Country Energy

Stay safe in bushfire season

With all the recent rain and the lush growth of vegetation, fires are a risk – so get ready.It is your responsibility to prepare yourself, your family, your home and property for the threat of bush fire.You need to act decisively in accordance with your Bush Fire Survival Plan when bush fires threaten. Your survival depends on your preparations and the decisions you make.

As soaring temperatures and the on-set of the summer storm season increase the risk of bushfires across regional New South Wales, Country Energy warns that electricity and fire can be a dangerous mix.
Country Energy’s acting regional general manager Ben McClements, is urging the community to prepare properties for bushfire season, and to adopt some important electrical safety precautions.
“Simple things, like mowing lawns regularly, cleaning any leaves and other debris from gutters and not planting trees near powerlines, can help to protect your property from fire,” Ben said.
“We regularly inspect our powerlines to maintain fire safety clearances, but we also appreciate customer feedback and encourage people to call Country Energy on 13 20 80 to let us know of any trees growing dangerously near lines on properties.”
Ben said whether you choose to leave an at-risk area early, or stay and defend your property, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent electrical accidents during a bushfire.
”Having a manual or fuel operated water pump and stand-alone source of water available is essential if you stay to defend your property – it could be lifesaving if the fire cuts the power supply and electric pumps don’t work,” Ben said.
“If you decide to leave, Country Energy recommends that you turn off the main switches in your meter box, as this can help reduce the risk of electrical wires short-circuiting or sparking, and when you’re driving look out for fallen lines across the road.
“When you come back, check whether any nearby overhead powerlines appear damaged, are sagging or have fallen to the ground and, if they are, keep at least eight metres clear – don’t touch or move them under any circumstances – and contact Country Energy immediately on 13 20 80,” Ben said.
“It’s also vital to keep well away from anything that damaged powerlines may be in contact with, such as tree branches, water pipes and fences, as these may have become energised.”
Country Energy warns that it can take less than a millionth of a second for electricity to pass from a powerline through a tree branch to a person, and removal of trees or branches on or near powerlines should only be done by qualified personnel.
For further information concerning electrical safety contact 13 23 56, drop into your nearest Customer Service Centre or visit


Equipment & machinery use in bushfire prone areas:

If you use equipment and machinery, or if you supervise these operations for industry, you must observe fire regulations and safety precautions. As well, you must make yourself aware of the declaration of Total Fire Bans and stop work prohibited by Total Fire Bans as soon as they are announced.

On days of Total Fire Ban:
Welding, grinding, soldering (with flame) and gas cutting in the open air are prohibited by the Rural Fires Act in most cases. Certain exemptions may be granted for: “fires lit, maintained or used by or under the authority of any person or body of persons corporate or unincorporate, for, or in connection with the repair or maintenance of services or equipment essential for continuance or restoration of the supply or provision of heat, light, power, water, sewage, transport or communication subject to observance of the special conditions that all reasonable steps are taken to prevent the escape of fire, sparks, or incandescent or burning material therefrom.”
The use of machinery such as tractors, slashers or even chainsaws should be postponed if possible, as the risk of starting fires is extremely high. If the work is essential, follow the general rules outlined for the Bush Fire Danger Season and use extreme care.

Bush Fire Danger Season Obligations:
When carrying out welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting in the open air you should:
Place a shield or guard of fire resistant material in such a way as to prevent emission of sparks and hot pieces of metal from the area where you are working.
Keep an area of 3 metres around the work completely cleared of flammable material or wet down sufficiently to prevent the spread of fire. This is particularly important where waste wood, sawdust, bark, or dry grass is in the vicinity.
Have close at hand a reticulated water supply or an effective water spray pump, such as a knapsack, fully charged with 16 litres of water.
Have a fire extinguisher (liquid type) of 9 litre minimum capacity.
Have a fireproof receptacle for cut-offs and electrode stubs.

Extinguishing spot fires:
Because the easiest, most effective way to extinguish fire is to apply water, it is important to have adequate, accessible water storage and an effective way of distributing it.
If you are on a reticulated water supply, everyone in the area, including the CFS, will be using the mains water supply, causing a severe loss in water pressure.

