First aid course examines mental health

In an initiative designed to provide local youth workers with strategies to help a young person suffering mental health issues, Mental Health Drought Support worker Di Gill, coordinated a Youth Mental Health First Aid course last week which trains leaders in how to offer the initial help to someone developing a mental health problem before professional treatment is received.
The comprehensive two-day course was presented by GWAHS Youth Support worker Janet Walk from Mudgee and Di Gill from Condobolin hospital with the aim to improve the mental health literacy of members of the local community.
With the focus on tackling ongoing mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, psychotic disorders and substance misuse, Di said other issues like eating disorders and non-suicidal self injury were also covered.
“We cover a range of topics including such things as eating disorders and non-suicidal self injury as these are often an indication of a mental health issue,” Di said.
“They use these things to alleviate another issue like depression and anxiety and it’s important for people who work with youth to understand this and have strategies to offer help,” she said.
The course which is auspiced by the Orygen Youth Health Research Centre at the University of Melbourne leads students through the five steps in providing mental health first aid – ALGEE.
Assess the risk of harm to person or others
Listen non-judgementally
Give reassurance and information
Encourage person to get appropriate professional help if needed
Encourage self-help strategies.
“We make sure all students of the course go away with the ALGEE steps in their head and the strategies and training to deal with mental health issues as well as knowing exactly what support is available like GP’s and community health staff in their specific area,” Di said.

Mental Health Worker Di Gill received a Master Instructor awardMasters accolade

Mental Health Drought Support worker Di Gill of Condobolin Hospital was recently recognised for her dedication to Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training by being awarded a Master Instructor certificate in the standard MHFA course and Indigenous MHFA course.
To qualify for the certificate, trainers must have coordinated over 30 MHFA courses with the majority of Di’s courses running with the local region including Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo along with Bathurst, Forbes and Canberra.
Di also completed a MHFA training course to the Sydney Theatre Company which was attended by actor Cate Blanchett.

Canines to converge on Condo

Dog Show fever is nearly upon us once again. Our circuit starts at Tullamore on 14 August and continues until the Grenfell Show on 4 September. This gives us 13 shows for this period which includes four shows at Condobolin. Our first show is on Sunday 22 August, the second show is on Monday 23 August, and the final two shows are the next weekend on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 August.
All reports on progress of the up and coming shows are that everything is coming together nicely with entries flowing in and a report from Rob at the Caravan Park of another full capacity of campers expected at the park.
Our Market Day is on Sunday 22 August. For site bookings please ring Julie: 6895 2546 or 0417 671 304. Sites are FREE, but a donation of your wares for a raffle table would be appreciated with proceeds being donated to Cancer Council. Stalls already booked are Knitwear, Garden Ornaments, Magnet & Pin Making, Cakes, Jewellery and Dog Supplies. These are the early bird bookings so please book your stall to confirm your site ASAP.
To all our sponsors of this show we say thank you for your support as this helps in so many ways in the running of our four shows, such as prizes, awards and fundraising. As this is a non-profit association we depend on all your support for our up and coming shows.
Our trophy secretary Julie Norris has been out and about collecting all your pledges and will be continuing for the next couple of weeks, so it would be greatly appreciated if you can have your sponsorship ready for her to collect. We encourage all our visitors to support all our business houses that sponsor us whilst they are in town. As you know, we get hundreds of Dog Show Exhibitors in town for approximately 3-4 weeks and that brings a lot of business to our town.
If anyone wishes to sponsor our Club, please contact Julie and she will arrange pick up of your pledge.
So please come over to the Kennel Club at the Caravan Park on Sunday 22nd and have a look at all our show dogs which we are all so proud of. Remember this is also the Market Day.
For more information on these events please contact Julie Norris on 6895 2546 or Robbie Meagher (02) 4844 6336.

