WA Governor visits Merredin

Wheatbelt visit: Merredin shire president Ken Hooper, Wheatbelt Development Commission chief executive Wendy Newman, Tonya McCusker, Westonia shire president Louis Geier, WA Governor Malcolm McCusker, volunteer junior fire and rescue Sean Sandercock, Nungarin shire president Eileen O’Connell, Bruce Rock shire president Stephen Strange and Young Australian of the Year Akram Azimi at the Welcome to Merredin evening.WA Governor Malcolm McCusker, accompanied by his wife, and philanthropist, Tonya as well as the Young Australian of the Year Akram Azimi visited Merredin last week to meet community members.
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He and his party had also visited the shires of Kellerberrin and Yilgarn as part of a regional tour which winds up in Esperance.

The Shire of Merredin hosted a Welcome to Merredin in the Tivoli Room at Cummins Theatre on June 24.

It enabled invited guests, including shire councillors, volunteers and representatives from community organisations to meet and greet the governor.

He began by introducing himself and saying there was much more to his role as Governor of WA than “just sitting in Perth”.

The following morning, together with Mrs McCusker and Mr Azimi, he attended a special joint-school assembly with Merredin College and St Mary’s School.

Mr McCusker explained his role as governor and invited questions from the students.

Later, Mr Azimi spoke about the importance of giving, and shared his story about being born into war-torn Afghanistan with bombs going off around him and finding a way to help a boy his age who was less fortunate.

He arrived in Australia 13 years ago and went from a “refugee kid with no prospects” to his school’s head boy.

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Political changes tiresome

AMID the endless coverage of Australia’s prime ministerial blockbuster this week, the most astute comment came from independent MP Tony Windsor.
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Asked how exciting he had found Wednesday night’s shenanigans in Canberra, Windsor confessed he hadn’t – because he had spent the night watching State of Origin II.

There speaks the voice of reason.

When even a man intimately involved in the balance of a nation’s leadership is more interested in a game of football it perfectly sums up how tiresome the former had become.

It also assures Tony of my vote should I ever move to the New South Wales electorate of New England (which I might have to if the Poms win the Ashes) and if he comes out of retirement.

On a night when the national media assumed we were all gripped by what was happening to the Feds, the only Fed generating any genuine interest was the one going out to Ukraine’s world No.116 Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round of Wimbledon.

Of course, Labor wasn’t the only dysfunctional Australian team which had controversially changed leader so close to a day of judgment.

As a South Australian redhead was exiting one national hotseat, a South Australian baldie was arriving in another, with Darren Lehmann hoping he doesn’t get run out by a supposed teammate in the same fashion as Julia Gillard.

So on the day the Sunshine State was bathing in the glory of that Origin win, which so captivated Windsor, the coach of Queensland’s cricket team and the state’s highest profile MP were settling in to top jobs.

The Boof and the Boofhead. Shrek and Prince Charming (fresh from his betrayal of another ranga, Princess Fiona).

Windsor’s comment speaks volumes, and not just about the Maroons’ impressively low tackle count.

Yes, yes, I suppose a change of Prime Minister is reasonably important news, but, be honest, a couple of weeks away from the start of back-to-back Ashes series, how many of us are more interested in the performance of Steven Smith with Australia A than Stephen Smith with Labor A?

Surely more Aussies would be hanging on the fate of Kevin Pietersen than Kevin Rudd, Graeme Swann than Wayne Swan, LBW not-outs than NBN roll-outs.

You can keep your tedious Rudd v Abbott showdown, a lesser-of-two-evils scenario if ever there was one. I’ll be happy watching Djokovic v Murray, Froome v Evans, Geale v Barker and Siddle v Cook.

Pass the remote Windso.

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Dialysis patients rejoice

TRAVELLING to Launceston several times a week for dialysis is now a thing of the past for many patients.
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The North West Renal Unit, which was set up to take 15 patients – 30 over two shifts, now has an enhanced capacity for 45 patients.

Dialysis patient Chris Mawby was pleased when the renal unit in Burnie was expanded.

Mr Mawby was fortunate enough to have a mother-in- law in Launceston he could stay with while he received dialysis treatment after his kidney was removed.

Before Mr Mawby was given a place in the Burnie renal unit, he spent 11 weeks in Launceston.

“It was really good to get home,” Mr Mawby said.

Mr Mawby has lost both kidneys to cancer, which means he can’t have a transplant for at least five years after the cancer was removed.

Having a larger renal unit in Burnie means Mr Mawby can continue his daily activities without constant interruptions to travel to Launceston.

Mr Mawby hopes to eventually get to the point where he can do a nocturnal dialysis at home five days a week, rather than doing the dialysis Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

“When I do go home I’ll miss this lot [nurses and patients]. We are a family and we keep an eye on each other,” Mr Mawby said.

However, Mr Mawby said he was looking forward to spending more time with his wife. “The biggest thing has been my wife. She is my treasure and I would be lost without her,” he said.

Minister for Health Michelle O’Byrne was yesterday able to visit the renal unit for the first time since her department provided the funds to employ more staff.