How much water will you need?
This is a difficult question to answer. The CFS recommendsat least 5000 litres for firefighting (using a fire pump with hoses etc) or 22,000 litres if you have installed asprinkler system.

Prepare a Bush Fire Survival Plan and discuss it with your family.
One of the most important decisions you need to make to protect you and your family is will you “Leave Early” or “Stay and Defend” a wellprepared property. Regardless of your decision preparation is the key to survival.
– If you are going to leave – prepare for where you are going to go, how you are going to get there and what you are going to take
– If you are going to stay, you must have a plan for how you are going to survive and where you
will shelter. Know what equipment you need
– Have a contingency plan – know where your nearest Neighbourhood Safer Place is
– You need to be both mentally and physically prepared to carry out your survival plan
– Prepare your home and property to survive a fire front and ensure you have adequate levels of insurance.

Local employees recognised for service

Country Energy employees Graham Hill, Regional General Manager Chas McPhail and Paul KeenCountry Energy’s presence in the local community remains strong as the business celebrates employees’ commitment to the company with 10, 20, 30 and even 40 years of service.
Recognising employees across the State, the local service milestone award presentations are Country Energy’s way of saying thank you and recognising the experience, diversity and depth that each long-serving employee brings to the workplace and to the company’s skill base.
The awards bring Country Energy’s people together, from line workers and customer service advisers to senior managers – with 67 employees in the Central Western region celebrated.

Origin Energy moves in

The NSW Government has announced the sale of Country Energy’s retail operations to Origin Energy as part of its Energy Reform Strategy.
The sale does not involve Country Energy’s electricity network operations – the ‘poles and wires’ – and the Country Water business in Far West NSW.
Country Energy’s Regional General Manager, Central Western, Chas McPhail said, “Some  details  are still to be finalised, but as part of the sale agreement there  will  be  a  transition period of at least three years where Country Energy  will continue to manage retail services on behalf of Origin. Origin is  expected  to  take  ownership  of the Country Energy retail business in March  2011  and  Country  Energy  will work with Origin to ensure a smooth transition of our retail services.”
“Customers will see no immediate changes – they will continue to deal with the same people and receive the same high levels of service, including Country Energy’s general enquiries line, 13 23 56, and will be notified regarding changes before they occur.”
“We will remain one of regional NSW’s largest employers, and through our network operations we will remain a strong supporter of the 1,500 local communities we serve.”
“There will be no change to our core business of delivering safe and reliable essential services, and we will continue to deliver our five-year $6 billion investment to maintain and grow our electricity network,” Chas said.
It will also be business as usual for network support services – customers can continue to call 13 20 80 to report supply interruptions or electrical safety hazards, and our local field service teams will be ready to respond 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
The NSW Government has announced that Country Energy’s Customer Service Centres will remain in place after the sale of the retail business.
The Government has also outlined strong employment protections to ensure local job security for employees working in our retail business.
Employees working in the retail arm of the business will be given the option of taking up offers to work with Origin or staying with Country Energy in their current location.
The sale will have no impact on the vast majority of Country Energy employees, who work on building and maintaining the electricity network, and in Country Energy’s water business in the Broken Hill area, Country Water.
Consumer protections, such as pensioner rebates and hardship programs, will continue.

Powerful local careers celebrated

Central Western Region apprentices, including Condobolin’s Roger Haddrill, with Cowra Mayor Bill West and Country Energy’s Regional General Manager Chas McPhail

Hard hats replaced traditional graduation mortar boards when 14 Country Energy apprentices were recognised as fully-qualified tradespeople from the central western region with a ceremony held in Cowra that also acknowledged the growth of the power company’s apprenticeship program.
Celebrating local graduate Roger Haddrill success at Condobolin’s field service centre, the ceremony brought together important parts of the company’s future – a new generation workforce and experienced tradesmen and women who have helped mentor the apprentices over the past four years.
Country Energy’s regional general manager, Chas McPhail, congratulated the graduates on their hard work and dedication in gaining their qualifications, commitment to safety and focus on customer service.
“Apprentices are the future of the energy industry – the future of the safe supply of an essential service to the 1,500 communities, such as Condobolin, Country Energy serves,” Chas said.
“These qualified tradespeople and the apprentices that follow them will carry out vital work on a power network that covers 95 per cent of the State – the largest electricity distribution system in Australia.”
The 14 graduates from across the central western region are each a part of their local area, boosting regional skills and knowledge – reinforcing Country Energy’s ongoing commitment to local employment opportunities in towns and communities across regional NSW.
“We’re proud of our apprenticeship program – we recently called for another 80-plus apprentices to start work across our network in January next year – when these new recruits begin, Country Energy will have created more than 1010 apprenticeship opportunities since 2001,” Chas said.
Ninety five per cent of Country Energy’s apprentices complete their trade certificates.

