Economic, social life of the Murray in spotlight

Members of the Murray CMA Community Committee at their first meeting in Barooga late last month. The management of natural resources and the way they influence the economic and social life of the NSW Murray catchment will be under the spotlight as the Murray CMA Community Committee works with the catchment community to develop the Murray Catchment Action Plan over the next 12 months.
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Murray CMA Board have taken a fresh and innovative approach to the development of the Catchment Action Plan by devolving the task of preparing the plan to a community based

committee.

This approach will ensure that the opinions and aspirations of the NSW Murray catchment community are listened to in the development of the five-year plan, which will guide investment to ensure the maintenance and enhancement of productive landscapes across the catchment.

The Committee is chaired by David Sexton of Thurgoona, who has served on a number of boards and committees involved with catchment management, pest plants and animals as well as having a distinguished career in local government administration.

The Committee reflects not only the geographic spread of the NSW Murray catchment, but represents all aspects of the social and economic fabric of the community from farmers to the urban

population, local government to indigenous

communities.

David Sexton said that the Murray Catchment Action Plan would balance the expectations of the community and government to produce a plan that is adopted by the community and endorsed by all government agencies.

“We are committed to balancing sound environmental management with economic well being for farmers, the wider catchment community and the towns that support them.

“It is essential that the agricultural industries are productive, profitable and viable, to get investment in natural resource management across the Murray Catchment”, he said.

“We are keen to involve and collaborate with a wide range of community groups and individuals, whether they are farmers, residents of the towns of the Murray catchment, small landholders, or groups with a special interest in biodiversity, cropping, irrigation or soil health.”

“Our committee members are well known in their communities and industries, so I would strongly encourage people to contact them and have a talk about their ideas for managing the natural resources of the Murray catchment”, he added.

An extensive engagement program will commence in April and continue right throughout May and June, providing the catchment community with an opportunity to become involved and help shape the future of natural resource management within the catchment. Details on the times and locations will be announced in the near future.

Other committee members include: Ray Stubbs (Albury), Judy Frankenberg (Burrumbuttock), David Wolfenden (Rand), John Keogh (Holbrook), Robin Crawford (Moulamein), Bruce Saxton (Khancoban), Bruce Simpson (Deniliquin), Louise Burge (Tuppal-Bullatale), Russell Ford (Jerilderie), Jenny Mcleod (Finley), Debbie Flower-Briggs (Deniliquin), along with Murray CMA Board members – Brian Royal (Tabletop), Andrew Urquhart (Holbrook), and Sally Dye (Conargo).

More information about the Murray Catchment Action Plan is available on the Murray CMA website and from the Murray CMA offices in Deniliquin and Albury.

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Greater Hume to gauge residents satisfaction with Council

From mid-April, Greater Hume Shire Council will be asking its residents ‘how satisfied are you with Council’s services’?
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General Manager, Steven Pinnuck said: “A random telephone survey will be conducted across Greater Hume Shire to identify levels of customer satisfaction with Council’s services and seek views on what should be the priorities for the Council into the future”.

Hundreds of residents within the Greater Hume Shire boundary will be contacted by telephone seeking their levels of satisfaction regarding Council’s operations and services.

The telephone survey will be conducted by IRIS Research, a widely respected and professional market research company that has conducted hundreds of similar surveys for councils across New South Wales and Queensland.

Simon Pomfret of IRIS Research said: “Residents can be assured that all interviewers will be clearly identified calling from IRIS Research on behalf of Greater Hume Shire and all responses provided by residents will be treated with total confidentiality and remain anonymous”.

“Residents can be further assured that at the completion of the telephone interview, the interviewer will provide residents with a telephone number to directly contact IRIS Research should they wish to do so for any reason” added Mr Pomfret.

Specific issues to be addressed in the survey include:

* What local services and facilities are important to you as a resident?

* How satisfied are you with the delivery of services by Greater Hume Shire Council?

* Are you willing to pay more for rates and charges to maintain the existing services and facilities in your local area?

