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Focus on profits at Lake

Meegan and Jacob McCarten, “Nargoon” Rankins Springs, preparing their Merino ewes for crutching.In the 21st year of theLake Cargelligo Maiden Merino competition, eight entries attracted more than50 spectators as they followed judges Peter L’Estrange, Belswick Merino stud, Condobolin, and Geoff Peters, Ballatherie Poll Merino stud, Hillston, arounddistrict properties.

Committee president, Bill Worland, said the competition was a success.

“We have seen a big improvement in the Merino industry in our district since we started,” he said.

“Merino ewes were mostly joined to terminal sires to get a prime lamb, but with this competition, we have been able to focus on the profitability of Merino flocks.”

Reflecting on the competition’s success,Mr Worland said there werea lot of passionate Merino breeders around Lake Cargelligo.

This year’s winning flock wasentered by Peter and Meegan McCarten, “Nargoon”, Rankins Springs.

Backing up from last year, the Wanganella-blood flock classed by Michael Elmes, Narrandera, was considered by the judges to be very well grown, with a great length of body and carrying heavy cutting fleeces of bright wool.

In second place was the flock entered by Justin and Natalie McCarten,Erigolia, whose Poll One Oak-blood ewes were considered by the judges to be“heavy cutting ewes with good body size with length,deep barrel and good structure”.

Classed by Michael Elmes, their flock averaged 7.8 kilograms from two shearings, the first at 10 months oldand the second six months later, 21.2 micron and yielding 62 per cent.

The maiden ewes had a lambing average of 110pc.

Third place was awarded to the flock of Poll One Oak-blood ewes bred by Alan and Jennifer Ireland, Tullibigeal, in partnership with daughters Tara and Meegan and son-in-law Brad McKenzie.

Cutting 4.8kg at six months of age, the wool grown by the maiden ewes classed by Michael Elmes measured 21.7 micron and yielded70.9pc.

The judges commented on the excellent size of the ewes, with good wool definition over a very even mob.

Bill Worland,Worland Family Trust, Lake Cargelligo, won the encouragement award for his flock of Poll One Oak-blood ewes classed by Michael Elmes.

With a fleece weight of 7.9kg and measuring 20.3 microns, the ewes were considered by judge Peter L’Estrange to be the most improved since he last judged the competition.

The most profitable flock award was presented to Rosemary, Tim and Renae Rossiter, Youngara Partnership, Lake Cargelligo, for their Haddon Rig-blood flock classed by Andy Mcleod and Paul Kelly.

Using a standard calculation, it was estimated their flock would return a gross margin of $224/head for wool cut and lambs.

Their lambing percentage of 116pc lifted the flock’s returns.

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Zali wins Olympic Games silver

SUCCESS: Helensburgh skier Zali Offord (front) won a silver medal at the Winter Youth Olympic Games. Picture: Youth Information Service (IOC).

Injury and poor preparation could not stopHelensburgh teenager Zali Offord from becoming the Illawarra’s latest Olympic Games medallst.

HAPPY DAYS: Australia’s Zali Offord with her silver medal alongside gold medalist Talina Gantenbein (Switzerland) and bronze medalist Klara Kasparova (Czech Republic). Picture: Youth Information Service (IOC).

The 17-year-old defied naysayerson Monday to power home to win a ski cross silver medal at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer.

It was a remarkable result for Offord considering she was offsnow for 15 days after a crash on January 29 left her concussed and her preparation disrupted.

‘’I can’t believe it, I am over the moon,’’she said.

‘’I had a bit of a rough run leading in to Lillehammer 2016 and had a bit of a crash today but it was all good.’’

Offord was the fastest out of the gates but just couldn’t hold on for the victory.

‘’It was a pretty good final. I had the girl at the start and she is a good skier as well, one of the top Swiss girls. It was a really good race, I worked hard and came away with second.’’

Offord, who hopes to one daymatch the exploits of famous alpine skier Zali Stegall, who she is named after, now has an Olympic medal of her own.

Her silver and the ski cross bronze medal won by Louis Muhlen in the men’s event rounded out Australia’s most successful day at a Winter Games. The four medals Australia’s has won so far makesLillehammer 2016 its most successful campaign.

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Make it last or face the outcome

PLANNEDobsolescence is now a crime in France. Marvellous, isn’t it? Since August 2015, company directors face a two-year prison sentence and significant fine if they use techniques that deliberately reduce the lifespan of products.

This legislation was introduced to protect consumers from such practices, reduce the volume of waste and preserve natural resources. French people had been buying around six times more electrical and electronic equipment than in the early 1990s, largely due to planned obsolescence.

It’s a practice that began with light bulbs. In the 1920s, they lasted an average of 2500 hours, but by 1940 the average had become 1000. Official documents have now shown that a secret cartel of the three biggest light bulb producers decided that no light bulb should last longer than 1000 hours and members would pay fines if their light bulbs lasted over this limit.