“We’re really pleased we have been able to grow this service and I look forward to the opportunities in home dialysis,” Ms O’Byrne said.

LIFE-SAVING TREATMENT: North West Renal Unit dialysis patient Chris Mawby explains the dialysis process to Minister for Health Michelle O’Byrne (second left) with the help of registered nurse Karen Pearce (left) and acting nurse unit manager Jen Reynolds. Picture: Meg Windram.

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Forum focuses on food security

The Deloraine Community Garden has been used as a venue for previous Food Connect workshops.A TWO-DAY Food Connect forum at Deloraine will seek to solve issues surrounding food security.
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The community event is part of a reaction from residents who fear that knowledge of gardening and sustainable living is dwindling in the modern age.

Food Connect’s Catherine Smith said it was also a response to the federal government’s People’s Food Plan.

“The plan painted a picture that there was lots happening with the community gardens, when – in actual fact – we were hoping more people would be involved in the garden at Deloraine,” Ms Smith said.

“A group of people interested in food sustainability got together to see what we could do to make that happen.”

She said a variety of workshops had already been hosted as part of the Food Connect series.

“It’s all about awareness and making connections within the community,” Ms Smith said.

“What we found is that, if you start looking, you’ll find lots of fabulous food sustainability and security ventures but a lot of them happen in isolation … it’s about connecting the dots, connecting the community and getting people to have conversations.”

Entry to the forum is by gold coin donation for community members, and $20 for service providers.

For more information contact Deloraine House on 63622678.

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Lions recognised for their achievements

THE Lions Clubs of Port Sorell and Latrobe jointly celebrated successful years and installed incoming office bearers for the 2013-14 year.
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Outgoing president of the Port Sorell club, Jeanette Manson, attributed member and community support that resulted in donations of $46,000 being allocated and two new events – Christmas in the Street and Jazz at the Port – becoming established on the events calendar.

Club awards were also presented to Lions Stephen O’Connor, Dallas Cripps and Rob Donoghue.

Stephen O’Connor received a James D. Richardson Lions Foundation Fellow Award for outstanding service to the club, which included undertaking two consecutive years as club president.

Mr O’Connor has been responsible for a number of years in ensuring Santa arrives at the many Christmas events held in Port Sorell.

He has also assisted with the management and development of the Port Sorell recycle centre, which has encouraged greater recycling in the area.

Dallas Cripps was the recipient of the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship Award for his service to the club.

He has undertaken numerous board positions including club president 2011-2013, assists another local community organisation, is always ready to undertake club projects and events, and has made an outstanding contribution in his role as chairman of the Lions Club of Port Sorell Caravan Park Committee.

A Lions Australia Childhood Cancer Research Foundation Black Opal Award was presented for the first time by the Lions Club of Port Sorell to a very surprised Mr Donoghue.

The Black Opal award is the highest honour from LACCRF to be awarded to an individual.

Since joining the Port Sorell Lions Club, Mr Donoghue has held various positions on the board and is known for his quiet achievements.

He has been actively involved in improvements within the caravan park, installation of barbecues and seating around Port Sorell, Marys Creek bridge and worked tirelessly on the walking tracks in and around the area.

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Radio benefits from network

SIGNS of the national broadband network are already filtering into houses across Meander Valley – in some cases whether they’re connected or not.
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The network landed at Deloraine last year and has been used by the town’s radio station – MVFM – to remotely program broadcasts.

The shift has made life easier for the station and its 15 volunteers, according to Meander Valley Community Radio president Lionel Walters.

“From an operating perspective, we don’t have people man the studio 24 hours a day,” Mr Walters said.

“It’s not live radio … volunteers do shows from their home PC or a smart phone or tablet.”

He said the connection meant a 60-megabyte file could be sent in as quickly as two minutes, as opposed to its previous 50-minute transfer window.

“The NBN will improve how we connect better, both socially and for business,” Mr Walters said.

He said the station began by streaming audio online and that, in a way, it was returning to that system.

“I suggested we start an online service to demonstrate what we could do,” Mr Walters said.

“So we started with streaming and bolted on the FM later.”

MVFM broadcasts as far as Devonport, and can be listened to on 96.9 FM.

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Heaven for chocoholics

CHOCOLATE Winterfest, Latrobe is a chocolate-infused sensory overload held in and around the town of Latrobe and it will return on Sunday from 10.30am until 4pm.
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Along with all the sweet indulgences at the many eating places, there will be treats to be found in most businesses along with all the activities in the program.

The challenge in going to Latrobe for the festival is to indulge in as many of the 46 chocolate-infused activities at the 26 locations in and around the town of Latrobe.

While assisted with the free shuttle buses that will operate continually throughout the day, the succession and quantity of events is the most that have ever been offered at Chocolate Winterfest, Latrobe and will seek to indulge, inform, astound and amuse festival goers.

Festival coordinator Michelle Dutton said bookings were recommended for the regular eating places, however, there are a variety of eating experiences to indulge in.

“I doubt that it is possible for someone to participate in all that is being offered on Sunday without planning their day,” Mrs Dutton said.

