JUST KEEP SWIMMING: Caitlin Jones, Keata-Jade Clare, Angus Williams, Max Patteson, George Patteson, Fletcher Williams, and Ethan Jones are regulars at Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre for club training.TIME is running out to have your say.
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Muswellbrook Shire Counicl is encouraging the community to complete the online survey for theproposed Special Rate Variation.

If approved, the Special Rate Variation will allow for a greater upgrade of facilities in the shire.

The program proposal includes a range of updates around the shire, includinga Regional Convention and Performance Centre – a major component of the Muswellbrook Town Centre Plan;an expansion and upgrade to the facilities at Muswellbrook Aquatic Centre; andthe full delivery of the Denman Town Centre revitalisation plan.

Muswellbrook Swimming Club committee member Russell Hartin said the group was excited about the prospect of an upgrade to the aquatic centre facilities.

The plans include replacement of the 87-year-old 50 metre swimming pool; construction of a dry/wet or water park for children, adjoining the indoor facility; and, additional café space.

“Obviously the committee would like to see a pool that gives us the ability to run carnivals and those sorts of things in the area and draw people to the area through that,” Mr Hartin said.

“The pool needs to be built to certain standards and that’s what we’ve put forward as a committee to the council as to what we would like to see as the upgrade goes ahead.

“We promoted, through the club, for people to have their say on what they thought would be the best outcome for the facility as a whole, for the community.”

Mr Hartin said newer pools had better technology, like level gutters, which allowed their towns to host meets of a higher standard, and the Muswellbrook group was enthusiastic about having that potential in town.

“It allows you to draw bigger carnivals to the area and host regional type events, rather than just area events,” he said.

He said the local club would have access to the indoor pool during the construction phase, which would allow them to still host short course meets and club training.

“We don’t see it as a major issue during the construction period because we’ve still got another facility that can be used by the community as well,” he said.

“As members of the community we’re keen for everybody to have theirsay so we end up with the best facility for the town that serves the needs of the town for the next 80 years.

“It needs to be a facility that can be used for a number of things, not just swimming, but also hydrotherapy and things like that.

“The overall design allows for those sorts of things.

“It’s not just about swimming; its about a community facility that more people can use.

“We just think it’s exciting for the town the prospect of having a new facility that will be to a standard that a lot of other places would love to have.”

The online survey of residents closes on Friday, February 3.

Residents can also write (PO Box 122, Muswellbrook NSW 2333) or email ([email protected]论坛) to express views to the general manager.

For more information, or to complete thesurvey about the proposed Special Rate Variation,visit https://muswellbrook.nsw.gov419论坛/index.php/2015-05-29-01-29-46/2584-srv

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‘Beautiful soulmate’ | PHOTOS, VIDEO Special friendship: Sam Bloom with her confidant, Penguin the Magpie, who helped her through one of the darkest times of her life. Photo: supplied
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penguinthemagpie Inseparable

penguinthemagpie Afternoon tea with Oli

penguinthemagpie You try explaining Instagram to a chicken!

penguinthemagpie Connected

penguinthemagpie After more than 14000 images and 2 years documenting my life with these beautiful kids, the first advance copies of ‘Penguin Bloom’ arrived home. So many tears of joy and pain went into writing and producing this book which we are all now so proud of. Published by ABC Books and beautifully written by Bradley Trevor Greive, you can pre order copies now online or wait to pick one up in all good bookstores from 21st March.

penguinthemagpie Teamwork

penguinthemagpie Sam, the boys and I are so excited to finally announce that our book, Penguin Bloom written by Bradley Trevor Greive will be made into a Hollywood film staring Naomi Watts as Sam. “Sam’s undeniable spirit and the intense physical and emotional journey she and her family embraced resonated with me both as a storyteller and as a mother,” Naomi will co produce alongside Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea and Emma Cooper.

penguinthemagpie Home sure feels like a zoo at times

penguinthemagpie The new website is here, selling beautiful fine art prints and shipping worldwide. Penguinthemagpie南京夜网

penguinthemagpie Was just reminiscing early mornings. Happy Valentines xx

penguinthemagpie I love you.

