Iconic pub changes hands

Rachel Parsons outside the Post Office Hotel, which will be under new management by the end of the week.It has been a dramatic few days for the publicans of the iconic Post Office Hotel.

Yesterday morning, Craig and Rachel Parsons had shut the doors of the Lachlan Street hotel, having reached a stalemate with the pub’s owner over the terms of their lease.

As an open letter to patrons advised, they were unsure when or if the historic ‘Postie’ would reopen.

The only thing they knew for certain was that they wouldn’t be in charge.

However, the pub’s future became much clearer yesterday with the arrival of new licensee, Vonnie Newcombe.

After negotiations failed with Craig and Rachel Parsons, the hotel’s owner had organised for Ms Newcombe’s takeover.

With the help of Ms Parsons and long-standing Postie barmaid, Kerry Acheson, Ms Newcombe hoped to reopen the hotel before the end of the week, possibly as early as today.

Ms Newcombe said she planned to continue operating the Post Office Hotel as usual, and Ms Parsons encouraged all patrons to call in and meet the new publican once the doors reopened.

Footy tippers and punters club members have been assured that both competitions will continue as normal if they wish to remain involved, otherwise they can request a refund from Ms Parsons.

Craig and Rachel Parsons made the shock decision to close their hotel on Monday night.

As outlined in the letter to patrons, it remained closed on Tuesday and yesterday and the Parsons family are now in the process of packing up their belongings and moving out.

In the letter to patrons and the Forbes community, Rachel Parsons said she and her husband felt they had no choice but to close the hotel.

“This is due to the current financial climate and a very unreasonable landlord,” she said.

“Our financial situation is one that our landlord refuses to negotiate the current lease with us, and has been unreasonable in any discussions.”

“Craig and I have enjoyed our time getting to know you all and running this business. We feel as though we have failed you all, and we apologise immensely for that,” Rachel Parsons said.

Australian Hotels Association (AHA) Lachlan delegate, Jim Clyburn, said that the economic climate was increasingly tough for publicans.

Mr Clyburn, who operates a pub in West Wyalong and owns another in Condobolin, said hotels face stiff competition from supermarkets and other liquor retailers.

“You can go down to any supermarket today and a can of Coke is dearer than a can of beer,” Mr Clyburn said.

He said the AHA’s recommended beer price is now $5.30 a schooner, but most pubs are reluctant to charge that much, fearing that customers will leave and drink at home instead.

Mr Clyburn said the introduction of poker machines to hotels in the late 1990s had allowed publicans to compete with clubs but now hotels faced competition from elsewhere.

“The same thing was happening then as it is now,” he said.

“Things are pretty tough [for pubs] now but I think when you go into this business, you have to realise that the good old days are over.”

Vonnie Newcombe said she and her husband operated one of Ballina’s biggest pubs for nearly a decade.

She invited anyone who has been a patron of the Post Office Hotel to call in and meet her.

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Nominate incredible local women

It’s time to celebrate the achievements of extraordinary local women with entries now open for the Telstra Australian Business Women’s Awards.

Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager for Riverina Murray, Loretta Willaton, urged the local community to make 2012 the year they nominate local business women for the prestigious national Awards.

“Innovative business women can come from anywhere and we certainly have many in the Riverina Murray region who inspire others by their courage and leadership,” Ms Willaton said.

“We strongly encourage women who are nominated to enter the Awards. For finalists and winners, they offer significant benefits from the increased public profile, networking opportunities and a share in more than $200,000 in cash and prizes,” she added.

There are three qualifying categories in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards:

* Commonwealth Bank Business Owner Award – Open to owners with a 50 per cent share or more in a business with responsibility for key management decision making.

* Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Award – Open to employees in the private and corporate sectors, or owners with less than a 50 per cent share in a business.

* White Pages(r) Community and Government Award – Open to employees in government departments, statutory bodies or not-for-profit organisations.

There are two specialist categories:

* Nokia Business Innovation Award – Recognising innovation across a number of areas including sales and marketing, process, product or service.

* marie claire Young Business Women’s Award – Open to entrants in one of the qualifying categories aged 34 years or under as at 30 June 2012.

Awards are offered in each category in every state and territory and winners will be announced at public events held between September 18 and October 16, 2012.

State and territory winners are eligible for the national Awards which will be announced at the 2012 Telstra Australian Business Women’s Awards in Sydney on 21 November.

