Some early learning from a shark nursery

OF all the many natural wonders on the Hunter’s doorstep, the magnificent great white shark nursery of Port Stephens may rate high on the scale of the ones we sometimes wish to ignore.
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If only to allow us to enjoy the other gems from Mother Nature –from the beaches and surf to popular diving spots and the wonderful Broughton Island.

But the nursery, which stretches from Stockton Bight and along the coastline north of Hawks Nest, remains an extremely important part of the wider ecosystem.

And it may also hold akey in helping to decrease the growing number of shark attacks along another of the state’s “shark alleys” on the north coast.

Scientists will begin trialling new shark–detecting sonar technology in the great white shark nursery off Port Stephens this week to determine whether it can be relied upon.

It works bydetecting sharks swimming past, and then send an SMS message to lifesavers on the beach.

A series of cameras will be placed with the buoys atPort Stephens toconfirm if the swimming objects detected by the sonar are sharks, and not big fish.

If the technology works, it could be another weapon for the State Government in the fight to keep our beaches safe.

And it may also be a win for the apex predators.

That is because there has been some negativity about the controversial approaches of the Baird Government’sNSW Shark Management Strategy, including the introduction of 100 “smart”drumlineson the North Coast, as well as introducing legislation to allow a trial of mesh nets.

However, some groups claim the approaches pose significant to other marine life,such as turtles and dolphins.

The Greens have continuously said mesh nets could notguarantee public safety and there hadbeen 21 shark encounters on netted beaches in the past 23 years.

It is a difficult balancing act to keep the beaches as safe as possible as well as protecting marine life. So modern technology should be used at every possible opportunity.

We already have trials ofshark-spotting drones at selected beaches, includingRedhead, and there are buoys at Redhead and Hawks Nest released only last week to detect sharks which have been tagged.

ISSUE: 38,376

Redpath wins sprints

The opening race meeting for the season in the state’s south finished with amazing racing and Jason Redpathclaiming victory in the 30-lap Sprintcarfinal.
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ON FIRE: Jason Redpath on his way to winning the 30-lap sprint car final in the south. Picture: Angryman Photography

Gerry Hoekstra and Redpath shared the front row with Hoekstra getting the better start from the outside with an aggressive move that paid dividends. He maintained an early command of the race opening a handy buffer which shorteneddue to lapped traffic just under ten laps in.Several cautions made Hoekstra work overtime on the restarts as several drivers spun in separate incidents.

In the closing laps the battle intensified with both cars coming together in turn two on several occasions. Redpath kept lookingfor a way pastand eventually found it with six laps left by executing a brilliant passing move on the high line with Kurt Luttrell third. Formula 500’s were won by Rick Weatherall who had placed in each of his heats and was on the pace early. Gary Sutcliffe drove to a fine second place ahead of Dale Peck. Jakobe Jetson had his first meeting for the season and picked up where he left off with his fast, smooth driving style that took him to victory ahead of Ellis Dickenson and Jayden Triffet.

The Bombers first event of the year saw some drivers holding a grudge over the off-season. Only a handful of cars survived the night to complete in the final with Kylie Jetson greeting the chequered flag ahead of Fred Eiszelle and Dennis Davidson. Drew Manser was successful in Tassie Sixes from Todd Russell and Damien Wickham. Speedcars had timed runs and while still a new category of racing with low numbers the category will grow.Mitchell Freeman was on pace winning the final ahead of Trent Blake and Kerry Short. The season continues next weekend on the North-West coast.

