Al­gae out­break, a hos­pi­tal fight and coun­cil amal­ga­ma­tion talks

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - THE YEAR THAT WAS – 2016 -

JAN­UARY

Dis­abil­ity ser­vice provider Kur­ra­jong Waratah was awarded the NSW Dis­abil­ity In­dus­try In­no­va­tion Award’s 2015 Ex­cel­lence in Lead­er­ship in NDIS Readi­ness.

Conargo Shire Coun­cil de­cided to reveg­e­tate the Blighty Cor­ri­dor, be­tween De­niliquin and Fin­ley, as part of the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment’s 20 Mil­lion Trees pro­gram.

Some of De­niliquin’s his­tor­i­cal ar­chives were in­ves­ti­gated for regis­tra­tion as items of sig­nif­i­cance un­der the United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural or­gan­i­sa­tion.

A new mu­sic fes­ti­val was an­nounced for De­niliquin. The Soul Flats Mu­sic and Arts Fes­ti­val would be held in Fe­bru­ary and was the brain­child of for­mer De­niliquin man An­drew Clapham and his Mel­bourne friends.

Af­ter a 12-month search for a full-time prin­ci­pal, De­niliquin High School ap­pointed Glen War­ren.

A storm passed through De­niliquin and district, with the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy record­ing wind gusts peak­ing at 69km/h. Although the strong winds only lasted about 15 min­utes, parts of De­niliquin ex­pe­ri­enced dis­lodged tree limbs and sheet metal was torn from the roof of the grain si­los in Napier St.

The NSW De­part­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries started the process of in­ves­ti­gat­ing the carp her­pes virus (Cyprinid her­pesvirus 3). De­niliquin busi­ness Char­lie Carp flagged an early in­ter­est in be­ing in­volved, say­ing the eco­nomic ben­e­fits for De­niliquin and district would be im­mense.

Two of the na­tion’s largest food pro­duc­ing re­gions, in­clud­ing the De­niliquin area, were listed as hav­ing the low­est me­dian weekly house­hold in­come in­creases in Aus­tralia. De­niliquin, as part of the Mur­ray, was high­lighted as the worst per­form­ing re­gional area in the state with an av­er­age in­come in­crease of only $43 be­tween 2001 and 2011.

The NSW Gov­ern­ment an­nounced a pro­posal to merge lo­cal coun­cils, in­clud­ing the De­niliquin and Conargo Shire Coun­cils.

Peter Tripovich, an 89 year-old re­tired farmer from Echuca, restarted his quest to walk around Aus­tralia for char­ity. He started the trek 10 years ear­lier but aban­doned the at­tempt when his wife be­came ill.

The De­niliquin RSL Club called a pub­lic meet­ing to dis­cuss the de­vel­op­ment of a new Easter mu­sic fes­ti­val in De­niliquin.

June Lowry was pre­sented the Or­der of Aus­tralia Medal ( OAM) for out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions in Wakool.

Tom Holschier was hon­oured with Conargo Shire’s Long Ser­vice Award on Aus­tralia Day. A Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice mem­ber, Mr Holschier took on his first fire in 1940 when he was just eight years old.

De­niliquin Truck Show and In­dus­try Expo capped off a suc­cess­ful first year in 2015 by win­ning the 2016 De­niliquin Coun­cil Com­mu­nity Event of the Year award.

Vicki Ack­ers was named Conargo Shire Ci­ti­zen of the Year. In the De­niliquin Coun­cil area, the hon­our went to De­niliquin High School teacher Peter Rae.

Global food brand com­pany SunRice an­nounced up to 50 jobs would be lost from its Rive­rina milling op­er­a­tions from April, mostly from its De­niliquin mill. Op­er­at­ing hours would also be re­duced. It was in re­sponse to a sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced 2016 rice crop, with lo­cal stake­hold­ers say­ing it was caused by ad­verse im­pacts of the Mur­rayDar­ling Basin Plan.

FE­BRU­ARY

Sci­en­tist and au­thor Dr Jen­nifer Maro­hasy shared her in­sights on cli­mate change and sus­tain­able re­source man­age­ment at the De­niliquin RSL.

Eighty peo­ple who at­tended the first ses­sion of a pub­lic in­quiry into the pro­posed De­niliquin Coun­cil-Conargo Shire merger were al­most unan­i­mous in a ‘ no merger’ view. The meet­ing was dom­i­nated by Conargo Shire ratepay­ers with De­niliquin res­i­dents show­ing vir­tu­ally no in­ter­est.

