That dust: havoc caused, and one way to es­cape it

Dubbo Photo News - - Weekender -

PLEASE book in or drop in and give some blood, it’s ur­gently needed at this time of year. TUCKED away in a small sub­ur­ban street, it seemed un­likely a shed in Robert “Mushy” Gardner’s back­yard would be host­ing a su­per­charged XB Fal­con GT coupe, a su­per­charged GTR XU1 To­rana and a big block Chevvy HQ Monaro, but they were there in front of my cam­era, get­ting worked on for the trek to Canberra’s Sum­mer­nats.

The To­rana is Mushy’s, the XB coupe is from Queens­land and was be­ing stored to pro­tect it from the mas­sive dust storm, while the Monaro was be­ing worked on to fix an over­heat­ing prob­lem.

“I’ve taken three weeks’ hol­i­days and I’ve got two weeks to go and I’ve spent the last week work­ing on my mates’ cars. I haven’t had to touch mine, for­tu­nately,” Mr Gardner said.

He ap­pre­ci­ated the ac­co­lades you get for hav­ing a nice car. “I love the com­er­aderie of all my mates, there’ll be 20 of us go­ing down to the Sum­mer­nats this year from Dubbo.

“We’ll all get down there, have a blinder, good times, talk about each oth­ers’ cars.”

He loves work­ing on cars with his mates, be­liev­ing it’s a great way to so­cialise and achieve at the same time.

“It’s good be­cause you all get to­gether, have a few beers, hack at your cars, find out the prob­lems and fix them up. I do a lot of paint­ing,” he said.

“The re­ward at the end of a job is how good it looks. You know you’ve achieved some­thing.”

I feel ter­ri­bly sorry for the thou­sands of peo­ple who had or­gan­ised to go to Dubbo’s in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful New Year’s Eve fire­works.

All the cater­ing vans that had set up, paid their in­surance, bought per­ish­able food and drinks – it’s a huge blow to gear up for one of your busi­nesses’ big­gest nights of the year, only to see a loss.

It’s also a huge dis­ap­point­ment for the Fletcher fam­ily, the event’s ma­jor spon­sor, es­pe­cially cel­e­brat­ing 30 years since es­tab­lish­ing in Dubbo.

Safety must come first, we’ve seen that with re­cent events, but that doesn’t make it an eas­ier pill to swal­low for any­one who was af­fected by the can­cel­la­tion.

I heard many peo­ple, in­clud­ing kids, helped stall­hold­ers pack up quickly so they wouldn’t cop too much dam­age, so there’s the sil­ver lin­ing in this new year’s dust cloud – well done to all those who pitched in and had a crack. I’M sens­ing a grow­ing anger to­wards the ex­ces­sive fire­works dis­play on Syd­ney’s har­bour, with many peo­ple now hav­ing to pay through the nose to get many of the bet­ter van­tage spots even though tax­pay­ers fork out mil­lions for the event any­way.

It might be time to say enough is enough, it’s all got­ten way too com­mer­cial and just a bit hard. PO­LICE are in­ves­ti­gat­ing an al­leged as­sault at the Trangie Races, an event which has be­come su­per pop­u­lar amongst the younger crowd, and which at­tracts plenty of race­go­ers from Syd­ney and be­yond.

An 18-year-old man was in the camp­ing area when al­legedly hit in the face with what he thinks may have been a bot­tle.

This is a dog act by any stan­dard, out­num­bered and alone.

The cow­ards bolted be­fore po­lice could get to the scene and the man’s sev­eral face lac­er­a­tions needed stitches and may re­quire plas­tic surgery.

Apart from that in­ci­dent and a few other mi­nor mat­ters, po­lice say the 2500-strong crowd was well be­haved. DUBBO’S Shoot­ers, Farm­ers, Fish­ers’ can­di­date Lara Quealy has hit a chord with her call to premier Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian to com­mit to an ex­press­way from Syd­ney to western NSW.

The Na­tion­als have been talk­ing about this for years but even for­mer Nats’ MP Ian Arm­strong can’t seem to get the gov­ern­ment to di­vert the bil­lions in cold hard cash they’re want­ing to splash on Syd­ney sta­di­ums out this way in­stead. IN­DE­PEN­DENT can­di­date Mathew Dick­er­son has spent months cam­paign­ing full­time and he’s fi­nally put out an ac­tual cam­paign prom­ise.

He’s com­mit­ted to fight for 24hour po­lice sta­tions in both Welling­ton and Nar­romine.

On the sur­face this sounds good and is im­mensely pop­ulist, but there’s no de­tail and if you’re not ac­tu­ally in a gov­ern­ment, your chances of get­ting any­thing sub­stan­tial are pretty or­di­nary.

For­mer MP Tony Mc­grane used to tell me how dif­fi­cult it was as an in­de­pen­dent and he was a good op­er­a­tor with a lot of con­tacts and plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence.

So, to be a new­bie in the bearpit, well, good luck with that.

There was an in­ter­est­ing de­bate about it on Face­book with one punter who quoted BOSCAR data to show why Welling­ton wouldn’t get a 24-hour po­lice sta­tion.

Mr Dick­er­son re­sponded with the com­ment that: “We all know that stats can be used to tell what­ever story you want and the fa­mous quote about three kinds of lies – lies, damned lies, and sta­tis­tics – rings true.”

The punter hit back: “Mathew Dick­er­son now that’s typ­i­cal pop­ulist pol­i­tics, I’ll ig­nore the sta­tis­tics if they don’t suit me. Haha!” I’ll en­joy munching on my pop­corn dur­ing the next three months. AF­TER watch­ing the un­pre­dicted state elec­tion re­sult in Vic­to­ria, I’m pre­dict­ing plenty of un­called up­sets in NSW this time round, and one polly who could give things a shake is for­mer Or­ange coun­cil­lor and Greens Up­per House MLC Jeremy Buck­ing­ham.

He’s had a lot to do with Dubbo over the years and I asked him to send me some info on what he’s up to.

He’s re­signed from the Greens say­ing it’s a “toxic or­gan­i­sa­tion” and a “bas­ket case” and an­nounced that he will go rogue and con­test the elec­tion for the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil as an In­de­pen­dent Real Green, and he’ll need around 100,000 votes to se­cure a spot in the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil.

“I’m ex­cited to an­nounce that I’ll stand as an In­de­pen­dent Real Green for the NSW Up­per House at the March state elec­tion,” Mr Buck­ing­ham said.

“I’m rip­ping up my mem­ber­ship of the toxic NSW Greens party – the NSW Greens is a party that has aban­doned the im­por­tant prin­ci­ples of jus­tice and democ­racy, is dom­i­nated by an ex­treme left fac­tion and has lost its fo­cus on the en­vi­ron­ment.

“I’m the best en­vi­ron­men­tal cam­paigner in NSW with a strong track record of win­ning is­sues such as stop­ping coal seam gas and coal mines, cham­pi­oning re­new­able en­ergy and for healthy rivers,” he said.

He cer­tainly cut through with farm­ers on the Coal Seam Gas is­sue which has plagued the coali­tion for its past two terms, so it’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see how much of that for­merly rusted-on con­ser­va­tive vote he can steal from them this time round.

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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.

Robert “Mushy” Gardner’s in his shed where he’s been pre­par­ing for the Sum­mer­nats in Canberra. PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS

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