Use COFFIE to save water

The next phase ofwater-saving along the River Murray is about to begin.
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The latest acronym for irrigators to remember is COFFIE: the Commonwealth On-Farm Further Irrigation Efficiency program.

Like previous initiatives such as the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program (OFIEP) and South Australian River Murray Sustainability (SARMS) Irrigation Industry Improvement Program (3IP), it will offer funding to irrigators who pledge to use water more efficiently.

Irrigators can now apply for a share in $15 million worth of funding to be spent in this state.

Projects must be able to return at least two megalitres of annual water entitlements to the federal government.

Water and the River Murray Minister Ian Hunter said South Australia’s irrigators already managed their water well, but there was more they – and their interstate counterparts – could do.

“The COFFIE program will enable irrigators to build on the substantial water savings already achieved,” he said.

SA Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB) Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board presiding member Sharon Starick said she was glad for the opportunity to continue working with irrigators and the federal government.

“Since 2010 the SAMDB NRM Board has managed more than 360 individual irrigator projects through the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program, which has seen just over $60 million invested in on-farm irrigation improvements and generated water savings in excess of 25,000ML,” she said.

“Recent monitoring and evaluation and a cost-benefit analysis have demonstrated real and lasting benefits to irrigators from this on-farm investment, to the opportunity to build on these outcomes through the COFFIE pilot is welcomed.”

The program will be trialled in South Australia before being rolled out across the river basin.

Funding applications from South Australian irrigators will be accepted until September 13, 2019.

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New name for forest rally

The 2017 Forest Rally, which is held in Nannup and Busselton, will become the Make Smoking History Forest Rally, following a new multi-year deal with event sponsor Healthway. Photo supplied.A premier WA sporting event held in Nannup and Busselton will be renamed ahead of this year’s event.
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The 2017 Forest Rally will become the Make Smoking History Forest Rally, following a new multi-year deal with event sponsor Healthway.

The Make Smoking History Forest Rally will be the second round of both the CAMS Australian Rally Championship and the Onslow Contracting West Australian Rally Championship and will be held in Busselton and Nannup from April21-23

Healthway has sponsored the event since 1995.

Forest Rally Event Director, Ross Tapper said he was delighted Healthway had continued their support of the event.

“The support of Healthway – as well as our other great sponsors – allows us to expand the event year on year, ensuring we are always providing new and exciting challenges for competitors and in turn top-quality entertainment for spectators both in Busselton and the forest of Nannup,” he said.

“Healthway’s support over the past 22 years has been an integral part of the success of this event and the growth of rallying in our state and this has allowed us to showcase the very best of what Western Australia has to offer,” he continued.

The Make Smoking History campaign was established in 2000 with the aim of reducing smoking in Western Australia.

The campaign is an initiative of Cancer Council Western Australia and is jointly funded by Healthway, the Department of Health WA and Cancer Council WA.

Healthway’s Acting Executive Director, Maree De Lacey, said Healthway funding had played an important role in reducing smoking rates among WA adults to just 12.3 per cent.

“However, there is no room for complacency as smoking is still the biggest single cause of premature death and, every year, around 1,400 West Australians die before their time because they smoked,” Ms De Lacey said.

“Healthway is delighted to work with the Make Smoking History Forest Rally to promote awareness of the health benefits of being a nonsmoker.”

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Tribute song wins big

Simply Bushed’s song commemorating Anzac Day has earned the band a top award at Tamworth Country Music Festival.
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The song, ‘Raise Your Glass’ wonthe Tamworth Songwriters Association’sAnzac Song of the Year award.

More than 100 artists submitted their songs in the national contest.

Singer Paul Grierson said he and band mate Chris Rieger were emotional about the win.

“If there was one award we really wanted to win it was this one,” he said.

“I was gobsmacked, when I got up to do the speech nothing came out.

“It was a very emotional win.”

