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Archive for September, 2019

Shire joins power trip

MOYNE Shire has thrown its support behind a push for improvements to the south-west’s electricity infrastructure.

The Wannon branch ofUnited Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV) is leading the charge to upgrade the state’s low-capacity single-phase powerlines to three-phase power line, which are necessary to operate high-output machinery such aslarge-scale dairies.

UDV policy councillor Oonagh Kilpatrick and vice-president Bruce Knowles made a presentation to Moyne Shire on Tuesday night andrequesteda letter from the council demonstrating their support for the campaign.

POWER SOURCE: UDV representatives Bruce Knowles (left) and Oonagh Kilpatrick are leading the charge for three-phase power.

Mr Knowles, who is also a Tyrendarra dairy farmer, said he had been told it would cost him $1.5 million to connect his dairy to the nearby three-phase power line.

The council unanimously agreedto conduct their own letter-writing campaign and “to work in partnership with (the UDV) to investigate possible funding sources”.

The council will express its support for the UDV’sthree-phase power campaign by writing letters to Premier Daniel Andrews, state Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford, state Small Business Minister Philip Dalidakis, and members forWestern Victoria Gayle Tierney, James Purcelland Simon Ramsay.

Cr Jill Parkerput forward the motion for council to get behind the UDVcampaign andsaid it was an important matter for the shire.

“The majority of the shire is dependent on agriculture and agriculture-related business,” Cr Parker said.

“If there’s insufficient power it’s very hard to expand the economic development of the region.”

Cr Jim Doukas said Moyne Shire needed to join forces withother south-west councils andlobby the state government.

Cr Ralph Leutton said the cost of converting the state’s rural power supply to three-phase “may be horrific”.

But he said it needed to happen.

“We’ve been looking at the NBN and we don’t even have a proper power supply to our farming businesses,” Cr Leuttonsaid.

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Double team: Flames’ Julie Rodda has Rekunow sisters Tahlia (left) and Katrina (right) either side of her during an earlier meeting this year.Three years after they won their 14th, Flames will on Sunday be attempting to win their 15thTamworth womens first grade title.

Challenging them for it will be defending champions Waratahs.

It will be Waratahs third straight grand final. The first, incidentally, they went down to Flames 3-1 in what wasFlames’ last appearance in the decider.

They go into Sunday as favourites after finishing minor premiers and beating Waratahs in the major semi-final two weeks ago.

The blueprint won’t differ too much from that. It’s more a matter of just executingbetterin a few areas.

“Once again I think the midfield will be very important,” coach Barrie Pritchard said.

“I think we’ve also got to be a lot better in our deep defence than we were in the major semi-final.”

Particularly on Waratahs’ counter-attacks they need tobe closing down the channels and marking better.

Secondly they need to show patience moving the ball forward. That was probably Pritchard’s biggest frustration out of the semi-final.

The other thing he will be looking for is a bit more quality in the circle.

“We need to improve our quality around and in the circle,” he said.

They had about 13 short corners that last game and only scored off about three.

He felt the inclusion ofKim Resch, Naomi Sparkand Kate Ferguson this year had madea big difference.Julie Rodda is also playing much better hockey this year, he said. Tegan Smith has also been a goal-scoring machine and he’ll be counting on her to make a nuisance of herself in the circle.

“The girls have done really well to be minor premiers and win the major semi-final. We just need to back it up on Sunday,” he said.

“If they producea really good game they will be hard to beat.”

Waratahs were four seconds away from missing out on the grand final and, under no illusions about the task in front of them,know they have tostart better than what they did two weeks ago.

“We’ve got to get ourselves into the game from the get go,” coach Graeme McKenzie said.

“We also need to be deliberate in where we want to play them.We want to try and avoid them getting their key players in the game.”

They have tweaked things a bit from the major semi.

“We’ll be a slightly different structure to what we were two weeks ago,” he said.

“We’ve probably stiffened up the defensive line.”

Tayla King drops back into the defensive line after playing in the midfield last time round.

McKenzie again expects the midfield to againbe critical, as will the two circles.

“Itstill comes down to both ends of the field,” he said.

“Whether we can take the edge off their very strong attack and whether we can score goals.”

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Esperance Theatre Guild president Barry Wroth is ecstatic about a funding announcement for the Bijou Theatre.

THE entertainment scene in Esperance is about to get a whole lot better, following the latest round of fundingof the Regional Venues Improvement Fund (RVIF).

Celebrating its 120th birthday this month, the Bijou Theatre has been given a birthday gift of $40,025 from the State Government through Royalties for Regions.

The upgrades will help reduce the theatre’s energy consumption and operating costs and will enable the theatre to further attract visiting touring productions to Esperance. The total cost of upgrading to state-of-the-art equipment was $63,235. The grant of $40,025 will contribute significantly enabling the Guild to maintain a strong financial position for future needs.

