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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Lachlan River to peak today

Photo by Forbes Advocate reader Jan Stewart.An elderly gentleman and a younger female were airlifted from a rural property around 12 noon yesterday.
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The property became isolated by flood waters and as a result, the home lost essential services.

Deputy Controller for the Forbes SES Jordon L’Estrange said the pair was airlifted out for medical reasons.

The Bureau of Meteorology advised yesterday afternoon a level of 10.65 metres is still expected today, despite long grasses causing the floodwaters to slow and spread.

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This will cause a prolonged peak and flood period.

“What people are seeing now is nothing compared to what we will see,” he said.

Mr L’Estrange confirmed three houses have been inundated by the floodwaters.

Eight hundred residents were doorknocked during the Evacuation Order. Since then, 65 residents have registered at an evacuation centre.

Mayor of Forbes Shire, Councillor Phyllis Miller said yesterday although Forbes is a strong community, there is assistance for those who need help.

“Once the water goes through we will go into recovery,” Cr Miller said.

“There will be a recovery centre at the town hall and we will start to assist people [who’s homes] have been inundated.”

She also said Forbes is doing well thanks to local people and emergency service personel.

“We planned well for the flood and we are in capable hands with the emergency services people,” Cr Miller said.

While the emergency continues today, Cr Miller said people should remember that flood water is dangerous.

“One thing that concerns me is children playing in the flood water,” she said.

Police patrolling closed roads

Forbes Police have warned all motorists they will be enforcing road closures during the floods.

Sergeant Adam Beard said a number of motorists have been seen driving around ‘Road Closed’ signed and proceeding into flood waters.

Driving into flood waters is causing bow waves into homes and damaging property, Sgt Beard said.

Police have been called to rescue a number of motorists who have entered flood waters and become stranded. Sgt Beard described such actions as a waste of resources.

“Police will issue an on the spot fine to people who ignore road closed signage,” Sgt Beard said.

Sgt Beard said people should not be walking, driving or entering the flood waters.

“We are asking that all the community exercise common sense,” Sgt Beard said.

Flood water activity will be monitored by police.

Lachlan R at Forbes Iron Bridge – Bureau of Meteorology

Current river levels:

❏ Iron Bridge 10.56m as at 2pm

❏ Nanami 10.64m as at 1pm

❏ Mulyandry 11.41m as at 1pm

❏ Cottons 7.04m as at 1pm

❏ Jemalong 7.84m (as 8am)

Wyangla at 10am:

❏ 101.4%

❏ inflows 13,400Ml and outflows 13,000Ml

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Organisers tickled pink with Holbrook Races

Winning Jockey of the Abigroup Ladies Bracelet Benchmark handicap, John Kissick prepares to weigh in after the race. Kissick’s winning mount, Jaberi Boy.
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A huge crowd turned out for the Commander Holbrook Cup Race Meeting held on March 31, which was not only drenched in sunshine but also in pink, in support of the McGrath Foundation.

The day was a huge success according to Holbrook and District Race Club’s President Susie Finlay.

“It was an excellent crowd which was up from previous years,” Ms Finlay said.

“Everyone made a huge effort with race goers really embracing the cause donning pink hats, ties and outfits, it was great to see.”

Tracey Bevan from the McGrath Foundation attended the race meeting and presented the trophy to the winner of the Abigroup Ladies Bracelet Benchmark handicap.

The winning horse was Jaberi Boy trained by Gordon Hulm from Tumbarumba and ridden by jockey John Kissick.

The Fashions on the Field categories were hotly contested with large entries.

Winners on the day included Bridie Herriott of Holbrook who took out the Most Elegant Lady title, Sheila Smith of Hay, won the Young Miss Race Goer category, Most Fashionable Man went to Dr Lakshmanan, Sharon Bagley won the Best Dressed Local and Katrina Shobbrook took out the Pretty in Pink category.

The race meeting was not just a great family day out but the crowds were generous with donations towards the McGrath Foundation.

The committee held money raising events during the day including auctioning off a Rose Auburn hat that fetched $500 and auctioning off pink saddlecloths signed by racing legend Damien Oliver.