penguinthemagpie Soon to be reunited

penguinthemagpie The blurred boundaries of being loved and spoilt

penguinthemagpie Love when they leave the light on.

penguinthemagpie Summer mornings.

penguinthemagpie I’ve been gone 8 days and this morning thought I’d better come home and say hi.

penguinthemagpie All babies love a kiss and cuddle before bedtime.

penguinthemagpie We all grow up eventually… I’ve been seen dating some magpie boys in Newport. Don’t worry I’ll keep sharing my life with you….

penguinthemagpie Brown eyes run in the family.

penguinthemagpie Front row seats.

penguinthemagpie Loving their first shower of the summer.

penguinthemagpie Taking turns

penguinthemagpie What we learn from Mother Nature is priceless.

TweetFacebookPenguin Bloom: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family, which tells the story of how a baby magpie helped Sam through the darkest struggle of her life.

Sam fell from a balcony in Thailand on a holiday in 2013. As a result, she was paralysed. At the time, her three sons were 11, 10 and eight years old.

Cam said Sam was an incredibly active person, who loved surfing and mountain biking.

“She basically lost all independence,” he said.

“When Penguin arrived, Sam was at her lowest point. Penguin had been injured after she had fallen out of the nest, and we looked after her.”

Penguin was named by Cam and Sam’s children, as she had big feet. She became part of the family, running down the hall, talking with the boys and singing in the house.

“She was like a pet dog,” Cam said.

But it was her relationship with Sam that was most special.

“Penguin was a companion for Sam when the kids were at school, and I was at work,” Cam said.

“She was her beautiful soulmate. She would often sit on Sam’s shoulder or head, and Sam would talk to her. Penguin was always a good listener.”

Penguin was always free to leave, but she continually came back to spend time with the family.

Over the course of her stay with the Blooms, Cam took about 2000 pictures of the bird, which helped form the arc of the book. Cam and Sam were interviewed by writer Bradley Trevor Grieve for five months for the book, and he also used the photographs.

Cameron Bloom Penguin Bloom sales go to help people with life-changing injuries.

The Bloom family are currently looking after two new magpies, Panda and Puffin.

You can follow theiradventures and explorationson Instagram by searching ‘penguinthemagpie’.

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Moree Show Society president Brendan Munn, worker Kon Buliopoulos, Work for the Dole supervisor Luke Hook, worker Brett Draper and Jobs Australia’s Adam Gordon and Trish Atkins in the much-improved stables at Moree Showground.Horse owners will be lining up for a spot in Moree Showground’snew and improved stables at this year’s show thanks to some very hard workers.
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Over the past 18 months, Moree Showground has undergone a much-needed facelift aspart of the Department of Employment’s jobactive Work for the Dole program.

For five hours a day, five days a week since August 2015, local Work for the Dole clients have worked hard building, painting, sanding, welding, fencing, concreting, plumbing and more to get the showground facilities up-to-scratch. During this time they have fixed the grandstand, bar, toilets, main arena fence and completed a number of other odd jobs.

This week will see the completion of the third project at the showground – fixing oneof the horse stables which was in a significant state of disrepair.

About 15 workers, under the guidance of Work for the Dole supervisor Luke Hook, spent the past three months straightening the foundation of the building andreplacing the old wooden posts and railings with new steel ones.

Mr Hook saidhis workers have been fantastic.

“It’s been a great experience working with the blokes from Work for the Dole,” he said. “I’m teaching them what I know and learning new things as well.”

BEFORE: The stables at Moree Showground were in a serious state of disrepair prior to the upgrades that were undertaken by Work for the Dole clients.

Moree Show Society is very grateful for the Work for the Dole program, which president Brendan Munn said has saved them valuable time and money.

“The amount of work the guys have been doing over a six-month period, there’s no way the show society would be able to do it,” Mr Munn said. “[The workers] are getting a big tick from the show society.”

The program also has significant benefits for the workers who gain valuable skills, training and on-the-job experience.

Work for the Dole client Brett Draper saidhe looks forward to coming to the Moree Show in April and seeing all his hard work paid off.

“It gives you a bit of pride coming to the show and saying, ‘I did that’,” he said.

