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Crowd welcomes Garth

Great anticipation had built for the concert, and no one was disappointed, with the lively eight piece band keeping everyone on the dancefloor throughout the night.
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The show took the audience through over a decade of Garth Brook hits, and there was high praise for the tribute show, and its convincing lead performer.

The Bombala RSL Club has a Pearl Jam tribute concert coming up later in the year, and encourages anyone who has any suitable entertainment ideas to feel free to make their suggestions to the Club.

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Mental patients evacuated

PATIENTS were forced to evacuate from Tamworth Base Hospital’s Banksia Mental Health Unit early yesterday morning after fire broke out in the unit’s acute care ward.
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A patient alerted staff of the fire at about 12.30pm, who immediately woke the unit’s remaining 23 patients and removed them from the building.

The New England Area Health Service refused to comment at this stage on whether a patient was responsible for the fire.

The area health service’s counter disaster manager, Tony Byrnes has, however, confirmed that a female patient was staying in the room where the fire was believed to have started.

He said the precise cause of the fire was not known and details were expected to be contained in a report from the fire brigade.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were able to contain the fire to a single room, 3sq m in size.

Heat and smoke generated by the fire caused extensive damage to the acute

care wing, which accommodates high

dependency patients.

No-one was injured during the blaze although one staff member suffered from slight smoke inhalation.

It was expected that 22 of the evacuated patients would be returned to the unit yesterday afternoon, while the remaining two would be transferred to other acute mental health facilities.

Mr Byrnes said the damage would take up to a week to be fixed and the cost was expected to be

significant.

“None of our medical or surgical services have been affected and it is only through people of our community working together have we averted what could have been a very serious situation,” Mr Byrnes said.

“We cannot thank everyone involved enough.”

An extra staff member and security person will be rostered on to ensure the needs of patients are met.

The hospital’s executive officer, Sandra Strong, said the provision of fire safe doors throughout the building helped contain the fire to one room and isolated smoke and heat damage to the acute care ward.

“We were most fortunate our emergency procedures worked very well and all patients were located to other areas of the hospital,” she said.

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Become a Bombala councillor

So far there has been a low amount of interest shown from new candidates, but it is hoped that more people who would like to take an active role in their community will come forward.
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Bombala Council will be holding an information session in the chambers on Wednesday, July 30 at 6.30pm for prospective candidates. It will focus on the roles and responsibilities of local government and councillors.

This will provide an opportunity for people interested in nominating to get a feel for what is involved and ask questions about what to expect once elected.

While some may be still considering the idea, it is also important for potential candidates to understand that nominations will only be taken between Monday, August 4 and Wednesday, August 13 this year.

It is vitally important that those interested in becoming a part of the Bombala Council lodge a nomination form at this time, and a $125 nomination deposit by 12noon on August 13. (Cash or bank cheque only, personal cheques cannot be accepted).

Every candidate must also lodge the candidate information sheet which is provided with the nomination form.

Nomination forms and electoral information are available at the Bombala Council, the Returning Officer in Shop 4 of the Hain Centre in Cooma, or from the NSW Electoral Commission website, www.elections.nsw.gov.au

The completed forms and deposit can then be lodged with Council staff or the Returning Officer, Susan Burke, in Cooma before the closing time.

It should be noted that two or more candidates may form a group and request a group voting square on the ballot paper in certain circumstances.

This request must be lodged with the Returning Officer by the same closing time of 12noon, August 13.

Whether a single or group candidate, everyone running for Council has certain obligations and responsibilities under law, and those interested should check the above website and www.efa.nsw.gov.au for further details.

More information on Local Government Elections is also available by calling 1300 135 736.

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No comment on misconduct

MYSTERY still surrounds the suspension of Narrabri Shire Council’s deputy general manager and environmental services director Russell Booby.
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While as many of five of the town’s councillors have confirmed Mr Booby was stood down on full pay amid allegations of misconduct on Tuesday, no details have been released.

Yesterday Narrabri Shire general manager Ian McCallum still would not comment on the suspension, which happened on Tuesday morning but it is understood that an internal council inquiry is being held.

The matter is threatening to cause a major rift in the council with a majority of the councillors contacted by The Leader yesterday saying they believed that Narrabri’s ratepayers had a right to know what was going on.

And one of the councillors, who did not wish to be named, said he believed that Mr McCallum had little support within council on the matter.

The same councillor indicated that the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the NSW Department of Local Government had been told of the reasons for the suspension but had seen the matter as “internal politics.”

Narrabri mayor Ross Panton told The Leader he would be issuing a statement today to clarify the matter for the public.

A number of claims as to why Mr Booby was suspended were given to The Leader yesterday but as they could not be substantiated, they cannot be published.

It is, however, understood that Mr Booby’s suspension happened only minutes before he was due to address the council on a number of issues relating

to the council’s engineering

department.

Councillors were also given no reason why Mr Booby was

suspended.

