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.

Parkes Decor-Competition and Service

Parkes Decor Shoppe was established by Barry and Margaret Robinson in 1975 at the southern end of Clarinda Street. While Barry passed 10 years ago the shop is still going strong with Margaret at the helm and four casual staff.
The business was originally started as a wallpaper and lighting centre. In the 1980s wallpaper had reached it’s used-by-date and the pair started selling curtains, blinds and awnings. Today window furnishings constitute a major part of the operation.
Around the same time, the business joined Lighting Network, a buying group with 50 stores down the east coast of Australia. “This has enabled us to offer our customers a bigger range of home lighting at very competitive prices,” says Margaret.
Margaret is still enthusiastic after four decades at the shop. Most weekends she offers a home consultancy business, offering practical advice on all aspects of lighting and home decorating. For 20 years she has regularly covered areas like Peak Hill, Cudal, Orange, Grenfell, Young, Eugowra, Forbes, Condobolin and smaller outlying areas.
“We pride ourselves on solid customer service and attention to detail,” says Margaret. Advertorial

Currently Parkes Decor are visiting Condobolin, Totteham, Trundle and Tullamore over the next two weeks and are offering a free consultation including measure and quote on blinds, curtains, shutters and lighting. Phone 68622677 -See classified ad on classified page.


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.


Order of Australia for former Deputy Mayor

Four-time Deputy Mayor of Lachlan Shire Council, Noel Bennett, received an Order of Australia on the Queen’s Birthday Honour List on Monday.

• Noel Bennett, pictured in 2006 during his time as Deputy Mayor of Lachlan Shire Council, was awarded an Order of Australia on the Queen’s Birthday Honour List on Monday. KP

By Lara Pearce

Four-time Deputy Mayor of Lachlan Shire Council, Noel Bennett, received an Order of Australia on the Queen’s Birthday Honour List on Monday.

Mr Bennett was awarded the OAM in the General Division for services to local government and the Lachlan Shire community.

“I was thrilled, I was humbled, I was honoured,” said Mr Bennett of hearing the news. “I have always had a desire to make things better for people and if that is what I have been able to achieve, then I am very happy.”

Mr Bennett, who lives in Tottenham, was a Councillor from 1991 until 2008, serving four times as Deputy Mayor, as well as spearheading a plethora of community organisations.

“A couple of people approached me in 1990 and asked me to stand for Council,” he said.

“The roads in this area particularly were a key concern – we had never had a sealed road out of Tottenham. We fought hard. Now, we have all sealed access out of Tottenham.”

“I tried hard as a Councillor for all communities. If people came forward with a concern and were prepared to put some money or some time into it, I would support them.”

Lachlan Shire Mayor, Des Manwaring, worked alongside Mr Bennett during his seventeen years on Council and offered his congratulations on the announcement.

“It is very well-deserved,” he said. “Noel was a man who once he took something on, he got into it teeth and all and never gave up until he achieved what he set out to achieve for his community.”

“He is a great ambassador for Tottenham and the Lachlan Shire. Particularly in Tottenham, he was involved in nearly everything that moved in some way or another. It is a real credit to him.”

Mr Bennett was also responsible for starting the Lachlan Advisory Group based in Condobolin in the 1980s, serving as the organisation’s inaugural President.

“In the early 80s it was a very difficult time for people on the land,” he said. “This is when interest rates were up over 20%. 81/82 were drought years and some changes in income tax laws were having an effect.”

“I had some very, very sad calls from women who were in tears – when you start getting those phone calls, you know people are pretty desperate.”

“With Fran [Rowe]’s expertise and her continual negotiations with the Government, we were able to get some guidelines put in place for people with their finances.”

The Mayor commended Mr Bennett for initiating the group, which is still running today.

“Noel had seen that there was a great need,” Clr Manwaring said. “It was the first of its kind in NSW. His foresight there was spot on.”

Among the achievements Mr Bennett is most proud of is the new Tottenham Multi Purpose Service (MPS), which was built in 2009.

