$500,000 proposed for Condobolin Hospital upgrades

Members of the United Hospitals Auxiliary Condobolin Branch outside Condobolin Hospital's dilapidated nursing quarters. L-R: Mary Glen, Jill Broadley, Dawn Thomas, Francis Gavel and Joan Jamieson. DG

By Dominic Geiger

Member for Murrumbidgee, Adrian Piccoli, has announced $500,000 has been proposed for much needed upgrades to the Condobolin Hospital.

The upgrades will allow for improvements to be made to the hospital’s wards including painting, floor coverings, soft furnishings and air-conditioning.

The announcement comes after members of the United Hospitals Auxiliary Condobolin Branch established contact with Mr Piccoli earlier this year with a number of letters voicing the group’s concern about the existing problems affecting the hospital.

Last Friday, Mr Piccoli made representation for the group to the NSW Health Minister, Jillian Skinner.

“I am very hopeful that we might see some funding flow to the works that are so desperately needed at the hospital shortly,” Mr Piccoli said.

“The concerns of the Auxiliary have now been examined and the Minister has responded.

“I was informed that Condobolin has recently had $145,000 in expenditure to upgrade duress alarms for patient and staff security.

“In addition, Condobolin has been listed with another 18 facilities on the current Asset Strategic Plan for future capital investment.”

Hospital Auxiliary treasurer, Francis Gavel, said the group was incredibly grateful Mr Piccoli had helped bring the problems at the hospital to Ms Skinner’s attention.

She also said however, that the group had been raising concerns about the hospital for the past ten years and that one of the group’s principal concerns, the state of the hospital’s nursing quarters, looked as though it might miss out on funding.

“The auxiliary sent a letter [to Mr Piccoli] in March which was mainly in regards to the poor condition of the nurses’ quarters,” she said.

“There have been various replies over the months and in the latest development there has been money allocated but not to the nurses’ quarters.

“The trouble is that maintenance has been left over the years and things that should have been done haven’t been.

“There are five single nurses’ complexes in the nursing quarter which are very shabby and very neglected.

“The hospital will never get staff if we don’t have decent accommodation facilities to offer them.

“It’s difficult to get nursing staff in the country as it is; we won’t get people from other areas if there’s no where to stay here.”

Minister Rudd to open study centre amidst DA controversy

WCC project management team: Reginal Saddler, Rebecca Merritt, Donna Johnson, Neil Ingram and John Spencer. DGBy Dominic Geiger

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has confirmed he will officially open the Wiradjuri Study Centre in Condobolin on September 27.

C.E.O of Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC), Percy Knight, said Mr Rudd had been chosen as a result of the former PM’s apology to the stolen generation in 2008.

“In that speech he mentioned a new beginning for all Australians,” Percy said.

“He mentioned that phrase three or four times, and that’s what we’ve been trying to achieve with the study centre since 2003.

“The WSC makes a statement about this new beginning and about the stolen generation and says let’s now move forward; let’s make sure that never happens again.

“The study centre takes into consideration how we as Aboriginal people see things and how we learn; it’s a learning centre first and foremost, but it’s also a cultural centre.

“With it, we’re closing the gaps on employment opportunities on a local level.”

Percy said there had been some initial concerns Mr Rudd wouldn’t be able to attend the ceremony given his recent heart operation, but since his recovery the green light had been given for the minister’s visit.

“Of course he could also be called overseas, given his high profile, but we’re going to take a gamble on it,” he said.

Despite a date having been set for the official opening of the centre, WCC is yet to meet all the criteria for the Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) imposed development application on the building.

As such, WCC is yet to be granted full occupancy of the building and is currently occupying the building as a management team.

General Manager of the Lachlan Shire Council, George Cowan, said council was working with the management of WCC to resolve the issue.

“These issues have been ongoing throughout the course of the buildings construction,” he said.

“Council is hopeful these matters can be addressed and the building can be put to use, though these are not insignificant issues.”

Percy said the bureaucratic arm of LSC had been needlessly picky in its scrutinising of the development application.

“I have no problem with the councillors, however the bureaucratic element of the council has been very needlessly pedantic with its due diligence,” he said.

“We are doing our best to deal with these issues, though we feel these issues are not OH&S.

“I have said that if the council continues to be pedantic there is a mood within Wiradjuri people that this day could be a day of celebration or a day of protest.”

