City’s accommodation on ‘unusual’ list| Photos

City’s accommodation on ‘unusual’ list| Photos Taronga Western Plains Zoo where visitors can sleep in luxury safari tents on the edge of the African savannah. Photo: TARONGA WESTERN PLAINS ZOO
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Aranyani Bison Adventure Park which allows visitors to camp in a Native American style teepee. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Enchanted cave in the Blue Mountains offers spectacular views, a spa and a woodfire. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

The Wollemi Wilderness Treehouse has wall-to-wall windows, exposed native timber and is perched on timber stilts. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Visitors get a glimpse into what life would have once been like for a lighthouse keeper with a night in Montague Island Head Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage. Photo: JMorrell OEH

Talo Retreat Yurts have canvas walls lined with Australian wood, a domed skylight to allow stargazing from ybed and a private outdoor spa. Photo: TALO RETREAT

White Cliffs Underground Motel gives visitors the chance to experience underground-living first hand. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Perched overlooking a stunning valley near Bathurst, is a 1949 red double decker London bus that has been converted into accommodation. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

TweetFacebookDestination NSW: 8 unusual places to stay the night-Stay in an underground ‘dug out’ at The White Cliffs Underground Motel

-Camp Native American- style, bison and all, at Aranyani Bison Adventure Park

-A London bus in the bush at Artisans Park

-Adults-only treehouse at Wollemi Wilderness Treehouse

-African Safari in Dubbo at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

-Caveman accommodation at the Enchanted Cave in the Blue Mountains

-A lighthouse on an Island at Montague Island Head Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage

-Yurt on the Murray River at Talo Retreat

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Big school is now in session

Alexander Edmonds and Emily Forbes are just two of Cowra Public School’s new Kindergarten students.They’re small fish ina big pond but that hasn’t stopped the newest kindergarten students at Cowra Public School (CPS) and Mulyan Public School (MPS) from taking the leap into infantsschool.
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Kindergarten students at CPS walked through the gates for the first time on Wednesday whilst class was in session for MPS students on Thursday.

Cowra Public School Assistant PrincipalSheridan Oborn said it was always exciting to see the new students start.

“It’s always lots of fun having our new kindies come in, it’s lots of fun teaching them all the basic routines of school where to line up, how to put their hand up and how to go up stairs,” she said.

She said teachers at CPS also share the same enthusiasm for the first day of school.

“Our teachers are very passionate about all their students and look forward to the start of the year and meeting all the names on that are on a page and getting to know their students and tailoring their teaching to their students educational needs,” she said.

She said that the Year 1 cohort will now have to get used to the fact they are no the littlest ones in the school anymore.

“The kindergarten children from last year would still be talking about their teacher over the holidays and it’s strange for them to come back on the first day and no longer be kindergarten students, that they’ve moved on.

Kinder Purple and Kinder Aqua celebrated their first day at Mulyan Public School on Thursday.

Assistant Principal at MPS, Beatrice Murray said there were quite a few nervous Mums on Thursday morning but it was all smiles from the new students.

“I don’t know who was more nervous, the mums or the kids,” she said.

“But there were no tears this year so we are happy about that.”

After an extensive introduction program, Mrs Murray says kindergarten students were ready to feel at home at MPS.

“We are doing the best start assessment now, looking at where students are at and what teachers can do to help them,” she said.

She said she looks forward to seeing their journey through primary school.

“When Kindergarten comes, they are new, fresh face little children and by the end of Kindergarten they have grown in so many different ways,” she said.

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Moree melts in record heatwavePhotos

KEEPING COOL: Amelia Powlton and Maddie Lumb enjoy some delicious ice-cream from Sullivan’s Newsagency on Wednesday.
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Moree residents are doing everything they can to keep cool this week as the record-breaking hot weather continues, with a stretch of 40-degree temperatures in store until at least Tuesday.

We arecurrently up to 37straight daysof 35-degree plus temperatures, more than double the previous record set in the summer of 1981/82, and this looks set to continue.

Another record could well be broken over the next week, as Moree buckles down for seven straight days of40-degree temperatures –equal that of the record set in November 2009.

Wednesday kicked off this latest40-degree period with a top of 42, while Thursdayis set to peak at a sweltering 44 degrees. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are each expected to reach 42 degrees. Tuesday is expected to be 43.

Bill Crawford, owner/manager of Crawford Roofing and Asbestos Removal said this summer hasbeen pretty tough with temperatures about 55 degrees ontop of a roof in this heat.