“I was Chairman of the local hospital board,” he said. “We worked to get funding to build a new MPS with allocated aged care beds. Before that, our aged care patients had to move towns, which is disgraceful. Now, there are six nursing home beds and four acute care beds and they are always full.”

At 76 years old, Mr Bennett remains an active member of the town’s Progress Association, the Tottenham Golf Club and the Tottenham Health Advisory Council.

He was a founding member of the Tottenham Tidy Towns committee in 1996. In 2008, he was named Tottenham Citizen of the Year.

Mr Bennett says that his one regret in accepting this recognition is that his late wife, Margaret, is not here to share it with him.

“I wish she was here,” he said. “I lost her two years ago and she was a terrific support to me. I just hope that she is up there looking down at this.”

He also offered his thanks to all those who have supported him over the years. “I have had a lot of support from the different volunteer organisations and the people who work on those organisations,” he said.

“I would also like to thank the people who nominated me, whoever they are.”

Yellow mountain tests riders and their bikes

Todd Smith takes the lead ahead of younger brother Jacob Smith. Photo: Sally Weber.

By Karen Tooth

Described as the toughest course ever, this year’s Yellow Mountain Cross Country for motorcycles covered 222 kms on private land between Condobolin and Tottenham.

The track is marked by arrows and the terrain consists of open red soil plains to mallee trails to rocky hills. Adding to the time challenge riders had to dismount and turn off their bikes whenever they had to cross public roads. This year is also the first for electronic timing that provided live updates to the web.

Clerk of the Course Geoff Smith said, “Feedback from the riders is that they had a great time and that the course was extremely challenging.”

The event is becoming very popular with the 220 entries being taken up within 45 minutes of the nominations opening online. Geoff said riders came from all over Australia including Queensland and Victoria.

Geoff said there were a few accidents involving broken collar bones and one helicopter airlift of two riders. One rider had a suspected dislocated hip but was released from hospital with bruised kidneys while the other had a dislocated and broken elbow.

Overall winner of the event is Jacob Smith and he was presented with a very special memorial trophy constructed by Geoff Smith from a plough disk donated by the late Col O’Hara from Tottenham. The wooden base was fashioned by Ralph Lee.

Geoff said, “The trophy has become the Col O’Hara Memorial Award and I’d like to thank Ralph for the magnificent job he did on the base.”

Yellow Mountain is on again next year – first weekend in August 2012 with nominations available online.

A fashionable country upbringing

Jonathan Ward at the RM Williams 2011 Winter presentation. Photo supplied by RM Williams.By Dominic Geiger

As a young boy in the 1960s Jonathan Ward would sit down at the kitchen table on his family property in Tottenham and sketch.

Unlike his peers however, whose primary concern might have been colouring between the lines, Jonathan would sit and draw elaborate clothing designs for the celebrities he found photographed in his mother’s copies of Women’s Weekly.

Even then, before he was old enough to jump on the bus and travel the twelve miles to Tottenham Central School, Jonathan knew this was what he wanted to do when he grew up.

Now recognized as one of Australia’s leading couture and fashion designers and also currently working as the Executive Designer for the iconic Australian brand R. M. Williams, the boy from Tottenham has never forgotten where he came from.

Speaking to The Argus from his Sydney office last Friday, Jonathan said that his exposure to natural fibres such as wool and cotton on the family farm had given him an incredible advantage in the fashion industry.

“I really learnt that there is no better quality cloth than that made of natural fibres, especially wool,” he said.

“Coming from the country has given me a very practical view on how to design; it’s given me a great understanding of how people from the country wear their work clothes compared to how they wear their dress clothes.

“When I began designing I had a passion to be creative however I have always believed that clothing should be designed to suit your personality and lifestyle or for a special occasion”.

As the son of a sheep and cattle producer, Jonathan naturally faced some pressure during his early years to take over the family business.

