Hospital mergers set to downgrade Forbes facilities

By Dominic Geiger

The potential merger of basic services including maternity wards at Forbes and Parkes hospitals has prompted an angry outcry from politicians, medical service workers and members of the public over the past week.
This proposal will significantly impact on Lachlan Shire women preparing to give birth following the closure of the Condobolin Health Service’s maternity unit in 2004.
In the most recent development, a spokesperson from the Western Local Health Network said no decision would be made on which services would be moved until further consultations with local doctors took place.
“There are more meetings planned with local doctors to address the issue,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier this month the Western Local Health Network had released a statement which said there has been a “proposed model (of hospital integration) presented… which details a suite of different but complimentary services which would be provided at either X and Y facilities.”
Mayor of Forbes Shire Council Phyllis Miller said the Western Local Health Network was a “toothless tiger” and under no circumstances would the Forbes or Parkes maternity ward, emergency service or surgical service shut down.
“In planning the services that will be merged, the Western NSW Local Health Network is flagging maternity as a possible option,” she said.
“The chances of this happening are nil; strategically speaking, it’s crucial to maintain both Forbes and Parkes.
“We are more than happy to negotiate other services, but we refuse to negotiate on emergency, maternity and surgical services.”
On the 14th of this month, ABC online reported several doctors at Forbes Hospital were threatening to quit if the merger of any of the three above mentioned services went ahead.
The staff member who was interviewed, Doctor Greg Whittaker, said he and other doctors at Forbes Hospital would be likely to leave within the year if the merger went ahead.
Ms Miller said the reason facilities such as maternity wards couldn’t be shut down was because having just one hospital servicing the needs of such a heavily populated region was completely unsustainable.
“It’s about having a holistic health service,” she said.
“We are entitled to the sustainability of both towns and we need both Parkes and Forbes Hospitals fully operational.”

Jobs for local kids go begging

With another school year starting, local students are asking the question: go back to school or find a job?
Most opt to return to school given the presumption that there are limited job opportunities within their respective communities. This is not the case according to Emma Curtis, Field Officer for Central West Group Apprentices in Parkes.
“We have so many opportunities currently available to those looking to commence their career with an apprenticeship or Traineeship – a number of the positions available could be filled tomorrow if we had the right applicants”.
For those that have made the decision to leave school, most have felt an obligation to move to larger areas to find work.
“A large percentage of school leavers and their families assume that if they are to pick up work, they will need to look to one of the larger towns such as Orange or Bathurst – that’s just not the case. Local school leavers can find work, whilst remaining in their home town where they can continue to be close to family and friends” Emma said.
With having just faced flooding and previous to that, a drought – the region has been through some rough times, but amidst all this, there are still jobs available.
“The prospects are really bright for school leavers who take on a trade; it provides the opportunity to work whilst achieving a Nationally Recognised Qualification. Its also important to recognise that the more local young people that are employed and trained in our area, helps to maintain our local skills base which is essential in ensuring our smaller communities continue to grow” Emma said.
CWGA currently have opportunities in the Automotive, manufacturing, retail and business industries – with many more continuing to become vacant.
CWGA has now grown to be the largest employers of young people in the region. For those considering an apprenticeship or traineeship – or would like some further information, please call Emma Curtis on 6862 5935, visit the office at: Shop 4, 364 Clarinda Street, Parkes or visit our website at www.cwga.com.au

Karen Creith to go national in May

Adding to Karen Creith’s to do list, the Furniture One interior stylist can now tick off having her own national decorating magazine which is set to officially be launched next May. The magazine will feature all of Karen’s tips and styling advice to help people, as Karen says, make their houses into homes that they will truly love.
The go-ahead of her own national magazine adds to her success as an interior stylist and columnist with other two national magazines, Modern home and Home Ideas and the regional magazine Style. The name of the magazine is not fully decided upon yet but it will be something like ‘Make Yourself A Home with Karen Creith’,” Karen said.
Very excited about the new project, the photo shoot for Karen’s first cover will take place over the next few weeks at her home. Last week she headed off to Sydney to see her editors and discuss how the magazine will be laid and what it will contain.
“We also decided upon what product would be featured on the front cover along with me and we settled on how the location would be styled,” Karen said. “I think the message we are sharing here at Parkes Furniture One about making yourself a beautiful home is not nearly as hard as we sometimes think,” she explained.
“And I absolutely love to help people turn their dreams and aspirations for their homes into a reality.”
Karen is on top of the world as she says her magazine can now spread the word to a larger audience of how much joy people can feel when they make their homes their special sanctuaries.
The magazine will be available at all newsagencies nationally as well as being featured in all La-z-boy Gallery stores and in all Furniture One stores.

