Lake Cargelligo

Medcalf is Mayor of Lachlan Shire

• Paul Phillips (left) of Lake Cargelligo is now Lachlan Shire’s new Deputy Mayor after an Extra Ordinary meeting of Council was held last Wednesday. He will hold the position for the next 12 months. John Medcalf from Tottenham was voted in as Mayor, and will hold the position for the next two years. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

Councillor John Medcalf will be Mayor of Lachlan Shire for the next two years.
He was elected at an Extraordinary Council meeting held last Wednesday.
Mayor Medcalf, who has served a total of 25 years to date on Lachlan Shire Council, was honoured with the result.
“I am very proud and honoured to again take on the role as Mayor and I’m looking forward to a positive and productive two years ahead working with the new Council for the benefit of the various communities in Lachlan,” he said.
‘A’ Ward Councillor John Medcalf was elected to Council in 1991. Born in Condobolin and raised in Tottenham, Mayor Medcalf is well known for his long standing involvement with the community.
Mayor Medcalf lives in Tottenham with his wife Jane, and has two children and four grand-children. Owning and managing his own family farming enterprise, Mayor Medcalf has a focus on making a difference for future generations.
The Lachlan Shire Deputy Mayor position was contested by Councillor Dave Carter (C Ward), Councillor Max Frankel (D Ward) and Councillor Paul Phillips (E Ward).
Councillor Paul Phillips from Lake Cargelligo was voted in as Deputy Mayor for the next 12 months.
Mr Phillips said he was honoured to be elected Deputy Mayor and looked forward to representing not only ‘E’ Ward but the entire Lachlan Shire.
Mayor Medcalf was elected unopposed, and was officially declared by returning officer Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) General Manager Robert Hunt. Mayoral elections are now held every two years.

Rates to rise with special variation

• Rate comparison for 2015/16. Cont

Rates in the Lachlan Shire look set to rise after Council began the community consultative process last week. Three community meetings were held in Lake Cargelligo, Condobolin and Tottenham. The Council outlined their application for a special rate variation, which will be put to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) by the end of this month. Council is seeking a 32.31 per cent rate rise over the next four years, which would see around $1 million returned to the bottom line. The rate increase is seen as an imperative part of Council’s bid to ‘stand alone’.

By Melissa Blewitt

Rates will rise in the Lachlan Shire if an application for a special variation is approved by the Independent Regulatory and Pricing Tribunal (IPART).

A proposed 32.31 per cent rate increase over four years will see Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) attempt to meet several financial, infrastructure and efficiency targets.

According to LSC General Manager Robert Hunt for LSC to become ‘Fit for the Future’ hard decisions had to be made.

“Following a thorough review of our operations, we reduced expenditure, cut staff, raised some user fees and charges, looked at increasing productivity, borrowed money, reviewed service levels and proposed a rate increase of 32.31 per cent to be staged over four years,” he said.

“LSC then met all the targets with the exception of scale and capacity which IPART stated was due to our population being under 10,000, however the Government believes some Councils do have scale and capacity and LSC is awaiting advice on this.”

LSC has twice previously engaged Micromex Pty Ltd to independently survey 250 community members on whether they would support a 33 per cent rate increase to enable LSC to be financially fit for the future and the majority of those surveyed indicated they would support a rate increase, Mr Hunt added.

“LSC is now making an application to IPART to approve a 32.31% increase over 4 years and part of that application process is to ensure the community is aware of the proposed rate increase and its financial impacts on residents,” he said.

“Of the 32.31 per cent increase, 9.31 per cent is represented by rate peg increases which would normally be payable over the four year period. LSC is basically seeking a five per cent per annum increase above the rate peg increase in each of the four years and this increase is to remain permanent.

“The usual rate peg increases will then resume in 2020/21.”

This means the cumulative impact on average residential rates at the end of the four year period will be $2.80 per week or $145 per annum.

For Non Urban Residential Rates it will be a cumulative increase of $3.54 per week or $184 per annum.

Businesses will be looking at $3.20 per week extra, or $166 per annum.

Farmland rates will increase $16.63 per week or $865 per annum.

Mr Hunt said the additional rate income would help LSC in maintaining council assets.

“LSC will allocate the additional rate income to increasing maintenance of council assets such as buildings and roads and renewal of infrastructure,” he said.

