The three people Mark Coulton would invite to dinner

Jul 13 2018

INCUMBENT Parkes MP Mark Coulton wears many hats; husband, father, farmer, MP and Nationals’ Chief Whip.

Mark grew up in Gravesend, the son of Jack and Nancy Coulton of Avondale, and Mark lists his parents as the two most influential people in his life.

“My father taught me the value of hard work and my mother taught me the importance of compassion and always seeing the other side of the story,” he said.

Mark attended Warialda Public School then Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School as a boarding student.

After completing the HSC, Mark returned to the family farm where he worked for 30 years to build a farming and grazing enterprise of cropping and cattle with his wife Robyn, and to raise their three children Claire, Sally and Matthew.

From 2004 until 2007 Mark was the mayor of his local Gwydir Shire Council, serving on numerous parliamentary committees before being elected to House of Representatives for the seat of Parkes.

Mark and his wife Robyn are still a strongteam, travelling large distances across the Parkes electorate, from community to community to meet with constituents.

Fitting then that if Mark could invite anyone to dinner it would be his wife Robyn, his predecessor John Anderson for a greater insight into leading a government and slim dusty to provide entertainment.

His favourite thing to unwind? Mowing his lawn at the end of the week.

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Williams’ apology

Jul 13 2018

Leslie Williams.

Port Macquarie MP and minister for aboriginal affairs Leslie Williams has offered an apology to the stolen generation.

Mrs Williams’ decision comes after welcoming the release of a report by the parliamentary committee inquiry in reparations for the stolen generations.

Minister Williams said she will work closely with stolen generations members and their representative organisations in giving careful consideration to the report and developing the NSW government’s response to its recommendations.

“Today I make my own apology to the stolen generations – past government practice had a profound effect on Aboriginal people,” Mrs Williams said.

“Stolen generations survivors have demonstrated exceptional strength and resilience in bringing their experience to light.”

Minister Williams said Aboriginal Affairs NSW is committed to ongoing support for the stolen generations organisations, as they work to advance healing and education.

The Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation and the Coota Girls Aboriginal Corporation continue to receive financial, peer and operational support to aid their work with survivors and promoting stolen generations education and healing.

Aboriginal Affairs NSW is also working with the recently formed Bomaderry Children’s Home Aboriginal Corporation to build their capacity.

In addition, Aboriginal Affairs NSW in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation, will work alongside interested communities to co-design and convene six Opportunity Choice Healing Responsibility Empowerment (OCHRE)forums.

Aboriginal Affairs is also working with key stakeholders to improve access to family records for Stolen Generations survivors and their families.

“We are committed to listening and working in genuine partnership with Aboriginal people on this complex and sensitive issue,” Mrs Williams said.

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Museum opening irks stakeholders

Jul 13 2018

LOTS TO DO: Orange Regional Museum Fund chair Russell Tym says he would have preferred to see the museum opened before October. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

ORANGE Visitor Information Centre and cafe is expected tobe opened to the public in mid-July, although Orange Regional Museum’s first exhibition will not occur until October, which has frustrated key supporters.

At an Orange City Council meeting earlier this month, councillor Russell Turner asked when some activity would occur inside the building after the exterior’s completion in April.

“There’s no sign of life,” he said.

Community services director Scott Maunder told councillors the tender to manufacture some of the interior features had been awarded and the lead time was four to five weeks.

“We’re expecting to see a but more happening and open it by mid-July,” he said.

“It’s taken longer than we anticipated but we are working through it and expecting that opening to occur.”

However, Orange Regional Museum Fund chairman Russell Tym said no funds for the museum fitout or staffing had been allocated until the 2016-17 financial year, meaning money was unavailable in the meantime.

“But I also understand they didn’t know how long construction would last and they formed the budget in March or April last year and they probably weren’t thinking about the staffing at that stage,” he said.

“There’s a substantial allocation in the 2016-17 budget but assuming you change the exhibit every six months, the cost is substantial.”

Mr Tym said the July 10 opening would allow people to walk through the building with a limited display.

“I would have certainly liked it to be done quicker but I’m not too bothered by it as long as we get to the final result,” he said.

Council spokesman Nick Redmond said the councilapproved the funding for the construction andfitout in 2014 and the resourcing of the museum hadalways been adequate to deliver the museum program.

“As we move from construction to the operation phase, the museum has seen an increase in operational funding to reflect the costs to operate the facility,” he said.