Jobs Australia Enterprises is the lead provider for this particular Work for the Dole activity, providing the budget and ensuring the project is running smoothly. Regional managerAdam Gordon, said the guys have done a great job at the showground.

“This activity is a fantastic example of what can be accomplished through the Department of Employment’s jobactive initiative,” he said.

“There’s lots of work which has been undertaken for the betterment of the community that wouldn’t have been done otherwise.”

The showground project is ongoing and work will soon begin to fix another of the old stables.

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Isolationist USAGiven the beautiful words welcoming all, that are associated with the Statue of Liberty,perhaps the statue should be returned to France given that the USA seems to be in the grip of an isolationist dictator.
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Mary Kidson

Wagga

Don’t jump into same sex marriageRecently, there was a comment on the letters page (webwords, I think) calling for legalisation of same-sex marriage because some overseas countries have done so.

What are we, lemmings to follow the politically correct crowd mindlessly over the edge and down the gurgler?

Few of the world’s 193 member states have legalised same-sex.

In most cases it has been passed by a narrowmargin of the legislature or imposed by activist judges.

We all know how nations can be conned. HItler did it with the aid of Goebbels in Germany in the1930s.

Australianvoters need to be aware that if same-sex marriage is legalised here that upholders of traditional marriage will be hit by the Orwellian nightmare faced by conscientious objectors in Canada whereChristians have become pariahs.

Low graduates at Trinity Western University in Ontario are denied accreditation and thus the ability to work as lawyers because they signed a pledge to forgo all sexual activity unless it is between husband and wife.

This was found by a court to be discriminatory.

From The Catholic Weekly, January 22, 2017: In the last three weeks, we have seen not one but two high ranking UK Government officials with expertise in terrorism suggest that the view that marriage between a man and a woman, and the desire to express this, is a form of terrorism.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in the UK for a little less than three years.

Kerry Faust, raised in Australia, now living in the US with her husband and children was, two decades ago, a leading lesbian activist in Sydney.

She says: “Now, a year after homosexual marriage was legalised throughout the United States, changes that many did not anticipate are quickly coming through.”

Darcy Maybon

Wagga

Utter lack of compassionI must react to Colin Field’s letter DA of January 24in which he asserts that Mike Baird’s resignation is the easy way out.

This is totally unfair and untrue.

You know full well that he resigned suddenly for the sake of very serious health concerns of close family members.

What you say is plain shameful and shows your utter lack of compassion.

Pull your horns in!

Paul Bosman

Estella

Australia Day dateIs January 26the most appropriate day on which to celebrate the founding of Australia?

Certainly the landing of the First Fleet marked the founding of Sydney and the State of New South Wales, but what is its relevance for the other states and territories?

For our First Nations people it was not a cause for celebration, but the beginning of a lot of trouble for them.

The event which marked the founding of Australia was the bringing together of the states to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

This was proclaimed on January 1,1901.

Of course, Australians have other things on their minds on January 1, but there are other possible days.

Perhaps March 29, which marks the election of the first Commonwealth Parliament, or May 9,when the first Commonwealth Parliament was opened, would be more appropriate.

Bruce Johnston

Merewether Heights

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  • Posted on 20. March 2019
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RETURN: Belmont skipper Mark Littlewood will more than likely bat next of his team against Stockton-Raymond Terrace at Cahill Oval on Saturday.Picture: Jonathan Carroll.A gamble to play a man down last weekend may pay dividends for Belmont on Saturday as skipper Mark Littlewood returns in pursuit of an outlandish outright victory.
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Despite being bowled out for 23 in their first innings Belmont, the Newcastle District Cricket Association competition leaders,need a further 112 runs with eight wickets in hand and 90 overs available to secure maximum points against Stockton-Raymond Terrace at Cahill Oval.

Littlewoodmissed the unusual events ofday one, which also included the visitors twice being dismissed under 100,because of a 10-year premiership reunion in Adelaide with previous South Australian club Sturt.

But he was still named on the team sheet meaning this season’s leading batsman, with 650 runs next to his name including three centuries, will more than likely be next man in for the hosts.

“That was always the intention, to try and contribute in some way on the second day,” Littlewood said.