The St Helen’s Park resident said the band would perform the song at the Australian War Memorial later in the year.

“Both Chris and I had grandfathers that served Australia in World War II,” Mr Grierson said.

“Most Australians are connected to a military heritage.

“We would like to dedicate our win to the young soldiers who are still serving – many of whom are going to need our help.”

Mr Grierson said the song was written in half an hour.

“Songs come around in many different ways, this one just came to me and we fine tuned it together,” he said.

“If people we singing this song for years to come it would be a wonderful legacy.”

The band has performed for soldiers in Australia andtraveled to the Solomon Islands and the Middle East to perform for soldiers serving overseas.

The bandhave just returned from the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

“We had a ripper –all of our shows sold out and we bought home a major award,” Mr Grierson said.

”We were also finalists in the Golden Guitars for the same song in the Video Clip of the Year category but were pipped at the post by a very powerful clip.”

Mr Grierson and Mr Rieger celebrated their 10thvisit to the country music festival.

“It’s really wonderful to sing all of our songs and catch up fans and our musician mates,” he said.

“We had an absolute ball.”

Simply Bushed have anew EP available called Military Issue, it is availble for sale on the band’s website.

“We will also be recording a new album middle of this year,” Mr Grierson said.

“We also have a free show coming up at the Hawkesbury Hotel in Windsor on February 18.”

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Chase trio captured

Standing guard: Barwon police and highway officers patrol the Newell Highway in Moree after three pursuits on Tuesday. Photo: Sophie HarrisTWO men and a woman remain in custodycharged in connection to three high-speed chases north and south of Moree.
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Shaun White, Hannah White and Blake Surch were listed to appearin Moree Local Court on Wednesday afternoon facing a string of charges.

But, the trio did not make it to court in time, and were ordered to stayin custody to front Inverell Local Court on Thursday for a bail determination.

Surch is charged with receiving goods out of NSW, using an unregistered car on the road, dishonestly obtaining property by deception and three counts of police pursuit by driving recklessly.

Hannah White faces charges of receiving property stolen from outside NSW, permitting use of an unregistered vehicle on the road, dishonestly obtaining property by deception, custody of a knife in a public place and three counts of owner not disclose identity of a driver or passenger.

Shaun White is charged with one count of dishonestly obtaining property by deception.

Standing guard: Barwon police patrol the Newell Highway in Moree after three pursuits on Tuesday. Photo: Sophie Harris

The trio were arrested hours after Barwon police made a public appeal to find the occupants in the Toyota Camry whichallegedly lead officers onthree high-speed pursuits between Coonabarabran and Moree.

Barwon police and highway patrol officers were alerted by their southern counterparts about 1pm on Tuesday after a gold coloured car evaded officers on the Newell Highway.

“Police have tried to stop the vehicle bearing Victorian number plates, which accelerated away and a pursuit was initiated,”Barwon Inspector Martin Burke toldFairfax Media on Tuesday.

Officers deployed road spikes near Narrabri but the car sped off, reaching speeds of up to 160km per hour in a 110 zone.

Standing guard: Barwon police and highway officers patrol the Newell Highway in Moree after three pursuits on Tuesday. Photo: Sophie Harris

Police said they were forced to abandon the pursuiton three occasions because of the high speeds.

Back-up was called in and officers again found the Camry south of Moree before a third pursuit north of town on the Newell Highway.

They were eventually arrested late on Tuesday night.

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Dairy farmers ready share their anguish

Milked dry: Nabiac farmers Phillip and Jason Schneider will attend the ACCC inquiry into milk prices in Taree at noon next Tuesday, February 7 at Club West. WHEN Phillip Schneider would welcome primary school studentsto his farm they had one big question: ‘why do you get paid so little for your milk?’.
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“I couldn’t answer the question, but they could: greed,” said the Nabiac based farmer.Thesefarm tours were many years ago,andhad to be stopped due to the tragic loss of a grandchild to a rare tumour and subsequent poor health for Phillip.

