Algae outbreak, a hospital fight and council amalgamation talks
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.
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.
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.