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ABOVE: Aerial shot of mines near the Leard Forest.

The Department of Planning and Environment has released a summary report for the biodiversity and Aboriginal cultural heritage audit carried out on the Leard Forest mining precinct in February this year.

The audit led to $12,000 in fines being imposed on the three mines operating in the area.

The audit found that:

Boggabri Coal had conducted 7.7 hectares of unauthorised understorey (or lower growth) clearing of native vegetation. The company was fined $6,000 and required to implement an action plan including rehabilitation of the area, providing an extra 19 hectares of offset land and a review of procedures to ensure no further unauthorised clearing.

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ABOVE: From left, Ian Foxe, Horst Merten, Dr Rohana and Dr Ken Apen, right, were among the book buyers seeking signed copies of author Okwun Ojah’s novel ‘It Never Rained; It Poured’ at Saturday’s book launch at the Riverside Room.

The Riverside Room was filled for a local literary event on Saturday afternoon.

The occasion was the launch of Narrabri GP Dr Okwun Ojah’s first novel, ‘It Never Rained; It Poured.’

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Narrabri Shire Council is to pull out of a regional group that enforces weight restrictions on trucks, saving ratepayers tens of thousands of dollars yearly.

Councillors voted at last meeting to pull out of the North West Weight of Loads Committee, which is responsible for the enforcement on local government roads.

Run through Moree Plains Shire Council, it includes Narrabri, Walgett, Gwydir, Warrumbungle, Gunnedah, Inverell, Glen Innes Severn and Dubbo Shires.

However, Walgett Shire Council pulled out of the arrangement earlier this year and that became effective on July 1.

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ABOVE: Maitland Street in Narrabri, between Bowen and Lloyd, will be one of three main streets in the shire affected by new council rules.

Narrabri Shire’s three CBDs are about to become affected by a rule change that aims to ensure the Merton Street motel development in Boggabri cannot be repeated.

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North West Local Land Services Draft Strategic Plan is out for 
community Consultation.

We want your feedback on our strategic direction.

This plan sets the direction for our work priorities, customers, partners and areas of investment.

Tell us your thoughts and let us know if you agree with its direction.
Our online survey, fact sheets and FAQs can be found at northwest.lls.nsw.gov.au - follow the link in the updates section, alternatively hard copies are availble at all North West Local Land Services offices.
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ABOVE: Narrabri Fire and Rescue firefighter Tim Korteland, left, station commander Shane Bradford, and firefighters Simone Kerr and Lucas Warren inspect the cause of an explosion that happened to Courier journalist Michael Hutchison’s car.

Believe it or not the now gaping hole where my back window used to be wasn’t the result of looting thieves, an unfortunate stray cricket ball or a hail storm event that would have been considered a normal occurrence around Narrabri.

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ABOVE: Volunteers are urgently needed to help Narrabri High School canteen workers Lyn Ward and Judy Gleeson.

Narrabri High School canteen is in desperate need of volunteers to help serve hungry students.

There just aren’t enough helpers to staff the canteen.

“We need helpers to man the canteen at morning break and lunch times,” said Canteen Committee president Marg Koutoumanos.

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ABOVE: Members of Narrabri based agencies are lending their support to Reclaim the Night. At yesterday’s Inter Agency meeting, back, Jacqui Richards, Fiona Robinson, third row, Kirren Apthorpe, Nicole Beatty, Robyn Keeffe, Sharon Booby, Cathy Redding, Wendy Ross, Brenda van Gosilga, Chloe Orman, second row, Owen Atkins, Chris Buckman, Lorrie Bradley, Chloe Faucett, Renee Finnigan, front, Sandy Avis, Cigdem Watson, Ros Laws, Bernie Green, Jess Hawkers and Linda Slee.

A new initiative to combat domestic violence and sexual assault has been launched in Narrabri.

‘Reclaim the Night’ is a program to raise awareness of the issues and promote the assistance services available for victims.

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If you want to do something special, be inspired and connect with rural women sharing their stories on the 15th October 2015 then join

It's completely FREE, 100% online and is LIVE - so you can interact, ask questions and engage with all of our presenters.

Try something new and experience the joy that brings!

If you are worried about #datadrought or internet usage, please get in touch support@therw.biz as we have teleconferencing facilities available too.

Register today
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It was great to meet up with Vivien over the weekend to discuss items of concern in the local community.  Having know Vivien for some time and helping her with her website about her book Ashes of the Firefighters it was great to catch up and discuss with her, her senate election for the State of NSW in the Upper House next year will be something to watch.  Here is the press release from her local visit.  We will be organising some meet n greet next time she travels by.


