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Flood of concern over ponds

Aerial view of the ponds
Nanjing Night Net

THE state government’s environmental watchdog investigated Santos’ holding ponds in the Pilliga forest on Friday, after the community raised concerns about their capacity.

However the company said there was no need to be alarmed, as the ponds still had ample room.

Like most of the region, the Pilliga forest was battered by heavy rain throughout the week.

Ex-government ecologistDavid Paull was so worried about the ponds’ ability to handle the deluge of water, he jumped in a plane to get an aerial view of them.

He wasn’t happy with what he saw, taking dozens of photos.Mr Paull said there were “real question marks” over the ponds’ capacity to handle heavy rain and flooding.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) said it was aware of heavy rain in the Narrabri area and sent staff to inspect the water levels.It found no evidence the water had overflown and no environmental concerns were identified.

“The EPA’s inspection confirmed that the ponds still have significant capacity,” an EPA spokeswoman said.

“The EPA will continue to monitor the site.”

A Santos spokeswoman said the two holding ponds, which are divided into four cells, weren’t in any danger of spilling over.

While it may look like one of the cells was close to flowing into its neighbour, the company says the room around the edge of the pondpaints adifferentpicture.

“Today the ponds are not even close to the maximum permissible operating level,” the spokeswoman said.

Heavy rain and flooding was considered during the construction of the ponds.

“The Leewood ponds have ample capacity to deal with Santos’ ongoing operational needs and any rainfall events- including one in one-hundred year events,” the spokeswoman said.

“The Leewood ponds meet or exceed all of the NSW Government’s Dam Safety Committee guidelines and are operated in accordance with the design standards.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

NO: West Coast council general manager Dirk Dowling has refused to include a family violence clause in the council’s new EBA, according to union official Dennis Mullins.The general manager of the West Coast Council has refused to include a family violence clause in the organisation’s new enterprise bargaining agreement, a union official says.
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The Australian Services Union (ASU) has been negotiating a new EBAwith the council since March, with no resolution yet reached.

ASU Tasmania branch coordinator Dennis Mullins said on Friday a family violence clause has been accepted by each of the previous eight councils the union has negotiated with, including Central Coast and King Island.

The clause is activated by situations of extreme family violence and allows up to two weeks additional leave and practical provisions in the workplace, for example, changing a phone number.

The council’s general manager, Dirk Dowling, was contacted but declined to comment except to confirm the council were in negotiations.

Mr Mullins went on to say the council’s offer would hurt staff financially, and added some employees would be left“working poor.”

“The West Coast council’s offer of two per cent year one and CPI-only for years two and three gives no certainty, no guarantees and certainly no catch-up of the amount they are behind,” he said.

“This is particularly reprehensible when you consider that West Coast costs of living are now higher than anywhere else in the state.”

He said outdoor workers at the council onaverage earn$46,000 per year.

Mr Mullins negotiated the current agreement three years ago with council’s previous general manager, Paul Lockwood, who acknowledged employees were paid less than their counterparts in other municipalities.That agreement allowed for raises of five, 4.5 and four per cent over three years.

“That was designed to bring West Coast council halfway toward the average,” Mr Mullinssaid.

“There was an undertaking by Paul Lockwood that there would be a substantial rise again to try and address the shortfall that the West Coast employees face when compared to anyone else.”

But Mr Mullins said Mr Dowlingrefused to honour the agreement, which he said is on record in the minutes of the bargaining agreement.

Mr Mullins said staff are paying for the council’s forecastbudget surplus, rate freeze and increased expenditure on capital works.

He said he will lodge for a protected action ballot with the Fair Work Commissionon Monday.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Greyhound outrage continues

Silence on greyhoundsThe outrage continues, justifiably, on the Baird decision to close down the greyhound racing industry totally disregarding any real consideration of the impact to the voting community either morally, socially, or financially.
Nanjing Night Net

Readers should not forget that when the Closure Bill was finally presented to theNSWLower House of Parliament our local Member, Mrs Williams, together with the vast majority of her Party colleagues, voted with the government to support the Bill. This without any consultation with the electorate.

I wrote to Mrs Williams on August 30expressing my disgust at her and her Party’s stance on this issue.Since then, no acknowledgement, let alone a reply, just the deafening silence. However, this will not be forgotten.