RESULTS: Bombers: Heat 1: T.Bennett 1, F.Eiszele 2, K.Jetson 3, Heat 2: K.Jetson 1, D.Hay 2, F.Eiszele 3, A-Main: F.Eiszele 1, K.Jetson 2, D.Davidson 3. Formula 500s: Heat 1: R.Weatherall 1, M.Kelly 2, G.Sutcliffe 3, Heat 2: D.Peck 1, R.Weatherall 2, C.Dransfield 3, A-Main: R.Weatherall 1, G.Stucliffe 2, D.Peck 3. Junior Sedans: Heat 1: J.Triffett 1, E.Dickenson 2, J.White 3, Heat 2: J.Jetson 1, J.Dickerson 2, J.Triffett 3, Heat 3: J.Jetson 1, E.Dickenson 2, B.Kelly 3, A-Main: J.Jetson 1, E.Dickenson 2, J.Triffett 3. Speedcars: Heat 1: M.Freeman 1, T.Blake 2, K.Short 3, Heat 2: T.Blake 1, M.Freeman 2, K.Short 3, A- Main: M.Freeman 1, T.Blake 2, K.Short 3. Sprintcars: Heat 1: J.Redpath 1, J.Dawkins 2, T.Watson 3, Heat 2: C.Smith 1, M.House 2, K.Luttrell 3, Heat 3: G.Hoekstra 1, A.Redpath 2, A.Alexander 3, A-Main: J.Redpath 1, G.Hoekstra 2, K.Luttrell 3. Tassie Sixes: Heat 1: D.Manser 1, A.Wickham 2, C.Briggs 3, Heat 2: C.Briggs 1, D.Manser 2, A.Wickham 3, A-Main: D.Manser 1,T.Russell 2, A.Wickham 3.

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OUR SAY: An open day for a city with open minds

ORANGE’S cast-iron reputation as a city of tolerance and inclusiveness was further enhanced on Saturday by a group who have struggled for acceptance in other parts of the country.
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Member of Orange’s Muslim community opened the doors to their Peisley Street mosque to the general public as part of National Mosque Open Day.

Many of the city’s non-Muslims took the chance to take a tour of the mosque, view a prayer sessions and engage in conversation with someone of a different faith.

It is estimated there are 60 Muslim families in the city, hailing from at least 15 different nations and ethnic backgrounds.

The fact that they feel comfortable enough in this community to share their house of worship speaks volumes about the warm reception they receive each day.

That’s not something members of their faith can always count on.

The past couple of years have been especially difficult for many Muslims in Australia, especially those living in regional areas.

Protests against the proposed construction of mosques have been particularly prevalent outside metropolitan centres, with vocal and often anger-fuelled public demonstrations.

The driving force behind several of theserallies has beenthe United Patriots Front (UPF), a nationalist group who rose to semi-prominence in 2015 as an offshoot of the Reclaim Australia Movement.

As of Sunday the United Patriots Front’s Facebook page had76,988 followers.

Judging by the reaction the group’s leaders received when they journeyed to Orange in February this year, not too many of them live withinthe 2800 postcode.

Despite a concerted effort by UPF figureheads to drum up support in the city, just 40 people turned up for the group’s Orange rally eight months ago.

It was an embarrassing turnout for the UPF, one which sent a sufficiently powerful message to their leaders and ensured they haven’t been seen in these parts again since.

The popularity of Saturday’s open day at the mosque merely underlines the message that Orange is a city of tolerance and compassion.

The comment in today’s story by Khalid Tufail best illuminates the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims in Orange: “I feel as though other people understand we are as normal as other members in the community.”

Long may that be the case.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Letters to the editor

CHANGE: Paul Bosman, of Estella, is worried about relying too heavily on renewable energy and says Australia needs coal and nuclear – or face the consequences.Fix the problemWhat will it take for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to admit that water policy developed over the past decade has been a national disaster? Recent floods highlight the flaws inthe Murray-Darling Basin Plan. The Water Act, developed by Mr Turnbull when he was Water Minister, is the basis of the disastrous Basin Plan.
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There is a strong theory that Mr Turnbull does not want water policy on the agenda because he knows the present issues are a direct result of his poor policy.

But we need to stop worrying about political careers and start focusing on the changes that are essential to achieve desired results.

We want a Basin Plan that is fair – one that cares for the environment and the people who live in the Basin.

We want a plan that respects individuals and is implemented by an organisation that wants to work with their fellow Australians who live, work and breathe the landscape. That’s not what we have at the moment.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority, which implements the Basin Plan, appears to have no respect for the people its decisions adversely affectand this has been again highlighted during recent flood events. These flood events have surely proven beyond any doubt that flow targets of the Basin Plan cannot be met.

There are two serious concerns in our region – the first is that flood events like we have just experienced could become quite regular; the second is that no one is willing to admit there is a problem.