Flo Grant, from the Wiradjuri Council of Elders, said it was very exciting to see something which had come from nothing bloom into fruition.

“I’ve been there from the beginning, watching people make their own bricks and build with them; it’s been quite exciting,” she said.

“There are, however, a few issues, mostly from the bureaucratic side, affecting the project.

“We do not accept people not giving back what belongs to us.

“This centre has been independently earned; it’s ours and we’re not going to let it go.”

Minister Constance speaks at Yawarra

Minister Constance listens to concerns from locals. DG

By Dominic Geiger

The NSW Minister for Ageing and Disability Services, Andrew Constance, held a public seminar at Condobolin’s Yawarra Aboriginal Corporation last Wednesday to discuss ways the state government could improve services for Aboriginal people with a disability.

Condobolin’s Googar dancers welcomed the minister to Yawarra with a song and dance performance.

The seminar, which was organised through the Aboriginal Disability Network NSW, was part of Mr Constance’s ongoing tour of a number of Western NSW towns during which he hopes to gather community feedback on the best way to implement reforms to state disability services.

Mr Constance said the focus of the reforms was to put disability funding in the hands of the individual with a disability, their carers and family.

“What we’re doing as the new Government is reforming disability support so rather than funding disability services, we’re going to provide the funding on an individual basis,” he said.

“This will mean [the person with a disability] can pick and choose their services rather than be dictated to.”

Mr Constance said the seminars would also help him gain an understanding into the needs of disabled people living in rural and remote areas of the state.

“Our aim is to put people back at the heart of decision making and to try and drive greater services available to particularly those living in Aboriginal communities and those who are in rural and remote areas.”

“I’m at Yawarra to hear from the Aboriginal community directly about the needs of people with disabilities around Condobolin as well as the Western Plains and Central West,” he said.

While speaking to the crowd of approximately 150 people, Mr Constance said the current state of disability services in NSW was “stuffed” and there “are a million and one issues you probably want to bend my ear about.”

Despite this, he said the situation was improving.

“With the new Government we have the opportunity for $20 billion of growth funding which we’ll be rolling out over the coming years to try and better meet the needs of people with disabilities living in rural and remote areas,” he said.

After announcing the proposed reforms, Mr Constance fielded questions and concerns from the audience.

Currajong disabilities Manager, Ann Hunter, said while the proposed individualised funding might work in metropolitan areas, it may create difficulties for people in remote areas.

“It may not be enough for servicing one family if the person lives on a farm and has to travel large distances for treatment,” she said.

“We have only one client in Lake Cargelligo and it’s difficult to provide her with services because it costs so much.

“The lack of numbers [of disabled people in certain rural areas] will create problems; one model doesn’t fit all.

“We need to work together in the country.”

Coordinator at Yawarra Aboriginal Corporation, Brian Clemson, said it was a privilege for Yawarra to host the seminar.

“There are a lot of carers here to talk about the gaps in disability care that exist in Condobolin,” he said.

“One of the main things we’re trying to achieve is emergency overnight accommodation in the town.

“We are also trying to establish full time, culturally appropriate accommodation for elders and people with disabilities under an Aboriginal banner.”

Left: Condobolin’s Googar Dancers. Right: Representatives from Condobolin’s Yawarra Aboriginal Corporation and the Aboriginal Disability Network NSW. DG

Coulton’s Catch-Up


25th July

The presence of mining coal and coal seam gas exploration in the Parkes Electorate has increased in recent years. A large section of my electorate has been identified as containing either coal or coal seam gas resources. While the potential for these resources is enormous, it is essential that this is balanced against the ongoing ability for this area to continue as a major food producer.

The communities of Bellata, Moree, Tooraweenah and Narrabri are facing significant exploration and development in coal seam gas. Many primary producers in these areas have contacted me regarding their concerns about the mining of coal seam gas. There is a lot of uncertainty of the risks associated with mining coal seam gas, especially in terms of agricultural productivity and the potential adverse effects on underground aquifers.

There is much misinformation circulating in these communities, and that combined with a lack of reliable information is adding to growing anxiety.

The Senate Committee for Rural Affairs and Transport is conducting an inquiry into the management of the Murray-Darling Basin and in particular the impact of mining coal seam gas in the Basin.

