Popular Quality Wool ‘Wool Drive’ on again



The popular Quality Wool ‘Wool Drive’ is on again this year to raise much needed funds for Ronald McDonald House Westmead during the 2016 season and the company is calling on all woolgrowers to contribute to this great cause.

The charity wool auction has raised more than $150,000 for Ronald McDonald House Westmead over the past three years.

Ronald McDonald House Westmead provides a “home away from home’’ for families with seriously ill children who require medical attention and attend appointments at The Children’s Hospital Westmead. It relies heavily on community fundraising and volunteers to help keep it operating.

Quality Wool is encouraging all growers to donate wool oddments or any type of wool towards the ‘Wool Drive’. The company has committed to press, test and auction the wool free of charge, with all proceeds going to Ronald McDonald House Westmead.

Growers can deliver wool to the company’s Condobolin, Parkes, Orange and Wagga Wagga stores, or Quality Wool can visit farms to pick up wool and clean out sheds.

Quality Wool is collecting wool through until December 16, 2016, with the auction set to be held in February 2017, and 100 per cent of the proceeds will go to Ronald McDonald House Westmead.

TK takes on new role



• Tekohi Rivera, who is fine with being known as TK, is the new Director of Infrastructure Services at Lachlan Shire Council. MB


By Melissa Blewitt

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) has a new Director of Infrastructure Services.

He has replaced Phil King, who left in June this year.

Tekohi Rivera, is no stranger to Condobolin, having previously worked for the LSC in 2009 in a temporary role (maternity relief) as acting operations manager.

Tekohi, who is fine with being known as TK, is excited to be back in a place where he formed fond memories and friendships.

“I remember many people from my time here and they remember me, so I am very happy to be back,” he said.

Prior to commencing work in his new position, TK worked as Project Manager for the Roads and Maritime Services at Parkes in their Infrastructure Development and Delivery section.

Before that he had an overseas posting on the island nation of Nauru, working for their government leading its phosphate mining and land rehabilitation operations.

TK said he has worked in various parts of Australia, including five years in the Pilbara region during the recent resource sector boom. There he gained valuable experience in the project management of a range of engineering works in remote locations. However, TK was quick to add, that he has always kept a close eye on the Lachlan Shire.

“I have been watching the Lachlan Shire for the past eight years, as to how it has been travelling through the drought and most recently the NSW Government amalgamation process,” he explained.

“They [LSC] have faced significant challenges. They have always proved themselves to be resilient in the tough times.

“I am very grateful that the opportunity has come up now and that I was in the area where I could take up the position.

“My wife and three children are also looking forward to living in Condobolin.” As soon as he finds suitable accommodation in the Shire, TK said he will relocate his family.

TK believes LSC has a strong future, and he is looking forward to being part of a leadership team that grows and develops with the community.

A Digger, A Sapper, A Combat Engineer

• One of Condobolin’s oldest serving Diggers Ron L’Estrange with Vietnam Veteran Alan Townsend, who gave the 2016 ANZAC Day address. Mr Townsend served 21 years as a Combat Engineer and achieved the rank of Sergeant Major. Full covergae of ANZAC Day on pages 8, 10, 11 and 12. MB

The 2016 ANZAC Day address was given by Alan R Townsend RAE (Sapper) ARA (Retired). Mr Townsend also works at Lachlan Shire Council as the Manager Building Services.

Today we come together not to celebrate battles or to glorify wars, but to honour and remember those who have served and who are currently serving in all conflicts as Australians protecting Australians, their way of life, and the freedom to enjoy, through selfless sacrifices they have endured.

The spirit of the ANZAC was bequeathed to all Australians, by young Australian diggers and New Zealand soldiers, on the 25 April 1915 at Gallipoli, and now is our National Day of Commemoration.

At Gallipoli the ANZAC fought a formidable enemy, with ferocious intensity, at all cost, over the harshest of terrain and at such a young age, some didn’t even shave. The campaign was lost, some 8,000 diggers had given their lives, and more than 24,000 soldiers were wounded, before the final withdrawal creating the ANZAC legend to be born.

The Australian’s didn’t take kindly to the loss of her sons, forcing the World and the Empire to recognise their value, their worth. Australia, a young country, 14 years old, was now given a bond, of courage, determination, of fighting prowess, of mateship and larrikinism, and they proved they were the best.

The first Australians to serve in a foreign campaign, was a NSW contingent in the Sudan War in 1885, and at the turning of the century, Australians again saw service in the Boer War. The Great War to end all wars, saw Australia drawn into World War I, declared by others with a sense of duty to the Empire, King and Country. The first contingents were all volunteers with firm beliefs this was the basis of ferocity which created the ANZAC legend. The Australians and New Zealanders acquitted themselves with distinction throughout the Great War with heavy losses through Turkey, France, Belgium and Egypt, and to the ultimate success to end the Great War.

Let us pay our respects and remember all service men and women, at home and abroad, who have sacrificed their freedom, so that we as Australians can live a lifestyle enjoyed by all. To be safe and secure, with protection of rights, in a humane environment, with that ANZAC Spirit looking over us at night.

We pay our respects and remember those who gave the supreme sacrifice defending our country in all campaigns from the First and Second World Wars, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and more recently Iraq and Afghanistan, and to the service of all who have served Australia in Peace Keeping and multi-national campaigns or operational service around the world.