“Part of the justification of getting this project off the ground was a commitment from those backing it that they would raise funds. It’s hoped they remain committed to that goal.”

The museum’s October 1 opening date is subject to confirmation from the federal government.

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Election 2016: Malcolm Turnbull urges ‘no cause for alarm’ as markets plunge at Brexit result

Sep 20 2019

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Launceston. Photo: Andrew Meares Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in Darwin. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Australia votes July 2: Full coverageBrexit campaign wins: Britain votes to leave EU$50b wiped off ASX, pound crashesBrexit to hit Australia as world becomes fragmented, experts warn SCOPE. Weaker growth, falling living standards says forecasting panel

The global jolt caused by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has redrawn battlelines in Australia ahead of the final week of the federal election campaign, catapulting concerns over global disruption and economic stability to the forefront of the agenda.

As world markets plummeted and British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned, both major parties sought to turn the tumult to their advantage, claiming they were best placed to steer Australia through the global headwinds.

On Friday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described Britain’s EU departure as a “momentous and historic decision”.

He said Australians would be concerned by uncertainty and instability in global markets, including a fall in the Australian dollar.

However, Mr Turnbull insisted “there is no cause for Australians to be alarmed by these developments”.

“It is important to remember that the Australian economy is strong and resilient and has weathered global shocks before and weathered them well,” he said.

Many expect the global economic upheaval to work in favour of the Coalition, which is traditionally seen as the stronger economic manager. However Labor also sought to highlight its economic credentials on Friday by pointing to its experience guiding Australia through the global financial crisis, and saying that its proposed budget repair measures such as negative gearing reform would aid Australia’s response to the global turmoil.

Britain’s vote has cast the spotlight onto how well Australia can withstand short to medium term volatility in markets and currencies, and fuelled debate over each party’s plans for economic growth and returning to surplus.

Mr Turnbull said Britain’s exit could take several years to finalise, and Australia’s relations with both Britain and Europe would remain strong.

Australia was negotiating a European free trade agreement and had “built strong ties with the countries of continental Europe, in particular France and Germany”.

However the instability meant Australia “needs a stable majority Coalition government with a strong economic plan that sets Australia up for a prosperous future,” he said.

That plan should “take advantage of those opportunities and resiliently meet the challenges and the headwinds that we cannot always anticipate and that we cannot always influence”.

It was the Coalition’s preference that Britain remain part of the European Union.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said Australia’s economic fundamentals were “solid and not changed by this referendum whatsoever”.

“Share markets go up and down all the time. That’s not an argument to not change a government. The argument about changing the government goes down to the economic fundamentals and the economic plan,” he said.

Earlier in the day, he said the Brexit vote showed the need for “a long-term plan for transitioning Australia from the mining boom”.

“That’s why our long-term economic plan is the right plan for Australia,” he said.

“Labor’s got a plan to make sure that whatever happens in the world, we’re building sustainable, organic, domestic propositions which will see the Australian economy growing. We’ll keep generating the sort of jobs so fundamental to economic prosperity.”

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the result in Britain reinforced the need to ensure political stability in Australia and “keep the settings that we have”.

“The shocks of things like massive changes in our property market as Labor is proposing – negative gearing and increasing capital gains tax – that increases the risk. What we are doing with our plan is to decrease the risk,” he said.

Mr Morrison said the government’s plans for economic growth, which include a $48 billion corporate tax cut, would drive private investment, jobs and competitiveness.

He predicted that Australia and Britain would embark on free trade negotiations. However Fairfax Media understands this will not be a possibility for many years because Britain will first have to renegotiate its membership of the World Trade Organisation as an individual member – an unprecedented process.

Australia’s focus will rather be on reassuring its own trade markets in what could be a turbulent period ahead.

Ahead of the result, Labor’s shadow treasurer Chris Bowen predicted the effects of global uncertainty on Australia would be limited, but said his party “has experience and a track record in the most uncertain global times of the last 80 years,” in reference to the global financial crisis.

“Difficult” Labor decisions such as proposals for negative gearing and capital gains tax reforms would “build very strongly, over the next few years, a very significant medium term repair to the federal budget,” he said, adding that the Coalition’s proposed corporate tax cut was “the biggest impact on growing budget deficits”.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told Fairfax Media that the decision was “a devastating blow for those who were seeking Britain to remain [in the EU].”

