Macadamias go from boutique to boom


DATA COLLECTION: Macadamia growers have been told to take a professional approach to their businesses for the future of the industry.

PROFESSIONAL growers will help propel the Australian macadamia industry forward.

That was one of the key messages to come out of the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS)’s March MacGroup and Food Heroes forum in Bundaberg last week.

Held at the Queensland Department of Agriculture’s (QDAF) Ashfield Road research station, the afternoon and evening event was jointly hosted by the AMS, and the Queensland Country Life in conjunction with Good Fruit & Vegetables magazine.

More than 100 industry representatives, including growers, gathered to hear the latest marketing, levy, expansion, crop and financial updates.

The figures listed for the macadamia industry would make many other agriculture sectors envious.

Over the past six years the Australian macadamia industry has enjoyed an 8 per cent annual growth while the average gross income is more than $17,000 per hectare.

Within that, the Bundaberg region has been achieving a 12pc annual growth for the same period, catapulting it to being the largest macadamia-producing region in the country.

According to the AMS, production is in the final stages of going from a boutique to a professional industry.

In his address to the gathering, AMS chief executive officer, Jolyon Burnett, announced the 2017 crop forecast at 54,000 tonnes nut-in-shell (NIS).

Australian Macadamia Society CEO, Jolyon Burnett, says solid growth and reinvestment has put the industry in good standing for the future. Picture: Lucy Kinbacher

“I’ve been looking around and I reckon it’s in the trees, whether it ends up in the silos or not is another matter,” Mr Burnett said.

“That depends on the weather from here on in and how good you guys are at your harvest.”

“But that’s a great result. That is the third year of steady, four to five per cent, year on year growth, and that’s coming at a time just when the industry needs it.”

He said the industry’s expansion was to be celebrated but it was pertinent to keep in mind the increased output from other countries such as China, Kenya and particularly South Africa.

“South Africa has been down for the last couple of years due to drought. They were probably 10,000 tonnes down in 2016. We’re not sure yet how much they’ll be down in 2017 but they will still be off the pace a little bit I believe,” Mr Burnett said.

“Any of you that have played cricket or rugby against the South Africans, you know that they will bounce back.

“They have been planting strongly in South Africa so there is a chance we could see a 60,000t crop come out of South Africa in 2018.”

The global demand for macadamias is such that Mr Burnett said increased global production was not something to be feared.

“We have been held back as a global industry over the last five, six or seven years, by lack of supply,” he said.

“If you look at the new products in terms of ice-creams, bakery products, cereal products, that have occurred with other nuts where supply is strongly growing, in macadamias, we’ve missed out on that.

“The marketplace is looking for confidence and supplies there. We’ve got to be confident we can back ourselves to direct our supply to the highest value markets.”

AMS productivity development officer, Robbie Commens, shared similar thoughts.

“The South African crop is a good thing for you and your macadamia business this year; it’s a challenge for you and your business going forward for the next five to 10 years,” Mr Commens said.

“We want that crop to be able to develop new products. We want more muesli bars, we want more ice-cream, we want less of a reliance on the kernel snack market.”

Mr Commens said the industry is experiencing an incredibly rare circumstance in agriculture where an increase in price has accompanied an increase in production.

GOING PRO: Australian Macadamia Society productivity development officer, Robbie Commens, says the sector is moving from a recreational to a professional industry. Picture: Lucy Kinbacher

“Let’s pause for a moment, realise the opportunity the industry has and take that long-term, professional focus going forward,” he said.

“We want professional growers and professional macadamia businesses.

Mr Commens said it wasn’t particularly about the size of orchards but encouraged tree owners to ask themselves if they were a professional grower or a recreational grower.

“The thing professional growers have in common, is a mindset,” he said.

“They’ve got that long-term business focus; they review data; look at what the possible scenario is going to be; develop a strategy and put it into action.”

Other topics covered during the afternoon included farm management deposits (FMDs), financial markets outlook and marketing strategies.

The information session was followed by afternoon tea then a field walk to look at the small tree – high productivity initiative, with a dinner held in town that evening.

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Just wild about dog control


MAN ON THE LAND: Bathurst Merino Association ewe competition winner Murray Wykes of “Mount Top”, Euchareena takes part in a “forum in the sheepyards” on judging day.LAST Sunday’s meeting of Turon Wild Dog Control Group was very well attended and producers across their region are united in the attempts to control wild dogs that continue to kill livestock.

Once again, Local Land Services ranger Paul Medway gave up his Sunday to help the group.

