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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Letters to the editor

BURNING ISSUES: Bendigo council’s plans to introduce an organic waste recycling scheme and Councillor Rod Campbell’s car arrangements continue to be debated.Organic waste scheme a cash grabCouncil performance is somethingour councillors always appear to get themselves into trouble withdue to a lack of entirelyengaging with the ratepayers in determining project priorities.
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Take, for example, the proposal to install an organic bin inBendigo. Has there been a comparativecost-benefit analysis undertaken to determine the best community benefit?

The three questions asked of a sample group isskewed towards the organic bin,whether we wantit or not.

An example of reciprocalpersuasion. “Thank you for your reply, now we need yourhelp”.

Ratepayers face an additional charge/tax of either $35 or $63, which is an ongoingincreasing tax, even though Bendigo is growing in dwellings.

At present, some 46,000 would bring inrevenue of $1.6 million per annum or $2.9 million per annum.Growing to 57,868 in year 2026 and66,580 by year 2036. You can work out the sums and that will be without the annual increase intax/charge.

The ageingpopulation –some 65,257 extra residents aged over 70 years by 2030 – having to deal withthis bin problem is not going away.

Not all will be living in hostels or care residences, as thegovernment pushes for more home care in their own residence,requiring more HACC services from council.

It is a cash grab by council without really addressing the issue of municipal, commercial and industrial waste.

There is a Australian Waste to Energy Forum to be held in Ballarat this week providinginformation on how todeal with waste and opportunities to resolve landfill problems.

Will the City of Greater Bendigo be represented at this forum? No, because they say they are workingwith a company to deal with a waste-to-energy business plan, yet can come up with a third bin fororganics.

Why not wait for the business caseand advise ratepayers of this project, which may doaway with the third bin?

Bill Collier,Golden SquareQuestions raised over councillor’s carIn support of Colin Burns’ letter, I note he did not question the commitment of Councillor Rod Campbell, only that he is supplied with a council pool vehicle24/7.

I have also raised this question many times with the City ofGreater Bendigo, the minister and also letters to the editor. I obtained my information from afellow councillor who was not happy the way in which the CEO, under his instrument of delegation, approved the first specially fitted-out leased vehicle for Cr Campbell.

Due to the costs of leasing this secondhand vehicle, the council then purchased a new specially fitted-out poolvehicle –aVW Caddy (which is for any council staff use) but this vehicle has never been in the car pool yard because when it is not being used byCr Campbell it is at his residence, whilst any other councillor wishing to use a pool vehicle must attend the vehicle pool to collect one.

At thetime, under the council support and reimbursement policy, the mayor was the only person supplied a vehicle. To assist Cr Campbell, the councilthen introduced their disability policy allowing him a vehicle, unfortunately this was a back-filling exercise as he already had the vehicle priorto this policy coming into force.

Since no other councillor is afforded the luxury of a pool vehicle 24/7 at their residence, it would appear thatthey are the ones being discriminated against.

I have also been informed by the CEO that when Cr Campbell is no longer on council that this VWCaddy will alsogo.

Robert K Smallpage,HuntlyDo you have an opinion? Send your letters to the editor to [email protected]南京夜网419论坛, or PO Box 61, Bendigo, 3552.

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Students learn art of sheep shearingVideo

THE next generation of shearers are coming through the ranks of the industry thanks to a practical workshop being run at Ross.
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Participants in the sheep shearing workshop camp at Ross on Monday. Picture: Caitlin Jarvis.

A group of young people aged between 17 and 21 are learning all of the skills of sheep shearing and wool handling at the latest workshop camp hosted by Australian Wool Innovation.

Participants learn all of the skills of sheep shearing and wool-handling to equip them with the knowledge they need to get employed in the industry.

Coordinator Jack Monks said the sheep shearing industry was an ageing one and said the workshop camps were designed to help get more young people equipped with the shearing skills.

“We do up to five camps a year, at various levels, some will be novice and others will be at improver level,” Mr Monks said.

“We try to encourage people to do two or three of the camps.”

Joel Price, 17, from Campbell Town, said it was the second workshop camp he’d attended and said he wanted to go into the industry into the future.

“I like the lifestyle, you can go all across Australia with shearing,” he said.

Mr Price said he had learned a bit of the trade from his father, also a shearer, but said he liked going to the camps to further his skills.

The camps are run to help encourage more people into the shearing industry, as the skills are not being taken up as quickly by young people.

