Roaring back into town

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


By Melissa Blewitt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UHA sets the record straight

By Melissa Blewitt

Upset by a letter, published by the Argus on Wednesday, 9 December, UHA Treasurer Frances Gavel, wants the community to understand the limitations of current health services, and the proactive approach the organisation has taken over many years to ensure the ongoing comfort of staff and patients at the hospital.

“The letter refers to purchasing dialysis and chemotherapy chairs, however, those services will never be available in Condobolin. We have to be realistic about what we can achieve,” she said.

“The letter may be referring to Mary Glen who used to go to the hospital to undergo her dialysis treatment. Her treatment was called Home Dialysis, and because her home was not suitable, she sat in a room at the hospital, while undergoing dialysis.

“The UHA paid to set up a room where she could be comfortable, and also paid two staff members to undertake training in case something went wrong.

“Such treatments cannot be done at the hospital now.”

Mrs Gavel is particularly upset by what she refers to as “hospital staff making mischief” in relation to the proposed helipad development at Condobolin Hospital.

“When the Health Council met at the very beginning of this process, they all voted unanimously to support the helipad,” she said.

“Now it seems, some people are intent on making problems when there is no need to do so.

“The UHA has committed to making the helipad project a reality.

“We [the UHA] have donated $438,533.11 worth of funding to the hospital, and we will continue to provide assistance where we can.

“It is upsetting that there are people deliberately trying to hurt a process that will enhance services in Condobolin.”

Helipad on the horizon


A helipad in Condobolin is another step closer to reality.

• The old morgue building will be demolished to make way for a helipad at Condobolin Hospital. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

A helipad in Condobolin is another step closer to reality.

Lachlan Shire Council voted unanimously to approve the Development Application (DA) for the project at an extra ordinary general meeting last Wednesday.

The DA was approved pursuant to the provisions of Section 80 (1)(b) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and is subject to a schedule of 19 separate conditions.

A contentious part of the DA was the proposed demolition of the old morgue building.

Initially Council staff recommended that the morgue be demolished based upon advice from Council’s Heritage Advisor.

The assessment initially recommended a condition requiring the applicant to relocate the morgue at their cost.

The conditions in relation to the relocation of the morgue were removed from the DA, when referred to the Crown for approval, a process that is mandated by legislation, and this path was endorsed by Council.

In the Heritage Conservation section of the assessment report it states that “It is strongly recommended that this building be relocated to elsewhere on this site, however, should demolition be approved, the applicant should undertake a full archival recording of these buildings prior to demolition, with the archival documents being stored at the Lachlan Shire Council for reference purposes.”

Council agreed this was an important part of the process, and the morgue building will be extensively recorded for future reference.

Condition 1 of the development approval states “The Morgue building is to be extensively recorded in its current location, setting, both internally and externally, before any demolition takes place. The archival recording is to be in accordance with NSW Heritage Office Guidelines and endorsed by Council’s Heritage Advisor prior to the commencement of any works.

The archival recording is to be accessible to the Condobolin Library, the Condobolin Historical Society and the Museum.”

Hospital helipad on the way

After years of planning and fundraising, the Condobolin Hospital should have a fully functional helipad in the next four to five months, says United Hospital Auxiliary (UHA) President Kim Jones.

• United Hospital Auxiliary President Kim Jones selling raffle tickets outside Shortis and Timmins Pharmacy last week as (L-R) Ross McCullock, Debbie Hamilton and Timbo Wheeler admire the pink water tank. LP

By Lara Pearce

After years of planning and fundraising, the Condobolin Hospital should have a fully functional helipad in the next four to five months, says United Hospital Auxiliary (UHA) President Kim Jones.

With the construction design, site plan and site survey all complete and local contractors lined up to provide in-kind donations, the Development Application is the final step still left to be done in having the application approved.

Ms Jones was selling raffle tickets outside Shortis and Timmins Pharmacy on Bathurst Street last Thursday as part of the ongoing fundraising effort. With a large, bright pink water tank up for grabs, many supportive locals purchased a ticket on the way down the street.

Over $30,000 has been raised so far and Ms Jones says the UHA will now approach the State Government for additional funding. “We’re hoping that they will match dollar for dollar what we have raised,” she said.

Currently, the only helipad in the area is ten kilometres away at the Condobolin Airport. The new helipad will be positioned directly behind the hospital, allowing for fast, direct access for patients and medical providers flying in and out.

“It is all about patient care – being able to transfer and triage patients as quickly as possible instead of having to coordinate with road ambulances coming from the airport,” explained Ms Jones.


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