By Melissa Blewitt
Lachlan, Parkes and Forbes Shires are committed to helping Learner drivers become safer drivers.
A free workshop for parents and supervisors of learner drivers will be held at Condobolin High School on 1 June, commencing at 6pm.
The free two hour workshop, Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers, will offer parents and supervisors hands-on advice on how to provide the most effective driving practice for learner drivers.
Lachlan Shire Council’s Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer (Relief), Logan Dolbel, who is presenting the workshop says it is well worth attending.
“Parents and supervisors of learner drivers have a crucial role to play in making our roads safer. That is why Lachlan Shire Council have teamed up with Roads and Maritime Services to hold these FREE two hour workshops to offer practical advice to parents and supervisors on how to help learner drivers become safer drivers,” he said.
“The workshop covers topics such as; the new licence conditions for learner and P-plate drivers, how to use the Learner Driver Logbook, the benefits of on-road driving sessions and tips on supervising a learner driver.
“Parents and supervisors who have attended this workshop in the past have found that it boosted their confidence, helped them better plan driving sessions and allowed them to share their experiences with other parents and supervisors.”
Light refreshments will be available during the workshop. Bookings are essential and can be made by calling Mr Dolbel on 02 6861 2364.
By Melissa Blewitt
The Lachlan, Forbes and Parkes Shires are preparing to hold free child restraint checking days as part of their major road safety initiative – ‘Im Counting on you’.
A free child car safety check will be held in Condobolin, on 1 June from 12 noon to 2pm.
The event will take place in the car park behind the Condobolin RSL Club.
Bookings are essential. Please phone (02) 6861 2364 to book or for further information.
There will also be a free barbecue and colouring in competition on the day.
The Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer (Relief), Logan Dolbel, says the ‘I’m counting on you’ project focuses on the correct selection, use and fitting of child restraints.
“Opening last year, the project was warmly welcomed within our community, with the provision of free child restraint checking days held at four different locations across the three shires,” he said.
“The ongoing aim of the project is to investigate local knowledge of the types of child restraints available, their correct usage, and the national laws. This is being used to guide the development and implementation of a thorough education campaign to improve child restraint awareness and use in our community.”
National child restraints laws have been in effect in NSW since 2010. Children are required to be seated in an approved child restraint, appropriate for their size until they are seven years of age. Research shows that a child that is properly secured in an approved child restraint is less likely to be injured or killed in a car crash than one who is not.
“Every year more than 500 children are killed or injured in car crashes across Australia. Often injuries are caused by the use of an ill-fitting child restraint (where the child is too young and/or too small for the restraint) or by a restraint being fitted incorrectly. Two out of three child restraints are not being used properly,” Mr Dolbel said.
By Melissa Blewitt
A planned 80-hour strike across the Essential Energy network has been averted.
Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo, Tottenham and Trundle depots were to be part of the strike.
The industrial action, which was to begin on Monday, 23 May, was halted after the Fair Work Commisison ordered the company into a 21-day bargaining period with the Electrical Trades Union (ETU).
Lawyers for the NSW Government owned electricity network operator had been attempting to have the industrial umpire suspend the period of protected industrial action, which would have prevented the strike but allowed management to continue their attacks on the wages and conditions of workers.
The ETU argued that the FWC should instead take the other course of action available — the termination of the protected action period. This would automatically trigger a three week bargaining period and arbitration of the dispute by the independent umpire if required.
The Commission agreed with the union, ordering a halt to the strike action that was due to commence at 10pm on Monday, 23 May, and a commencement of the 21 day bargaining period which, if unsuccessful, will allow the independent umpire to resolve the dispute by deciding all outstanding matters.
ETU secretary Steve Butler said the decision was the best outcome available to the union to finally bring an end to the longrunning dispute over Essential Energy’s attempts to immediately cut 800 regional jobs, as well as reduce wages and conditions for the remaining workers.
“Essential Energy management have been unwilling to budge despite more than a year of negotiations, making it almost impossible to reach an agreement,” he said.
