Lions facing an uphill battle against St Pat’s

Craig Johnson and the Dubbo Lions will be hoping for an improved showing at Bathurst on Saturday. Photo: CHERYL BURKE Andrew Murrell and the Dubbo Lions will be determined to turn their seasona round at Bathurst on Saturday. Photo: CHERYL BURKE
Nanjing Night Net

THE Dubbo Lions have had little to cheer about so far in 2016 and on Saturday they face another challenge when they make the trip to Bathurst.

Following last week’s 5-2 loss to the Orange Wanderers the Lions meet second-placed St Pat’s.

The Bathurst side have been in fine form this season, losing just two of eight matches so far, and the only thing keeping them from the top of the ladder is the fact they lost four points due to playing an unregistered player.

The Lions were also dealt that punishment and it put them on the bottom of the ladder, somewhere they remain.

Despite being winless, their one win in the opening round was stripped as punishment, there have been positive signs for the Dubbo side.

On Saturday they will be desperate to show improvement again as they look to make up for the embarrassment of last time they met St Pat’s.

The Bathurst side dominated that match back in mid-April, winning 12-0 and coach Graeme Waters will be determined to avoid that kind of score this time out.

Matt Waters and Stuart McKenzie will again be key after finding themselves on the scoresheet numerous times this season.

The action at Bathurst gets underway at 1.35pm.

Elsewhere, Orange Wanderers are looking to build on last week’s win over the Lions when they take on Lithgow Zig Zag.

The Wanderers won comfortably last week and now face two crunch games.

Player-coach Matt Johnson said wins in the next two matches will keep them within reach of the top two on the ladder.

Despite dominating the game against Dubbo, Johnson wants to see his side still play better against Zig Zag.

“They’ve been flying under the radar a bit,” Johnson said of the Lithgow team.

“We’re going back to our basics. Our passing and trapping probably wasn’t up to scratch against Dubbo, if we can execute our basics the rest should take of itself.”

In the women’s PLH, the Dubbo Blue Jays enjoy the bye.

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Christmas rose great for winter

The Christmas rose, helleborus niger, is so called because in the northern hemisphere where it originated it blooms over Christmas.
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Comfrey is great for the compost heap.

It is not a rose but its white flowers resemble a single rose.

DELICATE: The helleborus niger is not a rose but its white flowers resemble a single rose.

It grows best in a shaded place where the soil is deep and contains much humus and moisture.

Plant it where you might grow ferns and protect it from strong winter winds.

The best time to plant a Christmas rose is in autumn. A common mistake is to plant it too late in spring.

Unless planted well before this, it will not build up enough reserve energy to enable it to bloom the following winter.

Christmas roses must not be planted too deep and special care must be taken that the roots are not damaged.

Plant them so that the crown is no more than two or three centimetres below the soil surface.

A plant will last for many decades so the soil must be well prepared with humus. Leaf mould and peat moss can be dug in too. Only very old and well-rotted manure should be used.

The soil should be about neutral rather than acid.

Christmas roses here can bloom any time from May to August, depending on weather conditions.

Comfrey

Comfrey is a very tenacious plant. Once you have it in your garden you will have much trouble in getting rid of it.

It is rich in calcium, phosphorus, potassium and trace minerals and in vitamins A and C.

Comfrey has long been used medicinally for all sorts of ailments, both internally and externally.

But medical experts now believe that excessive internal use can cause irreversible liver damage and say it should be taken very sparingly, or better still not at all.

But there’s one good thing about comfrey. It’s great for the compost heap.

Conifers

Conifers, as we all know, come in all shapes, sizes and many colours.

The most familiar ones range from shrubs to gigantic trees.

Not so well known is the fact that there are many which are low growing ground covers, and these can give you year-round colour.

Most ornamental conifers belong to two families, juniper and cypress.

You’ll be bewildered by the botanical names on conifer plants in garden centres.

If you’re looking for ground covers watch out for junipers with the names horizontalis, depressa or prostrata.

Juniperus communis depressa aurea is a good example.

It spreads outward with curved branches drooping at the tip. It changes colour charmingly throughout the season. It starts with bright gold in spring, fades to green and gold for summer and then takes on beautiful silver purplish hues, flecked with bronze, for winter. It will thrive in poor soil.