A few key points that were made at the meeting were:

A deputation from the group will request a meeting with senior management of Central Tablelands LLS in the very near future.A training day for users of 1080 baits and/or ejector baiting tools will be held on Friday, April 21.This year’s group baiting day will be held in early May.The Chemcert accreditation does not enable use of the canine ejector tool.The Turon meeting heard many reports of sightings and photos of marauding wild dogs on River Hills properties.

All landholders in the area are urged to join the control group.Don’t forget that wild dogs also kill lots of young birds and defenceless baby wallabies.

Please ring Jodie or Mal Healey is you wish to join the community group.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: The Turon Wild Dog control group is erecting these signs on roadside lands across their region.

Roo-locationA LANDHOLDERfrom just west of Bathurst city tells me that in his area there are more kangaroos than rabbits destroying crops and pastures.

He suggests that some kind soul might like to relocate the hundreds of ’roos from his place.

Aerial sprayUPPERMacquarie County Council will be carrying out an aerial weed spraying program during March in the area covering Bathurst Regional Council, Blayney, Lithgow and Oberonareas.

The main target weeds are blackberry and serrated tussock and landholders who wish to register for the spraying program should do soASAP with the County Council on 6338 2875.

The spread of blackberry bushes is obvious across our district as many landholders are inclined to only operate drive-through management and many don’t seem to own either weed spray equipment or a mattock.

Vale, WendyTHE recent death of Wendy Stocks took away one of Bathurst’s most valued community volunteers as she has worked tirelessly in that area for decades.

The Stocks family followed dairying pursuits and Wendy and husband Wally were always ready to assist friends and family when the going was tough.

She was a member of the Daymond family at The Lagoon and travelled by bus to Bathurst High School in the early 1950s along with many of us who have remained friends for at least 60 years.

Drying timesEACH day our lovely Central Tablelands looks sadder and drier and it’s really obvious that a big percentage of surface water supplies on farm hasevaporated.

A lot of hay and grain feeding is now taking place and some difficult decisions on stock selling or agistment are being made.

There is still a lot of the autumn growing season ahead of us but prospects for general rain are not promising in the medium term.

Staffers at Central TablelandsLocal Land Services have arranged a “dry weather planning” workshop at Bathurst LLS on Friday,March 24 from 9.30am to 3pmand some useful advice and opinions should be given.

Bookings [email protected]论坛.

Poll positionsONGOING discussions that involve persons who may intend to seek election at Bathurst Regional Council are reaching an interesting stage.

Several ladies’ names have beenmentioned as well as a few gentlemen who aren’t usually in the spotlight.

My suggestions are limited but I would like to see the Windradyne Whisperer raise his hand for election as he seems to know much more of the workings of councilthan any councillor.

Lachlan certainly doesn’t need any encouragement but he has done a lot of bowling at council and 2017 could be a great time to go in to bat.

Diary datesFriday, March 24: Stanford poll hereford sale, 50 young bulls and30 commercial heifers.The sale book has a practical explanation of cattle EBVs. Please collect yours at rural outlets.Friday, March 24:Local Land Services dry weather management strategies,Bathurst LLS 9.30am-3pm. Bookings by March 20 toBrett Littler on 6378 1708.Wool reportTHE wool market continued to rise this week with the fine merinos up 50c/kg.

The medium merinos were up around 25c/kg and the 21 to 22 microns were firm to a little cheaper.

Crossbred wools also saw rises of around 25c/kg asthe northern market indicator finished the week on 1605c/kg, up 23c/kg.

Merino cardings continue to break all records,finishing the week on 1231c/kg while fine merino locks this week made over 1000c/kg greasy, levelswe have never seen before.

Sales next week will see 10,279 bales on offer in Sydney, 22,661 bales on offer in Melbourne and 10,731 bales on offer in Fremantle.

MarkHorsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh linesA WELL-dressed lady on the tourist coach looked down her nose at farmer George and said: “I am surprised that your bull doesn’t have horns.” George told her: “Some bulls don’t have horns lady, and most cows don’t have horns at all.” The lady sniffed: “That is quite interesting, MrFarmer.” Then George added: “Of course, lady, you’re not lookin’ at a bull at all. That’s me horse.”


THEcop stopped our farmer friend on the highway and presented the breathalyser. Farmer asked what it was and was told: “It’s a bag that tells you when you’ve had too much to drink.” Our farmer said: “Gawd, eh,I used to be married to one of them.”

