Mascots join campaign trail in Qbn

Premier Mike Baird with Queanbeyan Basketball yowie mascot. (Photo: James Brickwood.)CAMPAIGNING in the seat of Monaro has reached new heights with a number of life-sized plushies getting in on the action this week.
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Queanbeyan Basketball’s yowie mascot (who harbours a close resemblance to Chewbacca from Star Wars) was a highlight of premier Mike Baird’s visit on Tuesday. The premier was in town to announce $60,000 for renovations to the Queanbeyan Basketball Centre.

This morning another creature going by the name ‘Cranky Koala’ was spotted in front of Member for Monaro John Barilaro’s main street office.

‘Cranky Koala’ said it wanted locals to consider the state of the cuddly creature’s home habitant ahead of the NSW Election on March 28.

“It’s a marginal seat and we want people, especially here, voting for a party that supports koalas in our native forests and to end woodchipping,” convenor of environment studies at the ANU School of Art John Reid said.

“We want to put pressure on the preferred candidate to protect native forests.”

‘Cranky Koala’ is touring the state’s marginal seats having spent the weekend in the seat of Newtown and scheduling a future appearance in Bermagui.

“We just want voters to think about the issues,” ‘Cranky Koala’ said. “We’re not necessarily saying you should vote for this or that person.”

‘Cranky Koala’ and John Reid in Queanbeyan today encouraging voters to consider the state of native forests ahead of the NSW election. Photo: Kim Pham.

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Free burgers for Harmony Day

Picture: Jeff De PasqualeAs part of Liverpool council’s Harmony Day celebrations, MTC Australia will host a free burger giveaway at Bigge Park on Thursday.
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Culture and diversity will be at the centre of the annual event which celebrates cultural respect and tolerance for everyone that calls Australia home.

MTC Australia hopes that residents from different backgrounds can share a meal on the day, and the giveaway burgers will feature toothpick flags from around the world to recognisethe many cultures that influence Liverpool city.

Liverpool Council will join with The Western Sydney Wanderers and the Liverpool Migrant Centre to commemorate the 15th annual Harmony day next Thursday.

Liverpool Mayor Ned Mannoun said the day represents a milestone in Australian culture and should be a time to promote social inclusiveness, respect and belonging for everyone.

“Our local event aims to bring communities together, build social cohesion, raiseawareness and recognise our city’s commitment demonstrated through our involvementin annual Harmony Day celebrations,” he said.

“It encourages us to embrace our unique qualities and share cultural traditions while gaining a better understanding of one another.’’

Picture: Jeff De Pasquale

Harmony day is held gloabally on March 21 to coincide with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Liverpool will celebrate with an event in Bigge Park that will see the Western Sydney Wanderers bring coaching clinics, football activities and players to meet local fans.

A citizenship ceremony on the day will welcome new residents into the Liverpool community.

Mayor Mannoun said the event is especially relevant to Liverpool because residents represent more than 150 different birthplaces, making Liverpool one of the most diverse communities in NSW.

Picture: Jeff De Pasquale

‘‘Harmony Day in Liverpool is a beautiful day of celebration promoting awareness of thenational theme ‘everyone belongs’ and how proud we are to be part of such an inspiringand harmonious community,’’ he said.

“Let’s celebrate and showcase a sense of pride in ourselves and in our communitybecause everyone belongs here in Liverpool.’’

The Liverpool Harmony Day event will take place in Bigge Park from 10am to 2pm.

For more information call 1300 36 2170 or visitwww.liverpool.nsw.gov.au.

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FINALLY FOOTY IS BACK

EXCITEMENT MACHINE: Collingwood star Jamie Elliott in action against arch rival Carlton. Picture: GETTY IMAGESND:ONLY a couple of sleeps Magpie until your Collingwood heroes roll into Bendigo for Sunday’s big clash with Carlton at the QEO.
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There’s no premiership points, but that won’t stop the players from giving their all.

This contest could be played near Ayers Rock and it would still draw a huge crowd.

There’s no love lost between the Black and White and the Navy Blues.

KA: The game is a sell out.

About 10,000 fans will pack into the QEO to see my Pies smash the Blues.

I have been counting down the days to see them play here and it is shaping up to be a cracking game, albeit a match worth nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Pendlebury, Swan and Cloke are named for the Pies, while Judd, Gibbs and Henderson will play for the Blues.