For a fast grower try juniperus horizontalis douglasii. It is steel blue in summer, purple in winter and has stiffish, spreading branches.

Even more attractive is juniperus horizontalis glauca, which grows closer to the ground and has blue berries. It is blue-green.

All of these plants are not fussy about soil or even about rainfall.

Jobs to do

Many areas can expect frost from now on. Any pumpkins that are still outdoors should be brought in and stored in a dry place.

Remember not to lift them by their stems and don’t let them touch each other on the shelf.

Perennials such as delphiniums and foxgloves should have their dead stalks cut off and removed. Fork in some dolomite around them and bed them down for winter with a mulch of hay.

You can also dig up perennials now and divide them, unless you are in a very cold area, in which case leave them until spring.

Kitchen herbs can be divided or planted out. Thyme, sage and marjoram can be split up. So can chives.

Conifers come in all shapes and sizes.

Bring in pumpkins and store.

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Natural disaster cash grants sought to help relieve dairy farmer pressures

ADF President Simone Jolliffe and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce in Victoria this week after discussing the federal government’s response to the dairy price cut crisis.
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AUSTRALIAN Dairy Farmers are asking government to adjust the eligibility criteria for $20,000 in cash grants that normally aid communities hit by natural disasters like floods and fires, to support embattled dairy farmers impacted by the shock milk price cut crisis.

ADF President Simone Jolliffe welcomed various support measures promoted by different groups to promote support dairy farmers this week including banks easing debt pressures and financial assistance by State governments.

Ms Jolliffe was one of several industry leaders and dairy farmers who met for talks this week with Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce near Shepparton in Victoria, to address a response package.

Ms Jolliffe said support measures from the major banks and State governments had been declared but federal government grants remained a core priority.

She said a verbal request was made to Mr Joyce this week to amend the eligibility criteria for disaster relief assistance to provide $5000 grants for professional business advice for farmers suffering the heaviest impacts of the price cut crisis.

That request also applied to $15,000 cash grants that can be provided to assist immediate recovery efforts for dairy farmers which are normally issued for community support following extreme weather events.

Ms Jolliffe said the support package also needed to be bipartisan and she would speak to Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, and Mr Joyce, in understanding the caretaker conventions of government due to the federal election.

“ADF is extremely welcoming of any support that can assist those dairy farmers who have been impacted by these unplanned price cuts by milk processors,” she said.

“We are using our own resources to assist farmers at this time but we also need more federal government assistance to support those most heavily impacted, including fast-tracking Farm Household Allowance.

“We also need to amend the criteria for concessional loans and to help with access to cash grants that are provided to communities hit unexpectedly by natural disasters like floods and fires that help them with recovery efforts.”

Ms Jolliffe said improving resources to strengthen the delivery of Rural Financial Counselling Services for the dairy industry, was also a priority.

She said about 4000 of the nation’s 6100 dairy farmers were impacted by Murray Goulburn’s retrospective price cuts which were followed by Fonterra and the exact number of businesses needing the cash grants was still being determined.

After this week’s meeting near Shepparton, which included Health Minister Sussan Ley and Regional Development and Health Minister Fiona Nash, Mr Joyce said various measures were being considered, to implement an assistance package.

That included resources to assist effected farmers with managing paperwork on Farm Household Allowance applications.

Mr Joyce said he would also talk to the Finance Minister about changing the criteria for delivering concessional loans, at a cheaper rate.

“We have access to a quarter of $1 billion per year which we got through the White Paper and concessional loans so let’s see if we can make more of that available to people in the dairy industry,” he said.

Mr Joyce said dairy industry members had promised to provide him with a statement on their support requirements after the meeting which Ms Jolliffe said was due early next week.

“There are a couple of other issues that we said we are going off-line with to make sure that we get a result,” he said.

“We are already working towards the solution right now – we will be continuing on with the solution.”

The Nationals leader said the snap milk price reduction would be “more widely felt later on” but was currently concentrated on Fonterra and Murray Goulburn.

However, he stressed there was a strong global outlook for the dairy industry which he said was not suffering a “systemic downturn”.

“It’s got a short-term problem and we will find our way through this and we will continue on,” he said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is also looking into the circumstances underpinning the milk price cuts as is the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.

