Nature comes to life in local exhibition

Maggie Brockie with one of her animal pieces.Maggie Brockie with one of her animal pieces.MAGGIE Brockie’s talent might have come as a surprise to her 22 years ago when she first started work in the studio.
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“I raised a family before I started playing around with clay,” the 67-year-old said.

The Stanthorpe-based sculptor will share the gallery space with Tenterfield Aboriginal painter Rod McIntosh for the Inverell Art Gallery Common Ground exhibition, opening Friday evening.

Tasmanian born, the artist said she was searching for warmer weather, but found a familiar four seasons, and inspiration in the Granite Belt.

Her work is life-like and stylised representations of birds and animals, some freestanding, others embedded in a natural setting like a piece of bark or human shoulder.

“Seeing the granite forms, and then just because I do native animals and birds, it was just a natural progression to put them into the rock forms, or the little boulder forms,” she said.

She spent years keeping artist friends company, but even after they invited her to give it a try, she refused, until one day, it was the right time.

“I’ve reared quite a few native animals, so I had that close proximity to animals and birds, and at one point a friend of mine suggested I have a go with some clay and I thought, ‘Yeah, right-o, I’m ready’,” she said.

“And after about three days, he was trying to tell me what to do and I said ‘No, I know what I want to do,” and laughed.

Maggie said her first piece of significance was a joey in a pouch.

“Because I has hand-rearing joeys and looking at them all the time,” she said.

She was advised stick to kangaroos to get a handle on the medium and her skill.

“So you could say I did my apprenticeship on kangaroos and joeys, and then one day I tried to make a possum, and it was easy,” Maggie said with a chuckle.

Her proportions, from frilled lizards, to platypus, pythons to humans, are all accurate and lifelike.

“I think I’m just a three-dimensional person, you know so I know a joey’s about that big,” she said, holding up her hands.

“I talk with my hands a lot, so it makes sense that I would work in a medium like clay in a 3-D way.”

Common Ground opens on Friday, February 19 with an opening at 5.30pm at the Inverell Art gallery. The show runs until April 7 during gallery hours.

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Australian family life clearly under attack

VULNERABLE: Jenna Price says proposed tax and childcare cuts are a threat to the Australian family way of life.If companies and corporations and businesses, big and small, could vote in elections, I would understand the government’s desire to pander to them. If it was only the wealthy who voted, I could understand the government’s desire to appease the rich.
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But what I now fail to understand is this: why don’t politicians pander to the ordinary people who vote for them in quite the same way they appease business, big and small; and the rich. Why is their approval so important to the government?

It’s become increasingly apparent that this particular government, first under Abbott and now under Turnbull, is continuing to attack Australian family life. All of us: straight, gay, well, sick, able-bodied or those with disabilities, with or without kids; born here or elsewhere.

This antagonism to all of us was clearly flagged in 2014, when failed treasurer Joe Hockey attempted to push through parliament $8.5 billion in cuts, including a limit of Family Tax Benefit Part B to families when their youngest child turns six. I’m guessing many partners of MPs are stay-at-home parents, so nice for them.

But last week, many of those attempted cuts reappeared and were passed straight through the House of Representatives.Who does that affect? Yep, about one and a half million families will lose their Family Tax Benefit Part A supplements, which is a cut of more than $700 per child every year. And 1.3 million families will lose their Family Tax Benefits, part B supplements, a cut of more than $350 per family every year. That, combined with the abolition of the School Kids Bonus, will mean single parents with two children in high school will lose nearly $5000 a year.

The good news is that, alongside the grasping nature of the ACCI’s prebudget submission, those who represent the rest of us can see what the real problems are.

The Australian Council of Social Services’s CEO Cassandra Goldie says it plainly:“Genuine tax reform is not about raising or lowering tax rates: it should begin by limiting unfair tax breaks and unintended loopholes that mainly benefit people who are on higher incomes and erode the tax base.”

Nick Hopwood, a researcher at the University of Technology Sydney, says it’s very important that we consider the kinds of services which support our most vulnerable. Many of those services, particularly around the area of early intervention for children, have no idea one year to the next whether they will be funded.