Council recognises that the services it provides must be funded properly and delivered in a way that meets community standards.

Greater Hume Shire Council appreciates that there has been a big increase in telemarketing and nuisance calls in recent years with many from overseas based companies, but the IRIS researchers will clearly identify themselves and the Greater Hume survey project.

Greater Hume Shire Council asks that residents receiving calls agree to take part in this important survey project.

IRIS will contact residents by telephone at random from 16 – 22 April.

For residents who are not selected to participate in the survey, an online survey will be available on Council’s website from 23 April until 6 May 2012 at www.greaterhume.nsw.gov.au

At the end of the day Greater Hume Shire Council is investing the community’s money in this survey to get accurate, statistically valid data that will inform and guide Council’s priorities and resource allocation decisions.

Council need people who are contacted to participate and provide their opinions and views.

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Peak brings relief to frustrated community

The predicted major flood peaked at 10.55 metres on Thursday evening, bringing relief to the Forbes community.
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The announcement of the flood peak was made by the Bureau of Meteorology at 10.31am on Friday morning, signalling the worst of the flood was finally over.

Forbes residents have been on flood alert for over a week, with the first SES flood watch notifications rolling out on Wednesday last week.

The 10.55 metre reading was 10 centimetre short of the predicted peak and only nine centimetres short of the 10.64 metre peak in August 1990.

News of the eventual peak was welcomed by Forbes SES Deputy Controller Jordon L’Estrange.

“Any peak below what they predicted is a good peak.

“[I am] very pleased with the peak. That was good,” he said.

“All the figures upstream of us predicted figures for the 1990 flood but it was only that it pushed south that we missed it.”

Mr L’Estrange said changes to the topography of the land east of Forbes helped push a greater than expected volume of water to the south.

“All the gauge readings east of us were higher than the 1990 floods but we went lower. Somewhere between Nanami and here we have pushed water south,” Mr L’Estrange said.

Although more floodwater travelled south than expected, Mr L’Estrange said the water will still end up back in the river system.

Yesterday’s confirmation of the flood peak marked the end of an almost marathon flood for Forbes residents, with initial reports starting on February 28.

Initial reports warned the flood would peak on Tuesday and were later revised to say Wednesday.

The slow progress of the flood down the Lachlan saw the peak prediction pushed back to Thursday.

Since February 28 the Forbes SES responded to 231 Requests For Assistance, five of which were classified as flood rescues.

It is estimated between 150 and 200 residents joined SES volunteers in making sandbags at the Forbes depot over the last 10 days.

A further 150 SES, Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue volunteers were on the ground in Forbes on Thursday with support from Forbes Shire Council.

Sandbags not being used and unlikely to get wet were being collected by SES volunteers yesterday and are set to be sent to Bedgerabong and Condobolin.

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Family disgusted by vandalism

Yvonne Allen and Nancy Hill inspect the recent damage to the grave of well-known local, the late Henry Hill.A vicious vandalism attack on the grave of well-known local man Henry Hill has been slammed by his bereaved family.
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His widow Nancy Hill and niece Yvonne Allen contacted the Forbes Advocate yesterday after discovering the final resting place of Mr Hill was attacked during the weekend.

Ms Allen said she first became aware of the vandalism when two women told her about a spate of recent attacks at the Forbes cemetery.

Ms Allen said she contacted Mrs Hill straightaway and the pair decided to visit the cemetery to see if Mr Hill was one of the victims.

What they discovered reduced Mrs Hill to tears.

“I said someone has pinched his flowers,” Mrs Hill said.

Pots of silk flowers lining each side, the centre and the foot of Mr Hill’s grave had been broken, tipped off the grave or removed.

One large pot which was located near the headstone has disappeared.

This loss has hit Mrs Hill hardest because it featured a personal inscription she wrote to her late husband. It stated her love for Mr Hill and how much she missed him.

“It made me cry and I’m trying to get over it. It’s sad. It’s really, really sad. It makes you feel sick,” Mrs Hill said.