Anthony Moy,Port Macquarie

Increase awarenessDuring Dementia Awareness Month, which runs throughout September, Alzheimer’s Australia is calling for greater awareness and understanding of dementia so people living with the condition feel less isolated and alone.

There are more than 353,000 Australians with dementia and an estimated 1.2 million people involved in the care of someone with dementia. In the Port Macquarie electorate there are an estimated 1,750 people living with dementia. That figure is projected to increase to about 3,500 by 2050.

A survey just released by Alzheimer’s Australia has found that people with dementia are almost twice as likely to have high rates of loneliness, and people with dementia and carers are significantly more lonely than the general population.

Treating people with the same respect, kindness, inclusiveness and thoughtfulness you always have is what makes a difference to them. They are still the same person they were before the diagnosis. They just may need a little bit more time, understanding and support.

John Watkins OAM

CEO Alzheimer’s Australia

Protect TAFELast week was National Skills Week, and we should have seen the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, The Hon Karen Andrews, MP to press the case for a bigger national vocational training effort.

However, we did not hear a word aboutskills and apprenticeshipsas a driver for improving the living standards of all Australians and to give apprentices the mobility to move to better paid jobs through training in both practical and theoretical skills, that is, the combination of on-the-job practical training and off-the-job technical training.

The fundamentals of a developed economy rely to a large degree on the skills of tradespeople, and the way in which those skills are passed from one generation to the next.

What we do know is that everything that underpins our standard of living relies on the skills of our workers. These skills drive the incremental changes that are constantly improving our industries and economic performance.

That is why I am so concerned the Turnbull government will capitulate to the small but vocal group of employers who want to change our entire skills and apprenticeships system for their own benefit,to the detriment of apprentices.

TheTAFE apprenticeship training system has been stable and effective, while ‘for profit’ providers rort the system to the tune of billions of dollars and offer online courses with no workshop or hands on experience.

Now the Turnbull government is making matters worse. Afterstripping $1b from the apprenticeships systemin their first term and overseeing acollapse in apprenticeship numbers, the government’s first decision post-election was to spend $9.2m on ill-defined pilot programs that the minister, Simon Birmingham himself describes as “slight adaptations of the apprenticeship model”.

There is a real danger this will lead to a system where low-paid trainees work at a company for a short period and learn narrow skills that a particular company needs. These workers can become captive to the success or failure of the enterprise as their skills are not transferable. Some employers want the taxpayer to foot the bill for these trainees, by dressing them up as ‘apprenticeships’.

This money would be better spent providing increased support to ourTAFEsystem and on helping apprentices through policies such as Labor’sTools for your Tradeprogram, scrapped by Abbott and Turnbull.

We need a system based on stable institutions like TAFE and a cooperative relationship amonggovernment, employers and unions. While unions are seen as the enemy by the Turnbull government, its most senior ministers can be heard at times praising the reforms of the Hawke and Keating governments; reforms that were a product of a joint approach to training involving government, workers and business working cooperatively.

We need better analysis of why business is shifting the cost of training to government, and how we can address the reduced business expenditure on training and the need to develop the skills required for advanced production methods and new technology.

I am not arguing there should be no improvement to our apprenticeships systems, but we have to start from the principles of what works, and that is a real employment contract for apprentices and the learning of industry-wide skills.

We must build on the best legacies of the apprenticeship training system that preceded the free market experimentation that has so clearly failed. In doing so we are more likely to find a way to meet the challenges we face.

Colleen Carmody,Port Macquarie

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Liquids pouring on weight

Are you trying to lose weight, but failing to see tangible or satisfying results?
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Fourteen days should be enough time for you to start noticing shifts in your body and overall health when following a healthy diet for weight loss.

So if you can’t see or feel any changes you may be doing this one simple thing wrong.

You might be drinking the wrong beverages too often.

We seem to think that drinks aren’t as harmful as food when it comes to weight gain and total health.

But it turns out that drinks and beverages in general can be a massive hindrance and can lead to unwanted weight gain and so could well be the reason that your weight loss efforts aren’t working.

Just because it’s liquid and the texture doesn’t feel as bulky and solid when entering the body as solid food doesn’t mean it isn’t doing you harm.

Think of a milkshake for example.