The flood has caused millions of dollars in damage and lost income, with a total bill that could end up in the hundreds of millions when all repairs to infrastructure on public and private land are taken into account. Taxpayers are the ones who will end up being responsible for a large portion of this bill.

There is huge frustration in rural communities. Despite all the signs that communities are hurting and the Basin Plan needs some adjustment, it is put in the ‘too hard basket’ by politicians and the ‘it’s not my problem’ basket by bureaucrats.

Well, it doesn’t have to be so hard and our community is ready and willing to work on solutions to the various problems.

But you cannot fix a problem until you admit you have one, which seems to be the first big step that politicians and the MDBA alike need to take.

Shelley ScoullarDeniliquin‘Catastrophic’ renewable energyAndrew Bray, national co-ordinator of the Australian Wind Alliance, writes in his column of September 26 “the latest research by Ernst & Young and the Climate Council shows more than 28,000 jobs could be created across the country if Australia generated 50 per cent of its power from the wind, sun and waves by 2030”.

It all sounds so wonderful and ideal, what better future could we wish for? But we must be absolutely realistic in every respect and not just idealistic.

There have been and there will be times when no energy is obtained from wind, sun and waves. There will be times of lack, or absence, of wind, sun and waves, through natural weather vagaries or man-made disasters.

For this reason alone it is imperative that a very significant proportion of electricity needs of NSW be generated by means of coal and nuclear. I don’t pretend to be an expert on electricity supply but this is really a matter of common sense.

It is very dangerous and highly irresponsible to put all our eggs in one basket. It is therefore essential that we obtain energy from various sources including coal and nuclear. And if we don’t – then face the very dire consequences.

Our state and federal governments must be wise, realistic and visionary for the long term good of us, the people of Australia.

Paul BosmanEstellaThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Captain Katie completes her final innings

The open girls Cricket team travelled to Grafton to play South Grafton High School in the second round of the State knockout on October 28. The team was a young team with only four players over 14 years old, however, this didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. Keen to take on the bowling captain, Katie Thorn, won the toss and elected to bat.
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Katie being clapped off the field.

This looked like a good decision with openers Katie and Jasmin Nolan attacking the bowling hitting 19 runs off the first two overs. Unfortunately, in the 3rd over Katie was given out, court off what looked like a no ball. If that wasn’t bad enough, Jasmin in the next over was given out by a dubious run out decision. From here there was little resistance except for Hannah Watt who almost batted through the entire innings for her 7 runs. The girls still need to learn to stay at the crease long enough to score runs. The entire team was out in the 13th over of a 30 over game!

Willow Berry bowling with the field ready.

This meant we had a small total of 49 to defend. The girls did not let this worry them and with good Bello spirit went out and gave it their best. Jasmin Nolan was the pick of the bowlers snagging 2 wickets in first spell and young Danika Meenahan showed what a talent she is being the most economical bowler on the day. The fielding by all the girls was great but South Grafton passed our score with 6 wickets in hand.

As it was Katie’s last Cricket game for the school (as Katie will be doing her HSC next year) the girls gave Katie a guard of honour leaving the field. Katie has been in the Cricket team since year 7 and has been an excellent role model as well as helping all the young players.

Katie chasing the ball in the field.

Katie has also achieved some excellent results in Athletics since the NSWCHS Carnival. She has travelled twice more to Sydney to compete against the best in the State and has now qualified for Nationals in 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles and Heptathlon (where she came 2nd in her age group at State!). Katie is an outstanding all round athlete. Watch out for her in the future!

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Golden Wheel winner is Wagga’s golden boy

A home-grown star, and, all going to plan,Wagga’s next Olympian, took out the city’s most prestigious track race on Saturday.
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Golden Wheel winner is Wagga’s golden boy Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

First place in the Golden Wheel race Cameron Scott from St George Cycling Club, former Wagga cyclist at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

First woman across the line in Golden Wheel Deborah Coulls from Illawarra at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

First Wagga competitor across the line in the Golden Wheel Charlie Hamilton, 17, at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists line up before the race at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

GIRLS: Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

A Wagga cyclist leads the bunch at the Golden Wheel at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

A Wagga cyclist leads the bunch at the Golden Wheel at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Henry Wright (in blue) among Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