The Holbrook and Race Club also donated $1 from the sale of each official race program to the McGrath Foundation.

“We sold all the merchandise within hours,” Ms Finlay said.

“Each race horse sported a pink saddlecloth and we sold every one of them through an auction held at the end of the race meeting, which raised a lot of money”.

Ms Finlay added she was pleased with the support of local businesses and the community of Holbrook.

“All the businesses in town really got behind the cause and decorated their shops in pink and white a week out from the races.

“The local businesses also had donation tins on their counters which added another $1100 towards the McGrath Foundation.

“It was overwhelming the amount of support we received, I am so proud of our town Holbrook,” she said.

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Empty homes as flood waters rise

Forbes in flood 2012
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An evacuation order for 235 properties remains in place this morning in Forbes and the State Emergency Service (SES) believes the majority of people have already left their homes.

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The stage two evacuation order issued yesterday asked affected residents to leave their properties before 8pm and report to an evacuation centre to be registered.

SES Community Engagement Officer Megan Hill said she hoped that affected residents were no longer at home.

“We do have information on who has chosen to stay in their homes. We ask when we do the doorknocking process,” she said.

“There were 226 home doorknocked yesterday, and we have indications that the majority of those people had already evacuated.”

The SES are urgently seeking assistance with sandbagging and are asking volunteers to report to the SES headquarters in Forbes on the corner of School Road and Farnell Street.

“We are packing thousands and thousands of sandbags,” Ms Hill said.

“Yesterday we had teams of around 20 people sandbagging. It was fabulous. There were kids as young as 12, and entire families were coming down to help.”

“People are able to pick up sandbags from our Forbes centre.”

The Bureau of Meteorology is still predicting the Lachlan River will peak near 10.65 metres late Thursday with major flooding at the Forbes Iron Bridge.

“At Forbes, river levels are rising slowly and have exceeded 10.5 metres this morning,” the bureau said in a statement.

“The Lachlan River at Nanami peaked at 11.54 metres around 4am Wednesday morning.”

Two evacuations centres remain open in Forbes: Forbes High School on Wyndham Avenue and the Jemalong Regional Education Centre on Church Street opposite the high school.

If you have photos of the floods don’t forget to send them through and we’ll put together a readers’ photo gallery. Simply email them to [email protected]南京夜网.au

Lachlan R at Forbes Iron Bridge – Bureau of Meteorology

Latest river levels

■ Iron Bridge – 10.53m at 2pm

■ Nanami – 11.48m 1pm at 1pm

■ Mulyandry 11.47m at 1pm

■ Cottons – 6.97m at 1pm

■ Jemalong Weir 7.74m at 8.40am

Wyangala Dam

■ Dropped to 101.6% this morning.

■ In the 24 hours up until 9am yesterday 19,209 megalitres of water entered the storage with State water releasing 30,039 megalitres.

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Born in the Lockhart Shire

Lockhart Shire Councillors, at their March meeting, discussed the possibility of developing a “Hall of Fame” concept with past and present residents being acknowledged as suggested by the Lockhart Shire Tourism and Economic Development Steering Committee.
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Since settlement, the Lockhart Shire has been the birthplace of many prominent citizens, examples are:

Don Kendell, (started Kendell Airlines-no REX) born (19 January 1930 – 14 October 2001) and raised in Lockhart Shire was the founder and Chairman of Kendell Airlines, now a part of Regional Express Airlines. In 1992, Don Kendell was made a member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to aviation.

Donald Hazelwood Concertmaster Emeritus, Sydney Symphony Orchestra was raised in Urangeline. He was a violinist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for 45 years, and has enjoyed a long and successful career at the forefront of Australian classical music.

For his services to music he has received numerous awards. He was given an OBE in 1976 and was made an officer of the Order of Australia in 1988.

Norm Provan, “Sticks” (born 1932), was raised in Bidgeemia (Lockhart Shire) and is an Australian former rugby league footballer and coach. Named amongst the nation’s finest footballers of the 20th century, he was a representative in the Australian national team from 1954 to 1960 earning 14 Test and 2 World Cup caps.