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‘A bad joke’: Warning sounded on endangered species in NSW


Photographs shows the clear felling of the Leard Forest and construction of Whitehavens’ ?? Maules Creek coal mine near Boggabri. Greenpeace activists opposed to the mines’ construction have an established tree sit in place to stop the felling of the endangered forest and?? are surrounded by?? mine security and police rescue units.Photographs by Dean Sewell. S.M.H. News.Taken Sunday 1st June 2014.?? das140601.001.001.send.jpg Photo: Dean SewellDespite almost 60 per cent of NSW’s mammal species and a third of the birds on the endangered list, the Berejiklian government is persisting with conservation schemes that amount to a “bad joke”, critics say.

A report, titled Paradise Lost has found biodiversity offset schemes between 2005 and 2016have failed to deliver outcomes promised by developers of mines and other major projects.

Of eight case studies where the destruction of habitat was permitted in exchange for protection elsewhere, the results of two studies were found to be “adequate”, and five others “poor”, according to the Nature Conservation Council, which compiled the report. For the Boggabri/Maules Creek area, which has two huge open-cut coal mines, the outcome was found to be “disastrous”.

In the latter case, miners will clear about 4000 hectares – more than half of the Leard State Forest, which is home to 36 threatened species including the diamond firetail and the masked owl – the report said. More than a quarter of this area is made up of critically endangered box-gum woodland.

Not only are the offsets of uncertain permanence, they are outside the Brigalow Belt South bioregion and are not of equivalent vegetation condition, the report said. And while the proponents have done surveys in the offset areas, they have not made that information available.

“It’s a crude mechanism for letting developers kill threatened species while claiming they are good environmental stewards,” council chief executive Kate Smolski said. “It’s a bad joke.”

The failings include the absence of “no-go zones” for areas with high conservation values, the dilution of “like-for-like” protections, and allowing miners to generate “credits” for rehabilitation. The Environment Minister also has discretionary power to “discount” obligations.

The survey noted the government had engaged Martine Maron, a University of Queensland offsets specialist, to review its program but her “scathing” assessment could only be obtained under freedom of information laws. (See summary of her review here.)

“The reliance on protecting habitat that is already there in exchange for habitat loss is worrying and, of course, the net outcome in that case is just less habitat,” Professor Maron told Fairfax Media. “It risks normalising ongoing biodiversity decline.”

In a 2015 paper, Professor Maron found offset baselines being used across Australia assumed an annual loss of vegetation of 4.2 per cent, or more than five times the recent loss rate.

NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the government was still consulting on its draft Biodiversity Assessment Method, adding that the scheme would set a standard of no net loss of biodiversity.

“It has been peer-reviewed and it draws on the latest science,” Ms Upton said. “It requires proposals to be designed to first avoid and minimise impacts on biodiversity.”

But Mehreen Faruqi Greens environment spokeswoman Mehreen Faruqi said offsets had become “one of the biggest scams in NSW”.

“Even if we accept the flawed concept that serious ecological damage can be offset, the NSW government has massively lowered the bar for mining companies and big developers,” Dr Faruqi said. “It’s now an attitude of: ‘No offset? No worries, just pay it into a fund’.”

Labor’s environment spokeswoman Penny Sharpe said the “watered down” policy was “disregarding environmental standards and destroying biodiversity”.

For its part, Maules Creek mine developer Whitehaven rejected the report’s assessment.

“We stand by our offsets package and, more importantly, so do the independent state and federal government authorities that approved it,” a spokesman for the miner said.

Stephen Galilee, chief executive of the NSW Minerals Council, said offsets had “increasingly strengthened in recent years, particularly with the introduction of the Biodiversity Conservation Act in 2016”.

“Increasingly complicated offsets schemes have significantly narrowed the impacts that can be offset and increased the costs of offsetting,” he said. ‘Horse-trading’

David Paull, a former Office of Environment and Heritage project manager, said the setting of offsets was “a horse-trading affair” in which the proponent emerges “with as few concessions as possible”.

For instance, in the plan to expand Peabody Energy’s Wilpinjong mine, which was examined by Mr Paull, the developer wants several “get out of jail” cards for destroying 354 hectares of native woodland.

More than half of the land is home to the endangered regent honeyeater bird.

The cards include paying $660,000 to Taronga Zoo for a targeted release of captive honeyeaters into the wild, and the use of “credits” earned for mine rehabilitation with no indication the work was additional, he said.

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Bozo must let me do my job, says Manly CEO

Manly CEO Tim Cleary has spoken for the first time about the controversial overhaul that has put him at loggerheads with club icon Bob Fulton, revealing he is seeking the authority to make changes to the football department in order to take the Sea Eagles into a new era.