“This will ensure we attain and continue to meet the Government’s performance targets in relation to the level of maintenance and asset renewal.”

“Council also has a hardship policy should any ratepayer find it difficult to pay their rates and residents should contact Council’s Chief financial Officer Mr John Chapman for a confidential discussion” he added.

LSC met with interested community members at a series of public meetings at Lake Cargelligo, Condobolin and Tottenham.


New Tip fees now in force

• New tip fees are now in force across the Lachlan Shire. The fees came into effect on 1 February. This means ratepayers in Burcher, Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo, Tottenham and Tullibigeal will be charged a fee when taking rubbish to their local landfill site. The new fees are pictured ABOVE. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

Tip fees are now in force across the Lachlan Shire.

This means ratepayers in Burcher, Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo, Tottenham and Tullibigeal will be charged a fee when taking rubbish to their local landfill site.

However, Lachlan Shire residents are not paying as much when compared to  neighbouring Parkes Council.

The charge for a 240 litre bin in Parkes is $4.60, as compared with LSC’s $3.00.

A trailer load of rubbish costs $16.50, compared with $8.00 in Lachlan.

If you have a light truck or 4×4 load of rubbish then it will set you back $18.50. In Parkes for a small truck (single axle) you pay a whopping $97.00.

To dispense with a car tyre in Parkes, it will cost $13.00, but in Lachlan only $8.50.

Each of these facilities will no longer be open 24/7 as they have been in the past, and will be operated by a Council employee on specific days.

The fees form part of Lachlan Shire Council’s Waste Action Plan, which will see a nominated fee charged for different types of residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural waste.

Rural ratepayers of Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo, Tottenham, Tullibigeal and Burcher will not have access to the Bin Banks in other areas.

These residents will receive 13 waste coupons each quarter that will be available from Council upon request.

“Council understands new fees are never popular, however, we want to ensure the long term viability and continued improvement of all Shire waste facilities,” LSC Director of Enviornment and Planning Andrew Johns said.


Celebrations and Competitions

Condobolin celebrtes Australia Day

Ella Baxter and Nellie Jolliffe are looking forward to Lachlan Shire Australia Day celebrations. MB





• Connor Thompson and Warrick Parker get into the Australia Day spirit early at the Condobolin Pool. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

The Lachlan Shire will abound with celebrations and competitions this Australia Day.

Mayor of Lachlan Shire John Medcalf is encouraging residents to participate in events being staged across the Shire.

“Australia Day is an opportunity for communities to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. There are numerous events taking place around the shire where residents can get involved and have lots of fun,” he said.

“Australia Day is important to our community so come and join us on the day to reflect how lucky we are to live in this wonderful country.”

Events on in Condobolin include: 7:30am Free Breakfast at Memorial Park, Citizenship Ceremony, Australia Day Awards presentation and address; 5:30pm at the pool – lucky door prizes, slip n slide, jumping castle, FREE BBQ from 6pm and Deputy Mayor’s Relay.

Creating cards for cancer cures

Lake Cargelligo artist Norma Cairns has been using her talents to raise funds for cancer research.

• Lake Cargelligo artist Norma Cairns has been selling cards depicting her artworks to raise money for cancer research. KT

By Lara Pearce

Lake Cargelligo artist Norma Cairns has been using her talents to raise funds for cancer research.

Over the past 18 months, Norma has been selling cards displaying her artworks to Lake Cargelligo residents and visitors.

With the help of friend and former art student, Karen Tooth, and the support of the Lake Cargelligo community, Norma has now raised over $1,000 for cancer research.

“The cards are quite popular really – I suppose because they are made locally and they show local subjects,” Norma said. “The lake is a favourite subject.”

The fundraising initiative started when her then-student, Karen Tooth, began photographing Norma’s paintings during her art classes in Lake Cargelligo.

“When I left, I discovered that Karen had put together a book of a lot of my paintings and presented it to me on the day I retired from teaching,” Norma said.

“She was taking photographs that would be suitable to put on cards. She could see that something could be done.”

“Without Karen I don’t suppose we would have done it. She is so much help and not only help but inspiration, so I am very lucky that she is working with me.”

Having survived cancer herself many years ago, the cause holds a lot of personal significance for Norma.

“I am happy that it is cancer that we are supporting,” she said.

