New job opens doors for Laura Kunkel

Laura Kunkel of KMWL Ray White Condobolin.Laura Kunkel’s enthusiasm for real estate has landed her the new role of Property Manager at KMWL Ray White Condobolin.
Laura said the new position will give her an incredible opportunity to excel in the rapidly growing real estate industry.
“I’ve had previous experience dealing with properties and that’s given me the necessary knowledge to do the job properly,” she said.
“It’s also helped me realise that real estate is what I’m passionate about; it’s what I want to do.”
Rural Sales Manager at KMWL Ray White Condobolin, Ian Simpson, said he was excited Laura had decided to come and work for the company.
“Her spark and passion for real estate will really help us grow,” he said.
“It’s great to work with other people who have such enthusiasm for the industry.”
Ian said Laura, who will be dealing mainly with residential and commercial properties in Condobolin, was selected for the job because she knows how important property investments are for many people.
“She’ll be dealing with both landlords and tenants and helping tenants find new housing accommodation,” he said.
“She really takes the time to ensure everything is looked after to the highest quality, and that reflects how the company conducts its business.”

Second Condobolin preschool creates concern in community

By Dominic Geiger

Controversy has erupted following the approval of Development Application for a co-operational second preschool in Condobolin.
The new service will be offered in a yet to be constructed building opposing the existing preschool.
Director of the current preschool, Melissa Nesbitt, said she was concerned the new childcare facility would segregate the community by only targeting children from Aboriginal and low income families.
“At Condobolin Preschool… we believe in inclusion; supporting children and their families regardless of whether you come from an Indigenous family, low income family or are a child with special needs,” she said.
“Isolation…from a young age will promote stereotypes, build prejudice and disharmonise a community.”
Melissa said although the existing preschool was full, there was neither the demand nor the staff available to make the new service viable.
“We don’t have a waiting list of 20 children per day (for) which Lachlan Children’s Services have now received a license,” she said.
“Condobolin is a small town and getting people with the skills required to be a preschool teacher in a quality preschool is quite difficult.
“The biggest problem is the lack of consultation I’ve had from Lachlan Children’s Services; I’ve never been told anything about it from them.”
General Manager of Lachlan Shire, George Cowan, said a need had been identified for an additional preschool in Condobolin for children who currently didn’t have access to the service.
“There are currently children in Condobolin not attending preschool,” he said.
“Council has also resolved to work as closely as possible with the current preschool to help deliver services.
“The funding for this preschool was made available (through the state government) at the end of February this year.
“We really want to get to a point where all young children are able to attend preschool.”

RSL donation to Diggers Swimming Club

By Dominic Geiger

The Condobolin RSL Club has donated ten new stopwatches to the Condobolin Digger’s Swimming Club as part of its plan to increase support for various sporting programs around the town.
Ray Holmes, Condobolin RSL Manager, said it was important to support local sporting groups because without new equipment the groups couldn’t function.
“The Digger’s Swimming Club only had three old stop watches left so we thought we’d get them ten new ones,” he said.
We’ve had a really big push to help local clubs out this year.”
President of the Digger’s Swimming Club, Brian Norris, said swimming was enjoyable because it was something everybody could do.
“It’s exercise I wouldn’t usually get,” he said.
“It’s fun, and you don’t have to be fast to enjoy it; we often come back with a trophy when we go to race meets.
“There’s no age limit either, people who are over 80 still get in the pool for a swim.”

Letters to the Editor: Announcement of closure of Condobolin Vet Surgery

It is with sadness that I have to announce the closure of the Condobolin Veterinary Surgery after 26 years. We opened on the 1st of July 1985 and will be closing on Friday the 1st of April 2011.
The challenge of 6 hours travelling and working long hours is becoming increasingly difficult and unfortunately it has also become increasingly uneconomic to do so.
We have approached the neighbouring practices and none of them are in a position to take on more work and we can’t find anyone else who would like to take over the surgery.
Orlana, Natascha and Stacey have been doing a splendid job of providing a service to the community between my fortnightly visits and I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank them for their hard work and support – without their dedication I would have succumbed to the pressure from the Veterinary Practitioners Board and closed up early last year.
I would like to thank our clients for being so understanding about the limited service we have been able to provide the last 5 years.
Condobolin is a wonderful town and hopefully with a change of seasons and the mines opening again it has a bright future.
Now that Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga is starting to produce graduates there is every chance that you will attract a new veterinarian – or perhaps a young couple with an interest in farming and raising a family. I hope so

