Seeding success for cotton industry

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by
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NEW AND IMPROVED: An artist impression of the redeveloped facility, which will be an economic boon to the region. Photo: Hill Lockart ArchitectsTHE cotton industry has always been on the cutting edge of innovation, a trendCotton Seed Distributions is continuing with a $41m redevelopment of its Wee Waa processing plant.
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The sitewill get nearly 17,000 square metres of new warehouse space and a new laboratory,after receivingapproval from Narrabri Shire Council and the JRPP.

CSDchairmanJames Kahl said while theexisting processing plant was able to meet the current needs of the industry, the company was looking to the future.

“We need to be able to support the Australian cotton industry for at least the next 30 years,” Mr Kahl said.

Upper Namoi Cotton Growers’ president Nat Grove said the cotton industry had always been a “forward thinking” industry.

“A decision like this shows the money there is within the industry,” Mr Graves said.

“That much development will probably see a rise in employment during the construction and possible more heads to run it in the busy time.

“To have a world class labset upin our backyard, andwithin middle of the cotton growing area, is going to be a real boon.The benefits in breeding improvements is going to be a positive for the whole industry.”

On top of the $41m investment for the infrastructure, CSDwill invest a great deal more to install equipment in the new facilities over the next 18 months.

Construct will start nextJanuary, withthe plant to be operational for the 2018 processing season.

Grant to complete Lifeskills Centre

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by
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The Lifeskills Community Centre in Mudgee is set to be completed sooner than expected, thanks to a grant from the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.
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In June 2015, the Mid-West community, especially people with a disability, welcomed the opening of Stage 1 of the Lifeskills Community Centre in Oporto Street, Mudgee.

The Community Centre, with its new, purpose-built respite accommodation enables Lifeskills Plus to provide services to more people with a disability.People with a disability and their families/carers already use the new respite services extensively and the number of requests to access respite continues to grow.

Development of Stage 2 of the Lifeskills Community Centre started earlier this year withsupport fromcommunity members, local businesses and tradespeople.

Thissupport has contributed to the creation of threerooms for client support and training programs, and enhancement of the Sensory Garden with a shade sail and interactive “Water Wall” to be installed.

Lifeskills CEOCarolyn Peek, whohas been the driving force behind establishing thecentre,isoverjoyed with Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation’s endorsement of theCentre.

“Lifeskills appreciate the support from the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and the community who are making it possible to provide this important, local, resource to help meet the needs of people with a disability, their families/carers and the wider NSW Mid-West community,” Ms Peek said.

“Within the next 10 months, the NSW Mid-West will have full use of the Lifeskills Community Centre. In addition to housing the Lifeskills disability and Respite services, the Centre will include a woodwork and art/craft/music space, meeting rooms, training and education facilities, and our region’s very first specialist Sensory Room. “

The Lifeskills Community Centre will be open to all members of the community including individuals, local businesses, early childhood, schools and adult education services and health services such as Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Mental Health support and residents of Aged Care services.

The community and services will soon be able to usethe Lifeskills Community Centre’sfacilities including the therapeutic sensory room, workshop, meeting and training rooms and the multi-purpose event space with access to a community kitchen for larger functions.

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Total Tools

Posted on: April 20th, 2019 by
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Advertising feature
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Serious tradesmen have enjoyed the newest destination for trade-quality tools and expert customer service since Total Tools opened its doors in Rockingham recently.

Franchisee Nathan Bowden said Total Tools’ extensive range of major brand stock in a multitude of categories across 1150sqm of retail space made the store the go-to location for those who earn their living from a trade, discerning DIYers and handypersons alike.

“If we haven’t got it in store and a customer has a specific request for an item, we can order it in for them to meet their individual needs or requirements,” he said.

“We carry all the major brands in cordless tools, such as Makita, Milwaukee, Bosch, Hitachi and Dewalt and customers can order online too.”

This advertising feature is sponsored by the following business. Click the link to learn more.

Total ToolsThe Total Tools team brings industry experience and expertise to the table, with Mr Bowden a fitter and turner by trade.

“I’m a local guy who grew up in the area and is familiar with the area, with a trade background that understands the tools being sold,” he said.

“We have a team of trained staff with good product knowledge and customer service, coming from trade and industry backgrounds, enabling them to meet customer inquiries.”

Total Tools has plenty of special promotions on offer for the die-hard tool fans, to celebrate their official store opening.