In Australia today, with terrorism and evil on our doorstep, serving our nation means much more than the foreign campaigns, therefore we must also, pay our respects to the Emergency Services, keeping us safe from harm’s way, guided by the ANZAC Spirit. I once worked for an Emergency Services Commissioner, and in a hostile situation, he looked me in the eye and said, “Whatever it takes”, a true expression of the ANZAC tradition.

We should remember and pay our respects to those who have supported our service men and women in service and returning from service, because unfortunately they change both physically and mentally from the service that they have given and endured.

There are no winners in war, just legends born, from every day men and women, not wanting to die, but willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, for abnormalities or war, so that we may enjoy what Australia is today, your freedom of choice, and your right to have your say.

Today I would like to make a special mention of the last Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel, Mr Faole Bokoi of the Manari Village, who passed away on the 7 March 2016. The Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, fighting for freedom in their own country, helped save many a digger’s life as bearers and guides, on the Kokoda Track in World War II, and just like our ANZAC’s, they became legends and a spirit reincarnated from the horrors of war.

I would now like to read a poem written by a Digger about those Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.

“Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels”

Many a mother in Australia

When their busy day is done

Sends a prayer to the Almighty

For the keeping of her son

Asking that an angel guide him

And bring him safely back

Now we see those prayers answered

On the Owen Stanley Track

For they haven’t any halos

Only holes slashed in their ears

And their faces worked by tattoos

With scratch pins in their hair

Bringing back the badly wounded

Just as steady as a horse

Using leaves to keep the rain off

As gentle as a nurse

Slow and careful in the bad places

On the awful mountain track

The look upon their faces

Would make you think Christ was black

Not a move to hurt the wounded

As they treat him like a saint

It’s a picture worth recording

That an artist’s yet to paint

Many a lad will see his mother

And husband see their wives

Just because a Fuzzy Wuzzy

Carried them to save their lives

From mortar bombs and machine gun fire

Or chance surprise attacks

To the safety and the care of doctors

At the bottom of the track

May the mothers of Australia

When they offer up a prayer

Mention those impromptu angels

With their fuzzy wuzzy hair.

Written by Bert Beros Sapper. Bert a veteran of both WWI and WWII, wrote this poem whilst fighting on the Owen Stanley Track in the highlands of New Guinea. Like myself, Bert wasn’t famous, just a Digger, a Sapper and a Combat Engineer.

For my final words of commemoration today. I have written my own short poem.

Please let us all remember,

And never ever forget,

Who gave you what you’ve got today,

Don’t take it all for granted,

Our diggers pay the price,

Remembering the Spirit of the ANZACS,

And the ultimate sacrifice.

Water to be interrupted in Condobolin


Condobolin Water Supply to be interrupted in Condobolin on the 1st May.


by Melissa Blewitt

There will be a complete loss of water supply to 30 Streets in Condobolin on 1 May.

The interruption will happen between 8am and 7pm, as Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) undertakes planned valve replacement works in Denison and Orange Streets.

“The interruption is to allow Council to undertake critical maintenance works prior to upgrading water mains in Denison Street,” LSC Director of Infrastructure Services Phil King said.

“Residents in the affected areas are requested to open an outside tap (preferably the closest tap to your meter) once loss of supply has commenced.

“This will assist with pressure and discolouration. Council advises that taps be left open for three minutes following water supply being reinstated.”

“You can direct this water through a sprinkler, so that it doesn’t go to waste” Mr King said.

The streets that will be affected are: Madline Street (far eastern end); Maitland Street (east of Leifermann St); Jones Lane; Browns Lane; Worthingtons Lane; Willis Lane; Burnett Street; May Street; Parkes Road; Station Street; Rogers Street; Kurrajong Street; Honan Street; Mooney Street; Goobang Street; Gordon Street; Denison Street; North Forbes Road; Willow Bend Village; Willow Bend Road; Oxley Street; Marsden Street; Evans Street; Bathurst Street (east of William St); Lachlan Street (east of William St); Orange Street (east of Melrose St); Molong Street (east of Melrose St); William Street (Molong St to Bathurst St); Napier Street (south of Molong St); and McDonnell Street (south of Molong St).

Residents in all other streets of Condobolin may experience reduced pressure and water discolouration, although it is not expected that complete loss of water supply will occur in other streets.

“All consumers are advised they may experience some further discoloration of the supply in the 24 to 48 hours following the works,” Mr King said.

“Residents in the affected areas are requested to ensure they have ample water in reserve to cover their requirements during the interruption to service.”

A letter and a map, outlining all of the affected streets, will also be sent to residents, Mr King said.

Residents who have a special water need, should contact LSC immediately for service arrangements to be made.

For further information contact Lachlan Shire Council’s Manager Utilities Chris Perry, during office hours on 02 6895 1900.

Roaring back into town

• Bike rider Marty Vukovic and Sue Henley of Condobolin at last years annual Condo Charity bike run. Scott Chamney


By Melissa Blewitt

The Condobolin community can go ‘hog wild’ when 80 riders roar into town as part of the 2016 Condobolin Picnic Races.

This will be the eleventh year the group has made their way to Condobolin, bringing fun and raising funds for local projects.

Some 80 riders will converge on the town for the weekend of the races, offering rides on their Harley Davidson motorcycles that will benefit the Condobolin Helipad.

The history of this ride began in November 2005, when organiser Manfred (Freddy) Wittek and nine of his friends came to Condobolin to visit their friend Greg Cooper (former publican of the Condobolin Hotel).