In ACOSS’s submission into the family payments structural reform inquiry, Goldie again pleads with those in the Senate to reject the changes to family payments. The submission says the expenditure component of the package, which boosts Part A by $5 a week, doesn’t take effect until July 2018.

It also goes on to point out that there has been no release of an analysis of the impacts of the proposed changes.“It is vital that there is clarity about how different families will be affected, particularly given that vulnerable children and their families will clearly be affected.”

But for me, the most telling yet depressing part of ACOSS’s prebudget submission is about childcare:“The relative generosity at the higher end has increased the overall costs of the (childcare)package, which the government is now seeking to pay for through cuts to family payments.”Yes, reward those families with incomes of more than $340,000 a year. They really need it, don’t they?

– Jenna Price is a Fairfax Media columnistThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Wisos over 50s pairs set for May

WISEMAN Park Bowling Club have been forced to cancel next Monday’s popular Over 50s Pairs event with entries taken for the next tournament in late May.
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New date: Wiseman Park’s over 50s pairs is set down for May 23.

Wiseman Park greens are recovering after being struck down by ground pearls in turf grass, leaving one greennot back in action until the end of March or early April.

Some greens at other clubs have also been affected by ground pearls but Wiseman Park won’t be impacted during pennant season with two greens still operating.

But they need the third green for the Over 50s Pairs meaning next Monday’s event is off withentries being taken for the May 23 event. Cost is $20 per person, $40 a team which includes lunch. $1700 prize money.

Contact Shane Garvey on 0409 481 006 or sign up at the club. Entries will fill fast.

Garvey expects to have two young players from outside the zone in his Grade 1 side this season. Wisos have also recruited Brian Suckley, with Illawarra Zone 16 round one pennants on March 12.

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Law changes threaten species

Threatened species: The Eastern Pygmy-Possum is one of the 156 threatened species living in the Cumberland Plain Woodlands. Picture: Kate Geraghty.More than 150 endangered species living in habitats around Rouse Hill could be under threat as a result of changes to the state government’s environmental laws.
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The proposed changes to the laws would allow more flexibility for developers to clear land around the habitats of threatened species.

The changes to the laws were heard at a meeting heldlast week at Westpoint Blacktown, which outlined the threat to 156 endangered species in the Cumberland Plain Woodlands area, with parts of the woodland reaching into Rouse Hill.

Among the threatened species are the Eastern Pygmy-possum and the spotted-tail quoll.

Campaign co-ordinator for the Total Environment Centre, Corinne Fisher, said while developers would have to offset their environmental impact, it doesn’t have to be in the same ecological area as where the development is, leaving wildlife displaced.

“It’s a real threat for western Sydney, there’s very little vegetation left,” she said.

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Initiative to help financial hardship

THOSE struggling to financially survive throughout the Inverell district now have a respite.
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Legal Aid NSW congratulated the Australian Collectors and Debt Buyers Association (ACDBA) and Financial Counselling Australia on Monday for their commitment to the National Hardship Register.

The National Hardship Register – which has just been launched as a permanent national initiative – stops debt collection for eligible consumers in severe financial hardship.

“This initiative is a victory for people who will never be able to repay their debts,” said Julie Maron, lawyer from Legal Aid NSW and a representative on the committee overseeing the register.

“Our job is to assess their situation and tell them about legal options. We help them negotiate with utility providers, banks and other lenders especially when they are in severe financial hardship because of all their debts.”

“The National Hardship Register arose from initiatives by Legal Aid NSW and other community legal service providers and community groups.”

For information ab-out Legal Aid NSW advice services on everyday legal problems including debt, go to: http://梧桐夜网legalaid.nsw.gov419论坛/get-legal-help/find-a-service.

