Monthly Archives: March 2019

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Guarding the crop against diseases

Calls today for increased global investment into research and development to prevent the spread of potentially devastating crop diseases have been welcomed by Australia’s Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

GRDC chairman Keith Perrett says a recently-released report by an international team of researchers, warning that the strain of stem rust known as UG99 remains a threat to world crop production, serves as a timely reminder of the need for ongoing funding of cereal crop protection research.

Mr Perrett says significant Australian research dollars have been and will need to continue to be directed towards research and development (R&D) aimed at halting the spread of – and ultimately eliminating – rust diseases such UG99.

“GRDC, on behalf of Australian growers and the Australian government, each year invests $30 million in an extensive portfolio of crop protection research projects and initiatives right around the globe,” Mr Perrett said.

“GRDC has long recognised just how critical it is to address crop protection issues as potentially destructive as UG99, so we welcome any investigations and reports that underline to the broader community the importance of work being carried out in this area and the need for all countries to contribute to funding. As the world population grows at a rapid rate, secure food production remains a fundamental priority for us all.

“Australia plays a pivotal role in not only producing safe and healthy grain that is sought by domestic and international markets, but is also an important player in terms of providing dollars, resources and expertise to enhance global R&D into long-term food security.”

Mr Perrett said that given the threat of cereal rust to food security, Australia has adopted a nationally co-ordinated approach to rust control since rusts are airborne, pathogenically variable and sporadic in their occurrence.

“GRDC is the key funder of the Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP) involving various research agencies from the University of Sydney, CSIRO Plant Industry, University of Adelaide, plus all state departments of agriculture, among others.”

GRDC has in place a strategic management plan for cereal rust control and has committed to an investment of up to $6 million per year until 2017.

“About two-thirds of that investment is in pre-breeding and integration into breeding of rust-resistant varieties,” Mr Perrett says.

Mr Perrett says the cost of stem rust to the grains industry in Australia is estimated to be $8 million, but without current management strategies that cost would be as much as $478 million.

“But it’s not just stem rust that we are concerned about,” Mr Perrett says. “The GRDC approach is to look at all strains of rust. In fact, stripe rust is the rust disease which presently has the most economic impact in Australia.”

Mr Perrett says the GRDC remains committed to investing in research, development and extension in areas which matter most to Australian growers, the broader grains industry and consumers.

o GRDC chairman Keith Perrett.

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Green light for teachers to move with the times

ORANGE teachers were pulled out of the Stone Age and thrown into a new era of rock’n’roll through professional development workshops this week.

Dr Rick Allen, an American educational psychologist who taught maths at the same school as United States president Barack Obama, spoke to hundreds of public school teachers about the importance of changing with students and leaving traditional teaching methods behind.

The program is called Green Light Classrooms.

“Red light stands for teachers who haven’t changed when students have,” he said.

“Students need to stand up more, talk more, play music.”

Dr Allen said the natural behaviour of children was to talk with friends, run around and be active and classrooms needs to adopt the same theory.

“Traditional teaching is devoid of emotions,” he said.

He bases his model on brain-based learning theories that show people can only concentrate for up to 10 minutes.

Teachers need to learn to teach in short bursts and reward students for success with music and dancing.

“Students need to feel successful as often as they can,” Dr Allen said.

“They need to be rewarded with a big dance, it’s quick and easy and they need to know yeah, we rocked.”

Orange school education director Paul Stirling said Dr Allen’s approach to learning was based on an appreciation that today’s students are “digital natives” whose brains are hardwired differently.

“They have grown up in a fast-paced world of digital technology,” Mr Stirling said.

“Dr Allen believes that they have shorter attention spans and are used to learning through self discovery.

“Success comes from different teaching strategies and he has found success wordwide by engaging students in interactive and brain-based learning.”

NEW AGE: Dr Rick Allen spoke to teachers at Canobolas Rural Technology High School on Tuesday about staying clear of traditional teaching methods. 0430nkdrallen

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Stay alert near overhead power lines while aloft

With aerial spraying activities under way in many parts of the state, Essential Energy is reminding property owners and pilots to be aware of the potential danger posed by overhead powerlines.

Essential Energy’s regional general manager and Water Operations Far West Region Guy Chick said there had been three recent incidences of aircraft involved in aerial spraying in western NSW and southern Queensland coming into contact with powerlines.

“Anyone engaging in activities such as aerial application, mustering, property or powerline inspections needs to remember that the smallest contact between a plane and powerlines can be fatal,” Mr Chick said.

For more information contact Essential Energy on 13 23 91 or visit www.essentialenergy.

To report an incident contact 132 080.

“Essential Energy has about 200,000 kilometres of powerlines across 95 per cent of NSW. As the height of overhead electricity lines vary significantly with changing topology, pre-flight planning and briefings are crucial.

“Pilots and those who engage their services need to be mindful of safe work practises and always identify the location of the overhead electricity network before taking to the air.”

He said farmers could take simple measures to reduce the risk to pilots and their aircraft.

“Powerlines can be difficult to see from above, especially at dawn and dusk and on rainy or overcast days,” Guy said.

“Essential Energy recommends farmers install line markers to increase the visibility of powerlines on their property. Flag markers are lightweight, visible both day and night and flap in the breeze to attract attention. Essential Energy can fit them for a fee.

“We cannot stress enough the importance of knowing the location of overhead powerlines on properties and surrounding areas – the information could save your life.”

Maps detailing the location of Essential Energy’s overhead electricity network are available on request for individuals and companies involved in aerial activities. Contact Essential Energy on 13 23 91 or visit www.essentialenergy苏州美睫培训.au/content/overhead-electricity-network-maps.

To report an incident involving an overhead powerline, contact Essential Energy immediately on 13 20 80.

