13. 07. 2018
Combination of traits gives Dohne advantage

Combination of traits gives Dohne advantage

Justin and Dennis O'Brien, Croyn Station, Walgett, value add their cereal and pulse crops through an on-farm sheep feedlot, turning off up to 8000 Dohne mixed sex lambs a year to the domestic and export markets.The combined carcass and wool value of Dohnes is proving the goods in a vertically integrated broadacre cropping operation in northern New South Wales.
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The O’Brien familyof Walgettvalue add their cereal and pulse crops through an on-farm sheep feedlot, turning off up to 8000 Dohne mixed sex lambs a year to the domestic and export markets.

The lambs are produced by the family’s 4000 Dohne ewe flock and also sourced from other regional commercial purebred flocks.

The lambs have a week’s induction in the 3500head capacity feedlot on a barley, faba bean and pellet ration then move on to self feeders with 75 per cent barley, 20pc faba beans and 5pcpellets.

Average daily liveweight gains are 280 to300 grams to give a net feed conversion of one kilogram of body weight to four kilograms of grain consumed.

Lambs enter at 35kg liveweight for an eight-week feeding period, while lambs 40kg plus are fed four to six weeks, with exit liveweights at 50kg.

The last consignment of 493 Dohne lambs were sold to Thomas Foods International, Tamworth, in May for $5.40/kg dressed at an average liveweight of 55kg.The average carcase weight was 25.9kg and the average value including skins of $17, was $156.

Dennis and wife Trish, with sons Justin and Sam, run the 11,336 hectareCryon Station on a mix of 75pc cropping and 25pc sheep.

“The last lot of lambs yielded 47pc and we use that feedback to fine tune the feeding program,’’ Justin said.

“We know if it is a 55kg lamb at exit, it will dress at 25.5kg.

“We never had any problems with fat cover – they are a leaner animal with less wastage for the butcher.’’

Dennis O’Brien is a second generation wool grower and began running Merinos on Cryon in 1972, selling 10,000 wethers a year as wool cutters.

The reserve price scheme contributed to his decision to switch to grain growing.

“With high end markets growing all the time in Japan and the US, I was looking around for a dual purpose, self-replacing sheep,” Mr O’Brien said.

A Dohne field day at Cryon Station in 2004 convinced Dennis to invest in 10 Dohne rams the following year.

They were joined to 3000 Merino ewes averaging 21 micron and cutting 5.5kg.

“We wanted the carcase but also wool just in case the wool market did improve,’’ Dennis said.

“It was a business decision to pursue the meat market and it’s been a good one.The Dohnes are easy to manage, are high fertility, do well in the feedlot and yield well.’’

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13. 07. 2018
Too much Grey area for SA’s northern voters

Too much Grey area for SA’s northern voters

What an election!For keen political spectators, the past few days have handed up some interesting viewing.
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Wakefield’s Nick Champion managed to hold on to his traditionally safe Labor seat, despite some determined challengers.

But many electorates taken for granted as safe have been lost, or close to.Or, as is the case in Grey, they’re still waiting.

Eight weeks ago, few would have questioned Rowan Ramsey’s re-election.

Grey has been a Liberal stronghold since 1993, after being held by Labor for most of its post-war history.

But on Saturday, it lived up to its name as the outcome became less and less clear.

It’s possibly an unfair reflection on Ramsey, who is undeniably passionate about his vast904,881 squarekilometre –or 91.8 per centof South Australia –electorate.

But in the wake of issues including the Whyalla steelworks crisis, it wasinevitable there would be a significantimpact on the way the region’s voters numbered their cards.

Political experts are still tipping Ramsey to hold on to Grey but, if he doesn’t and NXT’s Andrea Broadfoot takes the mantle, it could benefit the electorate as the Liberals work hard to win it back.

There has been much commentary in recent days regardingthe underestimation of the ‘X factor’.

But, is it so much about some fresh, new candidates hitting the ballot papers, as it is about a growing disillusionment among voters?

Surely now, the Liberal Party –across not only South Australia, but Australia –must be taking a good hard look at themselves and where it is they have been found wanting?

The Labor Party should also be doing the same; yes, they’ve had a promising swing their way, but not quite enough to form government –yet.

When the Australian public has not clearly elected a majority government, questions must be asked of the major parties and what they are –or, more likely,aren’t – offering.

It clearly points to a confused constituency: “what’s the difference between them?” has been a common response throughout this election campaign.