De­niliquin al­lied health pro­fes­sional Lourene Lieben­berg launched a protest cam­paign af­ter rev­e­la­tions some nurs­ing man­agers would have their roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties down­graded as part of a pro­posed Mur­rumbidgee Lo­cal Health District re­struc­ture. It came as the NSW Nurses and Mid­wives’ As­so­ci­a­tion said it could not stop the re­struc­ture, de­spite its op­po­si­tion. A ‘silent protest’ was held later in the month.

NSW Min­is­ter for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Paul Toole sus­pended all seven Mur­ray Shire coun­cil­lors for in­fight­ing.

De­niliquin Po­lice Lo­cal Area Com­mand wel­comed Des Mor­gan as its first Abo­rig­i­nal Li­ai­son Of­fi­cer.

300 peo­ple at­tended the in­au­gu­ral Soul Flats Fes­ti­val at the De­niliquin Ute Muster site. It had a mu­sic and arts fo­cus.

The Wa­ter Amend­ment (Review Im­ple­men­ta­tion and Other Mea­sures) Bill 2015 passed through the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, which Fed­eral Mem­ber for Far­rer Sus­san Ley said was ‘‘an im­por­tant first step on the road to a bet­ter Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan’’.

Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion ne­go­ti­ated an ad­vance of wa­ter from Snowy Hy­dro Lim­ited for the 2016/17 ir­ri­ga­tion year, with wa­ter se­cured for Mur­ray Val­ley food pro­duc­ers in light of low ir­ri­ga­tion wa­ter al­lo­ca­tions.

De­niliquin and District His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s James Tyson Pa­pers were nom­i­nated for in­scrip­tion on the UNESCO Aus­tralian Mem­ory of the World Register. The nom­i­na­tion was part of a joint sub­mis­sion with the National Li­brary of Aus­tralia, the State Li­brary from Queens­land, and the Queens­land State Ar­chives, which also hold records of the life and times of pas­toral­ist James Tyson who held large swathes of land around De­niliquin.

A red alert level warn­ing for blue-green al­gae was is­sued for Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion’s Mul­wala Canal Off­take, af­fect­ing all land­hold­ers who ac­cess wa­ter from it.

MARCH

De­niliquin mum Natalie Thorpe shared her story about con­quered Pa­pua New Guinea’s Kokoda Trail.

Al­lied health pro­fes­sion­als or­gan­ised a Colour Deni Blue Day to progress re­struc­ture protests.

The blue-green al­gae alert spread to the Ed­ward River and Gulpa Creek. The alert warned peo­ple not to touch the wa­ter for fear of se­vere ill­ness. It also spread to the Wakool River later in the month.

Young De­niliquin mother Te­meka Macdon­ald was di­ag­nosed with leukaemia, with fundrais­ing or­gan­ised across the com­mu­nity to as­sist with med­i­cal ex­penses and other as­so­ci­ated costs. More than $40,000 was raised in one day later in the month.

Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion wa­ter pol­icy and com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Perin Davey was in­ducted into the Agri­cul­tural In­dus­try Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil. The coun­cil is de­signed to ad­vise Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture Barn­aby Joyce on is­sues af­fect­ing Aus­tralia’s agri­cul­tural, fish­ing and forestry sec­tors.

De­niliquin Lo­cal Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee mem­ber Chris Hayes told the PAS­TORAL TIMES ‘‘dial­y­sis is just not vi­able for De­niliquin at this stage’’. The com­ment came af­ter strong cam­paign­ing for a re­nal dial­y­sis unit in De­niliquin. Later in the month Mur­rumbidgee Lo­cal Health District agreed to form a work­ing party to in­ves­ti­gate es­tab­lish­ing the dial­y­sis unit.

Tem­per­a­tures for the early weeks of March were recorded as 10 de­grees higher per day, on av­er­age, com­pared to 2015.

Three De­niliquin and District His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety mem­bers — Gor­don Kil­patrick, Shirley Pow­ell and Bill Mul­ham — were in­ducted as life mem­bers of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

De­niliquin Coun­cil gen­eral man­ager Des Bilske con­firmed work to in­stall more closed cir­cuit tele­vi­sion cam­eras in the War­ing Gar­dens af­ter a ma­li­cious dam­age at­tack on the war ceno­taph and Viet­nam vet­eran’s me­mo­rial statue.

De­niliquin Coun­cil signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing with Toowoomba’s Bris­bane West Well­camp Air­port, with the in­ten­tion of pro­vid­ing air freight ser- vices be­tween BWWA.

NSW Mem­ber for Mur­ray Adrian Pic­coli re­fused to budge in his sup­port for lo­cal gov­ern­ment amal­ga­ma­tions, de­spite mount­ing pres­sure from sev­eral coun­cils within his elec­torate.