“It wasn’t the best showing with the bat, more embarrassing than anything, but the boys have done well to fight back and take 20 wickets which has put us in a pretty good position.”

Belmont resume at 2-24.

Around the grounds and Wests are in a strong position to pounce on much-needed maximum points away against Cardiff-Boolaroo.

The eighth-placed Rosellas have the hosts 2-33 in their second innings at Cardiff Oval, still leadingby 17 runs overall after declaring 50 ahead at 6-133.

Over at No.1 Sportsground and University will take up the chase against Toronto (7-258) on day twoafter the Kookaburras recovered from 4-27 to reach stumpsin the crucial top-four clash.

Remaining round 13 matchesrevert to one-day fixtures with wet weather preventingplay at Learmonth Park, WaratahOval and Wallsend Ovallast weekend.

Hamilton-Wickham have Ryhs Hanlon back in for Jordy Toby while Clint Goodchap is set to make his first grade debut when the second-placed Pumas host Newcastle City.

Waratah-Mayfield are down injured bowlerAron Tisher facing an unchanged Merewether with Michael Holt called up.

Wallsend and Charlestown areas per program.

Meanwhile, the inauguralSixers Social Women’s Cricket competition commences across three Newcastle venues on Sunday with 20 teams registered.

LADDER: Belmont 71, Hamilton-Wickham 55, University 50, Toronto 49, Charlestown 44, Merewether 40, Waratah-Mayfield 38, Wests 34, Newcastle City 29, Stockton-Raymond Terrace 22, Wallsend 21, Cardiff-Boolaroo 9.

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Waves of opportunties TweetFacebook Surfest launch at Redhead Beach on January 27Pictures by Josh CallinanTheyarrive at different stages of their careersbut all four Hunter surfers are united in pursuit of the same goal.
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Philippa Anderson, Elle Clayton-Brown, Jake Sylvester and Ryan Callinan will carry the hopes of becoming a home-grown Surfest champion while using next month’s event to lay a platform for the year ahead.

At Friday’s official launch Callinan said he woulduse Surfest as the first step towards regaining a spot on the World Surf League championship tour following his rookie season in 2016.

The 24-year-old from Merewether finished 34th and missed automatic re-entry so will strive to return by collecting points at qualifying school competition, starting with a familiar break from February 20 featuring the likes of title holder Matt Wilkinson, 2012world champion Joel Parkinson and 2014 Surfest winner Matt Banting.

“They’re all important [events] in their own way, but this one starts the year and can help you build confidence,” Callinansaid.

“And with the names that are coming downit would be awesome to get a result insuch a strong field.”

Callinan, who will start Surfest at the round of 64, said last year was an important learning curve forhis career in the water.

“I felt like Iwas ready, but I don’t think I was as prepared as what I thought,” he said.

“Seeing everyone on top of their game all the timereally lifted my level and I got alot out of it. But now I know you have to take every opportunity, you can’t let any slip by, because everyone capitalises so well. Everything has to be on point.”

Anderson, 25 of Merewether, wants to make her long-awaited breakthrough onto the World Surf League championships tour and next month will be up against fellow former Surfest champions Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons.

“There’s always a goal in the back of my mind to make the world tour, but over the years I’ve started to understand that you can’t think too far ahead,” she said. “It’s a marathon not a sprint.”

Sylvester, 23 of Bar Beach, and Clayton-Brown, 15 of Corlette, arrive as wildcards after claiming trial events at One Mile Beach on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Lake MacFestival ofSurfing will be held this weekend before a host of other lead-up events.

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Collombatti residents are being urged to participate in an electrical battery storage system trial to assess the potential for customer-owned battery storage systems to better manage electricity network demand.
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In a joint project with the University of Technology Sydney, Reposit Power and SMA Australia, Essential Energy will test battery storage systems with eligible customers in a two-year partially subsidised trial.

Essential Energy’s acting general manager asset management, Paul Brazier, said thetown of Collombatti had been selected for the trial due to the high concentration of solar customers in the area and the potential to address an emerging network constraint of demand exceeding grid capacity.

“This is an exciting opportunity for these residents to be part of the rapidly evolving energy ecosystem, while helping to explore the potential benefits of battery storage integration into electricity networks,” Paul said.