Whatever it is, once an election outcome has been reached, both major parties need to sit back and take a good hard look at themselves.

Not only is it necessary to win back valuablevotes–but the voters deserveit.

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13. 07. 2018
Election ’16 no snoozefest for Mail

Election ’16 no snoozefest for Mail

No surprises: Nola Marino and friends and family at her post-election party react to the news of Forrest results. "I never take an election for granted," she told me. Photo: JHApart from Leigh Sales, I may have had the most enjoyable federal election of any journalist in the country.
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Admittedly the bar was set pretty low with this election and us voters, I must say, didn’t exactly contribute our fair share of excitement to the proceedings, or at least we haven’t yet but let’s see.

Forrest incumbent and chief government whip Nola Marino was not just victoriousSaturday evening but weathered the swing against the Liberals with a downturn I understand to be a minuscule less than two per cent. Congratulations also of course to Rick Wilson in O’Connor.

It was a good weekend for Marino: on Sunday her beloved Harvey Bulls turned in a commanding performance to claim the Harvey Cup against the HBL Lions in a riveting game of football.

Senior journalist Andrew Elstermann quipped to me “Is there anything she can’t win? She’ll probably win the bloody meat raffle after the game.”

Having seen Nola in action from the footy to the campaign trail to Anzac Day at Yarloop,I’ll go one further than a meat raffle and say this: Nola Marino for PM.

If we are to have a Liberal prime minister, I want a dynamo like Nola talking policy and footy and shoeswith Barack and Michelle. Australians deserve no less. Lobbyistsbegin!

Anyway, apart from making ourselves Liberal Party kingmakers, how did theMaildo on election day? Results are in.

With five papers in the South West straddling the electorates of Forrest and O’Connor, we had a lot of ground to cover –879,648 square kilometres to be exact.

We managed to visit quite a few polling stations throughout the day, more than twenty per cent of the ones in Forrest, where we met candidates and politicians from all the major parties and some of the not-so-major ones. I meant “straddling” above.

We also met voters, a lot of them, and they were not shy about letting us know what issues were motivating their decisions.

We broke some news, cleared some things up, got some exclusive pictures we’re pretty happy with, made some friends and generally had a good chin-wag with everyone we encountered. A good weekend for a journo.

This is the moment to extend a sincerethanks to everyone who spoke to us yesterday and thanks for the gossip and very warm welcomes we received. We keep secrets….

Sausage sizzles are a big part of any election, of course, and unlike some we ate our democracy sausages the way we bit into election day: starting at one end and finishing at the other.

After extensive economic analysis theMailcan report that the sizzle index was sitting at $3 in Bunbury.

In the electorate of Canning, our Mandurah colleagues reported the index was at $2.50 and suggested we were being ripped off. What they fail to realise is thepremium we are only too happy to pay in the South West because of the superior quality of our food andhospitality.

The big election news for me was a change of electorate: I am now a proud Forrest voter and I couldn’t be happier.

The change was easyand the effect was immediate: I walked into the Bunbury Primary School and said I had to vote in a different electorate. A very kind woman showed me to a table where another very kind woman began to do the paperwork. The atmosphere was of kindness.

When I explained that I had recently moved to Bunbury but hadn’t updated the electoral roll, she simply asked me in which electorate I would like to vote and, when I said Forrest, of course, she updated my record then and there. No further action is required and the rolls will be updated automatically. I folded correctly and was done.

If only everything worked like this! A huge shout-out to the good people of the Australian Electoral Commission who actually do make democracy possible. Bravo, and thank you on behalf of a free press.

Now the only thing left to sort outis how to get Leigh Sales to marry me.

–Jem Hedley (I’m available, Leigh)

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13. 07. 2018
Elvis Festival in line for back-to-back wins

Elvis Festival in line for back-to-back wins

The Parkes Elvis Festival has been named as a finalist in the the 2016 Regional Tourism Awards for the second year in a row. Parkes Elvis Festival is hoping for back-to-back wins after again being named a finalist in this year’s Regional Tourism Awards.
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The awards are held annually to acknowledge excellence in tourism in the four regional tourism areas of Central, Inland, Murray and Riverina.

This year’s event will be held in Echuca on Saturday, July 23, at the Moama Bowling Club.

The Parkes Elvis Festival is one of 39 finalists competing in 19 categories across the four inland tourism regions.

Newly appointed Festival Director Cathy Treasure described the nomination as an honour for the Parkes community.

“It is wonderful to be named a finalist in the Festivals and Events category which we were lucky enough to win last year,” Ms Treasure said.