Lachlan Lads take the Movember Challenge

Lachlan Lads compete for a good cause: From back left: Tim Keely, Logan Thorpe, Zac Mitchell, Nick Ridley, Mark Goodsell. Front: Jacob Smith, Allan Rice, Craig Jones, Ashley Bremner and David GeevesCondobolin Country Energy boys have been sprouting some interesting facial hair over the month of November in a bid to raise awareness and vital funds for men’s health.
Ten guys at the Condobolin depot and four from the Lake Cargelligo depot have taken part in what has become a fiercely competitive challenge to see who can grow the best mo’.
Country Energy Leading Hand at the Condobolin, depot, Ashley Bremner, initiated the challenge through the two depots saying while the competition was fierce in the office it was all in the name of raising awareness for an important and often forgotten cause.
The Movember Foundation is a charitable organisation which coordinates the Movember initiative each year and allocates funds raised to world class and innovative education, research and awareness initiatives.
Warren Brettschneider of Lake Cargelligo has also grown a moMovember Australia collaborates with two men’s health partners – the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia) and beyondblue: the national depression initiative.
The ‘Lachlan Lads’ have raised over $300 so far. If you ‘like’ what you see and would like to sponsor the boys you can log onto and search for ‘Lachlan Lads’.

Warren raises funds for men’s health awareness

Warren Brettschneider, formerly of ‘Brotherony’ Condobolin and now Lake Cargelligo Multi Purpose Centre, has also grown the mo’ for Movember to showcase awareness for prostate cancer and depression for staff and clients at the Centre.
Nurses Brenda Lightfoot and staff have assisted Warren in his bid to highlight the need for men to be aware of their health and raise funds for the Movember Foundation.
Warren has raised in excess of $300 and shaved off the mo’ at a special morning tea at the Multi-Purpose Centre yesterday (Tuesday).

Tree trimming to commence in Condobolin

Country Energy tree trimming crews will be active in Condobolin over the coming weeks as part of Country Energy’s vegetation management program.
Regional general manager, Central Western, Chas McPhail said the work involves the pruning of trees near high and low-voltage powerlines and is done to ensure public safety and power supply reliability.
“Our main objective is to balance the need to provide a safe and reliable power supply while maintaining high standards of environmental care”.
Trees and powerlines can be a dangerous combination, approximately 90 per cent of supply interruptions are caused by trees affecting powerlines, especially during storms.
“In the interests of public safety and minimising tree-related supply interruptions, this work is essential.
“Country Energy has completed the aerial inspections of the network, we do this to identify any faults and defects that can be difficult to identify from the ground. Broken crossarms, loose powerlines can all be identified and repaired before it becomes an emergency situation,” Chas said.
Due to the large amount of recent rainfall throughout the region and the forecast vegetation growth, along with Country Energy crews we have also contracted experienced vegetation specialists to assist with the tree trimming.
“Tree pruning or felling can be hazardous near overhead powerlines and should be performed by qualified tree trimmers.
“Our contractors are trained in tree care and use directional pruning – a professional technique used for trees growing towards an obstacle, such as powerlines – which takes advantage of a tree’s natural growth patterns.
“The main advantage of this technique is that it reduces regrowth and encourages future growth away from the powerlines”, Chas said.
The work is expected to take approximately six weeks – weather permitting – to complete.

Chutes and Utes Festival thunders into Condo

Condo Chutes and Utes FestivalCondo Chutes and Utes sponsors and Condobolin Rodeo Committee members are gearing up for the premier event this October long weekend: Mayor Des Manwaring (LSC), Roger Browne, Allan ‘Butch’ Rice (Country Energy), Blue Reardon, Karen Worthington (Barrick Gold), Jeff Kirk, Stuart Mathews (Kimberley Metals), Brian Prothero (Condobolin RSL Club). Absent: Chamens IGA.

