Namoi News

Namoi News

23

Aug

2019

Mining watchdog suspends Narrabri Coal's exploration licence

Northern Daily Leader - Jamieson Murphy

THE state's mining watchdog has suspended the exploration licence of Narrabri Coal, for building unauthorised tracks in the Pilliga Forest.

The long-wall mine, which forms part of Whitehaven Coal's operations, was found to be in breach of its licence following a state-wide compliance blitz in June.

More than a dozen hollow trees, which provide important habitat to native animals, were knocked down. The unauthorised paths also failed to divert around environmentally sensitive areas.

Resources Regulator head honcho Anthony Keon said the mine's actions showed a "comprehensive failure" to follow "fundamental regulatory obligations".

"The construction of the unauthorised tracks resulted in significant environmental harm," Mr Keon said.

"Exploration activities are subject to strict conditions in order to ensure appropriate environmental protections.

Citizen science group, the Leard Forest Node, has been monitoring the mine's "progressive incursion" in to the Pilliga forest for a couple of years, spokeswoman Anna Christie said.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg, the Narrabri Coal mine has been flying under the radar for several years," Ms Christie said.

She was glad to see meaningful action taken against the mine, rather than just "a fine and a tap of the wrist".

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The suspension will remain in place until the mine conducts a full review of its compliance systems and can satisfy the watchdog that appropriate controls have been put in place.

Five other joint-venture partners also had their exploration licence suspended. The licence holders acknowledged the offending behaviour and offered to suspend all drilling and clearing activities.

The mine will be able to continue operating, however the suspension stops it from expanding or investigating new sites.

Whitehaven CEO Paul Flynn accepted that on this occasion the company failed to properly obverse its exploration obligations

"Based on our inquiries to date, the circumstances and communication failures that led to this outcome are unacceptable," Mr Flynn said.

"Whitehaven took immediate corrective action following the Regulator's site inspection, suspending all exploration activity and commissioning an independent audit and investigation to determine necessary corrective actions.

"The company is committed to ensuring all relevant issues are identified and addressed before exploration activities at Narrabri can resume and will continue to cooperate fully with the NSW Resources Regulator to achieve this outcome."

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23

Aug

2019

Coal seam gas moratorium bill put forward by NSW MLC Justin Field

Northern Daily Leader - Jamieson Murphy

AN independent politician has put forward a bill to establish a moratorium on all coal seam gas projects in the state.

The private member's bill, introduced to the NSW upper house by MLC Justin Field, would put a halt to Santos' Narrabri Gas Project, establish no-go zones for CSG including agricultural land and introduce a public interest test for proposed developments.

Mr Field said the bill was modelled off a moratorium put forward by Labor in 2015, and was hopefully it would be widely supported.

"The Greens, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, Animal Justice Party and Christian Democratic Party have all previously voted for, or supported, legislation or policies that endorse a moratorium on coal seam gas," Mr Field said.

"With those parties on board we can pass a coal seam gas moratorium bill through the NSW Legislative Council.

"The community have long opposed coal seam gas development in NSW and now it is time for the parliament to act."

Mr Field said the bill would renew the pressure on the government, and in particular the Nationals, who lost the seat of Barwon at the recent election to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, in part to CSG and water-related issues surrounding the Santos project.

"Santos have failed to address genuine concerns by the community and government agencies about their project and have breached the agreement they struck with the government in 2014," Mr Field said.

"There are significant water management and waste salt issues that have not been resolved from the company.

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Andrew McConville, CEO of gas industry body APPEA, said there was no reason NSW couldn't have a safe and sustainable CSG industry, like Queensland has had for more than 20 years.

"Repeated independent inquiries, including by NSW Chief Scientist, have found there are no risks associated with onshore gas development that can't be managed, mitigated or eliminated by an appropriate regulatory framework - which NSW has in place," he said.

"The answer to addressing NSW's gas needs is developing new supply - not further regulation or imposing bans on onshore gas development."

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21

Aug

2019

GOVERNMENT VOTES AGAINST PROVIDING REAL DROUGHT SUPPORT

Press Release - Roy Butler

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party put on the table in Parliament a drought package that would provide real support to farmers and farming communities, disappointingly the Government voted against supporting them.

The SFF drought package includes immediate cash grants, to allow creditors to be paid, cash rebates for local government rates, transitioning legacy loans to zero or low interest loans, the establishment of a re-sowing and re-stocking grant and providing financial support for employers to retain employees on farm and in local businesses.