“It was Greg’s idea for us to come back in February for the Picnic races weekend and to give some of the locals rides on our Harley Davidson Motorcycles,” Mr Wittek said.

“And to hopefully raise some money for a local cause.”

During that first weekend, they had 15 riders. Now 11 years later the number has grown to 80, coming to town for the races weekend.

Over the years, the group has supported the Lions Club, Ugly Bar Tender, Fairholme Bush Fire Brigade and now the Condobolin Hospital Helipad.

Last year they raised and donated $3,000, which was donated to the United Hospital Auxiliary’s (UHA) Helipad project.

“All the guys coming out to Condobolin for the ride and the races weekend are friends and friends of friends. We are not a Motorcycle club or a gang, just a bunch of guys that enjoy and ride and a good time,” Mr Wittek said.

“On Saturday (20 February) morning we will be doing Harley Davidson Motor Cycle rides around town for a donation to the Helipad as well as raffling off a few prizes over the weekend. Bob with his Trike will also be back this year.

“This year we want to sell a day out (Sunday, 21 February) for a Ride on a Harley Davidson Motorcycle with Lunch.

“We would love to have the support of the Condobolin community. Come and enjoy a ride, and help raise money for a great local cause.”

Rates to rise with special variation

• Rate comparison for 2015/16. Cont

Rates in the Lachlan Shire look set to rise after Council began the community consultative process last week. Three community meetings were held in Lake Cargelligo, Condobolin and Tottenham. The Council outlined their application for a special rate variation, which will be put to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) by the end of this month. Council is seeking a 32.31 per cent rate rise over the next four years, which would see around $1 million returned to the bottom line. The rate increase is seen as an imperative part of Council’s bid to ‘stand alone’.

By Melissa Blewitt

Rates will rise in the Lachlan Shire if an application for a special variation is approved by the Independent Regulatory and Pricing Tribunal (IPART).

A proposed 32.31 per cent rate increase over four years will see Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) attempt to meet several financial, infrastructure and efficiency targets.

According to LSC General Manager Robert Hunt for LSC to become ‘Fit for the Future’ hard decisions had to be made.

“Following a thorough review of our operations, we reduced expenditure, cut staff, raised some user fees and charges, looked at increasing productivity, borrowed money, reviewed service levels and proposed a rate increase of 32.31 per cent to be staged over four years,” he said.

“LSC then met all the targets with the exception of scale and capacity which IPART stated was due to our population being under 10,000, however the Government believes some Councils do have scale and capacity and LSC is awaiting advice on this.”

LSC has twice previously engaged Micromex Pty Ltd to independently survey 250 community members on whether they would support a 33 per cent rate increase to enable LSC to be financially fit for the future and the majority of those surveyed indicated they would support a rate increase, Mr Hunt added.

“LSC is now making an application to IPART to approve a 32.31% increase over 4 years and part of that application process is to ensure the community is aware of the proposed rate increase and its financial impacts on residents,” he said.

“Of the 32.31 per cent increase, 9.31 per cent is represented by rate peg increases which would normally be payable over the four year period. LSC is basically seeking a five per cent per annum increase above the rate peg increase in each of the four years and this increase is to remain permanent.

“The usual rate peg increases will then resume in 2020/21.”

This means the cumulative impact on average residential rates at the end of the four year period will be $2.80 per week or $145 per annum.

For Non Urban Residential Rates it will be a cumulative increase of $3.54 per week or $184 per annum.

Businesses will be looking at $3.20 per week extra, or $166 per annum.

Farmland rates will increase $16.63 per week or $865 per annum.

Mr Hunt said the additional rate income would help LSC in maintaining council assets.

“LSC will allocate the additional rate income to increasing maintenance of council assets such as buildings and roads and renewal of infrastructure,” he said.

“This will ensure we attain and continue to meet the Government’s performance targets in relation to the level of maintenance and asset renewal.”

“Council also has a hardship policy should any ratepayer find it difficult to pay their rates and residents should contact Council’s Chief financial Officer Mr John Chapman for a confidential discussion” he added.

LSC met with interested community members at a series of public meetings at Lake Cargelligo, Condobolin and Tottenham.


Condobolin link to historic cup

RIGHT: The 1899 Melbourne Cup Trophy comprising a silver presentation tray together with a tea and coffee service, Walter, Michael, John, Stanley Barnard with Robert Dubock, tray London 1896 and service London, 1898.

By Melissa Blewitt

A piece of Melbourne Cup history complete with a link to Condobolin is set to go under the hammer later this year.

One hundred and seventeen years after it was awarded, the 1899 Melbourne Cup Trophy will be presented by Sotheby’s Australia for auction on 6 April in Melbourne.

Held in the same private collection for over 80 years, the trophy was first awarded to Mr Herbert Power in 1899 for the Melbourne Cup win by Merriwee, who was named after a lagoon near Condobolin.

Merriwee lived up to his name and seemed to appreciate the billabong conditions, leaving the gates in ninth position and by the final straight was in the lead. Merriwee became the fifth horse to win the Victoria Derby/Melbourne Cup double. Comprising of a silver presentation tray together with a tea and coffee service, the trophy’s original value was 100 sovereigns and will be offered for sale with an estimate of $60,000-$80,000.

Merriwee winner of the 1899 Melbourne Cup

Amalgamation an “insult” to Lachlan Shire

Forcing Lachlan Shire Council to amalgamate is an “insult” according to State Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries.