John Herbert (Jack) Crawford was born in 1098, raised in Urangeline (Lockhart Shire) and won the Australian Open four times – from 1931-33 and in 1935.

He made his debut at the Australian Championships in 1927, losing an epic first round against Gar Moon. In 1933, Crawford won his third Australian title, beating American Keith Gledhill in the final.

Reg Gleeson was born in 1950. He is the former star Swans half-back and had previously played with Osborne before he was recruited from Lockhart.

More recently the list of prominent citizens from the Lockhart Shire includes Adam Schneider and Jackson Strong.

As all areas of the Shire have produced prominent citizens a central ‘Hall of Fame’ could be developed in Lockhart and all other towns and districts of the Shire displaying a duplication of the personalities for their respective areas.

At their April meeting the Tourism and Economic Development Steering Committee will discuss this matter further – the “Hall of Fame” project will not only give recognition to the achievements of the above mentioned individuals but also offer inspiration to current and future generations.

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Volunteers arrive in Forbes to help

Ann Tasker and Michael Byrnes came from Parkes and Raelyn Hitchick came from Bogan Gate to assist with the emergency accommodation effort in Forbes.
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People affected by floods will have places to stay thanks to the efforts of Forbes Shire Council and several other organisations, including many volunteers.

Manager Communication and Development at Forbes Shire Council Kristy Hartwig said the Forbes High School Hall and Jemalong Regional Education Centre (formerly JRV) will serve as temporary emergency accommodation.

“People who have been issued with an evacuation order can present themselves at either of those places,” Ms Hartwig said.

Lending their support to people affected by the flood in Forbes are several organisations and volunteers from other towns.

Ann Tasker from Parkes and Raelyn Hitchick from Bogan Gate have travelled here to give their assistance to our community.

“I’ve been with the church for over 40 years,” Ms Tasker said.

Although a long-serving volunteer in many organisations this is Ms Tasker’s first year providing emergency services with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), one of several volunteer groups helping with the flood effort.

Ms Tasker and Hitchick hope they can help anyone in need.

Also here to help is Michael Byrnes from Parkes, a member of the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).

“The people of Forbes are pretty resilient,” Mr Byrnes said.

“A lot of them are organised but if they aren’t then we can help.”

Mr Byrnes believes people often wait until they see the water before they go, but he said the best time to be prepared is now.

Anyone who has questions or concerns regarding the coming flood can go to Forbes Shire Council’s help desk at the town hall, or visit their website.

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235 Forbes properties told to evacuate

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Video by Stacey Miller

The State Emergency Service (SES) has issued an evacuation order this morning for over 235 properties in the Forbes Shire.

The evacuation order follows a prediction from the Bureau of Meteorology that rising flood waters in the Lachlan River will exceed the major flood level of 10.4 metres before midday.

The river is expected to peak near 10.65 metres during Thursday.

SES spokesperson Alex Chesser said the order was put in place at 8.30am and affected residents are being asked to evacuate in the next 12 hours.

“That is for a number of reasons, obviously for rising flood waters but also it is a lot harder to move around in the dark,” he said.

“We are advising people to leave as soon as possible … the situation can change quickly.”

Emergency personnel will be out in affected areas this morning door-knocking to provide further information to residents.

“The SES here are on top of what they expect to occur,” said Mr Chesser.

“It is just facilitating that work on the ground. There is potential for further rises, but at this stage we are just concentrating on the relocation of people in the affected area.”

Two evacuations centres have been set up in Forbes. The first at the Community Services Building on Elgin Street and the second at Forbes or Forbes High School on Wyndham Avenue.

Affected residents are asked to visit one of the centres to register before going to stay with friends and family. Community Services will be on hand to help organise accommodation for those who need assistance. RSPCA will temporarily house pets during the evacuation period.