This year the Chocolate Corner has expanded at the Latrobe Memorial Hall with the venue also featuring cooking demonstrations, wearable art and the My Chocolate Love Affair Dessert competition.

Chocolate quizzes, a Willy Wonka-style lucky chocolate bar, an opportunity for the kids to decorate biscuits with flavoursome treats while you try a sample of chocolate produce are just some of the happenings.

“New activities this year include the Naked Brownie Hunt, Chocolate Pancake Stack Time Trial, Lil’ Birdy Chocolate Hunt, the chocolate photo booth and the unique Dessert First meal option,” Mrs Dutton said.

“If you are looking to rest your feet for a while, head to the Latrobe Bowls Club for the Business and Employment Where’s the Talent competition and appreciate the performances of entrants as they vie for the amazing Anvers chocolate hamper (and the $400 first prize).

“Likewise, the magic and musical performances of the Tasmanian Performing Arts Centre will be revealed at the Latrobe Senior Citizens Club rooms where you can grab a bite to eat and view the chocolate artwork,” Mrs Dutton said.

Kicking all this off is the Cement Australia Lights on Fire event at Bells Parade, Latrobe, on Saturday from 6pm.

The community lantern parade, chocolate, hot food and fire event will include the launch of the poetry book Beyond the Chocolate Box this year.

“Of course, to be responsible, I do encourage indulging in chocolate in moderation. A full-on overload one day of the year should just about be sufficient,” Mrs Dutton said.

Programs for Chocolate Winterfest, Latrobe are available online at www.chocolatewinterfest南京夜网.au/program.html or pick up a hard copy from visitor information centres statewide.

Chocolate high tea at the House of Anvers will be one of many indulgent treats at this weekend’s Chocolate Winterfest, Latrobe.

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Council grab

BREAK O’DAY ratepayers will find it interesting that their rates will go up by 6 per cent next week.
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The only notification was in The Examiner (June 26).

Part of the reason for the rise, according to your report, is due to property values falling, and if this makes any sense to anybody it doesn’t to me.

I live about nine miles out of town [St Helens] at Goshen and receive no council services at all.

There are 5-inch deep potholes in the road because the council says it is a Forestry responsibility.

Forestry won’t do anything because they say it is the council’s job to fix the road.

We get nothing from the council except money demands – no water, no sewerage, no area maintenance.

Nothing.

These councils are the only business that I know (apart from politicians in general) where people can be legally forced to pay money and get nothing in return.

– COL HAYWARD, Goshen.

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Rememberto think first, then speak

FOOTBALL has the ability to make adults say things that seem foolish upon reflection.
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Such a moment was last week when AFL chief executive Scott Wade launched his organisation’s blue print for the future and deeply offended Hawthorn in the process.

There is nothing wrong with AFL Tasmania wanting to have a Tasmanian team or perhaps one team playing eight games in Tasmania.

The AFL has always wanted to dump eight North Melbourne games into Tasmania because the club loses money for the AFL in Melbourne.

Hawthorn’s success here for the past 13 years has complicated that plan.

It now appears that the AFL may dump eight Melbourne or Western Bulldogs games in the state if the numbers stack up and that AFL Tasmania would grab that with glee.

On Sunday, more people watched Hawthorn in Launceston than watched North Melbourne in Melbourne despite Etihad Stadium having more than twice the capacity of Aurora Stadium.

In an unusual move, Hawthorn president Andrew Newbold came to The Examiner last Friday to express his frustration at Wade’s comments in The Age that Hawthorn isn’t seen as Tasmania’s club and that the Hawks did not “add any value to our talent pathway”.

Newbold said Hawthorn was “offended” by the comments considering that the club gifts AFL Tasmania $150,000 a year for grassroots football and deserved a courtesy call before Wade’s comments were made public.

If Wade or any other members of AFL Tasmania attended Sunday’s match they would have seen a passionate Tasmanian crowd that certainly view Hawthorn as Tasmania’s club.

Yes, it has been financially lucrative for the Hawks, but the club has embraced Tasmania and built huge local support.

Tasmania will never be able to afford the $30 million a year to support its own AFL club, so what is so wrong with Hawthorn playing in Launceston and North Melbourne playing in Hobart?

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Hellyer College’s turn to exhibit its art

THE beauty of photography is to capture people in their own space.
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This is what draws Lukas Goodall to the art medium.

The Hellyer College student was one of many to display works in the Ha High Art exhibition.

There are five high schools that are taking it in turns to display works in the foyer of the Burnie Regional Art Gallery throughout the year.

Hellyer College will have its works on display until July 14.

“I took a photograph of a local person who builds trains for the Penguin railway,” Lukas said.

“The photo is of him in his work space and I like that you can see all of this as it gives you more of an idea about him as a person and his life.”

Ha High Art is on display at the Burnie Regional Art Gallery.

Hellyer College’s works are featured until July 14, Parklands High School from July 19-August 11, and Wynyard High School, August 16-September 8.

For further information visit www.burniearts.net

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