But this question remainsand will be one of many taken to theAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiryinto milk prices inTaree at noon nextTuesday, February 7at Club West.

Phillip, 62, has been a farmer for 48 years. His farmmilksaround 70 cows, which produce between 25 to 50 litres a day to milk supplier Parmalat.

In January,Parmalatannounced a two cent reduction on last year’s price, with farmers now told to expect an average price of 44.1 cents per litre in 2017.

“Twenty five years ago we were getting 54 cents –we need that all year around,” Phillip said.

Phillip saidthe latest dry period is the worse he’s experiencedin 48 years and the recent rain ‘saved’ them.

With other farmersin the area already make the tough decision to close down, the thought has crossed the family’s mind but for Phillip he couldn’t imagine leaving.

“What else would I do? I’ve built so much here, I don’twant to sell, I wantthis to be for my grandchildren.”

Phillip prides himself on his milk quality and has won district and State awards and is consideredin the top five per cent of Australia for quality.

“I still try and run the farm the same–but it just gets tighter and tighter. I’m not cuttingcorners but it’s not easy,” Phillip said.

Due to a spine disease Phillip can no longer milk andhis son Jason is handling the milking.

Phillip does the farm work and helps care for Jason and his wife Kylie’s three children, as Kylie is an intensive care nurse.

Phillip said they are a strong unit as a family but he feels for those desperately struggling in the area.

“People come to meetings in tears,” he said.

“Wives have to be on suicide watch for their husbands.Things shouldn’t be in that position.”

Phillip and Jason will attend the inquiry.“It’s a start, it might not help us, but it’s a start in the right direction.”

Story originally appeared atThe Manning River Times

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White charge “disappointing”

ILLAWARRA will decide on Thursday whether they’ll challenge a one-game suspension leveled at key guard Kevin White that’s soured their five-point win over competition leaders Adelaide on Saturday.
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The NBL match review panel hit White with the “unduly rough play” charge on Tuesday fora second-quarter collision with Adelaide big-man Eric Jacobsen.

The charge carries a base penalty of a one-game suspension though White could still play against Cairns in Wollongong on Friday if he enters an early guilty plea and cops a $1000 fine.

Currently in second spot, the Hawks remain well in the hunt for a top-two finish and a home finals series and can ill-afford to be without theirhard-nosed back-court leader for the crucial clash with the Taipans.

The incident with Jacobsen came in full view of the three match officials none of whom called a foul. That fact could prove the basis of the Hawks case should they elect to fight the charge. The club has until to 5pm Thursday to notify the NBL.

Coach Rob Beveridge was weighing up his options on Wednesday but said he certainly won’t be asking White to curb his physical style of play.

“I’ll be talking to the league about the review process,” Beveridge said.

“Everyone who knows Whitey knows heputs his heart and soul into his club andhis teammates.

“I’ve never, ever, coached anyone to go out there and hurt anyone or hit anyone, or anything like that butI want my guysto play hard and I’m extremely proud of the way Whitey does that.

“He does it out of being an incredible teammate who puts it all on the line for his team,so for this happen days after the factis very disappointing.”

Brisbane veteran Daniel Kickert sparked a war of words with Adelaide when he referred to the Sixers as “Thirty-Snitchers” on twitter after beingcharged with headbutting in round seven.

Coach Joey Wright bit back with a tweet of his own with he andKickert both fined $500 for the exchange.

Kickert’s charge came after Adelaide brought the headbutting incident to the attention of the NBL but the 36rs played no such role in White being charged.

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Cessnock cricket lower grade results

Cessnock cricket lower grade results and points tables.
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Second GradeGreta/Branxton 7/116 (Pat Andrews 26, Ben Hogan 15, Will Regan 15, Mitch Fallon 13, Alex Walkling 13no, Ryan Maxwell 3-28 off 10, Wayne Harris 2-9 off 4) defeated Wine Country 107 (Shane Morley 30, Ryan Maxwell 23, Mark Peace 5-33 off 10, Mick Regan 2-34 off 7).