Condobolin is getting ready for a swag of activities this October long weekend showcased by the Condo Chutes and Utes Festival which will host the Professional Bull Riders Challenger Series on Saturday 2 October and The  Country Energy Utes Show on Sunday 3 October offering over $3750 in cash and prizes across ten categories.
The weekend will also feature Central Hope Cutters Red Dirt Run and a fierce game of rugby league between the Condo Old Boys and St Mary’s Masters. See the following pages for all details.

Country Energy Ute Show

Utes to roar into Condo

Sunday 3 October 10am – 2pm

The Country Energy Ute Show will roar into Condobolin on the October Long WeekendUtes are set to converge on Condobolin this Sunday 3 October for the inaugural Country Energy Ute Show which is offering $1500 for the prestigious Country Energy ‘Ultimate’ Ute and over $3750 in cash and prizes across ten categories.
With a category for every kind of ute, all entries will go into the running for the prestigious Country Energy ‘Ultimate’ Ute title worth a cool $1000 for first and $500 for second place.
The day will start at 10am with Ute nominations currently open at a cost of $15 with all spectators on the day FREE! More information and registration forms can be downloaded from or by calling 02 6895 2422 or email
All utes interested in contesting the debut Country Energy Ultimate Ute and all other categories must be at the Condobolin Pony Club, Campdraft and Rodeo Grounds on Diggers Ave, Condobolin by 10am.

Eligible to the winners of each category.
Machine equipped to go country – camping gear, winches, radios, shovel, bull bar, tow bar, roll bar, aerials, side skirts, mega mud flaps, the more the better, you fit it we’ll judge it.
Must Run Must Go – need not have rego, but if not, must be transported, the more feral the better.
Change what you like, but must be street legal – the less it looks like the original the better.
As it sounds – the more original the better chance of a win.
Pimped and polished street machine, show piece – modified front to back, inside and out, underneath and on top, so come strut your stuff.
Guys you must be a girl. – This love machine must be registered to and shown by a girl.
Lets hear how it sounds – all categories of Ute eligible, speakers must be fitted inside the Ute. Also judged on wiring, sound quality & installation.
All categories eligible – Not the loudest Ute, but the sweetest sound.
Paintwork, if you have it, we want to see it – advertising or artwork, custom graphics or business promotional artwork.

Chutes and Utes festival secures iconic Clydesdales

The iconic Carlton Clydesdales will visit Condobolin for the Professional Bull Riders Festival this October Long WeekendBy Sally Willoughby
In a major coup for the Condobolin Chutes and Utes Festival this October long weekend, the iconic Carlton Clydesdales will attend the Condobolin Professional Bull Riding Challenger Series event on Saturday 2 October.
The VB Gold ambassadors stand up to 18 hands high with the horses, and their dalmation dog Cassie, making the pilgrimage to Condobolin to showcase the genuine Carlton Brewery lorry laden with wooden barrels in their traditional heavy harness of yesteryear.
Carlton Breweries and United started using Clydesdales to transport beer from the breweries to the pub in 1864 up until just after the Second World War.
Despite not using them in a working capacity after this time, Carlton has never been without their Clydesdales with the horses now travelling around Australian promoting Carlton beers.
The Carlton Clydesdales Tom and Burt will visit Condobolin on Saturday 2 October with the unique clip clop and silky boots travelling through the town starting at the Royal Hotel from 11am.
They will be available at the Condobolin Pony Club, Campdraft and Rodeo grounds at 4pm for photographs before the PBR event starting at 6pm.
This year, Saturday’s PBR event will be held in conjunction with the Central Hope Cutters Red Dirt Championships and the inaugural Country Energy Ute Show on Sunday 3 September. With $1500 in cash up for grabs in the Country Energy Ultimate Ute category, Ute enthusiasts are encouraged to go to for more information or call 02 6895 2422.