Entries are open until midnight on 19 June.

To nominate business women or for further information about the Awards, visit: www.telstrabusinesswomensawards苏州美甲培训学校 or call 1800 817 536 between 9am and 7pm AEST Monday to Friday.

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Lockhart’s Community Hero

Rose Lehmann’s dedication to giving back has endeared her to the Lockhart community who have nominated her for the NSW Woman of the Year Award – Community Hero category.Lockhart’s Rose Lehmann is one of just six finalists in the NSW Woman of the Year Awards in the People’s Choice – Community Hero category.

Rose was chosen from over 200 entrants by a judging panel led by the NSW Minister for Women, Pru Goward who said it was a tough task for the judging panel to select a shortlist.

“We had a very difficult job in selecting finalists because the calibre of nominations was so high.

“It was inspirational to read these extraordinary women’s stories and find out about the great work that they are doing throughout the state,” said Minister Goward.

Rose’s dedication to giving back has endeared her to the people of the Lockhart community who nominated her for this award.

Rose has volunteered for more than 60 years for various causes that make her beloved hometown of Lockhart a better place to be.

Born and raised in Lockhart, Rose is an enthusiastic and unassuming volunteer who has quietly worked for her community for six decades.

Described as a highly respected role model, Rose always honours her volunteering commitments with a smile, positive outlook and lots of energy.

She had a pivotal role in Lockhart’s success when it was voted winner in the Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Award for 2009/10.

When Lockhart played host to the 2010 awards Rose organised the spectacular street parade with a wool and wheat theme to showcase the town’s proud heritage.

As well as her proven track record in working on big projects for the town, Rose also takes care of the details. Not only was she the driving force behind the parade, she also made all of the table settings and gifts for the evening reception – not an easy task for more than 300 people.

As well as the planned events, Rose is also at the front of the queue to help people during unexpected circumstances – during the devastating floods earlier this year, Rose opened up her own home to a family who had lost everything, giving them food and shelter for a number of weeks until they were able to get back on their feet.

Always unassuming, Rose describes her help during the floods as “really just giving a family a warm bed and dry spot, something to eat, a shower and a bit of companionship. Helping in this way is what community spirit is all about.”

Her hard work and persistence has brought many visible improvements to the town. She helped with the background information for the funding applications for the Lockhart Grandstand and restoration of the main street and Men’s Shed.

The embodiment of community spirit, Rose has been involved in almost every Lockhart organisation at one time or another; from the CWA to the local school, the museum to the Arts Council.

Whether she’s organising Christmas calendars or recipe books to raise money, serving food in the school canteen or preserving Lockhart history, Rose is busy making things better for her community.

She was nominated for NSW Volunteer of the Year 2009/10 and Citizen of the Year in 2011.

The People’s Choice – Community Hero is chosen by the public and the community is urged to get behind this worthy nomination by voting for Rose online at www.womenoftheyear.nsw.gov.au One vote per email address.

Voting closes at midnight on Monday 14 May 2012. The winner will be announced by the Premier of NSW at a special reception on Thursday 24 May 2012.

The other five finalists in the Community Hero category are:

Jenny Armstrong from Marsfield – dedicated volunteer with Riding for the Disabled NSW.

Elsie Gordon from Dubbo – Murrawarri woman, teacher and advocate for domestic violence victims and women’s health.

Yvonne Keane from Kellyville – dedicated volunteer with Hear the Children and founder of Reach for the Rainbow.

Shirley Nelson from Byron Bay – founder of Feros Care Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation providing aged care.

Sheila Turnbull from Cessnock – advocate for women’s equality, passionate about helping women and girls to fulfil their potential.

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Cancelled sale raises questions

President of the Forbes Associated Agents Geoff Rice has questioned council over their decision to cancel a weekly sheep sale during the floods.

Local agents John Martin and Bill Dunn believe it is the first time in history a livestock sale has been cancelled in Forbes.

At around 11.30am on Monday, March 5, council suggested to Mr Rice that the sheep sale should be cancelled due to flood water.

An hour later it was confirmed.

“From the point of view of the vendors it was hard,” Mr Rice said of the decision.

“I’m well aware that Forbes was pretty drastic but we had people along the river that were really desperate to get stock out of their [place] before the river came up,” Mr Rice said.

Mr Rice said Forbes is one of three top selling centres in the state and cancelling the sale put pressure on the rest of the state.