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21

Aug

2019

Hear Them Raw: Walgett's Jill Roughley, 79, runs her property on her own with guts and determination

The smell of a piping hot lasagne slips through the cracks of the oven in Jill Roughley's Walgett home. 

Like most rural women, a home cooked meal isn't out of the realm for this Country Women's Association stalwart, but neither are a lot of things. 

We haven't got a lot of time. That afternoon Jill will board her Kermit green truck loaded with fodder and travel around just under 20,000 acres to feed the drabs of stock that are holding on through the drought. 

 

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20

Aug

2019

Clayton Barr visits Moree to grasp water situation as he takes on new role as shadow minister for water

Cessnock MP and shadow minister for water Clayton Barr was in Moree last week as part of a trip across the region to gain a better understanding of the water situation.

Starting at Dubbo, then moving on to Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett, Moree on Friday and then Narrabri, Mr Barr wanted to get on the ground and talk to affected people and groups.

"I've only been the shadow minister for water for about six weeks now and I've been trying to read through a whole bunch of reports but for me, the best way to learn was to come and talk to people and see things and be shown how it's working and how it's failing and things like that," Mr Barr said.

He met with the Gwydir Valley Irrigators on Friday as well as local farmer and irrigator to hear their experiences with the low water.

"It's part drought, it's part water sharing, and it's a significant part around priorities of what's most important and what needs to come first, second and third and getting that balance right," he said.

Mr Barr said the reports he has read are mostly facts and figures but they don't detail the social impact on communities, with people being forced to leave town because of the lack of water and therefore lack of work.

"For example, at Walgett they were concerned about losing all of their tradesmen....because the rest of the community didn't have much work so there wasn't much money around," he said.

"So people weren't spending money or doing renovations or building new buildings and improvements, so the tradies didn't have any work but they needed to feed their families.

"They've had to move, and often it's younger families, which then drags kids out of schools so then your school numbers drop.

"That's something that hasn't been captured in any of the reports about water but it's a really important social consequence of the absence of water.

"Hearing stories like that has been fantastic in framing my understanding of how the absence of water has impacted the communities."

While Mr Barr has visited Moree and other towns across the region, it's his first visit in his new role as shadow minister for water, and he said it has been a fantastic experience.

He wants to make it clear that he nor anyone in parliament is anti-irrigation, but it's about coming up with a good strategy in regards to the distribution of water.

"While we can't do anything about rain falling out of the sky and drought conditions we can do something about the rules about what happens to the water once it lands," Mr Barr said.

"I think that's where the really important focus needs to be right now because we don't know when it's going to rain but when it does rain we have to make sure the water goes where it needs to go."

He said most of the reports he's read heavily criticise the government while also making recommendations from scientists, commissioners and experts in the area about what the government should do.

He is yet to see anything that proves those recommendations aren't the right way to go.

"They will cause a bit of pain and grief for some people in terms of their business model and farming models but the benefits to society, environments and in other ways will be significant," Mr Barr said.

"But I would hate to make judgmen

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20

Aug

2019

Cafe provides vital buzz to drought-impacted Walgett locals and visitors

Katie Murray can not quite believe that her little business is bucking the trend of economic downturn due to drought, but she says the figures and the numbers speak for themselves.

Her cafe in the north-west New South Wales town of Walgett is going gangbusters despite the ongoing dry weather.

She is so busy she has expanded the business to include fresh food and is increasing the table space available.

"We have quadrupled in size and we are really busy," she said.

"We had to make room for more giftware, but the main impetus for the expansion was the food — for casual lunchtime takeaway foods like sandwiches and wraps.

"Walgett was crying out for that food."

 

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19

Aug

2019

The Boat from Wee Waa - Commercial fisherman Ross Miller, 90, still building prawn trawlers, despite concerns about industry's future

ABC News

The trawler started its life well away from the waters of the Pacific.

When Mr Miller first learnt about the boat, it was virtually a skeleton under construction in the cotton fields of Wee Waa in western NSW, where water is better known for irrigating cotton fields.

"I brought it in from Wee Waa and have been working on it ever since for the past 14 months. Nothing has been really changed in specifications," he said.

With the commercial fisher no longer on the tools, getting hold of others to carry out the physical side of the work does present problems.

"It is very, very hard indeed. There are a few people around [but] despite [their] experience with larger ships, they have not had the experience of working on a smaller vessel like this," Mr Miller said.

