SES answers mum’s call

Kim Noakes and her daughter on their helicopter flight.Four-month-old baby Sarah Noakes received much needed medical attention on Monday thanks to air support from the SES.
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Forbes district mother Kim Noakes of ‘Hempstead’, Noakes Road, said what started as a rash on Sarah’s arm last week, grew to cover her whole body.

“I rang [the SES] and said I had a four-month-old baby that I needed to get to a doctor,” Mrs Noakes said.

According to Mrs Noakes, the SES said they would see what they could organise.

Within a few hours Deputy Controller for Forbes SES Jordon L’Estrange phoned and advised Mrs Noakes a helicopter would be at their place in 20 minutes.

Mrs Noakes said the helicopter landed in front of their house, picked them up and brought the pair to Forbes.

Mother and child were then transferred to the Medical Centre for baby Sarah’s appointment.

Mrs Noakes stayed with relations in town overnight after the appointment, but said the SES had offered to find her emergency accommodation if she had nowhere to go.

The following morning the SES contacted Mrs Noakes again and flew both mother and baby back to the property so the family could be together again.

Mrs Noakes, her husband Ken and two children have been stranded on their property, located 35 kilometres west of Forbes, for a week, and according to the young family, the SES have been a God send.

“I couldn’t have been more grateful for everything they did for me,” Mrs Noakes said.

Sarah’s medical flight was not the first time the family needed assistance during the course of the flood.

Only a day earlier Mrs Noakes rang the SES to see if a farm worker could be airlifted off the property, also for medical reasons.

The worker had been on the property to help the family build a levee bank around their home but was then unable to get out.

Mrs Noakes said she couldn’t thank the SES enough for their assistance while the family has been flooded in.

“They have been very obliging to help out,” Mrs Noakes said.

Mrs Noakes rejected claims the SES had been heavy handed in their approach to the flood.

She said it was better to be proactive than reactive.

Mrs Noakes voiced concern over criticism of the SES and said she hoped it didn’t deter volunteers from the good work they had done.

“We all know that the roads close,” she said.

“They are all volunteers… if they don’t do that who is going to save all the people who find themselves in a situation they need help in?” she said.

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Irrigator expects little from basin plan

Forbes farmer Robert Caldwell plans to be at Town Hall next Monday to learn more about the draft Murray Darling Basin Plan.
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The Murray Darling Basin Authority has announced it will hold an ‘open house’ at Forbes Town Hall on Monday afternoon (3.30pm – 5pm), where staff from the MDBA and other government departments will be available to talk to local stakeholders.

Mr Caldwell, who is an irrigation farmer east of Forbes (his property is near Peyton’s Bridge over the Lachlan), this week sent off his submission to the plan’s authors, the Murray Darling Basin Authority.

In his second submission to the MDBA, Mr Caldwell says he has no faith in the draft basin plan’s stated objective to set water aside for the environmental recovery of the Murray Darling Basin.

He believes the plan will take too much water out of agriculture and horticultural production and not deliver any of the irrigation efficiencies the Federal Government’s water purchases are supposed to achieve.

Mr Caldwell said irrigators are getting a ‘raw deal’ on the basin plan, and farmers’ rights to reasonable use of water are being slowly dissolved by water reform.

He believes the plan will result in a large reduction in irrigation farming.

“I think half the irrigation farms will disappear,” he said this week.

Mr Caldwell said he has little faith that the O’Farrell NSW Coalition Government would do much to oppose the Federal Labor Government’s plan for the basin.

“I think the O’Farrell / Hodgkinson Government hold the ‘whip hand’ and should reject the reductions on behalf of New South Wales… Labor governments seem to ram through changes without compensation [for primary producers] and the Liberals / Nationals seem unwilling or unable to reverse the damage,” he said.

Mr Caldwell said he doesn’t accept the scientific basis underlining the draft Basin Plan, particularly the water that the South Australian Government says is required to maintain the health of the lower Murray River.

“South Australia is claiming more than their fair share of water,” he said.

“They should remove the barrages [from the lower Murray] and return the estuary to its natural state. This would reduce the need to top up the Lower Lakes with 2,000,0000 ML a year of fresh water in time of drought.”

Mr Caldwell has already written one submission to the MDBA, when it released the guide to the draft plan last year, and hopes his thoughts are taken seriously.

