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Letters to the editor

TALENT POOL: Corowa golfer Marcus Fraser had top facilities to practice in as a junior and one Border Mail reader says it should be noted when considering the town’s pool.Transparency lackingRelative to “Security tender switch bombs” – page 3 The Border Mail – Tuesday, December 20.
Nanjing Night Net

Tendering Guidelines for NSW Local Government unambiguously states that unethical or inappropriate conduct such as approaching councillors or council officers or intimidating behaviour, will result in a tender being disqualified.

That is not a maybe, but a will be.

It is clear the intent of the Guidelines and the Local Government Act is that local government decisions should not be influenced by lobbying.

I attended the council extraordinary meeting last Monday wherein not one councillor denied receiving emails from the tenderer or an associate.

Standing orders had been suspended, but it was a case of “silence of the lambs” wherein five councillors had an unrestrained chance to deny they had received emails, the crux of the rescission motion, or argue against the rescission motion.

I had decided earlier in the day to attend the council meeting to establish for myself the merits of the rescission motion so it was disappointing that they choose not to, yet as an accord they voted it down.

It absolutely lacks transparency for a councillor to move out of the chamber to make a defence to The Border Mail reporter five minutes after the meeting was closed. The councillor’s comments should have been made within the meeting where his views could have been debated.

Apart from any extenuating circumstances it is appears that councillors may well have awarded a $5.5m contract, having ignored a council recommendation, unlawfully and void because it was granted on a tender that per NSW Government issued tendering guidelines was disqualified. It also resulted in a cost to the public of $373,000.

It is of great concern that it is not apparent that a CBA (cost benefit analysis) had been used to bring back to a NPV (net present value) assessment the dollar advantage that the “awarded” tenderer held over its competition considering it was substantially more expensive.

Particularly so, because council decision making must be on merit and can’t be a case of last time a councillor’s vote was influenced to show support for a staff recommendation and this time there is a flip/flop, yet that was a question/accusation made at the extraordinary meeting and not answered.

Graeme Richardson, AlburyPool needed, not a puddleOne could go on and on about the pool plan in Corowa that sets the bar so low and aims to please so few. The 25m pool plan sends a message toyoung people and families that you are not considered or planned for by the merged council.

A 25m pool is for the seniors in town and leaves young people out of the picture and that message is a bad one by people there tolead and strengthen communities.

Young people need to be part of the community and see planning that stimulates healthy living and ambition and opportunity in their home town.We need a pool that is Olympic size, not a puddle for seniors. Council needs to plan for the future and families and the young now.

I wonder if Marcus Fraser would have stayed and played golf on a nine-hole, par-three course in Corowa and become a great golfer? Hehad a great course to hone his skillsand be a great example for Corowa and beyond. Marcus Fraser is an outstanding result for us all .

Money was allocated for the pool years ago and spent on the council offices in the old broke bowls club in the flood plain. Questionable I must say.

Move the Civic Bowls club to the golf club ASAP and make it all strong and viable with increased membership and renovate the indoor pool at the golf club. The golf club is a very important part of town and it needs some ways forward.

Gyll Anderson, CorowaThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Doh, a deer, a risk to you

PEST OR GOOD SPORT: Wild deer have become a bane for motorists
Nanjing Night Net

REINDEER are welcome when they are flying overhead at this time of year, but deer on the ground continue to pose a serious threat to Kempsey motorists heading south toward Port Mcaquarie.

The Hastings Wild Deer Strategy came into effect in May,but it is still too early to assess the impact of the project.

The aim of the two-year strategy is to reduce the adverse impact of wild deer in the district south of Kempsey and to improve available resources to reduce their numbers. The third prong of the management program is to identifypriority areas to be addressed.

“It’s very difficult to ascertain whether the population of wild deer has been reduced as there hasn’t been any study to assess their numbers,” North Coast Local Land Services senior lands service officer Geoff LeMessurier said.

“The cost of doing such a study would be of great expense and very time consuming.”

