Andrew Johns

Fletcher feedlot approved

By Melissa Blewitt


Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) has approved a 40,000 head sheep feedlot for Condobolin.

Conditional approval was given to the designated and integrated Development Application (DA) at its last monthly meeting on 15 June.

The development is worth $560,000, and Dubbo based Fletcher International Exports will build the facility.

The site of the proposed feedlot is located approximately 16 kilometres west of Condobolin on the northern side of the Lachlan River on the “Glenlee” part of “Kiagarthur Station”.

According to Lachlan Shire Council Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns, the feedlot will create positive economic benefits and employment opportunities in the Shire and wider regional area.

“Being a designated DA means it required the lodgement of an Environmental Impact Statement, which was done and used to assess the application,” he said.

“Integrated means approvals are needed under other acts, which are administered by other state regulatory bodies, such as the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The DA needed an Environmental Protection Licence from the EPA as it had the potential to pollute, and thus need a licence from the State Government to go ahead.

“There was some conjecture about noise and the EPA wanted a full noise assessment conducted, however, the LSC argued on behalf of the proponent against that, as the nearest residential dwelling was over five kilometres away and a feedlot in a rural area is a pretty common thing.

“The DA has been approved subject to 21 conditions.”

Lachlan Shire mayor John Medcalf said the project will boost the local economy and provide opportunities for local farmers.

“I think it will give them a little bit of confidence that there’s development happening around them,” he said.

“But also with a 40,000 [head] lamb feedlot there’s opportunity for grain suppliers as well.

“This is a very positive development for the Shire.”

Managing Director of Fletcher International Exports, Roger Fletcher, said the feedlot will complement existing regional business activities undertaken by the company, including managing “Kiagarthur Station” and their sheep processing plant in Dubbo.

“We were looking to expand our sheep finishing operations using an intensive grain feeding system,” he said.

“Kiagarthur Station is very conducive to producing the grain, hay and silage that will be used in the feedlot, so we will utilise that.

“We will be aiming to produce lambs for a range of domestic and export markets.

“We still have a lot to learn, but will be trying our best to ensure the feedlot is a success for Fletcher’s and the wider Condobolin community.”

Mr Fletcher added the feedlot would be up and running “as soon as practically possible.”

“Approvals for feedlots take a long time and there is a lot of red tape involved. That’s just the nature of these things,” he said.

“LSC have been very good to us. We will be looking to employ more people as the venture becomes established.” The feedlot will be implemented in two stages.


Improving animal welfare in Shire

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) Ranger Willy Cunningham and LSC Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns (back) together with Monique O’Reilly, Gemma Ma, Dr Ann-Margret Withers, Jess Pooley, Narelle Maxwell and Darci Bradford of RSPCA NSW, at the makeshift veterinary clinic set up at Condobolin Tennis Club Hall last week. MB.


By Melissa Blewitt


In a bid to reduce the number of unwanted companion animals in Lachlan Shire and improve their overall health, RSPCA NSW desexed, microchipped and vaccinated 100 animals in the town last week.

The project was part of the Community Animal Welfare Scheme (CAWS) which has been an initiative of RSPCA NSW in regional NSW for the past 13 years, helping to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs ending up in pounds.

A makeshift and temporarily registered veterinary clinic was set up at the Condobolin Tennis Club Hall, after permission was granted by the Veterinary Practitioners Board of NSW.

The program was funded by Lachlan Shire Council, through NSW Government’s Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program, and organised by local Ranger Willy Cunningham.

“Since this program began six years ago, we’ve seen a decrease in the number of dogs dying from the deadly parvovirus, and less unwanted puppies and kittens being abandoned,” Mr Cunningham said.

“It is important for pet owners to understand that Parvovirus is 100 per cent preventable with an appropriate course of vaccinations.

“The virus is especially active in the warmer months, and is rampant in this area over summer. It’s an absolutely awful disease. So vaccinations are extremely important.

“This is a very important program for the Shire and I want to commend and thank all the pet owners who participated.”

CAWS has been run in 16 communities, like the Lachlan Shire, for over a decade.

“This program is important as it offers services to pensioners and low income earners: who would not usually be able to afford veterinary care,” RSPCA NSW Community Outreach Programs Veterinarian Doctor Ann-Margret Withers, who ran the Condobolin Clinic, said. “The procedures were provided at a slightly subsidised cost to the owners. The program is about education and prevention.

