By Dominic Geiger
A new initiative targeting truancy in New South Wales and Queensland schools will be launched in Condobolin this April with the help of the Federal Government, Australian Rugby League and the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC).
CEO of the WCC Percy Knight said the program provided an incentive for all school kids to remain in school.
“The kids are going to feel isolated from their peers who are allowed to play sport if they don’t come to school,” he said.
“It’s designed to encourage all kids to come to school, but with a particular emphasis on indigenous kids living in country areas.
Percy said the WCC will act as a conduit for the funds by holding discussions with personnel in high schools and then distributing funds based on what’s been identified as an issue.
“The program provides financial support and resources to encourage these kids to come to school initially and to stay at school throughout the day,” he said.
“[Representatives from] Country Rugby League NSW will come to the school once a week and they’ll run programs designed to help kids.
“The Deputy Principal at Condobolin High School has been extremely supportive of the program.”
Rick Walford, Indigenous Manager for the Australian Rugby League, said the aim of the program was encouraging kids to participate in school and sport.
Have you ever wondered how the Red Dog Saloon at the Condobolin Hotel Motel got its name?
Well according to a book on the history of Condobolin titled ‘One for the Road’ written by Fay Boys, the story goes something like this.
Among the early regulars of the hotel were a group of ladies who would frequently gather there accompanied by their various breeds of pampered pooches.
One late hot summer evening after carting cattle in a truck all day, two old time regulars came in for a drink only to be greeted by a din of chattering matrons and their yapping poodles. The two old blokes had had enough. After returning to their truck to retrieve two red kelpies, they proceeded to release the dogs in the bar. All hell broke loose.
There were matrons screaming, dogs barking, tables and chairs flying and in the midst of it all was the poor publican armed with a tea towel and broom trying to bring some order to the place.
So there ends the saga of the Red Dog Saloon, and one version of how the place came to get its name.
A free bus service will be available for Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo, Trundle, Tullamore and Albert residents wishing to attend the upcoming Trangie Sheep Connect NSW sheep industry update on April 6.
A free barbeque will also be held on the day.
Sheep producers interested in attending the free Sheep Connect NSW Central West update at Trangie should register by calling (02) 6391 3954 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Those wishing to travel on the bus also need to register by calling the above number.
By Dominic Geiger
An information seminar discussing the principles of incorporating perennial forage shrubs in grazing systems was held at the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station last Wednesday.
The forum discussed research gathered from studying 100 native shrubs and showed how they could be used to improve soil quality and provide benefits for livestock and be incorporated into livestock enterprises.
Speaker Dr Dean Revell said the seminar was focussed on showing how these shrubs interacted with pastures and livestock across southern Australia.
“We’re focussing on managing animals when they have a diverse diet,” he said.
“The underlying premise in this is diversity of diet and managing landscapes and the environment with native plants.”
Richard Maccallum, from NSW DPI, said the work he’d been focussing on with the shrub known as ‘Old Man Saltbush’ had helped provide a good source of green feed for livestock all year round.
“We’ve been using alley farming with Old Man Saltbush so we’ve been able to put strips of it in conventional paddocks and grow pasture and crops in the rest of the paddock,” he said.
“It’s a sustainable production system that can also produce very high quality meat.
“This is because Vitamin E is present in saltbush and it allows the meat to hold a red colour longer.”
Dr Revell said many of the plants being discussed at the seminar have proved to help digestion in stock and help fight against infections.
“Some of these plants have natural compounds that beneficially affect the micro-organisms within the guts of livestock,” he said.
“If you get a better gut reaction you can reduce the burden of worms.”
By Dominic Geiger
A Dorper Information Day was held at the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station last Friday.
The seminar featured speakers from the New South Wales Department of Industry and Investment and the Dorper Sheep Society Australia.
Organiser Graham Pickles said the seminar was targeted towards people who were considering starting a Dorper enterprise.
“We are also providing more information on the Dorper ram trial, which is the first ever in the country,” he said.
“We’re demonstrating how to exercise quality control over the breed; it’s an educational event.”
Wicas Cronje, an internationally renowned Dorper Inspector from South Africa, was on hand to give a demonstration on how to give rams rankings.
“I am impressed with the standard of rams I have seen here today,” Wicas said.
“For a first time you have done very well.
“Today I have been separating the rams into stud, flock or cull categories.”