“This ruling is the best possible outcome for workers because it not only forces the company to sit down and negotiate in good faith, but it also means that if no agreement is reached in the next three weeks the Fair Work Commission will take the decision process out of management’s hands.
“Arbitration means the union will be able to put its case to the independent umpire who will then make a final decision that Essential Energy management are legally bound by.”
Mr Butler has written to ETU members explaining the decision, and urging them to vote against a proposed agreement being put forward by management.
“The union will now focus on advancing the strongest possible arguments to minimise any impact on workers and deliver an outcome that is much fairer than what management have proposed,” he said.
Essential Energy Acting Chief Executive Officer, Gary Humphreys, said: “Essential Energy will always put the safety of our employees, contractors and the public above anything else so we are pleased that the Fair Work Commission has shut down the protected industrial action proposed by the ETU.” The application was heard over six hours.
LAURA (OPPY) THORNTON – As read at her 100th birthday party last Saturday.
Laura was born Laura Jean Oppy to William and Mary Ann Oppy on the 23rd of May 1916 at Condobolin.
William Oppy was born at Chinamans Flat, Timor, Victoria on the 8th of February 1868. Laura’s mother, Mary Ann Jane Agatha Doyle was born on the 17th of August 1872, at Braidwood, New South Wales.
William came to the Condobolin district in 1888. He worked at ‘The Overflow’ Station for some time, then at ‘North Condobolin Station’ where from 1917 he was the Overseer and then the Manager.
William and Jane married on the 13th September 1890 at the Church of England Church, Condobolin. When his wife Jane became ill in 1926, William bought “Maida Vale” on the outskirts of Condobolin, some 40 acres, which he farmed wheat, cows, sheep, pigs, chooks turkeys and horses.
One of the horses, ‘Chess’ went into the Light Horse in World War II with his grandson, Ron Oppy, until he was injured in a stampede and was medically discharged – the horse, not Ron.
Bill died aged 81 years on the 10th November 1949, followed by the death of Jane, aged 77 years on 2nd December 1949, both at “Maida Vale”.
Laura is the second youngest of 12 children, with two sons not living. Laura’s siblings are James, Henry, John, Edmund, Mary, Ellen, George, Fred and Ivy. The two sons not living were William and Thomas.
It is wonderful that Nan’s little sister, Ivy, was able to join with us today to help celebrate such a special birthday.
In her younger years, Laura started school at Mogandale, up until 1926, when her father moved and bought “Maida Vale”. She finished her schooling days at Condobolin Public School.
The family moved a lot in the younger years, living at Derriwong, Yarrabandai and North Condobolin.
As time went on, after leaving school, Nan started working, finding employment at the Railway Hotel.
She enjoyed her work and being with family and friends. Then along came a young good looking lad, by the name of Charles Thornton (who we all know as ‘Charlie), who Laura met at a friend’s place. A romance blossomed and Laura married Charlie on the 4th of August 1934 at the Church of England Church, Condobolin.
Together they had seven children, Velma, Joyce, Merle, Allan, Colleen, Ann and Barry.
Colleen, this is where you belong in the family, and yes, there are 7, not 6 like you think!!!!
Velma made a recent discovery when in Sydney to get a birth certificate. She discovered she was registered as ‘Nelma’ not Velma. After hours and hours and much paperwork, things are sorted, is that right, ‘N’elma, oops I mean Velma.
Joyce and Barry are unfortunately no longer with us, but are here today, in spirit, watching over us, together with Charlie.
Charlie worked as a station hand at Ootha and at Burrawong, before joining the Railway, where he worked as a Fettler. This took them many places, living at Euabalong West, Yarrabandai, Condobolin and Parkes where he joined a gang and travelled to and from jobs. Finally upon retirement from the Railway they moved to Tullamore before settling at Bogan Gate.
Living at Bogan Gate, Laura and Charlie came to see lots of family and friends as this warm, friendly home was the drop in centre for anyone travelling, to rest a while, refresh with a cuppa and a chat.