In the 1930s, businesses even lobbied the US government to make planned obsolescence on consumer articles compulsory by law, to stimulate and perpetuate consumption and counter economic downturns. Although it didn’t become compulsory, many companies did it anyway.

We’ve all been faced by a repair that is more expensive than replacement or even with updates that are impossible to implement. The technology exists to make things last, but product durability is deliberately being tampered with.

France is not the only country to legislate on the issue. Belgium, the Netherlands and Finland have taken steps in this direction. But China, Taiwan, the US or Australia do not appear to be taking action. With a government that drags its feet on so many environmental matters, we’re unlikely to have legislation on this soon.

In the mean time we can all support initiatives that ‘make and repair’ rather than ‘buy and chuck’. These include the local Repair Café and Make Albury-Wodonga group, both of which will be operating this Saturday 20 February.For further details visit ecoportal.net备案老域名.

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Program puts pain in the patients’ hands

New program: St John of God’s Cristina Manu is running a new chronic pain management program. Picture: Vicky HughsonThere is fresh hope for chronic pain sufferers with a new program at St John of God Warrnambool taking a different approach to pain management.

The Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program began last week and rehabilitation physician Cristina Manu said it was the only one of its kind between Geelong and South Australia.

Dr Manu said the program encouraged patients to play anactive role in their pain management and used cognitive behavioural treatmentto lessen the impact of chronic pain.

“It’s about treating the whole person,” she said.

“We’re empowering the patient to manage that chronic pain.”

The program teaches patients self-treatment and self-management techniques to improve their quality of life.

Dr Manu said the program was based on chronic pain research that looked at the whole person –both the physical impairment and the psycho-social aspects of the condition.“It’s a holistic approach,” Dr Manusaid of the program.

Using cognitive behaviouraltherapycombined with a reconditioning program, theprogram is provided in a small group settingand is customised for eachpatient, Dr Manu said.

Four people are taking part inthe program’s first intake with hopes that it will continue to grow.

“Hopefully it will make a huge difference to these people’s lives,” she said.

A rehabilitation doctor, occupational therapist, physiotherapist andhydrotherapistform part of the pain management team.

A psychologist willalso work with patients to develop relaxation and distraction techniques to help them manage chronic pain.

Dr Manu said the program focused on reviewing medication, rehabilitation, improving function and activity levels,easing depression and anxiety, increasing community participation and returning to work.

Dr Manu said patients were selected for the program based on their willingness to adapt their chronic pain treatment.

“It has to be the right moment,” she said.

Chronic pain is any pain suffered consistently for more than three months. Types of chronic paininclude arthritis, back pain, neck pain, knee and shoulder pain, repetitive strain injury,fibromyalgia, muscular, neurological or complex regional pain syndromes.

Dr Manu said St John of God had run a similar pain management program a number of years ago and it was exciting to have something that catered for chronic pain up and running at the hospital again.

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Fun in McRitchie Park

Hundreds flocked to McRitchie Park to enjoystalls fronted by many localbusinessesandorganisations,includingBeyond Bank, the Whyalla City Council, Opal,D’faces of Youth, and the Whyalla Stuart R-7 Campus.

Stanley the Clown showed his talent as a balloon sculptor, making animals for the many children at the event in McRitchie Park. He mesmerised onlookers with his numble fingers.

From left, Tyson Bird, D’faces manager Deborah Hughes, Samantha Pengilly, Shontelle Pengilly, Jack Brown, Zoe Ritchie and Adam MacGowan.

Jacob Thackrey enjoying the smoothie bike, which blends fruit while you pedal.

Caleb Sttot frying snags for the hungry crowd – a man in big demand.

Jace Hanley enjoying the jumping castle with a smile in the sunshine at the park.

Schools Ministry Group member Phillip Brice, Senior Constable Alicia Green, and Cowen Smith.

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New trail a way to explore Lismore

Ready: Workers lay the deck of the new footbridge over Browns Waterholes.

Walking groups from across Corangamite Shire will head to Lismore on Wednesday for the official opening of the town’s $120,000 discovery trail.

More than 100 keen walkers are expected to join locals and officials at the event. The opening will begin at 10.30am with walking tours around the town being held at 8.30am and 11.30am.

Lismore Progress Association chair Val Lang said the discovery trail gave people the opportunity to stay a little longer in the town.

“The trail was developed for locals and visitors to enjoy and appreciate Lismore’s unique features and learn more about its settlement history,” she said.

“Public open space is very important for residents of rural townships and we have spectacular wide-open horizons for visitors to see.”

The trail was funded by Corangamite Shire and the state government with voluntary contributions from theprogress association andcommunity groups.

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Cybercrime squad warns of cold-call scams

THE NSW Police Force Fraud and Cybercrime Squad is warning members of the public to be aware of cold calling scams, in particular ‘long-held’ call scams, after a number of recent reports.