Bellbird 150 (Matt Crump 35, Brendan Clark 31, Andrew Howson 31, Joey Millington 15, Nathan King 3-7 off 3.1, Alex Davey 2-13 off 6, Will Watson 2-28 off 7) defeatedMulbring 96 (Daniel King 41, Adam Sheehan 19, Will Watson 15, Brendan Clark 6-17 off 7.3, Wade Attewell 2-16 off 6).

Peden’s Hotel 9/170 (Luke Johnston 52, Brett Hindmarsh 34, Daniel Olsen 26, Ben Reid 14, Tim Goldman 3-26 off 8, Ross O’Connell 3-43 off 7, Luke Sweeney 2-41 off 10) defeated Supporters 140 (Tim Goldman 65, Ross O’Connell 21, Adrian Jones 17, Andrew Fensom 16, Daniel Olsen 4-6 off 2, Ben Reid 3-28 off 9, Ryan Hindmarsh 2-30 off 6).

Third GradeGreta/Branxton 9/146 (Craig Gillings 29, Zac Watkins 19, Dave Seabrook 19, Ben Lahey 18, R. Clark 3-17 off 6, B. Skelton 2-21 off 5) defeated Denman Hotel 94 (L. Turner 25, D. McCarty 19, Paul Walkling 4-17 off 5.2, Steve Peel 2-32 off 7, Steve Peace 2-24 off 8, Zac Watkins 2-10 off 4).

Bellbird 8/233 (Matt Schrieber 71no, Mark Stevens 69, Andrew Chalker 26, Jack Lennard 17, Darren Reed 3-37 off 10, Jesse Smart 2-21 off 4, Pat Jurd 2-56 off 9)defeated Wine Country 86 (Scott Peachman 50no, Luke Meyers 5-11 off 8, Jack Lennard 2-19 off 4, Mark Stevens 2-24 off 7).

Supporters 3/77 (G. Brodie 43no, A. Field 16, Matt Gough 1-23 off 6, Darren Young 1-29 off 3, Jack Kirkham 1-19 off 3) defeated Mulbring 57 (Darren Young 14, Darrell Payne 13, Geoff Browning 12, G. Goldman 3-15 off 9.3, A. Field 2-15 off 5, T. Johnson 2-13 off 9, S. Minter 2-13 off 6).

Peden’s Hotel 6/175 (Craig Beer 57, Dean Campbell 40, Neil Harvey 17no, Adam Williams 17no, Daniel Russell 17, S. Williams 3-40 off 6, G. Kelso 2-40 off 10) defeated Laguna 7/167 (A. Taylor 89no, J. Bailey 39, M. Dixon 17, C. Dodds 2-28 off 10, D. Grills 2-43 off 10, D. Russell 2-22 off 5).

Fourth GradeDenman Hotel 9/139 (Adam Bartley 47, Jakob Bartley 22, David Stothard 18, Brett Bartley 16, Dion Charnock 6-38 off 8, Cory Stephenson 2-32 off 4) defeatedGreta/Branxton Blue 136 (Neil Bird 31, Mitch Bird 18, Jason Stephenson 16, Will Young 15, Jakob Bartley 3-21 off 10, Adam Bartley 2-14 off 4, Hudson Fitzpatrick 2-7 off 2).

Supporters 0/68 (B. Sharpe 43no, A. Sweeney 18no) defeated Greta/Branxton White 60(Will Howden 22, Jason Varley 21, F. Sharpe 5-4 off 6).

Paxton 206 (Brendan Hayes 71, Gary Jai Russell 32, Steve Collins 23, Steve Russell 18, John Cleary 13no, D. Fletcher 4-38 off 9, P. Crocker 2-47 off 6, K. Jordan 2-18 off 4.3) defeated Peden’s Hotel 87 (G. Thorley 67, Campbell Cleary 3-10 off 4.4).