The inquiry will investigate the economic, social and environmental impact of mining coal seam gas and will focus on the sustainability of water, property rights of landholders, prime agricultural land, associated health impacts and impacts on regional communities.

This inquiry will provide the opportunity for people to raise their concerns and issues directly with the Government through written submissions and also public hearings that will be held by the committee in areas where coal seam gas exploration is taking place.

I have made a submission to the inquiry encouraging the committee to hold public forums in the communities of Narrabri and Tooraweenah. People in these areas have been looking for factual information in order to make reasonable and educated decisions in relation to water management, agriculture and coal seam gas.

I believe it would be useful for this committee to fully investigate any links between mining and coal seam gas activities with any possible adverse effects on underground aquifers. I also believe that an inquiry in these areas would enable the resource companies a forum to explain the extent of their proposed activities as well as giving local farmers an opportunity to voice their concerns.

I would strongly encourage any person that is concerned with the impact of mining coal seam gas to consider preparing a submission to the inquiry. The submissions are not required to be lengthy and I would suggest referring to the terms of reference below as a guide to structuring your submission.

Terms of Reference to address in your submission:

  • The Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee will examine the economic, social and environmental impacts of mining coal seam gas on:
  • the sustainability of water aquifers and future water licensing arrangements;
  • the property rights and values of landholders;
  • the sustainability of prime agricultural land and Australia’s food task;
  • the social and economic benefits or otherwise for regional towns and the effective management of relationships between mining and other interests; and
  • other related matters including health impacts.

CSU academic throws support behind ag benefits of carbon tax

Compiled by Dominic Geiger

Farmers who take advantage of new policies introduced alongside the Federal Government’s carbon tax initiative could ultimately be financially better off according to a Charles Sturt University (CSU) academic.

Professor at the Institute for Land, Water and Society at CSU, Kevin Parton, said there were three main government initiatives introduced which will provide benefits to farmers who chose to move towards a carbon neutral future.

“The first of these is the Carbon Farming Initiative whereby the government has allocated $250 million to purchase carbon offsets for agricultural projects not covered under the Kyoto protocol,” he said.

“The second is the $429 million Carbon Farming Futures initiative which is dedicated towards research into getting a clearer picture of soil carbon offsets.

“It’s about researching the carbon sequestering possibilities of soil during different farming activities.

“The third is the biodiversity fund, which has had almost a billion dollars allocated to pay for revegetation in high conservation areas.

“This means some farmers may be paid to reforest certain high conservation areas of their property to help protect biodiversity.

“I’m not saying there won’t be costs [associated with the tax], but particularly astute farmers may be able to gain from all three initiatives.”

Contrary to Professor Parton’s support of the scheme, the NSW Farmers Association (NFA) has announced it is “extremely concerned” about the impact a carbon price of $23 per tonne will have on farmers, even though the agriculture sector and diesel will not be covered by the Federal Government’s carbon tax proposal.

NFA President, Charles Armstrong, said the Prime Minister’s assurances that Australian families won’t be worse off doesn’t seem to apply to families in the bush.

“Under a carbon price of $23 per tonne, the average grain grower can expect to lose $3,000 each year within the first five years,” he said.

“Despite the decision to include diesel in the carbon tax fuel exemption, farmers are expected to be slugged with higher electricity, fertiliser, transport and processing costs.

“Businesses providing these inputs are able to pass their carbon tax increases on to the farmer, but the buck stops with the farmer who isn’t able to pass on their higher cost of production.”

Despite this, Professor Parton said the NFA failed to acknowledge any of the initiatives which provided funds to farmers who attempted to reduce or sequester carbon.

“In addition to this, treasury has estimated there will be an increase of $1,000 per year for the average grain grower, not the $3,000 suggested by the NFA,” he said.

“The NFA have completely ignored these initiatives which are designed to help farmers and their [estimated] costs are debatable.”

