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Monthly Archives: June 2018

ICAC probes donation of $100,000

MONEY TROUBLES: Richard Torbay has been referred to ICAC, this time over a $100,000 donation.RICHARD Torbay has again been referred to the anti-corruption watchdog, this time for a $100,000 donation to his election campaign.
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The donation was made by Sydney businessman Cameron McCullagh and his wife Georgina shortly after Mr Torbay, then member for Northern Tablelands, organised a meeting between Mr McCullagh and then planning minister Tony Kelly.

NSW Greens MLC John Kaye said he had sent a dossier of documents to the Independent Commission Against Corruption relating to the donation, first reported by The Express.

The donation was made by Mr McCullagh, who sought the lifting of an interim heritage listing placed on his $3.8 million Sydney mansion Peroomba, according to documents obtained by Dr Kaye.

The paper trail, which includes emails and correspondence between Mr Torbay, Mr McCullagh, Mr Kelly’s office and department officials, started in 2010.

Mr Mr Cullagh wrote to Mr Torbay: “Richard, I would greatly appreciate any assistance you can give in arranging a meeting with Minister Kelly.”

That meeting was set up within days. Mr McCullagh successfully lobbied to have the heritage order lifted, paving the way for the 1938 home in Warrawee to be demolished.

Four months later, in December, 2010, Australian Electroal Commission records show Mrs McCullagh’s private company, GEMC, donated $100,000 to Mr Torbay.

When asked last year about the donation, Mr McCullagh told The Express Mr Torbay was “highly effective and the sort of person I want in politics”.

Yesterday, Dr Kaye said Mr McCullagh’s comments had become “part of the zeitgeist of politics”.

“Subsequent events have thrown a very different light on Mr McCullagh’s comments,” Mr Kaye said.

Yesterday, Mr Torbay remained in hiding and calls by Fairfax Media to the McCullaghs were left unanswered.

Mr Torbay, believed to have returned to Armidale, has had his landline and mobile phone lines disconnected. The phone at his former electorate office went to voicemail and a spokeswoman later emailed The Express claiming “the office is not in contact with Richard”.

Dr Kaye said he had worked with Mr Torbay during his tenure at Parliament and in his role as chancellor of the University of New England

He said he had been shocked by Mr Torbay’s abrupt departure from politics and subsequent referral to ICAC.

Dr Kaye said he had not spoken with Mr Torbay since and had not heard from Mr McCullagh.

He said his dossier regarding the donation and the meeting amounted to about 100 pages of correspondence and he was in the process of lodging the information with ICAC.

Dr Kayesaid he did not know when the matter would be assessed by ICAC.

He referred the matter to the commission because Mr Toraby’s seat was hundreds of kilometres away from Peroomba and the residential address of its owners.

“The subsequent campaign donation raises legitimate questions,” he said.

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Hugh going in Stu’s footsteps

PROVING the apple never falls far from the tree, another Middleton terrorised opposition cricketers last summer.
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A Cavalier not unlike his decorated father Stuart, Hugh Middleton starred with the Cavs’ under 11s side in the Orange District Junior Cricket Association competition, helping guide the team to the premiership.

Hugh, 10, scored a league leading 305 runs at an average of 61 while also netting six wickets at 15.67 – both strong enough stats to earn young Middleton the under 11s player of the year title.

While, after 30 years at the top of his game, Stu again showed his value to Cavaliers first grade side in the Orange District Cricket Association, winning the overall competition’s first grade best and fairest award.

Middleton senior netted 510 runs and 29 wickets playing in the first grade and Royal Hotel Cup Twenty20 competitions in 2012-13.

It’s a rare family double act that has the Middletons grinning from ear to ear.

And the feats of Hugh are spurring on his Dad to continue his cricketing career in the hope of one day playing senior cricket together.

“That’s what we’ll aim for. I know Cavs next season should have a Centenary Cup side. We’ve been talking to Richard Manning who looks like coming across the start it up,” Stuart said, with the Centenary Cup competition a bridge for junior cricketers into the senior competition.