Graham said the Dorper industry has come a long way since appearing in Australia 12 years ago.
“To go from nothing to 12 and a half percent of the Australian sheep stock is something amazing,” he said.
“It’s the fastest growing breed in the world.”
By Dominic Geiger
The Condobolin branch of the CanAssist Cancer Assistance Network held a successful fundraising event at the Condobolin Sports Club over the weekend.
CanAssist is a charity designed to allow people around NSW help others in their community suffering from cancer.
The event was split over two days, with people donating money to play golf on the Saturday and croquet and lawn bowls on the Sunday.
The money raised from the event will go to pay for Condobolin cancer patients’ travelling expenses, medication and other personal costs associated with treating the disease.
President of Condobolin CanAssist Judy Price said it was difficult to tell the number of people who were battling cancer in Condobolin because it was a very sensitive and private issue.
“If anyone is having problems with the disease, we need them to contact us, we can’t contact them,” she said.
“It’s also a very difficult issue because sometimes you think you’ve got it under control then its big ugly head rears again.”
Judy said she thought the event had been reasonably successful, especially considering the fact it was the first time the charity drive had been split over two days.
“People have been very enthusiastic about it,” she said.
“We also received sponsorship from Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation, Kevin Miller Real Estate and Kimberley Metals.”
By Dominic Geiger
The Condobolin Society of Arts and Crafts is calling on all creatively minded people to enter the upcoming Art and Cultural Prize Exhibition.
The competition, which is to be held on October 7-9, will feature a variety of different categories including fine art, photography, sculpture, china painting, quilting and needlework, among others.
Society President, Alice Dunn, said the exhibition wasn’t a new event, but had recently experienced a hiatus due to the drought and poor economic conditions.
“The situation’s improved a bit so we decided it was time to do it again,” she said.
“The competition is open to absolutely everyone and we’d like to get a few new members out of it.
“It also gives us a chance to show people what the Arts and Crafts Society actually does; we don’t just sit around (the Community Centre) drinking tea all day.”
Alice said the proceeds from the competition will go towards paying for a lift for the Community Centre.
The winning artwork will go up to the Lachlan Shire Chambers for display.
Anyone interested in submitting a piece of work to the competition can pick up an entry form from the Condobolin Community Centre or can call the Secretary of Arts and Crafts Condobolin, Vad Carey, on (02) 68952112 (answering machine).
Boat skippers are responsible for the safety of their vessel and the people on board.
With many NSW lakes being topped up with the recent rain, skippers need to be constantly aware of their responsibilities on the lakes, continually observing regulations and safety requirements. Having a boating licence is the best way to ensure you know the rules and obligations whilst operating a vessel.
A boating licence course is presented by Matthew Wren who enjoys boating locally. The course is aimed at encouraging all recreational operators to take responsibility for their actions on the water.
The course will be taught in Condobolin on this Friday Night, 25th to teach the safe boating course to enable people to get their boat licence.
At times of increased risk our message is simple – be responsible, put your life jacket on. Compulsory lifejackets laws came into effect on the 1 November 2010, the Boat Licence Course will cover off on the importance of the new reforms.
Often, a lack of judgment, alcohol and excessive speed are contributing factors in reported boating incidents across the State.
Be responsible and don’t miss out. Get your boat licence now!
To get your Boating Licence call 02 9524 5678
By Dominic Geiger
A shining light at the end of the tunnel has appeared for the Condobolin skatepark project.
Four potential sites have been drafted for public consultation following the recent Lachlan Shire Council meeting.
The proposed sites include:
Wellington Park, Bill Hurley Park, Smyth Park, or at the Showgrounds.
Marg Weale, member of the Condobolin Skatepark Committee, said her preferred place for the skatepark was Smyth Park as it was removed from residential and business areas.
“Of course it’s now up to the public to decide where they want it,” she said.
“This is a community project so the community need to be considered.”
Though there is now the necessary funding for the park, Marg said she was still unable to suggest any sort of timeline for when the project would be completed.
“The idea for a skatepark in Condobolin has been around for over 12 years,” she said.
“After the public have had a chance to make submissions, it will go back to council.”
A motivational leadership workshop for children is currently touring schools in Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo.
Year five and six students from both Condobolin Public School and St Joseph’s attended the workshop yesterday, with year seven and eight students at Condobolin High School set to attend the workshop today.
