Youngcare benefits from Blonde steer

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CHARITY STEER: The outstanding Blonde Aquitaine that will to be auctioned in aid of Youngcare. MERINGANDAN butchers Wayne and Belinda Hess and family are supportingtoday’sYoungcare Ribs andRed luncheon in Brisbane by donating a pure Blonde Aquitaine steer that will to be auctioned in aidof the celebratedcharity for young people with high needs.

Thedonation has been supported by Maclagan Meats which hasprocessed the steer and Daryl’s Transport which transported the carcaseto Hesslands Butchery at Meringandan.

Wayne and the Hesslands Butchery team will cut up the steer to the purchaser’s individual requirements.

The steer from the Hess’sWaite-A-Wyle Blonde D Aquitaine stud was selected on its high yield, lean tender beef and most of all eating quality.

Hesslands Butchery is well known acrossthe Darling Downs for its quality meat and high level of service customers both in the store, private cut ups and many restaurants supplied from their store during the past 12 years.

The Hess family show both stud cattle and led steers at local shows and at the Ekka. This year the family has a major success with a half-brother to the charitysteer.It was named the reserve champion at Beef 2015 in Rockhamptonunder the expert eye of Terry Nolan fromNolans Meats.

Belinda was also one of the organisers of the RNA Youngcare charity steer competition from 2007 to 2010.

“The steerrepresents a greatopportunity to purchase a quality product and make change to quality of life to many young Australians living with high care needs,” Wayne said.

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Bumper chickpea crop quality clipped

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BUMPY ROAD: Rain at the end of the week will set the fortunes of the chickpea crop in the North West of the state.

THE North West’s huge chickpea crop could suffer significant downgrades if forecast rain for the end of this week eventuates.

Some crops have already been hit hard by hail damage but the impact from rain won’t be realised until headers roll through paddocks.

Penagcon agronomist Drew Penberthy, Bellata, said cropswere downgraded each time it rained.

Harvest was stopped in his area which received more than 100 millimetres in November, with rain on almost every other day.

Mr Penberthy said the precipitation could create brittle seeds and affect colour which would downgrade crops that already had yield estimates lowered due to last month’s hot weather.

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Country club fails in quest for a saviour

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THE embattledMount Beauty Country Club is unlikely to reopen after an unsuccessful search for a new operator.

The venue, Mount Beauty’sonly poker machines site,has been shut and in administration since July.

Doors set to stay shut: The Mount Beauty Country Club is not expected to reopen following financial woes which saw it stop trading earlier this year.

The club’s administrator Chris Chamberlain said there was an $800,000 black hole with creditors largely linked to the Victorian Government and the operation of the 19 poker machines.

“It’s not looking rosy as we speak,” Mr Chamberlain said.

“It’s highly unlikely at this stage (it will reopen).

“I think time has moved on –one of the big imposts was that the number of pokies didn’t make it a sustainable and viable operation.”

Mr Chamberlain said an oversupply of poker machines in Victoria meant there was little value in their licences.

“They’re not worth a great deal, you would be lucky to get $2000 a licence,” he said.

Mr Chamberlain said he was hoping to sell the site after having received inquiries and was considering holding an auction.

“I would be pushing to try to have it wrapped up by the end of the year,” he said.

The closure has hit theMount Beauty Bowls Club which has been unable to use its rink for pennant games this season due tono access to the country club.

Club secretary Bob Joyner said the 32 members were continuing to practice at the rink twice a week but were fearful about their fate.

He said two members had already moved to Tawonga Bowls Club because of the uncertainty at Mount Beauty.

Mr Joyner said the club was hopeful there would be a new buyer with whom it could negotiate an arrangement to continue.

A shed at the club contains$30,000 worth of machinery which is used forthe bowlers.

Kiewa Valley-based Alpine Shire councillor Peter Roper said the fate of the bowling club was generating more interest than the prospect of Mount Beauty being left without poker machines.

Mr Chamberlain said the club’s 700 members had been kept informed of his progress in administering the business, but there had largely been a “very quiet” reaction.

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Ladybirds come out to play in Busselton gardens

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Ladybirds are coming out to play in Busselton gardens and are showing they can work wonders. Photo: John Tann. AS summer approaches, a beautiful and highly-skilled hunter is flying into gardens around Busselton.

Over the next few months every gardener’s favourite bug, the ladybird, will stalk and eat their prey on your roses and the plants in your veggie garden.

Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife chief executive Susanna Bradshaw said it is time for Busselton residents to ditch the harsh chemicals and pesticides if they have aphids, scale or fungus in the garden.

“If given the chance, ladybirds will happily eat up to many of the insects that attack garden plants – they are very helpful,” she said.

To help attract ladybirds into your garden, plant nectar and pollen-producing native plants, water your plants early in the morning and mulch your garden to retain water and heat.

For more information about the benefits of ladybirdsvisitbackyardbuddies.net备案老域名

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Hawkesbury to be showcased on our TV sets

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HAWKESBURY will appear on our television screens this Sunday as part of the program –Sydney Weekender.

The episode was secured by Destination NSW andwill provide added inspiration to people across the stateto plan a visit to the Hawkesbury.

Hawkesbury MP Dominic Perrottet said theepisode is part of his election commitment to help boost tourism and the visitor economy in the region.

“The Hawkesbury is one of our State’s best kept secrets and only an hour’s drive north-west of Sydney,” Mr Perrottet said.

“This beautiful region is a haven for adventure and nature lovers and we are delighted that it’llhit television screens this weekend.”

The episode will showcase Sydney Ski School, Able Hawkesbury River Houseboats and a dining experience at Settlers Arms Inn and Sassafras Creek.

It’s set to air at 5:30pm on Sundayon the Seven Network in Sydney.

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OPINION: Reports show deficits in mental health care

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Art by Simon Bosch ​

WE can all think of someone we know who has faced challenges, tough times or struggles in their life. Mental health difficulties touch everyone either directly or indirectly. This is no less true for children and young people than it is for adults.

Recently, two significant reports that have addressed the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people and families have been released – the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services and Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. These reports have highlighted the need to do more, the need to work across sectors and the need to get in early to ensure happy and healthy children now, as well as happy and healthy adults of the future.

Right now, policy, research, clinical practice and community all share in wanting to do well by children and young people. But we also know that approximately 560,000 Australian children and adolescents will experience a mental health problem this year, so the time to act is now.

We need to look for ways to bring people and knowledge together around common topics like system transformation; whole of government and community approaches to reform; and improving transitions, access to appropriate care, and pathways to care for children, young people and their families.

In conjunction with this, we also need to be asking ourselves a range of important questions about how we are going to get to where we need to be: which professions need to be involved in meeting the needs of children and families and how we can best build the necessary awareness, capability and capacity of these professional groups? What role should schools, early education and care, and the broader community play in wellbeing? How can technology help us collaborate, co-create and co-deliver what families need? And, how do we meaningfully involve families and youth at the forefront of our debates about mental health?

No one sector alone is responsible or capable of responding to these issues and opportunities. Change must involve all stakeholders – families, children, youth, service providers across the sectors, researchers across the sectors, policy makers across the sectors, philanthropy, NGO, and business.

By drawing on the best in practice, science and policy we empower people, communities, organisations and government to enact sustainable and meaningful change.

Next week, leading experts and organisations from across Australia will join with local leaders in Newcastle to discuss the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people and families. There has never been a better time to do things differently and it is hoped the forum will spark a national conversation about how we can work across sectors and across jurisdictions to strengthen families and children, with a particular focus on how we support vulnerable children and young people.

The day forum, to be held at Merewether Surf House on Monday, November 16, is being hosted by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health in partnership with beyondblue, the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and the Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use.

An evening community forum, headlined by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, is being held at City Hall to engage the wider community in a discussion about the modern day challenges that children and young people face.

Dr Gavin Hazel is child and youth program manager at Hunter Institute of Mental Health

Laws give in one hand, take from the other

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GAY rights activists have every right to voice their disappointment at the latest decision against same-sex couples being able to adopt.

The decision to give Victorian religious agencies the right to refuse adoption to same-sex couples is a slap in the face to the activists.

It also perpetuates discrimination to same-sex couples.

While legislation to legalise same-sex adoption is giving in one hand, taking from the other is the introduction of religious exception to that same law.

According to Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby co-convenor Sean Mulcahy, the latest decision fails the equality test, leaving same-sex couples yet another hurdle to jump over.

The state government’s same-sex adoption bill passed the upper house 31 to 8 on Thursday night with last-minute amendments allowing religious exemption.

The Liberal Party, Democratic Labor Party MP Rachel Carling-Jenkins and the Shooters and Fishers Party all voted for the exemption.The bill will now return to the lower house.