Mrs Hill and Ms Allen don’t believe Mr Hill was targeted in the attack simply because a number of other gravesites nearby have also had their silk flowers pulled out and strewn about.

“It’s a very, very bad shock,” Mrs Hill said.

“It’s disgraceful. I can’t understand why anyone would do it to someone that is dead and can’t defend themselves. It’s just weak.”

Mr Hill passed away in February last year and is remembered as a stalwart of the Forbes community.

“He was always helping kids. We reared up seven kids that had nowhere to live. He taught them boxing, footy, cricket, touch football, softball.

“He was good. He would do anything for anyone. He helped anyone. He’d go without to help others,” Mrs Hill said.

Mr Hill and his family are well-known around the community for their contributions to sport and in recent years, support of the Forbes Renal Dialysis Unit.

“He was on dialysis for 17 years. He suffered when he was alive and now he is still suffering,” Ms Allen said.

The attack has been reported to the police and enquiries into the incident are continuing.

Mrs Hill said she would like the personalised pot put back on the grave, if nothing else.

“It will be no good to anyone because they wouldn’t have the same name,” she said.

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Lockhart recognises a mentor

Steve Harradine unveiled the first of two plaques at the official opening of the Heather Harradine Memorial Skate Park. The youth of Lockhart enjoyed a skateboarding workshop at the official opening celebrations of the Heather Harradine Memorial Skate Park on Monday.
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Lockhart Shire Council Mayor, Peter Yates and Member for Wagga Daryl Maguire unvelied a plaque at the Heather Harradine Memorial Skate Park with the help of Lockhart Central School students Sarah Pitner, Ameliea Farrall and Siomn “Scooter” Hounsell.

There were over 60 people of all ages at the official opening of the Heather Harradine Memorial Skate Park in Lockhart on Monday.

In a show of appreciation to her devotion to the youth of Lockhart, the park was dedicated to the late Heather Harradine, a former teacher at Lockhart Central School (LCS) and instigator of Lockhart’s Rural Youth Action Team (RYAT), the committee behind raising money to build the skate park.

In 2009 Ms Harradine along with Tana Cuming, then Lockhart Shire Council youth officer, Mrs Margot Mildren, and a group of eager students from LCS identified a skate park as something that would benefit Lockhart’s youth and formed the RYAT committee.

Since then, the committee managed to secure approximately $130,000 needed to make the skate park a reality and construction began in 2010 and was completed in 2011.

LCS year 10 student, Sarah Pitner has been a member of the RYAT committee since it formed in 2009 and this week she, along with Simon “Scooter” Hounsell and Amelia Farrall represented their school in the unveiling of a plaque at the park.

“It is good that it was named after her. She (Mrs Harradine) had a connection with us that other teachers didn’t”, Sarah said.

Member for Wagga Wagga, Daryl Maguire officially opened the skate park saying that he was pleased to see a great attendance at the event “celebrating what has been an enormous amount of work”.

“It’s impressive, really impressive,” he said and congratulated the committee on a job well done.

Lockhart Shire Council Mayor, Peter Yates, addressed the crowd and recognised the contributions made by various local community groups and businesses.

“It is really a case of Federal, State and Local Government, local businesses and community members working together to achieve a desired result,” he said.

Cr Yates went on to thank the members of RYAT. He recognised Mrs Harradine as a driving force behind the project, “This park is to be dedicated to the memory of Heather as a testament of her dedication as a teacher and mentor to the youth of Lockhart,” he said.

Steve Harradine, Heather Harradine’s husband thanked the community for their effort saying that what his late wife would really be proud of is that the committee continued on without her to achieve their goals.

He spoke on behalf of his family, saying “We are very grateful, thank you very much.”

The official opening was held in conjunction with Youth Week and following the unveiling of two plaques in the park there were skate and scoot workshops available as well as a sausage sizzle put on by LCS P&C committee.

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Small communities battle big flood

Warroo and Corinella are now bracing themselves against a major flood.
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Deputy Controller for the Forbes SES Jordon L’Estrange said whilst Forbes’ major flood peak has now passed, work at the Forbes SES depot has not stopped.