“They’ve asked me and Hugh to fill in where we can.

“Even my Dad (Mike), who I didn’t get to play with, if he gets the chance to play he might come out of retirement.

“All three of us might get a bit of a run.”

Hugh said he enjoyed his cricket, but one facet of the game stood out above all others.

“I like the batting,” he said.

“I got first on the (batting) ladder.”

Stuart added, Hugh is also a handy bowler who “bowls out swingers like his Dad.”

Cavaliers also won the under 14s junior cricket premiership undefeated while the club’s under 12s enjoyed an impressive season, but went down in the decider.

LIKE FATHER LIKE SON: Cavaliers pair Stu and Hugh Middleton dominated their respective competitions this past season. Photo: NICK McGRATH 0502nmmiddos1

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“Vikings” announced as 2013 Henry Lawson Festival theme

The official festival theme for 2013 has been announces as Vikings. This is acknowledging Henry Lawson’s fathers connection to Norway. Henry Lawson’s father was Niels Hertzberg Larsen, a Norwegian-born miner from Tromoy. Niels Larsen went to sea at 21 and arrived in Melbourne in 1855 to join the gold rush before eventually marrying and making his way to Grenfell where Henry Lawson was born in 1867. The Viking theme will be encouraged in all aspects of the festival including the procession floats and the window displays.
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Vikings were seafaring people who raided, traded, explored, and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th centuries. There were two distinct classes of Viking ships: the longship and the knarr. The longship, intended for warfare and exploration, was designed for speed and agility, and were equipped with oars to complement the sail as well as navigate independently of the wind. The longship had a long narrow hull and shallow draft to facilitate landings and troop deployments in shallow water. The knarr was a dedicated merchant vessel designed to carry cargo. It was designed with a broader hull, deeper draft and limited number of oars used primarily to manoeuvre in harbors.

According to custom, during the Viking era all free men were required to own weapons and were permitted to carry them all the time. These weapons were indicative of a Viking’s social status: a wealthy Viking would have a complete ensemble of a helmet, shield, chainmail shirt, and sword. A typical free man was more likely to fight with a spear and shield, and most also carried a utility knife and side-arm. Bows were used in the opening stages of land battles and at sea, but they tended to be considered less “honourable” than a melee weapon. Vikings were relatively unusual for the time in their use of axes as a main battle weapon. In combat the Vikings are believed to have engaged in disordered style of frenetic, furious fighting.

The Viking could read and write using a non-standardized alphabet. While there are few remains of writing on paper from the Viking era, thousands of stones with inscriptions have been found where Vikings lived. They are usually in memory of the dead, though not necessarily placed at graves. Many engraved stones in Scandinavia record the names of participants in Viking expeditions. Other stones mention men who died on Viking expeditions.

The motives driving the Viking expansion are a topic of much debate in Nordic history. The penetration of Christianity into Scandinavia led to serious conflict dividing Norway for almost a century.

Hopefully this brief history on Viking has provided some food for thought and will help your organisation come up with ideas for a procession float.

This year Lachlan Fertilizer is leading the charge with their Viking themed float already in planning. Don’t let Lachlan Fertiliser collect the prize money without a challenge: start planning you float now!

For more information on the festival and for procession entry forms visit the website www.henrylawsonfestival南京夜网.au drop by the facebook page http://www.facebook南京夜网/grenfellfestival or call 6343 2855.

Did Henry’s Forebears wear hats with horns?

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From little things, big things grow

From little things, big things grow, or so the Paul Kelly song goes.
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The lyrics of this song certainly apply to the Ararat Mother’s Day Classic.

Five years ago a few friends got together thinking they might go to Melbourne to participate in the Mother’s Day Classic.

Instead they decided to see if they could get a few more of their friends to join them and run an event in Ararat.

On Mother’s Day 2009, around 600 turned up to walk and run the circuit from Richardson Oval, taking the group completely by surprise, but in a good way.

This year the Ararat Mother’s Day Classic celebrates its fifth anniversary, having raised more than $60,000 in that time.

