Hillston cotton growers feature at national event

The National Cotton Grower of the Year Field Day is set to attract large numbers of cotton growers and industry representatives from across NSW and Queensland to Hillston.
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The field day – on March 12– will be hosted by Tim and Sally Watson (Sunland Agriculture), recipients of 2014 Monsanto Cotton Grower of the Year Award.

Cotton Australia regional manager for the Riverina, Honi Anderson, saidthe Watsons have been growing cotton in the Riverina for 14 years, and have been recognised for their innovative cotton growing techniques.

“Tim and Sally Watson are achieving outstanding results – and they are not confined by conventional thinking,” Ms Anderson says.

“In the average season, the Watsons grow more than 1100 hectares of irrigated cotton. The 2013/14 crop yields of 12.8 bales per hectare were recorded at Sunland Agriculture, 25 per centhigher than Australia’s already world-leading cotton yield averages.”

“This event gives growers a chance to see first-hand a current model of best practice and take a great deal of knowledge back to their own farm.”

“The field day committee is in the process of finalising the list of speakers and presenters, which will be distributed in the coming weeks,” Ms Anderson says.

The event will run from 10am to4pm, atSunland Agriculture, River Road, Hillston.

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More than just kicking goals

The Gisborne Soccer Club welcomed the Gisborne Taekwondo Club to Dixon Field last week.Gisborne Women’s soccer pre-season is now in full swing but it is not all about kicking goals. To improve and maintain the players’ fitness, the club has formed a partnership with Gisborne’s female-only gym, Envie Fitness. The partnership has enabled the players to have weekly specialised team fitness sessions. This is proving invaluable to the players who can improve their fitness off the track and focus on developing their skills on the track.
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The team welcomed the Gisborne Taekwondo Club to Dixon Field last week. The Taekwondo session was designed more for a team-building exercise, but also some of their training techniques will be used to improve the players’ warm up and kicking strengths.

The unique approach to building and maintaining the team’s fitness and bonding seems to be working, with the team winning its first practise match of the season against Truganina 3-1 at the weekend.

“I was very impressed with the whole team performance,” coach Steven Lee said, “We have already recruited seven new players this season, but they have blended in seamlessly thanks to the support of the players we have retained.”

Lee said that the club had 10 players over 35 last season and the rest of the squad was under 20. The new players are in their 20s and have the experience and fitness that was lacking last season.

“The new players seemed to have revitalised the whole group and everyone is looking forward to a great 2015,” Lee said.

The Gisborne women are doing a few additional competitions and events this year to try and build on the increased player numbers. They have entered the women’s only Fawkner Cup on February 21 and 22 to raise funds for White Ribbon.

Gisborne Soccer Club is also hosting a Cup competition on Sunday, March 15 with both the men’s and women’s teams taking on three local rivals in a round robin format. The girls will compete in the Women’s FFA Cup for the first time on Sunday, March 29. The girl will have a team trip to try skiing and snowboarding in late August.

They will be fielding a team in State 3 and a team in State 4 in Season 2015 and are still looking for players both experienced and new, who want to participate in a great team sport which is designed to improve your confidence and competitive edge, while still being enjoyable. Fitness sessions at Envie are on Tuesday nights from 6pm and soccer session at Dixon Field on Thursday’s from 6pm. For more details, contact Steven via email on – [email protected]

Practise matches

The men took on the Mitchell Ranges on Saturday in practise match action.

Seniors

Gisborne defeated Mitchell Ranges 3-1

Goals: (Gisborne) J Thomson, S Malloy, L Turner 1.

Reserves

Gisborne defeated Mitchell Ranges 6-0

Goals: (Gisborne) S Tzamouranis 2, M Fairbank 1. (others unconfirmed at time of print).

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

The moment is there to take

I WENT to the National Gallery of Victoria on the weekend to see Jean Paul Gaultier’s latest exhibition.
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What an incredible spectacle – the playful mannequins whose eyes followyou around the room, the area covered inwall-to-wall mirrors and those costumes, redefining what we know about fashion.

Too bad I had to see it all behind the phone screens of other viewers.

People were practically pushing into one another, not to get the best view – but to get the best photo.

I saw so many visitorsmove from room to room, taking a photo of each costume. I wonder whetherthey evensaw the things in front of them.

It got me thinking about human kind’s fear of forgetting.

We are so scared of losing something, we invest everything win trying to remember it – at the expense of the experience itself.

There was a story going around last week of a man who was so distracted by his smart phone, he missed a humpback whale rising to the surfacejust metres from his boat.

Why can’t we letourselves live in the moment?

It is hard to let go sometimes – when we stumble across random art in our world, whether it’s a perfectly formed cloud in the sky, the music gig we’ve dreamt of, or the painting by our favourite artist.

But isn’t it the fleeting nature of the experiencethat makes it beautiful?

There are moments we will always remember, no matter what.

I don’t have photos to prove it, but I’ll never forgetseeing Andy Warhol’s soup cans up close, andplaying cards with my nan while eating pickles from the jar.

A photo would never capture thesmell of her perfume or the coldness of her hands as she hugged me goodbye.