– With David Wroe and Deborah Snow

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Malcolm Turnbull quotes Margaret Thatcher as Brexit result hangs over local politics

Sep 20 2019

Turnbull: “It is a reminder, as Margaret Thatcher wisely said once: expect the unexpected.” Photo: Andrew Meares PM met Pat over a cup of tea at the Devonport golf club. Photo: Andrew Meares

PM Malcolm Turnbull arriving at a local event in Tasmania, as Britain votes to exit the EU. Photo: Andrew Meares

The PM campaigning in seat of Bass, held by Liberal MP Andrew Nikolic. Photo: Andrew Meares

Australia votes July 2: Full coverageBrexit campaign wins: Britain votes to leave EU$50b wiped off ASX, pound crashes


All politics, they say, is local.

And so it was that as the historic results came in showing the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, Malcolm Turnbull was in Devonport, Tasmania, announcing $3.5 million for a new function centre for the local golf club.

While it looks and sounds British, the lush lawns of Devonport are a world away from the UK. That’s certainly how it felt on Friday.

As global markets shook and the pound dived, the PM was talking up the importance of providing a new home for the golf club to merge with the nearby bowls and croquet clubs. Outside, a hardy local braved the cold to practice his drive.

Lest anyone suggest this was just pork-barrelling to save a marginal seat, Turnbull stressed this was about creating “jobs and growth” in the local area.

There was hardly a smart phone in sight among the mostly grey-haired crowd of locals gathered to hear the PM speak. So it came as a shock when he shifted from talking about the Tasmanian economy to provide a breaking news update on the Brexit results.

“The vote in Britain for Britain leaving the EU is very close,” he announced, sparking a gasp of surprise among the crowd.

“At this point the Vote Leave is ahead but it is probably too early to call one way or the other.

“If Britain were to vote to leave the EU, and the bookmakers apparently think that is likely, that will create uncertainty and somewhat of a shock.

“You have already seen the pound has lost a lot of value.

“It is a reminder, as Margaret Thatcher wisely said once: expect the unexpected.”

Asked if he was a remain or leave man, Irish expat Patrick Fennessy was cut off before he could answer.

“He already left,” his mate chimed in.

Devonport Bowls Club member Peter Businink, a Remain supporter, was thinking about the importance of unity.

“As a standalone club we’d have no future,” he said.

“By combining together as a we have a chance of survival.”

A powerful message to be sure, but a very different conclusion to that reached in the UK.

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Our top picks for Winterlude | video

Sep 20 2019

BALLARAT is known for its teeth-chattering winters, but certainly at leastfor the coming month, it will also be known as the place to be.

The city’s second-ever Winterlude festival kicks off this weekend, with more than 50 warming events scheduled in for the next four weeks.

Ice skating rink launches in Ballarat. Check out the time-lapse!Here are our top picks:

Australia’s biggest-ever light projection

Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights event will be a stunning highlight of Winterlude, withthe largest light projection spectacle ever staged in the one site in Australia.

City of Ballarat’s pop-up ice skating rink

Fear of getting a soggy behind shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the joys of gliding across the ice. Remember to pre-book here.

Get plump and jolly with the city’s best pies

There are some seriously gourmet pies being entered into this year’s Pie and Pale competition. You’ll need to try them all, of course, just to make sure.

Knights of Fire at Kryal Castle

“Blazing saddles” just took on a whole new meaning. Check out these brave knights and triumphant beasts as they scale fire pits from hell.

Laneways Lumieres

Into art? How about neon, moving, intangible graffiti-art made of light particles? Ballarat’s laneways will come to life with the talents of some of the city’s coolest creators.

Seriously Shiraz

With all that outdoor fun, you’ll need to warm up. With wine, of course.

Hot Chocolate Walking Tours

Find out more about Ballarat’s history and some of the amazing people who have graced the halls of Craig’s Royal Hotel. And finish up with a piping hot choccie.

Winterlude’s flagship attraction, the pop-up ice skating rink in Armstrong Street South, is now fully erected, with its sparkling surface and phasing coloured lights creating an icy atmosphere begging to be experienced.

City of Ballarat gave a fitting launch to the skating rink on Friday, inviting professional figure skater and Victorian Novice Champion Lucette Horsfield to officially break the ice–metaphorically speaking, of course.

Miss Horsfield, 15, said she had been skating since she was five years old and had spent the past six years perfecting her supersonic spins.

The Woodend figure skater, who has wonEuropean titles, saidoutside of Australia, her favourite place to skate was in Poland.