Mark Coulton talks about live export cruelty

The Four Corners program exposing the abuse of Australian cattle in Indonesia was the dominant issue last week in Parliament. I was absolutely horrified by the images and as someone who has spent the majority of my working life as a farmer, I found the images of Australian cattle suffering at the hands of inexperienced Indonesian slaughterman distressing.
I support the Minister for Agriculture for his swift response in banning eleven Indonesian abattoirs that were involved in cruel slaughter practices. However, more action needs to be taken to ensure these inhumane practices are stamped out in Indonesia, and unfortunately it will be a long road ahead.
I received numerous emails and phone calls about the live export trade. I do not support a blanket ban of live exports, as banning all live trading would not only be detrimental in our efforts to improve animal welfare standards in Indonesia; it would also impact heavily on our domestic cattle markets.
I had the opportunity to meet filmmaker Lyn White, from Animals Australia and representatives from the RSPCA during the week. Lyn White did point out that there were abattoirs in Indonesia that were using more humane methods to kill the cattle, and these were not shown on the program. While we were in complete agreement in our condemnation of the barbaric practices shown, we differed in our opinions as to the appropriate response.
To stop all exports to Indonesia we would be punishing the abattoirs that do use humane practices, and the welfare standards that industry has worked to improve would quickly fall.
This matter is very complex and there is much more I could say about this topic. I am against animal cruelty and I was disgusted by what I saw. I will be actively pursuing this matter and will work with the Government to improve the welfare standards for our cattle and Indonesian cattle – this needs to be our priority.

Local MP visits St Josephs Condobolin

Adrian Piccoli with Stage 3 students from St Josephs Condobolin who are learning about the political system in Australia.By Dominic Geiger

Minister for Education and Member for Murrumbidgee, Adrian Piccoli, made a special visit to stage three students at St Joseph’s Primary School last Thursday to discuss how the three levels of government work in Australia.
Adrian spent time asking questions about what the students, who are currently studying democracy, knew about the role government played in their everyday lives.
Principal of St Joseph’s, Paula Leadbitter, said the children would be going on an excursion to Canberra as part of their current studies.
“As part of this unit, Adrian said he’d come and visit and spend some time talking to the kids,” she said.
“Having him here makes things a lot more real for the kids.
“They’re really excited to learn about what they’re going to see on the excursion.”
Paula said St Joseph’s sent a group of children to Canberra every two years.
“This year’s trip will be from June 27 to June 29, which is the last week of term,” she said.
While visiting Condobolin, Adrian also spent time at the hospital and met with constituents before he returned to Griffith.

Budget impact on regional Australia

By Dominic Geiger

The recent Federal Budget has faced considerable criticism over the past week for its apparent lack of allocated funding for regional areas, particularly in the agriculture industry.
CEO of the Western Research Institute, Tom Murphy, said although there wasn’t a lot for farmers in the budget, a significant amount of money had been allocated for regional hospitals and mental health.
“The government has allocated (half a billion dollars) to mental health and that’s a positive because we’ve seen a flow on affect from years of drought that has been particularly tough on farmers,” he said.
“However I think the budget hasn’t cut back enough to prevent the Reserve Bank increasing interest rates.
“This will be bad for export dependent industries like agriculture because it means the Australian dollar will remain strong against other currencies.”
Mr Murphy also said it was important to note that while the regional hospitals of Wagga Wagga and Tamworth received 55 million and 120 million dollars respectively, Dubbo base hospital received only seven point one million.
“I think Dubbo missed out, whereas the hospital in the region where one of the independent MPs is from did very well,” he said.
Leader of the Australian National Party, Warren Truss, said the budget would do nothing to help revitalise regional communities.
“Regional Australians are to be forgiven for being more confused than ever about where this government is headed,” he said.
Mr Truss said most of the funding announced for regional projects would be dependent upon revenue from the proposed mining tax, which was a “lose-lose” situation for regional communities.
“If the tax does not go through the Parliament, the regional development projects will not proceed,” he said.
“If it does pass, then those regional communities will lose the jobs and economic prosperity created by mining development and mineral processing.”
A spokesman for the Minister for Regional Australia, Simon Crean, said the Coalition could not be taken seriously about regional Australia as Opposition and Liberal Leader Tony Abbott did not mention regional development once during his budget reply speech.
“As usual the Nationals are all rhetoric and ignored by the Liberals, meanwhile the Federal Labor Budget delivered $4.3 billion over four years to the regions,” he said.
“(This includes) $19.1 million over three years to develop a more strategic approach to combating high unemployment and skills shortages in regions with the engagement of 34 Education, Skills and Jobs Coordinators.”
Despite this, Mr Murphy said more investment needed to be spent on encouraging young people to join the agriculture industry.
“I believe we are headed for a global food shortage and agriculture is going to be more important in the future,” he said.
“Agriculture has suffered losses in its workforce from the mining boom… so it would have been a good idea to get more people working in the agriculture sector.”

