the majority of McRobert’s Barbarians side.

As for Deadwood, AJ Gilbert, Josh Holmes, Ben Matwijow and Dave Harvey have all played Super Rugby, while Bathurst product Charlie Clifton has toured with Australian Thunderbolts sevens side in Fiji.

Debrincat was thrilled with the line-up.

“All of the players for Deadwood have at least first grade experience at Sydney clubs, some of them Super Rugby,” he enthused.

“It’s going to be a great day.”

The match is just one feature of the HeartKids Cup, with the Deadwood players to run a three-hour junior clinic from 1.30pm at Endeavour Oval.

CENTRAL WEST BARBARIANS: Tom Hollis, Peter Fitzimmons, Chris Plunkett, Jack Garrad, Hugh Medway, Scott Burgess, George Quigley, Mahe Fangupo, Amoni Vea, Dan Ryan, Ben Ryan, Josh Tremain, Peter Nau, Wade Richardson, Brad Pugh, Ted Bates.

EYE FOR TALENT: NSW Waratahs coach Michael Cheika. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

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GALLERY: OLAM Charity Wool Auction Success

Lib Neville, Chris Scott and Colin Hunt behind some of the bales Photo: SUPPLIED Chris Scott, Lib Neville, Lillian Adnan(Ronald McDonald House Westmead Fundraising and Relationship Manager) Colin Hunt presenting the cheque Photo: SUPPLIED
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Wool producers across the region have been congratulated as they assisted OLAM Wool raise more than $42,000 for Ronald McDonald House last Thursday.

Co-organiser Lib Neville was delighted by the results.

“We had over 80 growers donate varying amounts with a tally of 10,500kg and 63 bales. Originally when we started we hoped we would get five bales. So the support was overwhelming,” she said.

“We had donations from Broken Hill in the west to Bathurst in the east and Young in the south.”

Growers who were invited watched the auction in Parkes live via Skype and there was a cheque presentation.

Ronald McDonald House Westmead media representative Lillian Adnanc was also delighted with the results.

“Lillian was overwhelmed,” Ms Neville said. “As were all the staff at Western Wool with the support we had from growers and all the buyers who bought the wool at the auction.”

Ms Neville thanked the organisers and workers at OLAM.

“There was a lot of hard work behind the scenes to make this all come together, with staff giving up time after hours to sort and press wool, even some coming in from holidays which is a testament to the team work and passion for the cause from Western Wool Marketing Staff, we are all very proud of the end result,” she said.

OLAM Wool Clients watching the auction Photo: SUPPLIED

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Harlem Globetrotters coming to Newcastle

THE Harlem Globetrotters enjoyed a day off in Sydney on Monday to freshen their legs before lighting up Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Tuesday night.
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Taking the court to their signature tune Sweet Georgia Brown, the Globetrotters are bringing their much-loved blend of basketball-based party tricks and crowd-participation comedy to Newcastle for the first time since 2004.

Ball-handling showman Herbert ‘‘Flight Time’’ Lang said he and his team-mates were making the most of some down time in beach-side Coogee after entertaining crowds in Queensland last week.

They will head to Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Hobart after playing in Newcastle on Tuesday.

‘‘We haven’t been here since 2004 and for myself, I’ve been with the team now for 15 years and I missed the last two times that they came here so for me, this is my first time, and it’s been pretty much everything that they’ve advertised,’’ Flight Time told the Newcastle Herald.

‘‘I’m one of the best ball-handlers on the team, so I do a little bit of everything.

‘‘I’ll snatch a few kids out of the audience and bring them out on court, and I’m always smiling and dancing and having a good time, so I’ll be non-stop.

‘‘… We’re a great family show. I always tell people that even if you don’t like basketball, you can still come to a Harlem Globetrotters game and have a great time.’’

Some of the Globetrotters will pay a pre-game visit to Newcastle Basketball Stadium at Broadmeadow at 4pm on Tuesday to briefly showcase their skills to junior basketballers preparing for the Seaside Classic at Port Macquarie this weekend.

There are a limited number of tickets remaining for the show, starting at 7pm, and they are available through Ticketek on a two-for-one basis.

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS

Charlie’s call of the Country

HE’S no stranger to representative cricket, but even Kinross opener Charlie Litchfield wasn’t sure if 81 runs in three innings at the under 17s NSW Country Championship was enough to see him earn higher honours.
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“I was a bit up in the air if I was good enough,” Litchfield said, his place in the NSW Country under 17s side not assured after last weekend’s fixtures.

Litchfield hit 54 against North Coast, but followed that up with a duck against country cricket giants Newcastle in game two at Raymond Terrace.

Litchfield’s final dig netted the classy right-hander 27 against Central North.

Turns out, his work at the crease was enough, with Litchfield one of two Western Zone players selected to take on NSW City under 17s over two days from Sunday, November 10.

“I was pretty happy to make the side really,” he continued, with Grenfell’s Henry Hunt the other Western cap to earn NSW Country honours.

“I was relieved. I’ve been working pretty hard all season for it. I’ve reached my main goal.”

A rock at the top of the order for Kinross to start the Orange District Cricket Association season, Litchfield will be called upon to do the same job for NSW Country under 17s against some of the best young cricketers in metropolitan Sydney.

He’s determined to make the step up a successful one.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

“I’m happy to have made the side but if I can make a few runs in the country-city game then who knows? I’ll go down to the nets and keep fit. Hopefully with a few good results I might get a blue cap.”

He’ll be banking on some insider knowledge come the first ball.