They often consist of ice cream, sugary-flavoured syrup and sugary milks to add extra taste.

If the ingredients weren’t blended into a liquid and you were able to place it into a bowl it would look, taste and feel no different than a bowl of desert.

Texture has alot to answer for, because it really is so easy to consume beverages and be under the impression that they aren’t doing you harm.

One of my favourite hot drinks is a Chai Latte, I could have three a day if I let myself, but one regular chai latte consists of 1700 kilojoules.

Would you believe it if I told you that one large chai latte has the same amount of kilojoules as a double cheese burger?

And if you’re having two chai lattes a day that’s almost half of the recommended daily kilojoule intake for an adult.

Scary isn’t it! That’s just one example.

Fruit juices, sports drinks and iced coffees that you can grab from most supermarkets and general stores are just as bad.

Alcoholic beverages will hijack your weight loss too.

And don’t event get me started on energy drinks.

I still think it’s important to have a balanced lifestyle so do t think that you have to completely cut out your simple pleasures in life, but if you are struggling to shift unwanted kilos, the beverages that you are consuming on a regular basis could be the culprit.

The average daily recommended kilojoule intake for an adult is 8700.

The actual number of kilojoules you need will vary depending on your age, gender, activity levels and love circumstances.

If you require assistance with your weight loss please seek advice from your doctor or see a weight loss consultant.Follow me on Snapchat @cassienewsome

Deceptive: Beverages can hijack your weight loss objectives.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Prison brings works

A clean slate: Workers and machinery begin works for the construction of a rapid-build prison at Wellington. The jail is growing to accommodate a record increase in inmates across the state. Photo: FAYE WHEELERConsultants, subcontractors and suppliers from NSW’s central west are already playing a part in a $150 million jail expansion at Wellington and more employment for local workers is on the horizon.
Nanjing Night Net

Managing contractor Hansen Yuncken reported it had already engaged “a mix of local and other state-based contractors” to assist in the delivery of the rapid-build prison project.

Workers and machinery can be seen on the site at the Wellington jail, less than two months after the first sod was turned on August 5.

Sourced from the central west so far were surveyors, concrete supplies, light-weight steel structures, and hardware and office supplies, Hansen Yuncken project director Matthew O’Grady said.

“We also anticipate that some of our subcontractors may engage people from the region and in some cases team up with local subcontractors,” he said.

Applications for a number of other positions, including foreman, project/ site engineer, safety officer, leading hand carpenter and site secretary, were to close on Friday.

The company that has already delivered numerous projects in the Orange, Bathurst and Blayney districts may make further contributions to the Wellington economy.

Hansen Yuncken had investigated options for accommodation that would be required for people working on the rapid-build prison at Wellington, which would bring benefits to businesses in the central west, Mr O’Grady said.

“One of the benefits that flow from construction works is the multiplier effect, wherein people working on the project spend time during the lifecycle of the project and spend money in the local community, providing stimulus to local restaurants and clubs,” he said.

Hansen Yuncken reported contacting more than 20 organisations including bus companies to look at transport options, and the feedback to date had been “excellent”.

The company anticipated being able to fill the remaining project positions from the inquiries coming through.

New correctional centres at Wellington and Cessnock will be the first rapid-build maximum security prisons in Australia.

Minister for Corrections David Elliott came to Wellington on August 5 and turned the first sod to mark the start of work on the expansion.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

New Meth Helpline now live

THE State Government has launched a free, confidential Meth Helpline service for people concerned about their own or another person’s methamphetamine use.
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Professional drug counsellors, which can be accessed via the State Government’s new Meth Helpline, are available to listen and provide support to people affected by meth.

The helpline, which is available 24/7 both by phone andlive chat online,connects peopleto professional drug counsellors who provide drug counselling and support to peoplein a non-judgemental manner.

The counsellors canprovide emotional support, discuss treatment options, share information about the drug, and referlocal services that can help with ongoing support.

Counsellors are also able tolink parents and other family members to anetwork of trained parent volunteers who have experienced their own child’salcohol or drug use.

Vasse MPLibby Mettamurged people with meth-related issues to call the helpline.

“I hear from constituents who want to know what to do or where to go,” she said.

“TheMeth Helpline can provide that advice, information and support.