The Condobolin Argus – 10 years old

With The Condobolin Argus’ 10th birthday nearly upon us, first week of May, it seemed appropriate for a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the issues and events that have been critical in making The Argus the influential and relevant community newspaper it is today.
With so many editions archived in the depths of the Argus library, the task of revisiting important stories and campaigns seemed daunting at first, though with much perseverance, the team at The Argus has managed to compile a fairly concise list of ten achievements it feels have been most relevant to the Lachlan Shire community.
They are (in no particular order):
Joining the battle to keep the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station up and running.
In March 2009, The Argus reported on the NSW Labor Government’s decision to close the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station (CARAS). A surge of public protest culminating in a rally in Condobolin’s main street reversed that decision.
Helping prevent the closure of Target Country in Condobolin.
In January 2003, The Argus confirmed Condobolin Target Country would remain open despite pressure to close the store. The Argus supported the store during the resulting six month trial period through a ‘shop local’ campaign.
Helping to promote the Condobolin skate park project.
The Argus has been supporting the Condobolin skate park project for a number of years. The project is finally becoming a reality with the final draft becoming available for public comment following Lachlan Shire Council Meeting on 20th April.
Supporting the RTA’s ‘Three Shires’ initiative to help reduce the region’s road toll.
This project aims to increase road safety throughout the Lachlan, Forbes and Parkes shires. Part of this project has been the wheelie bin initiative, encouraging children to decorate wheelie bins in an effort to highlight road safety. The Argus played a large role in encouraging people to take part in this project, and now also has a very happy looking bin.
Providing full yet sensitive coverage of breaking news including human tragedies.
For example on the 2nd of December 2005, a ten-seater Piper Chieftain light plane crashed on Neil Baxter’s property ‘Craig End’. Unfortunately, the incident resulted in the loss of several lives and resulted in an Australian Transport Safety Bureau inquiry. The Argus printed continuous coverage of the incident from the crash to release of the inquiry.
Coverage of natural disasters.
The Argus has been instrumental in keeping the community aware of various fires and floods which have affected the region over the past ten years. With the real time news delivery available with the internet, The Argus can now deliver information to readers as soon as natural disasters unfold. This was most recently demonstrated during the floods in Ungarie last month.
Promotion of local tourism initiatives, particularly ‘Utes in the Paddock’.
Owing to the Argus’ commitment to improving tourism in the Lachlan Shire (and perhaps due to the fact our editor is one of the artists) Utes in the Paddock has become a ‘must see’ on any visitor’s to do list. Beginning in 2007, The Utes in the Paddock Project now includes 15 ute artworks and has been nominated for a NSW Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award and People’s Choice Tourist Experience Award.
Coverage of Aboriginal issues and events in the Lachlan Shire.
The Argus has strived to help ‘close the gap’ on Indigenous inequality though a focus on providing fair and unbiased reporting on events and issues important to the Wiradjuri community. The Argus has frequently reported positively on Aboriginal tourism, educational and employment initiatives.
Promotion of major events such as the Condo 750, Tattoo,  Condo B & S and our Australian Idol Shannon Noll.
The Argus has thrown its support behind various community oriented events over its ten year history. This promotion has been in the form of editorials, advertorials and extensive advertising features before, during and after events.
Support of local Charity Organisations
When major charity events and fundraisers happen in the Lachlan Shire, The Argus is always in the thick of the action, lending its promotional power to the event. Various charities and charitable organisations.

Support for Community much more than just words in a newspaper.
Born out of a large gathering of members from right across the community forming the view more could be done to promote our region, The Condobolin Argus actively pursues promotional opportunities in may different ways.
The paper looks to attract staff with high level skills and talents that offer its community additional benefits. One staff member worked tirelessly on submissions and promotion for the Professional Bull Riders event. That event attracting large crowds enhancing business for the local community. Yet another staff member successfully competed the local Show Girl promotion being awarded State Runner Up at the Royal Easter Show, thereby doing a magnificent job of promoting our region.
Focus for The Condobolin Argus is very firmly on assisting local community to promote itself, diligently managing advertisers funds to employ high level skills providing a holistic service. One portfolio sponsored by The Condobolin Argus in this way is that of ‘Community Promotions Officer’.
All of this has only been made possible by your strong support over the past ten years. Thank you for helping us to provide this service to our community.
To help your local community newspaper celebrate its 10th birthday and plan for many more, please drop on by the office at 93 Bathurst Street Condobolin during the first week of May -We’ll have some birthday cake.

