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Bid to drought-proof Lachlan Valley

SOURCE: Central Western Daily

CENTRAL Tablelands Water (CTW) wants all Calare’s federal election candidates to back a new 90,000 megalitre dam on the Belubula River near Canowindra.

But Orange is unlikely to benefit, with the water provider’s sights set on drought-proofing Canowindra, Blayney, Cowra, Parkes, Forbes and other towns in the Lachlan Valley.

The Needles site on the Belubula River was earmarked as a better location for the Carcoar Dam 40 years ago, but was abandoned after political wrangling, CTW general manager Tony Perry said.

State Water put the proposal back on the table last year when Infrastructure NSW recommended it as one of several dams for regional NSW in the next 20 years.

“Together with Blayney and Cabonne councils CTW is very keen for the proposal to get a guensey,” Mr Perry said.

As well as providing water security for the Lachlan Valley during drought, Mr Perry said the dam would offer flood mititgation for the Belubula valley downstream, including Canowindra, and take pressure off the Lachlan River.

Nationals incumbent John Cobb and Country Labor candidate Jess Jennings have both taken an interest in the project, Mr Perry said.

Mr Cobb fell short of saying he would lobby for the project if elected, but said he supported the investigation of permanent water security options for the entire electorate.

“Should I be given the responsibility to represent Calare and be part of a new government I will further discuss the water security options for the region with the relevant stakeholders,” he said.

Dr Jennings appeared to be on the same page, saying he was in favour of a regional solution for water security, but would need to further investigate the “pros and cons” before promoting the Needles dam for federal funds.

“I think that it has strong potential to alleviate urban pressure around the Blayney area,” he said.

“The Needles dam provides a much more widespread benefit than the Macquarie Pipeline.”

Mr Perry believes the push for the Needles dam will not be affected by the $20 million the federal government has allocated to the Macquarie Pipeline.

Although costs for the dam are yet to be calculated, Mr Perry said it would be cost effective and would mean plans for an upgrade to Lake Rowlands could be abandoned.

He also hoped to get backing from Centroc to continue lobbying for the new dam.

Sizing up:

* Proposed Needles dam on the Belubula River: 90,000 megalitres

* Carcoar Dam: 35,800 megalitres

* Suma Park Dam: 18,073 megalitres

* Lake Rowlands: 4500 megalitres

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POINTY END: Central Tablelands Water general manager Tony Perry and Cabonne deputy mayor Lachie MacSmith at the site of the proposed Needles dam on the Belubula River.

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Scholarships offer new opportunities

Member for Orange Andrew Gee has reminded social housing residents that they have only 16 days left to apply for the 2014 Housing NSW Youth Scholarships.

The final date for entries is August 30, 2013

Mr Gee said the Youth Scholarship program, now in its eighth year, is aimed at encouraging and supporting young social housing residents to finish their Higher School Certificate or TAFE equivalent.

Two hundred students will each receive scholarships to the value of $2000 to assist them to complete their studies.

“It is important that we make sure young people who live in social housing have every opportunity to complete their HSC and move on to higher education or employment,” Mr Gee said.

“I urge all eligible students to apply, as the scholarship could open the door to exciting opportunities into the future.

“I also encourage schools, communities and families to play an active role in supporting those who are eligible for this program.”

Mr Gee said past recipients had not only achieved their HSC but had gone on to university degrees or TAFE courses in professional fields such as medicine, nursing, childcare, law, community work and teaching.

“These Youth Scholarships are part of a broader range of initiatives run by the NSW government aimed at helping teenagers and young people,” Mr Gee said.

To be eligible for the Youth Scholarships, students must be under 25 years old, live in or be on the waiting list for social housing, be studying Year 11, 12 or TAFE equivalent and be supported by their school or educational institution.

The student’s educational institution manages the funds, which can be spent on items such as computer equipment, text books, course materials, or tutoring.

The closing date for applications is August 30, 2013.

Application forms are available at the Housing NSW website: www.housing.nsw.gov.au.

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Halls Head Community College to get $16million 

STUDENT numbers at Halls Head Community College are expected to morethan double following a $16million expansion funded in this year’s State Budget.