Wild deer have been a concern in the districtsince the 1980s and as the Hastings region continues to develop, the negative impacts of wild deer have increased.

Deer are classified as a ‘game animal’ but the Natural Resource Commission of NSW submitted a report to the State Government in August recommending that the classification changes to ‘pest’.

Mr LeMessurier said a number of stakeholders are working together in an effort to reduce the number of wild deer in the area.

He said they are causing the biggest impact in peri-urban areas. The deer trample residential gardens, damage fences and walk on to roads.

Due to the size of the animal, Mr LeMessurier said they pose a big risk to people driving vehicles and there have been a number of collisions.

Mr LeMessurier said stakeholders were working on priority areas and culling in a manner that was safe and professional.

He said wild deer have proven themselves to be a successful invasive species and hard to control.

For culling methods,there are two options – shooting the animal or capture.

Mr LeMessurier saidany potential hunters are only allowed on land where there has been approved permission by the landholder and the appropriate steps have been taken to ensure the practice is safe and controlled.More research is being done on other methods of control.

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

African breakthroughs to help Aussie wheat growers

Andrew Noble, ICARDA, talks agriculture with a group of farmers from the Nile Delta in Egypt.A RANGE of groundbreaking agricultural research and development work being conducted in Africa will help push sub-Saharan Africa towards food security, but may also have big benefits for Australian agriculture as well.
Nanjing Night Net

Deputy director general of research at the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) Andrew Noble said there had been some breakthroughs in wheat varieties with heat tolerance.

Varieties have been developed that are able to withstand heat shock at critical periods of development.

“We have varieties that can withstand temperatures up to four degrees Celsius hotter than previous lines, which is a massive advantage when planting in areas subject to heat at critical times during crop development.”

“It is a great thing for sub-Saharan Africa and will mean wheat will be able to be produced in non-traditional areas, such as in Sudan, where it will be able to be grown under irrigation,” he said.

Dr Noble said other crops, such as sorghum and millet, had traditionally been grown in many areas, but said preference was for wheat.

“The consumers want wheat products, there is $15 billion worth of wheat being sold to this part of Africa alone, so any improvements in production within the region would really help.”

However, he said the benefits of the research into heat tolerance would not just benefit Africa.

“Australian breeders are very interested in working with our material, with the high risk of spring heat stress in Australia it could have some real application there,” he said.

Researchers have identified heat shock as one of the major annual causes of yield losses in Australia.

Dr Noble said the material used in the heat tolerant lines primarily came out of Middle Eastern wheat landraces (wild relatives).

“There are 154,000 lines of landraces in the ICARDA gene bank so we have plenty of material to work with.”

The ICARDA team’s work is not the only exciting research and development being conducted in agriculture in Africa at present.

Kindie Tesfaye, a scientist with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), is working on a project to transform and intensify crop production, with a similar overarching aim: to avoid over-reliance on imports and meet future food security needs.

Dr Tesfaye said there were major challenges in ensuring African farmers met food demand without excessive clearing, given population in the region is likely to grow 2.5 times by 2050.

He said an integrated approach was required to boost yields.

“Central to closing the yield gap is cropping system intensification, involving increasing productivity per unit area which requires better agronomy and better seeds,” he said.

“Mechanization can also play a role where it is most appropriate, for instance without putting many landless people who depend on farm employment out of work.”

African nations are acutely aware of the need for improvement in their food systems, with Dr Tesfaye saying the African Development Bank ranked self-sufficiency in agriculture as a principal goal of its action plan.

Dr Tesfaye said there was progress being made, with cereal yields in Ethiopia and Zambia growing quicker than population and demand, but added in the majority, population growth was outstripping productivity gains.

However, he is optimistic about dragging more African nations into positive productivity

“With improved cultivars, hybrid seeds, coupled with increased use of irrigation, fertilizers, modern pest management practices and good agronomy, it’s possible to achieve accelerated rates of yield gain,” he said.