Country Energy set to sizzle

Culinary delights and mouth watering teasers will be on the menu at this year’s Condobolin Show, as Country Energy features its infamous Country Energy cooking demonstrations.
For the first time, the local energy provider will showcase the Country Energy kitchen featuring cooking demonstrations and taste testing, taking place every hour on the hour from 10am to 2pm on Saturday.
Country Energy’s acting regional general manager, Ben McClements, said, “This event is a fantastic example
of how Country Energy continues to support the local organisations within the community.”
“This year, the Country Energy kitchen will feature popular local produce – lamb – with renowned Bathurst chef, Tracey Tullier, demonstrating a number of quick and easy recipes that customers can make at home,” Ben said.
Everyone who visits the Country Energy marquee on Saturday will have the opportunity to go into the draw for an energy efficiency pack valued at over $200 – there will also be some giveaways at each cooking demonstration.
Country Energy is a strong supporter of the communities in which it operates. Environmental, social, educational and cultural events and organisations benefit from our community sponsorship program.
“We are a big part of Condobolin community – our employees live and work in the area so investing in the future of the town is good business sense,” Ben said.

The biggest Show ever for Condobolin

In the 125th year of Condobolin PAH & I Association (Show Society), there will indeed be something for everyone at this  year’s Condobolin Show to be held on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 August.
Show secretary, Carol-Ann Malouf said, “We have probably never crammed so many wonderful attractions into one show, nor had so many celebratory highlights in the same year.
“For a start, the committee obviously did not have to look far for the person they would like to open this year’s Show.
The 116th Annual Condobolin Show will be officially opened by the 2010 The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl, Clare McDonald, who was also the 2009 Condobolin Showgirl.
At the opening ceremony you will be introduced to your 2010 Condobolin Showgirl, Georgina Sutherland and runner-up Amy Watt, who were announced at last Saturday’s Show Ball, and joining them will be the 2010 Young Achievers, a fantastic band of Condobolin youth who involve themselves in various stewarding roles at the Show after facing interviews the previous week.
It won’t be all sashing and speeches for Clare who, as a member of the Condobolin Show committee for the last couple of years, has stewarding duties which include organisation of the Sureway Employment & Training-sponsored Bushman’s Relay with $500 cash for the winning team.
To be staged in front of the bar area on the Show’s second night the challenge of the relay’s various stages causes great entertainment both for competitors and spectators. Entries should be made at the Secretary’s Office at the SRA Ground by 5 p.m. on the first night of the Show.
A major coup for this year’s show will be the staging of The Australian Wool Fashion Awards (TAWFA) parades. Now a major wool industry event the awards are designed to showcase the use of Merino wool by national and international fashion designers and students and TAWFA parades are a major feature of the Sydney Royal Easter Show with the national awards taking place at that venue.
All garments are “one-offs”, both young and innovative, with many created by young designers, secondary school or tertiary college students, all promoting wool to the consumer in a creative way.
“With TAWFA managing director, Liz Foster, a bus-load of models of the New England region and some 75 woollen garments heading for Condobolin, the parades should attract spectators from throughout the Central West,” said show president, Bruce Patton.
A Pied Piper's duck models a pink outfitTHE PIED PIPER SHOW
Fashion parades with a difference will be part of another major attraction, that of the Pied Piper Show.
Based on a reputation of some 25 years of delighting crowds throughout Australia at local and Royal shows, Brian Harrington’s feathered friends will waddle down another catwalk at this year’s Condobolin Show, parading the latest in designer and duck fashion.
Along the way colourful and talented ducks (yes, ducks) play musical chairs with their racing pig friends and when not parading will be wandering around the showground showing off the latest fashion trends. Visits will also be paid to local schools on the day prior to the Show.
Returning to Condobolin due to popular demand is Crocodile Encounters, sponsored by Country Energy, a mobile reptile display presented by recognised reptile expert, Mark Richmond who said, “This is a totally hands-on experience with members of the audience encouraged to handle the animals.
“All animals have been specially conditioned to take part in this kind of performance and will be selected from a range which includes a variety of lizards, pythons, turtles and fresh and saltwater crocodiles.”