The inspiration behind that first Classic in Ararat was Lisa Antonio. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer just a few months before Mother’s Day and it was her group of friends that decided to run the event in her honour.

In today’s Ararat Advertiser you can read her story.

It is a no holds barred, warts and all story of her breast cancer journey.

Every woman should read her story. Every husband, partner or boyfriend should read her story. Everyone has a part to play in ensuring women get any irregularities of their breasts checked early.

It is early detection that can save a life.

And it is money that will ensure the research is carried out and that eventually a cure is found. If you can’t participate in this year’s Classic, please donate some money.

A sea of pink balloons at last year’s Mother’s Day Classic.

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Dry, but holding on

DUST BATH: John Roberts shows just how dry it is during a break in sowing yesterday afternoon, on “Greylands” north of Cowra. It may be dry but it is not yet desperate times for Cowra farmers with an anticipated change in the weather pattern next week providing hope this current low rainfall spell is breaking, according to local agronomist.
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Less than 1mm of rain fell throughout Cowra in April – the third driest since 1906 – following on from below average rainfall in the first three months of the year but it is not all bad news for farmers.

Elders Cowra senior agronomist Peter Watt urged farmers to stick to their guns and not panic as there is an indication of reliable winter rainfall and an average spring.

“We are in the eastern part of the wheat belt in a reliable area,” Mr Watt said.

“I guess farmers have to rely on history and weather forecast modelling for some reassurance.

“It will be a tight winter because of the extended dry and potential late breaks for some stock water is also an issue as farm dams deplete.

“As usual, prudent managers have adjusted stock numbers and utilised store reserves of fodder and grain.”

Some early fodder drops sown on the March rain will provide very quick feed as soon as it rains but pasture growth will be slow due to cold temperatures, Mr Watt said.

“This will be much worse in areas of higher elevation such as the tablelands,” he said.

“At least being on the slopes we can still get growth during the winter months.

“Some of the growers might opt for quicker maturing varieties of wheat if available. Consider dry sowing as many already have and be prepared to act quickly on the opening rains.

“We’re fairly used to this, we’ve had this occur three to four times over the last 10 years with most farmers at least very comfortable to dry sow canola.

“Local farmers are lucky we’re here; spare a thought for those further west in lower rainfall zones who haven’t the luxury of our environment.”

A positive from this current dry spell has been that fallows have been cheap to maintain.

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Time is ripe to celebrate apples

CRUNCH will be the sound heard across 28 schools at 11am this morning when they take part in Orange Apple Festival’s Big Crunch.
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About 7000 apples will be distributed among the schools so students can taste some of the best in local produce.

Festival coordinator Cath Thompson says it is among a range of activities being held over the next three days.

“Adults and children are sharing in the activities with adults recalling memories of perhaps of a simpler time and children eager to be included,” she said.

Saturday’s Orange Region Farmers’ Market will feature Orange apples in various ways.

“Apple producers will be there with new-season apples,” Mrs Thompson said.

“There will also be apple jam and apple relish, apple cider, toffee apples and apple bobbing.”

Mrs Thompson said an Electrolux fridge full of apples will be up for grabs in a guessing competition at the markets, where people will be asked to guess how many apples are in the appliance.

On Sunday, the community is invited to a range of events including an orchard and packing shed tour and a heritage apple walk.

For the very eager there will be three, five or 10-kilometre fun runs at the Pinnacle at 9am.

Visit www.orangerunners南京夜网.au for more information on the fun run.

“Local cafes and eateries are making apples the ‘hero’ on the plate and in the glass,” Mrs Thompson said.

“There’ll be an apple surprise on the pillows at many of the hotels and b&b’s over the festival.

“Sharing in such events is good for a community and keeps the connection with the past alive while moving into the future.”

For the full Orange Apple Festival program visit www.orangeapples南京夜网.au.

APPLES GALORE: Hillside Orchard owner Max Davidson is one Orange apple producer getting behind this year’s Orange Apple Festival. Photo: JEFF DEATH 0430jdapple03

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GALLERY: Mother’s Day

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day. Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.
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Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

Children from schools across Armidale have been busy preparing for Mother’s Day.