Dr Noble said after the successful work in Sudan, trials were now underway growing wheat in dry parts of Niger and northern Nigeria.

“We got yields above 10 tonnes to the hectare on irrigation in Sudan, while in dryland environments such as those found in Zambia and Zimbabwe there were yields of around 6t/ha.”

The southern African nations have annual rainfall of 600-700mm making them wetter than the majority of the Australian cropping belt.

Dr Tesfaye said he believed irrigated cropping was only just taking off in Africa due to a lack of infrastructure.

“Africa has huge potential for irrigation farming but it is not yet exploited,” he said.

He said arid and summer active climate zones required the traditional crops of sorghum and millet to be the major crop.

“We recognise the poor nutritional quality of these crops and are looking to supplement them through crop diversification.”

“For example, cowpea, common bean and pigeon pea are complementary crops that thrive well where sorghum and millet are the dominant crops and can provide protein in the diet.”

He said incorporating legumes into the cropping system required agronomic know-how.

“Agronomy has to play a role here in terms of how these crops can be grown on the same field through intercropping and crop rotation systems.”

Dr Tesfaye said in other areas maize was increasingly in acreage, with solid improvements in yield due to the release of drought tolerant hybrid cultivars.

“This work has been a joint project between CIMMYT, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the national research systems in 13 African countries.

“It has been made possible through a generous and committed financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for over 10 years and is seeing small farmers get access to hybrid seed.

Dr Tesfaye said work post-farmgate was also required to improve food security.

“Storage is an important aspect of the agri-food system in Africa.”

“Most African countries suffer from post-harvest losses and targeted interventions in transport, storage and food processing losses will indeed contribute to feeding millions.”

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

Local and state government

DIGITAL DAYS: Service NSW is a one-stop shop – either online or at one of the regional centres. A number of services and transactions can now be completed online.Year of investment and pride in our growing cityTHE year is fast coming to an end and we will say goodbye to 2016 at the New Year’s Eve Party in the Park.
Nanjing Night Net

It has been a year of proposed change in local government but one where Council has remained committed to moving ahead and ensuring our record budget and investment in capital projects for 2016-2017 is being implemented.

While Council waits on a final decision on the proposed merger with Oberon Council, investment continues in major projects like the new Rural Fire Service headquarters, the Kelso reservoir and the Hereford Street rugby league fields.

This year also saw Council continue with a number of legacy events that made their debut in 2015 as part of the Bathurst200 bicentenary celebrations, including the Winter Festival, the Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal, Living Legends and the Pillars of Bathurst.

These events, which have been embraced by the community, celebrate the history of the city and allow us to look to the future as well.

They are an opportunity to show our pride in being Bathurstian and to celebrate the people who make Bathurst the vibrant regional city it is.

In particular, the Winter Festival has been embraced by residents, who supported all the activities and events that were organised -from ice-skating to the Illumination and the festival features, Illuminate the Night and Brew and Bite.

Planning is already underway for the 2017 event.

Over the festiveseason, enjoy our city and region and all it has to offer and I would like to wish each and every resident a safe and happy Christmas and extend that warm welcome for visiting friends and family that you may all enjoy peace and many good times ahead in 2017.

– Mayor Gary RushTake out the frustrationand take back some timeWE all know how crazy this time of year can be, and relentless queuing for products and services can take up valuable time.

The good news is that via the Service NSW website and app, you can complete a range of transactions online.

More than onemillion customers have signed up to MyServiceNSW accounts, taking advantage of the hundreds of services and transactions available through the digital network.

In addition to licence and registration renewal, you can also top up your E-toll, check your demerit points orvessel registration or purchase a National Park Pass.

To find out more, visit 梧桐夜网service.nsw.gov419论坛 or download the mobile app from iTunes or google play.

Pool safety

BACKYARD pools area popular place to relax and cool down over the summer break.

This can be an enjoyable pastime – but also a deadly one for unsupervised swimmers.