Despite this, Jonathan said once people became aware of his talents, he found the local community supported his desire to follow his dreams.

“Someone once said to me that everyone is born with a gift, some people realize it while others spend their entire life unaware of it,” he said.

“In the beginning there were expectations to work on the property which I did for a couple of years.

“I loved working on the land, it gave me an appreciation of the elements and the simplicity and beauty of the bush.”

Since cutting his teeth designing for celebrities in his mother’s magazines, Jonathan has gone on to design clothing for the likes of Nicole Kidman, Elle McPherson and Kylie Minogue.

“In the beginning it was pretty daunting designing for celebrities,” he said.

“Despite this initial feeling, I was excited by the challenge of creating a piece to suit the occasion, complement the figure and encapsulate their individual style.

“And of course friendships come out of the professional relationships and that leads on to other people being referred to you.”

Dress by Jonathan Ward for Magic Millions. Photo supplied by RM Williams.Despite the list of celebrities Jonathan has professionally designed for including some of the biggest names in popular culture, Jonathan said the luminary who has given him the most satisfaction working with is one he has been designing for all his life.

“As a young kid I was very influenced by Barbie Dolls; my sister had them and it was her dolls that inspired me to create and design clothing,” he said.

“That inspiration, strangely enough, lead Barbie to follow me on throughout my career and in 1999 I was one of only six Australian Designers asked to design for Barbie’s 40th Birthday Celebrations with a Jonathan Ward Doll.

“I often joke that Barbie is the best client I ever had because she is the only one who has never talked back.”

After over 20 years in the Fashion Industry Jonathan Ward has become one of the leaders in contemporary Australian Fashion Design.

While embracing new styles and techniques throughout the years, he has maintained a quintessential bush influence in his work, especially with R.M. Williams.

“That Australian country sense of classic style fits into premium brands around the world,” he said.

“I am a strong believer in quality, longevity and simplicity and it’s those ideals that have helped me get to where I am today.”

Yellow Mountain Enduro coming to a paddock near you

By Dominic Geiger

The annual Yellow Mountain Cross Country motorcycle race will once again fill the paddocks between Condobolin and Tottenham with the roar of dirt bikes this weekend.

Spectators are able to view the bikes at the scrutineering event from 3 to 7pm Friday and during the start of the race at 10am on Saturday, both of which are set to be held at the Mt Tilga Motocross track, eight kilometres north of Condobolin.

Member of the Condobolin Auto sports club, Kim Lark, said the track was hilly with plenty of dust.

“I’d say there are going to be plenty of spills,” she said.

Competitor in the event, Don Lark, said he has competed in the event every year since it began.

“This is my ninth year doing the Yellow Mountain,” he said.

“It’s pretty tough, there are a fair few hills and rocks.

“The hardest thing about the track is getting to the end and back.

“We’ll leave Mt Tilga, travel through farmland, go around the back of Mineral Hill Mine and then into Tottenham,” he said.

Riders will finish the event throughout Sunday afternoon at the Mt Tilga Motocross track.

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.

Hearing bus coming to town

Australian Hearing’s bus is bringing hearing services to the Central West area, offering hearing checks from 18 to 22 July 2011.

According to Sunila Kumar, Australian Hearing Area Manager Orange/Dubbo this bus brings hearing health to the doorstep of local communities.

“The Australian Hearing bus is an excellent way to reach people in communities who don’t have access to mainstream hearing services,” Mrs Kumar said.

“Hearing loss is becoming more prevalent as the population ages and now people can get their hearing checked by simply visiting the bus when it visits their local area.

“If you are over 65, we recommend that you get your hearing checked every two years. The mobile hearing service regularly visits remote and regional communities, so getting a hearing check is convenient and easy,” Ms Kumar said.

The hearing bus will be in Condobolin on Wed 20/07/2011 Condobolin Family Support Office, William Street from 2.00pm to 5.00pm Tottenham on Thurs 21/07/2011 at the corner of main street opposite Tottenham Hotel, Umang St, from 9:00am to 11:00am

No appointment is necessary. Australian Hearing will provide hearing screenings to any interested people who attend on the day.