Wine Country 4/172 (B. Sommerville 72, J. Gough 30, B. Meizes 23, E. Harris 22no, D.Stoker 1-43 off 6, A. Schofield 1-31 off 5, D. Newton 1-22 off 4, C. Delaney 1-9 off 2) defeated Bellbird 167 (C. Delaney 58, G. Stoker 44, D. Stoker 23, G. Musgrove 6-29 off 7, B. Meizes 2-42 off 7).

Points TablesFirst Grade Mulbring 78***, Bellbird 59***, Greta/Branxton 58***, Wine Country 47***, Peden’s Hotel 44***. * byes received, 0 points.

Second Grade Bellbird 92, Greta/Branxton 76, Mulbring 69, Supporters 65, Peden’s Hotel 64, Wine Country 61*. * Lost points 29/10/16 for clearance breach.

Third Grade Bellbird 98, Greta/Branxton 86, Laguna 84, Denman Hotel 77, Peden’s Hotel 76, Wine Country 69, Mulbring 64, Supporters 56.

Fourth Grade Greta/Branxton Blue 91, Paxton 91, Denman Hotel 77*, Greta/Branxton White 76, Wine Country 73, Bellbird 65, Supporters 65, Peden’s Hotel 56. * Lost points 5/11/16 for clearance breach.

Club Championship Bellbird 530.20, Greta/Branxton 494.10, Mulbring 481.90, Wine Country 398.10, Peden’s Hotel 392.40.

Club Championship Formula:- First Grade x 3.5, Second Grade x 2.1, Third Grade x 1, Fourth Grade x 0.5.

NB: Only Greta/Branxton Blue fourth grade team contributes to club championship points.

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#datadrought – phone services on the agenda

TheRegional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalitionis concerned reliable home phone services in the bush may be soon put at risk under proposed changes to the Universal Service Obligation (USO).
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Members of the Coalition have today (February 1) appeared at the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the USO in Sydney.

As part of its Inquiry, the Productivity Commission is examining the possibility of transitioning voice services, currently delivered by the existing copper network, to National Broadband Network (nbn) infrastructure. Effectively this would mean voice services would be delivered via satellite for users in rural and remote Australia.

“While we acknowledge the logic in transitioning to more modern infrastructure, this does not escape the fact that geographically a majority of users would be serviced via satellite – including areas that are currently serviced by the existing copper network,” saidAustralian Communications Consumer Action Network(ACCAN) CEO, Teresa Corbin.

“As a coalition we are adamant that a reformed USO must not result in a degradation of existing services.”

National Farmers Federation(NFF) President, Fiona Simson, is also concerned about the development.

“A transition to voice-over-nbn infrastructure could mean many users currently receiving a voice service over copper line would have their service replaced by an inferior, unreliable satellite service,” said Ms Simson.

“The Sky Muster satellite wasn’t designed to deliver universal voice services. A more acceptable long term solution needs to be found before any transition occurs.”

The most significant concern for the Regional, Rural and Remote Communication Coalition is safety during such a transition.

“In emergencies a reliable voice connection can be the difference between life and death,” Ms Simson said.

“There are also issues around how remote businesses are expected to operate in a 21st century economy and meet their workplace health and safety obligations.”

“This issue is of significant concern and we will be appearing at as many hearings as possible over the coming weeks.”

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‘Home approvals still strong’: HIA

A nine per cent dip in home approvals, acrossPort Stephens, was not a reason for concern, according to the Housing Industry Association.
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In the 12 months to November, Port Stephens Council approved 338new homes –a mix of houses and units –compared to 371 in the 12 months prior.

“There was a boom in March 2015 where 100 units were approved and it’s skewed the figures,” HIA Hunter executive director Craig Jennion said.