The Show Society is also delighted to announce that our own acclaimed Condobolin Auto Sports Club members will be staging a performance following Saturday’s Grand Parade and Presentations. A great crowd favourite, this display will captivate everyone.
Another 2010 Condobolin Show highlight will be the Country Energy Kitchen providing cooking demonstrations throughout the second day, showcasing lamb recipes along with other quick and easy family favourites such as Chocolate Rocky Road and, demonstration chef, Tracey Tullier, will showcase her Chocolate Shots recipe of her well-known former Bathurst restaurant.
Regional general manager, Chas McPhail, said “Country Energy is proud to continue its long standing support of the Condobolin Show.
“We are a big part of the Condobolin community – our employees live and work in the area so investing in the future of the town is good business sense.”
Demonstrations will take place under the Country Energy marquee in the Ray Davis Memorial Skillion hourly during 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
With information available on energy efficiency, Show patrons can enter a draw at the kitchen site to win Energy Efficiency Packs valued at $250, $100 and $50.
Also playing “Pied Piper”, as they have done for over 50 years, Condobolin’s RSL Club Pipe Band supplemented by visiting band members of other centres will start their march in town through to the showground on the second day leading the procession of Show patrons to the ground.
New to the region – Carbon Expo
This year’s Show has been selected to host the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority and Centroc Carbon Expo – an exciting new venture that will deliver climate adaptation advice into the communities of the Lachlan River catchment – to be found to the south of the pavilion along ringside.
As this year we celebrate 125 years since the formation of the Condobolin PAH & I Association, the display of trophies that was mounted for the Celebration of Condobolin last November will be on show in the main Pavilion and anyone who has a treasured trophy in the past is invited to contact the Show Secretary within the next few days if they would like this trophy displayed along with its background.
And there’s still more!
There is just too much happening at this year’s Condobolin Show to go into further detail – you really just have to be there!
However a suggestion is that you visit on Friday to cover the Pavilion and the large range of trade, machinery, agriculture displays and exhibitions, thus allowing time on Saturday to take in the various scheduled performances of our feature attractions as well as visiting those competitions that are only held on the Saturday, such as the Cattle and Poultry classes.
Don’t forget you can dine throughout the day at Bill and Colleen Doyle’s Restaurant off the main pavilion, savouring morning and afternoon tea, lunch and barbecue and wash it all down with a cleansing ale at the Show Bar.
Lachlan Shire Council has been busy for weeks preparing the showground and the Show Society is indebted to them for the genuine care and attention given by administrative and outdoor staff to presenting a spectacular backdrop for the greatest Show in the State.
As well, Heather Blackley and her Work for the Dole participants have again had great input in complementing the work of Council and the Show Committee in preparing the grounds for the many activities that will take place.
Help wanted!!
While the Show Society not only has a small band of willing Committee members and a band of wonderful volunteers (e.g. the stewards of the various classes in the Pavilion) as well as a number of enthusiastic and greatly appreciated High School students, and of course the dedicated Young Achiever entrants, numbers are increasingly lighter to cover all areas required to present your Condobolin Show, such a large and multi-faceted event.
Therefore, further volunteers are sought to help in such areas as showjumping rail-lifting and ground parking stewards. If you think you could spare a few hours to become actively involved, please call at the Showground Office or phone 6895 4025.

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.

Regional accolade for local employee

Juanita Wighton receives her award from Country Energy's Chas McPhailLachlan Shire Council employee Jaunita Wighton has secured another accolade under her belt having been awarded the Western NSW 2010 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year in Orange earlier this month.
The highly contested award recognising excellence in vocational education and training, was awarded to Juanita who completed her Certificate III in Local Government with a traineeship and ongoing employment at Lachlan Shire Council.
“I’m proud of my achievements so far,” Juanita said.
“This has given me more confidence to know that I can only achieve more.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family and the staff at LSC for all their support and guidance.
“It’s with the good influence and positive attitude of the people around me that make these achievements possible,” she said.
Juanita now proceeds into the state level of the competition which involves a round of interviews in Sydney before the state winners are announced at a gala dinner on 16 September.