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Cowboys saddle Broncs 19-18

North Queensland Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston celebrated his 250th match for the club in grand style after nailing a 75th minute field goal which gave the Cowboys a 19-18 victory against the Brisbane Broncos in Townsville on Friday night.
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The North Queensland Cowboys got their revenge against the Brisbane Broncos with a 19-18 win in front of a packed capacity crowd at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville on Friday night.

It was the Cowboys who came out on top this time after their heartbreaking 21-20 loss to Brisbane back in Round 4 off a miraculous Anthony Milford kick.

Each of the last three contests between the two clubs has been decided by a single point which illustrates how evenly matched they are.

It was the sweetest of victories for Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston who celebrated his 250thmatch for the club by puttinghis game clinching field goal attempt throughthe uprights in the 75thminute.

But it was an excellent allround effort by the squad over the final 20 minutes that got the northerners in position for the two competition points after being put on the ropes by the Broncs for the majority of the game.

The Cowboys got off to a confident start with Matt Scott scoring off a Jake Granville assist in the 12thminute.

The home side dominated possession up untilthe 25 minute mark but the Broncos sturdy defence held up well, it was at that pointthemomentum of the match shifted with Matt Gillett brushingoff four Cowboys defenders on his way to the goal line.

A penalty goal to Jordan Kahu in the 29th minuteevenedthe score at six, which was followed byan easy second try for Gillettto give the Broncos a 12-6 lead after the Kahu conversion.

The Cowboys playedtheir worst football since their error filled performance against the Eelsin Round 2 -which resulted in a loss – from that first Gillett score up untilmidway through the second half, and the defending premiers looked set for a humbling loss.

The feeling of impending defeat only grew stronger when Kahu scored early in the second half to put the visitors ahead 16-6 which quickly became a two convertedtry margin after he successfully struck another penalty attempt.

It was when the game clock hit 58 minutes that the Cardiac Cowboys reemerged and even though he hadn’t had his best game of the yearLachlan Coote displayed some magic when it mattered after recovering his own Broncos deflected grubber to get the margin back to six after Thurston’s conversion.

Thurston then set up a rampaging Justin O’Neill for a 64th minute try with the captain’s successful conversion tying the match up.

Michael Morgan nearly sealed the game with a piece of individualbrilliance in the 70thminute but unfortunately was a finger short of grounding the ball, but Thurston’s ice cold connection soon aftersecured the win.

After playing the hero for Brisbane last time around Milford cost the Broncos a chance to go ahead when the scores were deadlocked at 18 whenhe coughedup the ball while lining up for his attempt at goal.

In the dying stages of the match he had a chance to force the game into golden pointbut his attempt saw him shank the Steeden wide right after having all the time in the world to get his eye in.

Ben Hunt also had a chance to even the scores and only narrowly missed his booming longrange shot.

The Cowboys will have to dig deep to get an away win against the Dragons on Saturday with severalplayers away trainingin preparation forOrigin Game 1.

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

Highway robbery: use Bells Line of Road or pay distance-based toll on the M4

MOTORISTS travelling from the Central West to Sydney will be forced to use the Bells Line of Road or pay a toll as the government introduces a distance-based toll on the M4.
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The move will result in an increase in traffic on the notorious Bells Line of Road says Orange councillor Jeff Whitton.

Cr Whitton, travels to Sydney regularly for work and says the implementation of a toll on the M4, by the state government, was revenue-raising and left regional people out-of-pocket because the alternative route was a far more difficult road to drive on and had patches of no mobile phone reception.

“Well the Bells Line is a road, not a highway like the Great Western Highway which is designed for that type of traffic,” he said.

“A lot of people from regional centres don’t have e-tags so they will avoid the tolls and have to use the Bells Line.”

From mid-2017 motorists travelling from the Central West to Central in Sydney, via the M4 will have to pay $4.21.

The toll has been introduced to pay for the upgrade and widening of the M4 to four lanes in each direction from Church Street to Homebush Bay as part of the first stage of WestConnex.

According to a Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman the toll charge is based on distance travelled, similar to the tolls on the M7.

“This is a fairer, more equitable system made possible by electronic tolling and ensures motorists are only paying for the roads they’re using,” she said.