While the spotlight for the major flood peak was on Forbes last week, Mr L’Estrange said SES volunteers were working hard to ensure downstream communities were well prepared before roads between Forbes and the outlying areas were cut off.

Mr L’Estrange said last week alone SES volunteers deployed to Forbes and local volunteers helped fill enough sandbags to prepare Forbes for the major flood peak and send seven semi-trailer loads of sandbags to Bedgerabong.

“Before it even got to Nanami we were looking downstream,” Mr L’Estrange said.

Dry sandbags collected by the SES at over the weekend were also sent downstream to Bedgerabong before access by road was cut.

Now the roads are cut, Mr L’Estrange said the operation for the downstream communities has changed.

Helicopters are now being used to airlift sandbags from Bedgerabong to properties and communities under threat.

Mr L’Estrange said Corinella was looking to face floodwaters travelling from the north and south.

“Blokes out there are saying that they have never seen anything like it before,” Mr L’Estrange said.

“I’m personally concerned about homesteads out there and the school is one of them.

“We are sandbagging as quick as we can but our feeling is that the levee is in possibility of being breached.

“We are trying to do everything we can to protect the people out there and because they are not in the city centre, does not mean that we won’t be helping,” Mr L’Estrange said.

Yesterday afternoon floodwaters were rising at Corinella a rate of 2.5 centimetres per hour.

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One win down, Culcairn confident of better season

New Culcairn captain-coach Chris Willis. New Culcairn captain-coach Chris Willis admitted ahead of the weekend’s season opener against the Billabong Crows that he is “excited” by the Lions’ premiership prospects.
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Willis has returned to Culcairn after a two-year stint coaching Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes and is happy with the Lions squad at his disposal.

Willis said up to 12 new players would enter the Culcairn line-up, which was bundled out of finals in straight sets last year after claiming the minor premiership.

Willis believes there is plenty to like about Culcairn this season.

“It’s pretty exciting, we’ve got a pretty good side,” Willis said.

“We’re probably lacking one quality on-baller but we’ve got a lot of different blokes who will change through there.

“We’re not clutching at straws.”

Willis is confident this year’s Culcairn team can be better than Kade Klemke’s outfit last season.

“I think it’s probably a more balanced side this year,” Willis said.

“Last year I think they relied on a couple (of players) to win their games.

“This year there is a more even spread of quality, rather than just a couple of stars.”

Culcairn was close to full-strength when it travelled to Oaklands at the weekend to take on Billabong Crows.

Only James Paton misssed the game due to a two-week suspension he copped at the end of last year.

Before the match, Willis said he did not know what to expect from the Crows.

“I don’t know much about the clubs from out there,” Willis said.

“They’re a bit of an unknown but I’m sure they’ll be just as keen as we are.

“It will be a challenge in its own right, that’s for sure.”

For the record, Culcairn defeated the Billabong Crows 16.15 (111) to 10.5 (65).

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AFL TAS Women’s Football Final

Finals footy action from the Women’s game between Spreyton and Launceston at Maidstone Park, Spreyton.
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Finals footy action from the AFL Tasmania Women’s Football League game between Spreyton and Launceston. Spreyton’s Chantelle Graham uses her head to win the ball.

Finals footy action from the AFL Tasmania Women’s Football League game between Spreyton and Launceston. Spreyton’s Sommer Bissett uses her tongue in determination to get the ball clear.

Finals footy action from the AFL Tasmania Women’s Football League game between Spreyton and Launceston. Spreyton’s Ebony Rouse desperately tries to get her handball away.

Finals footy action from the AFL Tasmania Women’s Football League game between Spreyton and Launceston. The girls played through attrocious weather during the game, and even had to endure this hail storm.

Finals footy action from the AFL Tasmania Women’s Football League game between Spreyton and Launceston. The girls played through attrocious weather during the game, and even had to endure this hail storm.