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Letters to the Editor

DONE DEAL: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius celebrates with United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres after a climate deal is secured in Paris.Government payshomagePerhaps the most corrupting side of human behaviour is the ability to justify to ourselves almost anything we do.Those who work in governments, agencies and institutionsare subject to the money, power and political ‘good versus not so good’ influences and effects of their employers’ culture, and traitsof each worker. Corruption can be the work of one person or many. Inevitably, it diminishes good governance and probity standards from being met. But, always at high cost to little people.
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My letter “A corrupt fraud” (Bay Post 22-01-16) described the “CoP 21 Paris meeting agreement” as ‘hyper-political vagueness’, because it did not explain its hidden purpose to the little people who are bearing the cost.

That purpose is to cream the wealth from advanced nations for collection and distribution by the UN,using the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (UNIPCC) fraudulent claim – “the science is settled”, as its lever.

It is a massive con on all Australians. Yet, without explanation our government cheered it.Nevertheless, the palpable evidentiary reality that “the science is NOT settled” is enabling little people to make up their own minds.

Still, the disciples for the UNFCCC, blindly promote its purpose. Locally, their lead actor in his incessant posts on the Bay Post website in particular, has stated: “It doesn’t actually matter what the uninformed public think, does it. The Government (and the other parties) KNOW what is causing climate change, and has agreed with every other government in the world to start emissions reductions”.This example is that of ‘an obedient and unquestioning follower’ of “hyper-political vagueness”. It explains the empty political noise he represents, but what about a government that pays homage to it?”

NevilleHughesSurf BeachGenerational changeAn amazing week for science: the first ever observation of gravitational waves – femtoscopic ripples in the space-time-continuum -confirming Einstein’s 100 year-old prediction.The last building block of his General Theory of Relativity – long debated, now firmly in place. Nobel prizes for physics being typed up as we speak. Some damned fine work by Australians and others, heralding a new era in cosmology. Advancing the possibility of analysing what happened at the dawn of our galaxy.

In the Eurobodalla, we haven’t caught up on technically simple, but far-reaching matters like climate change and sea-level-rise.Not for us the cutting edge of science. For us, the blunt face of applied ignorance.

Nowhere does this ignorance find a more comfortable and welcoming home than in the top end of the local branch of the Liberal Party.Note to Malcolm. Great to taunt us with your Age of Innovation, the Ideas Boom, excellence in STEM subjects, nimble and agile, the most exciting time to be an Australian.Tony complained about a few barnacles slowing the ship of state. You need to worry about tonnes of lead in the saddlebags bringing the noble steed of progress to its knees. You can’t grow an Age of Innovation in a Field of Applied Ignorance.Time for generational change, Malcolm.Start here.

Terry McGeeMalua BayUnited in cautionMuch has been said aboutclimate change,global warming, sea level rise etc. All governments of Australia have discussed and taken advice from the “experts” within departments and associated agencies,as well as legal advisors. MPs of all persuasions or colours have supported a precautionary attitude, in an attempt to reduce or remove any financial impacts predicted changesmay have on various governments, including local councils, rightly or wrongly.

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

Hunter election deal under discussion

Linda Burney could contest the federal seat of Barton in this year’s federal election. Photo: Daniel MunozDeputy NSW opposition leaderLinda Burneycould contest the federal seat of Barton at this year’s federal election as part of a factional deal being discussed to secure preselection for Joel Fitzgibbon in Hunter.
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The deal could also clear the way for Labor’sleft faction assistant secretary, John Graham, to run in Ms Burney’s state seat of Canterbury at the ensuing byelection.

Fairfax Media understands the plan is under serious discussion within the party but factional leaders warn theyare far from striking anagreement.

Further complicating mattersis that as Opposition leader Luke Foley is from the left,the move wouldgive the right a claim on the deputy opposition leader’s position, which would most likely go to Maroubra MP and shadow treasurer Michael Daley.

The right is pushing for a deal to run Mr Fitzgibbon, a right winger,in Hunter after a redistribution turned twoseats, held by the left’s Pat Conroy and the Mr Fitzgibbon into one. Mr Conroy would likely win a rank and file preselection.

HavingMs Burney move to Barton, a right wing seat, and Mr Graham to Canterbury – another safe Labor seat –would be seen as the trade-off for the left supportingMr Fitzgibbon.