“The maximum toll for the M4 widening between Church Street, Parramatta and Homebush Bay Drive, Homebush will be $4.21, with a minimum toll for travel between Silverwater Road and Hill Road of $1.63.”

The spokeswoman said all tolled roads have alternative options for motorists.

In the case of the Great Western Highway, which becomes the M4, the Bells Line of Road is the alternative.

According to the Bells Line Expressway lobbyists there are 19 speed variations on the Bells Line of Road, it has up to 26 kilometres where motorists are without a safe overtaking opportunity and the Bells Line of Road experiences around twice the typical rates of crashes as other roads in NSW.

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

Highway robbery: use Bells Line of Road or pay distance-based toll on the M4

MOTORISTS travelling from the Central West to Sydney will be forced to use the Bells Line of Road or pay a toll as the government introduces a distance-based toll on the M4.
Nanjing Night Net

The move will result in an increase in traffic on the notorious Bells Line of Road says Orange councillor Jeff Whitton.

Cr Whitton, travels to Sydney regularly for work and says the implementation of a toll on the M4, by the state government, was revenue-raising and left regional people out-of-pocket because the alternative route was a far more difficult road to drive on and had patches of no mobile phone reception.

“Well the Bells Line is a road, not a highway like the Great Western Highway which is designed for that type of traffic,” he said.

“A lot of people from regional centres don’t have e-tags so they will avoid the tolls and have to use the Bells Line.”

From mid-2017 motorists travelling from the Central West to Central in Sydney, via the M4 will have to pay $4.21.

The toll has been introduced to pay for the upgrade and widening of the M4 to four lanes in each direction from Church Street to Homebush Bay as part of the first stage of WestConnex.

According to a Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman the toll charge is based on distance travelled, similar to the tolls on the M7.

“This is a fairer, more equitable system made possible by electronic tolling and ensures motorists are only paying for the roads they’re using,” she said.

“The maximum toll for the M4 widening between Church Street, Parramatta and Homebush Bay Drive, Homebush will be $4.21, with a minimum toll for travel between Silverwater Road and Hill Road of $1.63.”

The spokeswoman said all tolled roads have alternative options for motorists.

In the case of the Great Western Highway, which becomes the M4, the Bells Line of Road is the alternative.

According to the Bells Line Expressway lobbyists there are 19 speed variations on the Bells Line of Road, it has up to 26 kilometres where motorists are without a safe overtaking opportunity and the Bells Line of Road experiences around twice the typical rates of crashes as other roads in NSW.

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

Focus on killer’s mental state

ON TRIAL: Ian Robert Turnbull. Photo by James Alcock.
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AS HE awaited trial for the shooting murder of an environmental officer, elderly farmer Ian Turnbull told a psychiatrist he was “resolved to spending the rest of his life in jail”.

“I can’t believe what I’ve done,” the 81-year-old told Dr Adam Martin in February, 2016, a Sydney court heard on Friday.

“I’m sorry about it now, but I’m at the end of my life.”

“I’m just about buggered.”

Turnbull shot Glen Turner with a rifle several times at his Croppa Creek property north of Moree in July, 2014 amid land-clearing disputes.

The man admits killing Mr Turner but is fighting a charge of murder on the basis thathe “snapped” and lost self-control.

His Supreme Court murder trial has previously heard from a psychiatrist who claims Turnbull was suffering from major depression and wasn’t thinking rationally when he shot the 51-year-old environmental officer.

But during yesterday’s testimony, Dr Martin said it was unlikely Turnbull, who had increased his workload leading up to the shooting, would have been able to function if he suffered from a type of major depression.

He said an adjustment disorder could cause him to overreact to stressors, but doubted whether such a condition would have a significant impact on his functioning.

“He obviously understood what he had done was … wrong in the eyes of the law,” the psychiatrist said after being quizzed on evidence Turnbull went home andwaited for police after the shooting.

And the fact Turnbull did not also shoot Turner’s colleague, who allegedly pleaded with the gunman to put down his rifle, showed he had “some ability at least to make positive actions around his behaviour,” Dr Martin said.

On Thursday, treating forensic psychiatrist Professor David Greenberg told the court that his client was not thinking rationally when he shot Mr Turner.