Chutes and Utes festival gets boost

By Sally Willoughby
Condobolin’s 2010 Professional Bull Rider (PBR) Challenger Series has been kicked into action with members of the Condobolin Rodeo Committee working on infrastructure upgrades at the arena grounds to ensure Condobolin boasts the safest atmosphere for the most dangerous sport on dirt this October long weekend.
With the Condobolin PBR Challenger Series to be held on 2 October, last year’s inaugural event saw over 2000 people descend on Condobolin with Condobolin Rodeo Committee President Les Parnaby saying this year was primed to be bigger and better than the last.
“We had an amazing crowd last year who weren’t left disappointed and we’re working on a few little things to make sure this year is an even more exciting event for Condo,” Les said.
As one of the final events for Australian cowboys to accrue points to earn themselves a place in the PBR National Finals Condobolin is sure to boast the most ardent bull riders with the toughest beasts.
With a swag of high scoring rides and top ten finishes this year, Troy Wilkinson from Upper Horton NSW and Chris Lowe from Uralla NSW, will head up the bull riding line-up putting other competitors to the test.
“There’s going to be some fierce competition between bull and rider in the arena this year – it’s definitely going to be worth turning up for,” President of the CRC Les said.
“We’ve also had a lot of support again this year from the local business houses and industries that have really enabled us to put together the best event for our town possible,” he said.
This year the Condobolin PBR Challenger Series will run in affiliation with a Ute Show to be held on Sunday 3 October. With almost $4000 in cash and prizes up for grabs in the Ute show, the Condobolin ‘Chutes and Utes’ weekend is one not to be missed.

Condobolin’s inaugural Ute Show has received a major boost with the confirmation of Country Energy as their major supporter of the event that will kick into gear this October long weekend.
As strong supporters of the community in which they operate, Country Energy provide assistance for environmental, social, educational and cultural events through their community sponsorship program.
Regional General Manager, Chas McPhail, said Country Energy was proud to be the major supporter of the Condobolin Ute Show.
“The inaugural event is a fantastic example of how Country Energy continues to support the local community with their new and innovative ideas,” Chas said.
“An event of this type is exactly what our sponsorship program aims to do – provide local support to a worthwhile event in the local community,” he said.
With the Country Energy Ute Show to round off Condobolin’s Chutes and Utes weekend, coordinator  Jeff Kirk said there has already been a lot of interest.
“There’s been a lot of interest around the town and we’re looking to make a festival weekend in conjunction with the bull ride that’s only going to get bigger and better – next year we’re planning on throwing a quick shears competition into the mix at Sunday’s ute event,” Jeff said.
“Having Country Energy come on board as a major supporter of the event is a major boost and shows us that this October long weekend is really something that’s going to enhance and entertain the Condobolin and surrounding community,” he said.
With $3750 in cash and prizes up for grabs across the ten categories, ute enthusiasts will be vying for the $1500 cash prize for the prestigious Country Energy ‘Ultimate’ Ute that will be chosen from the contenders across all categories.
“…The Condo Chutes and Utes competition is a great initiative and we look forward to seeing the concept evolve over the year,” Country Energy’s Chas McPhail said.

Staying smart in the sun

Condobolin Preschool have received the Cancer Council's Sun Smart accreditationIn an initiative to ensure the safety of their children when playing outside in the sun, Condobolin Preschool and Child Care Centre have received the Cancer Council’s Sun Smart accreditation after implementing a redeveloped Sun Smart campaign that adheres to the strict Cancer Council policy.
With a comprehensive policy that details sun protection strategies for outdoor activities and covers topics including shade, hats and recommended clothing Director of the Centre, Melissa Nesbitt, said education starts with the kids.
“We started the education campaign on sun safety by talking to the kids about shade and the right kind of hat to wear outdoors as well as showing them how to apply sunscreen,” Melissa sad.
The wall of the preschool is also filled with visual prompts to remind children and parents of the new plan.
Melissa said the policy also has a strong role model component which relies on staff to teach behaviour by demonstrating it themselves.
Staff educate their students as role models by wearing a sun safe hat and clothing, applying sunscreen and promoting the use of shade.

Mini vinnies

By Georgie McMillan and Lana van Zyl of St Joseph’s Primary School, Condobolin.
At our school Mrs Brady has introduced a Mini Vinnies. Mini Vinnies is a spin off organisation of St Vincent De Paul. It is an organisation for primary school children aimed at giving them an opportunity to learn how they can help other people in different ways.
Wondering what sort of activities Mini Vinnies is based around doing? Well they do many tasks to ease the suffering of others like donating clothes and other things to help or it could be as simple as just talking to someone or praying for them. We asked Mrs Brady what her feelings were about Mini Vinnies, she replied, “I’m excited because it’s new and giving people a chance to be leaders.” Mrs Brady was then asked how she became involved in Mini Vinnies. “I was only 16 when I first started helping my dad at Cobar’s Vinnies. We also had a fire in our house and the community helped us out a lot.”
We asked the children what were some of their thoughts about Mini Vinnies. The main idea that came from this was that the children were feeling really happy because they sometimes don’t have the time to help and now they do during school time. It has provided opportunity for the children to help out. Many agree it will be a fantastic community project to participate in. Lots of people love Mini Vinnies and think it will be a great project for years to come.