‘Barricking’ for defensive drivers

Encouraging the Barrick Cowal Gold Mine ethos of safety CHS students participated in a defensive driving course pictured here with Barrick Cowal Community Relations Officer Karen Worthington, Sergeant Peter Gibson and Motor School Instructor Daryl CullenBy Sally Willoughby
Students from Condobolin High School participated in an advanced driving course sponsored by Barrick Cowal Gold Mine last Thursday and Friday teaching students defensive driving and skills awareness in the theoretical and practical course.
Professional drivers from ‘Motor School’ Daryl Cullen and Ted Looi led students through a range of activities including emergent braking, hazard avoidance and overall road rules.
Barrick Cowal Community Relations Manager Richard Savage said the program was a community safety program initiated by the mine to support young drivers in the community to further develop their driving skills.
“While the course is goodfun for the students they also develop an appreciation that driving a vehicle can be hazardous and knowing how to handle a vehicle in an emergency situation could save their lives,” Richard said.
Condobolin Sergeant Peter Gibson said the course was an important initiative at making young drivers aware of the risks involved with driving and keeping themselves and everyone else on the road safe.
With the 17 to 25 age bracket proving the most dangerous and fatal for drivers on the road, the course also included taking students through exercises showing skid control, road positioning and vehicle inspection, maintenance and driver responsibility.
Barrick Cowal has provided defensive driver training to seventy-nine learner drivers over two years and includes a partnership with Condobolin Police and Road Safety Officers Bruce Barrett and Melanie Suitor who provided information packs for the drivers.

Pedal powered Police patrols

Senior Constable Walter Biles and Senior Constable James Dolbel took to the streets of Condobolin last week with their latest tools to combat crimeBy Sally Willoughby
Police Bicycle Patrols are being utilised in the Lachlan region as part of a wider state initiative to reduce crime hot spots and increase police presence on the streets.
Two of the five trained Bicycle Police Officers in the Lachlan Area Command, Senior Constable James Dolbel and Senior Constable Walter Biles, used their pedal power to take to the streets of Condobolin last week.
Senior Constable and Crime Prevention Officer Dolbel said the initiative was designed to increase police presence on the streets and provide a higher level of access to restricted areas.
“Bike patrols are very effective at targeting behaviour including truancy, underage drinking and moving kids off the street,” Senior Constable Dolbel said.
“The bikes are just another tool for us to control crime in the community,” he said.

Senior Constable Dolbel said one of the greatest assets of bike patrols was the higher community profile the officers represent with other advantages to using bicycles in policing including increased visibility, the ability to operate with stealth as well as being environmentally friendly.
Minister for Police, Michael Daley, said that the mountain bike police units across the state reflected the new, flexible and modern NSW Police Force.
“Engaging with the local community is an important part of policing and police tell us that people feel more comfortable approaching police in bicycles that those in vehicles,” Minister Daley said.
Bicycle policing officially commenced in the NSW Police in 1995 with over 500 officers now trained as police cyclists in the NSW Police.

Parkes Furniture One awarded

Karen and John Creith of Parkes Furniture One with their awardWe all know that Parkes Furniture One is a fantastic business that has an impressive longevity in the Parkes retail community but now it has been acknowledged by its peers.
At a recent Furniture One function in Sydney, Parkes Furniture One was honoured to receive the General Manager’s Award for Excellence for 2010.
Parkes Furniture One was selected as the winner out of the 60 stores nationwide to take this impressive award which is judged by the General Manager of Furniture One, Mr Derek Hine.
“The award is designed to acknowledge a store that is offering a total package of fantastic service and exceptional store presentation and a wide and diverse product range,” Mr Hine said.
“Parkes Furniture One is always an immaculately presented store and is constantly referred to as a model for other Furniture One stores to follow in terms of store displays. We also wanted to acknowledge their amazing developments into the areas of home decorating and styling which is an exciting new step for them.”
As we all know about Karen Creith’s decorating advice through her columns in our very own The Condobolin Argus it is her rise to interior stylist and regular columnist for three major decorating magazines, two national and one regional that also caught the attention of Furniture One as a whole.
“It is these different parts of Parkes Furniture One that is giving their business a great area for unique growth within the industry” Mr Hine said.
“We wish them all the best and look forward to watching how these areas of their business continue to grow.”
Parkes Furniture One is a family owned store that has been operating in Parkes for over 40 years. Started by Jim and Inez Creith back in 1966 it is now operated by their two sons, John and Peter Creith and John’s wife, Karen. Within the last five years with the businesses move to Saleyards Road the business continues to go by strength to strength.
Need Help Decorating?
Parkes Furniture One now offers an in home decorating service that can help anyone trying to decorate their home but may seem a little bit overwhelmed with all the choices that are currently on the market.
“With our In Home Decorating Service we love helping people to create beautiful homes for them to enjoy,” Karen said.
“I love working with my clients and get great joy in helping them make their dreams for their homes come true. Sometimes we work on small projects and sometimes large, but it is always a constant marvel to my clients that by just adding a rug, some great cushions and a few new homewares to their room what an amazing difference this can make. It is these pieces that really give your home the ‘Wow’ factor and will make your house into a home.”
So why not your book and in home consultation today and see what Karen can do for your own home.