“I am a cancer survivor and I have three siblings who have been affected with it and died as well as my mother, when I was a small child, so it is well and truly in the family.”

Norma decided to put the funds raised towards research, in the hope that cancer will not hurt families like it did hers in the future.

“If they carry on and find answers to these problems then that is going to help a lot of people,” she said.

With the help of friend and former art student, Karen Tooth, and the support of the Lake Cargelligo community, Norma has now raised over $1,000 for cancer research.

• Norma with her former art student, Karen Tooth, who has orchestrated the making of the cards. Cont.

The fundraising is a joint community effort.

Karen organises the making of the cards, which come complete with an envelope and covered in cellophane wrapping. Norma delivers the cards to the town’s Rural Transaction Centre, who sell them and hold the money.

This is then picked up by Norma and delivered to fellow resident Jill Davis, who ensures that it reaches its destination.

“Everyone is just so marvellous and helpful,” Norma said.

Anyone wishing to purchase Norma’s cards can do so at the Rural Transaction Centre in Lake Cargelligo.

They cost $3, with all funds going to cancer research.


Creativity and contentment collide: Lake teen wins national award

Michaela Hague, winner of the 2014 ABC’s Heywire Short Story Competition, always knew she was a little different than many of the young people she knew.

• Lake Cargelligo teenager, Michaela Hague, with Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, at the Heywire awards presentation. Michaela was awarded for her short story on finding her identity as a LGBT girl in a small rural community. Contributed

By Anne Coffey

Michaela Hague, winner of the 2014 ABC’s Heywire Short Story Competition, always knew she was a little different than many of the young people she knew.

Born and raised on a farm at Lake Cargelligo, she never realised what being home and being part of Lake Cargelligo was really like until she moved away to attend Caulfield Grammar School in Melbourne.

When her cousin posted the information about the Heywire Short Story Competition for 2014 on her Facebook page and told her “you’d be brilliant” she entered it that afternoon.

She said she “knew nothing about Heywire but saw it was a short story competition.”

She sat down and wrote the story in about twenty minutes after arriving back in Melbourne from a visit home to Lake Cargelligo.

“When you are forced into a new environment you tend to reflect on who you are,” she said.

“I have always been a bit different and went through a difficult time at about twelve or thirteen […] I am finally feeling content.

“I was very unsure as an adolescent but now I feel I am kind of alright,” she added.

Michaela’s story is about growing up on a farm where everything has its place but where, as a child, she wasn’t sure what her place was or where she fitted in.

As a young bi-sexual teenager in a small country town, she often felt disapproval.

“Being who I am is sort of taboo” she said. However, she says has learnt to shake it off.

“Everyone I cared about knew who I was. I wasn’t going to shock anyone I loved,” she said.

When the story was published “a few younger people questioned who I was and what I am,” she said, “but I have people who love me.

“Because I was away made it a bit easier.

“It was definitely not a negative response,” she said.

Michaela has always enjoyed writing and public speaking.

In 2008 when she was about ten years old, she wrote a story for the Norman Lindsay Festival of Children’s Literature.

She went to the Blue Mountains and won an award. Reading, writing and speaking came naturally to her.

Who knows what the future may hold. For now, Michaela is concentrating on finishing Year 12.

“Year twelve will be over before I know it. It’s a bit scary,” she said.

Afterwards, she thinks she will go on to do a combined Bachelor of Arts and Law. Currently, she is doing some work for the ABC.

McCarten’s Maiden Merinos make their mark

The twentieth Annual Maiden Merino Ewe Competition had perfect conditions with a 27C day as a crowd of sixty spectators travelled around the nine entrants’ properties on two buses and a variety of vehicles.

• Peter and Meegan McCarten of McCarten Farms were the winners of the 20th Annual Maiden Merino Ewe Competition. The judges said their flock possessed attributes of an outstanding breed and commercially-orientated Merino enterprise. Contributed


The twentieth Annual Maiden Merino Ewe Competition had perfect conditions with a 27C day as a crowd of sixty spectators travelled around the nine entrants’ properties on two buses and a variety of vehicles.

Russell Jones of Darriwell Merino Stud, Trundle, and Kim Henderson of Grogansworth Merino Stud, Bowning were the judges of the competition. Both have judged the Lake Cargelligo Ewe Competition before.