“One hundred animals in a week is a big effort, but it will make a difference in local communities, and that is what it really is all about.”

Senseless act

• LEFT: Vandals broke crosses, pulled out flowers and smashed mementos at the Condobolin Lawn Cemetery over the Easter weekend. Local residents and family members arrived at the Cemetery to be confronted with an “atrocious act of vandalism.” “This is disgusting,” Condobolin resident Pauleen Dimos said. Her mother and father’s graves were damaged by the vandals.

By Melissa Blewitt

Local residents and family members arrived at the Condobolin Cemetery to be confronted with a senseless act of vandalism after the Easter long weekend.

Broken crosses, shattered mementos and flowers were strewn across the lawn portion of the Cemetery.

Local resident Pauleen Dimos labelled it an “atrocious act of vandalism.”

“This is disgusting,” she said.

Her mother and father’s graves were damaged by the vandals.

“It is a low act to damage a grave. Those that did this have no regard for the families or their loved ones. No family wants to come here and see something like this. It’s just wrong.”

Lachlan Shire Council’s Director of Environment and Planning, Andrew Johns, said he was upset that so many local families had to endure the sight of their loved ones graves being desecrated.

“I’m saddened to hear of the mindless vandalism that has occurred at the cemetery,” he said.

“Council will be working with Condobolin police to try and bring those responsible to justice.”

It is believed the vandalism took place between last Sunday night and early Monday morning.

The incident has been reported to the Condobolin Police.

Condobolin Vet Service is Expanding



Condobolin’s vet service is expanding. Run by Forbes Veterinary Clinic, the service currently operates on a Wednesday, but come May it will open on a Thursday as well. The expansion will allow the Clinic to offer routine surgery as part of its services, according to Practice Manager Elle Barry. Forbes Vet Clinic Veterinarian Annabel Blake with Condobolin resident Canice Coote and her Teacup Chihuahua Bindi, who are more than happy the service will be expanding. MB


By Melissa Blewitt

Condobolin’s vet service is expanding.

Run by Forbes Veterinary Clinic, the service currently operates on a Wednesday, but come May it will open on a Thursday as well.

The expansion will allow the Clinic to offer routine surgery as part of its services, according to Practice Manager Elle Barry.

“We would like to thank the Condobolin community for their valued support. The Forbes veterinary clinic at Condo is here to stay,” she said.

“Due to your valued support we are opening our clinic on a Thursday, as well as continuing our Wednesday clinic.”

Condobolin resident Canice Coote, who regularly attends the vet clinic, said it was an “invaluable” service for the community.

“We have a few pets and used to have to make trips to Forbes frequently to see a vet,” she said.

“Getting your pets into a vehicle and then driving a fair distance for treatment can be hard on everyone. I think I have been saved six trips so far since they began operating.

“Now we just book our pets in here and the staff are all wonderful. They answer any questions I have. This has been so helpful to me to have somewhere locally to bring my pets.

“Condobolin is so lucky to have such a great service.”

Lachlan Shire Council’s Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns said he was “delighted” to see the vet service increase to two days per week.

“We’re grateful that Forbes Vet Clinic have invested in Condobolin and we’re also happy that the community have supported the service so well,” he said.

Mr Johns added a modification to the Development Consent will be lodged in the near future to permit the additional day.

“It would appear that they are fitting into the locale well as we have not had any complaints from adjoining and nearby land owners,” he stated.

Services that will be on offer include emergency care, preg testing, calvings, lameness examinations, herd health, equine dentistry in conjunction with Belinda Smith, tendon scans, vaccinations and colt castrations.

“All the girls here at the Forbes Veterinary Clinic love large animal work and are more than happy to come to you,” Ms Barry said.

“Obviously the service has some limitations, in regards to specialist treatment required in some emergency situations. However, animals can be assessed in Condobolin and then a suitable course of action can be taken.”

For more information or to make an appointment please ring the clinic on 02 6852 1775.

“Any feedback regarding our services will be greatly appreciated,” Ms Barry said.

Disgusting dumping

Pigs were dumped illegally on the outskirts of Condobolin.


By Melissa Blewitt

Unknown person/s have illegally dumped a number of feral pigs on the Melrose Road in the early hours of last Sunday morning.