Total Tools is located at 1, 101 Dixon Road, Rockingham, and is open seven days a week from 7am-5.30pm Monday to Friday, 8am-4pm Saturdays and 10am-3pm Sundays.Like Total Tools on Facebook.

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How to spend $20m

Posted on: March 20th, 2019 by
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BUY THE LOT: Brian Orvad reckons the lucky lotto winner should invest in Glen Innes real estateA builder in his thirties “from a tiny town near Glen Innes” is $20 million richer after winning Tuesday night’s OzLotto.
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NSW Lotteries confirmed the win was going to someone in the New England region.

Mystery surrounds the identity of the builder, aged in his thirties and who lives near Glen Innes, who purchased the ticket online.

The massive windfall has Glen Innes in a spin, with locals scrambling to find out who the mystery winner is.

Guy Schafer from Schafer’s Newsagency in Glen Innes said there was a fair bit of buzz around as news spread.

“I would have loved to have sold it ,” he said.

“The person is very lucky and they’ll be doing very well from now on I’d say.”

If New England’s latest multi-millionaire is looking for ways to spend his newfound fortune, he has plenty of options.

With $20 million, he could buy 80 houses in Glen Innes – exactly half the 160 houses listed on the town’s residential market.

Glen Innes Ray White’s sales manager Brian Orvad said the price triangle in the town ran from $100,000 to $900,000, with the average price at $250,000.

“He could buy half the residence in town, what an amazing thing,” Mr Orvad said.

“There is some really nice residential real estate in town ranging from $300,000 to $700,000. There are some really quality, upper market houses in that bracket.”

“He could even buy my place, it’s on the market for $665,000 – if he gives me a call I’ll happily take him through it,” Mr Orvad said, laughing.

If he did want to invest in the local real estate, Mr Orvad said it would give the region’s housing market a “real kick along”.

“Hopefully because he’s a local he will want to turn some of that money back into the local area and give the locals a spark,” he said.

“We’d be quite happy to look after him in thatregard, we have about 100 of those listings – totally private of course, I’m like a priest,” he said, laughing.

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$100m lets Milskil fly high

Posted on: March 20th, 2019 by
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PIONEERING: Milskil trains RAAF fighter pilots and is the first business of its kind in the country. Pictured is CEO and founder John Lonergan, after the company secured $100 million in Defence contracts. Picture: Jonathan Carroll When John Lonergan finished his 17-year stint in the air force, he found himself at a crossroads.
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Despite a decorated military career – including being named fighter pilot of the year – the only place he could put his expertise to use was a commercial airline.

“They only value a small part of the skill set,” Mr Lonergan said. “It’s like getting a masters degree and then working a job at McDonald’s.

“I decided to pursue the idea of re-investing military skills back into Defence because I saw they were just being wasted.”

Fifteen years later, Mr Lonergan is chief executive officer of Milskil, an East Maitland-based company that provides simulator and ground school training to the fighter pilots and weapons systems operators in the Royal Australian Air Force.

Starting out with two instructors based at Williamtown in 2001, its workforce has grown to 40 people –primarily ex-military instructors from Australia and the United States- who work across bases at Williamtown, Tindal and Amberley.

Mr Lonergan said the company, which will relocate to the Williamtown Aerospace Park next year,was the closest thing you could get to another air force squadron outside the RAAF.

“We’re kind of hidden from plain sight, because the work we do is completely integrated with the operational air force personnel,” he said.

On Wednesday, a $100 million contract was formalised between Milskil, its partner Raytheon and Defence that will see the company continue to do the pilot training for the Classic Hornet and Super Hornet.

It has also been awarded the contract for the Growlers, which arrive in Australia early next year.

“Our whole job in life is to replace people in green suits so they can do more of their operational job,” Mr Lonergan said.

The company also expects to vie for the training contract for the Joint Strike Fighters, due to arrive at Williamtown in 2018.

“In a nutshell, we are positioning for it and we believe we are well-positioned, noting that we are the only company in Australia that’s ever delivered this type of training.”

Mr Lonergan said employees had the “best of both worlds” by doing nearly the same job they did in the military, without the personal toll of long postingsoverseas.

“The attraction for them is they have a very unique set of skills which they can use to help train the next generation of fighter air crew.”

But it was also the character of the person – driven, and with a winning mentality – that made them a good pilot.