They were impressed with the standard of ewes presented and expressed their delight that all “exhibitors have improved all facets of merino breeding over the years to increase profitability within their flocks”.

The winners were Peter and Meegan McCarten of McCarten Farms. The judges said they possessed attributes that make this flock an outstanding breed and commercially-orientated merino enterprise.

The large, correct frames are covered with a rich, heavy cutting, bold medium wool that achieved a high lambing percentage for an autumn lambing (106%).

They also noted that they had exceptional quality, which would match Australia’s top stud quality and were everything you could want in a sheep.

The McCarten Farm’s merino flock is Wanganella blood, 21.1 micron, with a whole flock average wool cut of 8.74 kg/head, yielding 61.4%. They were culled at 30% and had six months of wool at 20 months of age.

They were classed by Michael Elmes, who has been the winning classer for the last six years in a row.

Peter and Meegan have started to shear their ewes twice in their maiden year then dropping back to one shearing for all other ewes to concentrate on getting the best lambing percentages.

A very close second was Youngara, owned by Rosemary, Tim and Renee Rossiter. The Youngara flock is Haddon Rig blood classed by Andy McLeod. They are 20.53 micron, 117% lambing rate, culled at 32%, have an average total flock wool cut of 8.46kg per head which yielded 65.28%. The maiden ewes had 12 months’ wool on them at 19 months of age. The judges comments were the Youngara flock would be one of the best commercially orientated mobs within the competition and across Australia, with a very high lambing percentage and a bright, bulky medium wool.

The judges also said these ewes are at the top end of a merino production system and were an outstanding flock. In third place were Betty and Phillip Hall with their Avenel blood ewes classed by Colin McCrabb. They are 19.8 micron, with 98% lambing, 26% culling and an average whole flock wool cut of 8.5kg per head at 62.5% yield.

The judges commented that the ewes are a heavy cutting commercial flock of medium wool type, which possess a top quality white, well-crimped wool on an above-average frame. The top end of the flock was magnificent and Colin McCrabb was complimented on his classing.

Hart’s Pastoral run by Doug, Brad and Glenn Hart and Worland Family Trust run by Bill, Doug and Ian Worland were the winners of the Encouragement Awards.

Doug Worland was surprised at the dinner with the presentation of his 50 years of Woolclassing Gold Stencil presented in person by Mark Grave, CEO of the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX).

Doug was then joined by brother Bill Worland and Ken McCrabb who are also proud owners of 50 year gold woolclasser’s stencils.

Guest speaker, was Mark Grave, who gave an overview of AWEX. Mark also explained that there are 220 gold stencil holders on their records of which 180 stencils are still actively being used,.

Mark then presented the 20th Anniversary Lake Cargelligo Maiden Merino Ewe Competition Scholarships.

Chloe Fyfe of “Caringa”, Lake Cargelligo, won the scholarship, receiving $750 towards her training in Certificate III in Agriculture and third year Woolclassing Certificate.

Emma Northey of “Innisfail”, Kikoira, was the runner-up, receiving $500 towards her first year Woolclassing Certificate.

The twentieth Annual Maiden Merino Ewe Competition had perfect conditions with a 27C day as a crowd of sixty spectators travelled around the nine entrants’ properties on two buses and a variety of vehicles.

• Chloe Fyfe of “Caringa” Lake Cargelligo won the 20th Anniversary Lake Cargelligo Maiden Merino Ewe Competition Scholarship. Source: The Land

Bore water contaminated

Compiled by Lara Pearce

Bore water around the Lake Cargelligo area could be contaminated with fuel, the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is warning.

A contractor to the EPA discovered unleaded fuel in a groundwater monitoring bore at the Caltex Service Station in Lake Cargelligo last week.

The NSW EPA is working with other agencies to urgently identify the owners of nearby bores to alert them of the issue, said EPA Manager Far West Operations Carmen Dwyer.

The groundwater monitoring bore where fuel has been detected is not part of Lachlan Shire Council’s drinking water network and the Lake Cargelligo town water supply is not impacted.

“As a precaution, the EPA is advising people against drawing from bores that are not part of council’s network and to contact the EPA on 131 555 urgently if they encounter odours or any other indication of fuel contamination,” said Ms Dwyer.

“The EPA became aware of the detection of fuel in the groundwater monitoring bore when a contractor working at the Caltex Service Station in Canada Street notified the EPA.”

