Bet­ter ways to spend drought fund­ing

Dubbo Photo News - - Weekender -

THE good news for Peter An­drews fans is that he’ll be run­ning an­other se­ries of Mid-mac­quarie Land­care work­shops in a few weeks, with an em­pha­sis on the Bell River ero­sion, and how best to re­store, re­hy­drate and re­vi­tal­ize flood­plains.

Any­one want­ing to go along can email for more in­for­ma­tion.

The work­shops are free of charge. ANY­ONE who watched the ABC’S Aus­tralian Story on Mon­day night, “Hope Springs”, will know I’ve been push­ing my old mate Peter An­drews for a few decades.

The show used a clip of me ques­tion­ing for­mer PM Mal­colm Turn­bull at his ini­tial drought visit to Trangie – I told him I was sick of our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers do­ing the parched ground me­dia op­por­tu­ni­ties when they should be stag­ing these events on prop­er­ties which have been es­sen­tially drought-proofed.

I was asked to send ag min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud and Mr Turn­bull my ev­i­dence on farm man­age­ment prac­tices that were suc­ceed­ing in all the re­cent droughts and one was all about Peter’s Nat­u­ral Se­quence Farm­ing (NSF) meth­ods.

The Mul­loon In­sti­tute is a re­search, ed­u­ca­tion and ad­vo­cacy not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that uses prac­ti­cal demon­stra­tions to find more ef­fec­tive farm­ing meth­ods. Mal­colm Turn­bull was booked in to check out the In­sti­tute at 8am on the very morn­ing he was speared by his party, so that didn’t work.

So it was great to see the draw­ing power of “Aus­tralian Story” which was able to get Scott Mor­ri­son out there, where along with deputy PM and Nats’ leader Michael Mccor­mack and David Lit­tleproud he said that we should be repli­cat­ing NSF across the na­tion.

Hope­fully we can hold him to that be­cause it should be bleed­ing ob­vi­ous to even the most in­tel­lec­tu­ally chal­lenged amongst us that this stuff ac­tu­ally works.

I’m push­ing to get just a frac­tion of the bil­lions our fed­eral gov­ern­ment wastes on drought spend­ing and keep it as far away from gov­ern­ment agen­cies and the bu­reau­cracy as pos­si­ble.

Let’s set up col­lab­o­ra­tive com­mu­nity groups in ev­ery area com­prised of Land­car­ers, fish­ers, Lo­cal Abo­rig­i­nal Land Coun­cils, the Back­track Boys and oth­ers, and get peo­ple trained up in en­vi­ron­men­tal jobs that’ll ac­tu­ally make a sus­tained and pro­found dif­fer­ence.

And pay these peo­ple to do the work – at the mo­ment all this money’s be­ing pushed out there yet year af­ter year we stuff our coun­try up more and more.

And for the peo­ple who’ve con­tacted me about how bleed­ingly con­cerned they are about util­is­ing wil­low trees – bloody hell – here we have a sys­tem that can get wa­ter into our land­scape, a method that will enor­mously mul­ti­ply na­tive fish­stocks and birdlife, that will slash chem­i­cal costs and toxic us­age and mas­sively boost farmer prof­itabil­ity – and your main con­cern is wil­lows.

Spare me, wil­lows are the least of our prob­lems, and with the NSF sys­tem, they sta­bilise the river­banks to al­low NA­TIVES to over­come them when na­ture thinks the time is right.

Please don’t throw out the baby with the creek wa­ter. I’VE had a fair bit of re­ac­tion to last week’s piece about the Rhino Awards which are run by Dubbo Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try.

Some peo­ple agreed with my com­ments, oth­ers weren’t so un­der­stand­ing.

I’ve been told lots of sto­ries about the awards over the years, and any­one who’s got info to share with me please feel free, good or bad.

As I said in last week’s col­umn, I think the Cham­ber does some great work and I’d love to see the or­gan­i­sa­tion de­velop to the point the en­tire lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity wanted to get in­volved, but it’s rarely the case that crit­i­cism is well re­ceived and the mes­sen­ger is of­ten shot.

Yes, I think it’s great that a lot of peo­ple work hard to make the Rhino Awards hap­pen each and ev­ery year, just as many vol­un­teers help so many or­gan­i­sa­tions do such great stuff through­out our re­gion.

But yes, I think the Cham­ber can do many things a lot bet­ter, and I think it would be well worth­while for the or­gan­i­sa­tion to source ad­vice from peo­ple who aren’t cur­rently in­volved, for ways to do things bet­ter.

It’s of­ten that ad­vice that you won’t find from within that can make all the dif­fer­ence, even though it can be dif­fi­cult to swal­low. IT’S been a big week for Dubbo when it comes to the ABC’S na­tional pro­grams.