“This year’s Festival attracted more than 22,000 visitors, had a global media reach of 80 million and injected $11M into the regional economy.

“To be named a finalist is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of Council employees and Festival volunteers without whose assistance the 2016 event would not have been such a success.”

Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith said Council was delighted with the nomination.

“Not only for the nomination in the Festivals and Events category but also for the nomination for Destination Marketing,” Cr Keith said.

“This is a fabulous outcome for Parkes Shire Council and the community.

“It highlights Council’s proactive approach to destination development and marketing, and growing the visitor economy for the region.”

The Regional Tourism Awards give tourism organisations and individuals an insight into their industry and promote tourism within their region.

They have been credited for elevating regional tourism businesses to achieve statewide and national acclaim.

The seven finalists from Central NSW Tourism includes:

Parkes Elvis Festival.

Parkes Shire Council (Events category).

Canowindra Balloon Festival.

Lakeview Luxury Cabins Orange.

Reset your Senses in Mudgee Region.

Dubbo City Holiday Park.

Manera Heights Apartments (Dubbo).

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13. 07. 2018


HERE WE GO AGAINIrrespective of the final vote, Malcolm Turnbull, the LNP and the Greens must admit to deliberately poisoning the chalice that will be the of governing Australia’s 45th parliament.
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The LNP and the Greens, in conspiring to amend the electoral protocol of the Senate,did so not for any high-minded principles, but entirely for a grubby political purpose.

The consequence of the LNP/Greens conspiracy has beenthe re-emergence onto the Australian political scene of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party.

A political “stalking horse” initially created to provide a home for the insecurity, hatred and xenophobia of an unsavoury element of Australian society.

An element of society which terrifies even the most extreme of “nut jobs” within the LNP.

It’s leader Pauline Hanson, a self-appointed Australian messiah, has added followers of the Islamic faith to her list of xenophobic hatreds by declaring Islam not to be a faith.

The over 300 million followers of the faith of Islam residing less than four hours flying time from Australiaevidently hold a different view.

Never noted for her intellectual capacity, MsHanson’s ill-informed commentary may well affect Australia’s foreign affairs, trade and defence ties in the region.

In that circumstance it should be Senator Hanson who is asked to “please explain”?

Barry Swan, Balgownie

A LESSON TO LEARNVisiting Shellharbour Centrelink last Tuesday to collect paperwork regarding Job Search I was directed to the computer to file an application online. What an experience.

There were several people beside one another and one wonderful patient lady to advise us all.

One particular young girl was with newborn, her mum and I presume sister.

She was rude, impatient andswearing.

What I would have liked to tell her was she was me 45 years ago, aged 17 with a newborn.

How does she want her daughter to grow up I wonder?

Will she have manners or be taught to expect something for nothing and be an ungrateful person who is rude and vulgar to people trying to help her?

Maybe this mother will learn to stand on her own two feet, as I did, move out of mum’s public housing, get a job and work for what she receives?I wonder.

In 1971 this is what we did, we married, worked hard and saved for what we have today .

I passed this on to my baby girl. I am grateful there is a backstop for the unemployed and elderly, that's one reason we pay tax.

Moral of the story is we have become a society of takers and expect something for nothing.

Yay of the day to the staff at Centrelink Shellharbour .

Julie Wicken, Gerringong

A COMPASSIONATE ISSUEI would suggestthe members of the Liberal Coalition should be admitted the public hospital system and they would discover why many voters were influenced by the medicare issue.

It is a compassion issue not a police one.

Ben Morris, Wollongong

OUT OF SERVICEI concur with the recent spate of letters re Telstra's poor service. Our phone has not worked for over a month now and all we get is revised dates for rectification which come and go while still being billed for the full service.

I registered a complaint on the Telstra website a week ago and the only response was to send me an email giving a phone number I could ring for an update toll free on my fixed line phone which has not worked for a month.

Keith Partridge, Shell Cove

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13. 07. 2018
Billy Longer set to return from concussion for St Kilda, while Paddy McCartin waits

Billy Longer set to return from concussion for St Kilda, while Paddy McCartin waits

Saints ruckman Billy Longer's wait to return to the field is finally over. Photo: Pat Scala St Kilda ruckman Billy Longer is expected to play his first game in more than a month this week, having overcome a serious concussion.
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But the Saints' experience in managing Longer's recovery will not necessarily guide their treatment of young forward Paddy McCartin.