Giving Miss Horsfield a run for her money at the rink’s launch was City of Ballarat mayor himself, Des Hudson.

Cr Hudson, along with fellow councillorGlen Crompton, dashed across the ice with surprising levels of grace.

Cr Hudson said the council was expecting between 80 and 100 skaters during each session.

“Last year the sessions were all really well supported. We had a greater attendance than we expected,” he said.

“This year it’s a slightly bigger rink because of last year’s popularity.

“It’s about celebrating winter in Ballarat. Sometimes people from other cities ridicule us for our weather, but this is about embracing the winter.”

Cr Hudson said the council was happy to slightly subsidise the rink because of the enjoyment it brought to the community.

Sovereign Hill’s Christmas in July and Winter Wonderlights programs also launch Saturday.

Other highlights during Winterlude include Saturday’s Seriously Shiraz festival, flaming horse jumps and jousting at Kryal Castle, the Laneways Live and Local and Ballarat Laneways Lumiere events, and the Pie and Pale competition–the contest to find Ballarat’s best pie.

For more details, visit苏州美甲美睫培训学校winterlude苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛

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Watering down safe standards

Sep 20 2019

WALKING AWAY: Anita Bugges, 60, from Williamtown, is prepared to give up her home to get out of the chemical contamination red zone. Picture: Max Mason-HubersRED zoneresidents are being told it is OKto drink water containing toxic chemicals at levels 78 times higher than what’s deemed safe by the United States.

In a decision being interpreted as an attempt to downplay the extent of the Williamtown contamination scandal, the federal government on Friday released new safe drinking water standards for perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid 78 times higher than those set by the United States only last month.

Basing its decision on European data from 2008, the Environmental Health Standing Committee – or EnHealth – has lifted tolerable drinking water standards from the interim level of 0.2 and 0.4 parts per billion for PFOS and PFOA to 0.5 and 5 parts per billion respectively.

The decision has the potential to dramatically reduce the size of the Williamtown contamination footprint and reduce the cost of the Department of Defence’s potential liability in the scandal.

The new data also sets tolerable daily intake levels much higher than US standards, and introduced a new chemical – perfluorohexanesulfonate, or PFHxS – another shorter chain perfluorinated chemical used in fire-fighting foams.

EDITORIAL: Easing safe PFOS limits a slap in the face But it’s the use of the 2008 European Food Safety Authority’s safe levels as a guidance that has left scientists flummoxed.

TheNewcastle Heraldcan reveal that even some of the panel members who were part of that 2008 determination have serious doubts about its relevance.

Philippe Grandjean is an adjunct professor of environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health, and one of the authors of the report.

He told the Heraldthe panel“didn’t know what we know now” when it made its decision.

“My opinion is the [Australian] government is relying on science from yesterday rather than today,” he said.

“If they really wanted to rely on tomorrow’s science, the way I see it, we are learning more and more about these compounds and they are much more toxic than we thought yesterday.

“I would think a visionary and a precautionary government would want to push the water limits even further down.

“I believe we will soon have convincing documentation that the compounds are more toxic than we thought.”

EnHealth considered other global standards with much lower safe drinking water standards, including the US EPA, whichmade a landmark decision that lowered the safe drinking water standard to 0.07 parts per billion for PFOA and PFOA combined.

But despite the eight-year difference, aspokesman for NSW Health–who have a representative on the EnHealth panel–said itsexperts found that both the US and EUconsidered“similar evidence”but“differed in how they applied this evidence”.

“The US EPA relied on mathematical models whereas the EFSA relied on established factors for the variability between animals and humans,” the spokesman said.

But questions have been raised about the motivation behind the decision.

“It’s extraordinary,” Port Stephens state MP Kate Washington said.

“Every decision that is being made by the federal government confirms the community’s sense that their interests are being put last – particularly their health.

“Instead, it appears that government departments are making decisions based on limiting their liability as opposed to doing the right thing and protecting people’s health.”

Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, a senior adviser to the independent National Toxics Network, said she was “shocked” by the decision.

“You wouldn’t expect it from a university student or even a high school student,” she said.

EXTRAORDINARY: Port Stephens MP Kate Washington, right, says the government is putting its interests ahead of Williamtown residents.

“Even if they wanted to not take any notice of the US EPA, would you not look at all of the data that has come out in the last eight years before you grabbed a standard that is eight years old?”