For more information about Australian Hearing, contact your nearest centre on 131 797 or visit

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.

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.”

Tottenham Men’s Shed receives Veteran funding

The Tottenham Men’s Shed Incorporated will receive a $7,305.00 grant through the Veteran and Community Grants program, Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton announced.
Administered through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Veteran and Community Grants program offers grants to a range of community activities that encourage and promote healthy and social lifestyles for veterans, and to programs that assist veterans in living independently at home.
Mr Coulton said “I congratulate the Tottenham Men’s Shed on their success in receiving this grant. I have always been a huge supporter of Men’s Sheds and the important and practical role they play in connecting men with their communities.
There are many on-going costs that are associated with the running of these sheds and I am sure this grant will go a long way in ensuring the members of the Tottenham Men’s Shed can continue their successful operation and also attract new members.
There are Men’s Sheds right across the Parkes Electorate who are bringing together veterans and I would encourage other Men’s Sheds committees to contact my office if they would like to source the possibility of any available funding” he said.

Safety concerns prompt new event banner poles

By Dominic Geiger

Representatives from Lachlan Shire Council were in the main street of Condobolin last Wednesday to select a suitable place to construct new poles to hang event banners from.
The decision to create the poles as an alternative to hanging banners from opposing buildings follows safety concerns after the ‘Condo 750’ Todd Porter, Kevin Smith, Director of technical services at Lachlan Shire, George Cowan General Manager of Lachlan Shire, and Councillor Ray Shieldssign fell down and caused traffic delays two weeks ago.
The new site for the poles will be on the Western end of the shopping precinct in Bathurst Street, with one garden bed needing to be moved to provide room for the construction.
Two similar projects will also be undertaken in the towns of Lake Cargelligo and Tottenham.
Lachlan Shire General Manager, George Cowan, said all three towns had a history of supporting major local events and the construction of the banner poles would help groups promote their events more easily.
“We’ve been talking about the need for something like this for three years now,” he said.
“It’s primarily a safety thing; we’ll be keeping all the car parks and simply moving the garden bed (on the southern side of the street).”
Councillor Ray Shields said it was great to be finally getting the project completed.
“Events such as the Condo 750 are important to tourism,” he said.
“It’s essential to support them in a noticeable and safe way.”

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.

Tottenham residents finally get answers from Air Ambulance

Graeme Field, Manager Aeromedical Services, Ambulance Service of NSW; Mitty Davies, Royal Flying Doctor Service Representative; Former board member of RFDS, John Wasley; Royal Flying Doctor Service Base Manager Ben Nicholls; Tottenham Lions Club President and  Chairman of the Tottenham Health Advisory Council Richard Clegg. DGBy Dominic Geiger

Members of the Tottenham community are relieved after having finally met with representatives from NSW Air Ambulance and the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) to discuss upgrades needed for the town’s airstrip.
The meeting, which also included members of Lachlan Shire Council, was held at the Tottenham Hospital last Thursday.
The Tottenham community has been encountering difficulties during emergency situations since last August with Air Ambulance services repeatedly being unable to land on the town’s airstrip.
In the most recent emergency, Tottenham resident Ben Nicholls was forced to travel over an hour by road to Nyngan before being retrieved by the Air Ambulance service and taken to a Sydney hospital.
At the end of the meeting, a list of five necessary upgrades to the Tottenham airstrip was completed and left in the hands of the Tottenham community and Lachlan Shire Council for implementation.
These upgrades include:
A Hardstand parking and loading area, built so patients no longer need to be picked up from the runway.
An increase of the runway length from 930 metres to 1080 metres
GPS data of the airstrip made available to the Air Ambulance and RFDS
Permanent lighting for the runway after dark
A fence to keep wildlife off the runway.
The Air Ambulance and RFDS also encouraged the Lachlan Shire Council to employ a number of qualified Tottenham residents to relay information to Air Ambulance pilots about the conditions of the runway during an emergency.
Ben Nicholls, who attended the meeting, said the controversy could have been avoided if there had been a better communication network set up between the Air Ambulance and the people of Tottenham.
“When I needed the Air Ambulance the response I got was instantly that the service didn’t go to Tottenham,” he said.
“This problem first became apparent last year, and no one has ever told us why planes couldn’t land.”
Ben also made an unopposed motion to encourage the Air Ambulance Service to review the communication process immediately following an emergency.