That experience, or lack of, has him working with 75-year-old John Wait, who has been a commercial fisher and these days also helps train potential fishers on behalf of the NSW Fishing Industry Training Council.

"I told Ross that he was crazy to do this. And I was silly enough to be with him and help him," Mr Wait said.

"I love building boats. It is one of those things that gets into your blood and you can't get rid of it. As Toad from Wind in the Willows said, there is nothing like mucking around with boats."

It is not surprising from Mr Wait's view that a person his age is providing the labour.

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19

Aug

2019

NSW pushes back on AWU criticism over backing for LNG imports

Financial Review

AWU national secretary Daniel Walton late last week rounded on the government for granting the status of "critical state significant infrastructure" to a proposed $589 million LNG import project in Newcastlewhich will now enjoy a streamlined approvals process.

The Berejiklian government has already given the green light for a separate, $250 million LNG import terminal at Port Kembla, backed by mining billionaire Andrew Forrest.

The plans for the two import terminals are racing ahead as Santos's $3 billion Narrabri coal seam gas project, which could supply up to half NSW's gas requirements, remains locked in the state government's approvals process.

But Mr Stokes said the Narrabri project has "big potential impacts" on the environment, and that in any case the state is "best served by a competitive market with multiple sources".

 

 

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19

Aug

2019

Emily Newton, Jinnara Tyson chosen on NSW Youth Summit steering committee

Kids are growing up far too quickly as they see the affect drought is having on their families, says Walgett's Emily Newton.

Ms Newton and Jinnara Tyson from Dubbo are among two of the 11 people chosen to be on a steering committee for UNICEF Australia's NSW Youth Summit on living with drought.

As part of the steering committee, the youths help select about 100 young people aged 14 to 24-years-old who will attend the drought summit. The steering committee has also helped design the summit.

The aim of it is to collaborate with participants and experts to develop solutions for the problems young people are facing in the drought. The ideas will be presented to bureaucrats and politicians on the final day of the summit in October.

Ms Newton said most of her life had been spent battling against the drought. She's lived in Walgett her whole life until moving to Wagga Wagga to further her studies.

"While most of my friends were able to go away to the beach for their summer holidays, I would spend my holidays pulling dead animals out of the mud from the middle of dried up dams - this included livestock, native animals and pet poddy lambs and calves," she said.

"This became not only physically draining, but extremely mentally draining as it felt as though there was nothing more that I could do as my parents fought away debt to support me through the remaining years of my schooling."

The 21-year-old said youths were not spending their time being kids because they were seeing the affect of mental illness and financial instability.

"My main hope is that young people are able to come away from the summit with the life skills to be able to tackle the hardships they find themselves facing in the drought," Ms Newton said.

Ms Tyson grew up in Goodooga but now lives in Dubbo.

She said the drought was taking away youths' leisure time in rural communities and replacing it with work.

"I hope the summit will assist with providing extra support to the rural and remote communities that are impacted by the drought," she said.

The 24-year-old also wants to be a role model for other Aboriginal youths.

The NSW Youth Summit on Living With Drought will run from October 9 to 11. The applicants chosen by the steering committee will have all their travel costs covered.

 

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16

Aug

2019

2013 draft report warned that NSW towns would be left high and dry

The NSW government was warned by its own bureaucrats more than five years ago that reliable water supply in parts of the state could plunge by a third, with the situation now so dire that some of the largest regional towns face being left with no water within the next year.

The warnings were contained in a draft paper, Assuring Future Urban Water Security, which was dated December 2013 and commissioned by the Department of Primary Industries.

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16

Aug

2019

Warren, Walgett female artists contribute to Women Out Front exhibition

Spectacular gowns reflecting the landscape and other creative works make up an exhibition that shines a light on the talent of female artists in western NSW.

Women Out Front is a culmination of the work Signal Creative and Outback Arts have been doing with women in Warren and Walgett in the past two years. 

The exhibition features the 'Mother Nature Gown', the 'Yellow Belly Gown' and others, printed photos and textiles, as well as a large collaborative wall hanging.

It opened in Coonamble on Thursday, with a dance performance in the street.

"For many of the young artists, it's the first time their work has toured and been a part of a big collaborative exhibition and I'm proud to be a part of supporting these amazing young women," Signal Creative co-director Caroline Wallace said.