Cleary succeeded Joe Kelly as the chief executive at the start of the year and is seeking to build a team that shares his vision for the Silvertails. One of the first casualties in the rejig is Fulton’s daughter, Kristie, who was working on junior development before shifting into a more commercial role. This has put Cleary offside with football boss Fulton, with observers believing the issue has the potential to ignite another civil war at Brookvale.

Cleary said there was an “impasse” between himself and management over whether his jurisdiction included making further changes to the football department, which employs Fulton and other members of his family. He was hoping the issue would be resolved as he sought to implement his blueprint for the franchise, which included a centre of excellence and the redevelopment of home ground Lottoland.

“As part of my plan to get to where I’m going, I need to put my team in place,” Cleary told Fairfax Media. “I hope that people would gauge that I am trying to strengthen the governance of the club for years to come. It’s pretty frequent in club land that coaches and [administrators] put in the teams they need to support their models of what success looks like. I need to make sure [the right] people are in those positions. They need to be competitive and put to the market and tested. That’s what all good governance is about, making sure the best people are in the best positions.”

The Sea Eagles have churned through seven chief executives in the post-Northern Eagles era. The latest development has raised fears that Cleary could be the latest through a revolving door that has claimed Joe Kelly, David Perry, Grant Mayer, Graham Lowe, Paul Cummings and Ian Thomson since reformation.

Asked if he could work with Fulton, Cleary said: “That’s a question you’d have to ask him.

“There are other precedents where family members come and go from clubs, others stay. That’s not unheard of. I’m not putting a line in the sand saying it’s me or him. I’m not doing that. I’m just saying that as CEO I have the capacity to deliver the governance across the brand, not just as the CEO of the administration. Therein lies the issue.

“It’s an iconic brand, it’s lasted the test of time and so has Bob. I’ve got the ultimate respect for him, he’s an Immortal, he’s been at the club for over 50 years. He’s been an Australian coach and player, he’s just done everything and ticked every box.

“Whether I can sustain myself into the future and if I am to represent the future at least I need a mandate to put in those people, policies and practices that will take us into the future.

“If I can modernise the place and work practices – and whether Bob is a part of that – he will determine that, not me.”

Cleary said he believed he would have the support of the Penn family to make the required changes.

“I’m looking at the whole structure of the organisation to ensure it is viable into the future so the place can provide a culture of success and a happy future for everyone involved,” he said. “There are a lot of people involved, not just me or a family. It’s an iconic brand that has been going for a long time and it needs to have a future.”

Fulton declined to comment when contacted last night.

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Fair set to sparkle the city

Demonstrations and dazzling displays will fill the East Devonport Primary School gymnasium on the weekend.

FAIR TIME: Devonport Lapidary Club president Tony Young prepares for the Jewellery, Gem and Mineral Fair. Picture: Cordell Richardson..

TheJewellery, Gem and Mineral Fair is back in Devonport for another year.

Event organiser andDevonport Lapidary Club president Tony Young traders are coming from far and wide showcasing a number of goods.

More than 70 stall are expected to fill the gymnasium.

“People will be selling gems, minerals and jewellery, gem and mineral displays and children’s activities,” he said.

“We have working demonstrations, someone will be there from the club using a faceting machine, how to cut gemstones and also a cabbing machine which makes a pendent.

“Stall holders come down from the mainland, they first do a show in Hobart then the next weekend pack and and come to Devonport before leaving on the boat on Sunday night.”

Mr Young said activities such as gold panning and gem sieving will be available, providing children with opportunities to find treasure.

“We have containers full of sand that is gold baring, we get that around the Wynyard area,” he said.

“The chances are that it is possible they will come across a very small piece of gold.”

Mr Young said children would also be able to discover some hidden gems.

“We mix up gems in the sand and they just work the sieve around, we guarantee they are going to findsomething, small gemstones or small chips.”

“Another thing we have for the young ones is a gem stone scavenger hunt, we will have pictures up of gemstones around the gymnasium and kids will run around and identify from the photo that actual stone.”

The Devonport Lapidary Club celebrate their 50th birthday this year, memorabilia will be an addition to this year’s fair.

The Jewellery, Gem and Mineral Fair will be held over two days this Saturday and Sunday.

Along with stalls and displays therewill be food and drink available to purchase.

The fair will be heldat 19-21 Thomas Street in East Devonport from 9am to 4pm both days.

Adult tickets to the fair are $5, and children can enter free.

Proceeds go towards supporting the next year’s event.

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Kooringal storm into Hardy Shield finals

RELENTLESS ATTACK: Kooringal’s Jaylem Byrnes takes a hit-up as they continually put the TRAC defence under pressure. Picture: Kieren L TillyKooringal High stormed into the semi-finals of the Hardy Shield with a convincing 34-6 win over The Riverina Anglican College (TRAC) at Parramore Park on Tuesday afternoon.