Esperance Theatre Guild president Barry Wroth said he wasecstatic when told the grant application was successful.

“What a wonderful gift to the theatre at the commencement of its 120th year,” he said. “Anotherbenefit is that as the Esperance Civic Centre was also a recipient and is upgrading its lighting equipment with the same brand, we will now be able to hold training workshops where interested members of the public and high school students can learn how to operate the state of the art lighting desks.”

The new equipment will be installed early in 2017.

The good news continued for theEsperance Civic Centre, which isabout to receive much needed upgrades thanks to an allocation of the RVIF. The Shire of Esperance has been awarded $138,292 to replace and upgrade audio and lighting equipment at the Civic Centre, with current equipment no longer fit for purpose. The Esperance Civic Centre is the hub for professional performing arts presentation in the Esperance region. The Centre supports a range of ”bought in” touring productions and productions that hire the facility. The Esperance Civic Centre has used equipment that was purchased as far back as 1981, when the venue first opened.

Shire president Victoria Brown said it was wonderful to hear about the successful RVIF grant for the Esperance Civic Centre, and also for theBijou Theatre.

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Under the IFED proposal, water was to be diverted from the Einasleigh and Etheridge rivers into two artificial off-stream lakes and channelled to pumping stations to supply irrigation.The $2 billion Integrated Food and Energy Development (IFED) project at Georgetown has come to a grinding halt.

ChairmainKeith DeLacy is blaming the state government for the project’s suspension, saying it haddeclined to extend the environmental approval process.

“The present approval process under the auspices of the Coordinator-General was scheduled to be completed onSeptember 5,” he said.

“We applied for an extension on July 25 but this has been declined. This seems to leave us with no way forward.

“The irony is that we had sufficient funds committed to the project to take us through the requested approval process.”

The Etheridge Integrated Agricultural Project, cropping sugar and guar, growing and processing cattle, and aquaculture,was a declared coordinated project undergoing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process with the Coordinator-General.

It proposed to store 2000 gigalitres of water from the Gilbert River, and reserves were being held back from release by the government until after the EIS process was completed.

Accordingto a Department of Natural Resources and Mines spokesman, the initiative’s status as a coordinated project lapsed because IFED wasunable to provide an EIS to the Coordinator-General by the September 5 deadline.

“The Memorandum of Understanding between the Queensland government and Integrated Food and Energy Developments Pty Ltd requires an EIS to be finalised before consideration can be given to assessing the project’s water needs,” he said.

“The Coordinator-General’s decision does not prevent the proponent from lodging an application to proceed with an integrated agricultural project in the future.”

He added that Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham wasnow considering the release of unallocated water in the Gilbert River catchment.

Mr De Lacy gave no reason for not submitting the EIS, only stating thathe and the IFED team were very disappointed with the decision, saying they had put$1 million of their own funds and three years of their lives into theproject.

“The fact of life is that there are a lot more people opposed to projects like this than supporting them,” he said.

Mr De Lacy believedit did not bode well for economic growth and jobs in Queensland, especially regional Queensland.

He said the IFED team were still believers in the project.

“The area surrounding the Gulf of Carpentaria was the last great frontier for agricultural development left in the world.

“There is an extraordinary amount of water, arable land and sunshine available for sustainable development.I fear now that these boundless opportunities may now be missed.

“However the approval and regulatory challenges are enormous – a factor poorly understood or appreciated in George Street and Canberra.”

Controversy surrounded the project, with claims thatthe proponents and the Newman government had signed a secret protocol.

The Wilderness Society also accused Dr Lynham and the Palaszczuk government of negotiating a secret deal with the former Labor treasurer to give the company exclusive water rights, following the signing of a new memorandum of understanding last year.

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The Camp Quality Tractor Trek will be starting at the Cowra Showgroundon Friday 23 September at 8am The 24 tractors in the trek will be camping overnight at the Showground on the Thursday prior to the trek

The trek will be passing through Billimari, Canowindra, Woodstock before returning to Cowra on the Friday night

The trek which goes for three3 days is aiming to raise $240,000 which will be enough money to look after the 64 families cared for by Camp Quality in the Central West at the present time

The Cowra Lions Club is assisting the Trek by holding a fundraising dinner and auction at the Cowra Bowling Club commencing at 6.30pm on the Friday night 23 September.

Tickets are $30 and are available from the Cowra Visitors Information Centre

Trek Director Mr. Graeme Eggleston urged Cowra citizens to come to the fundraising dinner and support this worthy charity

Dick Morrison and Bruce Holt are ready for the Tractor Trek. Their tractor will be on display on Thursday from lunchtime at the Railway Hotel in Cowra. Federation Fotos.

After travelling to Grenfell on the Saturday the trek will return to the Cowra Showground on Sunday morning 25 September at 12.30 pm and will conclude with a BBQ for participants kindly put on for the Trek by staff of the Railway Hotel.

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