Tottenham picnics day of racing

At the Tottenham Picnics: Sally Fitzalan, Vanessa Hollis, Katherine Knight and Leigh Callen. DGBy Dominic Geiger

The threat of a downpour didn’t do much to dampen the spirits at the Tottenham Picnic Races on Saturday with a crowd of over 800 people showing up to enjoy the festivities.
People came from all over the state to attend the races, with one sponsor even labeling Tottenham as the Rosehill of the west.
Trainer Rodney Robb took home the three winners $2000 bonus with first place horses in the first, second and third races.
Horse Search ‘n’ Seek, trained by Leslie Bryant, took out first place in the main race of the day, the Tottenham Picnic Trophy Cup.
Peter Marsland, who attends the Tottenham Races every year and comes from Umina on the Central Coast, said the event gave him and his friends an excuse to escape to the country for a few days.
“We spend a day and a night in Tottenham, then we go to a property a little way out of town to do some shooting,” he said.
“The atmosphere in Tottenham is great; it’s a real country race and it makes the whole trip that much more enjoyable.
“We also look forward to the fantastic lunch they put on here.”
Unfortunately, an accident occurred in the last race with horse Half Handy falling on jockey Reece Potter.
Reece was driven to Dubbo before being airlifted to Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, though he was unable to be revived and passed away last Monday.

Tottenham Race Results
Race 1: Petalulu – Rodney Robb; Broady Boy – Mark Ward; Covelly Wonder – Leslie Bryant. Race 2: Hidden Loot – Rodney Robb; Wine Trail – Sharon Jefferies; Visa Boy – George Wright. Race 3: Discovery Lad – Rodney Robb; Cat Rullah – Leslie Bryant; Royal Carriage – John Mackinnon. Race 4: Chiasma – Frank Hayes; Shrewd Prince – Greg Middleton; Cuddles – John Tyack. Race 5: Search ‘n’ Seek – Leslie Bryant;Sky Hussar – Rodney Robb; Shot Putt – Kevin White. Race 6: My New Life – Sharon Brown; One Last Shot – John Mackinnon; Havahalf – Frank Hayes. Most Successful Trainer – Rodney Robb. Most Successful Jockey – Reece Potter. Winner of three winners $2000 bonus – Rodney Robb.

Family fun and a free feed at the Tottenham Races

By Dominic Geiger

The annual Tottenham Picnic Races are on once again this Saturday with a jam packed program of live music, six horse races, fashions on the field and a full bar.
A free luncheon will also be provided for all race goers from 12.30 pm to 1.45 pm.
Secretary of the Tottenham Picnic Races Jodie Attenborough said the races were being promoted as a ‘family day out’, which explained the incredible amount of kid’s entertainment on offer.
“We’ll have a free jumping castle and merry go round as well as balloon animals and face painting,” she said.
“People can bring anything they want including shade cloths; we won’t have any marquees per se, but there are a lot of trees on the grounds and there will be plenty of room under the luncheon area.
“Of course it’s a licensed event so people can’t bring their own alcohol but the bar will be up and running with prices starting from $3.50 for a light beer, $4.00 for full strength and $4.00 for wine.”
Jodie said the races would get under way around 2pm on Saturday and most likely finish around 5.30pm.
“After the last race we’ll have a band playing,” she said.
“There’ll also be a Calcutta at the Tottenham Hotel on the Friday night.”

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