Finals footy action from the AFL Tasmania Women’s Football League game between Spreyton and Launceston. Spreyton’s Helen Matthews desperately tries to control the ball in the wet conditions.

Finals footy action from the AFL Tasmania Women’s Football League game between Spreyton and Launceston. Spreyton’s Brittany Gibson tries to gather up the ball sheparded by teammate Alissa Ritchie.

Finals footy action from the AFL Tasmania Women’s Football League game between Spreyton and Launceston. Spreytons Alissa Ritchie soccers the ball forward in the attrocious conditions.

Finals footy action from the AFL Tasmania Women’s Football League game between Spreyton and Launceston. Spreytons Alissa Ritchie steams after the ball at the front of the pack.

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Latest road closure information

The pavement of Battye Street was damaged by last week’s floods.Most major roads to and from Forbes remain closed by flooding, but motorists can now access the Condobolin and Grenfell roads, with caution.
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Forbes Shire Council advised yesterday morning (at 11am) that part of the South Condobolin Road (Lachlan Valley Way) from Forbes to Condobolin and the New Grenfell Road had reopened.

However, Council said drivers should use caution as there is water over the road in parts and several roads have sustained considerable damage which may not yet be signposted.

Motorists are advised to drive carefully and to the conditions.

Latest road closures and conditions (at 11am yesterday) are as follows:

* Pinnacle Road closed

* Bundaburrah Crossing closed (open to B-Double only)

* Forest Road open with caution

* Henry Lawson Way closed to all traffic

* New Grenfell Road open with caution

* Yarrabandai Road closed to all traffic

* Wirrinya Road closed to all traffic

* Battery Hill Road closed to all traffic

* Johnny Woods Crossing closed to all traffic

* Bogan Gate Road open with caution

* Salisbury Road closed to all traffic

* Henry Parkes Way (Parkes Conbodolin Road) open with caution

* The Escort Way (Eugowra Road) closed to all traffic

* Lachlan Valley Way (Cowra Road) closed to all traffic

* Newell Highway (Forbes to West Wyalong) closed by RTA to all traffic south of Forbes

* Lachlan Valley Way (South Condobolin Road) Water over road in various locations up to Jemalong Weir – open with caution.

* Bedgerabong Road accessible to aerodrome, aerodrome to Bogoin Lane closed to all traffic, Littles Plains closed to all traffic.

* Thurungle Road closed, water over bridge

* Noakes Road closed to all traffic

* Battye St remains closed to traffic for repairs.

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AFL season off to a flying start

Holbrook defender Stewart Williams spoils his Lockhart opponent. A dominating performance from all four Bradshaw’s boys, highlighted a convincing win by Howlong over defending premiers Jindera in round one of Hume FL on Good Friday at Howlong.
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With the three brothers starring up forward kicking seventeen goals between them – Darren (9), Daniel (6) and Matt (2) set up a 72 point victory over a gallant Bulldogs.

In front of a bumper Good Friday crowd of more than 3000 people, the Spiders confirmed they are the team to beat this year, with the strength and power of Daren and Daniel very ominous.

Jindera who only had nine players playing from last years premiership side, gave a good account of themselves with Howlong kicking away late to inflate the margin considerably.

The Bulldogs themselves had some goal kicking dominance with new recruit Ash Murray kicking eight goals in an electrifying performance.

Murray was a late signing after training with Culcairn.

It was Daniel Bradshaw’s first game of football since he played with Sydney Swans in the 2010 finals loss to the Western Bulldogs.

Bradshaw played in two premierships with Brisbane Lions.

Lockhart showed they are going to be a serious finals contender this season with a well deserved win over a depleted and inexperienced Holbrook side at Lockhart.

The Demons despite missing quiet a few stars as well including Brad Pearse and Jake Wooden made the perfect start to win a tight encounter at home by ten points.

Inaccuracy in front of goal kept the Brookers in the match, who lost star midfielder and 2011 Azzi medallist Mikal Bloom with an injury early in the second half.