“We have a lot of people, not only along the Lachlan, that are trying to get stock out,” he said.

Mr Rice said it was imperative the sales returned to normal as quickly as possible.

“If we don’t open these yards and even the flow of stock out, when we do enter the market there will be a downward pressure system,” he said.

Wagga Wagga and Cowra both cancelled prime cattle sales due to flooding, with Wagga also cancelling their prime sheep sale.

With so many selling centres closing due to floods, Mr Rice expressed concerns about a market glut.

“We are well aware of council’s obligations but we would have liked to be in the decision making process a little bit more,” Mr Rice said.

Mr Rice said he believed council’s decision to cancel the sheep sale was based on information received from the SES and police.

Past president of the Forbes Associated Agents Bill Dunn also questioned the cancellation.

“Yes the southern side was affected but the northern and western side was not,” Mr Dunn said.

He said the cancellation compounded last week’s yarding.

Without the cancellation of the March 6 sale, agents estimated the yarding for last Tuesday week would have been around 10,000 lambs.

Instead, Mr Dunn said, 24,000 lambs were yarded.

The swollen numbers caused the market to drop $10 to 12.

“If we’d had that sale that wouldn’t have had quite so hard a drop,” Mr Dunn said.

Mr Martin said the drop has cost the local region an estimated $200,000.

Mayor of Forbes Shire Council, Phyllis Miller, said the decision to cancel the sale was brought up at an Emergency Operations Centre meeting and the decision was made by organisations who had representatives at the meeting.

Representatives included the SES, police, Department of Community Services, Rural Fire Service and Forbes Shire Council.

“[It was decided] it was in the best interest of our shire to not have people travel to the sale,” Cr Miller said.

The opening of the new pig yards was also cancelled.

The opening will now be held on Friday, April 20.

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Doherty’s double: Reinsman joys on-track success

JINDERA reinsman Tim Doherty enjoyed one of his finest days at the track in years when he steered home a winning double at Wagga last Thursday.

Doherty is slowly increasing his involvement in the sport after time away and he proved he’s still got it with a race-to-race double to open the Wagga program yesterday.

His first winner came on his pacer, Diliart ($5.50), then got home on Trewin Road ($2.90) for his father John Doherty to give him a 100 per cent strike rate for the day.

Doherty moved to Victoria in 2003 to take up harness racing training and driving full-time and enjoyed 30 winners in his first season.

He then gradually decreased his involvement as he undertook university studies and then ultimately decided on a move back to Riverina in 2008.

His father John followed and purchased a farm at Jindera six months ago and the pair are at it together now with a team of seven working on their own track.

Doherty is enjoying his time back in Albury and was happy to claim a double yesterday.

“It’s been a really good day,” Doherty said.

“I didn’t drive for a couple of years so this would have to be my first double for four or five years. I wouldn’t have a clue.”

Doherty only got Diliart a month ago and she came to the Jindera stables winless from almost 20 starts.

She broke through at start number 21 yesterday and Doherty likes the four-year-old mare.

“I only got her three or four weeks ago and didn’t know anything about her,” Doherty said.

“I didn’t think she would go as good as she did.

“She was a really nice two-year-old but hits her knee badly and lost confidence I think.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if she runs through the grades. I really like her.”

Diliart led and ran away for a dominant 16-metre victory.

Trewin Road also led, and held on to score by seven metres. It was the five-year-old’s second win to go along with eight placings from 15 starts.

“He’s a good little racehorse,” Doherty said.

“He’s no star but he does his job by keep getting a cheque.”

Doherty is manager of Albury’s Equestrian Centre and is happy with a team of seven to work with his father John.

Doherty admits he is enjoying being back in the sport here in Riverina.

“I love it now,” he said.

“Having our own place and own track and it’s just good to get back to the Riverina where I’m from.

“It’s so much more social here and laid back. It’s good to be apart of.”

Meantime, experienced Wagga trainer Norm Jerrick produced a gem of a drive to steer Modern Slippa ($6.90) to victory in the Workout Wagga C2-C5 Pace (2165m).

Jerrick rarely drives but has got back in the sulky a couple of times recently and he produced a masterclass in the final event to get the talented four-year-old to victory.

Jerrick put Modern Slippa to sleep three back along the pegs and brought him through with a charmed run to grab the lead in the final 50 metres.

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