Labor Senate candidate, Vivien Thomson AFSM has been busy visiting rural communities in the central west and north coast of NSW.

 

Vivien is a mixed farmer and award winning firefighter from Muttama near Wagga Wagga.

Over the last week she has spoken to locals from Casino, Wee Waa, Walgett, Come By Chance, Pilliga, Coonamble and Dubbo.

 

“As a farmer and mother from rural NSW, I feel that we have been overlooked for far too long. As a Senate candidate, I will provide a strong alternative voice to small communities like Wee Waa, Pilliga and Come By Chance.”

 

Ms Thomson plans to travel to as many rural communities as possible leading up to the election to discuss local issues.

 

“I hope to meet many people in our rural and regional communities and work with them to provide a solution to many local issues.”

 

To keep up to date with Ms Thomson’s campaign, like her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/VivienThomsonCountryLabor and follow on twitter @VivThomson . If you have an issue you would like to raise, please email Ms Thomson: vivien.thomson@australianlabor.com.au

 

Media Contact:

Att: William Wood

Ph: 0417 466 096

Email: vivien.thomson@australianlabor.com.au

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Wee Waa and western regions are still in need of drought breaking rain, with the dry conditions persisting as the weather warms up.

Crops are struggling with the warm change and more rain is needed to ensure plants mature properly.

Gary Wooldridge from the Pilliga Community Links Centre said conditions have not improved.

“It’s still pretty shocking out here, wheat crops are going back into the ground and it’s not looking good,” he said.

“There have been a few little cloud bursts here and there, but there has been no decent rain events yet.

“We’re hoping for storms for the wheat crops, but it does seem to have dried up.

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ABOVE: Narrabri Historical Society president Gordon Cain, left, with lapidarist Ron Holliday, 96, who has donated his rock collection gathered over 50 years to the Narrabri Museum.

Fifty years ago Ron Holliday began collecting rocks.

Over the ensuing decades, Ron spent innumerable hours gathering interesting rocks, cutting and polishing them, cataloguing and admiring them.

His large collection now fills several display cases, a fascinating and comprehensive array which will soon be seen by a bigger audience thanks to Ron’s generosity.

Now 96, Ron has parted with the rocks which have been such an absorbing part of his life for 50 years, donating his collection to the Narrabri Museum.

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ABOVE: Narrabri’s George Scilley, Shaun Thomson and Richard Scilley and a row of headers ready for hopefully a busy harvest.

For some grain growers this year’s crop will be the best they have had for many years, but for others, crops won’t be worth stripping.

Pursehouse Rural Agronomist James Fleming is currently seeing growers at both ends of the spectrum.

“There is patches that will go quite well and other patches that are fast running out of moisture,” he said.

“Some of my clients are having a really good season, while others aren’t having such luck.

“Rain is probably too late for most crops but some that were planted late would benefit.”

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ABOVE: Richard Gillham, left, and the original co-ordinator of the event, Geoff Eather take a break from their labours at the Drovers’ Campfire in April this year.

Boggabri is nowadays a name recognised in the four corners of Australia.

The reason is not its agricultural production or large coal mines, or even its proud reputation as the ‘little town with a big heart.’

Boggabri is known nationally as the home of the annual Drovers’ Campfire.

The Drovers’ Campfire has won tourism industry accolades over its ten year life, and is now poised for a new triumph.

The event has been listed as a finalist in the NSW-ACT Regional Achievement and Tourism Awards.

The winners of the prestigious awards will be announced at a gala presentation night in Dubbo on November 14.
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ABOVE: Cattle on the road near Pilliga.

The newly formed Rural Support Services Network (RSSNs) held its first meeting in Narrabri recently, with financial counsellors, Centacare representatives, landholders, government representatives and other organisations in attendance.

RSSNs are usually made up of local rural service providers including agribusiness and government, but also include interested landholders and representatives from community groups.

The network meets quarterly to discuss the needs of the local rural community with a view to working towards servicing these needs.

The meetings also allow for the sharing of information between service providers and the identification of any gaps in service delivery.

Narrabri Rural Financial Counsellor Fiona Mead said the first meeting of the Narrabri RSSN was an overwhelming success.

“We had 17 people at the meeting which was a great turn out, we plan on meeting every three months at this stage with the next meeting to be held in February,” she said.

