Get­ting dryer. Cy­ber bul­ly­ing cru­saders

Dubbo Photo News - - Opinion, Analysis, Features, Depth. -

THE pa­thetic few spots of rain Dubbo and Wello ex­pe­ri­enced this week didn’t even make me think it could ac­tu­ally rain in proper mea­sure ever again.

The cur­rent drought is in­cred­i­bly se­ri­ous and its ram­i­fi­ca­tions ex­tend far be­yond the next good drench­ing rain.

We’re en­ter­ing the colder months, al­legedly, and even if we get rain it’ll take a while for any feed to grow.

That’s if the de­nuded pad­docks aren’t washed away in the flood, well, what top­soil is left on them any­way.

One thing that’s in­cred­i­bly con­cern­ing to Dubbo is that if it doesn’t rain, and farm­ers are forced to sell all their stock, es­pe­cially sheep in our case, there’ll be a very short sup­ply when the sea­son does break so Fletch­ers In­ter­na­tional could strug­gle to find enough to buy, and that means there may be less work out there, and that means trou­ble for Dubbo.

So even if you’re not a cocky or in the ag busi­ness in some way, don’t pre­tend this ex­tended dry can’t im­pact on you, be­cause it can.

So many peo­ple I’ve been talk­ing to are be­tween a rock and a hard place, un­sure how many stock to keep feed­ing be­cause if it rains they’ll be worth much more, or to sell and get out of that vicious cir­cle of keep­ing as many as pos­si­ble, put the cash in the bank and hope you can get back in the mar­ket when the break does ar­rive.

This sign (pic­tured above) says it all, there’s just not much fod­der left in these parts and when you have to cart hay up from Vic­to­ria or South Aus­tralia it takes all the joy out of the ex­er­cise.

Closer to town, many peo­ple are run­ning out of rain­wa­ter so the lo­cal water sup­pli­ers are do­ing a roar­ing trade.

Let’s hope the rains come be­fore too many farm­ers have to start cart­ing water to keep stock alive – that’s like eat­ing soup with a fork. I WAS faced with two choices on Satur­day morn­ing – go straight over to watch my 15-year-old play footy on No.2 Oval or de­tour via the Dubbo Men's Shed and pick up some tools I re­ally didn’t need.

Need­less to say, I went to the Men's Shed garage sale. And just to prove they don't make them like they used to, I'll bet the 40-yearold ring span­ners I picked up will still be as good as new in another 40 years – if they don’t get lost. Ev­ery­thing on of­fer was at very cheap prices to boot.

Well done! I ALSO should be banned from go­ing to book fairs, it’s just not fair that I don’t have un­lim­ited shelv­ing to store a few mil­lion books.

My cur­rent col­lec­tion stands at about 20,000 books, give or take a few, so I knew I shouldn’t have rocked up to The Ro­tary Club of Dubbo Macquarie’s Michael Egan Me­mo­rial Book Fair.

Four bags of books later and I’m in strife yet again, but what a won­der­ful event and a great cause, with more than 14-grand raised this year – a new record.

The vol­un­teers who stacked the books reckon about 2000 peo­ple trooped through the doors. I rolled up with just a few min­utes to go and while I was able to stuff a bag­ful of books for only $5, the early birds would’ve cleaned out many of the gems.

Maybe next year I’ll have to be the first there, and the last to leave.

Speak­ing of leav­ing, Pe­ter Bart­ley’s been the ge­nial helm of the fair, co­or­di­nat­ing the event for nine years, but he's 're­tir­ing' from that role and Pe­ter English will step in.

It’s great to see so many com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions work­ing to­gether, with the fly­ing doc­tor sup­port group and Dubbo Men's Shed pitch­ing in to give a hand.

I did score two WEB Grif­fen nov­els, al­though I al­ready had those books they’re hard to find so I couldn’t re­sist.

Now when my wife tells me she has noth­ing suit­able to wear, I’ll half un­der­stand what she means. WORDS fail me when it comes to this bloke. He would be one of the na­tion’s big­gest op­por­tunists amongst our se­nior politi­cians – and that’s say­ing a lot.

To think we al­lowed this per­son to be­come deputy prime min­is­ter is be­yond the pale.