The six-tries-to-one effort bookeda date with Wagga High next week.

Check out our galleryKildare outlast MDCCIn a battle to determine the winner of Pool B –from which only oneteam qualifies forfinals –Kooringal was first on the scoreboard through backrower Zac Carl.

TRAC drew level through a converted try to Liam Delahunty but when Kooringal skipper Tyson Hodge powered over for a 12-6 half-time lead, it was ominous.

Schmetzer crossesCentre George Kendall set the tone with a powerful run to put TRAC on the backfoot and before the set of six was out, Brody Tracey was over.

As Kooringal forced errors, they capitalised on their chances with Kendall and then replacement winger Kyle Schmetzer scoring.

Sharp-shooting LeonA rampaging run from fullback Dylan Arragon continued the onslaught, as he crossed in the corner. And sharp-shooting Leon Carmichael’s conversion in the wind made it 34-6.

They looked like bringing up the big 40 when Deacon Smith streaked away, only to be called back after putting a foot into touch.

Smith’s great run but no try due to foot in touchSchool representative Tim Wykes said they’ll draw confidence from the game.

“It was a good team effort from all our players,” Wykes said. “When we have substitutes scoring tries, it’s a good result.”

Kooringal haven’t made the final since they won the Hardy Shield in 2012.


KOORINGAL 34 (Zac Carl, Tyson Hodge, Brody Tracey, George Kendall, Kyle Schmetzer, Dylan Arragon tries; Leon Carmichael 5 goals) TRAC 6 (Liam Delahunty try; John Downes goal).

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Call for more palliative care

Cancer Council NSW and local campaigners want peopleto jointhe I Care for Palliative Care campaign.

They’re calling on the NSW Ministerfor Health to end the shortage of specialist palliative care services across the state.

Speaking in Wauchope, Tim Chapman from Cancer Council NSW said currently, there are notenough palliative care doctors and nurses to meet the needs of the NSW community.

“NSW needs 10 more full time palliative care physicians, at a minimum, to be brought in line with national recommendations and 129 more full time palliative care nurses to bring us up to the standard of the rest of Australia,” he said.

The council also wants culturally appropriate palliative care for Aboriginal people.

They say that when someone has a terminal illness, they should be able to keepdoing the things they love for as long as possible, and that families should be able tomake the most of the time they have left.

“We know that the current palliative care doctors and nurses do a wonderful job, but they are stretched to meet demands across the state,” he added.

One campaigner from Lake Cathie said her partner was terminally ill and wished to die at home, and the palliative care team made that possible.

“She was diagnosed with Stage Four lung cancer. She wasn’t afraid to die, but she wanted to be at home around the garden she loved, with her children and grandchildren, and her books and familiar things around her.

“The palliative care team organised the things she needed, like a walking frame, and they organised her pain management really well. They were just awesome. You couldn’t do it without them.

“What they gave my partner and the family wasdignity,” she said.

Judy Hollingworth’scampaign, Manning Valley Push for Palliative raises community awareness about the issue, advocates better resourcing, anda range of support services, as well as ancillary palliative resources.

As a palliative care volunteer, she helps people through the difficult time as their life is ending, giving them companionship, and she is on the board of Palliative Care Australia.

“We want tohave occupational therapists, physiotherapists, grief counsellors who can come and help the person live in the community, rather than go into hospital which can be hugely depersonalising.

“It’s a hugely vulnerable time for the person who is ill, their carers and the professionals who come in,” said Judy, who cared for her sister while she was dying.

Community members across the Hastings regioncan support the I Care for Palliative Carecampaign by signing the pledge for Minister Hazzard to end the palliative care shortage. Go to 苏州美甲美睫培训canact苏州美甲美睫培训419论坛/palliative_care_pledge

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Merrivale has ticked all the boxes

RECRUITS: Merrivale’s James Fary, Leatham Robe, Xavier Beks, Josh Brown and Luke Irving. Picture: Amy Paton

MERRIVALE’S forward line is looking very dangerous indeed.

Multiple-time Hampden league leading goal-kicker Jason Rowan has joined the Tigers as playing coach, and will team with former Allansford key forward Brenton Webster.

“We needed to recruita couple of bigger bodies and key position players, and we’ve worked hard to do that,” Rowan said.

“We picked up a couple of back men, picked up really well in the middle and picked up some key position players up forward.”

The added attacking power will be a boon forthe Tigers, and, teamed with what was the third-best defence in the league last season (conceding 54 points per game), will create headaches for the opposition.