ND: It’s only a practice match and you are talking about a smashing.

Those with no allegiance to either club will be wanting to see a closely-fought contest.

On paper the Magpies look stronger, but the match is on grass, not paper.

A player I really enjoy watching is Collingwood’s Jamie Elliott.

He has an incredible leap, is afiercecompetitor and capable of a few goals.

Jamie, aka Billy, will be in No. 5 this season.

Some of Collingwood’s greatest and most popular players – Terry Waters, Ron Wearmouth, Ron McKeown and Nathan Buckley – have worn No. 5.

Will be interesting to see how Swanny goes on Sunday.

KA: Nathan Buckley, what a player!

He was my hero growing up and although nowadays he has his critics, I’m still his number one fan.

Elliott is a star in the making and old mate Swanny, just keeps rolling.

He is crowd favourite and after having a disappointing season last year,Pies coaches are saying Swan is looking back to his best this pre-season.

Hopefully we get a glimpse of his Magpie magic on Sunday.

ND: Many weeks to go, but if Collingwood does not reach the finals then the noise from Buckley’s critics will be extremely loud.

Collingwood has shown it can be ruthless when it comes to coaches, and I’m not referring to one of your favourite movies, The Club.

Not so long ago and Mick Malthouse was celebrating another coaching triumph when Collingwood won the a premiership in 2010.

Now Mick is at the Blues and set to break the coaching games record held by Collingwood legend Jock McHale when Carlton takes on the Pies in this season’s fifth round.

Like him or not, Mick Malthouse has an outstanding record.

KA: Malthouse has been an incredible coach over the journey.

He worked wonders at the Pies and brought the faithful a long awaited premiership in 2010,something I will remember forever.

But I don’t expect him to bring the Blues a premiership in his time there.

Putting the rivalry aside, it is great to have footy back on the QEO.

I do like cricket, but there is nothing like watching a good footy match, especially when its Collingwood and Carlton.

Let’s hope it is a cracking game and both Pies fans and Blues supporters walk away from the match looking forward to an exciting season ahead.

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Snake causes stir at shops

This red-bellied black snake visited the Jimboomba Convenience Centre on Wednesday afternoon.A RED-BELLIEDblack snake caused a stir at the Jimboomba Convenience Centre on Wednesday when it decided to visit the local travel agency.
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The five-foot long reptile arrived outside agency about 2.30pm to the great surprise of staff inside.

The snake’s travel plans were foiled though when Tanzen from South Side Snake Services was called to the scene.

She located the animal under a plant pot, where she said he had likely slithered in fright.

“I think he’d turned up and seen people and got frightened,” she said.

“I was able to pick him up and take him away to release him.”

Tanzen said rather than trying to book a flight, the reptile had most likely travelled to the shopping centre looking for food.

Tanzen from South Side Snake Services with the snake.

“There’s plenty of food around the area, including lizards and other snakes and rodents,” she said.

“Shopping centres have bins, bins attract rodents and rodents in turn attract snakes.”

She said the staff in the travel agency had done the right thing by the snake.

“Snakes are protected by federal law, it is illegal to interfere with them in any way,” she said.

“The best thing people can do is watch it from a safe distance and call a professional.

“Their actions are a credit to them, not everyone acts as sensibly.”

To report a snake sighting phone South Side Snake Services on 0408 886 225.

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Bromhead last on ballot

THE Christian Democrats have secured the top place on the ballot draw for the electorate of Myall Lakes. Incumbent Stephen Bromhead from the National Party will be at the bottom of the ballot paper.
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The draw took place this afternoon at 2pm in Forster, with Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead, Country Labor candidate David Keegan and Independent candidate Steve Attkins in attendance.

David Keegan from Country Labor with Independent candidate Steve Attkins at the ballot draw on Thursday (March 12).

The order of candidates on the ballot paper will be as follows: Andrew Weatherstone representing the Christian Democratic Party in number one; Stephen Ballantine from The Greens in number two; Independent Steve Attkins in number three; Glovina Gouskos from the No Land Tax party in number four; David Keegan from Country Labor in number five; and The Nationals’ Stephen Bromhead in number six.

Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead being sworn into office

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Editorial: No slow fade for our shire

THIS weekend we almost take a brief respite from the frantic scramble towards the election as Gunnedah packs in an enormous amount of activity.
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Today is the opening of the Australian Masters exhibition at the Work of Art Community Gallery.

Tonight, we have the charity screening of 50 Shades of Grey, followed by a whopping 36 girls making their debut tomorrow night.

Friday night will also see the opening of Return of the Prodigal, an exhibition at the Creative Arts Gallery by former Gunnedah resident Iain Campbell.

On Saturday, the feverishly awaited Firefighters Championships kicks off, along with the Gunnedah Aeroclub Air Spectacular and the beginning of the Week of Speed.

That’s a humungous weekend of activities.

Sunday will see an interesting turn of events with the staging of the anti-coal and gas family fun day at the Donnelly Playing Fields. The event has been heavily promoted through social media and organisers are planning to make a human sign to kick home their argument.

Even leaving out the rally, which has obviously been timed to attract attention ahead of the election, this menu of amazing events show Gunnedah is one regional town that is not going into a slow fade.

Take a look at the range – there is something here for everyone from the arts folk to the speed demons. Teenagers will be presented to society in an old-fashioned tradition still popular in the vastly changed society of today, and activists will be championing our agricultural land.

Even without the air acrobatics, it’s enough to make your head spin.

This weekend and all its events shows us how lucky we are to live in a shire where good things happen and the community has plenty of opportunity to get involved.

Our town is not sitting quietly bemoaning times gone by, we are bringing them into the future with us, and creating a vibrant place people are happy to live in.

Well done to all the organisers of all the vastly different events. To put together something for your community takes time, effort and dedication, and we are all the better for it.

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Junior Gunnedah rugby side to play Super 15 curtain-raiser

The Gunnedah Junior Rugby Under 10s team which will be playing a curtain-raiser game to the Waratahs and Blues, Super 15 match in Sydney later this month. Pictured back left is PJ Carter, Alex Bomford, Sandy McArther, Lachlan Paul, Sam Sawyer, Michael Walsh. Front left: Eliza O’Donnell, Patrick McCumstie and Olivia O’Donnell.
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The Gunnedah Junior Rugby Club Under 10s team will have big shoes to fill when it plays the curtain-raiser to a Super 15 match in Sydney.

This junior team, which has already started training in preparation for the big occasion, will be the prelude to the NSW Waratahs and Auckland Blues game at Allianz Stadium.

Defending premiers, the Waratahs, have notched two wins from four rounds this season, one of which was a bye.

All Gunnedah players are looking forward to representing their community on the big stage.

Also on the menu is a “Come and Try” Day for the Gunnedah Junior Rugby Club to be held on Friday to kick-off the 2015 season.

All current players and anyone who thinks they might be interested are welcome to attend. Age groups include Under 6, U8, U10, U12 and U14. The afternoon starts at 4pm and finishes about 7pm with a free sausage sizzle. All registered players will receive a free Red Devils 2015 cap.

Further registration and training days will be held from 4-5pm on Thursday, March 26, and Thursday, April 23.

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Letter: Promises, promises

Les Smiles, of Gunnedah, writes:
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We are in an election campaign, as if you did not know, and we are once again in the midst of a great deal of promise.

We’re promised this and we’re promised that and some of the other as well.

However, all promises are dependent upon being elected or re-elected.

Let’s examine the history of those who were elected last time and what it’s meant to Gunnedah.

Gunnedah Timbers closed with substantial loss of jobs because the Pilliga was kept locked up in order to placate the Greens, and the Shooters and Fishers and secure their votes in the Upper House for legislation critical to the government.

The lack of action by the incumbent government in this matter cost the jobs and income of 22 families.

Gunnedah received no grants from the Royalties for Regions Fund despite having as much coal activity as neighbouring areas. Why?

The Pilliga was locked up, ostensibly to protect the fauna and flora of the forest. The area that was burned in the past few days would have supported the Gunnedah sawmill for quite some time and in the process, assisted in bushfire protection.

There is no doubt that a number of animals and a large amount of flora that may otherwise have been protected have been lost. So much for the environmentalists. No sign of them on the fire ground.

Let us now look at the new multi-million dollar overhead bridge which will direct most traffic from Narrabri and Coonabarabran along Bloomfield Street. My previous letter pointed out how the community and the council of the day rejected the plan.