Plans are to construct more buildings, including a dedicatedscience building with laboratories and a renovated gymnasium.

Education Department executive director of infrastructureJohn Fischer said the upgrades would bring the capacity ofthe school to1400 students, up from a current 675.

“Of this figure, $16million will be spentthisfinancial yearon stage two [of the development] to provide specialistfacilities and general learning areas for students in Years 11 and 12.”

An eight-room classroom block will also be constructed tocater for year seven students entering into secondary schools in 2015.

The project is due to go to tender this month with constructiontobegin in mid October.

The Year 7 component will be completed for the start of the2015 school year and the remaining senior school works completed during 2015.

Lakelands will also receive a further $6million in thebudget for a new primary school, due to open in 2015 to cater for the growingpopulation and to relieve overcrowding at other schools in the area.

“Stage one of the development, a kindergarten/pre-primaryarea, will begin as soon as possible with the intent of opening at the start ofnext year,” Mr Templeman said.

“This is excellent news, it will probably take 150 or morestudents away from Meadow Springs.

“The number of families with small children in Lakelands isremarkable and this will mean their children can start at the new schoolstraight away.”

Mr Templeman said the school would then be completed forchildren up to year six to open in the start of 2015.

“The school is being built to meet the needs of the area’sgrowing population and will feature air-cooling, interactive whiteboards andstate-of-the-art technology,” he said.

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Training pays off for Justine

From training around Geurie of a morning to tackling “Heartbreak Hill” in the City to Surf and jogging all the way with 85,000 people, Justine Williams just finished her second marathon this year with a personal best of one hour and 40 minutes (instead of last year’s one hour 56).

The mother of three and daughter of Wellington locals Dorothy and Neil Blake, first started jogging last year in the Couch to 5km program and became hooked by the sport.

Money raised by Ms Williams in the Sun Herald City to Surf on Sunday will go towards Epilepsy Australia, a cause very close to her heart.

“Epilepsy has touched our family in the past 12 months, with my niece passing away at the age of 25 from a suspected epileptic episode last June,” she said.

Her previous marathon this year, the City to South in Brisbane was particularly trying, four days before the anniversary of her niece’s death.

Needless to say, on the completion of the second physically and emotionally gruelling run, her family was very proud and her sister is thinking about joining her next year.

“I had to hold myself together and for the second run I hadn’t been able to do as much training, but I was able to push a bit further and it was a good feeling to finish,” she said.

In particular, she enjoyed making it to the top of the hill to look over Sydney Harbour and said that the atmosphere was unique as so many other people put themselves to the test.

“There were so many people all going through the same thing,” she said.

If you haven’t donated to the cause, it is not too late to go online to http://www.fundraise.

city2surf苏州美甲学校.au/jus_williams_2013, the link to Justine’s fundraising page or come in to the Wellington Times office and pick up a pledge form.

There is also a Facebook page to promote awareness of epilepsy and continue fundraising after the City2Surf page has expired, on www.facebook苏州美甲学校/Running4Bec.

So far she has raised $450 and is aiming for more than $500. Ms Williams said she hoped people would donate generously to the cause which helps not only to fund research for a cure but provides support to families of sufferers.

She also hopes that her run will remind people of the work that Epilepsy Australia does.

“I think it is something sufferers don’t share, possibly because they are a bit embarrassed, particularly if they have a fit in a public place,” she said.

Ms Williams has yet to choose a charity to raise money for next year, but is considering running to raise money and awareness about breast cancer.

Bullet points

Ben Moreau won first place with a time of 41:47, narrowly beating Liam Adams who finished with a time of 42:03. Third was Steve Kelly who clocked in at 42:49.

The first female across the line was Linda Spencer, with a time of 48:28, with second place going to Milly Clark, with a time of 49:41. Third position went to Sarah Klein, 49.53

Kurt Fearnley crossed the line first out of the elite wheelchair athletes with a time of 34:10, followed by Nathan Arkley with a time of 36:32. Richard Nicholson was the third elite wheelchair athlete to finish with a time of 40:28.

Fundraisers and charities alike are also celebrating after fundraising $3.7m for more than 750 Australian charities. This tally will continue to grow, with fundraising staying open for another four weeks.