Narrabri Shire’s deputy mayor Ken Bailey said it was unfortunate that the matter had occurred but he was supportive of Mr Booby.

“The issue behind any misconduct has been mismanagement, in some respects I see that Russell Booby might be a scapegoat,” Cr Bailey said.

Without speculating on what could happen after the council’s inquiry, Cr Bailey wished to point out that Mr McCallum was able to negotiate the terms of employment of any council employee.

At the same time, Cr Bailey said a local government general manager’s employment rested on the shoulders of the full council decision.

“Our general manager might be sitting on a time bomb if the inquiry shows no evidence of misconduct on Mr Booby’s behalf,” Cr Bailey said

Another Narrabri councillor, Shane Rae, said he believed any comments should be left to the two parties involved.

“To ensure that the process is undertaken honestly I believe the reasonable thing to do is leave any comments to Mr Booby and Mr McCallum,” Cr Rae said.

“The number one issue here is ensuring Mr Booby’s integrity and the integrity of Narrabri Shire Council remains intact.”

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Gas Compressor Station completed successfully

The construction of the Gas Compressor Station at Mila has been described as a credit to numerous local Bombala contractors, lead constructionThe commissioning included performance testing of the compressor and all auxiliary equipment, documentation of operational and emergency procedures, training of operators, and coordination with the local Bombala emergency services.
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Launched in November last year, the Mila project was designed to install a compressor station to boost the delivery capacity of the Eastern Gas Pipeline by 15 percent to meet growing demand for gas in NSW.

“We have reached the practical completion milestone where the station is handed over for normal operations while some minor finishing work continues over the next few weeks,” Alinta’s Project Director, Sean Ward said.

Due to particular gas demand at the time, the compressor station was put into immediate service and has been operating to its design specifications.

Chief Operating Officer of Alinta Asset Management, Don Plowman said, “The successful completion of the project is a credit to numerous local Bombala contractors, the lead construction company Enerflex, and the Alinta Project Team over the past seven months.

“The project was completed ahead of time, below budget and especially with zero Lost Time Injuries. It is a classic project management example where key milestones were set and measured with issues and risks managed, resulting in an excellent outcome,” said Don.

The Mila installation is the first of a number of midline compressors that will be installed along the Eastern Gas Pipeline which delivers gas from the Bass Strait gas fields near Longford in eastern Victoria to Canberra, Nowra, Tallawarra, Port Kembla and Sydney.

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Forum frames water future

CYNICISM was left at the door of yesterday’s Watering Australia forum in Moree where irrigators learnt of a looming inter-governmental water sharing agreement.
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Political persuasion was also ignored, as Deputy Prime Minister, National Party Leader and Gwydir MP John Anderson and NSW Natural Resources Minister Craig Knowles shared the stage.

Irrigators, farmers, bureaucrats and politicians listened and learnt of the proposed State and Federal-agreed water plan – and many appeared to walk away confident that it was the first positive step in the water debate in years.

Mr Anderson’s message from the lectern was loud and clear that water transcended politics.

“Our future on the land depends on getting it right,” Mr Anderson said.

“Over the last two months, we have seen a remarkable joining of the minds, the development of a shared vision of national water reform in Australia.

“In particular groups with different interests are agreeing on the fundamental principles that need to be settled.”

A room of about 500 people heard of the broad national framework for water reform.

Such a framework could become legislation if supported at the Council of Australia Government (CoAG) at the end of the month.

Gwydir Valley Irrigators’ Association executive Michael Murray said the forum was not just the coming together of the two politicians, but of all stakeholders.

Mr Murray said it was no secret that in the past irrigators were cynical when it came to the promises and the resulting actions of politicians.

“The forum offered irrigators a chance to see first-hand the thinking of the major players in the water debate,” he said.

NSW Farmers’ Association president Mal Peters, a forum speaker, highlighted the need to consider social and economic impacts, as well as environmental outcomes, as potential cuts to water will affect farmers and regional communities

“Yesterday was an historic step in the water debate,” Mr Peters said.

“Detailed concepts of a joint State and Federal water framework were not so much the focus of the forum, as cooperation and transparency.

“I now have every confidence that we are really going to get there this time.”

Earlier this week, Upper Namoi Valley Groundwater Users’ Association president Andrew Pursehouse said irrigators concerns were ” the need for certainty that farmers would not foot the cost of environmental reform, certainty that non-land owning public companies could not trade water licences and security by form of a property right”.

A suggestion yesterday, also mentioned in this week’s Wentworth Report, was the founding of individual water trusts to oversee the management of the nation’s watercourses.

These trusts would also manage structural adjustment grants between farmers and government.

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Golf

Wednesday, 2.7.08 the Ladies played the 4th L.G.U. for C Douch trophy, which was won by Jean McLean 70 nett. Ball winners were Di Ingram 76 nett and Gay Kennedy 78 nett. NTP, Helen Nelligan. Putting, Jean McLean.
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The team of Chris Douch, Helen Nelligan and Eva L’Estrange played their round of the Peugeot Classic, and although they had a great round of 92 points, they could not beat the winning round of Vera, Deb and Georgina. Congratulations, ladies.