“We’ve been up on roofs every day …it gets pretty extreme,” he said.

“It’s the extended period of heat which knocks us up the most, it wears you down.”

FEELING HOT: Crawford Roofing and Asbestos Removal’s Jarrad Bradford and Priit Kivivare were all smiles, despite sweating it out on top of a roof in Wednesday’s heat.

While outside workers are sweltering, a number of local businesses are benefitting from the heat spell.

Yates Refridgeration and Airconditioning has seen a huge surge in business.

“I’ve never seen so many installs,” co-owner Sheryline Yates said. “We’ve been constantly inundated with people wanting air-conditioners installed. We’ve got installs almost every day.”

Mrs Yates said while business has always been busy around this time, this year has been particularly demanding.

“We’re just flat-out; there seems to be an influx all at once.”

Harvey Norman Moreehas experienced one of its biggest seasons for air-conditioner sales, which franchisee Marc Pigdon said has been constant since December.

“Every day there’s been a constant flow of people in the store looking for air-conditioners,” he said.

“We’ve sold out two or three times and have had to get stock from out-of-state.”

HOT SELLERS: Harvey Norman Moree franchisee Marc Pigdon said air conditioners have been in high demand this summer.

Mr Pigdon said portable air-conditioners have been most popular as people look for immediate relief, while split systems have also been popularas alonger-term solution, and surprisingly, the “old window rattlers” havebeen selling well.

Fans have also been walking out the door of Harvey Norman Moree as people look for additional ways to cool their houses.

“We ordered 100 fans at the start of the season and they were gone by mid-December,” Mr Pigdon said.

“People will come in for something else and they’ll grab a few pedestal fans.”

In addition to fans and air-conditioners, more people have also been buying new refridgerators and even blenders.

“It certainly has been a great season,” Mr Pigdon said.

Moree melts in record heatwave | Photos Maddie Lumb and dog Phoebe have fun cooling off under the sprinkler. Photo contributed by Heidi White.

Phoebe cools off under the sprinkler. Photo contributed by Heidi White.

Maddie and Alice Gough with Zohie Lobsy cool off at Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre.

Morgan, Holly and Blayne O’Dempsey cool off at Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre.

Jodie and Evie Anderson cool off at Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre.

Shaylee and Jacqueline enjoy the slide at Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre.

Owen on the slide.

Owen has fun on the slide at Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre.

Owen has fun on the slide at Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre.

Harper Anderson comes down the slide.

Matthew Anderson on the slide.

Birds finding the shade.

Carolyn Osmond waters the plants at the Fork and Spade Nursery.

Charlie the friendly cockatoo at Fork and Spade Nursery stays hydrated in this heat.

19-year-old duck Handicap doesn’t move far from his water under the shade at Fork and Spade Nursery.

Crawford Roofing and Asbestos Removal’s Jarrad Bradford and Priit Kivivare were all smiles, despite sweating it out on a boiling roof on Wednesday.

Crawford Roofing and Asbestos Removal’s Jarrad Bradford and Priit Kivivare were all smiles, despite sweating it out on a boiling roof on Wednesday.

Storm has fun cooling off in the river.

Storm has fun cooling off in the river.

Storm has fun cooling off in the river.

Storm has fun cooling off in the river.

Storm has fun cooling off in the river.

Storm has fun cooling off in the river.

It doesn’t take long for ice-cream to melt in this heat.

Fun on the slide with water. Photo contributed by Jodie Litchfield.

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Bill Lawry and Dick Blacka: A tale of two cricket tragics

Cricket tragic: Local sporting identity Dick Blacka with a photograph taken during his recent meeting with former Australian cricket captian Bill Lawry.A tribute to cricketing legend Bill Lawry will be aired on ABC’s Grandstand program on his 80thbirthday –February 11.
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The tribute is a poem, penned by Bega resident John Cafe, by special request after a chance meeting of Mr Lawry and local cricketidentity Dick Blacka.

Wes and Matt Fleet discovered they were painting the kitchen in Mr Lawry’s Merimbula holiday home and mentioned in passing that Mr Blacka was a big fan and had been diagnosed with cancer.

Mr Cafe said Mr Lawry’s reaction was a catalyst for the tribute.

“Bill not only agreed to meet Dick,” he said.“But set aside an afternoon and hosted for him for an afternoon tea with a big spread prepared by his wife.