“It is kind of like an elite sport, you are always trying to do better, you are always in competition with your peers.

“When you’re a fighter pilot, there’s no second place.”

Repairs months away

Posted on: March 20th, 2019 by
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UNDER REPAIR: It could be mid-November until sections of Railton Road at Latrobe are completely repaired. Picture: Alistair FinlayMid-Octoberis the earliest motorists can expect repair work on Railton and Mersey Main roads at Latrobe to be completed.
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The two key roads were severely damaged duringJuneflooding, andare the responsibility of the Departmentof State Growth.

“After consultation with floodaffected communities, we are prioritising urgent repairs to provide access to local residents as well as to support affected businesses,” Minister for TransportRene Hidding said.

Mr Hiddingsaid the tender processforrepairs toRailton andMersey Main roads was currently underway and work was scheduledstart mid-September.

“It is expected that works at both sites will take two tothreemonths to complete,” he said.

Key planned work at the Railton Road area includes resurfacing and drainage works near Caroline Creek.

Similar work will be conducted on parts of Mersey Main Road nearBallahoo Creek.

Mr Hidding said weather conditions would play a part in how long it took for the roads to be repaired.

“Weather is a factor in the completion of these workswith air and road surface temperature being critical to successful sealing of the new pavement,” he said.

While roads under the control of the Department of State Growth are still in much the same visible condition as they were days after the floods, the Latrobe Council said all the roads they are responsible have undergone work.

Mayor Peter Freshney said staff were also waiting for the weather to improve so resurfacing work couldget underway.

“Council owned roads aredone to an extent we can during the winter months,” CrFreshneysaid.

“We have some resealing work to do Native Plains Road and out in Merseylea.”

The one exception was the road leading to Warrawee Reserve.

It was significantlydamaged,needs a total rebuild and some engineering work before it can reopen.

“We want to have some access, ideally, for walkers and bikers by Christmas,” Cr Freshney said.

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Short Takes

Posted on: March 20th, 2019 by
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WOW what fantastic news. NSW has banned greyhound racing (abuse). Now for the rest of the states to follow suit. Congratulations to Mike Baird for standing up for the thousands of abused greyhounds.
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Jill Larsen,Collingwood ParkI HOPE you’ve got plenty of room at Macquarie Street Mr Baird – you might have a lot of new pets to look after next year.

Darren Sparks,North LambtonMIKE Baird stated in Parliament that closing down the greyhounds is what the people of NSW wanted. Well if you’re so sure put it to a vote and let the people decide.

Ron Patterson,WyeeIN my opinion, the homeless people should be able to stay at the post office until the day before renos, upgrade or demolition starts. They are hurting no one and at least they have a roof over their heads.

Graeme Bennett,Warners BayWELL Premier Mike Baird has managed to get his legislation to ban greyhound racing through Parliament. While I do not condone the use of live baiting or ill-treatment of greyhounds, I believe that the majority is being punished for the sins of the minority (but doesn’t that happen most of the time). So many people are about to lose their incomes and join the dole queues. So much for “jobs n growth”.

Beverly Page,Adamstown HeightsSHOULD the Turnbull government eventually get around to conducting the same-sex marriage plebiscite, why not make it a double bunger? It would be a great time to include another vital question as to whether the Australian people support having the choice of a medically-assisted death for those with terminal illnesses.If not, then maybe when the next Census is conducted. I’m sure the government would like to be fiscally responsible.

Paul Sutcliffe,Fern BayI THINK Mike Baird is destroying NSW. He needs to go. I also find it hard to watch the overhead walkway from the Brewery to the mall being pulled down – it is almost as hard as watching the Sydney Entertainment Centre being dismantled.

Colin Geatches,MayfieldTHE POLLSSHOULD there be a suspension of all excavation works on the Williamtown RAAF Baseuntil an investigation has been carried out?

Yes 74.4%,No 25.6%SHOULD families exercise together?

Yes 100%,No 0%HASthe government’s privatisation agenda become out of control?

Yes 89.5%,No 10.5%MESSAGEBOARDON Sunday, September 4, Newcastle Memorial Parkis hosting a service to honour the men who will be missing from this year’s Father’s Day celebrations. It is from 10am at theNewcastle Memorial Park – North Chapel,176 Anderson Drive, Beresfield, with complimentary refreshments to follow.