• State Member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries told the Argus, a forced amalgamation would be an “insult” to Lachlan Shire Council. He is pictured here with LSC Deputy Mayor Des Manwaring on a visit to Condobolin earlier this year. More on the KEEP LACHLAN LOCAL campaign on page 7.

By Melissa Blewitt

Forcing Lachlan Shire Council to amalgamate is an “insult” according to State Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries.

“Forcing Lachlan Shire Council based on this (Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal‘s Fit for the Future) report is an absolute insult to them,” he said.

“Out of all the councils in my electorate, Lachlan is one of the best. Lachlan Shire Council is doing a good job, and they have the right to fight for their community.

“Lachlan Shire does not support amalgamation and neither do I. I will not be supporting any forced amalgamation within my electorate.

“Lachlan Shire Council wants to stand alone and I fully support that decision. I will fight for Lachlan’s right to stand alone.

“It’s a case of why bother, if no economic case has been made for amalgamations and certainly no advantages of the decision explained to communities.

“My position is that I support Lachlan Shire and I will not support any forced amalgamations, and I will be taking my concerns to the Minster for Local Government Paul Toole during the next two sitting weeks of Parliament.”

Mr Humphries said he understood Barwon had “interests that were too broad” and many councils in his electorate would not benefit from amalgamations.

“We need to keep local interests alive and councils working together can achieve great outcomes for their communities.”

Mr Humphries added he felt the emphasis should be more on supporting and empowering Joint Organisations (JO’s).

“I think this whole process has gone in the wrong direction. There should be more emphasis on creating a stronger Regional Organisation of Councils such as Central NSW Councils (CENTROC), which Lachlan is a part of,” he said.

“I think this [the IPART assessments] is the wrong path and we need to look at giving local councils a bigger role in a JO, so they can act as a direct conduit to the State Government.

“This is not to say that those who believe amalgamating will bring benefits, should not go ahead.

“All councils can look at strategic planning and working more efficiently, and I do support that.”

Mr Humphries said he will not be in Condobolin until December, but he has made his feelings clear to both Lachlan Shire Mayor John Medcalf and Deputy Mayor Des Manwaring.

“I spoke to John [Mayor Medcalf] two weeks ago and I made by position clear to him. I do not support forced amalgamations,” he said. “He knows how I feel and I will support Lachlan’s right to fight this decision.”

Policy Review

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) will review its Cemetery Policy after a public outcry erupted over the request to remove trinkets and ornaments from graves in the Lawn section.

• The Lachlan Shire Council will review its Cemetery Policy at its monthly meeting, to be held today, Wednesday, 21 October. The review comes after a public outcry over the request that trinkets and ornaments be removed from the Lawn Section. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) will review its Cemetery Policy after a public outcry erupted over the request to remove trinkets and ornaments from graves in the Lawn section.

A report by the General Manager which will be presented to the monthly Council meeting, today, Wednesday 21 October, will recommend Council review the Policy and make any necessary adjustments.

The Cemetery Policy, adopted by Council in December 2014, was advertised in local papers, and at the Council Office in Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo according to LSC General Manager Robert Hunt.

He pointed to the “groundswell of criticism” by community members as the reason why an “immediate review” was required.

The concerns expressed by the community pertain to plaques and monuments, Mr Hunt said.

The recommended review of the Cemetery Policy will ensure that the definition of “Monument” will provide a more detailed interpretation as to what can or cannot be located at the gravesite, he added.

Mr Hunt said one of the objectives of the policy is to ensure a neat and tidy lawn cemetery.

“Efficient mowing of the lawn sections is occasionally disrupted by a variety of objects placed in the lawn section and these items should be restricted to the concrete plinth where possible,” Mr Hunt said.

“I apologise for any confusion that the interpretation of this policy may have caused and at the October meeting of Council I’m sure Council will make minor adjustments to the policy to provide more details on what can and cannot be placed at lawn cemetery grave sites.”

The Cemetery Policy currently adopted is relatively standard across NSW, with neighbouring Councils adopting similar approaches.

Forbes Shire Council’s policy states “That vases, pots, ornaments etc, be permitted to be placed on graves for a period of up to six months from the date of burial. After this time, Council staff will remove the vases/pots/ornaments etc.”

It goes on to say “Vases/pots/ornaments are not to be affixed to the beam.”

Parkes Shire Council also has a similar Policy. Their Lawn Cemetery – Policy and Maintenance Procedures says “Only plaques or approved headstones and flower receptacles are to be erected on the beams.”

Furthermore it states “A period of six months will be allowed for temporary grave site identification and flower receptacles prior to the installation of plaque or headstone.”

It also says “All unauthorised items including; receptacles, string and garden lights, ornaments and containers etc will be removed and held at Parkes Shire Council Administration Centre for collection by owner.”

The final line of the Policy states “The basis of the Policy is to maintain the Lawn Cemetery to an acceptable and safe standard by limiting the accumulation of flowers and especially unauthorised containers.”

Any correspondence relating to the review of the Cemetery Policy can be mailed to PO Box 216, Condobolin NSW 2877. The Cemetery Policy, if revised, will go on public exhibition for 28 days before going to Council for final adoption.

Kangaroo chaos

Kangaroos are causing chaos on local roads.

Rob Ticehurst, of Rob Ticehurst Smash Repairs Condobolin, has seen an increase in car damage across the Condobolin area as a result of collisions with kangaroos. MB


By Melissa Blewitt

Kangaroos are causing chaos on local roads.