The Women Out Front program has already featured local performances from the young women at Warren Central School of the movement piece Drylands Wetlands, comprising sounds of the Tiger Bay Wetlands and original costume and set pieces made by the students inspired by the wetlands.

In Walgett, River Stories, created by the Sista Speak students, was exhibited in the Walgett Library as well as online.

Signal Creative co-director Emma Hoy said: "It's been an incredible two years working on Women Out Front with Outback Arts, we can't wait to see what these exciting new artists come up with next."

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14

Aug

2019

Country Universities Centre North West Moree and Narrabri sites now open for study

Moree distance university students now have a dedicated space they can go to study, work on assessments and complete exams, with the Country Universities Centre (CUC) North West now open for business.

The CUC North West, which has a site in Moree and one in Narrabri, was opened to students on July 8, and already 35 people have registered to use the facility - a one-stop shop with all the resources local students need to successfully complete their degrees.

The Moree site features a computer room, lecture room, meeting space and a fully-equipped kitchen, and is complete with wifi, computers, printers, photocopiers, and video conferencing technology.

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13

Aug

2019

Man dies on Pilliga Road property at Wee Waa after quad bike accident

A MAN has died in a quad bike accident near Wee Waa at the weekend.

The man, believed to be aged about 60, died on Sunday morning on a property off Pilliga Road.

Ambulance NSW confirmed two units, as well as the Westpac Rescue Helicopter from Tamworth, were tasked after a triple zero phone call at 11.20am.

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Categories: Wee Waa, Other News, Rural News

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13

Aug

2019

Walgett temporary supermarket opens after town's IGA was destroyed by fire

Walgett residents have a supermarket again after a temporary outlet opened its doors on Tuesday.

The town's permanent IGA was destroyed by fire in June, which left Walgett without a supermarket for the second time in six years.

Western NSW Minister Adam Marshall said the supermarket will resume its normal 8:30am-6pm trading hours after a successful trial run on the weekend.

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12

Aug

2019

Crash near Narrabri leaves two in serious condition at Oxley

Two people have been seriously injured after a two-vehicle crash on the Kamilaroi Highway south of Narrabri overnight.

About 8.20pm yesterday (Friday 9 August 2019), a 73-year-old woman was traveling north on the Kamilaroi Highway, about 20km south of Narrabri when her 4WD and a southbound utility collided.

The woman, and the 42-year-old man driving the ute, suffered serious injuries, both were airlifted to Tamworth Hospital where they remain in critical but stable condition.

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11

Aug

2019

Namoi Valley cotton farms sold to local families for $35m

The sales come amid the $300 million offering of cotton giant Auscott's Midkin aggregation in the Gwydir Valley and with expectations of a smaller cotton crop next year due to the drought.

At 275 Spring Plains Road, Wire Lagoon, a 738 hectare irrigated cotton farm 15 kilometres from Wee Waa has changed hands for $11.4 million.

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8

Aug

2019

Top Fitness Trends of 2019 Revealed

Are You Ready To Get Physical?

As every year passes, trends involving fitness training change. And as 2019 continues it is clear that a new set of fitness training trends are set to explode.

People who never would have dared to say the word 'fitness' are now jumping onboard thanks to the following exciting fitness trends of 2019.

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30

Jul

2019

Barwon MP Roy Butler says Santos trying to pressure govt

The Land Newspaper

SANTOS'S predictions that its Narrabri Gas Project will be approved by the end of the year have been labelled a brazen attempt to pressure the government.

When Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher told Ticky Fullerton on Sky News in May the company expected approval by "year end" there were a few eyebrows raised.

Barwon MP Roy Butler told The Land: "this is not coming from the government, the company is trying to force a government decision on the back of the Adani Carmichael coal mine approval (in Queensland)."

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25

Jul

2019

Simple Money Saving Tips to Fund Your Next Getaway

The Secret Tips and Tricks All Money Savers Use

Imagine you’re sitting on a beautiful tropical beach right now, cold drink in your hand.

Now, what’s stopping you from making that dream become a reality?

Luckily for you, the research has been done, and here are five money-saving hacks so simple you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing them already.

You’ll be walking along the beach in no time with these...

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19

Jul

2019

Roy Butler Member for Barwan in the News this week

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19

Jul

2019

Do I Have to Pay My Interns

By Julian Parsons - Sydney

Do you have to pay your interns?

The short answer is yes and no.

Under Australian law, you must financially compensate anyone who comes to your workplace to contribute through ‘productive work’.