“If successful, this technology may reduce the need for future network investment and expansion and, as a result, help Essential Energy maintain downward pressure on electricity prices.”

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (AERNA) has provided $1.87 million in funding for the trial with participants eligible for an upfront subsidy of up to $5,500 towards the installation of a battery storage system.

Participants with existing solar systems can purchase either a separate eligible battery storage inverter, or an inverter that combines both solar and battery storage.

Participants will retain ownership of all batteries and inverters installed as part of the trial.

To register your interest or for more info, contact Reposit Power on 02 8294 6124 or: https://reposit.wufoo南京夜网/forms/expression-of-interest-networks-renewed/.

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‘Review’ in south looks unlikely Leeton Shire Council mayor Paul Maytom, regional engagement officer Liz Stott, Murray-Darling Basin Authority chairman Neil Andrew and MDBA chief executive officer Phillip Glyde.
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MDBA chairman Neil Andrew.

MDBA CEO Phillip Glyde.

TweetFacebookMDBA chief executive officer Phillip Glyde was wary about the term “review” for the south and was unsure whether one would occur in the same way it did in the north.

“We’re certainly doing the work,” he said.

“Under the Basin Plan, four years ago there was always planned to be a review in the numbers for the northern part of the basin.

“At the time the plan was set, the quality of information we had for the north was no where near as good as we had for the south.

“In the south there’s not such a review mechanism. The mechanism is the sustainable diversion limit …which is essentially if you can find smarter ways to achieve good outcomes for the environment using less water than you don’t have to take the water away from irrigators.”

Murrami farmer Debbie Buller attended the MDBA meetings in Griffith and the pop-up in Leeton.

She was disappointed the basin appeared to be split in two.

“It needs to be looked at as a whole,” Mrs Buller said.

“The divide just keeps getting bigger and now we have this ‘quadruple bottom line approach’.

It was a triple bottom line. Now it’s the socio, economic, environment and culture …we’re split again there.

“They (the MDBA) needs to start approaching it (the plan as a whole.”

Mrs Buller was pleased to see the authority in the area, saying it had been a long time since they were last in the MIA.

“I will give them that,” she said.

“It was good to have them here.

“What we need is more action though and less words and talking, but it is good they are listening to us.”

Mrs Stott said there has been a reasonable turnout for the pop up shop in Leeton.

“There was probably around 20 people from the community there …a mix of farmers and local business owners,” she said.

“They just wanted to come and reconnect with the authority and get some information about where things were heading with plan and what’s coming up over the next 12 months.”

The event also allowed them to air any grievances they had.

“It gave them the opportunity to raise any issues they wanted the authority to follow up on,” Mrs Stott said.

“To be honest, I think there’s a mix of opinion in all communities. There’s people that are positive or negative, informed or not informed.

“Which is why these pop up shops are so good. They can connect with the authority and get information.”

Mrs Stott works in the role two days at week and welcomes feedback from irrigators and the community to take back to the MDBA.

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Girl power hits Hunter TweetFacebook Hunter Track Classic athletes at Nobbys Beach on January 27Pictures by Max Mason-HubersSome of Australia’s best female athletes will take centre stage at the Hunter Track Classic on Saturday night.
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Led by the likes of Rio Olympians Linden Hall and Morgan Mitchell, the girls feature in two of the final three races at Glendale.

Just prior the entire Paralympic silver-medal winning 4×400 metre T53-54 relay team, including Merewether’s Christie Dawes, will start a mixed gender wheelchair pursuit.

And hurdler Michelle Jenneke, renowned for her pre-race dancing routine, will also be in action.

It’s all part of animpressive program many individuals will use to lay theplatform for 2017, which culminates withWorld Championships in London in August.

Qualifying timesare on the agenda and 400 metre runner Mitchell knows all about that, achieving a mark for Rio at last year’s Hunter Track Classic before going onto make an Olympic relay final in August.Her aim is 52.10 seconds, which falls within her personal best range.

“Last year I was here andran 52.04s, which was a Rio qualifier, and if I did that again I would be over the moon,” Mitchell said.