Shearers in the industry are ageing and Mr Monks said there was a need for more young people to come through the ranks.

The camp is being run at Ross for 10 days.

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Madi strikes national shot

Madi RatcliffeWARRNAMBOOL hockey export Madi Ratcliffe made her seniordebut playing for Australia’sHockeyroos against Great Britain in Perth on Tuesday night.
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Ratcliffe got her chance to playafter coach Adam Commens made seven changes to the side that played the opening two matches of the series in Bunbury at the weekend.

The 18-year-old stepped into Australia’s line-up after a number of players became unavailable after the weekend due to fitness concerns.

Confirming his teams for match three on Tuesday and the fourth test on Thursday, Commens said“Madi’s getting her chance with a few players nursing knocks”.

“She put in some great performances as part of our Junior World Cup qualifying group in the Gold Coast recently and has trained well,” he said.

“Madi is a bit of a goal sneak with some good skills.”

Adam CommensThe Standardbefore her debut, Ratcliffe said she was surprised with how quickly she had earned a spot in the Australian line-up, having only joined the Hockeyroos for training two weeks ago.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting it, but I’m very happy, very excited,” she said.

Ratcliffe said some nerves had set in after she learned on Monday afternoon that she would play her first Hockeyroos game, but a hitout on Tuesday morning helped settle them.

“It was good to get a bit of touch,” she said.

“Hopefully I can trap the ball (in my debut), really, but I if I can just do what I’ve been doing at practice, I should be okay.”

Ratcliffe said she was keeping her goals simple heading into her first game, hoping to connect with her new teammates whom she has only had a fortnight to get to know.

The series’remaining threegames will be played in Perth on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday,and will be streamed on

Speaking about the first two encounters of the six-game series with Great Britain, Commens said the Hockeyroos “had two tight contests in the opening two matches, which is exactly what we need at this time”.

A double from Kathryn Slattery and strikes by Mariah Williams and Ashleigh Nelson helped the Hockeyroos to a 4-3 win over Great Britain on Friday night, but the series was pegged level on Sunday when Susie Gilbert’s only goal of the game settled the tie 1-0 in Britain’s favour.

Ratcliffe earned an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship late last yearand moved to Perth at the end of the Januaryto begin training alongside the Australian national senior squad.

Shewas named in the national development squad for 2016 after a year that delivered a gold medal atthe under 21 national championships with Victoria anda runner-up finish in the under 18 national championships.

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Ashford show keeps building on new events

COMMITTEE spokeswoman for the Ashford Show Society, Melissa Wilcox, is looking forward to this year’s event and said it will be every bit as good as last year’s exhibition, even though there are a few changes in store for those who walk through he gate of the Ashford Showground.
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Melissa said this year’s event is building on last year’s and going even further.

“The campdraft is back and we’ve got a very generous sponsor this year, who has provided us with a heap of cattle,” she said.

“We’ve got the ring events as well, for all the horses, and the Severn River Sprint is back, so hopefully we’ll draw a good bunch of women and blokes who can sprint to take out the cash prize.”

Melissa said she was confident the weather would be fine for the show, and any rain would hold off until afterwards.

“Entry is $7 per vehicle, with up to eight people in the vehicle, and then it is gold coin donation after that, and that is for the whole day,” she said.

“We’ve changed a couple of events. Instead of the rodeo, we now have a bull ride, which will have some new bulls in the ring.

“There’ll also be a cooking demonstration from local chef Haydon McDonald.”

Melissa said the pillow fight was for the kids.

“It’s lst man standing. The kids love it. We were looking at taking it out, but we got plenty of replies to say ‘Please don’t, we want it back’, so it’s back by popular demand.”

Melissa said the society was in the process of working on the shearing pavilion.

“The Severn River Shears is back again, so thank you to all the sponsors who have come on board to help do that.”

Melissa thanked each and every one of the sponsors who will make this year’s Ashford Show the big success it always is.

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Carcase value attracts buyers

COUNTRY LIFE: Bruce Coulthard, “Achill West”, Armidale, with mature-age Angus cows with calves by Mundoo bulls grazing native pastures. Picture: Rachael WebbANGUS cattle with high muscling traits are good for business at “Achill West”,east of Armidale, where Station Agencies’manager Bruce Coulthardbelieves he is in a good position to capitalise from higher yielding cattle.
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Mr Coulthard has purchased the vast majority of his bulls from Mundoo Angus near Glencoeand swears by their performance in producing offspring with higher muscling.