Laura loved fishing, a great past time she enjoyed very much with her beloved Charlie. Together with Charlie’s brother Keith and wife, Betty, many hours and adventures were spent camping along the river bank. Many a yarn and a tale or two were told to family after their fishing trips. Lots of family joined them on their adventures while fishing, but the stories were still the same, ‘About the ‘one’ that got away’.
After the love of her life passed away on the 27th January 1994, aged 83 years, Laura had to make a decision on whether she should stay at their home in Bogan Gate, which Charlie had built and they had shared for 21 years, or move. After remaining there for a while Laura decided to move into Condobolin and took up residence at the local Retirement Village on the 13th May 2002.
Nan has made herself quite at home at the village, keeping the staff on their toes and telling a yarn or three. The special staff that Nan has such a high regard for are here tonight to join in the celebrations with us.
In her years at the village, Nan’s passion has been reading. She seems to devour books like a book worm. Her second love would have to be knitting. Keeping herself active in mind and body, those needles are always clicking, having made many rugs for the family over the years. She’s also developed a bit of a passion for watching the footy on the telly as well.
Anyone wanting to know the score would only have to ask and Laura would be able to tell them.
Laura, (Nan, as she is affectionately known), has a total of 7 children, who, by the looks of it, know how to reproduce…
She has 22 grandchildren, (with the outlaws making it 42) plus a total of 78 great grandchildren.
But wait there’s more! We can’t forget the 27 great, great grandchildren, with 3 more to arrive later in the year.
This gives a grand total of 154 + 3.
Remembering, without Laura, who is the head of this family, the rest of us would not be here today. She’s strong, supportive and at times stubborn, and we all love her dearly. She has helped shape us into the people we are today and we are so blessed to have her in our lives.
Family is family, no matter what. Even if we are separated by distance, we are all one, together with special friends; we have all come together to celebrate this very prestigious occasion.
I would like you all to stand and raise your glass, can, bottle or cup and together we will toast to a most wonderful lady, here is to you, Laura Jean Thornton on turning 100.
By Melissa Blewitt
Condobolin Essential Energy workers will participate in unprecedented strike action from Monday, 23 May.
They will walk off the job in an attempt to bring an end to a long-running industrial dispute with management at the company.
Workers from Lake Cargelligo, Tottenham and Trundle depots will also join in the strike.
More than 120 workplaces, depots and control rooms are impacted by the stoppage.
Unlike previous stoppages, the union will not provide a skeleton staff during the stop work period, meaning management will need to resolve this dispute or make alternative arrangements.
The Electrical Trade Union (ETU) formally served notice of the protected industrial action last Wednesday 11 May, which will consist of twenty consecutive four hour stoppages commencing at 10pm on Monday 23 May and concluding at 6am on Friday 27 May.
ETU NSW secretary Steve Butler said workers had endorsed the major escalation of industrial action in a lastditch attempt to resolve the dispute over a new workplace agreement, which has now dragged on for more than 18 months.
“For 18 months, Essential Energy management have refused to come to an agreement, have rejected a range of generous concessions from the union, have refused to allow the industrial umpire to intervene, have put forward a proposal that would see the immediate slashing of 800 regional jobs, and have launched unprecedented legal action to cut our members’ pay and conditions,” he said.
“That sort of aggressive, autocratic management — where workers are told they have no choice but to accept massive cuts to jobs, services, pay, and conditions — has no place in a modern Australian workplace and is completely unacceptable to our members.
“Rather than allow this dispute to continue to drag on for months or even years, union members have decided to bring it to a head with an unprecedented escalation of strike action that will see them walk out of more than 120 workplaces for a total of 80 hours later this month.
“Unfortunately, this means the stoppage may impact on electricity services for some in the community, but customers can blame management and the NSW Government for their lack of will to resolve this matter.”
By Melissa Blewitt
Lachlan Shire residents who want to vote at the Federal Election on 2 July, are running out of time to enrol.