“Training has changed around a bit so it might be a little tough, but 400m is a tough event so I’ll just run my own race and see what happens. I’m just excited to be getting back into it.”

This will be the 22-year-old’s third Hunter Track Classic.

“It’s my favourite meet on the whole grid,” she said.

“It all started back at my first one – ran well there, loved the town, loved the food, loved the beach and thought I’ll definitely come back. Now I make it my first proper race of the season.”

Hallwill line up in a hotly contested 800m at the Hunter Track Classic, against fellow Rio Olympians Anneliese Rubie and Zoe Buckman as well as three-time Australian champion Brittany McGowan, before turning attention to her favoured 1500m distance.

“I’m really focused on being top eight at world champs and I’d probably rather a result next to my name than worryingabout a particular time,” she said.

“But in the back of my mind really is breaking four minutes. No one has done it yet in Australia so it would be nice to be the first.”

The 25-year-old recorded a personal best time of four minutes and 1.78 seconds for1500m in the US in May.

  • Posted on 20. February 2019
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Two of Mt Victoria’s most prominent landmarks are both on the market.
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The Imperial Hotel and the Victoria &Albert Guesthouse are for sale, and the interest in the old pub is running hot.

Imperial Hotel

Alan Gregory, from Ray White Blackheath,is handling the Imperial’s sale. Hesaid there had been a lot of people at the open inspections.

“There’s a healthy interest …maybe a handful of interested parties at this point and the vendors are very keen to sell,” he said.

Victoria & Albert

The pub was last traded in late 2013, when Sydney couple Elijah and Shua Deamer took it over. But they closed its doors -apart from weekend meals -in November.Mr Deamer saidthey were losing money keeping it open and some days would serve onlytwo meals.

It will now be auctioned on February 26.

The pub has 28 lettable rooms with 12 en suites and sixcommon bathrooms. There is a grand ballroom, large dining room, function/pool room and full commercial kitchen.

While the barand bottle shop are closed, there is income from permanent guests in some of the rooms.

The building is heritage listed and will need some renovation. The liquor licence, plant and equipment and furniture are included.

The Victoria &Albert has been owned by the same Sydney man for more than 25years. He also recently sold the Cecil guesthouse in Katoomba.

Agent Peter Poulos said the V&A was built in 1914 and operated as a pub until 1941 before it was converted into a guesthouse.

It has 24 rooms,11 with en suites, a 120-seat licensed restaurant, conference facilities, a spa room and an outdoor pool. There is also a four-bedroom chalet style accommodation building beside the guesthouse.

Mr Poulos said it offered a “blank slate” to generate income fromaccommodation, conferences, weddings and/or to attract drinkers and diners. The asking price is $2.25 million.

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(BAYLISS) Barnawartha North, North Victoria Livestock Exchange. Premium Weaner sales at NVLX, Day 2 of sales.The North East and Riverina’s reputation as a top quality beef growing region has been reinforced through another successful start to the year at January’s feature weaner and female sales at Northern Victoria Livestock Exchange.
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About 22,500 head, worth $30 million,changed hands during the seven sales between January 5 and 20.

Over the fourdays of weaner markets at NVLX 19,970 cattle were sold for $24,482,827, averaging $1225.98 per head while the three female marketssaw 2539 cattle sold for $4,783,770, averaging $2027.88 per head.

Albury Wodonga Stock Agents Association president Mark Breen said buyers came from all over to tap into the region’s quality.

““It was just enormous …they were fantastic yardings, terrific yards, and were supported very well,” Mr Breen said this week.

“Twentythousand weaners went through there in 10 days, it was brilliant.”

With nationalrestocking in full swing, it was little surprise interest would be high, and from day one the bidding was strong.

Corcoran Parker, Wodonga,principal Kevin Corcoran told Fairfax Media after the first day’s sale producers were more than happy.

“This has been a very successful sale, and reached above the expectations of most clients,” Mr Corcoran said at the time.

Producers from across the Riverina and as far away as the Gippsland offered pens at NVLX.

Mr Breen, who is with Landmark, said while return buyers were active it was the region’s reputation that attracted such a wide interest.

“Quality oversees the whole thing,” he said.