“It just lifted Dick’s spirits to no end.”

After the meeting, Matt asked Mr Cafe to pen the tribute to show their admiration of the cricketing icon.

However, the simple gesture quickly became something more when Mr Cafe asked his brother to look over the words.

“One of my brothersis a cricket tragic,” Mr Cafe said with a laugh.“So I asked him to referee it and we came up with this tribute.”

“It all stemmed from his generosity to Dick.”

“He took the time to encourage him through the sickness, and this is also in appreciation of everything Dick has given to local cricket.”

Mr Blacka is a life-long supporter of the local competition and is a life member of the Tathra Sea Eagles club.

It took almost 12 months of back and forth to settle on the final result, butMr Cafe’sbrother, who works as a producer for ABC in Sydney,recorded the poem with music and a backing track of cheers and commentary.

News spread through the ABC and it will be aired on February 11 to celebrate Mr Lawry’s 80thbirthday, both locally and in Sydney on the Grandstand program.

An interview with Mr Cafe and Matt Fleet will be aired before the tribute is played on Andrew Ogilvy’s Saturday morning program.

Mr Blacka, who has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment over the last two years, met with fellow cricket tragic and commentary team icon Bill Lawry at the former Australian captain’sMerimbula holiday home.

”It was very casual, it was two people together who love the game,” Mr Blacka said.

“He’s quite funny, and really down to earth.

“He’s a good bloke, there’s no doubt about it.”

The pair spent the afternoon together chatting about the rich history of the game, it’s modern day adaptations, their shared passion for fishing and even Mr Lawry’s well-known love of pidgeons.

“He did talk about pigeons, but I didn’t have much to say,” Mr Blacka said with a laugh.

“I did tell him they used to race pigeons out at Cobargo in the 1960s at the football ground before games.”

Through the afternoon Mr Blacka gained an insight into the former Australian captain’s view on the modern game.

“He was a stalwart, he stayed at the crease and took his time,” Mr Blacka said.

“It’s a completely different game to how he used to bat, he never believed they’d play shots like they do now.”

The pair are planning to catch up again soon and fish at Mr Lawry’s favourite spot at Tura Beach.

Mr Blacka played his first grade cricket game in 1970, and despite his current treatment took to the field this season in the local C Grade competition.

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First for the North Coast

Kempsey Saints in action in 2016.IN what will be a first, all Football Mid North Coast clubs will come together for a pre-season seminar on Sunday at Laurieton United Ex-Services Club.
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This will take in clubs from South West Rocks to Gloucester.

“In other years we’ve had northern and southern meetings, but this time we’ve decided to get everyone together at the one time and the one place,’’ Football Mid North Coast chairman Mike Parsons said.

He said there will be representatives from the Northern NSW Federationat the seminar to address club delegates.

“All the club registrars will be in attendanceand they’ll be briefed of what will be required with player registrations this year,’’ Mr Parsons said.

There will also be a detailed outline on how clubs can increase sponsorship revenue along with grant applications for funding toimproveinfrastructure.

Mr Parsons had previously said that improving facilities for players and spectators will be a major priority for Football Mid North Coast. He is concerned football is lagging behind other codes in this area.

“We’ll have discussions on how clubs can give better value for money to their sponsors,’’ Mr Parsons added.

There will also be a detailed explanation for all club presidents onFMNC’sstrategic plan that has been signed offby the board.

Mr Parsons said the seminar will be part of the board’s plan to make clubs ‘more inclusive’ in the running of the code.

He added the seminar will now be held annually as part of the pre-season preparations.

“Sundaywill be a busy program,’’ he said.

“We’ll be starting at 9.30 and running through to 1pm.’’

Mr Parsons added the regularpre-season briefing for premier league clubs will be held later this month.

Ten clubs from Forster-Tuncurry to Kempseywill contest the premier league this year, an increase in one on 2016 with Wauchope’s return.

“If we can achieve this we will have more than 350 players on our books,’’ Mr Taylor said.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats will be one of sevenFootball Mid North Coast Premier League clubs taking part in the Westfield FFA Cup this year.

The others are Wallis Lake, Tuncurry-Forster, Macleay Valley, Port Saints, Wauchope and Kempsey Saints.

Kempsey Saints Football Clubrecently announced the appointment of Matt Baker and Jason Fisher to coach their 2017 Premier League squad.