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My Favourite Photo winner: readers choose Janaya’s family photo

Janaya Bird: My family. This image caught the eyes of readers from 201 other entries, voted as the competition winnerHundreds of Cowra Guardian readers have chosen – Janaya Bird’s My Family entry is also their My Favourite Photo competition winner.

The response to the competition has been staggering, said Cowra Guardian editor Janine Finlayson.

“The Cowra Guardian’s My Favourite Photo competition quickly reached record entry levels and by close of entries, had more than 200 images submitted by readers as their Favourite Photos,” she explained.

“We had been asking readers for some time what they wanted from our competitionand talking with and engagingour readers meant we could really tailor it and make it relevant to everyone.

“The theme of My Favourite Photoobviously struck a chord, considering the huge response!”

Another first for the competition was online voting, which attracted hundreds of voters.

“Online voting was another request from readers and we were very happy we were able to meet their request.

“Just as important was maintaining the traditional printed version of voting, ensuring everyone had a chance to vote, whether they read our news online, or in the newspaper.”

The website gallery of 202 entries drew thousands of viewersfrom across Australia, breaking more records for the website’s online statistics andproviding amazing online exposure for the entrants’ photographic skills – a competition bonus.

In one week the Cowra Guardian website had more than 70,000 page impressions, the increase in impressions a direct result of the competition.

Janaya and her family have now wona Gold Coast accommodation package, thanks to the Cowra Guardian.

“We look forward to presenting Janaya with her prize package and congratulate her in person,”said Janine.

“We wish to thank each and everyone who participated in the competition, whether they are an entrant or a voter.

“It was a privilege to have helped so many talented people showcase their photographic skills to the wider community – there were so many inspiring entries – and a privilege to see so many people support them by voting.

“It caused a few sleepless nights, but it was well worth it in the end.”

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Federal election: Higgins candidates’ Q&A, Wesa Chau

Higgins federal election candidate Wesa Chau. Picture: ModformTWR put three questions to candidates in the Higgins electorate to help voters make up their minds at the upcoming election. Below are their responses.

What do you think of their answers? Leave a comment below.


What is the most important federal issue for the electorate of Higgins?

One important issue for people in Higgins is education and affordable childcare. The ALP has delivered the better school reform to ensure every child will receive a good education. In addition, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced $450 million to improve before- and after-hours school care, which would allow schools to offer flexible opening hours and new high quality activities, such as music lessons, supervised sport and homework clubs. In addition, families will continue to receive 50 per cent Child Care Rebate (of up to $7500 a year). This enables women to participate in the workforce.

In addition, the NBN infrastructure is important for businesses and homes, whereby we are offered two possible forms of access to information and technology. The Liberal Party would offer a slower network which would be more expensive for each of us to connect. The ALP offers a superfast network that provides connectivity directly to each of our homes and small businesses.

What would be the first local issue you would tackle were you to win your seat?

I have been out and about in the community, at our train stations and our shopping centres in Higgins. I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet the people of Higgins and discuss the issues which concern them. From these discussions, one local issue I would tackle first is to ensure there is affordable access to quality education and opportunities for children and young people.

Rank the following five issues in order of importance (from a personal perspective, not necessarily according to party policy).



Asylum seekers


Climate Change


Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Kelly O’Dwyer

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Wesa Chau

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,James Harrison

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Phillip Dall

Higgins candidates’ Q&A,Leanne Price

Vinnies winter appeal receives good response

ARARAT – The St Vincent de Paul Ararat Conference has been distributing items warmly donated as part of its annual St Vinnie’s winter appeal.

President of the St Vincent de Paul Ararat Conference Pat McAloon said the event is the major fundraiser of the year for St Vincent de Paul.

Mr McAloon said last year St Vincent Ararat distributed $19,560 to help people in need, on average $400 a week.

He said the money goes towards providing emergency relief for people in Ararat and surrounding areas.

Mr McAloon said he was very pleased with the involvement of people in raising goods and awareness of social issues, particularly students at Marian College.

In June students from the secondary school braved freezing temperatures to take part in the appeal by sleeping out in cardboard boxes for a night.