The Tigers will be eyeing a swift return to the top in the WDFNL and former Warrnambool spearhead Rowan has been impressed with what his charges have produced thus far.

“The boys have worked hard over the pre-season and we’re putting in a few different things we want to achieve over the season,” he said.

“They’ve picked it up really well and we can see how they’ve improved.”



R2: Dennington (A)

R3: Old Collegians (H on Good Friday)

R4: Allansford (A)

R5: Panmure (H)

R6: Kolora-Noorat (A)

R7: Timboon Demons (A)

R8: South Rovers (H)

R9: Russells Creek (A)

R10: Nirranda (A)

R11: East Warrnambool (H)

R12: BYE

R13: Dennington (H)

R14: Kolora-Noorat (H)

R15: Allansford (H)

R16: Panmure (A)

R17: Old Collegians (A)

R18: Russells Creek (H)


Jason Rowan, Brenton Webster, Leatham Robe, Josh Brown, Luke Irving, James Fary, Xavier Beks


Alex Pulling (Koroit)

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Scottish honour for the wise

OFFICIALLY A SPECIAL MOMENT: Captain Richard Otley, right, presents Laurieton RSL Sub Branch secretary George Wise with honorary life membership.

Laurieton RSL Sub Branch secretary George Wise is one of those people who quietly goes above and beyond when helping others.

A keen researcher, George’s work through the sub branch recently travelled via Skype across the world to the Royal BritishLegion Scotland (RBLS), Wick branch.

Captain Richard Otley, whose late father William was a member of the Laurieton RSL sub branch, forged links between the Royal BritishLegion Scotland and the local RSL.William served with the Royal Navy during the Normandy Landings in World War 2. He and his wife Joan moved to Laurieton in around 2003.

George, Captain Richard Otley said, showed great care to ex-servicemen and women who immigrated to Australia, in particularhis father.

In December, George addressed the annual general meeting of the RBLS, Wick Branch, via Skype. The legion is similar to the Australian RSL.Following his presentationthe members voted to make George an honorary life member of their branch.

“You are the fourth honorary member ever to be awarded membership, so quite rare,” Captain Otley wrote in his thank-you letter to George.

During his presentation to the RBLS, George highlighted the number of Australian War Graves in Scotland.

“Itwas proposed that we provide details of the Australian War graves that are under our care within the Wick Commonwealth War Cemetery, with photos upon the future annual dates when pipers and our colour party honour your Australian heroes that rest with us,” Capt. Otley wrote.

The members also voted that on Anzac Day 2017 and in perpetuity, in Scotland, a ceremony will be held to honour those soldiers.

“Members of RBLS Wick would like to explore ways in which we can assist Australian members when visiting the UK through practical and network assistance. We are also looking to potential future liaisons between cadet organisations,” Capt. Otley said.

Captain Otley is the chairman of the RBLS and an active serviceman. He travelled to Laurieton to present the life membership in person on February 26.

“It is an unexpected honour,” George said at the Laurieton RSL sub branch meeting where he was presented with the parchment certificate,banner and letter from the Lord Lieutenant of Caithnessin her role as the sovereign’s representative on behalf of RBLS patron Her Majesty the Queen.

“When I was nominated I told Richard that I would only accept it on behalf of the Laurieton RSL sub branch.

“It was a wonderful experience to be able to talk via Skype [to the RBLS Wick] and discuss the Australian effort in World War One.I have a lot more to tell them and I hope to do that in future.”

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‘​30 seconds later, he would have been gone’: Teen recalls dramatic beach rescue

BEACH RESCUE: Emergency services gather at Denhams Beach after the rescue of a father and four children on Sunday (left) and teen rescuer William Nash (right).What was planned as a casual afternoon of surfing turned into a dramatic beach rescue for a Canberrafather and son on Sunday.

Shortly after arriving at a Eurobodalla beach on the afternoon of March 12, 16-year-old William Nash and his father, Kevin, were alerted to a family of fivestruggling in a rip.

With no time to spare, the quick-thinking Conder teenager handed a surfboard to a beachgoer to assist three of the children and paddled out himself to rescue the father and another child.

“I paddled out to the father and his young daughter …he was under the water and she was screaming, trying to hold him up,” William told the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner.

“I grabbed him by the neck and put his head on my board. If it was 30 seconds later, he would havebeen gone.”

Kevin also took part in the rescue.

William said the man, believed to be aged in his thirties, was unconscious when plucked from the rip.

”The whole time we were in the water, he wasn’t good,” William said.

They spent tense minutes trying to get the man to regain consciousness.