The workshop is presented by motivational speaker Fran Dobbie and funded through the NSW Government’s Better Futures Program.
The entire week of activities will be recorded so as to provide students with a DVD to remind them what they learnt during the day.
Project Coordinator at Western Plains Regional Development (WPRD), Heather Blackley, said Fran’s last workshop in October 2010 had been so successful the WPRD has asked her back.
“We saw such a marked improvement in children’s behaviour and their attitudes,” she said.
“The workshop is really good for them, it teaches them a lot about the importance of leadership qualities.
“The children will also be using drums to make songs and build confidence.”
The Condobolin Local Aboriginal Lands Council (CLALC) has awarded two separate donations of $500 in support of the various Condobolin rugby league teams.
The first donation has already been spent helping support a team of players who travelled to the ‘Ella Sevens’ competition in Coffs Harbour earlier this year.
The second donation will be split across the Women’s Tag League, Youth League and Open Senior’s teams.
Rebecca Shephard, C.E.O of CLALC, said it was important to make donations to the community that encouraged healthy living choices in young people.
“We’re doing it because when these teams are out on the field it really sets an example for the young fellas,” she said.
“It’s really just to support the community, as well as everyone in the team.”
Warwick Saddler, Coach of the Condobolin Rams, said the money had helped the teams achieve things they wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.
“The Coffs trip was great, despite all the rain,” he said.
“The money helping to pay off the season’s expenses will go towards uniforms, rego and insurance.”
The Condobolin rugby league season begins on April 17 for the Youth League and May 1 for the open seniors.
Anyone interested in joining the Rams is encouraged to show up at the rugby field near the racetrack at 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Australia’s First Ram Paddock Performance Trial and Sale is well under way at Condobolin Agricultural Research & Advisory Station (CARAS).
79 Rams from 7 studs between the ages of 120 to 210 days were entered in to the trial on August 9th 2010. The rams will be run in the same paddocks at CARAS under the supervision of facility manager Dean Patten with help from Allan Casey Sheep Breeding Specialist, Industry and Investment NSW and Megan Rogers District Sheep Officer Forbes LHPA. The ideal reseach facilities at Condobolin and the expert staff supervising the trial ensure both scientific rigure and quality assurance required for an innovative trial of this type and will allow genuine comparision of genetic improvement with subsequent trials.
Over the course of the eight month trial objective measurements (weight, eye muscle, fat depth etc) will be regularly recorded. During the course of the trial the rams will also be visually classed by Internationally renowned Dorper Inspector Wicus Cronje (of South Africa) and all rams will then be ranked using a combination of the performance derived measurement and the visual classing of the rams against the Dorper Breed standard. The performance traits and rankings are reported in a sale catalogue and the rams sold on their performance merit, achieved by running all rams under the same paddock conditions, for the first time buyers will be comparing apples with apples.
This trial is presenting a great opportunity to work closely with Dept of I&I specialists and gather more information that can be freely dessiminated about the Dorper Breed, Allan Casey has developed an Index for ranking the rams performance during the trial period as well as a new index for evaluating shedding ability, this has been done in conjunction with the Dorper Society of Australia. It was recognised that visual classing, objective measurement and Lambplan all have limitations when used on their own, however the paddock performace approach largely removes these limitation and allows genuine comparison of genetic performance, which is of great value not only to ram buyers but also to the ram breeders! It is anticipated that this trial and subsequebnt trials, will be a tangible means of identifying elite traits and significantly improving the Dorper breed, while maintaing the unique Dorper characteristics.
The information presented about these rams will set a new benchmark in transparency for buyers who will be able to select rams from different studs that have all been raised in the same environment.
The Rams will be put up for Auction on June 10th 2011 and sold by Landmark from CARAS, also on Auctionsplus. Detailed catalogues will be online at the Dorper Society website www.dorper.com.au in May 2011.
Participating studs in this trial are Amarula Dorpers. Brockburn Dorpers, Burrawang Dorpers, Burrawang White Dorpers, Castlebar White Dorpers, Uley White Dorpers and Winrae Dorpers.
A second trial is under way and 100 rams will be heading for CARAS in late January with the sale of that intake being planned for early December 2011.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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
K L Schoeffel BSc(Hons) BVSc
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.
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.