While the Saints have already ruled McCartin out of this week's match against Essendon, they are planning for Longer to line up in the VFL.

The 23-year-old was sidelined for a month at the start of June, having struggled to overcome the side effects of a head knock almost four weeks earlier.

Longer passed concussion tests following the knock and was able to play the following week, but had trouble later on with headaches and memory loss.

He was ruled out of contact drills and games in order to recover, but Saints football manager Jamie Cox said on Monday that he was ready to resume playing.

"He's feeling good and he's going well. He's considered likely for this week," Cox said.

"There may still be one small hurdle or one small test left for him to jump, but he's up on our board as likely. He's on schedule for this week."

Cox said the Saints would place their complete trust in their medical staff when it came to managing McCartin's recovery from his latest knock.

He said the club's recent history with handling concussions – captain Nick Riewoldt has also dealt with one this year – was not especially helpful given each individual case was so different.

"It can't hurt, and we're certainly not green in this area. Everyone cops their share but we've had a few and we have some really good people here who know what they're doing," Cox said.

"But they're never related. They're different people, different incidents, different sorts of knocks. It's a very individual thing."

McCartin has been concussed five times since 2014, and suffered his third head knock for the year against Gold Coast on Saturday.

The club will take the time it needs to conduct all necessary tests on the 20-year-old before determining when or whether he will play again this season.

"We haven't made any decisions about Paddy beyond this week and one of our concerns at the moment is that there are a lot of people looking to speculate," Cox said.

"It's a personal medical issue and we have some seriously good medical people in this space, and some consultants who are at the top of their tree.

"We need to trust them and give them the time they need to assess him and treat him and make decisions from there.

"The first step is to treat his symptoms, and as far as that goes he's been in here today feeling good.

"Whatever's best for Paddy is what we'll do, and he woke up feeling well on Sunday and has been at the club today in good spirits.

"It's a good start, but we've ruled him out early just to give him and the medical staff they time they need to check him out properly."

The Saints hope to regain Sean Dempster this week, with the defender ready to play four weeks after undergoing knee surgery.

Jimmy Webster (hamstring) and Nathan Wright (shoulder) will be tested at training, as will Jack Billings.

Sam Fisher is continuing to recover from a hamstring injury, and is one or two weeks away from a return to the side.

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13. 07. 2018
80 out of work in Tenterfield after closure

80 out of work in Tenterfield after closure

TENTERFIELD is reeling after the closure of one of the area’s biggest employers.
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It’s been confirmed Wallangarra Meatworks will close on Friday, leaving more than 80 employees out of work.

The future of the sheep- and goat-processing plant has been uncertain for some months, with the meatworks in a stand-down phase since April, after a temporary closure and job losses in 2015.

At one point last year, the facility, owned by Thomas Foods International, employed about 260 workers, many of whom lived in Wallangarra and Tenterfield.

Darren Thomas, Thomas Foods International’s chief executive officer, advised employees the meatworks would “cease operations for the near to medium future”.

“The closure follows on from an extended stand-down due to livestock shortages and difficult global trading conditions,” he said.

Mr Thomas said all employees would be paid their respective entitlements and a number of staff had already transferred to the company’s Tamworth operation, with others still considering a transfer.

“Thomas Foods International is very hopeful of retaining skilled employees who wish to relocate to other operations within our group, and we would offer what support and training we can in helping in this transition,” he said.

Harry Bolton, senior economic development officer for Tenterfield Shire Council, said it would have a big impact on the area and the local economy.

He said the abattoir had been a large and stable employer for the area since commencing operations in the early 1990s, and the potential loss from the district of so many workers, and their families, would be felt.

“Unfortunately, in that industry and with that skill set, there just isn’t a lot of employment in town to gravitate to, and that means people will have to leave,” Mr Bolton said.

“Many would have actually moved here in the first place because of the abattoir and the opportunities it offered.”

He remained hopeful though that the meatworks may be reopened in the future, but admitted that could be some time away.

“The company is indicating at this point that may be a possibility down the track ... but just when – in two years’ or 10 years’ time – it’s impossible to say. It’s just a case of wait and see,” Mr Bolton said.

The company maintains large meat-processing centres in Murray Bridge in South Australia as well as in Tamworth. The Wallangarra plant had the capacity to process up to 15,250 lamb, mutton and goat carcases a week.

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13. 07. 2018
Election drama is far from over

Election drama is far from over

IT WOULD seem the drama of the federal election is far from over. Even though the campaign itself has come to an end and polling day has come and gone, it remains to be seen if a workable government will emerge from the rubble.
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Let’s hope for all our sakes, it does.