However, there are perfectly legal ways to bring on unpaid interns in a meaningful capacity that supports the goals of both employee and employer.

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19

Jul

2019

Water quality and availability concerns in drought for dialysis patients

The water security crisis in regional Australia could have major implications for life-saving medical procedures.

Key points:
Each dialysis patient uses up to 4,000 litres of water per week during treatment
Doctors in drought-stricken regions are worried patients may no longer be able to get dialysis in their home town if the water runs out
With dams running low, water authorities say it may be time to reconsider recycling water
Dialysis is a vital treatment, requiring approximately four billion litres of top quality water in Australia every year to keep people with acute kidney conditions alive.

The high rate of renal disease in regional Australia, particularly among Indigenous populations, means dialysis is a crucial service for remote and regional towns.

Many of these towns are also facing growing problems with water security.

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19

Jul

2019

Narrabri in the News this week

 A number of articles appeared in the news this week click the link to read them all.
Summary
Santos providing requested information about Narrabri project: Barwon MP
Barwon MP Roy Butler still concerned about CSG impact on Narrabri groundwater despite Santos ...
Govt to talk land acquisitions along Narromine to Narrabri with farmers for Inland Rail
Barwon MP Roy Butler still concerned about CSG impact on Narrabri groundwater despite Santos ...
Whitehaven growth defies softening coal markets
Community celebrates NAIDOC
More Dividends Likely From Whitehaven Coal
Safety first for Whitehaven
The ARTC will begin meeting with affected landowners in the Narromine section
Rail crossing danger concerns resident
 

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17

Jul

2019

When Will the Government Listen

Call this drought what it is - a Natural Disaster

This drought is breaking records, pushing families and communities to the brink − and it’s getting worse.

Across NSW, it’s drier than many have seen in their lifetimes. Farms that have never in their hundred-plus year history destocked, have sold all their livestock.

Farmers that had enough hay in storage for years of drought have used their last bale.

Farmers that have never complained, have gotten on with the job, have put food on tables across the world − are asking for assistance.

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13

Jul

2019

Gloucester's Lyn Stewart to launch her self-published book at Gloucester Bookshop

From the Gloucester Advocate story by Anne Keen

Gloucester's Lyn Stewart had a niggling interest in researching her family history.

Like many Australians, her family tree has a range of convicted criminals, which was partly what first piqued her interest. But it was chasing down that tale of her great great grandmother, Margaret Murphy which inspired her to write a book.

 

She started researching her relative by first acquiring Margaret's death certificate as it provided details of her date of death, the date and location of her birth, and the names of her parents.

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8

Jul

2019

'You never forget:' Mother's pain as $1m reward offered in Penny Hill murder probe

Twenty-eight years since her daughter was found slumped against a farm gate along a NSW country road, Jeanette Hill says she still holds hope of finding out who was responsible for her daughter's death and bringing them to justice.

Penny Hill was 20 when she moved from Narrabri, in the state's north-west, to the small Central West town of Coolah in July 1991.

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5

Jul

2019

Walgett Shire Newsletter

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28

Jun

2019

Patrick Allen Boon jailed for murdering Fred Tuffs on job site off Culgoora Rd between Narrabri and Wee Waa in 2017

A concreter who murdered his boss in the break room of a local worksite with "savagery and ferocity" has been jailed for at least 13 years and 10 months.

Queensland man Patrick Allen Boon struck grandfather Frederick Tuffs over the head with a sledgehammer several times and then continued the bashing with a wrench near Narrabri, on June 13, 2017.

The 57-year-old site manager died in hospital the next morning.

Boon, who pleaded guilty to murder in May, was on Friday jailed for 18 years and six months, with a minimum term of 13 years and 10 months.

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28

Jun

2019

Grants and Awards available now and over the next few months.

Grants and awards available.

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24

Jun

2019

'I won't be pushed around': Resources Minister warns Santos over gas

Sydney Morning Herald - Peter Hannam

The NSW government has blasted Santos for ramping up public pressure to secure approval for a $3 billion coal seam gas project, with Deputy Premier John Barilaro warning he "won't be pushed around".

Mr Barilaro, who also serves as Resources Minister, said the energy giant was to blame for any delays to the Narrabri Gas Project in north-western NSW.

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22

Jun

2019

We bought a farm to have more family time. We're risking it all to join a natural farming revolution

About a year ago, the purchase of two dairy cows led to the discovery of a revolution in our paddocks.

