Monthly Archives: August 2018

Loss of Texel pioneer

RIBBON WINNER: Andy Roberts at the Sydney royal show this year with his Grand Champion Texel ram. Andy died on Sunday aged 78.Cootamundra is mourning the loss of another well-respected member of the farming community with thepassing of Andrew “Andy”Roberts.
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Mr Robertspassed away on Sunday evening aged 78.

He was born and bred at ‘Hillside’, the family property which was settled by James Roberts, great grandfather to Andy, in 1871.

While he owned it, Mr Roberts was able to triple the property in size.

He worked hard but also showed great committment to his community.

Under the brand ‘Hillside Texel Lamb’, Mr Roberts gained attention in agricultural circles and won many ribbons at shows including the Sydney Royal, Bendigoand LambEx which is known as ‘Australia’s Best Lamb Competition’.

He began breeding texel lambs in 1993, after40 years breeding poll dorset lambs.

Mr Roberts was introduced to texels, popular in the United Kingdom, Europe and New Zealand,through his brother Hugh Roberts, also of Cootamundra.

While Hugh was in the UK in 1977 he saw texels and said if they ever come to Australia they are a quality breed.

When they arrived on Australian shores, Mr Roberts was quick to jump on board,sold on the lambs due to the extra meat on their carcass and their eating quality.

He used to sell his Hillside Texel Lamb throughout Sydney as well as in Cootamundra, however managing his property through the drought saw him cut back on production and give the Cootamundra Butchery exclusive selling rights to theaward-winning lamb.

In 2007, Mr Roberts was one of six district men recognised by the Rotary Club of Cootamundra for theirachievements in agriculture at the Rural Service and Achievement Awards together withJohn Harper, Leigh Scott, Hugh Roberts, Bruce Ward and Peter Leahy.

Away from the farm, Mr Roberts servedon the Texel Stud Breeders Federal Council; spent 20 years on the Cootamundra Hospital board including holdingthe role of Chairman;and served as Chairman ofthe Cootamundra Development Corporation.

He held positions with the Oats Marketing Board, the State Lamb Committee, the Oats Industry Advisory Committee, the Cootamundra Agricultural Bureau, theChrist Church Anglican Church Parish Council and was President of the Cootamundra Headquarters Rural Fire Service Brigade.

Mr Roberts’ committment to his craft and his hometown was never inquestion; he was humble in his achievements, quietly contributing to his community without seeking recognition.

Thoughts are with his wife Gai, their children Murray Roberts, Susan ‘Susie’ Alexander and Fiona Wills(now of Newcastle)andtheir many grandchildren.

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Quake felt by former resident

A map from GeoNet showing the distribution of aftershocks. Photo: GeoNetFORMER Leeton resident John Barton has narrowly missed being caught up in Monday’s fatal earthquake in New Zealand.
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Mr Barton is currently travelling through the country and passed through one of the hardest-hit areas hours before the quake struck.

Earlier on Sunday he had travelled through the popular coastal town of Kaikoura, where the coastal highway has nowbeen buried in a landslide.

“If we had of been there a day later we wouldn’t have been able to get through,” Mr Barton said.

“The roads have all been cut off.

“That’s also where there were some fatalities.”

Mr Barton currently lives in Perth, but grew up in Leeton where he attended Murrami Public School, Leeton High School and the Murrumbidgee College of Agriculture.

When the earthquake hit about 12.02am on Monday, Mr Barton was in Christchurch.

He described the feeling more of a “shake” than a violent impact.

“The earthquake was centred about 80 or 90 kilometres from where we were,” Mr Barton said.

“The night before we were in Wellington and where we stayed had to be evacuated due to the tsunami warning that was put in place.

“We were in our hotel room in Christchurch when it hit.

“It was more of a ‘shake, shake, shake’ then any sort of violent impact for us.

“You could feel the bed moving.”

There have been reports of two people dying as a result of the tremor, which was felt in many different parts of the country.