On the local front, the votes went pretty much as expected, with the two main candidates.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce grabbing the lion’s share, with 52 per cent of the primary vote, ahead of independent Tony Windsor – the result not quite as close as some commentators had predicted though.

Testament, according to Mr Joyce, of how voters were put off by the negativity of the campaign in the final stretch.

Already, Armidale independent Rob Taber is not ruling out another tilt at the seat, despite his disappointment at how it played out.

Tony Windsor’s another one who’s not ruling anything in, or out, when it comes to having another go.

The Greens saw a diminished return for their efforts this time around, but Mercurius Goldstein says he won’t be withdrawing from the public eye.

One thing’s for sure out of this campaign, we’ve gained a much keener sense of our place in the political sphere and there’s no going back now.


Finally, there’s some very good news in the push to get some justice for the bush – with the announcement that a full-time district court judge will be permanently based in the New England region.

It marks the culmination of along-running campaign andAttorney-General Gabrielle Upton made the announcement on a flying visit to Armidale yesterday.

The new judge will hear cases in both the Tamworth and Armidale District Courts.

The funding is part of a $39 million package announced in last month’s state budget, which is aimed at easing the district court backlog.

It’s about time too.

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13. 07. 2018
Coalition rule in balance

Coalition rule in balance

CONFIDENT: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce speaking to media in Canberra about the impending election result. Photo: Christopher Pearce/Fairfax MediaDEPUTY Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said he’s “confident not cocky” that the Coalition would retain government “in the very near future, in the next days or next week.”
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In a joint show of force with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Canberra yesterday, the member for New England said the election result was likely in the coming days.

More than three million votes are still to be countedas the Coalition remainsin deadlock with the Labor party, however the nation’s leaders said they werekeeping their eyes on the prize.

“It is a hard task to break the ice and have a vision that looks into the future but the Coalition has that,” Mr Joyce said.

“We are the party that works in partnership with people in regional areas, to be part of the deal and make sure the things they believe in are worthwhile investing in.

“We accept that there’s work to do and we accept the votes ...

“Thanks to the people of regional Australia who have backed us so strongly during this election.

“We are starting the process of serving them to make sure the future is as good as we can possibly make it.”

Mr Joyce also made mention to the electorate that re-elected him.

“Thank you to the people of New England for the incredible honour bestowed on me by allowing me to serve them for another three years,” he said.

“I will always recognise that.”

Mr Turnbull said he took full responsibility for the Liberal Party’s campaign that ended in the unpredictable result.

“I want to make clearthat as Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party,I take full responsibility for our campaign. Absolutely full responsibility for the campaign,” he said.

“The Australian people have voted and we respect the result. It will be a few more days before we get a clearer picture [of the result].

“There is no doubt that there is a level of disillusionment with politics, with government, with the major parties – our own included,” he said.

“We note that and we respect it.

“Now, we need to listen very carefully to the concerns of the Australian people expressed through this election. We need to look at how we will address those concerns – that’s what the Deputy Prime Minister and I have been discussing today.

“There are lessons to be learned from this election. It’s too early for definitive judgements. It will take time to analyse and absorb all of the learnings from the campaign. I believe there will be ... more than a few of them,” he said.

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13. 07. 2018
Melbourne defender Heritier Lumumba battling new concussion

Melbourne defender Heritier Lumumba battling new concussion

Heritier Lumumba's return to the Demons' seniors list is being frustrated by concussion. Photo: Wayne TaylorThe immediate future of Melbourne defender Heritier Lumumba is unclear after he suffered another head knock on the weekend.
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Lumumba, 29, received the knock while playing his comeback game in the VFL, having already missed several games this season with concussion symptoms.

The Demons will again manage the veteran with caution and care, with the Casey Scorpions' bye this week meaning he will spend at least one more week on the sidelines.

Melbourne has recently managed the return of Angus Brayshaw, who suffered two concussions in three weeks earlier this year.

The second-year midfielder was ruled out of training and playing for four weeks, but has successfully returned to play.

Lumumba last featured for Melbourne's senior team in round six, and spoke in a recent interview with Channel Seven of his desire to get back and play this year.

His coach, Paul Roos, said earlier that the club had given the 29-year-old all the time he needed to recover, telling him to spend some time away from the club.

"I have an opportunity to contribute to my team playing finals football," Lumumba said.

"I know that we have what it takes to play finals football."

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