Training for the future

Participants will train for twelve months for construction qualificationsParticipants embarked on a twelve month traineeship last week in an initiative of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC) in conjunction with the Western Institute of TAFE Condobolin campus in an initiative to provide indigenous students with construction qualifications.
The full-time traineeship requires students to attend TAFE Condobolin two times a week for theoretical and practical tutelage coupled with three day employment at the developing Wiradjuri Study Centre.
Education Support Officer of the TAFE Condobolin campus, Sue Henley, said a full-time traineeship such as that being undertaken by the students was a strong commitment and a solid step in the right direction to completing ongoing education like an apprenticeship.
TAFE teacher Stephen Cross, said the two day theoretical and practical component would allow them to complete their Certificate II in Construction and also incorporated their OH&S induction.
“The benefit of operating the course this way is they’re being assessed on all their skills immediately and we can work with each of their skill levels to bring them all up to an even par,” Stephen said.
Percy Knight of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation which implemented the course said the aim was to create a core group of young people who know what they are doing on a construction site.
“It’s about giving our youth practical skills and empowering them to achieve,” he said.

Zangne: the ultimate cafe experience

Zangne is the latest coffee and giftware shop in CondobolinThe historical backdrop of the old Civic Chambers has come alive in a warm and inviting atmosphere with a new coffee and giftware shop, Zangne, offering the ultimate cafe experience.
With a menu that will be changed seasonally, Amie’s fresh, cafe-style menu has had no shortage of supporters.
“It’s been going really well – the coffee shop’s been flat out since we opened and we already seem to have some regulars,” Amie said.
The cosy environment is perfect for lunch or morning and afternoon tea with coffee and hot chocolate available for takeaway or sit-in from 8am.
Complementing the coffee shop is a diverse mix of gift wares including a large selection of Balinese furniture, jewellery and home ware.
“We wanted to have a bit of everything where someone can walk in and hopefully find something they would like or need,” said Kym of the eclectic mix of items.
With stylish furniture, a range of charming baby ware and baby gifts, hand-crafted wooden items and scarves, gloves and clothes, there isn’t much you won’t find in the Zangne gift store.
With plans to expand the store to include alfresco dining in the summer months, Zangne is open between 8am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 8am – 1pm on Saturday. They can be found at 39 Bathurst street and contacted on 02 6895 2164.

Inaugural knit-in a success

By Sally Willoughby
Lachlan Shire Library held their inaugural ‘Knit-in’ last Friday with residents bringing in their colourfully knitted squares to contribute towards the ABC Radio Knit-in project.
With 103 squares being donated from Condobolin, the local Rotary club will transport them to Orange where they will be sewn together to make wraps and blankets.
The ABC Knit-in project works in conjunction with the not-for-profit organisation, Wrap With Love, which provides blankets to people who suffer from extreme cold.
Since its inception in 1992 the group have sent more than 221,700 wraps to people in over 75 countries including Australia through the help of volunteers.
Condobolin’s local contingency of knitters plan to be involved in the Knit-in again next year with Val Press saying they hope to meet once a week to knit the squares, have morning tea and a chat.

Finding the way to the “Utes in the Paddock”