First place in the Golden Wheel race Cameron Scott from St George Cycling Club, former Wagga cyclist, with Tony Stewart, owner of major sponsor, Craig Stewart Electrical, at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

First place in the Golden Wheel race Cameron Scott from St George Cycling Club, former Wagga cyclist at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

A Tolland cyclist at the Wagga track in the Golden Wheel on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

Golden Wheel cyclists at the Wagga track on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly

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Ballarat Motor ShowPhotos

Ballarat Motor Show | Photos (Back L-R) Tim Whiteside of Pedders Ballarat, Josh Mackay of Allstyles Customs, Brett Collinson of Allstyles Customs, Laurent Machado of Allstyles Customs, Trish Mifsud, Anthony Condello Allstyles Customs, Keith Procter, brenda Fisher, Mark Fisher, (Front) Sean Procter and Joan Procter at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.
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Shane Jenkin’s 1968 Ford Falcon XT at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Shane Jenkin’s 1968 Ford Falcon XT at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Shane Jenkin’s 1968 Ford Falcon XT at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Shane Jenkin’s 1968 Ford Falcon XT at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Shane Jenkin’s 1968 Ford Falcon XT at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Alan Smith’s 1953 Ford Customline at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Alan Smith’s 1953 Ford Customline at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Alan Smith’s 1953 Ford Customline at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Alan Smith’s 1953 Ford Customline at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Alan Smith’s 1953 Ford Customline at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Thomas, 12, and Bella, 4, Atkinson at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Alan Smith’s 1953 Ford Customline at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Peter Skinner’s 1966 Hillman Imp at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Peter Skinner’s 1966 Hillman Imp at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Peter Skinner’s 1966 Hillman Imp at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Peter Skinner’s 1966 Hillman Imp at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

David and Ryder Mclelland, 11 months, at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Peter Jones’ 1928 Ford Roadster at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Peter Jones’ 1928 Ford Roadster at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Peter Jones’ 1928 Ford Roadster at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Gordon Judd’s 1974 Holden HJ at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Gordon Judd’s 1974 Holden HJ at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Gordon Judd’s 1974 Holden HJ at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Gordon Judd’s 1974 Holden HJ at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Nathan Bourke’s 1934 Dodge at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Nathan Bourke’s 1934 Dodge at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Nathan Bourke’s 1934 Dodge at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

Nathan Bourke’s 1934 Dodge at the Ballarat Motor Show, hosted by Allstyles Customs in support of the MS society at the Ballarat Showgrounds.

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Silly behaviour putting all road users at risk

The nonsense on our roads has simply got to stop.
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In the past week we’ve seen multiple crashes around the city, seemingly caused by people in too much of a hurry.

There was the one at the Travers Street roundabout that held people up driving over the Gobba Bridge. There was the one out near Gumly. Let’s not forget the one outside of Bunnings at one of the most bizarre double-roundabouts in the country. Then there was the one where a car tried to pass a B-double on a roundabout, with predictable results.

In each of these cases, crashes could have been avoided if the drivers simply slowed down and paid attention to what was going on around them. But sadly, the comfort of modern motoring lull us into such a false sense of security we tend to forget we’re handling massive lumps of steel and plastic at speeds our forefathers would hardly believe.

However, while these were relatively minor bingles, Saturday’s crash has hammered home the peril we face on the roads.

There’s not a lot of information about exactly what happened at this stage and the police will likely spend some time with the driver of the Prado in the very near future. But what we do know is this –the Toyota Tarago was stopped in a rest area, exactly where we’re told to be when we get tired, when a four-wheel drive ploughed into it.

Witnesses say there were suitcases and personal belongings strewn across the rest area and the back of the Tarago was completely crushed.Given the road and the speed limit, it’s possible the four-wheel drive was travelling at a high speed before the crash, which would easily explain the debris and extent of the damage.

What’s unclear is how on earth four children, two in each car, managed to escape without any serious injuries. Certainly for the driver of the four-wheel drive, the safety advances of modern motoring meant she escaped without life-threatening injuries.

Our hearts must go out, though, to the two adults who are fighting for their lives in a Sydney hospital. It would appear as though they tried to do the right thing, but sadly found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The worst part is all of these crashes could have been avoided if we would simply heed the warnings police are continually repeating. Slow down. Take a break. Don’t rush.