Best wishes
K L Schoeffel BSc(Hons) BVSc

Landholders encouraged to help native fish

The Lachlan Catchment Management Authority (CMA) in conjunction with Industry and Investment NSW (I&I NSW) are encouraging landholders in the Lachlan Shire with creeks on their property to make all weirs and road-crossing fish friendly.
A recent audit on the Mid-Lachlan creeks near Condobolin found 42 weirs and road-crossings in the region were having a severe impact on fish movement.
I&I NSW Senior Conservation Manager, Sam Davis, said native fish populations in the Murray-Darling Basin have declined by 90% over the past 200 years.
“What we’re now doing is encouraging landholders who might have a structure on their property that’s inhibiting fish movement to apply for grant money which is available to make the structure fish friendly,” she said.
“Even things like fences going through creeks can have an adverse effect on fish that need to travel up and down stream to feed and breed.”
Ms Davis said although there were other factors contributing to a decline in native fish numbers, such as competition from introduced species, it was important to first fix habitats to give native species a chance to increase their numbers.
“It’s all about putting together the pieces in the puzzle,” she said.
“Once the habitats improve, native species will be able to compete against introduced species.”
For more information about a weir or crossing on your property, contact Michelle Crossley at Lachlan Catchment Management Authority on 6967 2897.

Introducing the spectacular Dragonfly Circus

Former circus performer Irina Mathias instructs participants. O.M.By Olivia McInnes

Local children from Condobolin aged between 8 and 16 make up the thoroughly entertaining act who call themselves the Dragonfly Circus.
The Dragonfly Circus provided the entertainment at the recent markets in Condobolin. The idea for the circus as a means of entertainment and involvement for Condobolin Youth was founded by the Lachlan Arts Council, and is now funded by the Better Futures program. There are currently 20 children involved.
Project Officer Heather Blackley says the circus is a very valuable experience for the youth of Condobolin. She says “It’s confidence building. The kids are learning to perform in front of people and it builds their self esteem.”
Condobolin local and former circus performer Irina Mathias instructs the children and choreographs the act. Practice is held on Saturday mornings at the Condobolin Public School hall. New interest is always welcome.

Lachlan irrigator calls for new dams to be built

By Dominic Geiger

Irrigator on the Lachlan River and former Forbes Shire President, Charlie Francis, has been causing a stir in recent weeks with a media campaign aimed at encouraging people to reconsider the need for new dams in the Central West.
Mr Francis had an opinion piece published in The Land Newspaper last fortnight and was featured on the front page of the Forbes Advocate last week.
Mr Francis said he believes new approaches to water conservation are ignoring what has been learned from people working on rivers in the region for over 100 years.
“We need to listen to the stories our grandfathers taught us about irrigation,” he said.
“The Lachlan is not fully conserved; we need to conduct a feasibility study on the river to determine what percentage of the river’s flow can be placed in dams to ensure water security.
“I’m not taking a view that the environment isn’t important; let us determine the allocation necessary for the environment and conserve what’s left in dams.”
Professor Stuart Bunn, Director of The Australian Rivers Institute, said all the signs in the Murray-Darling Basin pointed to a series of rivers under stress due to current over allocations of water.
“My understanding of the Lachlan is that it’s in a relatively poor condition,” he said.
“Proposals now to increase the level of consumptive use of water from the river would be inconsistent with returning river flows to healthy levels.
“We’re in the middle of a wet patch at the moment and the temptation is to believe it will stay that way but we’ll be back to dry conditions before we know it.”
Lachlan Shire Councillor, Les Saunders, said it made more sense to consider new regulation weirs on the Lachlan rather than new dams.
“The Condobolin West Weir was suggested back in 1986; if it had of been built it would have backed water for fourteen miles up the Goobang creek and ensured a water supply for the entire town,” he said.
“The environmental impact of a new regulation weir would be less than a dam because the water would stay within the banks of the river.
“If you were to put a regulation three gate weir in it wouldn’t have an impact on fish stocks either because fish could travel under it.
“The problem with a dam is there’s no place to put it.”

