Better ways to spend drought funding
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
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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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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 0429 452 245 txt is best