Consolidated approach to Basin Plan meetings

By Sally Willoughby
The Lachlan Shire Council will attend a meeting early next month before the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s information session in Forbes on 4th November to ensure a consolidated approach from Lachlan Valley councils to the proposed water cuts.
Cowra, Parkes, Forbes and Carrathool will join the local Council with Lachlan Shire Council Mayor Des Manwaring saying the meetings will ensure all the Council’s along the Lachlan Valley are on the same wavelength.
“Rather than come at different angles, the initial meeting will ensure we approach the Basin consultation with a consolidated approach and in that way hopefully present a stronger argument against it,” Mr Manwaring said.
With the Plan proposing strict water cuts to the region, Mr Manwaring said the cuts to town water supply were of most concern.
“They will be cutting us back to something like 340 litres [a day] of town water supply which is equivalent to last year’s restriction of fifty per cent and we ended up having to buy water in last year as we couldn’t survive on the restricted levels,” Mr Manwaring said.
The average consumption levels in the Lachlan Shire are 650 litres per person per day.
“It seems ludicrous to me to enforce such a restriction when it’s just not necessary,” Mr Manwaring said.
“We’ve come through ten years of drought which people could recover from but now we’re going to have an enforced drought that we very well may not recover from if the plan comes into place.
“The loss of agricultural production is important but just as important is the flow on effects if this Plan were to go ahead and loss of jobs that will occur down the line,” he said.
The closest public consultation meeting on the Murray Darling Water Basin Plan will be held at Forbes on November 4th at Forbes Services Memorial Centre, 41-43 Templar Street from 9am-12pm.

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.

UPCOMING COURSES IN:
Tottenham on Tuesday 10 August 2010
Condobolin on Wednesday 11 August 2010
Parkes on Friday 13 August 2010
Condobolin on Tuesday 9 September 2010

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.

News in Brief

ANIMAL HEALTH WORKSHOP

Spaces are limited at the free Animal Health Workshop scheduled at the Condooblin Agriculture Research Station for Thursday 22nd July. Presented by Katharine Marsh District Vet Lachlan LHPA and Megan Rogers, Livestock Officer Industry and Investment NSW, the topics include: sheep lice management, winter worm control, new NLIS sheep and goat requirements, OJD and managing flystrike. RSVP 0268952152 or katharine.marsh@lhpa.org.au

CRAFTING THE LACHLAN

The Arts Out West sponsored art and craft network meeting is on again  on Thursday July 15, from 10.30am at the Condobolin Community Centre. Anyone involved in arts and crafts in the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shires is invited to share concerns and ideas, swap contacts and support each other. FREE. All welcome. Light lunch provided. RSVP Heather Blackley 68953301 or AOW 63384657.

SOCCER ACADEMY

There is an upcoming Football (soccer) Development Camp for junior players in the Far West region. The camp will be held from the 13th – 15th July and is open to male and female footballers who turn between 10 – 14 years of age in 2010. The camp will also act as the selection trails for the 2010 FWAS Football Squad.
More information please contact the Far West Academy of Sport (FWAS) in Warren on (02) 6847 3638.

‘ITS EWE TIME’ FORUMS

An ‘Its ewe time’ forum to be held on Tuesday 13 July in Dubbo, NSW, at the RSL Club, will showcase a range of practical ‘take home and do’ information and the latest in R&D findings to help producers capture market opportunities.Call MLA soon on 1800 675 717 to book a seat at your closest forum.