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Grenfell Bowls News

A GREAT LOSS: It is with great remorse I have to report that we lost our President to his battle with cancer. Richard was a great ambassador for the Grenfell Men’s Bowling Club and also the Grenfell Bowling Club Ltd, he will be sorely missed. On behalf of the Grenfell Men’s Bowling Club, I wish to offer our condolences to Richards family and friends.
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CLUB CHAMPION FINALISED FOR 2013: The 2013 Major Singles was completed on a Saturday afternoon. On a windy afternoon the young bull Blake was to take on reigning champion Steve for the title of Major singles champion for 2013. This proved to be one of the most exceptional games of bowls witnessed at the Grenfell Bowling Club. Steve got out to an early lead of 7-0 and Blake looked to be under the pump. The young fella calmed his nerves and clawed his way back to be 16 all after 19 ends. It was neck and neck from then on. Trailing 27-23, Steve played a couple of game saving bowls to keep the contest alive, and edging his way back to 28 all, this was going to come down to the wire. Blake held game at 28 each and Steve played a bowl the Glasson would be proud of, to get two shots. Game score 30-28, in favour of Steve. With nerves of steel, Blake took a couple of deep breaths and got 1 shot to make it 30-29. He didn’t look back from there, gaining 2 shots to win the match 31-30. We have a new champion for 2013, Blake Bradtke. Congratulations.

PENNANTS: Last Sunday saw the No 2 side travel to Cowra to take on the No. 4 team. This was a must win game for the 2’s to keep their Zone hopes alive. From the get go, the Grenfell team didn’t look like losing, winning the match 6-0 with a score of 74-40. This was the most ‘polished’ performance by No 2 side this year. All players played to their ability which is a great sign as we head to the Zone playoffs at Picton. The man of the match went to Rodger Baker, well done old man.

The No 5 side had to play Eugowra at home. Another must win for the Grenfell team as the No 5 competition is very tight. The Grenfell team rose to the occasion and comprehensively beat Eugowra 6-0 with a score of 73-44. The man of the match went to Phil Hunter, well done mate. The No 5 team have only one week to go, they play Cowra at Cowra. The side is

K. Brus,P. Hunter,B. Jones

C. Brus, J. Palmer, R. Chambers

R. O’Neill,J. Hunter,S. Baker

P. Meredith,N. Coleman,D. McAlister

The bus leaves at 11.45am.

MAJOR MINOR PAIRS: The quarter finals of the Major Minor pairs were completed on Saturday with Andrew Brown and Danny Joyce defeating Jim Sparkes and John Grogan 26-12. The other game was Keith and Carl Brus defeated John Joyce and Lyndsay Ballard 19-11. The semi Final games are Keith Brus vs Ross Hunter and Steve Galvin vs Andrew Brown.

BITS AND PIECES: The bowls jackpot didn’t go off again this week with a need of -6 on end 14. The jackpot stands at $240.00.

Grenfell Major Singles champion bowler Blake Bradtke after last Sunday’s close final win.

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Community leaders voice strong opposition to camp development

THE campaign to stop the proposed $101million- 1500 bed temporary workers camp in Singleton gained momentum this week with state and federal politicians and union representatives voicing their opposition to the development.
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A community leaders meeting was held in town attended by Federal members for New England, Tony Windsor and Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon and Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union northern district secretary Graham Kelly along with representatives from councils throughout the region.

The meeting resolved to call on the Singleton Council and the NSW Government to reject the MAC Group’s application to build a temporary worker camp in Singleton.

“Singleton is not a remote area. It is a thriving town in a thriving region and should be supported by government and the mining industry to remain so,” said the meeting’s statement.

“Rather than flying in skilled workers and placing them in camps, our communities need adequate family housing and training opportunities to make sure locals can fulfil skills needs.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said all those who attended the meeting, no matter their background or political views, agreed that the proposed camp was not a good thing for the Hunter.