Jail term for jawbreaker

Posted on: March 20th, 2019 by
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A man who broke his partner’s jaw ather Burnie home has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail.
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Aaron John Brennan will be eligible for parole in November 2017 after he was sentenced for assault and causing grievous bodily harm bySupreme Court Justice Shan Tennent on Thursday.

The court heard Brennan borrowed money off AdrienneBaugh to purchase a cask of wine and had consumed a large amount of it when he confronted Ms Baugh in her bedroom.

It heard he tried to stuff money in her mouth, which Justice Tennent said could have been motivated by an argument the couplehad about Brennan not contributing enough to household finances.

He then punched her to the head three or four times, breaking her jaw.

Justice Tennent said Ms Baugh, who had a cast on her arm due to a broken wrist, had hit Brennan with her plaster cast but found that all of her actions were in self defence.

She said Ms Baugh had not done anything to provoke Brennan’sviolence.

The court heard Brennan again assaulted Ms Baugh in the kitchen, before sheran from the houseand sought help from a neighbour.

The court heard Ms Baugh required surgery to repair her broken jaw, and had suffered damage to her gums and teeth.

Justice Tennent said the attack threatened Ms Baugh’s life and caused serious harm.

Justice Tennent said she could not find definitively that Ms Baugh’s five-year-old had witnessed the attacks, but said he was in the house at the time.

The court heard Brennan had no memory of the incident.

Justice Tennent said the father of fivehad a history of assault and a longstanding problem with alcohol abuse.

In sentencing Brennan to a “significant period of imprisonment”, Justice Tennent said domestic violence was unacceptable and could not be condoned in any way

Justice Tennant backdated the three-and-a-half year sentence was backdated to February 23, 2016.

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‘Indifference’ to the impact of privatisation

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by
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DECISIONS: Mike Baird’s government has been accused of not listening to the people of NSW on a number of issues including the greyhound ban and the light rail in Newcastle.
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HUBRIS,arrogance, indifference …all terms I thinkthe Baird government encapsulates in their ideological pursuit of privatising and downsizing their responsibilities.

Mr Baird assures those affected by the forced closure of the greyhound racing industry of “fair and generous” compensation. Meanwhile, it emerges that dozens of Sydney home owners have been denied precisely that in order that the WestConnex motorway proceed.

Regarding Newcastle’s light rail his government insists on taking the significantly more costly route down Hunter Street despite internal advice to the contrary. No valid explanation is even offered.

I understand the Port of Newcastle is effectively sold off with strings attached to ensure it cannot compete with Port Botany in container cargo handling. We find out well after the event.

And now, without warning or consultation, we discover they are seriously exploring the option of privatising two stunning quality Sport and Recreation facilities at Myuna Bay and Point Wolstoncroft.

Hubris, arrogance, indifference … in spades.

John Buckley,FloravilleThinking carefullyONE can only imagine the difficulty faced by those such as Blaise Harris (‘Hunter transgender teacher’s department fight’Herald南京夜网419论坛, 25/08) as they navigate life.

Gender dysphoria in mature adults is one thing –but when it comes to children we would do well to tread cautiously.

Over 80 per centof people who experienced gender dysphoria as children or teenagers will, by their mid-20s, accept the sex they were born to and go on to lead a normal life as a man or woman.

This is especially true if they don’t suffer from medical intervention –intervention that carries dangerous side-effects, and for which I have grave doubts about a child’s ability to give informed consent.

Those who choose gender reassignment surgery do not fare so well – the suicide rate post-surgery is over 20 times that of the general population, and much higher than those with gender dysphoria who have not gone down the medical path.

Despite the best of intentions, people seeking to promote and reinforce the imaginary notion of “gender fluidity” in children do so at great peril.

Scott Hillard,New LambtonSupport for teacherIT’Sdisgraceful to hear about the allegedtreatment of Blaise Harris due to her gender transition (‘Hunter transgender teacher’s department fight’Herald南京夜网419论坛, 25/08).

Every worker has the right to feel safe and accepted, free from discrimination and bullying.Kids are some of the most accepting people you’ll meet.When LGBTI Australians, in particular trans people, experience disproportionate rates of mental illness, self-harm and suicide, then the rest of the population, employers and the wider community has a duty to address this through education, tolerance and inclusivity.Good on Blaise for sharing her story.