Cold-calling scams involve a phone call from a person claiming to be a representative from a business – such as a retail store, a telecommunications company or a financial institution – who seek to verify personal details, obtain banking details or gain access to your online accounts.

They include ‘long-held’ call scams whereby criminals cold-call a potential victim on a landline telephone then stay on the line and pick up further calls that person makes.

Commander of the Fraud and Cybercrime Squad, Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, said people falling victim to this scam often thought they were calling direct to their financial institution or, in some cases, the police.

“The scammers will call the victim, tell them they are from a business where a person has attempted to use their credit card fraudulently, and advise they should call their bank immediately to cancel the card,” Det Supt Katsogiannis said.

“When the victim hangs up believing that the call has been terminated, the scammers stay on the line at their end keeping the call active.

“The victim then calls their bank but is instead talking to the scammers who will ask questions to obtain account details, passwords and personal information to allow them access to the victim’s accounts.

“In some cases, victims have been convinced to transfer their money to another nominated account for safe keeping by scammers purporting to be from the police.”

Investigations by police are continuing.

Police urge members of the public to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of being scammed by cold-callers:

Never provide your personal or banking details to a person who cold calls you;

Be careful what personal information you provide over the phone, even if you are the person who made the call;

Never provide your financial PIN or account passwords over the phone;

If you have been cold-called on a landline, consider making any further calls on a different phone or check that the line is free by calling someone you know first;

If you are suspicious about the credentials of a person on the phone, ask questions – what’s their street address, telephone number, Australian Financial Services Number – if they avoid answering then it could be a scam;

Never transfer funds to a person or an account you do not know.

To find out more information about scams, to report a scam or to find out other ways to protect yourself, visit 老域名scamwatch.gov备案老域名.

If you have been the victim of a scam, you can also report it to your local police station.

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Drayton gift will be used in Burgundy

NEXT September 24-year-old Jacob Wiseman will be off to France’s famed Burgundy Region to boost his drive to become a fully-fledged winemaker.

This great month-long career-building opportunity will happen becauseJacob was recently awarded the 2016 Trevor Drayton Scholarship honouring the memory of much-esteemed Hunter winemaker Trevor Drayton, who was killed in a winery explosion at Pokolbin in January 2008.

Jacob lives at Aberdare, works at Keith Tulloch Wines on Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin, and is studying for a Charles Sturt University bachelor of wine science degree.

He was presented with the award by Trevor Drayton’s mother, Mrs Caroline Drayton, at a function attended by 100 guests at Carrington Place Bar and Restaurant.The scholarship gives him $5000 cash and assistance with travel, accommodation, contacts in Burgundy and the opportunity to work in the French vintage.

Jacob, the son of Hunter wine industry veteran Mark Wiseman, initially took an after-school career path into a Newcastle University civil engineering degree course. After 18 months, however, he quit to yield to the lure of wine, working as a cellar rat and vineyard and bottling line hand at First Creek, New Zealand’s Mud House winery and currently alongside Keith Tulloch and acclaimed viticulturist Harry Tulloch.

His wine ambition has led him to create his own Wise One Wines label and he has just released his inaugural wine, the Wise One 2014 Sage Semillon. He made the wine from grapes bought from the Drayton family’s prized Oakey Creek Rd vineyard and the Draytons helped by letting him used their production facilities.

Jacob tells me he has a great liking for French burgundies and, thanks to the Trevor Drayton Scholarship, he hoped to widen his knowledge of the small-batch winemaking of that area.

The scholarship was set up three years ago to give young people in the wine, food and hospitality industry a means to advance their chosen careers.The Trevor Drayton Scholarship committee was formed on the first anniversary Trevor’s death.

GRATEFUL: Mrs Caroline Drayton presents the Trevor Drayton Scholarship cheque to Jacob Wiseman at Carrington Place this month.

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.

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?

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RSL tank vandalised

DAMAGED: The long standing tank at the Port Augusta RSL was vandalised over the weekend. PHOTO: Kara JohnsonTHE PORT Augusta RSL is left saddened after vandals graffitied the tank atthe front of the club.

This is the second time in around two months the club has been targeted; December last year they had cash stolen from raffle and donation boxes.

Port Augusta RSL President Arno Schwarze said it is incredibly disappointing to have this happen again as they are a not-for-profit group.

“It makes you feel sort of violated, doesn’t it,” he said.

“It’s just really unfair when you think about it.”

Mr Schwarze said it would cost around $500 to get the tank cleaned -funds the group doesn’t really have.

He said the club is hoping to raise some of the funds at their Saint Patrick’s Day ‘leprechaun toss’, on March 17 from around 4pm onward.

Port Augusta Police said they are trying to identify the culprit through the ‘tags’ which were used.

The incident happened between9pm on Feb 12and 8.30am on Feb 13.

If you have any information please contact the Port Augusta Police station on 8648 5020.

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