Baker is amongst the highest credentialed coach’s in the area and brings a professionalism to the job that has been refined over years of coaching at all levels.

He has recently stepped away from the Football Mid North Coast rep system,where he coached with and against the best players and coaches between Kempsey and Newcastle.

Baker is committed to Saints this year and is focused on achieving a successful season.

In 2016 he became the seventh life member of the Saints club.

Fisher was instrumental in guiding the Saints into Premier League, and has the experience of playing or coachingevery year the Saints has been involved in senior football.

Pre-season is underway and players who wish to join the senior team can attend training atEden St on Tuesday and Thursdays at 6pm.

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Mandurah Junction spared from Builton backlash

Homes safe: LandCorp says Mandurah Junction property owners won’t be affected by Builton’s collapse. Photo: Facebook.State government development agencyLandCorp said the collapse of buildingcompany Builton on January 23 that left the company owing $16 millionwill not affect the Mandurah Junction development.
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DespiteBuilton claimingto be the builder on their website up until their collapse in January, LandCorp said theyremoved thecompanyfrom the project in May 2016 due to disagreements over pricing.

The development ofMandurah Junction’s stage twowas a joint venture between LandCorp, Builton and Aspireon Homes.

As part of the stage two of the development, LandCorp released 17 house and land packages deals with Builtonin2014, 13 of which were sold.

LandCorp chief Dean Mudford saidall 13 homes had been built, meaningproperty owners won’t be impacted by the collapse of Builton.

“LandCorp’s understanding is that all 13 lots have reached build completion and consequently purchasers will not be impacted by the collapse,” he said.

“Builton’s exclusivity on the four remaining house and land lots was removed on May 5, 2016.

“These lots have subsequently been allocated to another builder as house and land packages.”

A LandCorp spokesman said the partnership between LandCorp and Builton‘mutually terminated’ in 2016because Builton couldn’t meet LandCorp’s price.

“We believed they needed to be a certain price and Builton couldn’t meet it, so we agreed to go our own way,” he said.

Builton’s voluntaryadministrator Dino Travaglini confirmed that Builton was the builder in Mandurah Junction and that the company had not returned to site following the collapse.

“Although we cannot say definitively, there are no plans to return to site at this point,” he said.

Builton was also trading underBuilton Commercial,Platinum Homes,Aspireon Homes,Builton Living,Metrostart HomesandMutli Living by Design.

Mr Mudford said Builton isnot involved in the stage 3A of the development, which started in January 11.

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Time government answered country’s call

People in rural areas live with an unacceptable state of communications access.The federal government has made some investments in improving telecommunications infrastructure through the Mobile Black Spot Program, but this has largely been unable to solve the wider problem of connectivity.
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The government oversees a Universal Service Obligation (USO) to ensure all Australians receive a basic level of service from their telecommunications providers, no matter where they live.

But serious questions have been raised about the relevance of the USO. So much so that the Productivity Commission has launched an inquiry into how the USO could better provide Australians with adequate service. Currently, the USO only extends to landline services, ignoring how dependent we are onmobile phones and the internet in our daily lives.

This is seriously outdated. Mobile coverage especially is crucial – not just for farm safety, but for everything from checking market reports on your phone to emailing yield data to your agronomist. The Productivity Commission recognises this and has recommended the basic level of service be extended to data as well as voice telecommunications.

This sounds great, except that the commission has recommended the National Broadband Network (NBN) as the main method for delivering a baseline level of service.

In Victoria, just as across the country, the NBN has failed the pub test for delivering. It’s been slow and there’s real concern that so far the network isn’t delivering the service most farmers and rural families need, such as quality reception and download capacity.

While there’s a need for the family home and home office to be serviced with appropriate levels of voice and data, there’s also a strong requirement for farmers to be able to access phone services and mobile dataaround the farm property.

The VFF receives complaints from farmers frustrated about the level of service being provided under the USO, when it’s clear an effort isn’t being made to ensure we can keep up with our city cousins as technology rapidly advances.

Let’s put more thought into how a better service can be achieved. It’s up to governments to give us an adequate communications service, but it’s up to us to tell them what we need.

Brett Hosking, VFF vice-president

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letters to the editor

New Premier Gladys Berejiklian will have a hard task to convince one Express reader that she will change things in regional areas.Nationals on the noseSo we have a new state Premier, Gladys B.
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Sometimes when you watch the news on TV or read the papers you really do need a sense of humour .