It is unclear if Ms Burney is enthusiastic about the prospect of moving to Barton as she has been the member for Canterbury since 2003.

The move would also install another woman in a senior head office role following the election of Kaila Murnain​ as general secretary on Sunday.

Mr Graham would be replaced as left wing assistant secretary by Rose Jackson, who is secretary of the NSW Labor left.

Ms Murnain also has to fill her former role of right wing assistant secretary. It is understood she has been discussing the role with a number of senior women.

Altina welcomes meerkat litter

CUTE AS: Five of the six meerkat pups born this week at Altina Wildlife Park. It is believed to be one of the biggest litters ever born in Australia. It may just be that Darlington Point has entered itself into the record books.
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Or at least their park might have.

Altina Wildlife Parkis celebrating the arrival of one of the largest recorded litters of meerkats bred in captivity.

Six bouncing meerkat pups were born at Darlington Point’s parkthis week to “experienced mum” Timona and first-time dad Digger.

This wasn’t anything new for the park’s animal keepers though.

It’s the second litter of meerkats at Altina in less than a year.

Senior animal keeper Rebecca Surian said one of the biggest challenges was preventing the teenage meerkats from interfering with the new pups.Meerkat mothers generally only have three to four pups at a time.

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Sports Shorts: Medals for Fingal juniors

FINGAL Beach Surf Life Saving Club’s juniors hosted the Newcastle branch titles for Nippers recently.The Fingal crew performed strongly and produced an impressive haul of medals.Many will head to the state titles in several weeks.The U11 boys made a special impact with Brady Stewart, Oscar Roberts, Boadie Parker and Will Clark taking gold in the board relay and silver in the swim teams event.Brady and Oscar won gold in board rescue while team mates Boadie and Will picked up bronze.
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MALLABULA Rugby League Club’s president for season 2016 will be Jacinta Boidin, with secretary Emma-Jane Thompson and treasurer Sharon Fogarty.The club has appointed a very experienced coach with ties to the area in Lindsay Ridgeway, who is a former player with both Raymond Terrace and Mallabula clubs.The Panthers will move to the tougher A-grade this season.

RAYMOND Terrace Rugby League Club is set to bounce back with thesigning of a new captain-coach.Trent Horsey, a former Terrace junior, was a talented back rower and had stints with the Newcastle Knights and Sydney Roosters in their junior programs.The club has lost several key players with last season’s coach Nathan Ward moving to coach Dungog and Billy Greentree playing with Tea Gardens.However several first-grade players are keen to help revitalise the club, includingJoel Osborn, Mitchell Cox and Kyle Payne.

FINGAL Beach surf boat crews continue to impress with strong results with the women’s master boat crew winning the gold medal attheNewcastle branch championships at Swansea Caves last Saturday.

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Possible pre-season for league ladies

Madi Parbery escapes the grasp of an opponent during a league-tag game in Bega. A competition is set to begin in Group 6 this year. Photo by Jacob McMasterRUGBY LEAGUE
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A CHANGE could be made to the Group 6 first grade pre-season.

A proposed ladies league-tag pre-season tournament could be held before the first grade men’s games.

If adopted by participating clubs, the event will showcase the talented ladies who wish to play in a new league-tag competition.

It would give the group’s representative selectors an opportunity to have a first look at their skills.

Matches would be modified to two, 20-minute halves.

The ladies league-tag pre-season could be divided into northern and southern pools.

The proposed southern pool would include a Moss Vale team to take on The Oaks and Thirlmere.

Matches would be held on March 19.

The northern pool would feature teams from Warragamba, Camden and City to play on March 19.

The winner of each pool would meet in a final on March 20.

– By Stephen Hazelton

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Teenagers trial for higher honours

Trials are underway for Group 6 CRL under-18s rep players. Photo: FDCA RECORD number of players took part in Group 6 Country Rugby League (CRL) possible probable trials last Wednesday.
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Sixty-six players nominated and attended to trial at Appin Park for a position in the Group 6 under-18s representative training squad.