“This community has to put up with the impacts from mining such as air and water quality, congested roads, higher service prices and housing shortages,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“So therefore they should enjoy the good things mining can bring including good wages and plenty of training opportunities.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said he would be working until the end of the current parliament in September to ensure the recommendations of the Windsor committee were implemented.

Mr Windsor chaired a House of Representatives report investigating fly-in, fly-out and drive-in, drive-out workforce practices in regional Australia.

Among the recommendations were the establishment of a method to accurately measure the extent of FIFO and DIDO workforces in the resource sector, community funding based on both resident and service populations, research to determine the impact of non-resident workers in regional resource towns on the provision of services and infrastructure.

State Member for Upper Hunter George Souris also threw his support behind the opposition to the camp saying he had made his own submission to Singleton Council in opposition to the proposal and which will also be a submission to the Joint Regional Panning Panel that will decide the development application.

“My specific concerns are about inadequate current infrastructure and resources for policing, hospital and medical services, ambulance, fire brigade, public transport and roads and other community services,” he said.

“The increase in commitment of these state government resources will be a burden on the state that will not be accounted for.

“Pressure will come for these services generated specifically from such a proposal.”

In response to the meetings in Singleton this week the MAC Group’s managing director Peter McCann said the accommodation proposal in Singleton is aimed at meeting future peak demand for temporary accommodation and will only be built if proposed new mine developments and mine expansions proceed.

“Currently, we are only proceeding with the planning approvals process and community consultations, in order to help get planning right for the future,” he said.

“The village would also help address the fatigue and road safety issues associated with workers driving to work sites.

“However, accommodation demand is now low, given the downturn in the resources industry, and in these circumstances the village will not proceed.”

The company already has approval for an accommodation village in Muswellbrook, but as demand is currently low, the village has not proceeded.

“Our Singleton village would also not proceed unless there is a change in demand for accommodation,” Mr McCann said.

“We will be reviewing issues raised in submissions received on the village proposal as part of our considerations going forward.”

According to Better Future for Singleton Shire Association, 787 submissions have been received by Singleton Council regarding the MAC Group proposal.

Submissions close on May 17.

WARNING ON FIFO: Federal members for New England Tony Windsor and Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon were among community leaders to attend a meeting in Singleton on Wednesday to discuss the proposed mine camp development for Singleton.

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We’re addicted to gadgets

A PORT Macquarie counsellor has admitted he has noticed an increase in technology dependence.
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Bert George has echoed recent national pleas about the need to limit children’s time using the latest gadgets.

He has counselled a number of people in the Hastings for technological addiction, and he has heard of others in his industry who have done the same.

He said those colleagues have also admitted to noticing an increase in the new age addiction.

Mr George said the controversial illness has stark parallels with other addictions like gambling and poker machines in particular.

He said addicts can see it as escapism.

“Some people tend not to socialise and become depressed about the situation they’re in,” he said. “They find it as an easy escape into their lounge room or bedroom.”

Mr George said the increased technological advancements such as the tablets and mobile phones were not the enemy.

“There’s a verse in the Bible that relates to it perfectly,” he said. “The love of money is the root of all evil. It’s the same thing with this, if it becomes a driving force or passion, it can drive a person into negative territory.

“Technology itself is neither good or bad, it’s the unhealthy preoccupation with it that’s the problem.”

He said it was up to parents to maintain a healthy balance for their children and technology.

“It comes down to good parenting and reopening the lines of communication,” he said. “For parents that find they are too busy or involved in work, it can be a role for the grandparents and a chance for them to reconnect.

“On a local scene, club’s and organisations provide outlets for release of natural energy.”

Mr George offered more tips on lowering the chance of becoming technologically dependent.

“Most counsellors would point to evidence of people that are getting caught up by this problem as getting younger in age,” he said. “It’s important to sit down and converse as a family at least three times a day for 30 minutes, a good guide would be for each meal.

“That’s the same amount of time each day that should be allocated to youngsters to use their gadgets.

Experts have expressed their concern at the increase in technology dependence.

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