“The EPA advised Lachlan Shire Council and is now working with council and the NSW Office of Water to identify the owners of nearby bores.”

Ms Dwyer noted that the EPA is investigating the source of the pollution and would appreciate any further information from the community on the matter.

Lake Cargelligo teenager refused bail for school fire

A sixteen-year-old boy charged with lighting the fire at Lake Cargelligo Central School in the early hours of Sunday morning will remain locked up until his next court appearance on Monday, 30 June.

The destroyed school building at Lake Cargelligo Central School following Sunday morning’s fire, which police say was deliberately lit. The building was used as a Year 12 common room and classroom. Contributed

By Lara Pearce

A sixteen-year-old boy charged with lighting the fire at Lake Cargelligo Central School in the early hours of Sunday morning will remain locked up until his next court appearance on Monday, 30 June.

The boy appeared in court in Wagga Wagga on Monday, where he was refused bail and the case was adjourned to Dubbo Children’s Court next week.

The fire, which police believe was lit at around 3:15am on Sunday morning, destroyed one school building and scorched another on Canada Street in Lake Cargelligo. However, the damage – estimated at $200,000 – could have been a lot worse.

Fire-fighters were rushed to the scene, where they managed to save the second building and prevent the fire from reaching a nearby LPG tank which, if ignited, would have exploded, causing a disaster of far greater proportions.

The teenager was arrested when he returned to the scene of the fire at 7am on Sunday morning. He has also been charged with five other offences, including two counts of breaking, entering and theft, after police investigating the fire were alerted to reported break-ins at a licensed club and the swimming pool.

The Department of Education refused to comment on whether the boy was a student at the school, but noted that the school was operating as normal on Monday. “Teaching and learning at the school is continuing as normal,” said Grant Hatch, a spokesperson from the Department of Education.

“The staff at the school should be commended for their exceptional efforts in limiting the impact of the fire on the students’ learning and well-being.”

The destroyed building housed the Year 12 Common Room and high school classrooms for science and technology and applied science. The Department said a demountable building will be moved to the school soon, with classes temporarily being allocated to other classrooms.

MDBA socio-economic report released

Compiled by Dominic Geiger

The Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has recently released a report into how last year’s guide basin plan would have affected the socio-economic situations of communities if it had been implemented without review.

The report, which the MDBA describes as an “interesting retrospective on what would have been the impact of the guide on basin communities”, shows the guide could have put many irrigation dependent communities throughout the basin at risk.

A spokesperson for the MDBA said the report has allowed the organisation to provide a balanced starting point from which to approach water reform in the forthcoming Draft Basin Plan, which is due to be released later this month.

“I want to assure communities that although the report’s only just come out, the consultants worked closely with the Authority over the past few months to update us on their findings so that we could feed this information into our work on the draft.”

Among the at risk communities identified in the report are the Lachlan Shire towns of Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo.

According to the report, “[the two] towns are totally dependent on irrigated agriculture [and] there is a strong concern that reduced irrigation in the catchment will see [significant] population decline.”

“The remaining population will, to a large extent, be dependent on government support resulting in a significant level of disadvantage in the towns,” the report said.

NSW Farmers Association CEO, Matt Brand, said the report confirms the results of the Association’s own survey of basin residents.

“Our survey found one in every three farmers surveyed believe the Draft Plan could force them to exit agriculture, potentially closing the door on generations of farming history,” he said.

The Association also said it questioned how effective the report would be given the draft basin plan was due to be released at the end of this month.

“How can the community be confident the Authority will have the time to consider the findings of this report when it’s been released at the eleventh hour?” Mr Brand said.

“NSW Farmers is calling on the MDBA to heed the warnings of its own research, and work toward delivering a plan that will protect the social fabric of the Basin.

“Basin communities need a Plan that is flexible enough to adjust allocations – to farmers and the environment; to seasonal conditions.”

Tackling speeding issues

Essential Energy crews from across the Parkes, Forbes, Lachlan, Orange and Cabonne local government areas are the first in the region to participate in a new road safety workshop tackling speed on the Henry Parkes and Escort Ways.

The workshops are one of the key strategies of the regional ‘Like the back of your hand’ project which was launched in Manildra in June.

Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, says the workshops were designed to provide important information about the dangers of speeding.