Making mince meat of termites with Moniterm


Now is the time to termite proof your house following a wetter than average season and an explosion in white ant numbers.
The problem many people encounter is not knowing when and where the pests might strike.
The temptation is to forget about the threat, until one day a gardening or renovation project leads to the discovery of millions of termites.
With the new, affordable, Australian designed termite monitoring system ‘Moniterm’ however, fear of a potential invasion can be laid to rest.
Former Condobolin resident and pest removal technician, Ian Fyfe, said he saw the need to develop a year round and affordable monitoring system following the damage he witnessed termites inflict upon people’s property.
“The system consists of specifically designed containers with pieces of termite preferred timbers in each container,” he said.
“The containers are dug into garden beds or lawn areas around the buildings being monitored, preferably not adjacent to the buildings, and they are checked once each month to see if any mudding /termites are present.”
Ian, who has been helping the Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo areas stay pest free for 16 years, said one of the biggest advantages of Moniterm was its affordability and ease of use.
“There are other systems about, but I felt that they did not always do the job and the cost of some systems was prohibitive,” he said.
“Anyone who has been quoted over $1000 plus for a termite monitoring system should be asking for other options, including Moniterm.”
MONITERM has several distinct advantages over other systems:
• the property owner owns, installs and monitors the system without the need for special tools
• a monthly inspection allows owners to detect any termite activity
• saves unnecessary costs when there is no evidence of termite activity
• minimal disturbance at time of inspection and treatment
• the containers are reusable and of durable construction
• when termite activity is detected a pest control company is contacted to treat container and for any further advice.
Full details on Moniterm are available by contacting either Ian Fyfe Pest Control on 02 6926 4090 or 0428 952032.
Details can also be viewed on the website

Poisoned pets on the rise

By Dominic Geiger

The Condobolin Veterinary Clinic has reported a significant increase in the number of dogs being treated for both primary and secondary poisoning after ingesting mice bait in recent weeks.
Veterinarian Kate Schoeffel said dogs who had become sick after eating a mouse that had previously eaten poison (secondary poisoning) were not able to be treated at the Condobolin clinic as the dogs often required blood transfusions.
“We’ve been sending them to Forbes or Parkes for the transfusions,” she said.
“It’s more difficult with secondary poisons because owners don’t know they’ve ingested the poison until it’s too late.
“It seems to affect young dogs and puppies more because older dogs don’t tend to eat mice.”
Kate said the Condobolin clinic could treat primary poisoning cases by inducing vomiting in the animal and administering a vitamin that helps blood to clot.
“However if people start to notice abnormal behaviour accompanied with pale gums a blood transfusion is probably the only option.”
“The best thing people can do to avoid primary poisoning is to put the poison in a jar with a mouse shaped hole in the lid.
“If they have a puppy however, it’s probably best to avoid poisoning all together and consider other options.”
With more and more mice appearing around Condobolin and with the upcoming sowing season fast approaching, controlling mice numbers is becoming increasingly important.
As a result, The Argus conducted a small survey to ask people about some of their more obscure methods of catching mice, with an emphasis on avoiding poison. These are some of the better responses:
Pour water into a bucket until it’s half full and then drill two holes on either side near the top. Place a rod through these holes and thread a tin can or something that will spin on to the middle of the rod. Smear peanut butter on the can and keep in the middle of the rod, over the water. The mice should loose their balance, fall into the water and drown.
Put a wine bottle on a bench with the neck overhanging the edge slightly. Put a tea towel over the base and smear butter or grease on the neck. Put bread in the mouth of the bottle and then put a bucket of water under the overhanging neck. The mice should slip off the neck and into the bucket.
Float a long neck beer bottle in a half full bucket. Put some cheese in the mouth of the bottle and smear butter or grease on the mouth, similar to the above method. Place a plank of wood across the bucket making sure the bottle rests on the plank slightly. The mice should try to get at the bottle, slip off and drown.
If the above fail, a shoe, a brick and the ability to crawl into tight spaces should do the trick.

The plagues be upon us!


By Dominic Geiger

It’s been a very good season for creepy crawlies across the state and the Lachlan Shire certainly hasn’t been spared the wrath of the plagues.
David Brown from Central West Pest Management said there were a number of ways people could try to keep numbers of pest species down.
“Termites are the main problem at the moment, with all the rain creating perfect soil conditions for them,” he said.
“If people haven’t had an inspection in a while now is the time to do it; we’ve seen termite activity increase dramatically over the past months.”
David also said he’d seen a sharp increase in the number of mice extermination operations he’d had to do recently, with 20 jobs in the Lachlan Shire in the past months alone.
“It’s definitely an increase on last year,” he said.
“Mice are nibblers, not feeders, so it helps to put four or five different kinds of bait down so they eat a bit of everything.
“Mice numbers generally increase with the colder months so it’s important to get on top of the problem now; they’ve caused fires by biting through electrical wire in the past and it’ll happen again.”
Finally, David said although the recent influx of crickets and earwigs might be annoying, there wasn’t a great deal that could be done about them.
“They’re all coming in as a plague from South Australia,” he said.
“You can definitely spray for the ones already here and to try to prevent any more getting in to your home, but they’re going to keep coming.
“Fortunately, their numbers will begin to drop down with the colder months but I’m not going to speculate on any sort of time from.”