The ital­ics are mine. TREVOR MILLARD made a Face­book post on a Dubbo page the other day, try­ing to find some lo­cals who helped him af­ter he was in­volved in a mo­tor­bike crash in the city.

“Howdy all, over a month ago now I was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent on my mo­tor­bike at the roundabout on the cor­ner of Birch Av­enue and Wheel­ers Lane," Mr Millard wrote.

"I am try­ing to find the young gentle­man who was first on the scene and used his belt around my leg to help with the bleed­ing.

"Also af­ter a ma­ture aged male who laid on the ground with me talk­ing and keep­ing me from go­ing into shock till the am­bu­lance ar­rived on scene.

"Please if any­one has any in­for­ma­tion about these two in­cred­i­ble peo­ple I would be very grate­ful."

If you know any­thing about the iden­ti­ties of these two peo­ple you can catch Trevor on Face­book or drop me a line. It’s great to see peo­ple who ap­pre­ci­ate it when some­one does them a good turn. IT’S great to see so much road­work go­ing on around this area, al­though I hear plenty of com­plaints from peo­ple about how much they’re held up by road­works.

Now mo­torists trav­el­ling along the Golden High­way at Elong Elong will soon have a safer and smoother sec­tion of road with a $620,000 road up­grade progressing well.

Mem­ber for Dubbo Troy Grant said the NSW Govern­ment-funded project would in­volve re­build­ing a 1.5 kilo­me­tre sec­tion of the road about 50 kilo­me­tres east of Dubbo.

“The ex­ist­ing road sur­face was rough and re­quired re­moval and re­place­ment,” Mr Grant said.

“Dur­ing this work, the op­por­tu­nity will also be taken to clean out ta­ble drains next to the road to en­sure rain and other sur­face water can ef­fec­tively drain away from the road.

“Once the road has been re­built, it will be re-sealed and line mark­ing will be car­ried out,” Mr Grant said. I’VE been wary of the fed­eral govern­ment’s push for chap­lains in sec­u­lar schools. No doubt there's plenty of the govern­ment’s rightwing agenda in there, but like any­thing there’s the good with the bad and much would de­pend on the qual­ity of the in­di­vid­u­als who are em­ployed in the pro­gram.

One thing which is promis­ing is a new fo­cus on bul­ly­ing, specif­i­cally cy­ber­bul­ly­ing, which Mem­ber for Parkes Mark Coul­ton says will mean school chap­lains across the elec­torate are re­quired to un­der­take train­ing in this area to fully equip them to deal with the chal­lenges they face.

“I’ve seen first­hand the pos­i­tive im­pact this pro­gramme has and the strong com­mu­nity sup­port be­hind it, and I’m pleased to see a greater fo­cus on ad­dress­ing bul­ly­ing,” Mr Coul­ton said.

“The Govern­ment has an­nounced its on­go­ing sup­port of the Na­tional School Chap­laincy Pro­gramme which pro­vides vi­tal pas­toral care ser­vices to thou­sands of stu­dents and school com­mu­ni­ties across Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing in the Parkes elec­torate.

“The Govern­ment’s 2018-19 Bud­get ex­tends the Na­tional School Chap­laincy Pro­gramme on a per­ma­nent ba­sis and backed it with an ex­tra $247 mil­lion,” he said.

Bul­ly­ing, par­tic­u­larly in cy­berspace, is to­tally out of con­trol and not just in schools – Face­book for all the good it does is a dis­as­ter area, giv­ing voice to men­tally-ill lu­natics who have toxic agen­das, and the worst thing is they can do it all anony­mously, in the most gut­less way.

I’m hear­ing of so many peo­ple who are get­ting ham­mered by this sort of be­hav­iour – young and older.

z Send your news tips to john.ryan@panscott.com.au or 0429 452 245 txt is best

z Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by

News staff. Note: John Ryan is also a coun­cil­lor on Dubbo Re­gional Coun­cil, and is also em­ployed part-time by Land­care. He writes here in his ca­pac­ity as a jour­nal­ist.

A sign of dry times...

John Gib­son is one of the Dubbo Men's Shed team who put on a hard-to-re­sist garage sale last week­end.

Send your news tips to john.ryan@panscott.com.au or 0429 452 245 txt is best

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