The news comes at the same time Anita Bugges is about to become the first Williamtown resident to hand her keys back to the bank in order to escape from the red zone. Ms Bugges, 60, has owned property since the age of 23. But she is now preparing to default on her mortgage payments to protect the health of her daughter Michaela and four-year-old grandson Tristan, who live with her on herNelson Bay Road property.

She said she was “gobsmacked’ when she heard the decision on the new Australia drinking water guidelines,which left her feeling “thoroughly vindicated.”

“We need to get the hell away from here,” she said.

“They are absolutely trying to squash every chance of anyone getting compensation.

“They are content to leave thousands of people, stranded on contaminated properties, unable to sell them and dying of cancer.

“I’ll go and couch surf with my goods in storage and my dogs in kennels before I stay here any longer.”

Mr Bugges was originally prepared to stay in the area in order to take part in the class action and because her family had access to clean town water.

That was until a landmark report US EPA report last month found dust was an important exposure pathway for children, who could also ingest the chemicals through hand-to-mouth contact.

She is now prepared to become “homeless” in order to reduce the chance her grandson may in 20 years develop kidney or testicular cancer – diseases both linked with exposure to the chemicals.

“He’s a small boy who lives in puddles,” she said. “His muddy little hands are always touching his face.

“How do you … stay here when every lungful of dust he’s breathing in has PFOS in it?”

Ms Bugges said she was desperately trying to find a rental within three hours of Sydney but she would not be looking anywhere locally.

She becomes tearful when she admits she has been unable to find new homes for her 10 horses due to their age,but can’t bring herself to shoot them.

“I loathe it [the Hunter] now,” she said.

Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, National Toxics Network

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Beware the pain of the stinging tree

Sep 20 2019

The giant stinging tree is common up and down the East Coast and particularly in the Daintree region of Queensland.

Ouch: This relatively harmless looking rainforest plant is anything but. Beware it’s painful sting if you come across it in the Kooloonbung Nature Park.

Until recently, it was fairly rare in Kooloonbung NaturePark, seenonly in certain western areas.

It has quitebig leaves and can grow into a large tree, but not so much inKooloonbung. It prefers sunny places and is therefore common along tracks, rainforest edges and gaps.It does have a painfullyintense sting which can last for months and has been described by some as excruciating.

You will be pleased to know that if stung, the plant hairs can beremoved from your skin using wax hair removal strips.The plant hairsare made of silica,the chief ingredient of glass, but the toxic poison they deliver is worse while the hairs remain on your skin.

Sometimes, just being nearbythe plant and breathing in the hair it sheds can cause itching, rashes, sneezing and nosebleeds.Even the dead leaves that fall to the ground can still cause a painful sting. Allergic reactions can be severe, including anaphylacticshock.

What has brought this increase in numbers here in Port Macquarie? We arefortunate in that it is visited by many migratory bird species. There are about 160types of birds from the norththat visit to breed. Theybringwith them adiversified dietincluding, apparently, stinging tree fruit.

Otheranimals also visit and obviously eat what is available. Therehas also been an increase in wild tobacco bush (which musthave tasty fruit as well as leaves), but it is a pest.

Kooloonbung Nature Park contains a wide and diverse range ofplants and animals and is worth a visit, just make sure you stayon the paths. And if you do travel to the rainforests of Queensland, steer clear of these benign looking trees.

If you, would like to join our bunch of enthusiastic volunteerswho help maintain the park, Monday is our main day. We would welcome your help at any time. CallRex on 0429 680 131.

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Cup dreams: OHS claims Astley title

Aug 20 2019

OHS’ BARMY ARMY: Orange has claimed the 2016 Astley Cup. Photo: NICK GUTHRIETHE skies were black, it was cold and it had even started hailingbut the smiles couldn’t be wiped from the faces of Orange High School (OHS) students after they claimed the 2016 Astley Cup on Friday afternoon.

Thursday and Friday’s tie against Dubbo College Senior Campuswas tight at times, both schools won four sports each, but Orange scored bigvictorieswhen it mattered andwon 428-372 away from home.

After defeatingBathurst 451-349last week, it ensured the Cup will return to the colour city, regardless of the result of next week’s final tie between Dubbo and Bathurst.

OHS’ win in Dubbo was so convincing the final event, the boys’ soccer, was irrelevant, the black and golds had already claimed the tie by then thanks to wins in hockey and girls’ soccer.