Utes in the paddock Tourist Attraction Signposting Assessment CommitteeFinally highway signs may be on their way to make it easier to find Utes in the Paddock.
At a recently hosted Lachlan Shire Council meeting with the Tourist Attraction Signposting Assessment Committee (TASAC), ‘Utes in the Paddock’ Project Officer Jana Pickles submitted an application and was later given approval for signage of the ‘Utes in the Paddock’ tourist attraction in the category of short stay.
The ‘Utes’ attraction requires no entrance fee charge and is able to be viewed on foot or by driving by with the approximate stopping time of 15 minutes or less and  was  therefore classified as ‘short stay’ thus making it exempt from providing public toilets on site.
Although there are still some minor issues to be addressed before the signs are installed, and the number and location of the signs has not yet been determined, the popular attraction is now eligible for official “white on brown”  tourist attraction signposting.
TASAC’s decision represents an official acknowledgement of the significance of Utes in the Paddock for tourism in the area, adding to the recognition the project received last year when it won the Silver Award for Heritage and Cultural Tourism in the NSW Tourism Awards.
“Having official tourist signposting is a big step forward.  The signs will help visitors and local residents by making the outdoor gallery so much easier to find.
“Nearby residents have been very patient and supportive over the past couple of years, but answering the door bell to give directions must be getting old” says Jana Pickles, coordinator for the community project.
“Local business operators, who rely on people stopping at their shops, see the increased traffic as a good opportunity to increase sales.  But when the knock comes during Sunday lunch at home with the family, or you’re not up for a chat, it’s a different matter.
“To the credit of local residents, visitors to the outdoor gallery often comment that they’ve really appreciated the welcoming attitude of local neighbours who’ve kindly put them on the right track.”
“Although there’s a small sign at the highway corner and directional flyers are available in Parkes, Forbes and Condobolin, travellers who are new to the area often miss the turnoff and end up somewhere in Ootha or Derriwong wondering how to find ‘the Utes’.
Jana explains,  “There are restrictions related to signage along highways so we needed to go through the proper channels to get approval.  We’re very excited for the community that TASAC agrees the attraction is worthy of official signage.  Once the signs are put up, everyone including local visitor information centres will find it easier to give travellers accurate directions and it should make finding the turnoff much easier.  That’ll minimise confusion or frustration for people coming out to the area for the first time and, hopefully give the neighbours some relief.”
The attraction now draws an average of 300+ vehicles each week.  In an effort to encourage visitors to spend time in local communities as well as seeing ‘the Utes’, a sign has now been installed at the gallery directing people to local businesses for refreshments and for Utes in the Paddock souvenirs.
It’s all part of the original idea of getting more people to come to this part of the state so they can see everything the area has to offer.
Lachlan Shire Council General Manager George Cowan was pleased the TASAC Committee approved the ‘Utes in the Paddock’ tourist attraction application for signage.
“The ‘Utes in the Paddock’ tourist attraction is a significant draw card into the central west region and appropriate signage will ensure that no tourist will miss out on this unique tourism experience” said Mr Cowan. Contributed

Choose ChemCert compliance course

ChemCert is a non-for-profit organisation re-investing back into the rural community.
ChemCert’s courses provide you with national accreditation for five years to use pesticides and restricted chemicals unsupervised.
The Course meets quality assurance program requirements including MLA, Cattlecare, Freshcare, Woolworth’s QA, and the Livestock, Health and Pest Authority (LHPA).
It also contains Occupational Health and Safety compliance updates.
Taking a ChemCert course will provide you with samples of easy to use risk assessments and self audit checklists for use back at the farm.
The courses operate throughout New South Wales, and are taught by experienced farmers and chemical advisors. ChemCert trainers will provide you with hands on practical training and industry updates, share their knowledge of the best practice, and provide you with easy to use regulatory guidelines for chemical use.
Furthermore, ChemCert’s trainers will supply you with Integrated Pest Management solutions, and new spraying techniques to reduce chemical costs and improve overall spraying outcomes.
ChemCert’s trainers are all experts on the use of agricultural and veterinary chemicals, and will equip you with the skills and knowledge to confidently, safely, and legally use pesticides on your farm.
The ChemCert course was developed into Australia’s leading agricultural quality assurance programs and chemical accreditation by key industry groups. The ChemCert Accreditation AQF III course provides you with national accreditation for five years to use pesticides and restricted chemicals unsupervised.
So, to keep compliant with government regulations, and to keep the officials off your farm, give ChemCert a call today on 1800 444 228.

Tottenham on Tuesday 10 August 2010
Condobolin on Wednesday 11 August 2010
Parkes on Friday 13 August 2010
Condobolin on Tuesday 9 September 2010