My partner and I, two young farmers, learned we could rehabilitate the natural environment by the way we farm.

But the stakes were high — making the switch from conventional to conservation farming could send us broke.

So we set out to meet a network of regenerative farmers who are working with nature to eliminate the use of chemicals, revegetate their land, reduce carbon emissions and encourage the return of native plant and animal species.

The lure of a new approach

Our property, on the outskirts of Narrabri in north-west New South Wales, is about 130 acres of mostly farmed-up country.

There are very few trees but we have beautiful black soil and a stunning view of the mountain range to our east.

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18

Jun

2019

RECORD SPEND, RECORD DROUGHT, RECORD NEGLECT

Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MP Roy Butler has expressed his disappointment in the NSW Government’s budget announcement’s today.

“The Berejiklian Government has celebrated its operating surplus and its record investment in infrastructure across the state and that’s all good - if you forget that western NSW is also part of the state.”

The Barwon electorate is 44% of the state, but hasn’t had a significant school or hospital upgrade funded in this budget.

“All I am seeing in this budget is a continuation of record neglect of western NSW,” Mr Butler said.

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15

Jun

2019

Environment Minister floats 'lending' Murray Darling environmental water to farmers

Australia's key piece of environment legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, is due to be reviewed this year.

Ms Ley said it provided "real opportunity to remove some of the green tape around environmental approvals" while maintaining the integrity of the laws.

"If you're an investor and you've got a proposal … it's reasonable that we accept your investment isn't just going to be parked for years, sometimes, until the issues have been worked through," she said.

"I think we just need to give proponents more assurances along the way."

Ms Ley said she did not intend to shut down court challenges to development decisions, however, "it's not being done in a timely enough manner".

Australian Conservation Foundation nature campaign manager Basha Stasak said talk about cutting green tape was "code for making it easier for the loggers to cut down our forests, the diggers to rip up endangered animal habitat and corporate irrigators to suck more water out of our rivers".

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14

Jun

2019

NSW Farmers welcome state government drought funding boost

NSW Farmers has welcomed the state government's commitment to boost its drought assistance, as farmers and communities continue to battle this intense, long-running drought.

On Tuesday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that the upcoming state budget would include an extra $355 million to help farmers and rural communities struggling with the drought

The money is in addition to the almost $400 million announced during the March election campaign, bringing the government's total support bill to $1.8 billion.

The new package would include $170 million in funding to fast track investment in regional infrastructure. 

NSW Farmers president James Jackson said while farmers are bearing the brunt of ongoing dry conditions, the severity and long-term nature of this drought is a having a significant impact on rural towns and communities.

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12

Jun

2019

What You Need to Know if you Plan to Buy a Car Before The End of Financial Year

Julian Parsons - Sydney

Did you know that now is the perfect time to buy a car?

The end of the financial year is right around the corner and it couldn’t be a better time to buy a new car. If you’re after a good bargain, there’s quite a bit to consider when purchasing a car.

With different financing methods and competing sales rates, there are a lot of possibilities to ensure that you get the best deal. And the good news is that both small-time car dealers and big brands are keen to sell cars at hefty discounts before the end of the financial year.

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11

Jun

2019

Drought assistance package announced

The state’s record-breaking drought continues to bite with farmers and rural communities bearing the brunt of the crisis.
 
While some regions have experienced rain during the past few months, 97 per cent of the state remains in drought, and the seasonal outlook remains bleak with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting drier than average conditions.
 
That is why the NSW Nationals in Government have today announced an Emergency Drought Relief package, bringing the total funding to more than $1.8 billion across the state, to further support farmers and regional communities.
 
I understand the effect this drought is having on our regional economy, communities and families.

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11

Jun

2019

'You’ll send yourself broke feeding cows': drought ravaged communities get budget boost

More than $350 million in emergency assistance will be set aside for NSW’s drought ravaged regions in next week’s state budget, with close to half of the cash aimed at stimulating the economies of languishing rural communities.

The new drought funding will be split in half, with $170 million allocated to aid the small towns and regional centres that service the state’s farmers.

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8

Jun

2019

Boggabri streetscape project supported by Narrabri Shire Council

Narrabri Shire Council is backing Boggabri in its bid to draw more tourists to the small town.

The council will act a sponsor for the Boggabri Business and Community Progress Association's streetscape project, which aims to revamp the CBD through unique art installations and signage.