“It’s a pretty exciting feeling to regain the Cup,” OHS Astley Cup co-ordinator Tegan Dray said, before speaking about her school’s approach to the tri-school tournament.

“You’ve got to go in with the understanding every point matters and it doesn’t matter if you’re up or down.

“Every point matters and you can’t go out expecting to win or lose so it really, truly is a whole team effort in every sport in that regard.”

OHS took an 84-point lead into Friday’s second day, which they kicked off with a thumping 4-0 victory in the hockey fixture.

Although, as Dubbo co-ordinator Rebecca May said, considering OHS’ penchant for scoring double-digit wins a four-goal loss wasn’t a terrible result for the hosts.

CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS: OHS skipper Josh Swain leads his side on to Caltex Park on Friday afternoon. They lost, but won the tie overall. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Dubbo bounced back though, predictably winning the rugby league 38-6.

At that point OHS led Dubbo 343-257 overall, setting up a grandstand finish should the latter side win the girls’ soccer.

They didn’t, the visitorsdid, sealing their victory and guaranteeing them the Cup as well.

May and Dray both made a point of praising all the students for the spirit in which the tie was played.

The atmosphere at every event was near-deafening while the schools’ colours weresplashed all over Dubbo for the two days of competition.

May added she had no doubt that will continue next week when Dubbo travels to Bathurst, butthere was no doubt the final word belonged to Dray and Orange High.

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More dairy pain for suppliers

Aug 20 2019

One of Victoria’s smaller milk processors has told one of its suppliers her milk payments would work out at less than 40 cents a litre, next season.

National Dairy Products (NDP) supplier Wyena Holsteins, Donna Edge said her income estimate was 34.7c/l.

“That’s my income estimation for next year,” Ms Edge, of Carpendeit, said.

As an NDP supplier, Ms Edge is not eligible for the Federal government’s concessional loans, which only go to Murray Goulburn and Fonterra farmers.

NDP suppliers also had their price cut from $5.90 a kilogram of milk solids to $5.18/kg for April through to June.

It’s 2016-17 net price is $5kg/ms, but Ms Edge said heraverage fat and protein was4.2 and 3.3 per cent.

NDP managing director Tony Esposito thanked suppliers for their support, “through what has been a very tough time.

“National Dairy Products will continue to work with customers and follow the market conditions, to ensure that we are maximising the margins that are able to be passed on to our supplier base,” Mr Esposito said.

Ms Edge said she had a herd of 125 cows, which were highly productive, but the cost of production had gone up by more than $5000 in 12 months.

HARD TIMES: Processors are continuing to reveal milk solids prices, causing further shocks for farmers. Picture: Andrew Miller.

“We look after our cows, even though we need to feed them, its still profitable – the last three years, when it was so dry, we had to borrow quite a bit to feed them.”

She said, on the estimates supplied by NDP, she would be down $50,000 this year.

“That’s $50,000 less next year, than what we got this year, that’s $50,000 we don’t have to spendin the local economy,” Ms Edge said.

“It’s not as if we are going to put it in the bank and leave it in the bank.”

She said she was working, off farm, to try and stay in business.

But she said repairs and machinery purchases would have to be deferred, or let go, altogether.

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Wine industry in fine form

Aug 20 2019

SHIRAZ SUCCESS: Grapegrower Jamie Nietschke said the SA Winegrape Growers’ Summit reaffirmed that Barossa shiraz was the “right place to be” for his family’s Moppa vineyard.THERE was a sense of positivity at the annual SA Winegrape Growers’ Summit this year, with preliminary figures showing the crush was up 15 per cent on last season’s figures.

Wine Grape Council of SA consultant Sandy Hathaway said cool climate regions were up 35pc, while warm climate regions had a 0.6pc increase.

“We’ve got a crush slightly up but prices slightly up as well,” she said.

Cool climate cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay had a 50pc increase, while cool climate shiraz had a 30pc increase.

Pinot grishad an 80pc increase in warm regions and a 47pc increase in cool regions.

“Pinot griswas up substantially off a low base –we know there’s a lot of new plantings coming in there,” Ms Hathaway said.

SA’s total planted area declined marginally to 75,858 hectares with less than 500ha of new plantings. Shiraz accounted for 50pc of new plantings, with cabernet making up 25pc.

Winegrapes Australia general manager Paula Edwards said C grade fruit moved “far quicker and earlier” than A and B grade fruit this season.

