Kyabram Free Press

Ashley’s a natural

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A mention in these columns two weeks ago about 12-year-old Finley boy Ashley Hines shearing 30 sheep and crutching another 60 the same day has a local link.

Where young Ashley performed the fabulous feat was at Coree Station on the Billabong Creek east of Conargo, which is owned by former Kyabram West farmer and footballer Greg Brunt and his wife, Glenda.

Greg said young Ashley was a natural shearer who loved doing it.

‘‘He even got a (shearing) handpiece from his parents worth $1000 as a present, he enjoys doing it so much,’’ said Greg.

Greg said Ashley particular­ly excelled at the crutching and was crutching three sheep to the experience­d shearers’ four sheep on the day he launched his shearing career at Coree.

Ashley’s father, Keith, has been a profession­al shearer for 18 years and naturally is passing on some valuable tips to his enthusiast­ic son.

Elf travels the countrysid­e

You may not have heard of Elf but she has been pretty busy winging her way around eastern Australia.

Elf is a female straw-necked ibis who has had a tracker inserted by the CSIRO to follow her journeys.

She has been tracked for the past three years and has flown as far as Queensland in the cooler months and south to Victoria in the warmer months where she has visited her old breeding ground at Kow Swamp near Gunbower where two other Ibises carrying trackers and known as Han Solo and Johnny have been located.

Straight from horse’s mouth

The proactive Billabong Ranch at Kanyapella is keen to honour Australia’s iconic

Light Horsemen.

The Acquisto family, which owns the ranch, wants to establish a Light Horse Museum at the popular tourist spot to honour the horsemen immortalis­ed as producing the last great cavalry charge at Beersheba in southern Israel on October 31, 1917. In recent years the ranch has produced its own light horse show of that charge. It’s now seeking a grant from the Campaspe Shire Council’s small business grant program to help lay a foundation for work to proceed on the establishm­ent of the museum.

The owners have already won acclaim for their 2019 production Where the Long Paddock meets the Murray, which takes onlookers on a nostalgic trip back in time.

Soggy end to September

It was a damp end to September, with 9mm of rain being recorded on the last two days at the Kyabram weather station.

A further 4mm was registered on the first day of October last Saturday with another 3mm falling on the Sunday to Monday and more predicted this week.

September’s total of 29.8mm was below the monthly average of 41.2mm.

In the nine months from January to the end of September Kyabram’s rainfall total was 331.2mm, which is close to the average of 339.2mm calculated from 1964 to the present day.

Churches damaged

District churches didn’t escape damage during the recent earthquake.

Cement columns in the windows of St Mary’s Church at Seymour crumbled and fell to a driveway and others columns were fractured.

Over at Benalla, St Joseph’s Church suffered cracks to its façade and window frames, and rendering has become detached from the building.

$10,000 to bring back pub

The biggest grant that can be awarded by Edward River Council from its Local Heritage Fund has been made to help revive the iconic Conargo Hotel.

The $10,000 grant will be used specifical­ly to retain and strengthen the façade of the popular watering hole, which was gutted by fire in November 2014.

Plans are to have work on the façade completed by next Easter, all going well.

Windows, doors and roof trusses have already been installed.

Edward River Council Heritage Fund helps preserve historic building façades in the shire.

Retail centre for Cobram

A $40m retail centre has been given the green light to be built in Cobram.

Tipalea Partners has received rezoning and developmen­t approval from Moira Shire to proceed with the project, which will be known as Cobram Village.

The all-clear for the developmen­t comes after approval by council in 2019 but which was refused by a government panel, which has now reversed that decision.

The project, which will include a supermarke­t, medical centre, retail and food outlets, and parking space for 400 cars, will provide more than 200 constructi­on jobs and 200 ongoing local jobs once completed.

Constructi­on will start in May next year with the opening by mid 2023.

Sparks fly above Tocumwal

Just three days after the earth shook parts of southern eastern Australia, two loud mysterious booms rattled Tocumwal on the Saturday night.

One witness saw a glow and sparks and others thought the noise came from above yet the aircraft tracking program Flightrada­r24 recorded no overhead activity at the time.

Emergency services reported they were unaware of explosions at the time, which adds a bit more intrigue as what was the cause.

Deni man caught in scam

Puppy scams have been popular since COVID struck and a Deniliquin man has been a victim.

The man answered an email in relation to the sale of cocker spaniels puppies last August.

The seller claimed he was from Tasmania and asked for additional funds to transport the puppies to NSW.

The Deni man obliged but has been unable to contact the seller since.

Puppy scams are detailed at gov.au scamwatch.

 ?? Photo: Steve Huntley. ?? Light Horse memorial:
Matt and Rocky Acquisto with Macka, Jock, Steve and Tom at Billabong Ranch.
Photo: Steve Huntley. Light Horse memorial: Matt and Rocky Acquisto with Macka, Jock, Steve and Tom at Billabong Ranch.

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