Despite worldwide moves for same-sex marriages and same-sex adoption rights, there is still a long way to go before true equality.

Equality Minister Martin Foley said on Friday admitted there was still some way to go before same-sex families were granted full equality.

“What we’ve seen is the Liberal Party put back into the legislation a requirement that will allow organisations that deliver services for the state to discriminate against same-sex families,” Mr Foley said.

The Australian Marriage Forum has decried the passage of legislation as a “policy that will hurt children”.

The forum’s spokesman David van Gend said the laws “deliberately deprive a child of their relationship with a mother or father”.

The government has begun talks with same-sex families, relevant stakeholders and organisation to consider the next step.

But there really is only one “next step” and that would be to give loving (same sex) couples the opportunity to give children a loving and stable home.

Because having a “mother” and a “father” does not always equate to having a loving and stable family environment.

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Kangaroo numbers a concern

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POPULATION: Damian Drum says a strategy must be developed to deal with growing numbers of kangaroos.Member for Northern Victoria Damian Drum says the state government must develop a plan to deal with northern Victoria’s growing kangaroo population.

The Nationals MPsaid government limits on the amount of kangaroos farmers could remove were not keeping up with the exploding roo population.

“The Government must address these losses to the agriculture sector.It is a very urgent issue,” Mr Drum said.

Mr Drum said Noel Story, a fourth-generation Sedgwick farmer who specialised in chemical-free beef cattle, had already had to reduce his herd by a quarter after invading roos ate large amounts of his crops and hay.

State permits have limited him to removing just five kangaroos a month for six months.

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Getting back his roots

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GREEN THUMB: George Hartig’s prize-winning garden is looking a bit bare due to the build-up, but he says it will be thriving again in no time.GEORGE Hartig has one gardening rule: if you can’t eat it,don’t grow it.

That was his advice after he wonthe best native, sustainable or water-wise category for the Katherine regionin the 2015 Public Housing GardenCompetition.

After a serious fall earlier this year,Mr Hartig said he had momentarily considered hanging up his gardening gloves.

Part of returning home after the accidentmeant that, forthree hours a day, he had support workerSteve Holtto assisthim with rehabilitation and everyday tasks.

Seeing Mr Hartig’s garden, Mr Holt encouraged him to return to gardening slowly in order to help him bounce back from the accident.

“The more he does, the more he can do,” Mr Holt said.

“It’s good for his rehabilitation to keep his muscles moving.”

Mr Hartig has lived with Parkinson’s disease for the past 10 years and said he had found gardening to be a useful tool in combattingthe debilitating condition.

“With his Parkinson’s, he can’t sit down for too long and he can’t walk around for too long,” Mr Holt explained.

“So, the gardening is the best thing for him, and he is the best thing for the garden.”

As the winner of most water-wise garden, Mr Hartig explained that most people over-watered theirgardens.

“Once the water is there, the roots are like a sponge;they soak it up pretty quick,” he said.

“They don’t need gallons of water, they only need a pint.”

Mr Hartig began gardening 11 years ago by growing radishes.

Since then, he has expanded to grow a variety of vegetables, chillis and herbs.

The only flowers Mr Hartig has in his garden are marigolds, but they serve a purpose.

“They are good for the soil andwhen you plant them where the tomatoes are, they get rid of the little bugs,” he said.

Two other Katherine gardens also claimed prizes.

Asuncion Bumanlag won the best colourful garden award and Robyn Stewart the best balcony, small space or pot garden.

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Teeing up last-round battle between leaders in Ex-Services’ Open

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EARLY FAVOURITE: Duntryleague’s Robert Payne is one of several expected to fight it out for this weekend’s Ex-Services’ NAB Open title. Photo: STEVE GOSCH

THE tournament leaders, striding down the 18th fairway with it all to play for on the last green, after duking it out for the entire final round.

It’s a regular sight in major tournaments worldwide but this year, punters will get to see it live at Orange Ex-Services’ Country Club.

For this weekend’s NAB Open, Ex-Services’ has introduced a seeded draw for the second round, putting the competition’s overnight leaderboard toppers together at the back end of the final day field.

In two groups of three, the top six placed golfers overnight will hit off together on Sunday in what Ex-Services’ chief operating officer Guy Chapman said is an exciting addition to the open tournament.

“A few clubs have tried it in the past, but I’m not sure of any in the Orange area doing it now,” he said.