“We are really pleased that Essential Energy is the first business in the region to sign up their employees for these free road safety workshops.

“Workshops will be conducted with Essential Energy employees at Orange, Canowindra, Molong, Parkes, Forbes, Condobolin, Peak Hill, Tottenham, Trundle and Lake Cargelligo depots.

“In the past five years there have been nearly 150 crashes on the road between Condobolin, Parkes and Orange. Six people have been killed and 60 have been injured. The majority of drivers who crashed were local residents or lived in a neighbouring town. All of the crashes had speed listed as a contributing factor.

“These interactive workshops outline the various issues associated with speeding which impact on all drivers who use the Henry Parkes and Escort Ways. The workshop runs for about 30 minutes and participants are encouraged to complete a quiz which enters them into the draw for a $50 fuel voucher and gives us feedback on what they learnt.

“A copy of all workshop materials will be provided to participating business for use in future staff training and staff inductions.

“We have sent invitations to the larger businesses in the local community to also take part in the workshops. If you haven’t received an invitation but would like to host a workshop at your business please contact me on 6861 2364,” Ms Suitor said.

Essential Energy’s regional general manager, Central Western, Chas MacPhail said Essential Energy is a strong supporter of the Like the back of your hand program and was happy for the regions depot crews to participate in the road safety workshops.

“Essential Energy covers 95% of New South Wales and has over 4000 employees which results in quite a large fleet that last year alone travelled approximately 7 million kilometers, some of that on the Henry Parkes and Escort ways.

“Essential Energy’s number one priority is safety – safety of the public, our employees and the network – so involving our employees in these workshops enhances our already very strong safety culture,” Mr McPhail said.

Other project strategies include; the use of courtesy speed monitor trailers, radio advertising, a radio competition, the distribution of brochures/posters to doctor’s surgeries, roadside banners and regular media coverage.

The Like the back of your hand project is a collaboration between five regional councils along or bordering the Henry Parkes and Escort Ways, including Orange City Council, Cabonne Shire Council, Parkes Shire Council, Forbes Shire Council and Lachlan Shire Council.

Linda M Thomas- Civil Marriage Celebrant

Linda Thomas would love to assist you to simply and elegantly bring your special occasions to life.ADVERTORIAL

With today’s busy schedules and tight finances most people are hard pressed to consider special events such as a baby’s christening or even your wedding.

But with a ceremony designed to suit your family, which can be held either at your own home or at a special location, it can be so easy.

I would love to assist you to simply and elegantly bring your special occasions to life for your family and friends.

I am a relatively local girl and daughter of Maree Stockman. I lived and worked in Condobolin for 13 years and covered a range of occupations but currently, with my husband Greg, am happily raising our three little daughters on the family farm.

I aim to provide a very professional, low cost, highly personalised service tailored to exactly suit your needs . I cover Condobolin, West Wyalong, and Lake Cargelligo and am only too happy to conduct ceremonies anywhere and at any time.

Each wedding ceremony is tailored to suit yourself and your fiancé, with most details being arranged in one meeting and then finalised through email and phone calls. Wedding rehearsals are included in the cost and I will give you a copy of the ceremony wording used on your special day for you to remember for years to come.

Baby naming ceremonies are a special moment in your child’s life for family and friends to get together and celebrate the birth and growth of a new member of the family.

A renewal of vows ceremony might be an option for you. It is a way of reaffirming your vows to each other and strengthening the bond for the years ahead. It is also a chance to have the wedding that you always wanted.

Commitment ceremonies are a way of declaring your devotion to your partner without the weight of marriage. By celebrating the commitment you have, a couple can be confident in their feelings and their future together.

Family unity ceremonies are a simple way of bringing together every member of a blended family and letting everyone know that they do have a place and are important to the new family. It can also be fantastic for adopted or foster children.

So whatever your ceremony, please ring me on (02) 6972 6253 to discuss the options and a quote to get your special occasion planning underway.

The Maids tour

Sydney’s Q Theatre Company, one of Australia’s oldest theatre, companies will tour the provocative and internationally acclaimed play ‘The Maids’ to Tottenham, Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo in early August 2011.

Kicking off a three-year cultural agreement between Lachlan Shire and Penrith (in western Sydney) the tour will also feature an exhibition of work by Aboriginal artist Brook Andrew and education program for secondary schools students from the Penrith Regional Gallery.