People must be enrolled by 8pm on Monday, 23 May.
Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said all Australian citizens aged 18 years and over are required by law to enrol and vote in the 2 July Federal Election.
“Enrolling and voting is compulsory. If you are not enrolled, you can’t vote in the 2016 federal election,” he said.
“You can enrol conveniently online at aec.gov.au on your computer, tablet or smartphone.”
Mr Rogers also urged all Australians, especially those who have moved in the last three years, to immediately check that their details were up to date on the electoral roll.
“If you’re not sure that you are correctly enrolled to vote, go to aec.gov.au/check or, if you need help, call us on 13 23 26,” he said.
“If you’re on the roll but moved since the last election, or changed your name, you need to update your enrolment details online at aec.gov.au”
Australians unable to go online can pick up a paper enrolment form at any AEC office or Australia Post outlet, however, correctly completed applications must be returned to the AEC by the 8pm 23 May deadline.
Seventeen year old Australians turning eighteen years of age on or before 2 July 2016 should also enrol and vote in the Federal Election.
By Melissa Blewitt
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has approved Lachlan Shire Council’s (LSC) application for a special rate variation of 32.31 per cent.
The rate rise will happen over the next four years.
LSC applied for an increase of 6.8 per cent in 2016-17 and 7.4 per cent in each of the next three years, 2017-18 to 2019-20, including the rate peg, to be retained permanently in the rate base.
The rate increase was seen as an imperative part of Council’s bid to ‘stand alone’, and help them meet several financial, infrastructure and efficiency targets.
“Council is very pleased that its submission has been approved in full as the increase is essential for Council to meet the Fit for the Future targets set by the NSW Government and allows Lachlan Shire Council to be a stand-alone Council in the future,” LSC General Manager Robert Hunt said.
“Council received great community support for its Keep Lachlan Local campaign and for the special rate variation application and these two factors proved the difference in Lachlan Shire Council either remaining autonomous or being merged, as was the case recently with many other councils across the state.
“On behalf of Council I can assure you that the increased funds raised from the special rate variation ($260,000 in 2016/17) will see an increase in maintenance and construction throughout the Shire over the coming years.”
“Based on Lachlan Shire Council’s application, in 2016-17 the average residential rate would increase by $31, the average business rate by $35, and the average farmland rate by $182,” IPART Chairman Peter Boxall said.
Dr Boxall said the council’s application was assessed against the NSW Government’s published criteria. All submissions received from ratepayers, community groups and other stakeholders were also considered.
“Lachlan Shire Council was able to meet the criteria for approval of the special variation by demonstrating a clear need for the additional revenue, and that it is taking steps to improve productivity and contain costs,” he explained.
In approving the council’s application, IPART has imposed conditions requiring the additional income be used for the purposes outlined in the application, and that the council report to the community, in its Annual Report each year until 2025-26, on the outcomes achieved.
By Melissa Blewitt
Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) is seeking new management for the Condobolin Retirement Village.
Around 100 people crowded the Council Chambers to discuss the future of the facility at a public meeting last Tuesday.
Patrick Herd from Community Business Australia, who has been employed by LSC as a consultant, chaired the meeting.
Lachlan Shire Mayor John Medcalf announced at the meeting, Council was looking to an approved provider within the aged care industry to take over operations as early as July.
The Whiddon Group confirmed at the meeting that it will continue to manage the Village until a new provider is chosen and the transition process concludes.
A major concern for some, was the fact the Retirement Village would no longer be accepting new residents until this process is finalised. “My concern is that the people who will need it most during this time, will have to go out of town, and won’t return,” a concerned resident stated. Whiddon and LSC both confirmed no new residents would be accepted until all processes were finalised.
“Council plans to secure an experienced provider in a long term appointment to ensure ongoing quality care for residents, continued support for existing staff and to guarantee a sustainable future for the village”, Councillor Medcalf said.
Two important questions remained unanswered after the meeting, after they were raised by coimmunity members.