One candidate is holding the new bridge up as a great achievement. You won’t get many votes for that.

Those of us who live in Bloomfield Street and others whose children attend the childcare centre or one of the three schools in the street will hold their breath and hope that no child or adult is injured by the traffic which will be generated.

As to the election, there are a number of candidates, but only two can be considered as realistic chances.

The Nationals, as far as most country people are concerned, are a sub-set of the Liberal Party, and rarely deviate from their policy.

The front-running independent has discovered that there are votes to be had in opposing coal and coal seam gas. Care should be taken, since just as many could be lost.

There are a great number of people who will lose homes and businesses should the mines close, and the economic viability of the towns in the area would certainly be threatened.

The principal complaint about the mines seems to revolve around perceived damage to the aquifers. They are already damaged, but not by mining.

People who have lived in Carroll for many years recall when wells dug to 7m provided ample good quality water.

But not now. Irrigation has increased the depth required to reach water in Carroll to 30m. No mining caused that.

Who can remember when the Mooki had a flush that actually got past the massive pumps and above-ground dams on the plains to reach the Namoi? Not too many.

The Watermark mine continues to receive much criticism amid claims it will mine on the blacksoil plain. They have, in fact, unambiguously stated that they will not.

Shenhua Watermark has purchased the country it will mine at top prices. It has established a community fund worth $5 million, including $1 million to the Rural Health Centre, and spends approximately $250,000 annually in local shops. On goods and services in the local region, the total expenditure tops $20 million.

I have watched the protesters at the various places around the area and have to wonder how many of them are from here.

Are some of them being paid by Greenpeace as is claimed? If that is in fact true, how seriously can their actions be viewed?

We hear much about the food bowl. I am sure there is food grown, but a great deal of cotton also, and not matter how much chutney is used, underpants, shirts and singlets are still indigestible.

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Central district to be revitalised

Coalcliff Plant Hire safety advisor Brad Hansen and Coalcliff operations manager Darrell Scott.Works are underway to substantially improve the eastern and western ends of Forrest Street, provide new access and parking for the art gallery and upgrade parking at the PCYC, senior citizens and Rolling Stock Shed.
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The $1.6 million improvements will be undertaken by Coalcliff Plant Hire.

Shire President Cr Wayne Sanford expressed his delight that a local firm has won the contract and was looking forward to yet another improvement to the town’s character and amenity.

“Council’s CBD revitalisation program is really gaining traction and these road and parking improvements will make a huge difference to how people experience and perceive the town.” He said.

Cr Sanford went on to say that the works will improve the area.

“The additional parking and improved access for the CBD will make the shopping experience more convenient and enjoyable for the local community and visitors.”

Coalcliff Plant Hire principal, Terry Massara, said that his team will be working to minimise any disruption to business and customers over the months of March and April.

Coalcliff Operations manager Darrell Scott said they are hoping to get the project complete on schedule.

“We are expecting the project to take twelve weeks start to finish, subject to weather conditions.”

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Cookbook to help raise funds for Anglicare

The Anglicare Cookbook was launched at Ballarat Grammar School on Thursday. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD.A LOCALLY collaborated cookbook has been launched to inspire local foodies for a good cause.
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The Anglicare Diocese of Ballarat launched their new cookbook on Thursday with the hopes of raising funds for the Ballarat centre.

The 500-recipe cookbook was a collaboration between the Ballarat Diocese Anglicare Steering Committee, Ballarat parishes and Ballarat Grammar School

Ballarat Diocese Anglicare Steering Committee member and Ballarat Grammar School captain Matthew Hall said the cookbook became the perfect chance to bring the parishes together for a good cause.

“We started thinking about it two and a half years ago on the committee and thought not only would it be a good fundraiser but also good for getting people together from all parishes,” he said.

Ballarat Grammar School students were given the opportunity to design each segment of the new cookbook including the cover.

It was year 12 student Elizabeth Wilson who took out first place for every design.

Inspired by a food advertisement on television, Ms Wilson had a different take on the tradition cookbook design.

“I saw the competition and thought I should have a go,” she said.

“I thought it would be a good idea to have more of an art and a creative side to food.”