“I am sure my submission will be ignored by the MDBA, but it may be of value to the NSW Government, to Forbes Shire Council and to fellow irrigators,” he said.

The Murray Darling Basin Authority will hold an ‘open house’ at Forbes Town Hall from 3.30pm to 5pm next Monday, March 19.

Those intending to attend are advised to check the MDBA website (www.mdba.gov.au) for any updates on the meeting, due to the flooding of the Lachlan.

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LOCKHART DEFEAT CULCAIRN IN THRILLER

Henty Pat Hower looks for an option to handball while teammates Jamarl O’Sullivan and Heath Ohlin look on during their domination of Henty.Lockhart has continued its stunning start to the 2012 Hume FL season, by winning a thrilling match against Culcairn at Culcairn, by just one point.
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The Demons are emerging as a genuine flag contender, after having beaten last seasons runner up Holbrook in round one and now third placed Culcairn 15-6-96 to 15-5-95.

With Culcairn trailing by two points in the final minutes, Trent Logue grazed the inside of the goal post to just fail to get Culcairn home as Lockhart held firm.

Lockhart who has missed finals football in the previous two seasons were given great service by wingman David Johnson, along with Al Haberecht, Josh and Joel Maniscalco.

Graeme Fruean did a great job on curbing Lockhart spearhead Tom Marlow after early goals on Brendan Mitchell. Ben Schulz, Luke Taylor and Jack Stean also played well for Culcairn.

Henty were very impressive in its initial 2012 hit out after a round one bye, when they destroyed last year’s premiers Jindera at Jindera by a whopping 93 points.

With Josh Spencer on fire up forward with six goals and a best on ground showing by new coach Brent Piltz they gave indications of bigger and better things in 2012.

Such was the Swampies dominance; they kept Jindera to just one goal in the first three quarters with Jimmy Ellis, John Mercuri and ruckman Jamal O’Sullivan starring.

Henty will find out more about their progress in the next fortnight when they take on close town rivals Holbrook and Culcairn in mouth watering contests.

Jindera star forward Ash Murray who kicked eight goals the previous week was well held by the Swampies to finish with just one goal.

Howlong and Holbrook played out a tough and tight encounter at Holbrook, before the Spiders pounced late in the game to win by four goals.

Daniel Bradshaw and his brother Darren who kicked fifteen goals between them the previous week were kept to just five goals this week against Peter Winnet and Lachie Trethowan respectively.

Daniel the two time Brisbane Lions premiership player however made his count when he kicked all three in a purple patch in the last quarter to lift Howlong to victory.

After leading at half time Holbrook copped a savage blow when coach Jarrod Twitt left the ground with a groin injury. His presence and class was badly missed.

James Breen was off target for Holbrook kicking just one goal from eight scoring shots. Mikal Bloom and Stu Williams were outstanding for Holbrook.

Walla scored its first win in over twenty matches when they grabbed a thrilling two point victory over firm favourites RW Tigers at Rand.

Former Richmond player Troy Taylor pulled down a mark of the year contender in the dying stages and slotted home the goal to put the Hoppers in front and hold on in a tight finish.

Walla claimed its first and only wooden spoon in 2011 after 108 years of history and is hell bent on climbing up the ladder with Saturdays result just the tonic required.

The loss was a blow to the Tigers after a promising start in round one and coach Clint Gilson is sure to put his charges through some strong training this week.

Osborne continued on its winning way by easily accounting for round one winner CDHBU at Osborne, winning by 70 points.

James Kennedy, Marty Bahr, Peter Heath and Luke Heyme were in blistering touch as the Cats won all four quarters to stay in second place on the ladder.

CDHBU did well to restrict the carnage after giving up the first seven goals of the game with Jarrod Hanrahan, Matt Ross and Doug Lavis leading the way.

Osborne coach Daniel McAlister kicked four goals to continue his good form after a injury riddled 2011. Osborne should make it three in a row when they travel to Billabong Crows this week.

Brock-Burrum Saints bounced back in good style after a shock round one loss to CDHBU, by easily defeating Billabong Crows by 58 points at Brocklesby.

Kylin Morey led the charge with four goals, while youngster Jacob Bennie impressed with four goals as well. Saints coach Darryn McKimmie was best afield in a damaging game.

Phil Goldsack was best for the Crows in defence, while star forward Josh Evans was well held to finish with just two goals. Murray Magpies had the round two bye.