“In his perception, he saw the world in dark-tintedglasses,” he said.

“He had a major depression, and it’s not a temporary or transient thing.”

Professor Greenberg rejected crown prosecutor Pat Barrett’s claims, saying he wasn’tsatisfied the shooting waspremeditated.

“He only developed the intention to shoot Mr Turnbull when he drove up to the laneway,” he said.

Professor Greenberg said Turnbull did not try and present himself as mentally ill, but

the brief of evidence he had collected on the farmer said otherwise.

He said Turnbull had a family history of mental illness and had been prescribed anti-depressants by his doctor after an episode in the 1970s.

His delusions on his situation were apparent, Professor Greenberg said.

“In his mind, he perceived he was ruined … he was bankrupt … that everything was over,” he said.

The trial continues before Justice Peter Johnson.

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

Highway robbery: use Bells Line of Road or pay distance-based toll on the M4

MOTORISTS travelling from the Central West to Sydney will be forced to use the Bells Line of Road or pay a toll as the government introduces a distance-based toll on the M4.
Nanjing Night Net

The move will result in an increase in traffic on the notorious Bells Line of Road says Orange councillor Jeff Whitton.

Cr Whitton, travels to Sydney regularly for work and says the implementation of a toll on the M4, by the state government, was revenue-raising and left regional people out-of-pocket because the alternative route was a far more difficult road to drive on and had patches of no mobile phone reception.

“Well the Bells Line is a road, not a highway like the Great Western Highway which is designed for that type of traffic,” he said.

“A lot of people from regional centres don’t have e-tags so they will avoid the tolls and have to use the Bells Line.”

From mid-2017 motorists travelling from the Central West to Central in Sydney, via the M4 will have to pay $4.21.

The toll has been introduced to pay for the upgrade and widening of the M4 to four lanes in each direction from Church Street to Homebush Bay as part of the first stage of WestConnex.

According to a Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman the toll charge is based on distance travelled, similar to the tolls on the M7.

“This is a fairer, more equitable system made possible by electronic tolling and ensures motorists are only paying for the roads they’re using,” she said.

“The maximum toll for the M4 widening between Church Street, Parramatta and Homebush Bay Drive, Homebush will be $4.21, with a minimum toll for travel between Silverwater Road and Hill Road of $1.63.”

The spokeswoman said all tolled roads have alternative options for motorists.

In the case of the Great Western Highway, which becomes the M4, the Bells Line of Road is the alternative.

According to the Bells Line Expressway lobbyists there are 19 speed variations on the Bells Line of Road, it has up to 26 kilometres where motorists are without a safe overtaking opportunity and the Bells Line of Road experiences around twice the typical rates of crashes as other roads in NSW.

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

Highway robbery: use Bells Line of Road or pay distance-based toll on the M4

MOTORISTS travelling from the Central West to Sydney will be forced to use the Bells Line of Road or pay a toll as the government introduces a distance-based toll on the M4.
Nanjing Night Net

The move will result in an increase in traffic on the notorious Bells Line of Road says Orange councillor Jeff Whitton.

Cr Whitton, travels to Sydney regularly for work and says the implementation of a toll on the M4, by the state government, was revenue-raising and left regional people out-of-pocket because the alternative route was a far more difficult road to drive on and had patches of no mobile phone reception.

“Well the Bells Line is a road, not a highway like the Great Western Highway which is designed for that type of traffic,” he said.

“A lot of people from regional centres don’t have e-tags so they will avoid the tolls and have to use the Bells Line.”

From mid-2017 motorists travelling from the Central West to Central in Sydney, via the M4 will have to pay $4.21.

The toll has been introduced to pay for the upgrade and widening of the M4 to four lanes in each direction from Church Street to Homebush Bay as part of the first stage of WestConnex.

According to a Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman the toll charge is based on distance travelled, similar to the tolls on the M7.

“This is a fairer, more equitable system made possible by electronic tolling and ensures motorists are only paying for the roads they’re using,” she said.

“The maximum toll for the M4 widening between Church Street, Parramatta and Homebush Bay Drive, Homebush will be $4.21, with a minimum toll for travel between Silverwater Road and Hill Road of $1.63.”

The spokeswoman said all tolled roads have alternative options for motorists.