In response the community donated a large amount of food, clothing and toiletries which will all go directly to providing assistance to individuals and families doing it tough.

Twenty-one students participated in the local sleep out which came about as a result of the annual corporate sleep out held at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne every year to highlight the plight of homelessness across Australia.

A break down of the almost $20,000 raised and distributed last year includes $8,000 for food, $2,000 for emergency transport and accommodation, $6,000 for medical and chemist supplies and $2,000 for home appliances.

Mr McAloon said some of the money also goes towards giving disadvantaged youth the opportunity to learn.

He said all of the money raised goes to the people in the community that most need it.

“All of the money we raise is spent locally and goes towards helping local people in need,” he said.

“It is determined on a needs by need basis.”

We like to think of it has a hand up, not a hand out.

“Everybody has times in their lives when they get stuck and things can become too much.

Megan contributes to the Vinnies winter appeal.

“We like to think we are there to bring help to people to get through those times when for example all the utility bills come at once or a multitude of things are impacting someone’s life.”

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Roosters say their first season was fair enough

“WE copped some huge dust-ups on the scoreboard, but we didn’t back down,” Ashford Rugby League Club president, Mick Lewis said.

It was Lewis’ take on the Roosters effort this year after they ended their season last week, fighting for air beneath a massive 72-12 loss against the Moree Boomerangs.

However Lewis said the club was satisfied with the season.

“We were happy to come through without any forfeits,” he said.

“When we started the season and we were forced to go up to first grade we set ourselves some objectives. To come through the season without forfeiting a game, hopefully win a game in A grade (we didn’t care where it was) and just with this friendly little rivalry, we wanted to beat Inverell in the first grade.”

Lewis said the Roosters had ticked all three of those boxes and thought the rivalry between the Roosters and the Hawks was very much overstated in some quarters. He admitted there was significant competition between the two clubs, but put it down to the fact that Inverell are their nearest rival team. He described the Hawks as being more of a big brother or parent figure club.

“I don’t want bad blood between Inverell and Ashford, it’s not necessary,” Lewis said.

“The challenge of beating something that you’ve been a part of previously was there for all of our players and we’re happy to achieved that, but it’s not resentment of Inverell. They may take it that way, but that’s not what I mean.

“I mean, I didn’t go to the players who came to us, they came to me and there are reasons for that and they need to look at that.

“But don’t just point the finger at us, we’re not the bad boys here.”

Lewis said the Roosters existence has little to do with Inverell.

“We’re a little town of 500 people who have had an ambition to have a rugby league team for many, many years,” Lewis said.

“A number of those players who came back to us have ties with the town,” Lewis said.

“They were educated out here in some cases or their family came from out here or their fathers in some cases played for Ashford when there was a club here previously and there was a bit of an emotional attachment to the town and they wanted to come back out.

“Darrell Kachel’s right in one way, it’s the novelty of a new club and I understand that. I’m not being critical of the Hawks, but Inverell would have to look at the way they have treated their players over the years and look at the reasons some of their players chose to come to us, I guess.”

Lewis said he is fairly confident the Roosters will form again next season, but the final decision had not been made yet.

“The majority of players we’ve had this year have indicated they will be back with us next year, in fact they’re looking forward to it,” Lewis said.

“We’d like to improve our player strength, particularly in first grade. We were probably not realistically competitive this season, so we need to improve a bit.

“We’re not worried about numbers it’s just that we need to find a few more quality first graders to put in with what we’ve got.”

So what are next year’s goals?

“To field three sides again and improve on this year’s performance, simple as that.

“Look, having our own football side is a huge thing for the Ashford community and this year our gate was very well supported and not only by people from Ashford either.”

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SOCCER: Let the finals begin

This weekend marks the start of soccer finals for the Redbacks ladies team, while the rest of our teams begin to wrap up their regular season.

Friday night will be our Under 18’s last game of the season, and Saturday sees all our senior teams at home, as well as our Annual Golden Oldies match – what a great weekend for soccer!