We need to trust in ourselves more – trust in our memories and the power and impression of love.

I have no photos from the Jean Paul exhibition to share with you.

You will just have to trust me when I say, it was one I will remember forever.

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Zone 8 RSL lawn bowls

ZONE 8 RSL bowlers have been in action for the past few weeks with triples championships being played in the Port Macquarie area and Taree, Forster area.
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It is a very early start for Championships as some clubs are operating on only 1 green so some venues had to have date changes, but after some manipulating all games were completed.

Zone 8 now has social championships played in tandem with the RSL championships and these are proving to be fairly popular with the social players who support the zone on the social bowls days.

The results are as follows:

RSL first play started on January 14 and concluded on February 6.

All games were well contested.

In one semi final, Jim Rook’s team of Steve Phillips and Dave Penman were defeated by George Barker, Dave Pateman and skip Frank Ryan by a narrow margin of two points whilst M Williams, B Sloggett and skip Stewart Hodges defeated G Gilford, B Wolters and skip B Kershaw by nine points.

The final between F Ryan and S Hodges was a win for Frank Ryans’ team 21 to 9 congratulations to Frank and his team, they will now go on to contest the State triples championships at a later date.

In the social championships the semi finals between G Bridge, J Lee and skip T Gutterson against P Forsyth, P Griffiths and S Webster and S Grimshaw, D Begley and skip T Reeves against K Cooney, M Leo and skip D Porter resulted with wins to S Webster and T Reeves.

The final was won by S Webster.

To all players who competed thank you for your support and to the winners well done and congratulations.

Our first social outing for 2015 is at Port Macquarie City Bowling club on February 16.

On the February 18 and 19 Zone 8 will be competing against Zones 5, 6 and 7 in the Zone playoffs at Raymond Terrace.

To those players selected for this event we wish you well, hopefully we can bring home the spoils.

Good bowling.

Richard Bailie-Mace.

Zone 8 RSL bowls organiser / publicity.

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Cricket: Royal Rats Vs Staggy Creek.

Cricket: Royal Rats Vs Staggy Creek. Batsman for Staggy Creek: Matt Sparke. Pic No: 4435
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Matt Spark batting. Pic No: 4450

Paul Daley batting. Pic No: 4457

Matt Spark batting. Pic No: 4462

Not a good hit by Paul Daley, he was caught out by Vaughan Gallen. Pic No: 4467

Vaughan Gallen catches Paul Daley. Pic No: 4469

Vaughan Gallen catches Paul Daley. Pic No: 4471

Matt Spark batting. Pic No: 4475

Matt Spark batting. Pic No: 4480

Matt Spark batting. Pic No: 4484

Fresh Batsman for Staggy Creek:Tom Lavender. Pic No: 4488

Tom Lavender. Pic No: 4499

Tom Lavender. Pic No: 4503

Tom Lavender. Pic No: 4507

SECOND MATCH OF THE DAY AT VARLEY OVAL.: The B Grade winners of the 20/20 Championships: AlexWhite, Eric Higgins, Ben Horseman, Joe Smith, Mark Horneman and Declan Drake.Pic No: 4515

Tom Lavender. Pic No: 4520

Tom Lavender. Pic No: 4528

Tom Lavender. Pic No: 4533

Pic No: 4536

Matt Spark batting. Pic No: 4547

Matt Spark batting. Pic No: 4549

Matt Spark batting. Pic No: 4559

Tom Lavender. Pic No: 4576

Tom Lavender. Pic No: 4581

Pic No: 4585

Pic No: 4623

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Pic No: 4660

Pic No: 4678

Pic No: 4708

Troy Brabant batting. Pic No: 4721

Troy Brabant is bowled out. Pic No: 4744

Pic No: 4775

Pic No: 4790

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South Mandurah lose two in a row

South Mandurah lose two in a row Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.
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Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

Cricket: Singleton Irwinians defeated Halls Head on Saturday. Photo: Richard Polden.

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Fickle funding for Murraylands community centres

Murray Bridge Community Centre community development worker Anna Scheepers, volunteer group members Stephen Fullston and Judith Brockhoff, computer tutor Clinton Nevin and volunteer group member Bruce MacGill are excited for the future of the centre.Community centres around the region are learning about the fate of their immediate future from the State Government’s Department for Communities and Social Inclusion.
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The Murray Bridge Community Centre confirmed it would receive funding until the end of June 2016, but at least one other Murraylands centre has not been so lucky.

Murray Bridge centre community development worker Anna Scheepers said that through public participation the centre could secure its future and remain open.

“Some centres may have received funding for three years as opposed to one year … we got one, and we’re super grateful for that,” she said.

“In the meantime, we’re looking at different options to make the community centre more sustainable; so, eventually our goal is to not be dependent on funding at all.

“The most important thing is the community centre is not closing.”

She said a number of avenues could make self-sufficiency possible including work by volunteers, providing affordable courses and the hiring of facilities.

Ms Scheepers said the centre was working towards the possibility of opening another day a week to give young or disengaged people a place to congregate.

“We’re really positive and excited about the new challenges we have because it allows opportunities to grow and expand and be an asset to the community we serve,” she said.