Making backyards frog friendly

The Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife (FNPW) are encouraging Condobolin residents to make their backyards ‘frog friendly’ following the recent surge in the amphibians’ numbers around the town.
FNPW CEO Leonie Gale said frogs often move into areas that have experienced heavy rain as it gives them opportunities to feed and breed.
“Frogs are great to have in Condobolin backyards as they eat spiders, mosquitoes, flies, other insects and even the odd snake,” she said.
“You can help out frogs by not using chemicals or pesticides in your garden, as they absorb air and water through their skin.”
If, on the other hand, you’re beginning to feel as though frogs have opted to infiltrate your house as opposed to the back yard, the FNPW also has a few suggestions.
“You can encourage frogs on their way by trimming bushes and tree limbs over hanging your house and by keeping outside lights off as it attracts the bugs frogs feed on,” a spokesperson said.
“Removing slugs from your garden may also help.”
Despite this, the FNPW said native frogs needed all the help they could get as their numbers were generally in decline across Australia.
“If you can put up with them, frogs are fantastic garden helpers as they help get rid of insects and slugs,” the spokesperson said.

Dubbo Beef Spectacular offers opportunities for Condo breeder

By Dominic Geiger

Condobolin was well represented at the recent NSW Beef Spectacular and Farm Trade Expo in Dubbo with local cattle breeders Keith and Vicki Ridley taking a number of their Shorthorn cattle for display & competition.
Keith said he’d been reasonably successful at the show, though admitted he’d done better in the past.
“Sometimes your cattle just don’t stack up against other people’s cattle, or the judge is looking for a slightly different type to what you breed.” he said.
“In the Shorthorn section we ended up with reserve senior champion bull and reserve senior champion cow.
“We also won sire’s progeny group.
“In addition to that, in the pen of three bulls section we were placed second in British Breed 15 to 18 months and second again in British Breed 18 to 24 months classes.”
Keith said he believed spectator numbers at the show had increased compared to last year.
“There were quite a few people there inquiring about bulls and breeding programs,” he said.
“I think the good season, good prices and fact that they’ve condensed the event into two days and added more trade displays, including farm machinery, helped increase the numbers of people.”

Wiradjuri workshop encourages employment opportunities

Workshop participants gather in the main circle at the newly constructed Wiradjuir Study Centre, Condobolin.  They are in front of  an original Lake Cowal scar tree topped by an eagle carved by Adam Umphries and designed by Percy Knight. The eagle symbolizes the spiritual journey of Aboriginal people and the quest of reconnection with passed loved ones. D. G.

By Dominic Geiger

A major community workshop aiming to promote Aboriginal employment, training and business development was held at the newly constructed Wiradjuri Study Centre (WSC) last week.
The event featured representatives from various levels of government, the Aboriginal community and multiple industries.
An initiative of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC), the workshop also included a very strong focus on the partnership currently being fostered between Aboriginal communities and the mining industry.
Grant Sarra, Workshop Facilitator, said despite the emphasis on mining relations, it was important to mention not all Aboriginal people wanted or were able to work in a mine.
“The workshop is helping facilitate a collaborative process between Aboriginal people and mining companies, but also about giving Aboriginal people the chance to go in to other industries,” he said.
“We’re putting an emphasis on work readiness training, employment and business development, with a concentrated effort in the Central West.
“There’s no attacking each other in this meeting; we’re bringing people in to neutral areas, using humanity and making people humble.
“It’s a good environment and a much more cost effective strategy.”
Percy Night, WCC CEO said an employment and mentorship agreement with transport company Linfox had also been established at the workshop.
“We are aiming to establish a national Indigenous transport company based in the Central West where Linfox will act as a mentor,” he said.
“Linfox has also agreed to employ a significant number of Aboriginal people from the Central West, and get them started on a career path in a global company.”
The Wiradjuri Study Centre will be officially opened in the coming months.

Living with your teenager seminar


Motivational speaker Graham Hyman will be in Condobolin this week presenting a seminar entitled ‘Living With Your Teenager’.
The public forum, which is an initiative of CentaCare, aims to guide parents through a number of ways to open up communication channels with their teenager.
Graham said the seminar was ideally targeted towards parents who thought they were doing a good job raising their teen at the moment, though could see room for improvement.
“It’s possible to have your child’s teen years as the best years of your relationship with them,” he said.
“The seminar is all inclusive; we target both families struggling with emotional and behavioural issues as well as families who would just like to have better communication.
“Even with the most difficult families the first problems I try to address are the same issues affecting ‘normal’ families.”
Graham said communication issues had become more difficult in modern times due to peoples’ ability to isolate themselves from their families while living in the same house.
“The parents isolate themselves with financial matters, and become absorbed in their own world,” he said.
“The kids do the same but with social networking websites and they begin to see their parents as irrelevant.”
Graham said he would be giving parents a number of strategies to open up communication with their teenager.
“It’s also important not to fight unnecessarily with your child, and not to fight their battles for them,” he said.
Graham will present seminars at the Condobolin RSL on March 21 and at the Tottenham Golf Club on March 23.
For Bookings call 02 6331 8944.