Firstly, what was the “honest” reason for the breakdown of the relationship between LSC and Whiddon; and What would happen if no aged care provider could be found.
Expressions of interest will be evaluated by Council at a special meeting scheduled for mid-June, and the successful applicant will be invited to present their proposal at a public forum shortly after.
By Melissa Blewitt
Much of Condobolin will be without water, as Lachlan Shire Council undertakes critical maintenance works, prior to upgrading the Denison Street reticulation on Sunday, 22 May.
The major water interruption will take place between 8am and 5pm.
Residents and business owners are advised there will be a complete loss of supply, according to Lachlan Shire Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, Phil King.
“The interruption is to allow Council to undertake further critical maintenance works prior to upgrading the Denison Street reticulation,” he explained. Residents in the affected areas are requested to ensure they have ample water in reserve to cover their requirements during the interruption to service.
Residents in the affected areas are requested to open an outside tap once loss of supply has commenced.
Consumers residing in all other streets of Condobolin may experience reduced pressure and water discolouration, although are not expected to lose water supply.
Any residents that have a special water need should contact Council immediately on 02 6895 1900 for service arrangements to be made.
Streets to be affected are: Adams Avenue, Alldis Street, Bathurst Street, Bathurst Lane, Baxter Street, Bright Street, Browns Lane, Burnett Street, Busby Street, Condon Street, Craft Crescent, Crouch Street, Denison Street, Diggers Avenue, Doyle Street, Evans Street, Fay Street, Gatenby Street, Georges Lane, Gifford Place, Golf Links Road, Goobang Street, Goodwill Street, Gordon Street, Graf Street, Gum Bend Road, Harding Avenue, Hay Street, Henry Parkes Way, High Street, Honan Street, Innes Street, Jones Lane, Kiacatoo Road, Kurrajong Street, L’Estrange Street, Lachlan Street, Lachlan Valley Way, Madline Street, Mahonga Street, Maitland Street, Marsden Lane, Maslin Street, May Street, McDonnell Street, McGregor Street, Melrose Street, Melrose Road, Miller Street, Moller Street, Molong Street, Mooney Street, Moulder Street, Napier Street, North Forbes Road, Officers Parade, Orange Street, Oxley Street, Randall Place, Rogers Street, Scott Street, Silo Road, Station Street, Stenhouse Street, Tasker Street, The Gipps Way, Turner Street, Watson Street, Wattle Street, Whiley Street, William Street, Willis Lane, Willow Bend Road and Willow Bend Village.
By Melissa Blewitt
A 34-year-old man was lucky to escape serious injury when the road train he was driving, overturned at a railway crossing on the Kiacatoo Road near Condobolin, last Sunday afternoon.
The accident occurred at 2.30pm, when the Mack Prime Mover and two trailers, fully loaded with cotton, left the roadway.
The driver has indicated to Police, after he left a property 10 kilometres out of Condobolin on the Kiacatoo Road, as he approached the S-Bend near the Railway Crossing, he tried to apply the brakes of the prime mover, but they didn’t work.
It is believed he took the S-Bend at a speed of approximately 50 kilometres an hour, and as a result the prime mover and trailers overturned.
The driver was trapped in the truck for a short time, before being freed by Emergency Services. He was conveyed to Condobolin Hospital with minor injuries. Local Police, Emergency Services and an Ambulance attended the scene. Half of the road was closed as the clean-up commenced, with heavy lifting equipment brought in, to move the prime mover and trailers.
Investigations are continuing into the accident. If anyone witnessed the incident or has information contact Condobolin Police on 6895 2577.
Thank you will never be enough
By Melissa Blewitt
There was definitely a moment when 34-year-old truck driver Jamie Ingram, thought he might die, after the prime mover he was driving overturned and caught on fire.
He said he was conscious throughout the ordeal, and he cannot thank all those that put their lives on the line to save his, last Sunday afternoon.
“Words cannot express just how grateful I am to all those who were first on the scene,” he said.