“They have a depth of breeding and produce true to type,” he said of theCanadian genetics.

Over the past five years Mr Coulthard has managed “Achill West” hisbreeder herd has grown to retainthose excellent carcase traits, and his best steersare highly sought after for their performance in the feedlot.

Mundoo Angus are bred to thrive on steep lush country where they forage well, and grow well. On the lighter country at “Achill West”, dominated by trap soils, these cattle also perform.

The station covers 2225 hectaresso there is some variation and on the red and black basalt soils Mr Coulthard improves that pasture with lime and chicken manure, sowing ryegrass, cocksfoot,and some fescue.

Cows are grazed on native pasture and steers get the improved paddocks.

Mr Coulthard says he selects his breeders for fertility and is pleased with their 90 per cent conception rate.

He is also happywithhow his efforts have helped to tighten joining so that his breeding herd calves within nine to 10 weeks.

“We can sell a B-Double’s worth of steers and they won’t vary much beyond 30 kilograms,” he said. “That’s why the feedlotters like them.”

Meanwhile,Grant Watt from Mundoo Angus saidhigh muscling Anguscattle weigh more than Anguscattle that possess less muscleand their efficiency in the paddock was similar, or better than the cattle with less muscle.

They handle poor times just as well aslow muscling types –as proven during the previous two years –but the real difference is in their ability to put more meat on the table.

There is evidence to say they taste just as good – but those studies are so subjective it is hard to say. Suffice to say some studies reckon the high muscling meat is more tender, with less connective tissue – if a little less juicy.

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Bullocks star in show

PIECE OF HISTORY: Geoff Cochrane’s bullock team being kept in line by Geoff’s grandaughter, Chloe Cochrane aged 7.The Milton show will feature a special recreation of history this year, when Geoff Cochrane’s team of bullocks recreates a photo that was taken 100 years ago in Milton.
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The 24 bullocks will be led through Milton on Saturday, March 5 from around 1.30pm,closing the Princes Highway for a short time.

Geoff came up with the idea when he saw the old photo in a history book, and made the link between his bullocks and the theme of the show this year, country transport old and new for work and play.

The bullocks will be led to the showground, arriving in time for the grand parade at 2.30pm.

Earlier that morning, there will be a bush poetry competition starting at 9.30am and following the grand parade will be a FreestleMotoXKAOS performance at 6pm.

Saturday will also see the showgirl winners announced.

The main entertainment for Friday evening will be the rodeo from 7pm in the main arena. Entries are still open for this event and will close at 4pm on Friday, March 4.

Throughout the show days there will also be horse riding, milking,woodchopping and plenty of exhibitions in the pavilion to keep people entertained.

There will be plenty of food and drink options, as well as show rides and games for the more adventurous show goers.

Now is the time to get your entries in for all the categories.

There are classes and categories open for all ages and abilities.

Popular categories include the Beer and Wine Show, photography, baking, craft and gardening.

There are also plenty of categories for children and special needs entrants.

To enter, either head down to theMilton Showgroundpavilion on Monday,February 29, Tuesday, March 1 and Wednesday,March 2, pick up a schedule from a local business or go online to showdayonline南京夜网 and search for Milton.

You can also follow the Show on Facebook by searching Milton Show Society.

For more show stories, visit ulladullatimes南京夜网419论坛.

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Kaarle qualifies for world championships

Former Highlands cyclist Kaarle McCulloch. Photo: FDCCYCLING
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CYCLIST Kaarle McCulloch has booked her place at the 2016 UCI World Track Championships.

The championship will take place in London from March 2-6.

McCulloch will return to the site where she won her bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games.

The former Highlander will compete in the women’s sprint events.

She will be looking to make a big impression, with an eye on this year’s Olympic Games in Brazil.

McCulloch will be joined at the world championships by fellow NSW Institute of Sport cyclist Ashlee Ankudinoff.

McCulloch will be looking to build on her good recent form on the cycling track.

Her last major event was round three of the 2015/16 UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Hong Kong.

McCulloch secured top 10 finishes in the women’s individual sprint and women’s team sprint.

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Boost for young sport stars

Hume MP Angus Taylor with some young sport stars. Photo supplied
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YOUNG Highlands sportspeople are invited to apply for $500 grants to help with their costs.

Applications for funding under round three for 2015/16 of the Federal Government’s Local Sporting Champions program close on February 29.

Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor said the grants were available to young people between 12 and 18 years of age who competed at a state, national or international level and who needed to travel more than 250km (return) to take part in their chosen sport.

“The money can be put towards equipment, fees, uniforms, training or transportation,” he said.

“We have a wealth of young sporting talent in Hume and it is great to see so many kids representing themselves and their town at an advanced level.”

To lodge an application in the current round, visit 梧桐夜网ausport.gov419论坛/participating/local_sporting_champions

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Bush Compass connects isolated seniors

A LOW-TECH, highly-accessible McLean Care program is the centrepiece of the richly laden Seniors’ Festival over April 4-6.
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Called Bush Compass, the now 12-month-old program enables remote senior residents from across the Northern Tablelands and a live link to community care activities at McLean.

“They run a class up at the gym, so all local people from the community go up to our gym, and then we Skype in our participants from the outlying areas, so they’re actually participating in that class,” McLean Community Care manager Gail Ting said. “We’ve got people at Mungindi, Tingha, Glen Innes, Delungra.”

She said it was about getting regional rural people to interact and participate.

“Basically there’s nothing for people that live on rural properties, they have to literally get in the car and access wellness and re-ablement exercise programs,” McLean chief executive officer Sue Thomson said.

“They don’t have to with this.”

She said the distance to access the community and programs to engage older resident could be discouraging and encourage social isolation, and Bush Compass offered a bridge to those residents.

“It’s not just the physical, it’s also the mental, it’s the socialisation; they’re interacting with a group of people,” Gail said.

“That’s a huge part of it,” McLean Retirement Services manager Robyn Dixon added.

The leader of the exercise session at McLean is able to view each person remotely participating in their homes.

Anybody of an eligible age can access the program, with the only cost a minimal fee for the sessions, and a cost of about $250 to equip and install the Skype machine access to the person’s television set.

McLean has also connected phone lines and handled the internet accessibility for residents whio keep the machine and may use it to stay connected to family and friends.

Gail said in its frist year, the program now has case studies, reflecting very positive, measureable outcomes with physical therapy tools.

The client went from an unsustainable need for two supporting adults to being able to stand themself with only one person to assist.

“So it’s been able to keep that person out of residential care,” Gail said.

“Very empowering,” Sue added.

She explained a further benefit to remote participants is the delivery of the correct physical exercise considering their health, such as type-2 diabetics.

Bush Compass was funded by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services and McLean, and is accessible to all seniors.

For more information, contact Gail Ting on 6721 7333.

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Rail hub steaming ahead

Colin Rees Group’s Ettamogah Rail Hub. A Similar development will occur at Widgelli.A construction company has been appointed to develop the Widgelli Rail Hub.
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Vaughan Constructions will master-plan and develop the hub and a business park for the Colin Rees Group and Amberly Management, owned by Griffith’s Morshead family.The company will also undertake similar work at theEttamogah Rail Hub,15 kilometres north of Albury on the Hume Hwy.

The Widgelli Rail Hub andBusiness Park is situated on a 68-hectare site owned by the Morshead family. The first 30-hectarestageof development at Widgelli will include the design and construction of a new rail hub, railsidings and over 100,000 square metres of warehouse space, hardstands and road networks; a construction value in excess of $80 million.

The Widgelli Rail Hubreceived town planning approvalin August last year. The Business Park will offerboth ‘prelease’ and land and building packages for warehouse and cold storagebuildings ranging from 2 500 square metresto 20,000 square metresin addition to container-rated hardstands.

Cameron Jackson, chief operating officer for the Colin Rees Group, said there was a large variety of potential users so the hub had to be flexible.

“We know that production costs have been squeezedto breaking point, so the focus of many producers, processors, retailers and exporters isthe supply chain,” Mr Jackson said.“We saw a definite gap in the market, so we’ve teamed up with the Morsheadsand Vaughans and we’re able to offer ‘short-line’ rail services in addition to conventionalwarehouse, cold storage and distribution facilities to our customers. Our ‘regional connect’ network can get your box from anywhere in the Riverina to any eastern seaboard port andeven Perth via the Junee or Cootamundra connections.”

Mr Jackson said short-line rail had led to the revival of rail transport in the United States by providingthebenefits from economies of scale to individual customers.

The first of two major stages at Widgelli are expected to be built inthe next two years. It is expected rentsand rates will be released later this month.

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