Wild Radish

Contributed by Ian Menz – District Agronomist, Industry and Investment NSW, Condobolin.
Wild Radish is a very competitive weed of winter crops that can cause significant loss of production, by reducing nutrients and water for the growing crop. Plant densities of 10 Wild Radish plants per square metre have been known to reduce wheat yields by up to 20%.
If Wild Radish is not controlled within the winter crop, there can also be complication at harvest time with blocking of header combs, increased grain sample moisture content and reduced grain quality. Green Wild Radish pods have a toxic effect on wheat seed that can inhibit germination of these seeds. Mature Wild Radish pods break into segments that are similar in size to wheat seed and removal of these segments from the wheat grain is difficult.
Wild Radish is similar in appearance, in the seedling stage, to Wild Turnip, Wild Mustard and Indian Hedge Mustard. It is a member of the Brassicaceae family and has hairless, heart shaped cotyledons (baby leaves). The first true leaves have a round apex, and are oval shaped with short hairs that feel rough. The plant appears as a rosette before the elongation of the stem. The stem can have many branches from which develop white or pale yellow flowers. The flowers are very distinctive as they have four petals with dark veins. Flowers form fruit pods that contain seeds and break into segments when mature.
It is important to be vigilant and be aware of this weed on your property. To avoid the spread of Wild Radish on your property: ensure that all machinery is cleaned prior to entering your property, leave newly acquired livestock in confined areas upon their arrival to allow monitoring of this area for weed infestations and importantly purchase registered or certified seed which is free from weeds.
If a small area of Wild Radish is located on your property, it may be possible to control by removing the plants by hand and monitoring this area on a regular basis. If larger areas are located it may be necessary to apply herbicide to control. Recommendations for chemical control can be obtained from the Department’s publication “Weed Control in Winter Crops 2010”.
In general it is important to be observant at all times for weeds which may be present on your property, as early detection will make controlling that weed easier. At the same time as protecting our own land, it is wise to keep a watch on road-side and laneways that border your property, as weed seeds may be carried by travelling stock or fodder being transported.
Next month a Rust Workshop is to be conducted at the Condobolin Research Station on August 19 commencing at 8.30am. Colin Wellings from the Sydney University Plant Breeding Institute will give an update on last season rust survey; demonstrate varietal reactions and identification methods.
Places are limited so RSVP on 6895 1025.
Other events to place on the calendar are; “Hay Day”, hay production information day to be held at the Research Station on September 8 and the Annual Station Field Day to be held on September 22.
For more details, I can be contacted at the Research Station on 02 6895 1012 or 0427 008 472.

News in Brief


Condobolin Red Cross are a small band of dedicated workers who badly need new members.
Their Annual General Meeting is to be held on Friday, 30th July, at 2pm, at the Uniting Church Hall.
Membership is only $5.
On 7th May, at Red Cross House in Sydney, attended by the Premier, Joan Watson received a Service Award Badge.
There were only six of these awarded in Zone 23, which extends from Yeoval in the north, Cudal and Eugowra in the south, Condobolin in the west, and all places in between.
On 4th June, we held a very successful Street Stall, raising over $600.
They are very grateful for everybody’s patronage, especially the donors of the raffles, who were Chamen & Co, Joan Reardon, Hilda Newell, Noleen Morris, Trish Phillips and Joan Watson.
Please come to the AGM – we will supply you with afternoon tea.
Contributed by Joan Watson (Publicity Officer).


The Companion Card is a government-funded, fair ticketing program for people with a severe/ profound disability who require a carer (companion) to access the community.
Companion Cards are only issued to people who meet all of the eligibility requirements, that is, have a severe/ profound, life-long disability and cannot access community venues and activities without a carer (companion).
Due to this criteria, cardholders represent a very small proportion of the population.
However, acceptance of the Companion Card at community venues and activities is of great assistance to cardholders as they are not required to pay for their carers ticket/ participation, enabling more people to attend places more often.
There is no cost to become a Companion Card ‘affiliate’ and we are very eager to expand the number of places that accept the Companion Card in NSW, particularly in regional areas of the State.
For  further information about the Companion Card follow the  link


Binnaway boy Andrew Brooks has been announced as the Labor candidate to take on Nationals MP Mark Coulton in the upcoming federal election.
Mr Brooks, who grew up in Binnaway, has lived in Dubbo for the last four years and has a great appreciation for the relaxed lifestyle that the country offers.
“It’s the warm and friendly people that make this area such a great place to live and it would be an honour to represent  these people in the federal parliament,” he said.
“As someone who has grown up in the area, I recognize the importance of regional issues and am willing to fight for them.”
Mr Brooks has recently completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in politics, at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney.
He said he is committed to making sure there is a greater involvement of young people in making the decisions that affect their future.