The Maids was the first play by French literary ‘bad boy’ Jean Genet and was loosely based on the true story of two French maids, the infamous Papin sisters, Lea and Christine, who brutally murdered their boss and her daughter in Le Mans, France, in 1933.

The play was an instant international sensation, and has become legendary.

While the mistress is away, the maids will play! Domestic servants Solange and Claire are plotting to murder their mistress – Madame. Each night they play out, in increasingly macabre ways, how they might ‘do the deed’. But who dies? Is it just playacting and fantasy…… or are they indeed determined to do away with Madame? As fantasy and reality blur, the games take a deadly twist in this 1947 classic of jealousy, tension and murder.

As in all of Genet’s plays, the central theme is the struggle between authority and its victims. In The Maids this is played out as theatrical ritual, that not only reveals the maids’ hatred of the Madame’s authority, but also their self-hatred.

The Q production of this psychological, stylised and symbolic thriller will feature for the first time an all-Aboriginal cast, with Kylie Coolwell and Sharni McDermott playing Solange and Claire respectively, and Elaine Crombie as The Madame.

Renowned contemporary Aboriginal artist Brook Andrew is creating the set and costume design for The Maids. Brook is a Wiradjuri man and has exhibited to great acclaim throughout Australia and internationally. His vision for The Maids is wild.

Macabre, poetic and over the top this is most definitely not “Murder She Wrote”.

The Maids is directed by Katrina Douglas and designed by Brook Andrew, with music and soundscape by Peter Kennard, and lighting by Andrew Kinch.

Lake Cargelligo suffers high fish mortality

Clockwise from left: A trail of bony bream on the shore of Lake Cargelligo, the line of dead fish still floating in the water and a pile of dead bream at Frogs Hollow.By Dominic Geiger

Approximately one thousand bony bream have been found dead on the banks of Lake Cargelligo over the past two weeks.

Many of the fish are still floating in the water, with a line of dead bream stretching for several hundred metres near the shore.

There are also a number of dead rats on the bank.

Though the cause of death is unknown, a NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) spokesperson said the fish most likely died as a result of the cold weather and the winter mortality of bony bream.

“Conservation staff from NSW DPI have taken samples of the dead fish and water to try to determine the cause of the fish kill,” the spokesperson said.

“NSW DPI is currently awaiting the results of [these tests].”

The majority of the fish range between five and ten centimetres and have been found in the area around Frogs Hollow.

Lake Cargelligo newsagent owner, Gus Blacker, said he was surprised at DPI’s response.

“I didn’t think the weather was cold enough here to significantly lower the temperature of the lake,” he said.

“A similar thing happened a couple of years ago and we [never found out] why they were dying.”

Gus said he had reported the dying fish to DPI last Thursday however he had encountered difficulty getting in touch with someone who actually knew where Lake Cargelligo was.

“The only number I could find was for Canberra, so I called that but the person I spoke to put me through to Goulburn,” he said.

“I tried to ask [that person] to put me through to Narrandera fisheries but they put me through to Cronulla.”

Gus also said he doubted anything would be done about the rotting fish left on the banks of the lake.

“It looks as though the fish will be left to go back to nature similar to what happened with the carp when the lake dried up,” he said.

Though The Argus attempted to contact Lachlan Shire Council in regards to the cleanup, they were unable to provide a response prior to this story going to print.


Pipe dream becomes reality

The Merri Abba pipeline will ensure an emergency water supply for Lake Cargelligo in times of drought. Photo Gus BlackerBy Dominic Geiger

Construction on the long awaited Merri Abba water pipeline project is set to begin in the next few weeks following Lachlan Shire Council’s approval of a tender offer from Mitchell Water Australia pty ltd.

The project, which will guarantee an emergency supply of water for residents of Lake Cargelligo, Murrin Bridge and Tullibigeal, was approved for the tender amount of $12,760,393.

Director of Technical Services at the Lachlan Shire Council, Kevin Smith, said the project would cause minimal disturbances to local residents while it was underway.

“There will be 31 kilometres of high voltage electricity line and 300 millimetre diameter pipeline laid within the Hillston Road reserve over a period of several months, however appropriate traffic control will be in place during this time,” he said.

“We estimate the pipeline will be completed in early 2012.”