Condobolin HS shaves for leukaemia research

By Dominic Geiger

Students and teachers at Condobolin High School dug deep last week and managed to raise over $130 in support of the Leukaemia Foundation.
Two teachers, Peter Clarke and Phill Goucher also donated a considerable amount of hair, with Mr Clarke shaving his beard and Mr Goucher shaving his head in support of the cause.
School captain Jourdaine Habel said the school community was raising money for Leukaemia because it was a way they could reach out and help people undergoing hardship.
“There have also been people here today who have in some way been affected by cancer, so it’s a way of showing them support,” she said.
Fellow Condobolin High School student Treigh Coe also shaved his hair in support of cancer research on Saturday in conjunction with his rugby team’s fundraising efforts.
This year was the 13th anniversary of the Condobolin High School’s fundraiser for Leukaemia research, with the first event occurring in 1998.
According to the Leukaemia Foundation, someone in Australia is diagnosed with leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma ever hour, with a death occurring every two hours from one of these illnesses.

Singing and drama classes on the way for Condobolin school students

Hannah Symonds, Heather Blackley and Samuel Bugg. D.G.By Dominic Geiger

Hannah Symonds has a plan to revolutionize the way Condobolin kids think about drama and singing.
In the few short months since she arrived in Condobolin, Hannah has managed to organise after school drama classes for Condobolin Public School students and in-school singing classes for Condobolin High school students.
The classes, which are set to begin this week on Wednesday, are part of the government’s  Better Futures Program which aims to provide support and services “for children and young people aged 9 to 18 years who are at risk of disengaging from community, school, family or friends.”
Hannah said drama and singing classes are the best way to encourage someone’s self confidence.
“It’s the best way for kids to express themselves,” she said.
“Getting up in front of an audience is one of the most difficult things in the world.
“It’s also about alleviating boredom for these kids; it gives them something to do and they get a lot of enjoyment from it along the way.
“I hope it’s something that enriches their lives.”
Hannah will be working in partnership with Heather Blackley, Project Officer at the WPRD on the two projects.
Parents are encouraged to contact the Condobolin Public School if they want to enrol their students in the after hours drama classes.

Condobolin mother’s artwork chosen for healthy eating guide

By Dominic Geiger

A Condobolin mother of six has won a competition to have her artwork illustrated in a new nutrition resource package developed for use by Aboriginal Health workers and their communities across Western NSW.
A spokesperson for Western NSW Health said Debra Calliss won the competition due to her “fun illustrations” of foods suitable for the entire family.
Though unable to attend, an awards ceremony was held for Debra at the Central West Family Support Group building on the 8th of this month.
Health Promotion Officer, Christine Hardwick, said Debra had participated in recent nutrition and cooking workshops and had been able to turn the information into artwork.
“Debra knew what was going on so was able to create a perfect picture for the package,” she said.
“It was really good that we were able to get input from the people for whom (the package) is intended.”
Ms Hardwick said the nutrition package, called ‘Feeding the Family’, is a resource anyone can use.
“The package takes resources from around Australia and will be distributed around Western NSW,” she said.
“It will also be available in other states.”
‘Feeding the Family’ is designed to inform people about healthy foods and how to cook on a budget.

Courtesy bus for Condobolin RSL Club

The Condobolin RSL is proud to announce the beginning of a new courtesy bus service for RSL members and their guests.
The RSL officially acquired the bus on the 7th of this month.
Nikki Patton, RSL Club Coordinator, said the new service was unique in Condobolin.
“The bus will run at six, seven, nine and eleven pm on all nights excluding Sunday and Monday, and will run until close on Friday and Saturday nights,” she said.
“We’re really trying to discourage drink driving with this.
“The last thing we want is for a tragedy to befall one of our patrons or one of our guests, that’s why the bus will both pick up and drop off our patrons.
“People just need to call up the RSL and the bus will go to anywhere in Condo during those times.”
Nikki said the bus also featured a wheelchair ramp.
“We’re trying to make the bus accessible for everyone,” she said.
“It’s a free service and it runs well after the taxis have stopped running.”

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