The NSW Gov­ern­ment rec­om­mended merg­ers of De­niliquin Coun­cil and Conargo Shire and Mr Pic­coli said the merger would be a fi­nan­cially sta­ble step for­ward for both lo­cal gov­ern­ment and state gov­ern­ment.

The in­au­gu­ral Ed­ward on the Ed­ward event, to fundraise for Ed­ward Pub­lic School, at­tracted about 250 peo­ple and was hailed a huge suc­cess. Or­gan­is­ers an­nounced it would re­turn in 2017.

100 peo­ple gath­ered at the De­niliquin Club in Ge­orge St to hear the tunes of ris­ing Aussie jazz band The Swing Mer­chants. It in­cluded a sur­prise guest ap­pear­ance from famed mu­si­cian James Mor­ri­son.

Only one grower in the West Corur­gan ir­ri­ga­tion district had a rice crop planted, com­pared to the usual 20. The ir­ri­ga­tion district’s spokesper­son Tanya Thomp­son said low ir­ri­ga­tion wa­ter al­lo­ca­tions and sub­se­quent high tem­po­rary wa­ter trade prices had sim­ply made grow­ing rice un­vi­able for farm­ers.

Olympic swim­mer Shane Gould spoke at Conargo Shire’s In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day Cel­e­bra­tions.

De­niliquin’s Emma Clapham mar­ried AFL su­per­star Tom Hawkins at a pri­vate prop­erty in Mar­cus Hill.

Speak Up spokesper­son Shel­ley Scoullar raised se­ri­ous con­cerns about the Se­nate In­quiry into the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan, say­ing they must be ad­dressed be­fore there is more dam­age to ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties and the na­tion’s econ­omy. South­ern Rive­rina Ir­ri­ga­tors chair Graeme Pyle said the in­quiry find­ings vin­di­cated the strong op­po­si­tion to the plan’s im­ple­men­ta­tion from the Mur­ray re­gion’s food pro­duc­ers. De­niliquin air­port and

Hawthorn foot­ball stars Jack Gun­ston, James Si­cily, Keiran Lovell, Ben Strat­ton, Jer­maine Miller-Lewis and Luke Sur­man vis­ited De­niliquin and con­ducted an af­ter­noon ‘su­per-clinic’ for fans and stu­dents.

Hun­dreds of farm­ers, busi­ness peo­ple and ci­ti­zens marched through the streets of De­niliquin to protest the re­moval of wa­ter from the re­gion’s food pro­duc­ers on World Wa­ter Day. Guest speak­ers spoke about the way in which politi­cians have let the re­gion down and botched the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan.

Some NSW Farm­ers branches in the South­ern Rive­rina merged fol­low­ing a re­struc­ture within the as­so­ci­a­tion. De­niliquin and Blighty branches vol­un­tar­ily merged, with An­drew Burge elected its chair.

De­niliquin res­i­dents were treated to an out­door screen­ing of the film The Dress­maker in the War­ing Gar­dens. The night in­cluded a post-movie ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion with the film’s pro­ducer Sue Maslin and the au­thor Ros­alie Ham, orig­i­nally from Fin­ley and Jer­ilderie re­spec­tively.

De­niliquin Coun­cil­lor Pat Fog­a­rty was recog­nised for her con­tri­bu­tion to lo­cal gov­ern­ment and the lo­cal com­mu­nity, nom­i­nated for the 2016 Min­is­ter’s Awards for Women in Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment.

Aus­tralia Gas Net­works com­mit­ted to in­ves­ti­gate the vi­a­bil­ity of con­nect­ing nat­u­ral gas to De­niliquin.

As we ap­proach a new year, we re­flect on what this year has brought us.

The is tak­ing a look back at 2016 — the pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive changes, the mile­stones and the cel­e­bra­tions. Here we start with the first quar­ter . . . Com­mu­nity mem­bers gath­ered in De­niliquin on World Wa­ter Day in March to protest the re­moval of wa­ter from ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

Sun­ny­side band mem­bers Archie Ja­cobs, from De­niliquin, and Sam O’Neil at the in­au­gu­ral Soul Flats Fes­ti­val in Fe­bru­ary.

Si­mone Dud­ley, Erol Bash­ford, Bill Dud­ley and Mark Richie at the in­au­gu­ral Ed­ward on the Ed­ward event in March.

June Lowry (right), pic­tured with her sis­ter Joyce Tuo­hey, was awarded an Or­der of Aus­tralia Medal on Aus­tralia Day for her com­mu­nity work in Wakool.

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