“There’s been a real move infocus,” she said.“I think that’s a reflection of what’s driving sales and what price points are moving.”

Ms Edwards said many SA grapegrowers had not achieved a profitable return growing white grapes and the demand volume for alternative varieties remained low.

Continued strong demand for Barossa shiraz and cabernet sauvignon was pleasing for Moppa grapegrower Jamie Nietschke.

“As a Barossa grower, the message for us was Barossa shiraz is still the easiest thing to sell,” he said.”It reaffirmed we’re in the right place.”

Mr Nietschke said it was encouraging to see more positivity at the summit.

His Nietschke Moppa Estate had a “significantly” better year than last year.

“We had no frost issues and utilised irrigationbetter, whichcontributed to our increased tonnage,” he said.

Mr Nietschke said frost fans and increasedirrigationhad contributed to sustainability and reduced fluctuation inproduction.

Outgoing WGCSA chair and berry2wine principal Simon Berry underlined the precarious nature of the industry in his opening address by calling on attendees to let their voices be heard.

“We have a lot of opportunity to work better as growers and winemakers,” he said.

“We don’t want to be dominated by processors and brand owners, butwe want to be partners in jointsuccess.”

Mr Berry said the industry had lost some of its “mystique” and needed a new way of engaging consumers.

“Fine wine is doing well, we have a strong presence, but we need to recapture success across a broader range of wines,” he said.

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Just a bunch of ‘Friday Night Heroes’ having fun: video

Aug 20 2019

LEADFINGER: Just four average guys who love making music. They launch their fifth album at Bulli Herit age Hotel on July 23. Picture: Supplied

Some men play golf, some go fishing, others invest their spare time in cars, but for Stewart Cunningham playing in a rock band is his hobby.

The gardener from Helensburgh startedLeadfingerin 2007 as his creative outlet and avenue for “adventure”.

Nearly a decade on and four-pieceof men aged around 40are about to release their fifth album, Friday Night Heroes, with a launch party at Bulli Heritage Hotel on July 23.

Cunningham reckons they’ve lasted thislong because they’re grounded people and don’t let the band take over their lives, keeping it “real”.

It’s the first time an image of the group has featured on an album cover, something that Cunningham admits was a tough decision.

“We’re not movie stars,” he said. “We’re real people and this is real music.”

They chose not to Photoshop their imperfections on the imageso to expose their“raw grit”, emulating the“soul bearing” songs.

Cunningham, who’s the lead songwriter of the group, faced the sudden death of his mum during recording and said there was a lot of emotion poured into the mix as a consequence.

The result, “down the line rock’n’roll” said Cunningham.

“There’s no money in it,” he said. “But when we get together we know we have areally good time.”


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Group urges water study for pipeline

Aug 20 2019

Edenhope’s Friends of Lake Wallace group has urged West Wimmera council to create a business study for a pipeline extension.AN EDENHOPE lake lobby group fears a state government proposal to extend the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline could be lost because of the electorate is asafe seat.

The state government invested $1 million into a feasibility study, which will look at extending the pipeline to West Wimmera and Ararat municipalities.

Friends of Lake Wallace has urged West Wimmera council to commit to thestudy and spend to create a business case.

The group’s Andrew Farran said water authorities seemed supportive of a pipeline extension to Edenhope.

“To ensure that those authorities will support a pipeline that is sufficient enough to restore and sustain Lake Wallace, a business case is strongly recommended,” he said.

“This should be done professionally and could cost about$50,000.”

The group’s Trevor Domachenz said the pipeline extension project might come downto the state government choosingbetween West Wimmera and Ararat, seeing asboth councils were part of the feasibility study.

“We are a marginal seat and Ararat isn’t, so I wantto know how we can present our case when it’s between us and Ararat Rural City,” he said.

Mayor Annette Jones said council had allocated$15,000 in the 2016-17 budget for a business case.

She said council hadlobbied extensively for the pipeline.

“Every opportunity we get, we refer tothe water situation in our shire and the need for apipeline,” she said.

“Even though it’sraining now, we can’t let this project die –it needs to bespoken about.

“We arenot just sitting on our hands with this.”

Cr Jones said council would not have a role in the decision making.

“We will work to build as good a case as we can,” she said.Chief executive David Leahy said only the state government could decide about the future of the pipeline.

“This is a process steered by state government and weare a player in it,” he said.

“We can’tdetermine how the government will spend its money, we can only advocateto ensure all opportunities are explored.”

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