A strong sense of community at Currajong

Currajong Disability Group members volunteer their time to participate in the Meals on Weels programBy Sally Willoughby

Community contribution is an integral component in any small town, but for members of Condobolin’s Currajong Disability Services group, the weekly participation in services that contribute to the community has an even greater advantage promoting a sense of responsibility, integration and ultimately a feeling of value within our Condobolin community.
As active members of the community, each week members of the local Currajong group volunteer in the Meals on Wheels program delivering hot meals to elderly people in the town.
Carer Debbie Sutherland said the delight her clients get from helping people in the community is very rewarding.
“They get so much enjoyment out of feeling as though they have helped someone in the community it’s really lovely to see,” Debbie said.
“They do so many little things for different groups in the town and just love feeling like they’ve done something for someone else – it really makes them feel that they’re an important part of the community,” she said.
The group, who also clean the Anglican Church Hall once a week and fill sample bags for special events like the recent Quota International Conference, have recently undertaken the significant task to prepare 5000 white ribbons for White Ribbon Day in November.
With the broad reach of their community involvement, members also fold newsletters for St Joseph’s Catholic School delivering them to the newsagency and pharmacy each week.
“We encourage anyone with small jobs that need to be done to drop in or call and see if the Currajong group could do it for them,” Debbie said.
Currajong Program Coordinator Michelle Mahlo said the service have recently expanded employing two new local staff in addition to Debbie Sutherland and Margaret Meyer.
“The recent employment of locals Jeanette Holman and Bradley Bell will enable enhanced possibilities for the future of the clients of Currajong.
“The new skills and interests they bring will allow new opportunities for activities within the community,” Michelle said.
Currajong Disability is a non government community based organisation servicing the Lachlan,  Forbes & Parkes Shire Councils. It operates a number of Post School Programs funded by the Department of Ageing, Disability & Home Care, which include Transition to Work, Post School Options, Community Participation, Day programs, Lifestyle Choices & Self Managed Packages.
With a mission to provide support for people with a disability and their carer’s that promotes their right to live inclusive lives of their choice, they run a variety of programs that sustain this including  the Transition to Work program which provides support for clients to develop prevocational skills and work readiness, acquire social skills and work skills while gaining confidence, training or vocational education.
The Community Participation provides eligible school leavers access to services that enable them to further develop skills acquired at school. Also they develop new personal, social and daily living skills essential for community participation while they gain greater levels of independence and self reliance and responsibility in making choices and decisions. This program also increases access and participation in day to day activities in their local communities while maintaining social networks.
Flexible Respite assists carers of a family member with a disability by giving them a break from the caring role. A caring and stimulating activity is provided for the family member.
For further information on services offered by Currajong Disability phone 68634713.

Brushing up on work and life skills

Mental Health Support Officer Di Gill speaks at the Spec Elliot Memorial Brush Cutting ChampionshipsBy Karen Tooth

The Murda State Forest,  near Condobolin was the scene for an unique competition for State Forestry NSW  field staff  last week when they held the “Spec  Elliott Memorial Brush cutting Championships”. The competition, started in 1999, is named after Clarence “Spec” Elliott who was a marketing foreman at Forbes for over 30 years.
Claimed to be the only event of its kind in the world, brush cutting teams from across NSW compete in a fun and yet informative day. As last year’s winners Condobolin, which is part of the Forbes grouping, were hosts to the championships this year. A team from Barellan won this year’s title from crews that travelled from as far away as Inverell to Narrandera.
Forbes Forest Centre covers a very large area from Dubbo to the Victorian border.  They manage 161 state forests in this area, including several around the Condobolin area. Fieldstaff are based at Forbes, Condobolin and Narrandera.
Forestry Field staff conduct  operational brush cutting (using oversized whipper snippers) to thin and manage cypress pine forests of what is referred as ‘wheat crop regeneration’-thus allowing trees the space to grow. The job is both labour intensive and dangerous and has been carried out by Forestry since the 1970’s and has been the best way to clear brush despite experimentation with other mechanical means.
In conjunction with the competition, State Forestry held their Annual Safety Day which included workshops and speakers from GWAHS. Mental Health Drought Support Officer Di Gill and Dietician Rebecca Jarman covered topics that included mental health, men’s health plus a men’s Pit Stop which included health checks.
Alan  Smith, Senior Forester, Forbes said, “The day was an opportunity to showcase what Forestry can do plus feature the Condobolin area with Murda State Forest being so accessible to all the visitors. Paul Yeomans, the local foreman and the Forbes team prepared the area really well. The short sessions worked extremely well – particularly the take up on the Pit Stop health checks. We were very happy with the day.”
State Forests are Government owned land and are freely available to the public.  People can use forests for recreational pursuits such as walking and horseriding, as well as collection of firewood (with a permit).  These forests are also used to supply timber to the local sawmill on Condobolin.