Mark Coulton comes to Condobolin

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton and his wife Robyn. D.G.By Dominic Geiger

Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, visited Condobolin last Wednesday as part of a wider tour of his electorate.
Mr Coulton said it was important to visit towns such as Condobolin because in such a large electorate, it wasn’t always practical for constituents to visit his Dubbo office.
“Because my electorate is so big, I can’t expect people to travel to me, so I’m travelling,” he said.
“Today I’ve been talking about issues such as tertiary education for isolated students, water security and health.”
Mr Coulton said it was important Condobolin students planning on working for a year prior to going to university knew they would still be entitled to the Independent Study Allowance, despite a series of recent reforms affecting Youth Allowance.
“Students who are on a gap year this year and have made over $19,500 will most likely also be entitled to Independent Study Allowance,” he said.
“But really, Youth Allowance is just a back way for regional students to get to uni.
“If we want country and regional kids to go away, become professionals and return to the bush, we really need a blanket policy approach to make the transition from school to university easier for country kids.”
Mr Coulton said the tour of his electorate had also given him the chance to explain his stance on the highly controversial carbon tax.
“(The carbon tax) seems to be a very expensive gesture that won’t result in any noticeable direct changes to the environment,” he said.
“I don’t support it in any way; it will create a much larger economic downturn in regional areas compared to the city, yet country people are the ones doing more out here for the environment.
“It doesn’t seem fair at all.”

Election outcomes for Lachlan Shire

By Dominic Geiger

The National Party has achieved major victories in all three of the electoral districts affecting the Lachlan Shire.
In the Barwon electoral district, which stretches from the Queensland border in the north to the Yathong Nature Reserve in the south, Kevin Humphries of the National Party received 80.9% of the vote.
In the Dubbo electorate, which stretches from Eumungerie in the north to Canowindra in the south and Derriwong in the west, voters caused a massive swing with former Independent MP Dawn Fardell losing to the National’s Troy Grant who received 64% of the vote.
In the Murrumbidgee electorate, which encompasses most of the Lachlan Shire, incumbent MP Adrian Piccoli achieved 77.6% of the vote.
Adrian said his key focus for the Murrumbidgee electorate would be improving the region’s health services.
“Health care is the main issue for country NSW,” he said.
“We’ll be getting resources to the front line and getting more staff on the ground.”
Adrian also said he would focus on education and water security in the Lachlan Shire part of his electorate.
“I really want to help out schools in Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo,” he said.
“I have also made a commitment to seeing the Merri-Abba pipeline built in Lake Cargelligo.
“I don’t want to see the (drought) problems of last year.”
In all three electorates, massive swings were recorded away from the Labor party and Independents.
The Greens received an increased numbers of votes in the Barwon electorate though received swings against them in both Dubbo and Murrumbidgee electorates.

Late candidate puts hand up for election

Courtesy Southern Cross newspaper.
Less than two weeks out from the state election a Junee resident has announced her candidacy for the seat of Murrumbidgee.
Fiona Bushby has been nominated for the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) and was in Condobolin last week canvassing the electorate.
A Junee local for the past two years, Ms Bushby heard the CDP was looking for extra candidates and felt someone should stand.
Having seen on the 7.30 Report that nominations closed soon for the state election, Ms Bushby put her name down to stand up for the CDP’s Christian values.
Ms Bushby has previously worked as a teacher in Budderwang School for special needs children and as a case worker for the Forrest Centre in Wagga.
She also undertook study in Christian counselling and family therapy.
Ms Bushby said she stood for the CDP because they are pro-family, pro-Christian and pro-marriage.
When teaching she saw how marriage breakups had a negative effect on children trying to learn.
Supporting scripture lessons in all state schools is a key focal point of Ms Bushby’s campaign.
Ms Bushby said the CDP had hopes and dreams to see NSW prosper through families, communities, businesses and ensure the police had the proper resources and manpower to keep communities safe.
Ms Bushby is spreading  her message before the election across the Murrumbidgee electorate towns of  Condobolin, Coolamon, West Wyalong and Temora.
“I’m hoping to blitz it,” she said.