In the case of the Great Western Highway, which becomes the M4, the Bells Line of Road is the alternative.

According to the Bells Line Expressway lobbyists there are 19 speed variations on the Bells Line of Road, it has up to 26 kilometres where motorists are without a safe overtaking opportunity and the Bells Line of Road experiences around twice the typical rates of crashes as other roads in NSW.

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

Chaffey a ‘level’ playing field

BIGGER BUT LOWER: The newly enlarged Chaffey Dam is still holding the same amount of water but its official capacity percentages changed over this week because of the new water level figures. Photo: Geoff O Neill 180516GOD08IT’S taken a few years to turn the main Tamworth water supply Chaffey Dam from a small dam to a bigger dam.
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But, in the space of a couple of days, it appears Tamworth has officially got something even bigger than they bargained for.

It’s official this week Chaffey Dam is actually a couple of thousand megalitres bigger than anyone’s been talking about since the dam augmentation was announced some five years back.

The news has taken some by surprise mostly anyone who’s been reporting on the project and certainly users, including the Tamworth council.

But it’s been a surprise greeted with general good grace. We’ve got a bonus, an extra 2868 megalitres in the pool of water.

Until Thursday, when WaterNSW confirmed it, the newly-enlarged Chaffey Dam had always been put at a capacity of 100,000 ML, up from the original 62,000ML of the old dam.

That’s created a couple of little ripples, not least because new water plans and importantly drought- and water-control plans have been drawn up by Tamworth Regional Council, which has thrown them some wobblies to wrestle with, particularly with their new drought-management plan, adopted only last month.

The trigger levels for when Tamworth moves between restrictions and different watering rules is set out in black and white in that 60-page document, but based on the 100,000 megalitre capacity.

Tamworth Regional Council water chief Bruce Logan said yesterday the plans would need to be adjusted but there also needed to be some examination of the new levels as well because, on the face of it, they need to clarify exactly whether Chaffey is sitting at the WaterNSW figure, when their figures suggest it should be 1 percent more.

That 1 per cent is critical, because, under the new plan, when Chaffey now falls to 20 per cent, that triggers the emergency Level 5 rules.

That’s likely to be reached in about a week, if Tamworth consumers continue to use up the same amount of water they have been for the past few weeks.

Level 5 doesn’t mean much difference to the ordinary householder or domestic user but it does call for more commerce and industry to cut their consumption patterns by another 25 per cent.

Over the past five or six years, there’s been more than $55 million spent to upgrade and enlarge Chaffey Dam, with over $44 million on the latest augmentation and more recent upgrade works.

Tamworth Regional Council kicked in about $4 million of that $44 million.

Meanwhile, Tamworth water users are being asked to cut down their consumption alongside obeying new stricter outside rules that come into place today.

More than 20,000 water properties come under the new Level 4 restrictions, including Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal users of residential, commercial and industrial water from the city’s treated system.

The new rules came into place when Chaffey Dam dropped to 35 per cent last week, a watermark figure in terms of new tougher rules, but also a switchover to the new Chaffey Dam total capacity point in the wake of the enlarged dam works being completed.

Under the new rules, all outside watering of properties is banned. About 15 high-profile council parks and gardens, including sporting fields, will still continue to be watered because they are all on bore water supplies or recycled systems.

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

‘Hands tied’ by healthcare cuts

FUNDING RETHINK: Nurses Kerrie Vane, Lynne Harris and Deborah Walganski. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 200516GOA01MORE chronically ill patients will be seen by hospitals and staff retention could take a hit, according to NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association members in Tamworth – who say their hands have been tied by the cuts to health in this year’s budget.
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Seven NSWNMA members stood with their hands literally tied, in front of a billboard near Moonbi on Friday, calling on the federal government to rethink recent cuts to health to the tune of $57 billion.

Local registered nurse and midwife Alison Fisher said Friday’s protest was a call for support from the public.

“If they cut the Medicare levy, therefore bulk billing, then there will be more privatisation,” she said. “We will be seeing an increase in chronic illnesses that will mean more admissions to hospital.”

Ms Fisher also said the cuts to Medicare bulk billing incentives would make healthcare less affordable for the general public.