This nonsense on the roads must stop.

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Finally back in the saddle

Picture: Contributed. After wet weather ravaged the winter rodeo calendar, riders were finally able to saddle up again for Cootamundra Rodeo’s fifth gymkhana of the year.
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The event was originally planned for July but continued rain saw it postponed twice until October, thoughthe organisation’s patiencepaid off as competitors were met with hot, sunny conditions as the event finally went ahead on Saturday.

20 riders competed with entrantsfrom Junee, Binalong and Yasstaking on a host of local talent.

Riders of all ages, from led to under 9s to 9-13, 13-17, novice and opens took part in barrel races, flag races, bending and Coota bending races among other events.

It was a huge relief for secretary of Cootamundra Rodeo Maree Gibbs to finally be able to hold the gymkhana after such a long and frustrating hiatus.

“It was so great to be out there again and we had such a lovely sunny day for it.

“Having the little ones out riding and having some fun was fantastic,” Gibbs said.

Local riders have clearly been practicing during the break and performed exceptionally well at the event.

Richard Gibbs has competed in all four of this year’s gymkhana and was sitting in second position in the points score for the novice division heading in to the fifth rodeo.

He performed well in all his events and retainedsecond place with just one gymkhana to go this year.

In the younger age groups,​Abby Phillips went home with a number of ribbons and was proud of her efforts.

For an event that faced such lengthy delays because of the rain, Gibbs was surprised by how well the rodeo ground held up.

“The ground was actually a bit dusty surprisingly, it’s dried up pretty well really,” she said.

A dry rodeo ground bodes well for Gibbs as Cootamundra Rodeo hopes to hold the sixth and final gymkhana of the year in November.

The sixth gymkhana will see the points competition conclude and the Cootamundra Rodeo raffle will be drawn.

Although it’s the last event for the year, Gibbs encourages anyone who is interested in rodeo or keen to learn to come along and take part.

The final gymkhana is scheduled for Sunday, November 27.

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Books bring in the bucks

OVER 13,000 books were sold at Lifeline Central West’s Spring Book Fair, held at the showground over the weekend.
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BOOK FAIR: People looking over the tables of books at the Lifeline Central West Book Fair, on Sunday. The book fair is a major fund raiser for the charity. Photo:CHRIS SEABROOK 103016cbookf1

Now in its seventh year, the book fair, held twice a year, in Autumn and Spring, is a major fundraiser for the charity, which provides around the clock crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Chief Executive Officer of Lifeline Central West, Alex Ferguson said Saturday was by far the best Saturday the event had ever staged, with literally thousands of people coming through the doors.

“Saturday was the best we’ve had by a country mile and on Sunday people were still streaming through the door.

“We’re absolutely delighted, the trend isgetting bigger each year.”

Mr Ferguson said the event was one of the charity’s biggest fundraising events, so it was incredible to see the community showing its support.

“I’d say we got 4,000 through the door, at any given time had between 150 and 200 people in here.

“When we started the book fair we had 22,000 books for sale, by Sunday morning we’d sold about 13,000 of those.

“The point is for a mega book fair you still have to be able to offer books at the end of the two days, you don’t want people coming and the tables are empty, so we are really pleased about how it went.”

He said the reason the book fair is so popular is because of the quality and variety of books on offer.

“We freshen up the titles all the time, and because we’re known in the community many people bring theirbook back once they’ve read it, so we are always recycling titles.

“The quality of books on sale is also very high; they are pristine. Thebooks are serious quality that keeps people coming back to us.”

With some 22,000 books on offer, Mr Ferguson saidthere is always an element of quirkiness.

“The book fair is the most likely place to find that one title you’ve been looking for but can never find.

“You’d be amazed how often that title you’ve been looking for pops up.”

And with demand on Lifeline’s services continuing to increase, Mr Ferguson said the sales made over the weekendwill help train more telephone counsellors.

He said Lifeline Central West has increasedits telephone counsellingvolunteer staff from 55 to 140.

“Weneed that number to take the calls; it’ssimple maths if the demand is higher weneed more people to answer the calls.”

Mr Ferguson said the amount of money people donated to the charity through the book fair was“quite humbling”.

“It really is quite amazing.”

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