NRMA Insurance has revealed 80 per cent of animal collisions on NSW roads involve kangaroos, with the number of animal-related crashes peaking during July and August

Condobolin has had 170 animal-related crashes in the past three calendar years, with 69 occurring in 2014.

Forbes (174) and Parkes (202) had a larger number of overall incidents, however, Condobolin had more crashes in 2014 than both of them, with the towns recording 49 and 45 in that year.

Rob Ticehurst, of Rob Ticehurst Smash Repairs Condobolin, said he has seen an increase in crashes involving kangaroos over the past six months.

“I have definately seen an increase [in kangaroo related crashes],” he said. “I am seeing at least two cars per week in my shop with damage as a result of kangaroos.

“They [kangaroos] can cause enough damage to write off a car. Their numbers have increased and with shorter daylight hours the risk of hitting a kangaroo increases.”

Smaller towns across the region fared somewhat better with Lake Cargelligo recording 69 in the past three calendar years, with Trundle (37), Ungarie (22), Tullamore (32), Bogan Gate (19), Tottenham (34), Tullibigeal (18), Albert (18), Burcher (9), Yarrabandai (9), Ootha (3), Bedgerabong (4), Warroo (1), Kiacatoo (1), Derriwong (1), and Fifield (1).

Banking on Condo

The Bendigo Community Bank is opening an Agency in Condobolin.

• (Back L-R) Hillston Bank Manager Paul Lenon, WPRD Chairman Dennis Brady, WPRD EO Tammy Bugg, Mayor and Shire Representative Cr Des Manwaring. (Front) Tim Butt Regional Manager Bendigo and Anne Coffey WPRD Treasurer. MB

By Anne Coffey


The Bendigo Community Bank is opening an Agency in Condobolin.

While major banks are leaving or cutting services to rural towns the Bendigo Bank is stepping in to fill the void and maintain face to face banking services for Condobolin.

The Hillston Branch of Bendigo Community Bank has been in talks with Western Plains Regional Development to set up an Agency in Condobolin since the announcement of the closure of the Westpac In-Store.

This agreement has been finalised and it is intended that the Agency will be fully operational within 6 to 8 weeks.

The Condobolin  Bendigo Bank Agency will offer a full range of banking services, from home loans, Term Deposits, Personal Loans to savings and cheque accounts with a strong and dedicated Agri Business lending and services Department, in fact, all banking products. It will be open every day from 10am to 4pm for customers’ convenience. The bank will also offer face to face consulting with a manager for loans. An answer will be given within  24 hours.

Not only will the Agency of Bendigo Bank channel any profits back to the community through maintaining WPRD services for the community, as profits grow, small grants will be available to community groups who are bank customers.

Bendigo Bank Hillston Manager Paul Lenon  and Tim Butt, Regional Manager, where in Condobolin on Friday 17 July to meet with members of the WPRD Committee and EO Tammy Bugg to finalise details and set a schedule for the Agencies opening.

“The setting up of the Bendigo Agency will see banking services and banking profits remain local” said Chairman of WPRD Dennis Brady.

“It is a huge win for the community and WPRD to keep services in our community.”

“Council is fully supportive of WPRD’s efforts in this area and we look forward to the Agency opening,” said Lachlan Shire WPRD representative and  Mayor Councillor Des Manwaring.

An presentation for the public will be held on the 12th of August.

Could you be Condobolin’s next Showgirl

Would you like to be the next Condobolin Showgirl?

• Condobolin Showgirl Co-ordinator Sue Mitchell (centre) with 2013 Showgirl Lily Ward and 2014 Showgirl Kristen Polimeni at the annual Show Ball. KP

By Melissa Blewitt

Would you like to be the next Condobolin Showgirl?

Condobolin Showgirl Coordinator Sue Mitchell is encouraging local girls aged between 18 and 24 to sign up to be part of this year’s competition.

“It is such a fantastic experience for those girls who enter,” she said.

“Entrants gain self-confidence and have the chance for personal development.

“It is a chance to be a voice for the community, build new friendships and professional networks.”

Ms Mitchell is encouraging local women to enter with a friend, and enjoy the Showgirl experience together.

“The Showgirl competition is not a beauty pageant, but an event where women can showcase their local knowledge, community spirit and personality,” she said.

“There is also the fact all showgirl entrants can win prizes valued at over $2,500.

“It is so much fun. Be part of a wonderful community tradition and enter in the 2015 Condobolin Showgirl competition.”

All Showgirl entrants will attend a luncheon and participate in an interview process on 15 August, and then attend the President’s Cocktail Party before the annual Show Ball.

During the interview phase, the three judges will be looking for personality, confidence, general knowledge (local, Australian and international current events), style, grooming and deportment, rural knowledge, ambition and goals, dictation and speech.

The showgirls will be presented at 8.30pm during the Show Ball, and the winner will be announced on the night.

For more information contact Sue Mitchell on 6895 4371 (BH), 6895 7605 (AH) or 0428 957 605; or Condobolin Show Secretary Carol-Ann Malouf on 0499 597 844.

B & S Ball is back again for 2015

Condobolin’s annual B&S Ball will be held in just over two weeks, with tickets now on sale at the early bird rate.

• Some of the crowd enjoying the Condobolin B&S Ball in 2013. The B&S is back again this year on 11 July, with star-studded entertainment and a new location. KP

By Lara Pearce

Condobolin’s annual B&S Ball will be held in just over two weeks, with tickets now on sale at the early bird rate.