You really do need to be able to see the ridiculous in the ‘news’ that is presented.

Our new Premier is convinced that climate change is a real problem and she is in favour of council amalgamations .

Obviously, she would not have got the job if she had been against the ‘dogs’ ban.

And the new leader of the Nationals stood up protesting about council amalgamations.

What a joke! What does he think he is doing?Where was hewhen the Nationals should have said no to the ‘dogs’ and forced amalgamations .

How could you possibly vote for any Nationals candidate at the next elections?

Then there is the total dereliction of duty by the federal Nationals regarding changes to the water situation.

When you see our near full dams, just remember 30 per centof the water is there for the environment, not for farmers.

Des GoonanWaggaChef leaves a bad tasteI agree with Susie O’Brien that viewers should boycott My Kitchen Rules until producers vote Paleo Pete off once and for all.

He is using his status as a judge on MKR to promote his views on the paleo diet.

Pete is a hypocrite when he raves on air about a dish tasting so good while he would not promote or extol its virtues off air.

Another gripe I have is the fact both presenters usually have the appearance of someone attempting to grow a beard.

I’ve not shaven for more than 40 years and find this fad amusing.It does take a while for the beard to shape up but they’ve been trying for a long time.

Before someone tries to enlighten me that cultivating a few days old bears makes men more attractive, I’d like to suggest that to many viewers it shows a lack of respect.

While I was thinking about MKR, I remembered a naive contestant asking Manu if he always spoke that way.

I wondered why I found him easier to understand years ago than I did last year.

David EllisRiverinaNo balance to booksBack in the seventies there were very few diesel cars and diesel cost 80 cents a gallon.

More diesel cars were being built and the government allowed the petrol companies to double the price of diesel, but basic food stuffs hardly changed price for many years.

The oil companies and government were raking in the money from taxes. At the present time we see the government making windfall profits from the GST.

Despite raking in the money they still can’t balance their books.

Now they are spying on our bank accounts to see how much more they can grab.

Multinational banks and corporations are killing small business while the TPP will continue the plundering. We’ve had enough; time to drain the swamp!

Jay NaussGlen AplinNot the time for cutsAt a time of increasing demand for residential aged care services, the Turnbull government is stripping $1.8 billion from the aged care budget. Providers who employ health professionals are now finding it difficult to maintain their staffing levels given the impending cuts. The planned cuts come at a time when the government is reviewing boththe impact of aged care sector reformsand the tool that is currently used to allocate funding. The industry is crying out for policy and funding stability.

Together, we can create a sustainable aged services industry delivering affordable, accessible, quality care and services for older Australians.

Sean RooneyAged Care Services AustraliaThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Classic methods, current concerns

Adventurous: Shaun Gladwell’s show opens Saturday at The Lock-Up. Pictured, a still from his digital video, Tangara.The long-running holiday shows at our major galleries are coming to a close.
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Newcastle Art Gallery’s exhibition of recent acquisitions and its presentation of Holding,featuring the work of 25 local, national and international fibre artists finishes on Sunday, February 5.

The gallery’s deservedly popular John Olsen:The City’s Sonends on Sunday, February 19.

Newcastle Art Gallery’s opening exhibition for 2017 from February 18 will be the eagerly anticipated sculptural installation,The Island,from one of Australia’s most highly regarded sculptors, Alex Seton.

Seton works across many mediums and is regularly represented in the world’s major biennales and art fairs.

He is best known for his highly polished, finely detailed carved marble sculptures of everyday objects.

With incomparable skill, Seton uses age-old approaches and methods combined with modern technology to transform rough stone into dazzling art works of rare power and beauty, whichdirectly address immediate social and political issues that few contemporary artists are willing to explore.

Central to this exhibition is the workSomeone died trying to have a life like mine, from the Art Gallery of South Australiain which an array of 28 marble lifejackets snake around an imaginary shoreline transformed into a poignant, timeless memorial to all refugees who have lost their lives in pursuit of the peace and security we too often take for granted.

The Island runs until May 7.

Seton has also produced the major workAs of today… in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, where 41 carved marble, ceremonially folded flags commemorate the lives of the 41 Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

GLADWELL AT LOCK-UPControlby Shaun Gladwell, which opens on Saturday at the Lock-Up, continues the gallery’s policy of presenting the most diverse and challenging forms of contemporary art from some of Australia’s best known artists. Like Alex Seton, Shaun Gladwell has very close connections with the Australian War Memorial, having been our official war artist in Afghanistan in 2009 while also being Australia’s representative at the Venice Biennale in the same year.