Sharing energy tips with the community

Country Energy's Cathy Weekes speaks with Condobolin residentsAdvertorial

Energy efficiency was the topic of conversation at a Condobolin community meeting organised by Centacare, when Country Energy presented its informative energy efficiency presentation.
Regional general manager, Chas McPhail, said that Country Energy is a valued part of the community and prides itself on being able to provide informative energy efficient options to its customers.
“The presentation gave Country Energy a fantastic opportunity to share with a variety of community members some valuable ways to reduce their energy consumption, impacts on the environment as well as important tips on how to read their electricity bills,” Chas said.
Energy efficiency can be adopted in any household by taking on a few very simple practices.
“Simple tips such as replacing all light bulbs with energy efficient globes or drying clothes by natural sunlight not in the dryer can make all the difference,” Chas said.
During hard economical times Country Energy is supporting its customers by investing in energy efficiency awareness programs such as energyanswers.
“The program has a dedicated energy efficiency advice line known as the energyanswers advice line (1800 ENERGY or 1800 363 749) and an energyanswers website that is a one-stop shop for all energy efficiency tips – you also have the option to conduct an energy audit on your house.
“It is important to remember that it doesn’t matter how small the change or energy saving is, it all counts toward us becoming a more sustainable society,” Chas said.
To identify further potential energy and water saving around the home, Country Energy provides a free energy efficiency calculator for customers to see how using different appliances can affect household energy and water use.
Country Energy would like to visit community groups in the Condobolin region to present its energy efficiency presentation. If you believe your community could benefit from practical tips to save energy around the home or tips on how to read your electricity bill, contact Melissa Schumacher, Manager Community Relations, on 0407 935 183 to schedule a time.

Country Energy’s top energy tips

• Use sunlight to dry your clothes instead of using your dryer
• Draughts can increase your heating costs by up to 25 per cent – seal draughts and hang heavy curtains to keep the heat in
• Only wash with a full load in your washing machine and dishwasher
• Only fill the kettle up as much as you need
• Use the thermostat on your heater correctly – for every degree you increase the setting, your
bill may increase by up to 15 per cent
• Do not leave outdoor lights on all night or during the day – consider using timers or sensors
• Always look for the most energy efficient appliances – the more stars the better
• Don’t let frost build up on your freezer – if it isn’t frost-free consider defrosting every six months
• Don’t leave appliances on standby as they are still using electricity.

F.O.O.D Affair served with success

Local girl, Megan Rees, has outshined her fellow contestants by winning the inaugural F.O.O.D Master CookingMegan Rees and Chas McPhail Competition at the 19th annual Country Energy F.O.O.D Affair in Orange.
The Condobolin resident dished out tough competition to her rivals using Country Energy’s ‘Cooking with Gas’ kitchen on the main stage, before winning over the judges with her culinary delight Individual Caramel Apple Puddings.
Country Energy’s regional general manager and guest judge for the competition, Chas McPhail, said Megan’s dish was truly remarkable.
“Megan did a wonderful job – my taste buds were dancing from the first mouth full,” Chas said.
“I was particularly impressed with the attention to detail that Megan showed throughout the cook-off, she has extreme potential in the cheffing industry.”
Fellow guest judges – renowned Orange chef, Michael Manners, and former Masterchef contestant, Lucas Parson – were also taken by Megan’s choice and felt it was a standout dish in the competition.
The Country Energy ‘Cooking with Gas’ kitchen also featured the popular Mayoral Challenge– with Orange City Council Mayor, John Davis, Cabonne Shire Council Mayor, Kevin Duffy, and Blayney Shire Council Mayor, Bruce Kingham, head to head in an Apple Crumble cook-off and vying for the People’s Choice.
“The mayoral cook-off was a real highlight of the day – all three mayors really captivated the crowd with their local banter while cooking up a storm with their apple crumbles,” Chas said.
“Each mayor brought along their special ingredient – but it was Mayor Kingham’s secret ingredient from his region, hazelnuts, that awarded him ‘best dish’ on the day from the judges, while Mayor Davis was a sure favourite with the local crowd in his favour, winning the People’s Choice Award.”
This year is the 11th year that Country Energy has sponsored F.O.O.D Affair, with the event continuing to grow from strength to strength in the regions of Orange, Cabonne and Blayney.
“It is a great community based event for Country Energy to support – incorporating three local government areas and seeing such a great turn out on the day was just wonderful,” Chas said.

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