The B&S, which is on Saturday 11 July, will be held at the Condobolin Race Track for the first time this year.

Internationally renowned singer Kirsty Lee Akers is performing on the night.

“She has been touring a lot in Nashville, in the United States, so we have been really lucky to get her out here,” said Tara Baxter, the President of the B&S.

“It is the first time that she has come to this region.”

Kirsty has just released a new single, ‘That’s How You Get Famous’.

“That will be the theme for the evening,” Tara said. “They can get dressed up as a famous person like Elvis or Monroe – we’ve left it open to interpretation.”

Kirsty will be accompanied by the Wayne Rider Band from Goulburn, who have been a hit at previous B&Ss.

The Race Track gates will open at 2pm on 11 July, while the bar will be open from 3pm. The B&S committee is warning attendees that no alcohol, glass or food dye will be permitted on the grounds.

Tickets are available for the early bird rate of $100 until Thursday 9 July. They can be purchased by emailing condowinterbns@hotmail.com or phoning 0427 851 231 to pay by direct deposit.

Alternatively, tickets can be purchased at the gate for $130.

“We have a very small committee and are always looking for helpers,” Tara said.

“Without community involvement from volunteers and community groups, we wouldn’t be able to get our ball off the ground.

“Because of all the new rules and regulations, a lot of balls are closing and we don’t want that to happen to us here in Condo.”

Anyone interested in getting involved is encouraged to email Tara at condowinterbns@hotmail.com or phone her on 0427 851 231.

The profits raised from the B&S are donated back to the community groups and organisations which are involved, including the various sporting clubs, local schools and the Rotary Club of Condobolin.

“This year, we have been lucky enough to have Leading Appliances donate prizes for Best Dressed, so that is great that they have come on board,” Tara said.

“I would also really like to thank the committee – Kathy Parnaby, Melissa Barby, Bruce Patton and Rex Press – for all their hard work. It is a lot of work that they put in that people don’t realise to make this ball a success.”

Clean sweep for local talent


Young Condobolin dancer, Chelsea May, has made a clean sweep of awards at the City of Dubbo Eisteddfod.

• Chelsea May has claimed first prize in seven categories of dance at the recent City of Dubbo Eisteddfod, as well as winning the Adjudicator’s Choice Award for Most Promising Under 12 Lyrical Dancer. The talented 12-year-old dreams of becoming a professional dancer. Contributed

By Lara Pearce

Young Condobolin dancer, Chelsea May, has made a clean sweep of awards at the City of Dubbo Eisteddfod.

The talented 12-year-old competed in modern, jazz and contemporary dance, coming away with seven first places and an Adjudicator’s Choice award.

The only solo competition she entered and did not win was the Entertainment/Variety performance, where she placed third against entrants as much as eight years her senior.

“It is the first year she has competed in the Improvisation and Championships categories, so she was so excited to win,” she proud mum, Tracie.

Incredibly, Chelsea has been dancing for just four years. Already she dreams of becoming a professional dancer.

From 10 to 14 June, she competed in the improvisation and Championships for both jazz and modern, as well as doing solo performances in contemporary, jazz and modern – winning them all.

She also competed in two group performances, alongside younger sister Josie and another Condobolin girl, Baileigh Honeysett. The group received a Highly Commended for their modern routine.

Each performance has to have a unique routine – and an individualised costume.

Young Condobolin dancer, Chelsea May, has made a clean sweep of awards at the City of Dubbo Eisteddfod.

• Josie May won her solo modern dance performance at the Dubbo Eisteddfod. Contributed

“We spent five days in Dubbo with 15 outfits,” Tracie said.

However, this is only the start of the sacrifices parents Tracie and Steven have made to support their daughter’s ambitions.

“In the past six months, we have converted a room in our house into a dance studio,” Tracie said.

“It used to be a bar room with floating floors.

“The pool table got sold, we put mirrors on the walls and her grandfather made a giant ladder which is on the wall for her to use to stretch.

“I think that has really helped her to do so well this year.”

Chelsea spends up to four hours a day practicing in her in-home dance studio, in addition to doing a whole day of dance classes in Forbes every Saturday.

While Chelsea’s younger sister, Josie, does not share her sister’s dreams of dancing professionally, she also competed at the Dubbo Eisteddfod and won her solo performance.

“She entered into the Restricted Modern Solo section for 9 and 10 year olds,” Tracie explained.

“She was really excited – that is the first time she has placed first.”

Young Condobolin dancer, Chelsea May, has made a clean sweep of awards at the City of Dubbo Eisteddfod.

• Condobolin girls Chelsea and Josie May and Baileigh Honeysett with their fellow dancers. The group received a Highly Commended for their modern routine. Contributed

Rifts over rate rises

A number of community members voiced their concern over Council’s proposed rate rises at last Wednesday’s community meeting.

By Lara Pearce

A number of community members voiced their concern over Council’s proposed rate rises at last Wednesday’s community meeting.

Among the most contentious were the water charges, which have already risen from $0.70/kl for the first 450kl in 2005/06 to $2.03/kl in this financial year. Next year, they will be $2.30/kl for the first 600kl used.

The Council says that these fees are necessary to cover the ongoing maintenance costs, which are higher than many neighbouring Councils due to the aging infrastructure and the distances that pipelines have to cover, due to the large distances between Lachlan Shire’s towns.

It also cites the development of a new water treatment plant for Condobolin, which has been costed at $10 million. The Council expects that the NSW Government will contribute $5 million.