General Manager of the Lachlan Shire, George Cowan, said the project was critical for preserving a water supply for the Lake Cargelligo community.

“While there is water in Lake Cargelligo at the moment, and water systems are performing very effectively, it was only 18 months ago that the lake was dry and a water supply was in jeopardy,” he said.

“This project will guarantee water for the community and that security will allow for growth to occur in local businesses.”

Blue Waters art exhibition

Visitors view the artwork entries at Blue Water Art & Craft Exhibition in Lake Cargelligo.Lake Cargelligo’s Arts & Crafts Society is very happy with the quality of works entered in the Blue Waters Exhibition despite numbers  being down slightly on last year.  The cold weather seemed to keep people away from viewing the excellent exhibits that were on display, but all in all the Exhibition was successful.

Pam Brewer from Weja won the most popular vote for her Patchwork & Appliqué Quilt, the most popular vote for the challenge was won by Jeanette Manwaring of Condobolin. The Patchwork Quilt Section was won by Patti Cassidy of Harden

The Acquisitive Penrith Shire Prize was won by Cathy Hutton of Lake Cargelligo. Cathy had a very successful time also winning the Miniature and Open Drawing sections.Painting by Novice was won by Mavis Charters of Condobolin and the Lake Cargelligo Arts & Crafts Members prize was won by Wayne Mills of Condobolin. Gus Blacker of Lake Cargelligo won the Black and White Photography prize with Chris Chambers winning the Enlargement section.

The raffle, which proved to be very popular with people buying lots of tickets, was won by Sky Vagg of Griffith.

We keep trying to improve the Exhibition so if anyone has any suggestions for different sections  or something different that they are interested in they are more than welcome to contact the Society with their suggestions.

We wish to thank all who helped in any way at all and most of all we thank our sponsors without whom the exhibition would not be possible.

Contributed by Lyn Golding

Mixed response to budget in LSC towns

By Dominic Geiger

The smallest towns of the Lachlan Shire have been the most vocal in their response to council’s budget in a series of public Draft Management Plan meetings over the past week.
Not breaking with tradition, Condobolin recorded the lowest attendees at its public meeting last Wednesday evening with a total of zero non councillors appearing at the council chambers to discuss the budget.
Leading the shire with the highest number of public attendees were Fifield and Tottenham, with 15 people each.
Tullibigeal was close behind, with 14 members of the public attending its Draft Management Plan meeting.
Lake Cargelligo and Burcher were at the lower end of the list, with ten and four attendees respectively.
Mayor of the Lachlan Shire, Des Manwaring, said he wasn’t surprised the meetings in the smaller towns had attracted more visitors than in Condobolin.
“It’s just always been the case,” he said.
“The smaller towns suffer from a few road problems and that brought people out, whereas in Condobolin (the roads aren’t) such an issue unless you go to the outskirts.
“In Lake Cargelligo the Merri Abba pipeline brought a few people out, as did the airport project in Tottenham.
“But roads were definitely the major issue in Fifield and Tullibigeal.”

Council revisits Lake Cargelligo walkway

By Dominic Geiger

Lachlan Shire Council has announced it is once again ready to begin consulting with local community groups on stage two of the Lake Cargelligo walkway.
The second stage of the project suffered delays due to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage finding the 2008 Lachlan Shire commissioned archaeological survey on the area to be inadequate.
The construction of the walkway was also delayed so council could place a higher focus on the Meri-Abba pipeline.
General Manager of the Lachlan Shire Council, George Cowan, said the initial archaeological survey on the walkway hadn’t addressed certain issues appropriately.
“So now we’ve got to review (the) survey and then go and consult with the local Aboriginal community as there are a number of artifacts such as middens in the area,” he said.
“The work has sat in abeyance for several months while we focused on (other projects) so council is now keen to get the work underway again.
“We will call a meeting with the relevant parties and (the project) may involve more study work.”
George said it would be impossible to predict a timeline for the completion of the walk way.
“The project has been going since stage one was begun back in 2005,” he said.
A spokesperson for the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage said the reason council’s 2008 application had been rejected was because it required more information.
“The reply was sent to Lachlan Shire council, however there was no further correspondence recorded,” the spokesperson said.
Stage two of the project will add an additional two kilometres to the existing walkway and extend the path to ‘Dead Man’s Point’.

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