“No matter what the circumstances, helpline counsellors will be there to listenand provide help and support.”

The Meth Helpline can be reached on 1800 874 878, or by visiting the drugaware南京夜网419论坛.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Maranoa is not a backwater

Maranoa Memeber, David Littleproud stands in the House to make his maiden speech.Mr LITTLEPROUD (Maranoa) : Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. It is truly a great honour to stand in this nation’s 45th Parliament representing the people of Maranoa as their 10th representative. I am extremely proud to stand here today as the third consecutive generation of the Littleproud family to serve the people of Queensland in all three tiers of government.
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My grandfather, George Littleproud, served at the local level as deputy mayor of the Chinchilla Shire; my father, Brian, served at the state level as Minister for Education and the Environment; and now I have ascended to the federal level, an achievement that my family and I are incredibly proud of and humbled by.

Maranoa is one of Australia’s 75 Federation seats and the nation’s fifth largest electorate in land size, spanning more than 730,000 square kilometres across Queensland, encapsulating some of our country’s most diverse and productive land and, more importantly, some of its most resilient, hardworking and resourceful people.

Maranoa extends along more than 90 per cent of the Queensland-New South Wales border, all of the Queensland-South Australia border and nearly half of the Queensland-Northern Territory border. From Stanthorpe in the south-east to Birdsville in the far south-west, and from Winton and Bedourie in the north-west to Kingaroy and Blackbutt in the north-east, Maranoa covers more than three-times the size of Victoria. It is managed at a local level by 17 regional and shire councils and seven state seats in the Queensland parliament.

Before I go any further, I acknowledge the 37 traditional owner groups across Maranoa, covering the Eyre, Riverine, Kooris and Murris regions.

I acknowledge their elders and the significant role they play as custodians in the preservation and advancement of Australia’s first people’s culture in Maranoa. Maranoa, by reason of its sheer size, is a diverse electorate of industry and opportunity, ranging from mining, with the development of the gas and coal industry, to manufacturing, primarily in the value-adding of our agricultural products, to the increasingly important tourism industry.

Tourism continues to mature in Maranoa as our brand develops and travellers gain an appreciation of our unique lifestyle. Tourism continues to play an important part in the diversification of our small communities and their economies, particularly through drought.

However, agriculture is the common thread that links each and every community across Maranoa together; it is the major contributor to every community’s economy in terms of employment, returns to producers, and support to small businesses in each of our communities.

I am proud to say I have lived and worked in Maranoa all my life. I grew up in the little town of Chinchilla some 3½ hours west of Brisbane. Growing up in Chinchilla was the quintessential childhood in a small country town —plenty of mates, cricket, football, tennis, swimming, fishing and camping. You were raised not just by your family in Chinchilla but by the entire community. My pulse always lifts when I go home to Chinchilla; it is the knowledge and comfort that you are in the familiar surrounds of family. Chinchilla made me who I am today, and I am forever grateful for the investment the community of Chinchilla has invested in me.

Professionally I was fortunate enough to forge a career in banking, living and working in many parts of the electorate such as Miles, Nanango, Charleville, St George, Stanthorpe and ultimately Warwick, where my wife and I now live and raise our three boys, Tom, Hugh, and Harry, who are all here tonight. My wife and I have not only made the ultimate investment in Maranoa by bringing our family up there but also invested in our own small business in Warwick employing local people, because we believe in the future of our community and Maranoa.

I do not want to spend my time today talking about my life story; instead I would like to take this opportunity to talk about the people who have entrusted me to represent them, and the challenges we face—but more importantly the great opportunities that lie ahead of us in Maranoa.

Fundamentally I believe a federal government’s responsibility is not to impose in the daily lives of Australians but to create an environment and the infrastructure around them so they can generate their own wealth that subsequently builds healthier communities.

Preparing for this speech today, I took the time to read the maiden speech delivered in May 1990 by my predecessor, the Hon. Bruce Scott, who passionately and diligently represented Maranoa for more than 25 years —and I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Bruce for his dedication to Maranoa and its people.

It is interesting to note that, in that speech, Bruce described the hardship some parts of the electorate were suffering after devastating floods. Ironically, today many parts of Maranoa face a greater threat from years of enduring drought. The drought in central western and south-western Queensland over the past five years has been an economic, environmental and human catastrophe and it continues to unravel before our eyes.