“If the State Government contributes more than 50% of the project then there will hopefully be a levelling of water charges,” said John Chapman, Council’s Chief Financial Officer.

Council staff also noted that they are considering introducing a charge on Condobolin’s truck wash so ratepayers would not have to fund this service.

Condobolin nursery owner, Gary Venables, said that by increasing fees, he believes the Council could end up losing money as people will reduce their water usage.

“I consider that Council are walking down a false economy path,” he said. “If they believe that people are going to pay those new fees, I am here to tell that they won’t.”

“I am in a position both privately and business-wise to see that first hand.”

Maxine Staniforth presented a petition from a large number of community members, expressing their concern over the proposed water rates.

Concerns over the tip charges were also expressed, with rural residents noting that they already pay an annual waste management fee and do not have a curb side collection service.

One resident proposed that Council should include a number of free visits to the tip within the annual fee.

Gardeners forecast “dust bowl” town

Lachlan Shire Council water users are being hit with higher water charges than any other nearby Local Government Area, putting pressure on many struggling to pay their bills.

• Local gardener and Secretary of the Condobolin Garden and Floral Art Group, Maxine Staniforth, has always taken pride in her rose gardens, which feature in the biennial Condobolin Garden Festival. However, she has now replaced 12 of her white ice berg roses in her backyard with water-conserving seaside daisies due to Lachlan Shire’s high water rates. LP

By Lara Pearce

Lachlan Shire Council water users are being hit with higher water charges than any other nearby Local Government Area, putting pressure on many struggling to pay their bills.

Many local gardeners say they cannot sustain their gardens at the current water rates, which currently stand at $2.05 per kilolitre for the first 400KL and $3.05 per kilolitre after that.

This is more than double the rate charged by Forbes Shire Council of $0.90 per kilolitre and 40 cents a kilolitre more than Parkes, which charges $1.65 a kilolitre.

Maxine Staniforth, who is the Secretary of the Condobolin Garden and Floral Art Group, believes that much more is at stake than just the flowers themselves. She sees the maintenance of attractive lawns, parks and community gathering places as crucial to Condobolin’s social and economic wellbeing.

“If we don’t get the water rates down, that will be it and the town will be a dust bowl,” she said. “We won’t attract businesses. Young people, teachers – they won’t want to come here.”

“At the Anglican Church, we have flower shows – they will be a thing of the past. We need these community events in a small town. Otherwise we don’t get together.”

As Chief Steward of the Cut Flowers and Floral Art exhibit at the annual Condobolin Show, Mrs Staniforth is also concerned with the decreasing number of entries the exhibit has seen in the past two years.

“The flowers have always been a favourite exhibit,” she said. “What is going to happen to the floral art? It will be gone.”

Herself an avid gardener, Mrs Staniforth has pulled out many of the water-hungry roses in her own garden to keep her water bills down.

“It is a shame because they always were a feature,” she said, “but people are not willing to pay $1,000 a quarter to have a greener garden.”

Lifelong resident of Condobolin, Conway Seymour, is also concerned about the impact on the town if people neglect their lawns and gardens.

“It will give people a bad impression of the town,” he said. “There will be less people inclined to buy in Condobolin and establish businesses in Condobolin. If you compare it with a town like Forbes, which has got good water rates, the town is a much lusher town.”

He has put bark over much of his own lawn to cut back on water costs.

“I have halved my water consumption overall and I am still paying fairly big bills,” he said.

Biddy Brady moved from a property into town three years ago and has worked hard to get her grass to grow and beautify her garden.

She had been paying around $200 a quarter for water, but the past two water bills saw this skyrocket to around $1,000.

“For the price of water to rise so dramatically without any warning, it was a shock,” she said.

She says she cannot afford to continue to pay such a high price for water.

“Do you let your lawns die? Do you let Condobolin become a dusty, rusty town? Or do you pay exorbitant prices? Then if you do that, you have to cut down on your living expenses – food and so on. It is very sad.”

Mrs Brady asked to have her bill explained to her by the Council when she paid her last bill last Thursday, 28 June, and was told someone would be in touch but as of Tuesday morning had not heard back.

When contacted by the Argus, the General Manager of the Lachlan Shire Council Robert Hunt said that the Council had to set water prices at the current rate to cover their water infrastructure costs.

“We have a $10 million project to replace the water treatment plant. Because we have to replace that, we have to increase our usage charges,” he said.

“We have to get a return on our assets, because [the State Government] wants every Council to.”

He notes that if the Council is unable to make a profit from its water charges, it risks having the State Government remove control of the water and sewerage works from Council and putting it in the hands of a county council.

Mr Hunt said that the new plant would offer a better standard of drinking water for the community and that it was possible that the Council would be able to reduce water rates once the water plant had been built.

“It will depend on the other towns and what other infrastructure needs upgrading,” he said.

The State Government mandates that 75% of the income from water rates be from usage charges, with the remainder coming from access charges.

“If we have a really wet year and people don’t use that water, we don’t get the income in,” Mr Hunt said. “I would rather have a 50% user charge, but it is set by the State Government.”

“The whole idea of this by the State Government to bump up the user charge is to conserve water.”

Mrs Staniforth believes that water restrictions should be used to encourage water conservation, rather than rate hikes.

“I feel that the Council has failed in its duty of care to their responsible rate payers, who feel very, very strongly about their community,” she said. “They are making money out of our excess water bills.”