My old drink­ing buddy Flic Brown, who was born in Lue and worked in Dubbo for years, is now an in­ter­na­tion­ally fa­mous hat-maker in Broome af­ter spend­ing a good part of her life roam­ing around the out­back.

She scored a fea­ture on Land­line this week, which showed off her colour­ful cre­ations, many of which fea­ture feath­ers that lo­cals drop off to her from all around the Kim­ber­ley and be­yond.

Such an amaz­ing tal­ent, I know less than noth­ing about hats, but even I like Flic’s. THE race for the state seat of Dubbo is hot­ting up.

A ru­mour was started up that I’d be the shooter’s party can­di­date. Ap­par­ently a per­son from one fac­tion of the Nat’s cranked up that story to drive a wedge be­tween my­self and other party mem­bers, and that strat­egy has seemed to work.

Cer­tainly a lot of Na­tion­als’ Face­book key­board war­riors were avidly shar­ing their unique po­lit­i­cal in­sights to that ef­fect, even though I’d told them it wouldn’t be me.

But hey, why let truth get in the way of your typ­ing?

Any­way, I’m not stand­ing. Trangie farmer Lara Quealy has put her hand up for the Shoot­ers Fish­ers Farm­ers.

And Mudgee now has a po­ten­tial voice, with Rod Pryor throw­ing his hat in the ring for the Greens. HOW good is Welling­ton Arts 2820?

Pretty fan­tas­tic.

I couldn’t get to the crew’s lat­est event “Fong Lees Lane” last Fri­day but by all ac­counts it was an amaz­ing com­mu­nity get-to­gether.

(You can read more about the event and see plenty of pho­tos in this edi­tion of Dubbo Photo News.)

Danc­ing, singing, Indige­nous bush tucka... I was told the town felt like some­thing out of New York just through the sheer vi­brancy of it all, com­plete with drag­ons and a lantern pa­rade.

Well done to Lisa Thomas and ev­ery­one who took part or at­tended, and how great it is that the Wello guys are work­ing in with Dubbo’s DREAM Fes­ti­val. AND con­grats to the Mac­quarie Credit Union DREAM Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee. Once again you’ve put on an in­cred­i­ble se­ries of events, cul­mi­nat­ing in an es­ti­mated 15,000 peo­ple show­ing up or tak­ing part in Satur­day night’s lantern pa­rade/mu­sic/mar­ket.

This event is go­ing from strength to strength and, once again, it shows the power of a tight-knit and hard-work­ing vol­un­teer com­mit­tee.

DREAM chair Anne Field was over the moon.

“We are ab­so­lutely thrilled with the re­sults of our 2018 Fes­ti­val, and I would like to pay trib­ute to the amaz­ing group of vol­un­teers and part­ners who have brought the se­ries of events to­gether,” she said. THE im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tions of Dr Ian Locke and Mr Ge­orge Hatch were recog­nised at an of­fi­cial nam­ing cer­e­mony for the new ad­min­is­tra­tion and ed­u­ca­tion build­ing (pre­vi­ously the old Ma­ter­nity Unit) at Dubbo Base Hospi­tal this week.

Both Dr Locke and Mr Hatch’s fam­i­lies were on hand to cel­e­brate the lives and achieve­ments of two peo­ple who had a hugely pos­i­tive im­pact on the com­mu­nity and the staff they worked with.

The re­fur­bished ma­ter­nity build­ing has been named af­ter Dr Locke and the li­brary in that build­ing will now be known as the Ge­orge Hatch Med­i­cal Li­brary. ONE of the best lo­cal char­i­ties is chas­ing stall­hold­ers for its De­cem­ber 1 mar­kets.

The Dubbo and Dis­trict Deaf Club is cel­e­brat­ing its 21st birth­day (happy birth­day Donna Rees), and they need a few more peo­ple to set up shop.

There’ll be plenty of ac­tion on the day to at­tract peo­ple along so it could be good to get those cash reg­is­ters tick­ing over.

So if you want to be amongst other stalls, face painters, photo booths, pony rides, food pop-ups, a pet­ting zoo or just chill out lis­ten­ing to mu­sic and eat­ing a snow cone while get­ting a tat­too, you’d bet­ter give Gini Re­den­bach a buzz on 0406 884 349 or call Char Wood­bury on 0407 081 009.

Satur­day, De­cem­ber 1, from 3pm to 7pm in Arthur Street, Dubbo.

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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.

Hats cre­ated by ex-dubbo res­i­dent Flic Brown fea­tured on ABC’S Land­line this week. PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Send your news tips to or 0429 452 245 txt is best

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