Police make an arrest after spate of break ins

By Sally Willoughby & Melissa Blewitt.
A 15 year old juvenile has been arrested after being found in possession of a plasma television that was stolen in a spate of break-ins that occurred around Condobolin during the last three weeks.
Police are currently seeking another person of interest in connection to the incidents.
The person of interest has a number of outstanding warrants, and police believe this person can help with their ongoing enquiries relation to the offenses which occurred throughout the town in residential and business houses.
Sergeant Peter Gibson of Condobolin Police Station said the majority of residential break and enters were occurring with access gained from back lanes and items stolen including cash, laptops and mobile phones.
Business houses that were involved in the break-ins include The White Picket Store, JN Straney & Son, Café Romo’s, the Library and the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation.
“It appears offenders are gaining access to businesses via the roof in many cases,” Sergeant Gibson said.
“The first report this morning was of a break in at the Wiradjuri Corporation where they have peeled back the tin roof and gained access to the building stealing a 42 inch plasma television,” Sergeant Gibson said last Thursday.
“Scissors, a boomerang and a shovel were then used to force an internal door into Café Romo’s where a mobile phone was stolen from a car parked in the rear of the building,” he said.
Acting Crime Manager, Detective Sergeant Steve Howard, said the Lachlan Local Area Command were working closely with the Condobolin police to get the situation under control.
“We’re implementing a number of resources out there in Condo which include a target action group and highway patrol who will assist with extra patrols in the Condobolin area,” Detective Howard said.
“We have a number of suspects in relation to the current break and enters and are actively trying to find one adult person in particular who we believe to be involved and has a warrant out on him,” he said.
Detective Howard said since the spate of incidents, there had been no further break and enters in Condobolin, proving the strategies put in place and the areas of concern targeted by police had proven effective for the community.
“There have been no further break and enters in Condobolin since last week. There has been one case of malicious damage, but this is certainly encouraging for the community and for the police working to ensure the safety and security of residents,” Detective Howard said.
Detective Howard said he encouraged community members who may have information regarding the break and enters to come forward and assist police with their enquiries.
“Let the local police know if you have any information. Every little bit helps police in their investigations into these matters,” he said.
With frustration mounting amongst business houses, Blue Reardon whose business JN Straney & Sons was broken into last Thursday morning, said it was impressive to have such a prompt police response.
“They made a mess of the office and have stolen a lap top and some keys after they’ve tried to get into the safe which will be a great expense and inconvenience to have replaced,” Blue said.
“The response by Sergeant Gibson and the local police however was excellent and greatly appreciated,” he said.
Forensic services were in town last week for the three properties which were broken into on Thursday morning with fingerprints recovered from Redenback and Carey after an attempted break-in.
Police are encouraging anyone with information regarding the break-ins or who see anything suspicious like people on roof tops to contact police. If you are transferred to Parkes, leave a message and they will ensure a local police response.

New teeth bite into local school zones

‘Dragon’s teeth’ have recently been installed on the entry points of all of the 40km/h school zones across the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Council areas.
The Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, says that ‘dragon’s teeth’ increase the visibility of school zones for motorists.
“’Dragon’s teeth’ are white triangular markings that are painted on the road surface at the entry to 40km/h school zones across the State.
“The NSW Government announced the rollout of ‘dragon’s teeth’ in all of the State’s 10,000 school zones in May 2009.
Dragons Teeth will lead into 40km/h school zones across the Lachlan ShireThe ‘dragon’s teeth’ have recently been installed across the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Council areas and are expected to be installed in all school zones  across the State by the end of the year.
“’Dragon’s teeth’ provide a constant reinforcement to slow down to 40km/h around schools between 8am – 9.30am and from 2.30pm – 4pm.
“The installation of ‘dragon’s teeth’ is not new to road safety.
These markings are already used internationally to alert drivers they are entering a school zone and remind them to slow down,” Ms Suitor said.
The ‘dragon’s teeth’ are 35 metres long and combined with school zone signs, flashing lights (where installed) and speed limit markings on the roadway, drivers will have no doubt they are travelling in a school zone.
“Children are not always capable of judging how fast a vehicle is travelling, so it is important that motorists slow down in school zones.  ‘Dragon’s teeth’ will assist with this,” Ms Suitor said.
Penalties for speeding in a school zone range from $141 and two demerit points to $1,859 and seven demerit points depending on how fast you are driving.
Police  are also reminding motorists that now that schools have returned for another term they will be enforcing the 40km/h school zone speed limit.
For further information please contact Parkes Shire Council’s Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, on (02) 6861 2364.