“The overall pictureis still really strong.”

In the 12 months to November –the latest available Australian Bureau of Statistics data –Port Stephens Council still approved 71 attached dwellings (units and townhouses) compared to 119 in the 12 months prior.

“The vibe is still really good in Port Stephens and there’s the perception that it’s a really good value area, much cheaper than Newcastle and especially Sydney.”

Mr Jennion saidhome building approvals suggest activity across the HIA Hunter Region continues to perform strongly

“Like many other areas of Australia the latest ABS building approvals in the Hunter were very strong in November 2016, with the total volume of approvals for new dwellings bouncing to the second highest figure of the year,” he said.

“In total 562 approvals were issued for new dwellings across the Hunter and Central Coast, compared to 423 the month prior, with much of the heavy lifting continuing to occur in the Lower Hunter and Central Coast local government areas (LGAs).

“In total over the twelve months to November 2016 a strong 5,517 approvals have been issued, some of the highest annual totals we have seen in recent years.”

The Hunter Regional Plan states an additional 70,000 dwellings will be needed in the region by 2036, whilst the Central Coast Regional Plan identifies 41,500 dwellings. The combined dwelling target of 111,500, requires an annual average of 5,575 additional dwellings.

Mr Jennion noted the 12 months to Novemberwas still58 home short of the annual target.

carpenter apprentice – Novaskill

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Calling all canine heroes!

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) is seeking stories from around Australia of outstanding canine accomplishments ahead of the 2017 NSW Canine Hero Awards.
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So often our dogs are more than just our companions, they turn out to be unheralded heroes and lifesavers and the RAS wants them to gain the recognition they deserve.

Some canines display an incredible act of bravery in an instinctive moment, others transform a human life in adversity through their training and dedication to their human companion.

They may not be able to tell us their incredible stories, but you can.

In 2016 Governor General, His Excellency General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC was on hand to present NSW Police German Shepherd “Ulrich” with the inaugural Service Dog Award at the Sydney Royal Easter Show’s Canine Hero Awards.

Ulrich helped police track down an 86-year-old man missing for three days from Maitland Hospital in March 2015.

Ulrich led his handler down a ravine for about 50 metres to where the man was lying at the bottom of the slope.

So often our dogs are more than just our companions, they turn out to be unheralded heroes and lifesavers and the RAS wants them to gain the recognition they deserve. Photo: File

This year at the Sydney Royal Easter Show awards will be presented in two categories;

1. AAR Service Dog Award

Open to any dog that through a single act or over a period of time has displayed exemplary commitment to a service or government organisation.

2. AAR Companion Dog Award

Open to any dog in private ownership that through a single act or over a period of time has displayed in an exceptional way the human-animal bond.

Judges from The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW will select finalists and the ultimate winners who will be invited to attend the Purina Pro Plan Sydney Royal Dog Show, Best In Show day on 17 April 2017 to receive their award.


The Awards are open to residents of Australian States or Territories who own the nominated dog or are the authorised agent of the owner of the nominated dog.

Entries must include a completed and signed Awards Entry form, photograph and narrative description.

Applications will be judged in the week of 10 April and the winners will be contacted that week. Winners will be invited to attend the Purina Pro Plan Sydney Royal Dog Show as part of the Sydney Royal Easter Show to receive their awards on Monday 17 April 2017.

The winners, their stories and photos will be featured in the Dog News Australia paper and the Dogs NSW Journal.

Prize isa$1500 cash prize to the winner of each category sponsored by the Australian Animal Registry (AAR).

How to enter the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Canine Heroes Awards:

Please complete the Awards Entry Form and forward to the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW with a high resolution picture of yourself and the dog.

Entries can be submitted by;

Completing the entry form.

Emailing your entry [email protected]南京夜网419论坛

Post the entry to –RASNSW, Canine Hero Awards, Locked bag 4317, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW 2127

The closing date is Tuesday, February 28,2017

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