While recent rain has created cautious optimism, it will take more than a few rain events to allow communities to recover in full. But to reinforce the resilience of the people of Maranoa this glimmer of hope is enough for them to continue on. Some would say it is a country thing, but I say it is a pride thing—pride in our communities and pride in our families.

Nelson Mandela once said, ‘The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.’ That is exactly what the people of Maranoa are doing. Whether it is flood, fire or drought, the people of Maranoa have forged livelihoods but, more importantly, communities that have in turn nurtured some of our country’s finest.

All my professional life has been involved in business, and I have therefore built a strong passion for economic development. I believe economic development not only creates opportunity for individual wealth but, more importantly, builds healthier communities—communities where you can educate your children, receive good health care and have good employment prospects, and that you can travel the world from and, above all, call home.

The trade agreements that this coalition government negotiated over the last three years are fundamental to setting the right environment for Maranoa. The direct impact—particularly for agriculture—has been profound, with those benefits finally being realised at a profit and loss level now. All across the electorate I have been listening to people who tell me of the tangible benefits of these agreements.

Three weeks ago, I was told by one of our beef producers that only two years ago he was receiving $400 a head for his steers but today he is receiving more than three times that amount. This is putting money into the pockets of every producer and, importantly, flowing back into our local communities and stimulating their economies.

But perhaps the most salient reinforcement that these trade agreements will deliver for all of Maranoa came from feedback I received this year when I visited a drought-affected farmer in central western Queensland.

In the depths of financial and emotional despair after four years of debilitating drought, when asked whether they saw a future in agriculture, the response I got was that the only person important to them in politics in Australia was a man called Andrew Robb, our then trade minister, because they knew that when it did rain all the hard work they had done for years keeping their breeding stock alive would be worth something and there would be a future for them and their children.

In this producer’s moment of utter despair and helplessness, the appreciation of the benefits these agreements would provide them and the fact it became a beacon of hope that gave them the strength and courage to fight on is a moment I will never forget.

Trade agreements have been criticised by some who falsely yearn for the perceived comfort of economic policies of yesteryear, but the world has moved past them.

In simplistic terms, we have a population of 24 million but produce enough food for 75 million, so if we do not engage the world we will not have communities like Longreach, Charleville, Roma, Kingaroy or Dalby. We in Maranoa need to embrace the global economy more than anybody. We have what the world wants and our language and our actions need to reflect that; we are now global players. We need to engage the world like we never have before, because the opportunities are boundless. The people of Maranoa are not victims.

We are not some economic backwater. Instead, we hold the keys to our own and the nation’s prosperity. It is a matter of us grabbing it.

While the coalition government has done an outstanding job in creating the right environment around the people of Maranoa in negotiating trade deals and providing small business tax cuts to the 25½ thousand small-business owners in Maranoa, to take advantage of these opportunities it is imperative that we, as a federal government, complement this with the tools of the 21st century.

The great innovators of our country and adopters of technology and science have always been in electorates like Maranoa, because we have to be. Our history in this space runs deep, with the humble beginnings of Qantas nearly 100 years ago in the outback of Maranoa. To this day, Qantas is the only airline in the world to have built its own aircraft. In a small hanger in the outback town of Longreach, commercial aviation in this country was born because of the vision and the need of those who pioneered this great country.

Fast forward this to today, where cutting-edge scientific research and technology has seen the development and production in Stanthorpe of the Queen Garnet plum, a fruit with the highest levels of antioxidants and anthocyanins in the world. Using the best minds and hands in Maranoa—amongst the best in the world—they are changing the shape of food and health globally.

So, when you define the strategic infrastructure needed to continue to forge Maranoa ahead and to complement its people, it comes down to one word: connectivity. It is a continual investment in telecommunications and transport infrastructure that connects our products to the world that will create the innovation and wealth that will make Maranoa a community of choice for people to live in and do business.

Rolling out the NBN to more than 68,000 households and businesses right across Maranoa over the next two years is paramount, but complementing this with mobile phone connectivity is essential. The businesses of Maranoa are operating multimillion dollar cutting-edge technology that requires connectivity to engage in a global economy.