Protesting water order

Lower Lachlan Stock & Domestic and Basic Right Water Users, protest the announcement of the Temporary Water Order placed once again on the Lachlan River, below Condobolin.
“We believe that there should be one restriction throughout the Valley, and that the Government should be following its own policy which under The Water Management ACT 2000  gives priority to Town Water Supply, Stock and Domestic and Critical Human Needs water, above High Security allocations.” “This is not the case on the Lachlan whilst it is under the Temporary Water Order.
High Security allocations are 10 per cent, and landholders above Condobolin are not under the same restrictions and constraints placed on Lower Lachlan landholders, who could once again be facing a summer with no water.”
The s-324 Temporary Water Order, which initially was placed on the Lachlan River below Condobolin in November last year, ended on June 30th, however  the Commissioner for Water, David Harriss immediately placed another s-324 Temporary Water Order back on, despite conditions improving in the Lachlan Catchment.
To draw water either under their Basic Right (formerly Riparian Right) or under licensed Stock & Domestic, landholders have to first order the water two weeks in advance and then filling out a log book every time the pump is started and stopped.
For many landholders this almost impossible to carry out, as many have pressure pumps which cut in when water is used.
It also poses problems for piped water schemes, which have a number of users off the one pump.
The office of Water has conceded that the constraint put on landholders drawing their Stock & Domestic and Basic Right water under the s-324 is virtually unworkable, with Peter Christmas saying at an information Session in Lake Cargelligo on Tuesday 20th July, “Basically the lawyers who drew up the legislation did not have enough knowledge about how pumping systems work.”
Landholders pointed out that despite the Office of Water agreeing that it was almost impossible to keep a log book with a pressurized pumping system, that landholders would be still liable for the harsh penalties that non compliance of the s-324 could bring.[see below]
It is an offence under section 336C of the Water Management Act 2000 to fail to comply with this direction. An individual found guilty of an offence under section 336C is liable to a penalty not exceeding $247,500 and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further penalty not exceeding $66,000 for each day the offence continues. A corporation found guilty of an offence under section 336C is liable to a penalty not exceeding $1.1 million and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further penalty not exceeding $132,000 for each day the offence continues.
Mr. Christmas said that despite  The Office of Water realizing that there were problems with the legislation, particularly to do with the ordering and logging of Stock & Domestic water that as it looked like NSW was heading towards an  election,  it would be  unlikely that any changes to the s-324 would be tabled before March next year.
Lower Lachlan Stock & Domestic and Basic Right Water Users see this as yet another example of the poor governance metered out to the landholders of the Lower Lachlan by Minister Costa and the NSW Labour Government.
“Not only are we being treated as second class citizens, with water for humans and livestock in the Lower Lachlan being prioritized below Upper Lachlan Fruit Trees and Mines,  now we are stuck with unworkable legislation  as well”, commented Patti Bartholomew, publicity officer for the group.  Contributed.

Land claim lodged on Memorial Park

… Council to contest

By Sally Willoughby.
A land claim lodged on Condobolin’s Memorial Park by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council will be contested by the Lachlan Shire Council on the grounds it is land that is actively used by the community and an essential community asset.
LSC General Manager, George Cowan, said the claim which was lodged in 2006 but only recently brought to Council’s attention, could result in freehold title for the claimant if upheld.
“Under NSW Legislation, the Aboriginal Land Council can lodge a claim on any crown land – there doesn’t necessarily have to be a traditional connection to the piece of land,” Mr Cowan said.
With the unanimous decision at Council to lodge an objection to the claim to the Land and Property Management Authority, Mr Cowan said he was confident the claim would not be granted.
“We will lodge an objection on the basis the park is an essential community asset,” he said.
“This particular claim is part of a process whereby claims had been lodged over most pieces of crown land in the shire and across the State.
Memorial Park is crown land that was vested in council as trustees in 1932 to be utilized for recreation.
Mr Cowan said Council had maintained the land for 78 years investing substantial infrastructure over this time including park equipment, toilets and memorials.
“I have recently met with the Secretary of the Condobolin Aboriginal Land Council to discuss the claim and there is a good understanding of the importance to the community of the Memorial Park” Documentation to contest the claim must be provided before 20th August 2010.

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