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5

Jun

2019

Barwon MP Roy Butler calls for changes to weight requirements for harvested kangaroo carcasses

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MP, Roy Butler is calling on the NSW Government to lower the minimum harvested kangaroo carcase weight to 13kg to encourage commercial harvesting. 

Across western NSW, kangaroos are suffering unnecessarily slow cruel deaths due to the lack of water and feed available.

Despite a fall in red kangaroo population reported by the Office of Environment and Heritage, estimated numbers of grey kangaroos has increased[1]. The high kangaroo numbers have failed to be managed by current commercial harvesting rules.

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5

Jun

2019

WALGETT IGA SUPERMARKET FIRE – 5th June 2019 Press Release Walgett Shire Council

Following the devasting fire which destroyed the Walgett IGA supermarket earlier today, plans are well in place to ensure that the supply of basic food and necessities in Walgett.
Following a Local Emergency Committee planning meeting this afternoon, a working party has established the possibility of temporary grocery store site which we hoped to be confirmed in the coming days. Other foods outlets Walgett Newsagency, Inland Petroleum, Woodhams Petroleum and Café 64, have all arranged for additional supply of milk and bread and other basic essentials.
The Walgett pharmacy is also making arrangements for the additional infant supplies (baby formula, food and nappies).
While free bottled water will be available from WAMS on Thursday and Friday between the hours of 9am – 12pm.

 

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5

Jun

2019

'Devastating news' as Walgett's only supermarket for 80km is gutted by fire for the second time

The New South Wales town of Walgett is battling gruelling drought and is today hit with another blow as the community's only supermarket goes up in flames.

Key points:

  • Walgett's only supermarket, IGA, has been "severely damaged" by fire
  • Firefighters have been on the scene of the active fire since 8:30am
  • The town's nearest supermarket is now 80 kilometres away

NSW Fire and Rescue have declared the IGA Supermarket building completely destroyed after battling the active fire on Fox Street since 8:30am.

There have been no reports of injuries.

It is the second time the building has been damaged by fire after it was first destroyed in 2013.

NSW Fire and Rescue acting superintendent, Greg Wright, had previously stated that at the very least the building would be severely damaged.

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5

Jun

2019

Walgett IGA On Fire

FIRE AT WALGETT SUPERMARKET

A fire has broken out at the local supermarket in Walgett.

Emergency services were called to the IGA on Fox Street in Walgett after 8.30 this morning.

Three ambulance crews attended the scene.

No patients have required treatment at this stage.

Fire and Rescue are managing the scene.

It's the second time the building has been damaged by fire after it was destroyed in 2013.

UPDATE: 

The Department of Education says the primary school campus, Walgett Community College, has not been evacuated, despite claims in the community.

The department says students have either been taken home by their parents or moved to a safer area of the school.

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5

Jun

2019

Australia's cotton production halved as drought and low to no water allocation takes its toll

Australia's cotton production has been halved this season with drought and low-to-no water allocation for most growers taking a toll on crops.

Key points:

  • Australia's cotton crop is expected to be 2.1 million bales — about half the previous season's yield
  • Cotton Australia's chief executive says the national crop will still generate around $1.5 billion
  • He said it will not affect the global market, nor will it increase prices

While cotton picking and ginning was still underway throughout New South Wales and Queensland, Cotton Australia chief executive Adam Kay forecast the 2018/19 national crop would be around 2.1 million bales. 

"It will still generate about $1.5 billion dollars worth of export income, but production is less than half of the previous season and we expect next season it will halve again," Mr Kay said. 

"It's been a tough year, and there was this idea that cotton was somehow not impacted by drought — it's not right, the crop size halved, and it's been a very difficult year."

Mr Kay said water availability had driven yields down, which ranged from seven to 14 bales a hectare for irrigated cotton crops.

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3

Jun

2019

Spotlight Winter Publication from Cotton Research and Development.

Welcome to the Winter edition of CRDC's Spotlight magazine! 

In this edition:

  • Exercise Blueprint: focusing on biosecurity preparedness
  • Cotton & grains collaborating on Helicoverpa control
  • Girls to the front: celebrating women in cotton and science

... plus much more!

Spotlight will be landing in the mailboxes of our subscribers this week: the first week of winter.

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30

May

2019

'Myley's law': parents of six-year-old quad bike victim want change

Sydney Morning Herald

Josh Maxwell wants it to be known as "Myley's law": a series of coronial recommendations that, if implemented, could prevent tragedies similar to the one which took the life of his six-year-old daughter.