Christchurch is still recovering from a massive quake that struck in 2011 that killed 185 people.

Mr Barton said the mood had been an unusual one in the city on Monday.

“People are a bit (on edge),” he said.“No one really seems to be doing much work and people are coming up to you and talking about last night.We’ve felt a lot of after shocks.”

Mr Barton said he wouldn’t be changing his holiday plans and will now head to the west coast of the country.

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Deng reminds us we need the big picture

Harrison Vesey. Picture: Geoff Jones
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There’s a serious problem in this country no-one is talking about.

A certain type of person hereis less likely to finish school and more likely to come in contact with the criminal justice system. They take more risks, putting themselves and others in harm’s way.

Alarmingly, they makeup 93 per cent of our prison population, yet we let nearly 90,000 moreinto our country every year.

Who am I talking about? Men.

Speaking purely statistically, men can be seen as a problem in Australia that we need to solve. Men cost our government more money each year. We arefar more likely to commit a serious crime.

Of course this isn’t the full story; it’s not even half the story. I don’t need to convince you that men are good for Australia, or plead our case to stay here.

The same can not be said forplenty of other Aussies.

Too often we only get the first half of the story. Some Australians, likeimmigrantsandMuslimsand refugees, are regularly forced to justify their existence and citizenship.

What we don’t see is the human story behind the vast majority of Australians who make an enormous contribution to the fabric of our society.

Deng Adut has become an exception to that rule. In a few short years he has gone from anonymous petrol station worker to an internationally-recognised figure, purely by the power of his own story.

Deng came here as a refugee with no education, not muchEnglish, profound trauma and a military background. On thatcriteria alone, I fear many Australians today would say he is not welcome.

Deng went on to make the most of his new life here. He taught himself to read and write, he gained his high school certificate and then a university degree. He co-founded his own law firm to fight for others.

Now he’s the NSW Australian of the Year.

Deng is truly exceptional, but he is not the exception. He is the incredible success story who speaks for the tens of thousandsof hard-working refugees who are grateful to call Australia home.

The compassion shown to Deng not only changed his life, it changed our country –for the better. At a time when it feels like fear and segregation is propelling politicians to power at home and abroad, it pays to remember the stories of men like Deng.

Harrisonis a reporter for the Blacktown Sun and Fairfax Media in north west Sydney. Get in touch at [email protected]南京夜网419论坛 read more »

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Former principal weighs in on maintenance backlog

Maintenance backlog: Hastings Secondary College Westport Campus has $960,131 in maintenance and repair works to be completed.A former principal says the scheduling of major project works for schools across the state arepolitically-motivated and not based on educational needs.
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The former education head, who cannot be named, was raising concerns following the release of a report showing the public school maintenance backlog for the Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area was nearing $8 million.

The report shows thatHastings Secondary College Westport Campus topped the unwanted list with $960,131 in maintenance and repair works to be completed followed closely by Westport Public School with $947,279.

“Quite clearly, (the allocation of funding for works) is politically motivated and not based on educational needs,” the former education boss said.

“I would suggest that schools are always behind despite regular visits from department audit teams who meet with school principals and produce very detailed reports.

“And these audits areso comprehensive that they could eventually lead to architects and or engineers attending the school to further develop plans.

“But only issues affecting work, health and safety would get up. There just didn’t seem to be a prioritising of other, important projects.

“It would be interesting to know just what major works will be carried out and just where some of those works are (which local government area).I think that’s the $64,000 question.”

New data, obtained by the state opposition under the Government Information (Public Access) Act, shows there is currently $775 million worth of work across the state that has been logged but not done.This is an increase of $43 million on the previous year.

The most common works requested were toilet and sewer upgrades, leaking roof repairs, carpet replacement, painting, guttering and replacing broken windows.

Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said the state government in 2016 announced a $1 billion boost in school infrastructure funding to build more classrooms and new schools over four years.

“This is responding to unprecedented student enrolments,” Mrs Williams said.

“Funding for major capital works is allocated through the state budget.