It is not just about the economic benefits of providing these digital tools; there are social responsibilities that need to be met by us as a government. The benefits of telehealth have huge potential for not only improving health outcomes in regional and remote areas but also saving money for patients and taxpayers by reducing significant travel and hospital costs

. More importantly, telehealth will allow people to be treated closer to their loved ones and homes. In education, the coalition government’s commitment to creating designated data plans for distance education students is another initiative that every Australian should be proud of. It is abhorrent to think that the quality of education for children in Maranoa and other regional electorates is determined by their postcode.

This initiative keeps families from having to leave the regions and, invariably, secures the precious human capital we need to be the most productive to build better regional communities. Physical connectivity needs to complement our investment in the digital economy. Our roads and rail are the arteries of Maranoa.

While I acknowledge the social and safety benefits of the coalition’s $1.6 billion investment in the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, the real beneficiary is Maranoa. The connectivity this infrastructure will provide in building efficiency into our exports will be profound and return real dollars to towns right across Maranoa. Coupled with the inland rail, which is one of the great visionary builds of our generation, it will build the framework for innovation and investment that will deliver further opportunity to Maranoa.

It will create an Australian export hub right on our doorstep. These two key infrastructure assets will be further complemented by the new Wellcamp airport, which will see Maranoa’s produce exported around the world and again provide Maranoa the tools of the 21st century. The story of Maranoa from an agricultural perspective is that of ‘just add water’.

While, ultimately, that lies with Mother Nature, there are a number of man-made initiatives that can also play a key role in developing Maranoa and inland Australia. The Murray-Darling Basin plan has had a significant impact on communities in Maranoa. The balance has been weighted disproportionately, without an understanding of the social and economic impacts on our communities. The responsible stewardship of our water is something every Australian takes seriously, and now we have an opportunity to reset the triple bottom line.

The coalition’s commitment to the $2.5 billion water fund is a significant step in acknowledging the power of water to local regional economies.

This initiative has set the foundation to reset the mindset around water usage to one predicated on science and technology and not a blind green agenda. The coalition government has committed to exploring two projects that could potentially transform communities across Maranoa. Transferring the nearly 150,000 megalitres of recycled water a year from Brisbane to the Darling Downs could potentially contribute to addressing the triple bottom line sought in the Murray-Darling plan. Building a business case for the Emu Swamp Dam will potentially also give just as much significance proportionately to the Stanthorpe and Granite Belt region. Having worked in banking in Stanthorpe, I can assure you of the value that a megalitre of water can contribute to not only the agricultural sector but the entire community.

Water infrastructure will not only stimulate Maranoa; it will build resilience for dry times. There are many locations in the central west and south west where water infrastructure opportunities are limited. But the coalition’s investment in dog fencing is also building the resilience of and the opportunity of diversification for many graziers affected by drought.

The economic return to not only the producer but also regional communities is exponential, but so too are the environmental gains. The protection of vulnerable native fauna is something that this initiative has also achieved and should be supported further. Continued infrastructure investment that connects us in Maranoa to a global economy is critical.

I believe any investment by government in Maranoa would not be a handout but something that could be prosecuted on an economic case that we can demonstrate will progress not only Maranoa but the entire nation.

Maranoa contributes more per capita GDP than the Gold Coast, Toowoomba or Townsville. Three regional councils in Maranoa alone contribute more per capita than Brisbane city. Maranoa’s unemployment rate of 2.62 per cent reinforces our economic credentials, our resilience and our work ethic. It is important to remember that this contribution to our nation has been achieved through one of the worst droughts in living memory over the last four years.

It would be remiss of me before I close not to pay tribute to the party people who have guided and counselled me over so many years for their tireless work during the campaign. I thank Phil and Arngel Sturgess; Jen Tunley; Denise Jeitz, who is also here today; Dawn Scrymergour; and Fiona Gaske, to name a few, for all their work. I am humbled by their support. To run a campaign across such a vast electorate with 119 booths was nothing short of a herculean effort. To Gary Spence, the LNP President in Queensland, I offer my sincere thanks for his support during the campaign.

He is a friend I have truly gained through this. I thank my good friend and mentor Lawrence Springborg for his support, friendship and guidance over so many years.

I can only hope that in some small way I can emulate the dignified and statesmanlike way he has held himself over a long career in public office.