Lachlan Shire Council’s Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns said this practice was “disgusting” and if the perpetrators were caught they faced a fine of up to $4,000. “This an act of pollution,” he said. “Illegal dumping is a serious offence and this happened on a main road close to town, which is not acceptable. Council has removed the animals, and I urge the community to report any incidents such as this to Council or the Police.”  MB / Photo Contributed

Leaking Lake?

By Melissa Blewitt

Condobolin’s Gum Bend Lake may be leaking.

Lachlan Shire Council is aware of the issue and has consulted extensively with experts on the matter. They will meet with representatives from Local Lands Services next week. Council’s Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns acknowledged there was a potential drainage problem from storm runoff which could be contributing to the issues in relation to the lake. He said Council were monitoring the situation and would make sure the community was informed at all times. MB


Investing in Condo

A partnership between Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) and KBL Mining has seen six new miner’s cabins erected at the Riverview Caravan Park in Condobolin.

• Riverview Caravan Park operators Ally and Mark Baldock, LSC Manager Building Services Alan Townsend, local electrical contractor Jack Taylor and LSC Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns showcase the six newly established miner’s cabins in Condobolin. Inset: Inspecting one of the cabins; and a single cabin. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

A partnership between Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) and KBL Mining has seen six new miner’s cabins erected at the Riverview Caravan Park in Condobolin.

The cabins have been erected on land owned and maintained by Council, but not previously utilised.

KBL has borne the cost of the cabins and LSC has facilitated that investment.

There was a lack of short-term accommodation in town and the cabins will offer alternative living quarters for mining workers, according to LSC Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns.

“KBL will now have an influx of workers as they ramp up in their construction phase (Stage 2),” he said.

“Initially the mine was going to build on site, but that would have meant the leaking of thousands of dollars away from Condobolin.

“Another positive is that once the cabins are complete, workers will not take up Caravan Park cabins that could be utilised by tourists.”

The six cabins will be able to accommodate 15 people, and there is also a community room complete with washing machines, drier, television, fridge and a seating area.

Each cabin has three separate bedrooms, which contain a bed, fridge, storage area, reverse cycle air conditioning and an ensuite. A deck area has also been added for extra comfort.

All materials, equipment and tradespeople were sourced locally where possible.

“That was a very important aspect for us [at LSC],” Mr Johns said.

He added workers were expected to behave in a manner that was in accordance with KBL’s strict code of conduct.

“This partnership is a win for the mine and for the community,” he said.

“It proves KBL is committed to Condobolin, and the flow on effects will be positive for the town.”

New Vet Service for Condo

A new vet service is coming to Condobolin.

Lachlan Shire Council’s Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns is more than happy that Forbes Vet Clinic will be providing a one day per week vet service to Condobolin. The new vet service will be located at 17 McDonnell Street, Condobolin and will operate every Wednesday from 12 August. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

A new vet service is coming to Condobolin.

Forbes Vet Clinic will visit the town every Wednesday from 12 August, easing the burden on local pet owners who have had to travel for animal care for almost a decade.

The new clinic will be located at 17 McDonnell Street, Condobolin, and offer vaccinations, health checks and medications for pets.

Lachlan Shire Council’s Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns said while the process has been long, residents will now be able to bring their pets to a local point for care.

“The process has been a long one but now we can say Condobolin will have a vet service for one day per week,” he said.

“Residents have had to travel to access vet services in Forbes and Parkes, this new service will enable them to access pet care locally.

“Lachlan Shire Council made it a priority to bring a vet service back to Condobolin, and now we can say that it is a reality.”

Mr Johns said the building at 17 McDonnell Street (formerly Children’s Services) is ready for the Forbes Vet Clinic to move into.

“The Development Application has been approved and all relevant neighbours contacted,” he said.

“We have done some work to the property, replacing carpet with vinyl floor coverings and now it is ready to go.”

One limitation of the new service, is that it will not be a registered vet surgery, so no operations will be undertaken on the site.

“No operations can be done at this stage, but Forbes Vet Clinic will look at the need for those types of services and look at options in around 12 months time,” Mr Johns said.

“Animals that require surgery will be referred to their clinic in Forbes.”

Forbes Vet Clinic Vet Saraih Werry said the business is “very excited” to be bringing such a service to Condobolin.

“We hope to be able to offer stock pregnancy testing to farmers and bring an equine dentist over,” she said.

“Forbes Vet Clinic couldn’t be happier to be providing the community with their services.

“We look forward to coming to Condobolin,” she said.

© 2010 Condobolin Argus - Design by Upside Down Websites