Mock car crash demonstration

Mock Car Crash demonstration in ParkesYear 10 students from eight high schools across the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Council areas will converge on Parkes PCYC today Wednesday June 30th to see a mock car crash demonstration as part of the new look NOT A STATISTIC! Youth Driver Education Program.
Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, says the new look program was piloted with students from Parkes High School last year with much success.
“We decided to expand the program this year and offer it to students across the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Council areas.  A big thankyou to Barrick Cowal and NorthParkes Mines who have come onboard to assist with funding for the buses so students outside of Parkes can attend the mock car crash demonstration at Parkes PCYC for free.
“Students are in for a very realistic show.  We are hoping it will make an impact on the audience and potentially save a life.  Hence the program’s name is NOT A STATISTIC!” Ms Suitor said.
The program has been developed in response to crash data that shows young drivers are over-represented in road crashes across the state.  In NSW people under the age of 25 hold around 16% of licenses but are involved in around 32% of crashes.
The purpose of the program is to try to turn the figures around by educating young drivers about the causes of crashes and what really happens at crash scenes, with the intention of changing the driving attitudes and behaviours of participants.
The demonstration commences with a short film that sets the scene prior to the crash occurring.  Then the mock car crash demonstration will begin.  There will be a full emergency response involving NSW Police, NSW Ambulance and Parkes SES.
Over the past few weeks, Ms Suitor and Lachlan Crime Prevention Officer Senior Constable James Dolbel, have been conducting the pre classroom lessons with students at the participating high schools.  The lesson involves a short road safety presentation, an interactive team road safety game and the opportunity to try out some beer goggles to see how alcohol affects the body and why it is so dangerous when mixed with driving.
For further information please contact Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, on (02) 6861 2364.
• Pictured: At the dress rehearsal for the upcoming mock car crash demonstration are (left to right): Senior Constable Maureen Leonard (NSW Police), Angie Fanello (playing the role of Amanda), Nigel Thomas (Lachlan District Zone Manager – NSW Ambulance) and Tayla Smith (playing the role of Stacey).

Free workshop for Tottenham parents

There will be a workshop in Tottenham for learner drivers and their parentsA free workshop for parents and supervisors of learner drivers will be held at Tottenham Central School on Wednesday 16th June.
The free two hour workshop, Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers, will offer parents and supervisors hands-on advice on how to provide the most effective driving practice for learner drivers.
Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, who is presenting the workshop says it is well worth attending.
“Parents and supervisors of learner drivers have a crucial role to play in making our roads safer.  That is why Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils have teamed up with the RTA  to hold these FREE two hour workshops to offer practical advice to parents and supervisors on how to help learner drivers become safer drivers.
“The workshop covers topics such as; the new license conditions for learner and P-plate drivers, how to use the Learner Driver Logbook, the benefits of on-road driving sessions and tips on supervising a learner driver.
“Parents and supervisors who have attended this workshop in the past have found that it boosted their confidence, helped them better plan driving sessions and allowed them to share their experiences with other parents and supervisors.
“I’m planning to roll out a series of these Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers workshops across the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Council areas throughout June,” Ms Suitor said.
Tottenham’s Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers workshop will be held at Tottenham Central School on Wednesday 16th June commencing at 6pm.
Light refreshments will be available at the conclusion of the workshop.
Bookings are essential and can be made by calling Ms Suitor on (02) 6861 2364.
For further information please call Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, on (02) 6861 2364.

Fashionable prizes on offer

There is a reason to frock up for the 2010 Parkes Picnic Races with over $10,000 in cash and prizes on offer for the Fashions on the Field.
The event is one of the Central West’s most prestigious Fashions on the Field competitions and is this year proudly sponsored by 141 on Main.
Internationally acclaimed fashion designer and former Parkes local, Therese Rawsthorne will be the guest judge for the event. Therese is known in the fashion world for her clean cut, quirky designs that are now stocked in Australia, New York, LA, Auckland and London.
This year will allow contestants to pre-register for the event with registration forms available from 141 on Main at 217 Clarinda Street or the Parkes Visitor Information Centre. You can also download the form from the Parkes Shire Council Website.
Racegoers will also still have the chance to be selected on day of races with judges keeping a close eye on the crowd for race wear that expresses style and originality.
Entries will be judged on the originality and appropriateness of the outfit, attention to detail with accessories (head wear is essential), understanding and interpretation of the current fashion trends, grooming, deportment and the suitability of the outfit for the climate.
Entrants will undergo preliminary judging on the day with 6-8 finalists selected for each category. All
entrants are requested to present themselves on the day to the Fashions on the Field Registration
Tent located behind the grandstand at the allocated times outlined below.
Most Elegant Lady 2.00pm
Cutting Edge 1.45pm
Millinery 1.30pm
Best Dressed Gent 1.15pm
Stylish Couple 1.00pm
Teenager 12.45pm
Junior 12.30pm
There will also be a prize for the ‘just for fun’ category for those individuals or groups who don’t quite conform to the judging criteria, but do stand out in the crowd.
Final judging will take place on stage in the picnic area between races with a time to be confirmed.
Finalists will be presented on stage with the winner selected by guest judge, Therese Rawsthorne.
The winners of each category will then become the face for the 2011 Fashions on the Field categories in the promotional brochure for next year’s event.