I thank my National Party parliamentary colleagues, both here and in the Senate, for their congratulations and support. I am in admiration of the collegiate and nurturing culture that they have preserved as custodians of this great party and to which I now commit myself. But above all I look forward to working with each of them to progress regional and rural Australia. In closing I would like to pay tribute to my family. My wife, Sarah, and our three boys—Tom, Hugh and Harry —are a constant pillar of support for me and for that I am truly grateful.

I also pay tribute to my parents, Brian and Peta Littleproud, who have shaped me into the person I am today. I have had a privileged upbringing not in a material sense but in that I have never wanted for anything that I have needed.

For that I am eternally grateful. I am proud to say that I am the product of Maranoa. It has allowed me to build a career, start a business, travel the world and, above all, raise a family. No matter how long I am given the privilege to represent the people of Maranoa, if the only thing I achieve is to provide those same opportunities to our current children and the generations to come I will have succeeded, and that is all I ask. Thank you.

David Littleproud MPDavid Littleproud MPThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

TAS students Tom Wright and Hugh Worsley have been selected to attend the National Youth Science Forum at ANU in January
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A MIX of scientific, formal, personal development and social activities with hundreds of other bright young people from across the nation awaits two students from The Armidale School who have been selected to attend the National Youth Science Forumat the Australian National University in January.

Tom Wright of Armidale and Hugh Worsley from Inverell are looking forward to the opportunities at the 12-day immersive residential camps, which are an initiative of Rotary.

The campsseek to promote study, research and commercial applications in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“I’m really keen to experience the facilities at a major university and particularly the engineering side of things,” said Tom.

“It will be great to mix with a lot of like-minded young people with such similar interests.”

Hugh agreed.

“It will be great to do some fun science and meet scientists and other professionals who have had interesting careers in the field and also find out what’s happening at a research level,” Hugh said.

NYSF is a prestigious program that helps students moving into year 12 who wish to follow careers in science, engineering and technology by introducing them to research and researchers.

It also encouragesthe achievement of excellence in all their undertakings, and by helping to develop their communication and interpersonal skills.

Students attending the forums learn about the variety of ways that STEM is used in practice and the range of careers that relate to it.

The forum also examines the role STEM plays in broader social and economic issues affecting both Australia and overseas, and how it can provide solutions to past and present problems.

There is also discussion on science in everyday life, ethics, diversity and leadership.

Tom will be attending the first forum in the first two weeks of the new year, while Hugh will be part at the second forum in the last two weeks of January.

Students are selected through one of the 21 Rotary districts around Australia.

Tom and Hugh have been sponsored to attend by the Armidale North Rotary Club.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Letters to the editor

MARRIAGE DEBATE: Peter McMurray, of Lilydale, says a plebiscite on same-sex marriage proposed by the federal government would be a waste of money.Same-sex MarriageIN2004 the Coalitionhad no difficulty in deciding that they had the right to change the Marriage Act to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. The express purpose of the change was to impose the religious view of the leaders on the civil rights of all with particular aim at LGBTI people. A fact that I believe to be in contradiction of the constitution that forbids imposition of any religious observance.
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We now find those same people demanding that we waste up to $200 million on a plebiscite to reverse that decision. Several members say that they will ignore the result.Please can we demand that the politicians do the job they were elected for; make the decision, with a free vote.

Peter McMurray,Lilydale.Tamar RegionTRAVELLERS on roads in the Tamar region during the last week may well have wondered whatwas going on if the saw people in high visibilityvests, scurrying up and down banks on thesides of the roads, cutting down shrubs with a mass of yellow flowers.

What they were seeing is some of the small army of community volunteers mobilised byTamar NRM for the annual Boneseed Blitz.

Volunteersfrom Landcare groups, family groups and “Friends of’ groups have covered hundreds of kilometres of roads in the Launceston, West Tamar and George Town municipalities cutting down boneseed plants and poisoning the stumps to prevent regrowth and pulling out seedlings from the sides of roads, parks and reserves and the foreshore along the Tamar River.

It is pleasing to note that since the start of the annual Boneseed Blitz in 2005, landholdershave become aware of the threat of boneseed and many actively remove the weed on theirown properties and where they see it on public land.