Myley Maxwell was one of two young passengers on a quad bike being driven by a 13-year-old girl on a property near Narrabri, in the state's west, when it collided with a tree.

She succumbed to head injuries soon after.

"It’s something that we, the family have got to deal with for the rest of our lives. But if we can make change to prevent other children being put in this position, we’ve done our job as parents," Mr Maxwell said outside the NSW Coroner's Court in Lidcombe on Thursday morning.

The grieving North West NSW father's comments came after Deputy State Coroner Elizabeth Ryan handed down her findings following in inquest into Myley's death, among them that adults face criminal prosecution for allowing children under 16 to ride adult-sized quad bikes.

She also recommended the NSW Attorney-General consider introducing legislation making it an offence for adults to allow children to ride any quad bike without a helmet, and legislation making it easier for police to be able to enter properties where they suspected an offence had occurred.

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30

May

2019

Why does Australia no longer have a dedicated rural health minister?

The Federal Government has announced that rural health will be one of the responsibilities for Federal Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, Mark Coulton. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has been reappointed.
 
Former Rural Health Minister Bridget McKenzie is moving to agriculture, after last year having her range of responsibilities significantly broadened.
 
RACGP Vice President and RACGP Rural Chair Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda said the college is disappointed to lose a dedicated minister.
 
‘We feel it would have been more appropriate to have a rural health minister, since we have very complicated rural issues,’ he told newsGP.

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30

May

2019

Rare bird and passionate twitchers provide huge economic boost

Birdwatching can be a compulsive pastime, a never-ending quest to see more species and add to a lifetime list.

Key Points
A study reveals birdwatchers generated an economic boom when they travelled to see the rare bird in 2017
Researchers say the study highlights the potential of bird tourism, especially around rare and vagrant birds
Work is now underway to create a bird trail in the lower Hunter Valley, NSW, to encourage tourism
It drives many devoted twitchers to travel long distances in search of unusual and hard-to-spot birds.

When a rare Alaskan shorebird, the Aleutian tern, was spotted for the first time in Australia in late 2017, hundreds of people travelled to catch a glimpse of the elusive species.

The Aleutian tern breeds in Alaska and eastern Siberia and usually spends the southern summer in the North Pacific and parts of Indonesia, so its appearance on a sandbar, off the small New South Wales mid-north coastal town of Old Bar, came as a surprise.

"There was the tufted duck in Melbourne in 2019, there was a black-headed gull in the Northern Territory, there was Australia's first collared pratincole in Perth, there was the grey-headed lapwing in Burren Junction, near Wee Waa … there's been heaps," Mr Callaghan said.

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29

May

2019

Keeping Pace: Kid Montana claims victory in Tamworth

Northern Daily Leader

Narrabri pacer Kid Montana may have been down for the count in one race but soon bounced back at the Tamworth harness meeting on Sunday afternoon.

Kid Montana had four wins on the trot before he headed to the Dubbo Carnival of Cups meeting on Friday night to contest the 2525 metre Quamby's Stayers Cup which was contested with a mile rate of 1.57.5 and finishing seventh.

Sunday afternoon saw Kid Montana bounce back into the winner's circle at Tamworth in taking out the Trans-Tasman Racing Pace with a mile rate of 1.58.4 for 1980 metres.

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28

May

2019

Investment ‘to walk out door’ over gas delays

The Australian

Businesses have threatened to pull $2 billion of planned investmen­t from NSW as frustrations mount that delays approving Santos’s Narrabri project will cripple the viability of their operations.

Gas giant Santos issued a plea yesterday for the NSW government to outline its approval timeline for its $3bn coal-seam gas project in the Gunnedah Basin just days after the Queensland government agreed on a deadline to make a call on Adani’s long-delaye­d ­Carmichael coalmine.

Santos’s demand has been reinforced­ by industrial gas custom­ers, who have agreed to preliminary deals to buy gas from Narrabri, which could meet half the gas needs of the state.

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27

May

2019

Boggabri Coal project changes approved by Independent Planning Commission

Northern Daily Leader

Boggabri Coal will be able to transport small amounts of coal by road and realign its mine boundaries under approval from the Independent Planning Commission (IPC).

On Monday, the IPC signed off on modifications to five parts of the company's existing project approval for Boggabri Coal Mine including a coal stockpile area, drilling and exploration in the approved disturbance area, and an extension of the time frame for securing biodiversity offsets.

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