Here’s the list of action for the weekend:

Under 18’s v South West Rocks

Where: Laurieton

When: Friday 16th at 6pm

Under 16’s v Macleay Valley Rangers

Where: Laurieton

When: Friday 16th at 8:40pm

FINALS WEEK 1: Redbacks Ladies v Port United

Where: Laurieton

When: Saturday 17th at 2:45pm

Reserve Grade v Port United

Where: Laurieton

When: Saturday 17th at 1:15pm

First Grade v Port United

Where: Laurieton

When: Saturday 17th at 3pm

Golden Oldies

This Saturday we’ll be having our annual Golden Oldies match. This is an opportunity for all our past players and supporters to take to the field for a friendly match. The match will be played across the field, to limit the level of exhaustion, and is a half hour match, designed for a bit of fun.

Kick off is at 12:30pm, just before our Reserve Grade squad. If you’re keen, or know someone who is, make sure you’re down at the fields at 12:15pm, and supporters, make sure you’re there to cheer them on!


As the season wraps up and finals begin, players and supporters are reminded to be respectful to our opposition, as well as officials.

No matter how wrong you think a decision is, abusing the referee will get you NOWHERE, and will most likely only result in a yellow or red card.

So please, think of your other teammates, and the impact your red card will have on them, and practice good sportsmanship.

Treasure Chest – $9,000!!!

There are now only 8 keys left!!!

Purchase a ticket in the Redbacks Meat Raffle, between 1pm and 2pm on Sunday, at the LUSC, and for every $5 in tickets, you’ll receive a free ticket in the Treasure Chest. Meat Raffle is drawn at 2pm, and Treasure Chest around 2:30pm. If your lucky number is called out, you’ll have the chance to try and unlock the Treasure Chest, and win $9,000!!!

Remember, this is a big fundraiser for the Club, so if you’re looking for something to do this Sunday, make sure you head down to the LUSC, and who knows – you might just win!

Bus to Wingham

Next week (Saturday 24th August) will be the final round for our Reserve Grade and First Grade squads in the regular competition. The Redbacks will be hiring a bus for players and supporters to head to Wingham, and provide our boys with some much needed support before finals start. Cost is $15 per head, and the bus will depart 11:30am. If you’re interested, please let us know on Facebook, or email the Club


Junior Presentation is booked for Sunday 22nd September

Senior Presentation is booked for Saturday 12th October – the theme is 80’s disco

Times will follow, but note these dates in your calendars – you don’t want to miss them!

Good luck to all this weekend.

Soccer action is all at Laurieton this weekend.

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City to Surf sees outstanding effort from Tom

A young man from Inverell was among more than 86,000 runners in Sunday’s City to Surf race in Sydney, also helping boost funds for the MS Society.

Tom Lane was part of a team of 35 students, staff and family from The Armidale School, who ran for the cause in the iconic footrace.

Tom put in an outstanding effort, completing the 14km course in 1:24:03.

“Everyone was having a good time while they were running – it was just awesome,” Tom said.

“I was relieved when I finished. My mind was happy, but my body wasn’t – I was pretty wrecked.”

The TAS team tallied up almost 500km in distance, and just over $8000 in donations. Despite having to make a 16 hour return trip, TAS had the one of the largest school teams registered in the event.

It was the 43rd year the event had been held, with more than 86,000 runners competing in 2013.

TAS students have taken part in the event on several previous occasions, and Athletics MIC Jim Pennington said it reflected the school’s philosophy that challenge and charity should come together.

“Over the past decade, the City to Surf has evolved beyond a physical challenge for the individual runner. Today almost one third of all participants run for a charity, supporting those in need whilst at the same time chasing an intrinsic goal,” said Mr Pennington, who ran his 18th City to Surf having first completed it as a Year 9 student 30 years ago.

“The beauty of this program is its unique ability to raise the social conscience of youth, thereby empowering them for a more progressive future.”

Long a hallmark challenge event for students at TAS, it now also forms part of a new school award called the TAS Triple Crown, for those students who complete the City to Surf, the 2km Coffs Harbour Ocean Swim and the 111km overnight Hawkesbury Canoe Classic during their time at the school.

FAST TIME: Tom Lane put in an outstanding effort in the City to Surf in Sydney last week, completing the 14km course in less than 85 minutes.

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