Staggering response to electricity petition in regional areas

Member for Dubbo, Dawn Fardell, has now received a staggering 7,500 signatures on a petition protesting the State Government’s savage electricity price hike.
Businesses, councils and pensioner groups have supported the petition including concerned individuals from communities such as Forbes, Bourke, Canowindra, Cobar, Condobolin, Coolah, Coonamble, Corowa, Dorrigo, Dubbo, Eugowra, Eumungerie, Gulgong, Hermidale, Narrabri, Narromine, Nyngan, Parkes, Peak Hill, Trangie, Trundle, Tullamore, Wanaaring and Wellington.
“This is one of the biggest petitions I have received during my time in office,” Ms Fardell said.
“It is an extraordinary response, especially when you consider that a Statewide, online petition organised by the Daily Telegraph attracted 12,500 signatures, mainly from the metropolitan area.
“While that is still a large protest, it is much harder to coordinate a protest in regional areas and this incredible response shows just how angry country people are over the Government’s bungling.”
In Parliament today Ms Fardell again called on the Government to urgently “address and decrease the extreme hikes in electricity prices, which will severely affect the people of NSW, financially and emotionally.”
“The Government says families struggling with the cost can access energy vouchers of up to $480 a year but that does nothing to ease the inflationary pressures of rising prices on small business and councils which will eventually be passed on to households.
“Without decisive action by the Government homes and businesses across the region will have no option but to switch off as rising costs bite. “
Ms Fardell has already presented the first round of petitions with over 5000 signatures to Parliament and will present the other 2500 next week.

Decision time coming

From Federal Member for Calare, John Cobb.
As another week in Parliament comes to an end it is beginning to feel a lot like election time. Whether it comes sooner, around August, or later in October/November this year’s Federal Election will ask Australians to make a big decision. We have specific decisions to make here in Calare as well.
The electorate has once again changed unifying Parkes and Forbes with Lithgow and Oberon for the first time. This means our new electorate faces new challenges however many of the issues and the concerns of people in Portland are the same as those in Parkes. This election will focus on several issues which affect the all communities in the electorate.
Last week’s parliamentary debate was centred on one such issue. The Labor Government’s new Resource Super Profit Tax will affect jobs in Parkes and will affect jobs in Lithgow.
The great big new tax will cause the cost of building to increase in Blayney and in Forbes. In Orange, Cabonne, Bathurst and Oberon the local economy will be impacted and will suffer because the Labor party need to somehow boost their coffers after three years of reckless spending. The National Party and the Coalition will not stand by and watch as tax payers continue to be slugged for Labor’s mistakes.
Health and hospital funding is another issue that will unite the electorate from East to West.

Stylish women

Parkes women Sarah and Ashleigh Gillogoly have experienced the life of cover models as they posed for the cover of the Winter edition of style magazine.
Style magazine was launched over four years ago by former Condobolin woman Jacqui Greig.
“Style aims to showcase the region and also give women in rural NSW a voice,” Mrs Greig said.
Mrs Greig began publishing the magazine when she saw a gap in the market for a magazine that spoke directly to women in rural NSW.
“The Winter 2010 issue of the magazine showcases many regions throughout NSW, but the star of the issue is Parkes. The cover was shot at the home of Karen Creith and the models are Parkes girls, Sarah and Ashleigh Gillogoly,” Mrs Greig said.
The girls on the cover were dressed for the shoot by local boutique, 141 on Main. Owners Charlene Usher, Nicole Ross and Amy Usher were excited to be part of the production of the magazine.
“To get the chance to work with such a professional team such as Style magazine was a real thrill,” Amy Usher said.

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