“We thought we’d add it into the competition to add a bit of excitement to the whole NAB open, and provide an opportunity for those players at the top to fight it out a bit on the second day.

“I guess basically they’ll have the chance to play a bit of match play against each other in a way.”

Orange guns Robert Payne, Rob Parfett, Dave Corby and Dave Chippendale are all in the field, and are expected to fight it out for the top prize.

“I think you’d have to say Payney would be a front runner at this stage,” Chapman said.

“But Andy Campbell has been playing well, if he plays it could be a bit of a shootout between those two. But Andy was playing in the NSW open so I’m not sure if he’ll play this weekend.

“Then guys like Rob Parfett and a few others are really good golfers too, so there’s quite a few there.”

The Ex-Services’ NAB Open kicks off this morning, and finishes tomorrow afternoon.

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EDITORIAL: Property Council’s proposal

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JUST over a year ago, developer lobby group the Property Council told the so-called Nile inquiry into planning matters in Newcastle that allegations about developers wanting access to the city’s heavy rail corridor were ‘‘mere rhetoric and cheap slogans’’.

‘‘Construction of any commercial building in the corridor is simply not viable,’’ the submission read, adding that developing the corridor ‘‘would be akin to building in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall’’.

‘‘Put simply, there is no feasibility study in existence to support the claim that commercial or residential development will take place on the heavy rail corridor once the line is truncated.’’ The council’s policy position was that ‘‘the heavy rail corridor must be preserved as public domain and should be transformed into green space for pedestrians, cyclists and other active users’’.

Now the Property Council has issued a glossy prospectus outlining its vision for Newcastle in the wake of the controversial rail line truncation. The document contains artists’ impressions that depict numerous buildings pushing into portions of the former rail corridor.

But as the document hastens to emphasise, the proposed buildings aren’t very tall, and the former rail corridor retains a continuous element rebadged as a ‘‘cycle transitway’’.

The prospectus also suggests trade-offs, with perhaps the most significant being the concept of closing Wharf Road east of Queens Wharf, expanding the existing East End foreshore park. Near the former Newcastle railway station would be a proposed National Indigenous Cultural Institute, a showcase of Aboriginal culture.

Initial reaction to the proposal has been overwhelmingly positive. If all the concepts contained in the blueprint came to fruition, the result would certainly be a remarkable civic overhaul.

The Property Council suggests that Newcastle, by offering suitable tourism offerings to Asian – especially Chinese – visitors, can become ‘‘Australia’s first regional city of the Asia-Pacific’’.

The plan also notes the potential for big car-parking problems in the future and suggests underground parking at the proposed indigenous institute and a multi-level parking station behind the art gallery in Laman Street.

Indeed, the blueprint suggests that Newcastle City Council consider relocating both its main library and its art gallery to free up the Laman Street site for commercial development.

It also urges the government to revise the proposed light rail plan to integrate the recently purchased Store building.

Much of the blueprint describes facilities that would almost certainly not be built by private developers, but it suggests possible innovative public-private collaborations that might provide the cash for community and tourism infrastructure.

Sydney’s intimate, weird and beautiful night in with Jessie J care of Microsoft

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Jessie J performs at Sydney’s State Theatre for Microsoft fans. Photo: James Morgan Jessie J performs at the State Theatre for Microsoft fans. Photo: James Morgan

Jessie J performs at the State Theatre for Microsoft fans. Photo: James Morgan

Jessie J performs at the State Theatre for Microsoft fans. Photo: James Morgan

Corporate concerts are a weird beast. The pop stars at them are usually flown in from overseas to spruik a brand and perform to a small crowd, many of whom don’t always know who they are.

And so the corporate gig put on by Microsoft on Thursday night for those who lined up at the company’s first Australian store on Thursday for free tickets to see Jessie J (or just visit the store) was no different.

As the singer said herself: “These gigs are really awkward, hey? It’s really quiet and everyone is in a chair and it’s really chilled. It’s really fun and yet awkward.”

But not everything went to plan as the British pop star and The VoiceAustralia judge performed at the concert, held at Sydney’s State Theatre on Thursday night.

Not only was the “Domino” and “Do It Like A Dude” singer forced to perform acoustically (much to her displeasure) with one of her best friends, but she also had to entertain a crowd who barely knew her.

“So how many of you here have ever seen me sing live before?” she asked, to which about ten teenage girls sitting in the front row screamed that they had.