Holbrook badly missed the presence of Zac Fulford, Brendan Hankel, Brent Hibberson and Jimmy Grills.

Its young side was just off the pace in a hard and tough encounter.

Culcairn were pushed right to the end of the match against Billabong Crows at Oaklands, before winning by eight goals in new coach Chris Willis debut.

Willis celebrated the occasion with a three goal performance, matched by new recruit Kyle Lieschke.

It was a five goal performance from Trent Logue that earned him best on field for the Lions.

Leigh Baker and Ben Schulz dominated the midfield with both players racking up over seventy possessions between them.

Billabong Cows gun -forward Josh Evans continued on from his 2011 season, by kicking seven goals in a standout performance.

Cameron Bakes was their next best player in a brave effort.

RW Tigers had no trouble in taking the struggling Murray magpies apart in a one sided contest at the Lavington Panthers Oval, winning by 133 points.

It was one way traffic as the Tigers forwards feasted out on the undermanned defence with Jessie Corrigan-Dale and Josh Warren-Marmo both kicking five goals.

Cameron McNeil and Mark Wilde both kicked four goals, while Lachlan Baxter turned in a blinding performance to be best on ground.

Patrick Robinson was best for the Magpies, who are still reeling from the stepping down as coach of Benny Nicholson.

Ian Rommeril has resumed the reins as coach.

Osborne has shown a strong indication they will return to finals action this season by belting Walla at Walla with a fine all round team performance.

The visitors on the back of a dominant forward set up led by Coach Daniel McAlister (4) and Trent Perczyk (4) bolted away after a even and fiery first quarter.

Thirty-eight scoring shots to Walla eight showed their dominance with Rory Muggavin and Steve Crowhurst starring, along with Marty Bahr and Nick O’Connell.

Walla had made some late signings and recruits including former Richmond player Troy Taylor from the Northern territory, but they failed to make an impact on the scoreboard.

CDHBU recorded one of its finest wins since joining the Hume league, when they overcame a twenty two point half time deficit to storm home and win by 37 points at Coreen.

New coach Brad Talbot led the side in fine fashion with great support from forwards Joel Rippingale and Phil Dudley who both kicked four goals.

The Saints started well and looked the goods despite the absence of star ruckman Trent Storey.

Chris Boulton and Dean Murphy were best for the visitors.

Henty had the bye.

NEXT WEEK ROUND TWO

Holbrook v Howlong

Jindera v Henty

Culcairn v Lockhart

Osborne v CDHBU

RW Tigers v Walla

BB Saints v Billabong Crows

Murray Magpies bye

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Flood debrief will be held

Flood water rushes over Johnny Woods Crossing last week.A community debrief on last week’s flood is likely to be held in the coming weeks.
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Mayor of Forbes Shire Council Phyllis Miller said she will be recommending to council a community debrief is held.

Councillor Miller said she believes a debrief will be beneficial in outlining where flood information comes from, answering questions and advising what council will be doing to support the community.

With the worst of the flood now over for the Forbes township, Cr Miller said council’s focus has now shifted to Bedgerabong and Corinella.

Because those communities are now experiencing flooding and roads within the shire are still closed assessments on road damage have not started, Cr Miller said.

“[We have] no estimate. At the moment our focus is not just Forbes township. We’ve got Corinella and Bedgerabong in flood.

“While ever we have got closed roads it’s pretty hard to go around and assess the damage,” Cr Miller said.

Reflecting on last week’s major flood, Cr Miller said she was very proud of the community.

“I’m pretty proud of my community and the way everyone pulled together to help one another,” she said.

“I have the best community in NSW and I’ll fight anyone that says anything else.

“I have never seen a community that will help one another like Forbes. When someone’s in need, people will come from near and far.”

Cr Miller praised the SES and Rural Fire Service volunteers who travelled from across the state to assist Forbes.

Cr Miller said the Emergency Operations Centre at the Town Hall worked well.

Representatives from police, SES, Department of Community Services, Department of Primary Industries, council and public health sectors met regularly, increasing meetings as the flood reached critical stages.