NEXT WEEK ROUND TWO

Henty v Holbrook

Howlong v Culcairn

Lockhart v BB Saints

Walla v Murray Magpies

CDHBU v RW Tigers (Coreen)

Billabong Crows v Osborne (Urana)

Jindera bye

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Council’s plans for flood mitigation

Council’s plans for flood mitigation were discussed during well attended meetings held at The Rock and Lockhart.
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Council general manager, Chris Gallagher, shire engineer, Alan Clark, mayor Peter Yates and councillors Patterson, Hogan, Shultz and Mulholland attended the meetings.

Mayor Peter Yates said 52 homes and business in Lockhart were inundated with water on March 3 and 4.

During the meetings residents voiced their concerns that the warning system to evacuate came too late.

The residents said they want a better system implemented to alert them and allow them to evacuate much earlier.

SES, Rural Fire Service, Police, Ambulance service, Lockhart Fire Brigade, Lions Club, Football Club members were commended for the assistance given during the flooding and in the following weeks with the clean up.

Fifty nine shires in NSW were impacted by the rain with Lockhart one of the first to be declared a disaster area.

It was reported damage sustained to the road network is not as bad as from the 2010 flood with the height and flow of the water also quite different.

The flow was reported as much quicker and above the height of 2010.

It was recognised that the road and railway bridges impacted on the flooding. Residents said that Council should not back off and that pressure needs to be bought on politicians, the RMS and Murray Catchments Authority to fast track action in these areas.

Concerns were also raised as to why nothing had been done in the 18th months since the previous flood to alleviate the problem of storm water entering the town from Mulbrulong, where the railway line acts as a channel for water.

The meeting was told it is impossible to fully protect towns in the Shire and a professional study has to be done to prepare a case to meet the criteria for funding. James McTavish from the SES is to conduct a survey of residents affected.

Laurie Carter said that people were to be commended for filling sand bags and praised the council and their staff for their actions on the night of the flood.

Darryl Wade from the Roadhouse voiced his concern that the town would suffer if action isn’t taken in the area of flood mitigation.

“Do you want a beautiful town or a flooded town?” was the question asked.

The proposed new footbridge over Brookong Creek is about three months away from being replaced even though plans have been drawn up.

This was of concern to residents of Green Street west who perceive problems with access to town if water goes over the spillway on the northern side of the creek.

CentreLink did not widely advertise that they would be in Lockhart to offer assistance.

General Manager, Chris Gallagher has requested they advertise a return visit and urged those eligible for the $1000 per adult and $400 per child grant to apply.

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Squash club ready for open

Squash open organisers Garry Dempsey and Dennis Haynes.Bringing their racquets this weekend will be some of Australia’s best squash players for Forbes’ third annual major squash event.
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The Forbes Shire Council Squash Open 2012 that will commence this Saturday is expected to be one of the best so far, and tonight is your last chance to enter.

President of the Forbes Squash Club, Garry Dempsey said at the Forbes Squash Club on Sunday he’ll be one local competing against high-calibre players from all over the state.

“People [are coming] from Sydney, Canberra, Orange, Bathurst, Grenfell, Parkes…” Dempsey said.

While he estimated on Sunday around 50 players had put their names on the list, more are needed.

“Seventy is a good number, we’re hopeful we’ll get that,” Dempsey said.

“It’s a good thing to have a good spread of local players.

“But it’s not us versus them. It’s all about individual performance,” he said.

Forbes Squash Club Registrar Dennis Haynes said squash events like this one used to be widespread in small towns across country NSW, but now they’re usually in towns like Bathurst and Dubbo.

“That’s why it’s good Forbes has one,” Haynes said.

“It’s especially great for younger people who can’t travel to bigger places.”

While the Forbes Shire Council Squash Open 2012 will cater for all players, people who cannot hold a racket are welcome to see some of the best competition in the state.

“We have junior players Jessie Keegan, Jeff Salmon and Rohan Toole competing,” Dempsey said.

“The winner from last year’s tournament, Michael Bolton will be returning.

“There are strong male players and there may be some top line lady players coming,” he said.

Your last chance to register in this year’s squash open is tonight at the Forbes Squash Club.

Dempsey also said their will be a band and a dinner at the Forbes Golf Club on Saturday night.

“Anyone can come along to that even if they can’t play squash,” Dempsey said.

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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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