“I’ve been training with a lot of the guys over the season down in Sydney, so I know a lot of the Sydney bowlers which will come in handy. It’s a big step up but something I think I can handle,” Litchfield said.

Already racking up a half-century in Kinross’ first game of the year, Litchfield said he’d enjoyed the start of the ODCA season and was hoping his and the students’ good form continues well into the summer.

“Hopefully it keeps going. We haven’t started too bad, Kinross, we went down to CYMS by 40 runs or so, without a lot of our top guys. We’ll probably surprise a few people,” he said.

Country plays City under 17s in two 50-over matches at Bradman Oval Bowral from November 10.

NSW COUNTRY 17s: James Psarakis (Central Northern, co-captain), Bayley McGill (Newcastle, co-captain), Tobyn Burvill (North Coastal), Luke Corlis (North Coastal), Daniel Heuston (Central Coast), Henry Hunt (Western), Nathaneal Jones (Southern), Charles Litchfield (Western), Connor Matheson (Riverina), Jayden Park (Central Northern), Joshua Pettigrew (Newcastle), Jaymes Thomas (Central Northern)

THE AIR UP THERE: Kinross and Western Zone under 17s opener Charlie Litchfield has been selected to play for NSW Country 17s. Photo: NICK McGRATH 1028nmlitch1

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Show the water sign

A SMALL reflective sign displayed at the entrance to your property could prove the difference when it comes to saving your home in a fire emergency.
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That’s the advice from the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) who are very keen to see as many landholders as possible display the SWS on their front fence.

SWS stands for static water sources and it indicates to arriving fire fighters that water is available and suitable for fire suppression and the RFS want to impress on landholders that the water will only be used during times of emergencies.

RFS Hunter Valley, fire mitigation officer Keith Lobb said the water sources fire fighters were looking for included swimming pools, dams and water tanks that could be accessed by fire trucks.

“These signs are particularly important when out of district fire fighters are working in your area because they would not be familiar with where they can get water and get it quickly,” he said.

“And when it comes to saving property having water available makes all the difference.

“Fire fighters can use portable pumps and hose lines from on-site water sources and that means saving homes.”

Given the fact the fire situation in our region is unlikely to ease until general rain arrives, obtaining a sign and putting it on display now could prove to be a very wise move.

The signs should be displayed at the front on the property ideally on the right hand side of the entrance and they are available locally from the Hunter Valley Rural Fire Service 65745186.

SHOW THE SIGN: NSW Rural Fire Service, Hunter Valley team, fire mitigation officer Keith Lobb holding one the of SWS signs designed to let fire fighters know there is water available on the property.

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Urgent call to back community bank

It’s nearly a fact. The community said it wanted it, the community said it would back it and the feasibility study said it would be viable.
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Premises have been found and the fit-out is ready to go.

Shares are available for purchase. Residents in the community pledged to buy shares to provide working capital and nearly 70 per cent has been collected.

We have until Wednesday, October 30, to collect the remaining 30 per cent.

If this is not received then your Port Sorell Community Bank will not happen.

Community banks around Australia have returned some $80million back into their community – this is what they are set up to do and must do under their franchise agreement.

If you want YOUR bank, grab a prospectus, complete the share application and drop that with your cheque at Sea Change Real Estate before Wednesday to make your community bank a reality.

JACK VAN TATENHOVE

Port Sorell Community Enterprises Ltd chairman

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Water costs climb

When the water boards were formed, the ratepayers were told that the new system would save money, and provide a cheaper service.
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Many ratepayers believed what they were being told.

Only a few of us were prepared to challenge the statements, and the setting up of three water boards.

Suddenly the new system became too cumbersome and the water boards were merged into TasWater, giving the South full control.

Whereas the ratepayers paid 0.4794 per kilo litre for May and June, now we are paying 0.614 per kilo litre.

Slowly the price has escalated until we are now paying double the cost charged by our local council.

With places like Primrose Sands Dodges Ferry, and Hobart yet to have water meters, and indeed water and sewage (places that were declared unviable), where will the cost to ratepayers stop?

It’s time the ratepayers became vocal and, with collective people power, forced the water board to return to council control.

JIM G CAMPBELL

Ulverstone

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NSW Farmers’ Association: Farm group branches unite

Four NSW Farmers’ Association (NSWFA) branches around Mudgee decided to amalgamate at a regional meeting in Mudgee earlier this month.
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The members at the meeting decided to rationalise Gulgong, Rylestone and Illford into the Mudgee branch.

NSWFA District Council chair Mitchell Clapham said the decline in membership numbers was one of the main reasons the branches decided to unite.

“A few of the older generations have retired and the younger farmers are a bit time poor to be involved. They’re in the mines when they’re not on the farm,” he said.

Mr Clapham also said the majority of issues were dealt with at a regional level.

“Ninety-nine per cent of what we’re dealing with affects the bigger region anyway,” he said.

“I think it’s a positive move, in years tocome if people want to reform their own branch they can, everything that is being done can be undone.”

Mr Clapham is currently the district council chair but believes this position might change.

“With one entity there will be no district council and branch, so the positions will change but we have to get approval from head office,” he said.

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Consider natural law

Like Sean Ford, I am amused with the vast proliferation of laws our politicians seem to amass in order to amuse themselves and attempt to keep us from straying from the straight and narrow.
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It reminds me of the time I happened to be visiting a magistrate in his chambers. Looking at the vast accumulation of law books, I made the observation that it was astounding the progress we had made since that first law Adam and Eve chose to ignore.

I would suggest that if we as a species took more notice of natural law and less of positive law then the world would be a far better and peaceful planet for all concerned.

DON DE JERSEY

Burnie

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