Six hundredcopies are currently available to purchase at the Ballarat Diocesan Centre and Anglicare Centre with funds raised going towards the Anglicare Diocese of Ballarat.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Anglicare’s Art of Cooking Cookbook

WHERE: Ballarat Diocesan Centre, 49 Lydiard Street South and Anglicare Centre , 14 Victoria Street

PRICE: $20

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Council seeks input into pool upgrade

Gunnedah people are being urged to again have their say about the $7.8 million Gunnedah Memorial Pool Complex upgrade.
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Gunnedah Shire Council has released a survey for people to have a say about what features they believe best meet the needs of of the community.

The survey is available on council’s website www.infogunnedah南京夜网.au and paper copies are available at council offices. Surveys close on April 2 and can be completed only once from each device.

Two community drop-in sessions will be held on Thursday, March 26.

The first session will be in Conadilly Street, Gunnedah adjacent to the Gunnedah Newsagency from 11am to 2pm with the second session at the Eric Arnold Heated Pool from 3pm to 6pm.

The GHD project team will be available at the sessions to discuss potential concepts and features with those who attend.

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Girton’s Athletics Day: Photos

Girton’s Athletics Day: Photos Lucas Kirby, Francis Gallagher, Patrick Haythorn, Jack Armstrong, Alex Holmes and Klyne Harris. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
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Eva Harrington, 200m. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Lucas Kirby, Francis Gallagher, Patrick Haythorn, Jack Armstrong, Alex Holmes and Klyne Harris. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Jameson Crawford, Jordan Sutherland and Declan Rochford in 200m. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Jameson Crawford, Jordan Sutherland and Declan Rochford in 200m. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Cara McMaster-Alderton and Lauren Morris. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Cara McMaster-Alderton and Lauren Morris. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Isabelle Ellis-Reeves. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Lauren Pratt. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Lauren Pratt. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Emelie Mahony, Emily Fawcett and Max Deed. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Girton Sports Day at LUAC. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

John Lavery and Khaden Jones. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Matthew Slot. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Shaun Maharaj. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Ernie Milbert, Dooley Every, Julian Cheng. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Logan Rochford, Oscar Black, Tom Hatcher, Lachlan Campbell, Austen Knowlesand Jared Hodges. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Miyu Minokura, Rina Eibayashi, Mayuka Matsui. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Miyu Minokura, Rina Eibayashi, Mayuka Matsui. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

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Tigers rename the den

Queanbeyan Tigers’ Michael Goiser and Allinsure director Peter Chamberlain are looking towards a strong partnership after the renaming of the oval. Photo: Steph Konatar.AFL in Queanbeyan has been completely revamped with a new league, fresh new faces and now a new major sponsor.
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Queanbeyan has announced its new principal partner, Allinsure takes over the naming rights to the Tigers home ground, formerly known as Dairy Farmers Park.

“Our club has been extremely fortunate to have the support of Capitol Chilled Foods and the ‘Dairy Farmers’ brand for the past 15 years,” Queanbeyan general manager football operations, Michael Goiser said.

“But with Dairy Farmers moving to another category of support for our club, we are very proud to announce that Allinsure is coming on board as our new Principal Partner, and that from today our home ground will be known as Allinsure Park,”

Allinsure will provide the Tigers with a performance-based sponsorship deal.

The Tigers will receive a percentage of premiums sold to Queanbeyan Football Club members.

Peter Chamberlain, director of Canberra-based insurance adviser Allinsure, is well known in local AFL circles having umpired local first grade football throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

Chamberlain said it was his passion for the game of AFL that encouraged him to link with the Queanbeyan Tigers.

“It is an important time for the game in Canberra as clubs like Queanbeyan transition out of the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) and back into a revamped and restructured AFL Canberra competition,” he said.

“AFL Canberra is beginning a new era of local football and we at Allinsure saw the opportunity to partner with the Queanbeyan Tigers as an excellent opportunity to help grow the game while supporting a local club.

“The Queanbeyan Tigers are a proud, traditional club dating back to 1925. They’ve had enourmous success in the modern era and we are very excited to be partnering with them,” Peter concluded.

The Tigers season kicks off on Saturday, May 2 2015 at the newly named Allinsure Park following the release of the draw for First Grade, Second Grade and Rising Stars (Under 18s).

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