Nick Rippon,NewcastleLong-term voucher planI’VEmanaged to accrue $3.90 under the current Woolworths rewards scheme.So I was interested to read that they are doing a revamp. On inquiring at my local Woolies I was advised that under the new scheme I would earn 1 point for every dollar I spent. However I would need to earn 2000 points to get a $10 voucher.

I can only assume, given my limited budget, I may be able to achieve that $10 in about two years.

Ann Ellis,MerewetherHeroes of VietnamIN reply to the letter by Ross Edmondsabout respect for objectors (Letters, 22/8): Having served as a national serviceman in ’68-’70 and undertaking atour of duty in Vietnam in the Army where I saw action as a machine gunner in an infantry platoon, Ibelieve he cannot be further from the truth.

We were doing what was asked of us by the thengovernment and each memberof the ADF believed we were acting correctly for the people ofSouth Vietnam who were being persecuted by the North. I would not call theobjectors heroes.

Finishing his rant with Lest We Forget is for veterans a total insult to every man and woman who has pulled on the uniform of this country.The term Lest We Forgetis used in every service held by the ADF or ex-ADF when giving a serviceor at the passing of a past member of the ADF.

You can be thankful you live in a free country.

Ron Mitcherson,TorontoPerspective on profitTHERE has been a lot of discussion about the profits banks are making. Well, to put this into perspective, take one of the larger banks as an example.I understandits “capital worth” – the number of shares multiplied by their price – is around $140 billion.

If one is in business, one wouldwant to make at least 15 per cent profit, which is $21 billion. Now, let’s be more conservative andsay 10 per cent profit, which is $14 billion.

Now this bank made under $10 billion. I believethat, for investment purposes, this is not performing to market expectations. Maybe there are other issues with the banks that need to be addressed, but, as regards to the “huge” profits,I believe the banks are under-performing when you examinetheir capital worth compared to their profit.

John Alterator,LornF35 a versatilechoiceJOHN Lambkin (Letters, 24/8) reports that a rumour is circulating that the US Air Force will not be buying the F35a. This information is difficult to reconcile as I understandthe F35a is already in service with the USAF and that at least one F35a squadron has already achieved operational capability, that is it is ready to go to war if required.

I understand the US Marine Corps’ version of this aircraft, the F35b, is also in service and ready for war.

The F22, which MrLambkin was justifiably impressed by, is not designed for the same role as the F35a. It is a specialised air superiority fighter with only a limited ground attack capability. Only huge air forces like the USAF can afford such specialised aircraft. The rest of us need something more versatile such as the F35. Incidentally, the F22 is no longer in production and the US long ago decided that it would not be available for export.

Ian Roach,New Lambton

Chris clocks up a conveyancing milestone

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by
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Impressive: Local lawyer Chris McCarron has clocked up an impressive milestone in conveyancing.
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Chris McCarron clocks up 7900 conveyancing matters in a solid legal career, and joins HBL Business and Property Lawyers

One of Port Macquarie’s more senior legal specialists is delighted to be joining HBL Business and Property Lawyers, and with that, clocks up a record 7900 conveyancing matters in his solid legal career.

“I’m thrilled to have joined HBL Business and Property Lawyers and look forward to continuing to provide clients with sensible and practical advice not only in terms of property law, but also in the areas of wills and estates,” said Mr McCarron.

When it comes to property law, Mr McCarron has more than four decades of experience under his belt.

“That depth of knowledge and experience is invaluable and one that cannot be matched by any other lawyer in town,” said Jim McIntyre, Principal Lawyer at HBL who has himself 18 years’ experience as a commercial lawyer and litigator.

“When you’re buying or selling property, whether residential or commercial, Chris is certainly the legal expert you want on your side.”

Since moving to Port Macquarie in 1972, Mr McCarronhas seen first-hand all the business and property development in the district, and knowing the history can come in handy when helping clients today.

Mr McCarronhas been an active member of the community serving in various school and church positions, with Rotary, Apex and as an honorary solicitor for various local groups and associations.

“I’m really proud to be a part of this great place and that I have been able to serve a large and diverse group of clients, some of whom I’ve been helping for more than 40 years,” he said.

On the business side, HBL have an intricate understanding of business and the decisions required to conduct a successful business. HBL has provided advice and counsel to a wide range of clients from families and small businesses, right through to corporations with assets or turnover of up to $50 million.

Their expertise allows them to identify and therefore prevent potential issues or problems throughout the life cycle of a business or commercial enterprise, from start up through to succession planning or the sale of a business.

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