Active adult supervision of young children is the first line of defence against drowning in backyard pools and Royal Life Saving NSW’s campaign, with increased NSW Government support, is driving home this message.

You may have heard some of the new radio advertising which highlights everyday distractions such as checking the oven, answering the doorbell, taking a phone call or even going to the bathroom.

Drowning can happenin seconds.

The most important message is never, ever leave children unsupervised.

Stay safe

THIS week will be the end of the working year for many of us, and many families will be hitting the road to visit relatives and to enjoy a break away.

I cannot stress enough to slow down, stay alert and be safe on the road.

Enjoy the holidays and stay safe.Merry Christmas!

– Member for Bathurst Paul TooleThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Launceston’s Christmas trading hours

CHRISTMAS TRADING HOURS 2016ANIMAL CARERSPCA — Christmas Eve: Normal. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.
Nanjing Night Net

AURORA ENERGYEmergency services — Fault centre: 132 004 (24hrs)

Customer service centre: Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

AUSTRALIA POSTRetail stores, Launceston — Christmas Eve: Normal. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

BANKS AND CREDIT UNIONSANZ — Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

Commonwealth — Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

Heritage Isle — Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

MyState — Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

MyState Wealth Management – Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

Tas Perpetual Trustees – Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

Westpac — Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

BREADAndy’s, Westbury — Christmas Eve: Normal. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 12pm-7pm. Tuesday: 11am-6pm.

Baker’s Delight Mowbray — Christmas Eve: 7am-8pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 7am-7pm. Tuesday: 7am-7pm.

Baker’s Delight Kings Meadows — Christmas Eve: 7am-6.30pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 7am-6.30pm. Tuesday: 7am-6.30pm.

Banjo’s, Launceston — Christmas Eve: 6am-6pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 6am-6pm. Tuesday: 6am-6pm.

Cripps — Christmas Eve: Normal. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Normal. Tuesday: Normal.

Exeter Bakery – Christmas Eve: Normal. Christmas Day: Closed. Re-opening Monday, January 2.

BUSESFree Tiger Bus — Christmas Eve: Normal. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Normal. Tuesday: Normal.

Metro—Christmas Eve: Normal Saturday services. Christmas Day: Sunday/Public Holiday Services. Boxing Day: Sunday/Public Holiday Services plus additional Boxing Day services on selected routes. Tuesday: Sunday/Public Holiday Services.

Redline — Christmas Eve: 8am-6pm. Christmas Day — Transit Centre open — 10am-11am, 5pm-6pm. Boxing Day: 8am-6pm. Tuesday: 8am-6pm.

BUSINESSESColes — Christmas Eve: 6am-10pm (all stores). Christmas Day: Closed (all stores). Boxing Day: 8am-10pm (Mowbray, Charles Street, Racecourse), 8am-midnight (Wellington Street), 8am-9pm (Newstead), 7am-10pm (Meadow Mews). Tuesday: Normal trading.

Woolworths — Christmas Eve: 6am-10pm (Kings Meadows, Prospect, Launceston), 7am-10pm (Mowbray, Legana), 7am-9pm (Riverside). Christmas Day: Closed (all stores). Boxing Day: 8am-9pm (all stores). Tuesday: 6am-11pm (Kings Meadows, Launceston), 7am-10pm (Prospect, Mowbray, Legana), 7am-9pm (Riverside).

KMart — Christmas Eve: Closing at 10pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Open 8am – 24 hours. Tuesday: Normal 24 hours.

Myer — Christmas Eve: 9am-6pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 7am- 7pm. Tuesday: 10am- 4pm.

Target (Launceston and Mowbray)— Christmas Eve: 8am-7pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 8am- 9pm. Tuesday: am- 9pm.

CINEMASC-Max — Christmas Eve: 10.30am-5pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 9.30am-9.30pm. Tuesday: 9.15am-9.30pm.

Metro Cinema Burnie — Christmas Eve: 9.45am-7.30pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Normal. Tuesday: Normal.