“This is the second time as a group we’ve been together and certainly I found the SES was interested in local input,” Cr Miller said.

Cr Miller said the SES was the lead agency during the flood, with all other groups following the SES.

Although there was some angst in the community by mixed messages, Cr Miller said it was better to be extra vigilant.

“We’ve seen people die up in Queensland and we are not going to have that happen here. To be extra cautious is not an issue,” she said.

Cr Miller said council’s next step is to determine the level of support required for the clean up.

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Tidy Towns awards now open

Entries are now open for the annual Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities Awards Program for 2012.
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Since 1981 the Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Tidy Towns –Sustainable Communities Awards have recognised and celebrated outstanding environmental initiatives delivered by local government authorities, schools, businesses and community groups. They raise much needed public awareness of the environmental issues affecting regional NSW and encourage community groups to showcase their many efforts to preserve and enhance their local environments.

Originally focused on cleanliness and beautification, the Tidy Towns program has evolved into much more; they provide a blueprint for local communities to achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability.

“Many people associate Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities with picking up litter, but the program has matured a great deal over the years. The program now carries the tag line ‘Sustainable Communities’ to better express current environmental concerns and issues facing regional NSW communities.”

“Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities is a great way for towns across NSW to foster community spirit, show pride in their local environment and gain an external perspective of their town. Towns often say that the assessor recommendations and professional insights help them to overcome project challenges and develop strong local partnerships. The program also attracts a great deal of media coverage, which opens up avenues for funding and additional support.” Peter Mclean, CEO of Keep Australia Beautiful NSW said.

2012 also sees the addition of the New Towns Category, where towns who enter for the first time, or those who have not entered in five years or more receive FREE entry.

“The program is an amazing resource and development framework that communities have been benefiting from over 30 years. Receiving entries from new towns is always very positive as these towns can learn from other towns and vice-versa, which is exactly what the program is all about” said Yolande Presland, Program Manager at Keep Australia Beautiful NSW.

All projects, both big and small are welcome to enter as are projects that are still in the early stages of development.

As well as the title of Overall Tidiest Town of the Year (NSW), awards will be given in the following categories to be announced in November in Kyogle:

* Cultural Heritage Award.

* Bush Spirit Award.

* Waste Management and Litter Reduction Award.

* Water Conservation Award.

* Wildlife Corridors Award.

* Schools Environment Award.

* New Town Award.

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Hoax message creates concern

Forbes Shire Council are warning residents to only take flood information from a trusted source.
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On Thursday afternoon Manager of Communication and Development for Forbes Shire Council Kristy Hartwig released a flood update, with a note to beware of hoax emails and SMS messages.

“We are aware of a hoax SMS that was circulating regarding residents being affected in Bathurst Street,” Ms Hartwig said.

“Apparently council was going to blow a levee bank,” she said.

The hoax message indicated by blowing the levee bank, the street would be flooded.

Ms Hartwig said council first became aware of the message when worried residents started ringing up wanting to know when the public meeting was.

“What we want to impress upon people is one, that it was a hoax, and two, that we have got a number of communication avenues.

“We’ve got our media releases and anyone can join that distribution list, we’ve got the website, we’ve got the SMS alert, we’ve got Facebook ‘finditinforbes’ and we’ve got a Twitter account.

“[For] those people that are not using modern updates, we are posting updates on the front door of our office,” Ms Hartwig said.

During the critical stage of the flood Forbes Shire Council was posting information up on boards at both IGA supermarkets, Woolworths, Discount Daves and both Nocks Newsagency and News On Rankin.

Radio stations were picking up the media releases and making intermittent bulletins.

“We were also making sure the visitor information centre had up-to-date information,” Ms Hartwig said.

Ms Hartwig said hoax messages like the one distributed on Thursday create unnecessary angst and anxiety in the community.

If anyone would like to be added to the council’s flood information distribution list, contact the office during

business hours on 6850 2300 or after hours on 0412 523 344.

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