“A draft capital works program is provided by the department to ensure funding is allocated towards areas of the highest need.

“Student enrolment growth is one of the critical factors in determining funding allocation.”

There are 2181 government schools in the state as ofJune 30.

The backlog list:

Laurieton $89,160; Kendall $377,821; Herons Creek $77,361; Comboyne $126,813; Long Flat $227,309.

Huntingdon $118,729; Wauchope Public School $689,605; Wauchope High School $850,563; Telegraph Point $77,576; Westport Public School $947,279.

Hastings $513,809; Tacking Point $422,865;Hastings Secondary College Port Macquarie Campus $882,642;Hastings Secondary College Westport Campus $960,131.

Port Macquarie Public School $697,610; Beechwood $307,122; North Haven $436,157; Camden Haven High School $150,714.

Lake Cathie Public School does not feature on the list.

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Letters to the editor

School support continuesYour article regarding the Sapphire Coast Anglican College prompts me to wonder about the source of the “parent concerns”.
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In August, a large parent meeting was held, with approximately 150 in attendance, together with John Oates, the chairman of the school board.

Also at that meeting was the Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, who pledged the ongoing support of the diocese to the school.

That assurance, and the diocesan mission to continue a stable, caring, educationally excellent and financially viable Anglican school in Bega was the entire take out message of that meeting. Since then, the chair of the board has twice reassured the parent and teacher body byletterand Facebook, that this mission is ongoing.

I wonder how well founded these “concerns” can be, following these guarantees.

Staff in any organisation come and go. Fresh faces bring vigour and enthusiasm– something, as a parent, you look for in your kids’ educators. I for one have the utmost confidence in the school and I couldn’t be happier that my kids are there.

Gudrun Stylianou, BegaWharf a safe placeI feel that Imust buy into the discussion regarding the two main wharves in the Bega Valley, in particular the Tathra Wharf.

This wharf is of increasing value not only to the Bega Valley, but many are increasingly becoming interested in this wonderful deep water timber wharf –infact it is now recognised as the only one left in Australia.

Let me state that as president of the Tathra Wharf Museum and as a father and grandfather Ifully realise that all water-based buildings have a risk factor.

That tragic accident when threepeople lost their lives was terrible and Iwell know the hurt and feeling of a lost child. We lost and buried my eldest child so Ifully understand all the years of carrying that burden.

But Ialso believe the Bega Valley Shire Council has responded to that incident, changes have been made all to the better in regard to safety.

There are car accidents on the road each day – do we close that road?Do we still continue to drive a vehicle? We are continually looking to make roads and cars free of accidents but they still happen.

I earnestly believe the council has endeavoured to look at this area of tourism on the coast and responded in a way that when we visit this icon, we do knowing that risk management is at its highest possible concern.

We must sometime in our lives look at the situation that presents itself before us and take care as a responsible person and act accordingly. Council can not be responsible for accidentswhen they have looked at the situation and taken a number of safeguards to prevent accidents. As president and a resident, I believe the wharf is a safe place, but as always one must take care.

Allen Collins, Tathra MEMORIAL: The War Memorial Honour Rolls for Bega have been reinstated on the external wall of the new Commemorative Civic Centre.

Nurturing humanityChange is inevitable, but it’s how you navigate it that matters.

In this ever-changing world we urge everyone who cares about our society – whetheryou live in Sydney or Swan Hill – to remember we all deserve respect and dignity. Our country’s success is built on this very idea of a ‘fair go’ for all, a notion underpinned by the very basic principle of humanity. Humanity is universal in nature and urges that all people – no matter their gender, race or religion – to be treated with respect, and given the chance to live life in dignity.

We all have the chance to nurture and promote the kindness, compassion and goodness that are essential for human dignity. At Red Cross, we work for unity, humanity and the inherent dignity of every person. We encourage all Australians and our community, political and business leaders to do the same.

Judy Slatyer,Australia Red Cross CEOThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net. read more »

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