“I was trapped in the truck. It was overturned and on fire. But they didn’t think twice about helping me. They put their lives on the line to save mine. There are no words to express how thankful I am for what they did for me.
“If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here now. I was awake the whole time, and I thought I was going to burn alive and know everything that was happening.
“They had to cut me free. But they never hesitated. I am so proud to be an Aussie. They were fearless. I will be forever grateful.”
Jamie said he was conveyed to the Condobolin Hospital, and then sent onto Orange Base Hospital for scans. He was discharged late last Sunday night, and he is now recuperating at home in Parkes.
“I just don’t know everyone that was there to help me. I want to say thank you to the Condobolin community for helping me when I needed it the most,” he said.
“I have been a truck driver for a long time. I have seen accidents, but I have never been in such a situation myself until now. Everybody worked together to save my life. They all acted swiftly and bravely.
“The SES, the ambulance, the hospital, the police. All the volunteers that ensured I got out of the truck. Thank you will never be enough. It is a debt that I can never repay.”
By Melissa Blewitt
Lachlan Shire Council has given its support to the Lachlan Domestic Violence Committee and the creation of ‘Little Towns, Big Voices’, a documentary outling the effects of family and domestic violence in rural towns.
The documentary will be officially launched at 11.30am on Thursday, 26 May at the Condobolin RSL Club.
Featuring Peter Garret as presenter, this raw and cutting edge documentary outlines the effects of family and domestic violence in rural towns by focusing on real people with real stories which confront the viewer in a moving and emotionally raw way.
The documentary has been produced by Earthstar Productions.
The NSW Police Force, Lachlan Local Area Command also supported this initiative and utilised the documentary to explain new legislation known as Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool. DVSAT is a risk assessment tool that police officers complete at each domestic violence incident they attend.
The legislation allows for video recorded statements taken from domestic violence complainants to be admitted as part of their “Evidence in Chief” during a defended hearing for charges and associated ADVO applications.
The Lachlan Domestic Violence committee has received funding from local CWA branches, The Aboriginal Liaison Unit of NSW Police Force and The House with No Steps (Forbes) to acquire a study guide developed by Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM). This study guide will be used with the
By Melissa Blewitt
Lachlan Shire Council has approved a $400,000 Car Wash development in Condobolin.
It will be located at 136 Bathurst Street, and include one automatic wash bay, two manual wash bays, two vacuum bays, a plant room, a dog wash and the installation of advertising signage (one wall sign and two illuminated pylon signs).
The Development Application also includes permission for the demolition of an exisiting shed and an ancillary carport. It was approved and unanimously supported at the April Council meeting.
“A Mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take.” Families all across the Lachlan Shire showered their mums with love, laughter and happiness, last Sunday on Mother’s Day. The Condobolin Preschool held a Pamper Day last Thursday, where all ladies were treated to a hand massage, a photo booth, jewellery making and so much more.
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By Melissa Blewitt
The beauty of blooms will abound at the Autumn Flower Show.
A truly, magnificent event featuring stunning local floral entries will be held at the Anglican Parish Hall in Condobolin on Friday, 6 May.
The official Flower Show opening will take place at 1.30pm. Special attractions this year include a display of Yesteryear Baby Clothing and a trading table.
Entry is by a gold coin donation, with afternoon tea to take place from 2pm to 3.30pm for a cost of $8. There will also be a lucky door prize.
Entries for the Flower Show will be taken on Friday morning only from 8.30am to 10.30am.
The entry fee is 20 cents for all sections. There will be three classes to enter. Class A is Chrysanthemums, Class B is Cut Flowers and Class C is Floral Art. A total of seven trophies will be on offer over the three classes.
Class A will be judged in two sections; one is an open section which includes all entries, and then there will be a local section that is only open to Lachlan Shire residents. Flower Show entries will be left on display until 4pm. The Autumn Flower Show is presented by Condobolin Anglican Women’s Association and Condobolin Garden and Floral Art Club Inc.
Contact Pam Webb on 6895 2318 or Lynn L’Estrange on 6895 2738 for further information.