Remember to vote in the NSW State Elections this Saturday 26th March

Polling booths can be found at Condobolin Public School, Lake Cargelligo Central School, Bedgerebong Public School, Fifield Public Hall, Tottenham War Memorial Hall, Euabalong West Public School, Burcher Public Hall, Trundle Central School and Tullibigeal Hall. Polling booths will open between 8.00am and 6.00pm and voting is compulsory. The fine for failing to vote is $55.

Food security won’t happen without R&D

A promise to invest $7.8 million dollars to secure the future of food production in NSW has been cautiously welcomed by the NSW Farmers’ Association.
The Keneally Government has announced it will commit the funding if re-elected next Saturday.
NSW Farmers’ Association President Charles Armstrong says food security can’t be achieved without ongoing research and development.
“Global food production has increased by 138% since 1960, and the United Nations expects it will have to double between now and 2050,” Mr Armstrong said.
“Farmers need to be on the front foot with technological advancements that will allow them to grow more with less, yet the NSW Government has been the worst offender when it comes to slashing R&D funding.
“We’re pleased to see Premier Keneally acknowledging food security, but fear the establishment of a dedicated Taskforce will turn the issue into a talk-fest,” Mr Armstrong said.

Condo High student chosen for NSW Youth Parliament

By Dominic Geiger

A Condobolin High School Student has been selected for the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament for 2011.
Sixteen year old Ciaran Keating is one of 110 individuals in NSW who will take part in the program which aims to give young people aged between 15 and 18 the chance to express their opinions on issues affecting themselves and their communities.Ciaran is a member of the Committee investigating Ethnic Affairs and Citizenship and will join his fellow youth parliamentarians to present and debate Bills in Parliament house for a week in July. If successful, the Bills will then be presented to representatives from both the Government and Opposition.

River revegetation project receives welcome grant

Adrian Piccoli presented a certificate to Condobolin Landcare in celebration of their recent grant.By Dominic Geiger

Member for Murrumidgee, Adrian Piccoli (right), presented a certificate to Condobolin and Districts Landcare Support Officer Kate Kirk (centre) on the 15th of this month to celebrate the recent allocation of a $99,898 grant to the Landcare group.
The grant was courtesy of the NSW Environmental Trust.
Kate said the money would be spent investigating a project aimed at creating a nineteen kilometre long fenced bushland corridor along the Lachlan River.
“The fence will go up near the South Forbes Road and will exclude any livestock from the fragile zone near the river,” she said.
“We will be conducting regular monitoring in the corridor and hope to rid the area of pests such foxes and rabbits as well as keeping out livestock.
“These maintenance operations will be carried out about once every six months and will continue until January 14.
“The fence however, will be permanent.”
Mr Piccoli said land degradation and the management of waterways were major issues in farming areas.
“It’s amazing we’re doing this when you think of how it was 20 years ago,” he said.
“We have made mistakes when it comes to managing our rivers in the past, and fixing those mistakes costs money.
Mr Piccoli said he thought Landcare was incredibly deserving of the grant and he looked forward to seeing it put to good use.
Ruth Worthington, (left) Chairperson of Condobolin and Districts Landcare Support, said the bushland corridor was just one of many projects the group was currently working on.
“We’ll be creating more dry land tree corridors and also be running a sustainable grazing tour in South Australia, doing a couple of soil carbon workshops and conducting Boxthorn eradication programs,” she said.

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.

Jobs for NSW State Election

With the State Election on Saturday, 26 March, the New South Wales Electoral Commission is looking for people to work at polling places as election officials.
“This is a great opportunity for people looking for casual work to help in the administration of one of the State’s most important events” said the New South Wales Electoral Commissioner, Colin Barry.
“Returning Officers for the 93 electoral districts have been appointed but we are still looking for people to work at one of the 2,700 polling places throughout the state on election day.”
On election day Election Officials issue ballot papers to electors and count the ballot papers after the close of voting.
“This is a unique opportunity to work behind the scenes of an election and to be paid for it. Election Officials can earn over $300 by working on Election Day. Other rates will depend on the type of work and number of hours on duty.”
Anyone interested in working as an Election Official on Saturday, 26 March can get further information and register their interest by visiting www.votensw.info or by calling 1300 135 736.

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