With this volunteer effort during the “blitz”, boneseed has been effectively controlled along many roadsides and reserves.

Boneseed (chrysanthemoides monilifera) is a woody weed and is common within the TamarValley.It can grow densely and crowd out native vegetation and animals. It can also impacton public recreation.

Originating in South Africa, boneseed is a weed of national significance and invades naturalareas and will out-compete native plants, reducing biodiversity.

It can be found in disturbed bushland, housing development blocks, and coastal vegetation and even suburban gardens.This time of year it can be easily seen with its bright yellow daisy-like flowers.

As boneseed is a ‘declared weed’, it is the responsibility of all landholders to control ontheir land.I urge landholders, land managers, large and small, and gardeners to do their bit and take the opportunity to blitz their boneseed before it seeds.

Roger Tyshing, Tamar Natural Resource Management president.Pauline HansonI love Pauline Hanson very much because more she speaks against Muslims, more I get motivated to prove her wrong by doing all the right things.

I respect Australia’sjudicial system as I have never found it contrary to Islamic Sharia law.I chose this country and its democratic values more than a decade ago and I have never been unemployed.

Along with my full-time jobs, I have earned four tertiary qualifications and presently working towards my doctorate degree.

I have never missed any social event, including Clean-up Australia Day, Red Cross Knock Door Appeal, or any other charity event.Just this year, I have helped my small community to raise more than $46,000 for Red Cross.

I have been enjoying the freedom of religion and conscious, immense love and support from Australian community, althoughMs Hanson does not sound Australian to me.

Usman Mahmood, NSW.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Ashley Kirk on his trade display at the the World Brahman Congress at Rockhampton in May, earlier this year.
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Onevendor delighted to return to selling at Rockhampton Brahman Week Sales is Ashley Kirk of Rockley Brahman Stud.

The Rockley Stud will return with a sale team of 10 bulls after an absence of three years.

According to Ashley, the family returns to the sale venue after working through and rebuilding their herd, after Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) was detected at the property in November 2012.

Since then, the Kirk family has welcomed BJD policy changes that have since been implemented, and are happy to put their ordeal behind them.

At the time Ashley’s response to this crippling blow was to reassess, relocate, and rebuild in a way that would position him at the peak of his industry.

“We have so far re-built the stud herd to 150 registered cattle, which are at Ungarra, in the Moura district,” Ashley said.

“We undertook several massive IVF programs to retain our female lines, and chose outside sire bloodlines to match to our donors.

“Our long-term goals are to produce our own sires to use in these programs.”

To rebuild the herd, Ashley drew upon the family’s extensive experience and embraced an IVF program designed to rapidly produce superior progeny, while at the same time preserving their irreplaceable genetics.

He was committed to ongoing visual assessment and data collection, and developed seven elite breeding attributes upon which all the Rockley Brahmans are assessed.

The seven elite breeding attributes included fertility, temperament, sound udders, do-ability, structurally sound, length and width of the beast, and clean underlines.

Additionally Ashley adopted a meticulous elite weaner grading system.

More recently he was named the Northern Australia Beef Research Council (NABRC) young beef achiever.

“I was very honoured to win the award and to be recognised within our great industry,” Ashley said.

“As a young producer, we have limitless opportunities to adopt and implement practices that have been developed through research and development.”

His NABRC nomination came from an existing program facilitator Barb Bishop, of Barbara Bishop and Associates.

The program which concluded in March was a big boost for Ashleyin terms of personal development, as he was recognised as one of nine young Australians chosen to participate in the Graeme Acton Beef Connection Mentor Program.

A component of his program was to develop and implement a project with the support of his mentor, Ken Rich.

Ashley chose to engage a marketing company to promote Rockley Brahmans, so it wouldhave a high profile web page, monthly newsletters, information blogs, twitter, and a hands on customer relationship with clients prior to and after the sale.

Also in 2013, Ashley was awarded a 2013 Australian Beef Industry Foundation Scholarship to take part in the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program.

Ashley said that these amazing programs have really helped him find a structured way forward in terms of getting the Rockley Brahman Stud ‘back on its feet’.

“The past four years have really been tolling on our family business, but on a positive note I have really grown as a person,” he said.

“I have had great support from my family and friends, and I am hoping to be rewarded with consistently strong sales for many years to come.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.