“People will get sick and not be able to afford healthcare; Medicare has been our stopgap for so long,” she said.

“It was introduced to stop inequality in health care.”

Fellow member Kelly Ison said cuts to penalty rates would have an impact on retention rates in country hospitals.

“If we lose our penalty rates, we won’t be able to retain these staff, especially on weekends and night duties,” Ms Ison said.

“They won’t give up their social life to be a nurse.”

Tamworth aged care nurse Gerard Ryan said federal funding had been a constant struggle.

“We just don’t have enough staff in any facility across the country to properly give care to people, and it’s getting harder,” Mr Ryan said.

“It’s a lot worse in regional areas because there’s a lot less facilities in regional areas.”

The local nurses said they were also hoping to talk with New England MP Barnaby Joyce about their concerns.

Ms Fisher hoped Mr Joyce would “have a rethink about these cuts and what they mean to everyday Australians”.

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

New charges laid in mother murder case

FRESH charges have been laid against the man accused of the murder of his mother in Inverell.
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CRASH CHARGES: Bradley Mottram was arrested on the Copeton Dam Rd on October 19. Photo: Harold Konz

Bradley Mottram appeared via video link in Armidale Local Court on Wednesday from a Sydney prison where he is being held on remand, charged with the murder of his 51-year-old mother, Simone Mottram.

Detectives from Strike Force Lotred – the police operation set up by New England detectives in the wake of the alleged murder – have now laid three fresh charges against the 19-year-old accused.

Mottram was arrested on October 19, last year after he allegedly crashed his mother’s red Hyundai Getz down an embankment off the Copeton Dam Rd, about 30 minutes out of Inverell.

Ms Mottram was allegedly stabbed several times in her Froude St home before her body was discovered by police and paramedics.

Mottram is yet to enter a plea to the charge of murder but is now also facing charges of taking a vehicle without permission, driver never-licensed and negligent driving.

It comes as his solicitor made an application to the court for extra time to seek expert medical evidence.

On Wednesday, the court heard the extensive brief of evidence compiled by detectives had been served on the defence.

Solicitor Wendy McAuliffe said she needed a further adjournment to allow specialist doctors to assess Mottram.

“We still need two months,” Ms McAuliffe told the court.

“We are arranging for a psychiatrist to see Mr Mottram.

“Hopefully that will be completed by July 20.

“We are moving as quickly as we can, but another adjournment can’t be avoided.”

Magistrate Michael Holmes granted the adjournment, but put the defence on notice the case needed to progress on the next occasion.

“Use this time efficiently,” he said.

“My whole aim is to get matters from this court to (Armidale District and Supreme Court) next door.

“It takes months and it’s just there.”

Mottram made no application for bail and it was formally refused.

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Kids are in for a hot date with fire stations thrown open today

ALARMS SET: Gunnedah Fire Station Commander Rod Byrnes with fire fighters Mark Sawyer, Paul Hartley, David Moses and David Welch. Photo: Vanessa Hohnke, The Namoi Valley IndependentThe region’s fire stations will open their doors to young and old for the annual NSW Fire and Rescue Open Day today.
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With firefighting demonstrations, station tours and the opportunity to see a fire truck up close on offer, there’s plenty to see and do, Gunnedah Fire Station Commander Rod Byrnes said.

“There’s a free sausages sizzle and also some public giveaways. Lego have come on board this year with some packs for the kids to put together, “he said.

“The kids just love the open days – they love to get into the fire truck.”

And, while it might be all fun and games for the kids, Commander Byrnes said there was a serious side to the open days with pamphlets and fire safety advice for parents.

“We hand out pamphlets on awareness and evacuation plans for the home and information on smoke detectors and so on,” he said.

“As it is the tenth year that smoke detectors have been mandatory in the home, we want to make people aware of the new style of photoelectric smoke alarm that is more sensitive to smoke and works better.

“This year we’re encouraging residents to replace their out-dated alarms.”

Regional fire stations will be open from 10am until 2pm today.

To find your nearest fire station open day, visit 梧桐夜网fire.nsw. gov419论坛

Meanwhile, in Tamworth on Sunday, those who miss out on the open day festivities are invited to Bunnings Warehouse for a fundraiser barbecue between 8.30am and 3.30pm.

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