“He did get a bit of awareness and almost gave up and wanted to slide back into the water, but we just didn’t let him,” William said.

He said the rip had pulled the man and young girl more than 15m out from the Denhams Beach headland.

“I put him and the little girl on my board, sitting in the rip for a bit,” William said.

“I jumped off and had the nose of the board and swam backwards until the waves were pushing us into shore.

“About 20m off shore, another bloke helped me carry him to shore and we laid him on his side.”

William, Kevin and other beachgoers stayed with the man until paramedics arrived minutes later.

Far South Coast Surf Life Saving spokesman Andrew Edmunds said rescue was one of several during the weekend’s big swells.

“The father responded well to treatment on shore by ambulance and was transported to hospital in a conscious state,” Mr Edmunds said.

A NSW Health spokesperson said the man was taken to Batemans Bay Hospital and later flown to Canberra in a stable condition, where he was discharged on Monday.

Mr Edmunds said the children did not require treatment.

Two days after the rescue, William said he was struggling to come to terms with the near tragedy.

“It was not until after it really hit me,” William said.

“I can’t stop thinking about it.”

The teenager said staying focused on the rescue at hand helped him in those frightening moments.

“I just had to be focused on what was happening,” he said.

“Someone had to be strong and sensible out there. I just took charge of it and grabbed my board.”

Father Kevin Nash said he couldn’t be prouder of his son’s brave act.

“I’m so proud of him and just the way he took charge of the matter,” Kevin said.

“Kids these days cop a lot of flack and don’t get recognition.

“He’s more of a man than I was at 16.”

Despite being an avid watergoer, William saidthe incident washis most traumaticsurf encounter.

“I know how dangerous rips can be, but this was the first experience I’ve had that was that bad in the water,” he said.

The close call severed as a reminder for beachgoers to learn to identify how dangerous rip currents flow.

Eurobodalla surflifesavers during summer ran rip safety demonstrations at shire beaches to prevent drownings.

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In a league of her own

Catholic Women’s League International Officer Margaret McEntee, State President Ann Pereira, Communications Officer Michelle Pedersen, Vice President Lorette Chester, David Gillespie MP, Secretary Irene O’Grady and Treasurer Lisa McPherson.Wauchope local Ann Pereira has been appointed president of the Catholic Women’s League Australia – New South Wales Inc.

While the organisation holds a strong following of 1,200 members, Ann has goals to keep the organisation relevant and sustainable in to the future.

Last month, the State Council meeting was held in the Timbertown Motel with more than 30 delegates. A packed agenda discussed items such as membership growth, particularly within the younger generations.

“Today’s society imposes increasing challenges on people as the dynamics and acceptance of change in our communities move with the times,” Miss Pereira said.

“The Catholic Women’s League movement offer an inclusive place to meet new people and share our journey together.

“Our key principle is to advocate for the dignity of the human personand support women and their contribution to the community.”

The League runs under the auspices of the Catholic church and has the approval of the NSW bishops.

“We focus on issues like social justice and bioethics.Social justice includes issues that affect people’s lives like government legislation, homelessness and poverty,” she said.

“Bioethics include issuessuch asthe abortion reform bills and themarriage equality bill because we believe they impact on families.

“These issues are often difficult for people to discuss which is why it is so important to have the conversation.

“Members undertake charitable works through the local dioceses, nationally and overseas. One example is the support offered to women who have crisis pregnancies, to provide options beyond abortion.

“Further up the coast, we haveassisted two women – one who gave upher babyfor adoption and another who kept her baby. Both needed clothing, furniture and financial help.”

The organisation was established in England and came to Australia in 1914.Ann says it’s about women supporting women and families.

“Through the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations, we are members of the United Nations,” she said.

“The Catholic Women’s League Australia has amember who is the Board member forthe Asia-Pacific region and another who attends the Council on the Status of Women each year in New York.

“The Catholic Women’s League is a great organisation for women to develop strong friendships and share the ups and downs of life together.”

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New coach confident in 2017

ONLY WAY IS UP: South Warrnambool netballer Melody Keath is predicting blue skies ahead for the Roosters after a tough 2016 season. Picture: Amy Paton

THERE is a silver lining for every tough season a club has to endure, and South Warrnambool’s open grade netballers have found theirs.

The Roosters went winless through 2016 but, as new coach Mandy Van Rooy points out, their reliance on youth last year has fast-tracked their development.

“Our goal, at the moment, is just to keepgoing from last year,” she said.

“It was a tough year, but we’ve also blooded a lot of young girls who wouldn’t have gotthe opportunity otherwise.

“They’ve got a year of seniors under their belt, they’re a lot more mature and they know what they have to do to handle the open grade.”