Village, Launceston — Christmas Eve: Normal. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Normal. Tuesday: Normal.

CARR VILLA MEMORIAL PARKAdministration office — No burials or cremations will take place on public holidays. Christmas Eve: 8am-3pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

Main gate (Nunamina Avenue) — Christmas Eve: 7.30am-7pm. Christmas Day: 7.30am-7pm. Boxing Day: 7.30am- 7pm. Tuesday: 7.30am-7pm.

Crematorium gate (Quarantine Road) — Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: 8am-4pm. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

LAUNCESTON CITY COUNCILEmergencies — To report a council related emergency call 6323 3333.

Town Hall — Friday: 8.30am-12pm. Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed and will reopen Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

Kerbside collection — Collections will continue as normal during the Christmas period. Please ensure that wheelie bins are ready for collection by 6am on collection day.

Visitor Information Centre — Christmas Eve: 8.45am-3.15pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 8.45am-3.15pm. Tuesday: 8.45am-3.15pm.

Launceston Waste Centre — Christmas Day: Closed and will resume normal operating hours on Monday, December 26 at 8am.

Lilydale and Nunamara Transfer Stations — Normal operating hours apply except Christmas Day: Closed.

Parking – City of Launceston owned car parks — Christmas Eve: Normal. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 9am-5.30pm parking in Paterson East and West car parks, Elizabeth Street: Closed. Tuesday: 9am-5.30pm parking in Paterson East and West car parks, Elizabeth Street: Closed

Parking – City of Launceston on-street parking — Christmas Eve: 9am-4pm. Christmas Day: Free parking. Boxing Day: Free parking. Tuesday: Free parking.

LAUNCESTON GENERAL HOSPITAL VOLUNTEERSOffice — Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

MILKBetta Milk — Christmas Eve: Normal. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Normal. Tuesday: Normal.

Pura Milk — Christmas Eve: Normal. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Normal. Tuesday: Normal.

MUSEUMQVMAG, Inveresk — Christmas Eve: Normal. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Normal. Tuesday: Normal.

QV Art Gallery, Royal Park — Christmas Eve: Normal. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Normal. Tuesday: Normal.

PUBLIC SERVICE OFFICECentrelink — Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Sunday: Closed. Monday: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

Medicare — Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

Service Tasmania — Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed. Wednesday: Normal.

RACTLaunceston — Roadside service 13 11 11 (24hrs).

Customer Service Call Centre — Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

Travel – Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

STATE LIBRARYLaunceston — Christmas Eve: 9.30am- 2pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Closed.

SWIMMING POOLSLaunceston Aquatic Centre — Christmas Eve: 8am-6pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 8am-6pm. Tuesday: 8am-6pm.

Riverside Swimming Pool — Christmas Eve: Closed. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: Normal.

Splash Aquatic Devonport — Christmas Eve: 9am-3.30pm (pool), 9am-4pm (centre). Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. Tuesday: 9am-5.30pm (pool), 9am-6pm (centre).

Burnie Aquatic Centre — Christmas Eve: 8.30am-5pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 8.30am-7pm. Tuesday: 8.30am-7pm.

THE EXAMINER NEWSPAPEROffices Launceston and Devonport — Close at 5pm on Friday, December 23. Launceston office will reopen at 9am on Wednesday, December 28.

Classifieds – phones 1300 306 222, email [email protected]南京夜网419论坛 — Christmas Eve: 1.30pm-5.30pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 1.30pm-5.30pm. Tuesday: 1.30pm-5.30pm. Wednesday: Normal. New Year’s Eve: 1.30pm-5.30pm. New Year’s Day: 1.30pm-5.30pm. Monday, January 2: 1.30pm-5.30pm. Tuesday, January 3: Normal.

Editorial inquiries 6336 7355 — Christmas Eve: 9am-5.30pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: 9am-5.30pm. Tuesday: 9am-5.30pm. New Year’s Day: 9am- 5.30pm.

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