■ ‘New care centre’ – The team which established Finley Early Learning Centre in 2016 announced it would open a Deniliquin Early Learning Centre. It would fill the gap left by the surprise closure of Kids Choice in June.
■ ‘Airline talks’ – Edward River Council started setting up meetings with airlines to develop a proposal to turn Deniliquin Airport into a regional air freight hub. Council was advised to start the process by a Federal Government advisor while it awaited the outcome of funding applications submitted to the federal and NSW governments totalling $20 million.
■ ‘Police youth hub’ – A proposal to use the disused Deniliquin Police barracks for a youth hub to meet educational and recreational needs was raised by Murray River Police District officers. The plan for the barracks, located next to the new police station and heritage listed, is to create meeting spaces, barbecue facilities, a half basketball court and potentially a community garden. Its development would depend on financial support and co-operation from local organisations.
■ ‘Splash park for summer’ – The $434,500 contract to deliver a splash park at the Deniliquin Swim Centre was awarded to Water Features by Design. Edward River Council estimated the splash park would be commissioned by the opening of the swim season.
■ ‘Werai transfer’ – A management plan was started for the Werai group of forests near Deniliquin which would see ownership transferred to the Werai Land and Water Corporation. Neighboring landholders said there were still a lot of unanswered questions about what it would actually mean in terms of management, but it could be positive if done right and with meaningful input from the landholders.
■ ‘From a wheelchair, to walking on stage’ – Laura Campbell had gone from attending Deniliquin schools in a wheelchair to walking onto some of the most coveted performance stages for a budding comedian. She chose to use the exposure as an opportunity to remove the taboo associated with disability, having lived with congenital hip dysplasia and then diagnosed with lupis at 17.
■ ‘$25m to start’ – The Edward River Council Advocacy Strategy was released, outlining in what areas pressure would be applied to the federal and state governments to get funding for projects. On top of its call for $20 million airport funding, it wanted a $1.5 million investment in Deniliquin Hospital, a $3 million investment in Deniliquin High School and $500,000 to develop a dedicated truck stop. It was also seeking more support to continue and increase investment in mobile blackspot programs, and a commitment to minimise impacts of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, with a specific demand that there be no further water buy-backs.
■ ‘Golden result’ – Two Riverina Murray Regional Tourism Awards gold medals remained in Deniliquin after the Ute Muster won in the Festivals and Events category and Edward River Council won in the Destination Marketing category. The gala ceremony, which attracted more than 150 people, was hosted at the Ute Muster site.
■ ‘River land’ – Edward River Council confirmed its new Rural Residential Strategy would investigate the release of river frontage blocks for development. They would be the first released in the Deniliquin area in at least 15 years.
■ ‘Record sheep sale’ – A record price of $278.60 a head was achieved at the Deniliquin sheep sale. Deniliquin farmer Jane Caldwell’s first and second crossbred lambs attracted hot bidding due to their weight.
■ ‘Another wing still to come’ – A separate dementia wing, a new central kitchen and renovations to create 52 modern, single occupancy rooms are all yet to come at Navorina Nursing Home in Deniliquin. The future projects were announced during the official opening of the Hunter Landale Wing.