Saturday, 5.7.08 Members played a Stableford Secret 9 for J Crawford trophy, won by Nathan Thistleton, 19 pts. Nathan also won the ball.

Sunday, 6.7.08 was a Bisque v Par for a Club trophy, won by Vince Moore +6. Ball winners were Vince, Colin Gronow +4, Glen Hampshire +3. NTP, Colin Gronow.

Golf programme for the week

Ladies –

Wednesday, 9.7.08, Choice 9, Club Trophy.

Saturday, 12.7.08, 4 B.B.B. Championships. Choose partners. 4 BBB v Par. Imperial Hotel & L Jones trophy.

Sunday, 13.7.08, Stableford, Club Trophy.

Duty Roster: Glen Johnson.

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Joint winners of Gleeson Medal

FARRER Memorial Agricultural High School’s Tom Groth and Hunter Valley allrounder Matthew Trappel are the joint winners of the Central North Zone’s Gleeson Medal.
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The two teenagers were awarded their medals at Sunday’s Central North Zone (CNZ) annual general meeting in Tamworth.

Both young players represented their State in the National Under 17 Championships in Perth.

NSW Country Cricket chairman Mike Silver said both teenagers were worthy recipients.

While the two players received their awards, the CNZ AGM re-elected Tony Longworth as its chairman for another term while Gunnedah’s Tim Grosser remains as a Country selector, Rod Richards is the CNZ administrator and Mike Silver is the CNZ delegate to NSW Country Cricket.

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Safe recreational shooting for juniors

The Junior Shooter is designed to introduce young people of legal shooting age to the sport of safe recreational shooting and ethical hunting.
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The 20-page supplement contains information on the Ten Commandments of Safety, the Hunter’s Code and rules of etiquette when hunting.

The SSAA realises that there will be some media commentators, politicians and members of the community who will cry foul over the release of The Junior Shooter.

However, in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics and our expected medal haul from its shooting events, it must be considered how these athletes became so skilled at their sport. The reality is, they started young and honed their skills.

And to those who say it is wrong to teach the young how to hunt and make use of the prey for the dinner table, the SSAA asks why such beliefs are not imposed on those who fish.

It says sports shooting and hunting are challenging, exciting and safe disciplines with a wide variety of competitions. The SSAA has more than 110,000 members Australia wide and competes both at the domestic and international level.

For a pdf version of The Junior Shooter, go to www.ssaa.org.au/publications/junior-shooter1.pdf

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Officially there is a crisis

NORTH West Junior Cricket Association (NWJCA) is facing an official crisis.
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The local cricketing body doesn’t have an executive – already three attempts to form one have failed.

Last season NWJCA president Kel Walls, secretary Kathy Smith and treasurer Peter Dutton continued in their roles as a stop gap measure after trying to retire but having no-one else willing to fill the breach.

Twice last season they called AGM’s to find new officials but twice lack of interest abandoned those attempts, forcing the trio to continue on in acting capacities.

They were also hoping for some interest to emerge at last Sunday’s Central North Zone AGM in Tamworth.

It didn’t.

“We’ll have another attempt this Sunday,” Walls said.

“But at this stage we haven’t been successful in tracking anyone down.”

Walls said the AGM would be held at the Gunnedah Services Club from 10am Sunday.

Parents of North West representative players are asked to attend and take a hand.

Kel Walls, Kathy Smith and Peter Dutton cannot continue in an acting capacity this season. None has any children involved in North West Junior Cricket and the trio wants to concentrate their energies in other areas of the game.

“The North West Junior Cricket has always operated on the goodwill and involvement of parents with children in North West teams,” Walls said.

“It would be a pity for this level of commitment not to continue. For the North West Juniors to have to look at alternatives for its very survival is a sad

situation.”

Walls said if an executive could not be formed it would mean no North West junior representative cricket.

“No matches against Northern Tablelands, no matches against Hunter Valley and no North West teams going to carnivals. It could also mean the end of the very successful inter-town competition which, based on the Nowland Cup, is contested between teams from each town in under 12, 14 and 16 age groups, Walls said.

“Effectively, selection of talented players for the Bradman Cup (Country Under 16) and NSW Under 17 program would no longer have input from the grass roots.

“The likely alternatives for North West Junior Cricket, in the event that an executive is not formed at the next meeting, are to employ an administrator; pass control to the senior body, the North West Cricket Council; or Tamworth Junior Cricket Association have indicated they may offer to take control.

“None of these scenarios are very attractive and all contain extra costs for the junior players and associations involved. Surely there are some parents who can find the time to take on one of the executive positions. While the treasurer’s job does involve some extra skills, the president and secretary really need people with time and interest of the game at heart.”

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