Three games were played on the night to show the talents of the under-18s players.

Players were vying for a spot in the Group 6 under-18s team to play against Illawarra on March 4 at Appin.

This will be held as a possible selection process into the Greater Southern Redbacks squad.

The Redbacks will compete in the 2016 CRL Under-18s Country Championships.

Group selectors are still reviewing the video of the trial games and will hopefully announce the squad soon.

By Stephen Hazelton

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Weller and Payne secure win

Bowral Bowling Club hosted a thrilling men’s pairs match recently. Photo: FDCBOWLS
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DON Weller and Brian Payne secured an impressive win at Bowral Bowling Club recently.

Weller and Payne defeated John Edmonds and Brian Porter by 23-22.

It was a good display of bowls by both teams.

Weller and Payne looked the better side early and appeared to be cruising to victory.

Edmonds and Porter then started to click and pilled on the pressure.

Team Porter picked up five shots on the 13th end and five again on the 17th end to get right back into the match.

In a dramatic turn, Edmonds and Porter had managed to get themselves back into a strong position.

On the last end, they picked up three shots.

But Weller and Payne managed to hold on for a one-shot win.

Other results:

Kurt Griebenow, Kevin Jones and Jim Starkey def Bernie Michael, Ken Jones and John Fleming 23-13

Geoff Taylor, Keith Edwards and Ian O’Farrell def David Jurd, Colin Stone and Peter Morales 17-12

Alan Berle and Dennis Beatty def Don Coleman and Greg Taylor 21-17

Barry O’Brien and Robin Staples def Howard Lewis and Don Chapman 28-8

Bill Meredith and Gordon Lewis def Glenn Giese and Bill Dodwell 33-13

Bob Kennett, Bill Donnelly and Neville Tanner def Barry Kable, Neville Ridge and Barry Werfel 37-10.

Busy start to year

THE first three months are a very busy time of the year at Bowral Bowling Club.

Bowral has all district games to be completed, with pennant trials and the pennant season to follow.

Matches may be played on Saturdays or Sundays, depending on the district schedule.

Check the notice board at the club.

Some players will have to play two games a day, in the morning and afternoon.

For more details, call Bowral Bowling Club on 4861 1320.

– By Gordon Lewis

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Birdkeepers to sell hand-raised birds

Beryle Woodham with her eight-week-old Blue-fronted Amazon Parrot Crustie.BERYLE Woodham’s eight-week-old Blue-fronted Amazon Parrot named Crustie snuggled under her chin.
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The little bird came to her as an egg when a fellow member of the Inverell Social Birdkeepers’ Group, Chris Russell, had a hen which laid off the perch, or out of the nest.

Only one egg successfully produced a chick, and Chris said she could keep the bird, which thrilled Beryle.

“I wanted to die, because it was my birthday, and I’ve always wanted one of these,” she said.

“So he is very special to me.”

She and her husband Trevor have a property bursting with birds of all colours and sizes, from miniscule finches to Black cockatoos and birds are a large part of their lives.

Beryle said she was attracted to the Amazons by their colour, talking ability and strong bond they form with humans.

The engaging small parrot is only one of countless birds Beryle has hand raised. She has a knack for hand-rearing Eclectus parrots, but felt a bias toward the friendly Amazon.

“As far as hand-rearing this one, and the Eckies, I would do a hundred of these,” she said, stoking the docile, jewel-like bird.

Some of their birds and many others will be for sale at the Inverell Social Birdkeepers Group Early Bird Sale, this Saturday, February 20 at the Inverell showgrounds basketball courts.

Trevor said there are sellers are coming from Bribie Island down to Sydney out to Bourk with a large variety of birds such as Finches, Budgies, Parrots, Doves and Quail.

Trade tables will be on site to address all bird needs.

Public entry to the sale opens at 10am with a $2 entry and all are welcome to browse, ask questions or take home a new friend.

Trevor said the Bird Sale Code of Practice Applies and for information, give him a call on 6723 1388.

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