“I care very much about our community. I have lived here for fifty years, have no intention of moving and I hate to see the general appearance of the town degenerating so quickly.”

Mrs Staniforth plans to get a community petition together and hold a community meeting in hopes of getting the water charges reduced.

Condo’s small businesses welcome Budget benefits

Condobolin business owners and operators have welcomed this year’s Federal Budget measures for small business, saying they hope it will help more local businesses remain profitable.

• Hairdresser Rhonda Shields: “Maybe we can become a little more competitive.” LP

By Lara Pearce

Condobolin business owners and operators have welcomed this year’s Federal Budget measures for small business, saying they hope it will help more local businesses remain profitable.

Joe Hockey’s budget surprised many with a $5.5 billion investment in Australia’s two million small businesses aimed at stimulating the economy from the ground up.

Small businesses will be able to claim a 100% tax deduction on an unlimited number of cars, machinery and other items up to the value of $20,000 for their business.

Individual purchases over the value of $20,000 will also be able to be claimed but will go into a pool and be depreciated at 15% in the first income year and at 30% each year after that.

Condobolin business owners and operators have welcomed this year’s Federal Budget measures for small business, saying they hope it will help more local businesses remain profitable.

• Butcher Daryl Nairn: “Every little bit helps at the moment.” LP

Additionally, from 1 July this year, approximately 780,000 small companies with a turnover of less than $2 million will have their tax lowered from 30% to 28.5%.

Rhonda Shields, who is the owner-operator of RJ’s Hair Salon, says the $20,000 tax concession will be very useful when purchasing new equipment for the salon.

“We are constantly updating, especially with blow dryers and GHDs and new basins and couches,” she said.

“It is nice to see small businesses get this because they normally don’t get much.”

“Often they class a small business as ten employees – well, I don’t class that as a small business. For once, they have thought about the individual owner-operators and those with one or two employees.”

Ms Shields hopes that the measures will enable Condobolin’s businesses to better compete with businesses out of town.

“It is hard to keep people shopping locally,” she said. “With the incentives that they have offered us, we can maybe become a little bit more competitive.”

Butcher Daryl Nairn hopes to use the new tax breaks to write off a new motor for the front cool room at Condo Quality Meats.

“Things are quite tough at the moment,” he said. “Beef prices are going up and up and so that is really cutting back on our profit margins.”

“Every little bit helps.”

Peter Kuhn of the Swiss Watch Centre welcomes the tax breaks.

Condobolin business owners and operators have welcomed this year’s Federal Budget measures for small business, saying they hope it will help more local businesses remain profitable.

• Café operators Sue Fleming and Elaine Petty: “It is great for all the small businesses in Condobolin.” LP

“It is certainly a way of encouraging people to look at their business and look at ways to make it work better for them,” he said.

However, he believes that the Government still needs to do more to encourage people into rural areas such as Condobolin.

“They need to show people in major areas what the benefits are to living out in this area – the nice golf courses, the great weather, all those sorts of things – and perhaps try and attract them and their businesses out here,” he said.

Sue Fleming and Elaine Petty opened a new café, Chips Ahoy, on Bathurst Street earlier this year.

“For where we stand right now, it doesn’t help because we are still getting started and you have to have the cash flows to save the money,” said Ms Fleming, “but it will have a positive impact down the track.”

“It is great for all the small businesses in Condobolin, especially the ones who are struggling to get up and running.”

While Joe Hockey says that the tax concessions will be back dated to Budget night (Tuesday 12 May), the measures are yet to be passed through Parliament and businesses are being warned that the legislation could still be altered before being passed.

Bashing on Condo’s door

More than 250 Variety Bashers will descend on Condobolin next Wednesday 20 May.

• Some of the 250 Variety Bashers who will shortly be on their way to Condobolin. Contributed

More than 250 Variety Bashers will descend on Condobolin next Wednesday 20 May.

• Micky and Minnie Mouse will be among the Variety Bashers visiting Condobolin next Wednesday. Contributed

By Lara Pearce

More than 250 Variety Bashers will descend on Condobolin next Wednesday 20 May.

The loud, fun-loving Newcastle ‘Bashers’ will bring more than 70 novelty pre-1974 vehicles, including a VW Bug Batmobile, a 1972 vintage Bedford ice cream van, a 1974 fire truck and a 1965 Rambler Classic. Many of the drivers and riders will be dressed up, with John Paul Young, Bob the Builder, the Ninja Turtles, Mario Kart and Mickey and Minnie Mouse all expected to make an appearance.

The Bash raises money for the children’s charity, Variety, which raises money for sick and disadvantaged children. The money is raised before they set off, with donations made to children throughout the journey.

This Newcastle group of ‘Bashers’ are supported by the Australian Hotels Association NSW, with many staff members joining in the drive. Over one week, the ‘Bashers’ will cover a mammoth 2,050 kilometres around regional New South Wales.

They will stay the night in Condobolin, before sharing in breakfast with the children at Condobolin Public School on Thursday 21 May. They will entertain the children with their loud outfits, characters and vehicles, as well as making a presentation to the school of five iPad Airs and seven cases.

Thousands of Variety ‘Bashers’ travel around Australia each year, brightening children’s faces and boosting regional economies around the nation.

“In the event’s 24 year history, $9 million has been raised for local kids in need – bringing mobility, self-esteem and independence to the lives of thousands of special needs and disadvantaged kids,” said Variety the Children’s Charity NSW CEO, Tam Johnston.


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