Van Rooy, who coached Panmure to a Warrnambool and District league semi-final appearance last year, has injected mature-aged players into the playing group.

Goaler Eliza Dwyer returns to South Warrnambool after a few years in the Central Highlands league, where she won the league A grade best and fairestand a premiership with Skipton in a memorable 2016 season.

Versatile midcourter Liz Byrne has joined the club after stints with Port Fairy and Allansford.

With the majority of last year’s open grade team staying around, Van Rooy said the inclusions had meant some shifting with the playing group.

“(There’s been) a little bit more shuffling around, which is a good thing,” shesaid.

“It means potentially a few more players play division one, which makes our division one team a bit stronger.

“We’re working on just being mature and getting the little things right; just having the confidence in each other.”


Eliza Dwyer (CHFNL; returning), Liz Byrne (Port Fairy)



2016 best and fairest

1st: Annie O’Brien (equal) 1st: Ally O’Connor (equal) 3rd: Aylish Tobin-Salzman

Player to watch

ELIZA DWYER: The former South Warrnambool junior returns to the Friendly Societies’ Park club after a stint in the Central Highlands Football Netball League, where she won the league A grade best and fairest award last season. Described as an “amazing” goaler by her new coach, she will be a potent force in the Roosters’ attack.


Susie Giese says: The Roosters were a young group finding their feet last season and showed some good general improvement. But with a full season under their belts and some mature-age recruits coming into the group, along with new coach Mandy Van Rooy, the Roosters will be eyeing off a surge up the ladder after a winless 2016.

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Thirty NRL games a year but only Eels commit

The NSW state government has put forward a development application that anticipates 30 NRL games per year will be played at the new Parramatta stadium despite the Eels being the only club committed to use the venue.

Fairfax Media understands the Bulldogs, Tigers, Rabbitohs, Panthers and Dragons aren’t keen to take games to the 30,000-seat venue when it opens in 2019 despite the government’s estimation that three NRL clubs would use the new facility.

It’s likely only 11 Eels NRL games will be played at the Western Sydney Stadium when it opens, however there is a possibility ANZ Stadium could be shut down for two years during the redevelopment to turn the Olympic stadium into a permanent rectangular facility.

In the stage two development application for the western Sydney stadium submitted last week, a breakdown of the anticipated use of the venue has the NRL down for 30 games, while Football Federation Australia/A-League (15 games), National Rugby Championship (three games), Super Rugby (one game) were also included.

The government’s plans include three NRL games in the month of October. But given the only NRL match played during that month is the grand final, it raises doubts over the planning for the use of the ground.

The Environmental Impact Statement put forward by JBA Urban planning consultants also has a list of typical event attendances which includes the Eels and Wanderers and two unnamed NRL teams referred to as “NRL team 2” and “NRL team 3” with expected crowds of 17,490 and 12,980 respectively.

The state government did require a 65-game commitment from the NRL to back the investment into major stadiums, however that commitment didn’t specify which venue the clubs would play at.

“The NSW government does not determine where NRL clubs play their matches,” a Venues NSW spokesperson said.

“The stage two planning application assesses the potential impacts to the community and environment during operation of the new stadium including traffic, access and noise amongst other things. The number of event days for the stadium is expected to increase from current stadium operations.”

The South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury Bulldogs have long-term contracts in place to continue playing out of ANZ Stadium and would likely only consider using the Parramatta venue if their home ground is locked up during reconstruction.

ANZ Stadium had originally been earmarked to be redeveloped in stages over four years that would allow the venue to continue hosting regular season matches.

However there is a suggestion the redevelopment time frame could be halved, forcing clubs to take games to other venues including the new western Sydney stadium.

The Dragons are weighing up their venue strategy which expires at the end of this season, but given their commitment to Kogarah and Wollongong it’s highly unlikely they’ll consider playing out of Parramatta.

The Wests Tigers are in a similar predicament in their commitment to Leichhardt and Campbelltown but are also in discussions over their venue strategy.

The Panthers have no intentions of leaving the foot of the mountains, recently ending a $250,000 deal to play a game in Christchurch to reaffirm their commitment to the region.

“The impact of up to three NRL clubs using the stadium on a regular basis has been assessed to ensure an adequate study of potential impacts to the community and environment. It will also ensure that planning approval for the new stadium is sufficient if other sporting franchises decide to use the stadium.”


NRL: 30 gamesA-League: 12 gamesW-League/FFA: 3 gamesSuper Rugby: 1 gameNRC: 3 gamesConcerts: 3 eventsTraining sessions: 49

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