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Local police pay their respects at St Cyprian’s service, from back, Constable Matt Cave, Senior Constable Clayton Watt and Senior Constable Ben King, middle, Leading Senior Constable Tim Monticone, Constable Trevor Robinson, Constable Ernest Allen, Senior Constable Grant Osbourne and Senior Constable Shane Middleton, front, Sergeant Grant Bell, Constable Natasha Cooper, Inspector Robert Dunn, Senior Constable Michelle King and Sergeant Chris Fuller.

The National Police Remembrance Day service for the Barwon Local Area Command (LAC) was held at St Cyprian’s Anglican Church in Narrabri on Tuesday, with police from Moree and Wee Waa in attendance.
Police Chaplain, Father Paul McCabe, led the service which was also attended by members of the local community.
“The primary reason for today’s gathering is to remember those officers of the Australasian Police Forces who have been killed in the course of their duties,” Fr. McCabe said.
“We are here to offer our support to their families and friends.”

 

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Narrabri Blue Boars captain Matt Schwager has described winning the Narrabri ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ as very ‘humbling’ after it was announced at the annual Narrabri Shire Sports Awards evening on the weekend.

Schwager was out of town on Saturday night, however proud parents, Tony and Shirley, were on hand to collect the trophy on his behalf.

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ABOVE: From left, Dr Tadesse Wuletaw, wheat breeder International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Morocco, Ms Sandra Micallef, Sydney University, co-ordinator of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT ) and Australia- ICARDA Germplasm Evaluation (CAIGE) project, Dr Hans Braun, Director, CIMMYT wheat program Mexico, Dr Meiqin Lu Australian Grain Technologies wheat breeder, Dr Amer Dabadat, pathologist, CIMMYT, Turkey,Prof. Richard Trethowan, director IA Watson Grains Research Centre, Mr Jim Watson, chairman WRF and Prof. Peter Sharp, director Plant Breeding Institute, Sydney University.

A visit to Narrabri on Sunday by world leaders in wheat research underlined the significant role of Narrabri Plant Breeding Institute (PBI) in international programs to underpin global food security.

The group of 60 scientists was hosted by the PBI following last week’s 9th International Wheat Conference in Sydney.

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At about 11am yesterday (Monday September 28) emergency services were called to a cotton storage facility on a rural property following reports a 79 year old man had been injured by a front end loader.

Officers attached to Barwon Local Area Command arrived to find an elderly male had been run over by the driver of the vehicle.

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ABOVE: From back left, Lex’s grandson Joe Smith, Lex’s sons Steve, Ross and Paul Gordon, middle, Steve’s wife Kylie and Ross’ wife Flora, front, Lex Gordon. PHOTO: joshua j smith photography

Lex Gordon was about 14 when he climbed into the cabin of a truck to drive for his father’s haulage business and over the next 60 years built one of the largest family owned transport operations in regional NSW.

Narrabri remains the hub for Lex and his late wife and business partner Mary’s business, Gordon Roadways, which nowadays operates some 40 road trains across Australia.

The transport industry is a large and important segment of the Narrabri shire economy and Gordon Roadways has been a major part of it for decades.

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ABOVE: Some of the participants at the weekend’s Living to ride event, from left, Dean Gray, Jaiden Kearin, Brandon Petrie, Richard Squire and Jono Druce.

Two days of dirt bike racing action, fun and family activity at the Newtown Park Speedway on the weekend achieved what the organisers had hoped.

“The aim of the ‘Living to Ride’ weekend was to bring the community together with our local community aid services, give exposure to the services and promote awareness and prevention of suicide” said organisers Leon Ryman and Craige McInnes who planned the event which was hosted by the Narrabri Dirt Bike Club.

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ABOVE: University of Newcastle researchers Dr Meg Sherval and Dr Hedda Haugen Askland. Interested parties should contact Hedda Askland on 0405 066 470.

Researchers from the University of Newcastle are currently seeking to interview local people within the Narrabri Shire about their attitude to changing land use.

The collaborative pilot project is run by both the University of Newcastle and the NSW Department of Primary Industries and will form part of a planned state-wide study exploring changing land use in rural and regional communities.

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ABOVE: Drew Penberthy, Bellata, Penny Blatchford, Gurley and James Tydd (Bellata) at the recent agribusiness forum in Narrabri.

At a recent conference held in Narrabri, agronomist Drew Penberthy argued that people in agricultural industries were failing to communicate their good news stories to the wider community.

He said the farming sector had much to be proud of.

“A lot of people have no idea how scientific agriculture has become, I think they’d be amazing if they knew what we’re actually doing out here,” he said.

“Robotics are coming in and new varieties released in the last few years have led to massive inroads.

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