She said the centre needed feedback about the direction it should go and what people would like to see so it could best serve the community.

Garden group member Judith Brockhoff said being involved with the community centre had been beneficial for many people.

“It’s a great place; people come here to feel better and build confidence,” she said.

“It would be a great loss if the community didn’t support it.”

But unlike Murray Bridge, the Mannum community centre was not successful in obtaining continued funding.

Mannum Community Hub program coordinator Tanya Mathews said the hub had applied for three years’ worth of funding, but had been unsuccessful due to the large amount of applicants.

“I bawled my eyes out,” Miss Mathews said.

“There was empathy and understanding from the department … the support offered from them in the interim is still there.”

She said it would mean the hub would have to apply for smaller grants for individual programs and build stronger relationships with other community groups.

“It would’ve been a lot easier to receive a bit bigger funding … it’s just time-consuming,” she said.

“The pressure to create programs on limited funds does your head in – you’ve got to find people with the skills who want to offer their time.”

Miss Mathews said ultimately, the lack of funding would mean the community would lose.

“We’re unable to promote the wellbeing, which is what’s intended,” she said.

“It will just not allow us to go with the plans and services we were going to offer to the community.”

The Tailem Bend Community Centre said it could not comment on its funding situation until a formal announcement had been made.

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Murray Bridge call centre on hold

About 18 permanent jobs at the Murray Bridge call centre face an uncertain future as the likelihood of shutting down the service continues to grow.About 18 permanent jobs at the Murray Bridge call centre face an uncertain future as the likelihood of shutting down the service continues to grow.
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With ever-evolving technology and the internet so easily accessible, demand for the centre’s directory assistant service is on a steep decline.

Largely answering Telstra’s 1234 calls, employees would connect callers to a number or provide them with street directions, weather forecasts, movie times or sports scores, 24 hours, seven days a week for a call fee of $1.99 plus standard mobile charges.

Telstra Country Wide area general manager Mark Bolton said with a majority of people now owning smartphones it was just as easy for them to look up the information online.

“What we are seeing is a decline in call numbers by 20 per cent year on year,” he said.

“It’s pretty clear this trend is because of peoples’ habits … and we see that continuing.

“The business model has changed for us.”

While an official decision about the centre’s future is yet to be made, Mr Bolton said the idea of closing was forthcoming.

“We are in consultation at the moment,” he said.

“It’s important we speak to the (Murray Bridge) team first.

“We’ve got a pretty good work transition in place though.”

The consultation period would end in the next two or three weeks and an announcement was expected to be made early April, if not before.

If the call centre does close, anyone contacting the 1234 service would be redirected to various call centres around Australia.

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Bizarre pie championships

PIE eater: fastest at the 22nd Annual World Pie Eating Championship, Barry Rigby – but the event was declared a non-event as the wrong pies were offered up. (Pic: Wigan Today)IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of the traveller, David Ellis says the 22nd Annual World Pie Eating Championships at Harry’s Bar at Wigan in England’s Manchester, have ended in something of Pie Noon.
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Because the meat and potato pies for the championships were delivered by mistake to revellers at a Divorce Party down the road – leaving the 24 competition Pie Eaters facing a table-load of pies that had been intended for that divorce celebration, and were double the championship’s regulation 25cm diameter.

And although their pies were cut in half for health-safety reasons, and a former champion Barry Rigby (who remarkably for a pie-eater is a part-time professional fitness instructor) chomped through his half in a fastest time of 42.6 seconds, organisers decided the 22nd Annual Championships were a non-event.

The bizarre championships originally centred on the most pies eaten in three minutes (the record was seven,) but Government Healthy Eating regulations introduced in 2006 saw the rules changed to the fastest time to consume a single pie (currently 35.86 seconds.) And past winners have included former Australian Rugby player Matt Dunning, who won the event for fastest time in 2006.

PHOTO: PIE eater: fastest at the 22nd Annual World Pie Eating Championship, Barry Rigby – but the event was declared a non-event as the wrong pies were offered up.

Pic: Wigan Today

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Council supports campaign against concession cuts

BLOCK: Whyalla City Council has voted unanimously to support a Local Government Association campaign seeking to block cuts to concession council rates for pensioners.Whyalla City Council has voted unanimously to support a Local Government Association campaign seeking to block cuts to concession council rates for pensioners.
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The LGA has welcomed news the state Liberal opposition, Greens, Family First and Independents have announced they will disallow any change to pensioner concessions on council rates in the Legislative Council.

LGA president David O’Loughlin said the LGA’s legal advice was that regulations would need to be changed for the state to cut the concessions.

“We thank Steven Marshall for responding to our campaign and finding one possible solution to the problem, which is to disallow any changes to regulations which would permit the government to scrap concessions for pensioners, part pensioners and self-funded retirees,” he said.

“While the government has yet to introduce any associated regulation into the parliament, if the state government determines to go down that path, we will fully support the initiative by the Liberals, Greens, Family First and Independents to disallow the regulations.

“The disallowance motion, when passed by Legislative Council, would put the ball right back into state government hands.”

Local Government Association president David O’LoughlinThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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