“We don’t struggle for quality in this part of the world and people know that.

“We had a lot of northern buyers and a couple of times the southern fellas turned up.

“On the second weaner sale we also had quite a bit of Tasmanian competition, it was well supported.”

The success of the January sales augurs well for Beef Week, which started on Friday and will move into the region next Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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MASTER IN WAITING: Jordan Maher at Hawkesbury Martial Arts, where he has become an instructor, while also training hard to compete in international competitions. Picture: Geoff JonesHAWKESBURY Martial Arts’ Jordan Maher has taken his karate to the next level as he approaches age 20.
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Last year, Maher travelled overseas three times to compete in karate tournaments, representing Australia and also competing individually.

Regardless of who he represented, he acquitted himself admirably, finishing third in the Oceania Junior championships as he represented Australiaand third in the under-21 championships in the Czech Republic, where he competed as an individual.

He also competed at a senior tournament in Germany while again representing Australia and made it through to the second round before bowing out, but as one of few people from the Australian team to make it even that far, he was impressed with how he performed.

He received a broken nose for his troubles at the Australian Open last year as well, which he saw a ‘welcome’ to the senior ranks.

“This was a rite of passage I suppose,” he said. “I had a broken nose in the finals of a senior event, I wanted to fight on but they wouldn’t let me.”

Maher turns 20 this year, which means it is his last year of qualifying for junior, or under-21, tournaments.

This year, he wants to do do well at the Australian junior championships, so he can qualify for the world junior championships.

His experience fighting in the senior ranks already is something which gives him hope of a big run at the world championships.

“I have been trying to focus on doing senior eventsand I am just trying to make a bit of a name for myself in the seniors,” he said.

“There are not too many competitive people, but every fight is like a final in the seniors, I don’t seem to be doingtoo badly by myself.”

Karate has even led to a career for Maher, who now is a personal trainer and elite karate instructor, working out of the gym.

He said he works at the Richmond site, and a new one in Bella Vista, full time, and intends to make a career out of instructing at this stage of his life.

“One day I might even take over the place,” he said.

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WELL ALIGHT: Firefighters and police attended two car fires in Leone Healy Park on Friday morning. Photo: FACEBOOKResidents have praised swift actions of Orange firefighters who extinguished two car fires.
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At 6.30am on Friday, Fire and Rescue NSW crews were called after reports a pair of vehicles were ablazein Leone Healy Park.

It took the crews just 30 minutes to extinguish the fires and there were no injuries reported.

Canobolas Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Dave Harvey said police were investigating the theft of the cars.

It is believed one of the vehicles was taken from Orange and the other from Bathurst.

He encouraged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Meanwhile, CanobolasRural Fire Service zone operations officer Brett Bowden praised the efforts of residents near Selwood Lane who spotted a man lighting fires on Thursday.

QUICK RESPONSE: Firefighters from Springside and Spring Hill RFS brigades attended fires which were started in Selwood Lane. Photo: PETER JARICK/FACEBOOK

Mr Bowden said a residenthad told firefighters – who arrived on scene to extinguish the blazes – they believed they knew the alleged arsonist.

Police later arrived and took a 30-year-old man into custody, charged with lighting causing or setting fire to property.

The actions of vigilant neighbors brought a strong, immediate response from fivecrews from Springside and Spring Hill volunteer brigades, which played a critical role inthe fires being brought under control and extinguished quickly.

“People shouldn’t wait if they see smoke, particularly if they see flames, they should call triple-0,” Mr Bowden said.

“Fortunately for us and for the local community, the ignition happened at 7.30pm,” Mr Bowden said, explaining the cooler temperature assisted RFS crews.”

In an unrelated matter police on Thursday charged a 32-year-old man with charges ranging from assault and intimidate to causing malicious damage.

Police say the man assaulted a 24-year-old woman and damaged property belonging to a 26-year-old woman in a domestic violence related incident.

In a separate incident a46-year-old woman was on Thursday charged with goods in custody and possessing prohibited drugs.

Police stopped the woman in Dalton Street and she was unable to provide proof of purchase for a number of grocery bags in her vehicle.

She will face Orange Local Court on Monday, March 6.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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