“Great, ten people,” Jessie joked. “Woo.”

Curious and perhaps a little flabbergasted, the singer asked the question in reverse, inquiring how many people had never seen her perform live before, to which almost everyone in the audience put their hand up.

“I don’t know whether I should’ve asked that,” she responded, laughing nervously. “Now I feel, like, pressured.”

She later added while singing a song: “So I know that not everyone in this room is going to admit that they’ve ever needed this song or this moment right now. Maybe you’ll start crying and you didn’t even know you needed to cry. Or you’ll cry because you hate me and you hate my voice and you wish it was over because someone made you come with them because they didn’t want to go by themselves. I know. You hated me on The Voice and now your girlfriend’s got you here and you hate me now. It’s just awful. You want it to be over. “

Which prompted her fans to comfort her, to which she responded: “I’m joking! It’s OK. Seriously.”

But was she? It was hard to tell, with her later adding: “I’m very aware that there is a lot of people in Australia that don’t like me and that’s OK.”

The singer certainly didn’t disappoint her fans — even if there were only ten — but it was clear she was personally disappointed that her band couldn’t be on stage with her.

“Tonight was supposed to be myself and my full band and for whatever reason that wasn’t able to happen tonight,” she said.

“I always feel like everything is for a reason, right? This is my first ever acoustic gig that is like more than 100 people.”

And it wasn’t only her who was disappointed. As this reporter overhead one person in attendance say: “If I’d known it was going to be acoustic I would have stayed home.”

This reporter had the opposite view, finding her voice stunning, especially when she brought out The Voice Australia winner Ellie Drennan on stage to sing with her.

Most of those who were there (about 1500) received one of the free 750 double pass tickets to see the singer perform at the Microsoft-funded concert. They got their tickets by lining up at Microsoft’s Pitt Street Mall store opening midday Thursday.

That much was clear when Jessie inquired what someone (Bazil) did as his day job, to which he responded that he “queued for free stuff”, causing the theatre to erupt into laughter.

A further question uncovered that Bazil had brought a girl (Erica) along with him, who he was on his tenth date with.

“It’s date night and you took her to the free stuff!” Jessie exclaimed, before dramatically falling to the stage floor in disbelief.

But perhaps the corniest (yet also sweetest) moment of the night was was when Jessie randomly picked a fan to sing on stage with her. And who did it end up being?

The daughter of Microsoft Australia’s managing director Pip Marlow, Lucy, aged 11.

When Lucy was picked, many Microsoft employees sitting at the back of the theatre (including Marlow) couldn’t believe it. It seemed as though her being picked out of the audience was truly random, although being in the front row probably had something to do with it.

Throughout the entire evening Jessie was able to turn a crowd of nerds who were fairly hostile at first into ones that learned to enjoy her music, with a few jokes to boot.

And with that Jessie was back on a 26-hour plane journey home to London (she was only in the country a day and a half).

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Haven war monument unveiled

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HONOUR: Horsham Councillor Mark Radford with Horsham RSL sub-branch vice-president James Amos with the new war memorial at Haven. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERHaven First World War projecttakes shapeHAVEN and district residents who served in the First World Warhave been honoured in a new monument.

The Haven Community Enterprisegroup, in consultation with the Haven Recreation Reserve committee, unveiled the memorial during a Remembrance Day service last week.

The groups have worked onthe project since receiving state governmentfunding in January.

The monument features the names of six soldiers from Haven who were killed in the First World War, and 18 others from the Haven area who returned from service.

Project co-ordinator Sue Exell said soldiers’ families were among the crowd at the service on Wednesday.

“That made it more special. It was great to see so many people there,” she said.

“The monument is beautiful –it came up really well.

“We just need to finish off the landscaping around it.”

Mrs Exell said the service featuredMark Radford playing the Last Poston his final full day as Horsham Rural City mayor.

ShesaidMellor Monumental at Stawell prepared the monument, which was funded with$15,785 through the 100 Years of Anzac centenary projects program.

Horsham Church of Christ’sPastor Simon Risson dedicated the monument.

The monument area has been namedAnzac Park Haven as part of the project.

The committee has added new public toilets, a picnic gazebo with history boards, and a time capsule at the park.

“We are trying to make it a really nice area for people to enjoy, and for people to stop at on their way to Portland and the coast,” Mrs Exellsaid.

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