Areas that have been asked to evacuate include:

South West Forbes (Lake Forbes to Newell Hwy)

■ Elizabeth St, Farnell St, Hilda St, Show St, Forester St, Marcia St, Racecourse Rd,

Thelma St, Mona Pl, Margret St, Junction St and Lachlan St

North Forbes and the CBD

■ Battye St, Bedgerebong Rd, Browne St, Camp St, Clear St, Cross St, Farnell St,

Farrand St, Grenfell St, Johnson St, North Circle Dr, Dowling St, Parkes Rd, Rankin

St, Renfree St, Sam Street, Sherriff St, Spring St and Templar St.

Eastern residential area

■ Bandon St, Barwin St, Bridge St, Church St, Clark St, Ferry St, Flint St, Herbert St,

Hill St, James St, Ooma St, Orange Rd, Oxford St, Rifle Range Rd, Sandhills Rd,

Twogood Ln and Young St

South Forbes

■ Bathurst St, Blackwood St, Cargo Ln, Church St, Claret St, College Rd, Forbes –

Cowra Rd, Mole Ln, Moselle St, Muscat St, Reymond St, River Rd, Stacey St,

Wambat St, Koala Pl, and Wandary Ln

■ Apex Caravan Park

Before leaving home people should:

■ Turn off the electricity and gas at the main switch or at the gas bottle

■ Turn off all electrical items and store securely

■ Put belongings up high on tables, beds and benches

■ Store light weight items in roof space

■ Take pets with you when you leave

■ Take clothes & bedding, medicines, personal & financial documents, mementos and photos

■ Check with neighbours to see if they need help

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A MAGICAL EVENING AT LOCKHART

Lockhart’s St Mary’s Debutante Ball was held last Friday, March 30 with fifteen girls making their debut together with their partners.
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While some traditions have faded, or even disappeared over the years, the Lockhart Debutante Ball is still going strong.

Dance teacher for the Ball, Mrs Fran Day said “This was a once in a lifetime

experience for the debutantes that was unforgettable.

“Seeing all the beautiful young women in their stunning dresses with their good-looking partners and shining smiles on

everyone’s face, made friends and family and especially their parents extremely proud.”

This year, St Mary’s had the Most Reverend Gerard Hanna, Bishop of Wagga Wagga, to officially receive the debutantes and their partners.

Mrs Day said “The committee would like to take this opportunity to thank Bishop Hanna most sincerely for undertaking this important duty. Special gratitude must also go to Father Darren Howie, Parish Priest St Mary’s as well as Jason Gooden, Chairperson St Mary’s Parish and his wife Liza”.

The tuition and choreography of dance teacher Mrs Day had the debutantes and their partners captivating the audience not only with their presentation dances of the Waltz and the Cha Cha, but also with a spectacular floor show performance ‘Shout’. The Floor Show has been a feature of St Mary’s debutante balls.

The event was compered by Trent Gooden and coordinated by St Mary’s committee – Mrs Lyn Hamson, Mrs Chris Nimmo, Mrs Marg Firman and Mrs Chris Doig. The Ball’s Master of Ceremonies was Mrs Sally Carn and Mr Trent Gooden compered the evening.

Mrs Day added “The debutantes and their partners must be congratulated on the dignified manner in which they presented themselves.”

Back Row left to right: Lachlan Lane, Tyler Krebser, Dale Palmer, Thomas Bennett, Nick Parks, Charlie Bender, Tenille Healy, Alana Parks, Amanda Schneider, Abbey Golder, Teagan Hannon, Annabel Bender, Melanie Guttler, Nicki Guttler, Chloe Sheather, Jana Shilo, Mikala Shilo, Zac Atkins, Jesse Shilo, Joshua O’Connell, Jake Chandler, Robert Farrall and Simon Hounsell. Middle Row left to right: Mitchell Carter, Will Lane, Grace Alexander, Alice Lenehan, Jason Gooden (Chairperson St Mary’s Parish Lockhart) Liza Gooden, Father Darren Howie (Parish Priest St Mary’s Lockhart), Most Reverend Gerard Hanna (Bishop of Wagga Wagga), Fran Day (Dance Teacher), Bridget McDonnell, Anna Rose Colburn and Dougal Howard.

Front Row: Page Boy Matthew Lenehan and Flower Girl Maggie Lane Photo: Felicity Melton

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