This survey of his video work, for which he has achieved international attention, has been selected by curator of art at the Australian War Memorial Warwick Heywood, who uses the Lock-Up’s former prison cells to amplify the themes of rebellion, control and containment, whichare central to many of the pieces. It would seem to be the perfect venue for this project.

SOFT TO THE COREAlso opening this weekend at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery is another exhibition of contemporary sculpture,Soft Core.

Twelve Australian and international artists, including Patricia Piccinini, Tony Oursler – who is currently exhibiting at MoMa in New York, and Michael Parekowhai from New Zealand, use a broad array oftraditional and non-traditional sculptural materials to engage with notions of softness in a show that would seem to be full of fun and wit and thoroughly entertaining.

Lake Macquarie gallery continues to support local artists through its Artist Focus project and the selection of Braddon Snape to exhibit his seemingly soft, billowing clouds and pillows of inflated steel alongside theSoft Coresculptures seems to be an ideal choice.

Snapeis an artist whose reputation continues to expand. He is also the founder of The Creator Incubator art studio complex in Hamilton North, one of the newest studio-workshops to arise since the demise of the Newcastle Community Art Centre’s headquarters at Parry Street.

NEW HOME OF ARTIn some very pleasing news it has just been announced that at the eleventh hour the Newcastle Community Arts Centre (NCAC) has found a new home for the next few years in Block O of the TAFE campus at Tighes Hill.

There will not only be studio spaces but teaching rooms, a rehearsal room and ceramics studio, an office and a new home for the Newcastle Art Space so almost all of the centre’s activities can continue with minimum interruption.

This is a great outcome due to the dedication and persistence of the NCAC board and administrator, and they should be congratulated for their efforts and success.

Also opening this weekend are group exhibitions from many well-known local artists at Gallery 139 and Acrux Gallery in Hamilton.

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‘Feds must deliver sugar code of conduct’

FOLLOW THROUGH: The Federal Government must immediately implement a sugar industry code of conduct says North Queensland MP Andrew Cripps.THERE are calls federal government to immediately implement the recommendation of the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs Committeesupporting the development of a sugar industry code of conduct.
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Hinchinbrook MPAndrew Crippssaid 18 months after the senate committee handed down its report, the federal government had not progressed the development of a sugar industry code of conduct, despite the committee recommendation being unanimously supported by senators from all parties.

“The Queensland Parliament has done its job, with LNP and crossbench MPs amending theSugar Industry Actto provide growers choice in marketing and recognising grower economic interest,”Mr Cripps said.

“It’s time for the federal government to pull its weight with a code of conduct.”

Peak farm body CANEGROWERS said the fastest way to resolve the current deadlock in negotiations towards contracts for the 2017 season was to continue work towards a negotiated outcome that complies with the Queensland Sugar Industry Act.

To that end, it has invited both Wilmar Sugar and QSL to a three-way meeting with grower representatives.

However, as negotiations are at animpasse, progress towards the development of a code of conduct may have a role to play in the industry both now and into the future.

CANEGROWERS says it supports further work towards the development of a code of conduct to avoid a repeat of the current strain growers have been put under.

Mr Cripps said with less than six months before the start of the 2017 cane harvesting season, it wasunacceptable for Wilmar and growers supplying their mills between Ingham and Mackay not to have a cane supply agreement in place.

“The dispute must be resolved,” Mr Cripps said.

“There is nothing wrong with the Queensland legislation because every other milling company has already been able to reach an agreement with growers supplying their mills. Therefore the problem must be between the parties involved in the negotiations in the Wilmar mill areas.

“There is too much at stake for the Queensland sugar industry to allow this uncertainty to continue. The failure of the parties to negotiate a supply agreement means it is now clear this process needs to be guided by a formal code of conduct. They have brought this on themselves.

“There is a draft code of conduct which was prepared by a federal taskforce in 2015 and the senate committee has suggested it may provide a foundation upon which a statutory code of conduct could be established, so the federal government could move quickly on this.

“The absence of an agreement between Wilmar and cane growers has serious ramifications for the local communities involved – such as the Herbert River district in the Hinchinbrook electorate – from mill employees to harvester contractors and many others servicing the industry.”

​CLICK HERE to read the senate committee recommendations.

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