Essential Energy also has available for download a ‘Low Level Aerial Activity Safety Fact Sheet’ at www.essentialenergy苏州美睫培训.au/asset/cms/pdf/safety/AerialSafety.pdf and a short film clip on aerial safety around powerlines at www.essentialenergy苏州美睫培训.au/content/agribusiness.

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Floral entries encouraged for show

Twenty-one members and interested yet-to-be members (we will work on them) came along to the Uniting Church Hall for the April 2013 Garden Club meeting.

Two guests were also welcomed – May Clarke, our Floral Art tutor, and Noreen Pulver who is the Floral Art Steward at the Nyngan Show.

Noreen attended the meeting to encourage more entries in the Floral Art section of the Nyngan Show which is only a small section in the Wye Pavilion. Noreen gladly welcomes more entries, as the numbers are small each year.

Floral Art may be a dying art so we all have to do our bit to keep the Floral Art section alive and well at the Nyngan Show.

The Garden Club is organising markets for June 8 (long weekend) as part of the 130-year celebrations of Nyngan Railway.

Eleven stalls have been booked so far with several stallholders from Cobar also interested in attending.

The Garden Club will have a stall at the markets and maybe an entry in the parade as well.

Lots of activities are being planned for the celebration including a street parade, dinner and train rides.

Train rides will be offered on the Saturday and Sunday.

Griffith Bus Tour – there have been a couple of changes to the itinerary, as Gilgandra is no longer going on the trip.

The bus will now leave Nyngan at 7am on the Saturday morning and the wineries will not be open on the Monday.

Names are required for the bus to be booked and a deposit of $100 needs to be brought along to the May meeting (May 27).

If anyone would like to attend the dinner dance on Saturday night, an extra deposit of $10 is required.

The dinner dance includes a three-course meal with wine and juice on tables.

Christmas Hamper – it was agreed that members would contribute towards the purchase of goods ($5 each). This makes it easier to put together the hamper for the Christmas markets.

Nyngan Community Hub has been approached by businesses in the main street with the idea of having a market stall type of event for local businesses.

This will probably be held in late October or in early November to encourage locals to shop locally.

The idea was discussed at a Bogan Community Tourism and Business Group meeting and it was thought that late night shopping on a Thursday night may be the way to go.

Two suggestions were put forward for future bus trips – the Blue Mountains (and Leura) or Melbourne Flower Show.

Details of these trips will be kept for consideration. The raffle winner today was Di Donald.

The meeting ended and after a quick bite to eat and a cuppa, the Floral Art lessons began.

May passed on many tips and methods to achieve a lovely design with the One Flower Arrangement.

May’s two examples were lovely and both so different.

Tips included

o Wiping large green leaves with baby oil to give that glossy look, using bottles or flat containers and also using a tray covered with a fabric drape with added embellishments as required to complete the effect you are trying to achieve.

o Chinese Elm and Tortured Willow branches add height and extra interest to a design.

o If you are using florist’s oasis make sure none of it is visible to the judge’s eye.

o Pick flowers early in the morning and soak them well in a bucket of water.

o Also make sure the oasis brick has been well-saturated.

o Blutac or plasticine may also be used to stabilise a design but must always be applied before the addition of water to the bottle/dish etc.

o The lip of bottles and other edges must also be covered but no part of the flowers or greenery may touch the table/tray.

o Instead of vases you can also use bottles or pie plates or any other containers.

o Embellishments may be anything like fabric, ornaments, stones, shells, tools etc. Anything that adds to the design, appeal and the look you are trying to achieve.

Within a short time there were several beautiful designs on the tables. The focus was on greenery this lesson and there were many different shades and textures with some striking effects produced.

Well done to everyone and thank you very much to May for the many tips and tricks shared.

The next meeting will be held at Mary Burley’s garden on May 27 at 12pm. Please bring your lunch, a chair and deposit for the Griffith bus trip if you are attending.

Dates to remember

May 27: Meeting 12pm at “Woodlands Station”

June 24: Meeting at 18 Cathundril Street.

December 7: Christmas Carnival and Markets

Looking forward to rain, many hours of gardening and beautifying our town.

The Happy Gardener

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Resident abandoned in fight

Alone: Dianne Baltussen was shocked to watch as a developer knocked her fenced down despite warning signs against her wish.

A Murray Bridge resident says she has been abandoned by the council and police after a neighbouring property developer knocked down her fence without warning.

Verdun Street resident Dianne Baltussen said Aspire Property Invest began work on a Grey Street property behind her home in 2005 with the intent to build six homes.

Ms Baltussen said she arrived home on October 10 last year to find her back fence leaning on a 65-degree angle.

“I looked over the fence and could see the development site behind had been levelled with backfill and quarry dust up to, against, and pushing over the fence,” she said.

“Which, I add, was already inside the true boundary line.”

Ms Baltussen said she had not received a letter of intent and was given no warning that her fence would be compromised.

After contacting the Murray Bridge council about her situation, Ms Baltussen said she was alerted to multiple errors in the developer’s actions.

Ms Baltussen said she had a land surveyor assess the situation who confirmed the fence was entirely inside her boundary line, except for one strainer post in the corner.

“The very next day I released all beams, iron and nails from that post so he could pull the post out,” she said.

In a letter dated October 30, Murray Bridge council health, building and compliance manager Clarry Fisher notified Ms Baltussen that the developer had promised to replace the fence when the dwellings were completed.

Ms Baltussen said it was not the result she was looking for.

“It’s not about the fence, it’s not about the money, it’s about principle,” she said.

“It’s my property and he showed complete disregard for that.”

Three months later the next issue in the dispute flowered in the form of the noxious weed, caltrop.

In spring, the development site became overgrown with the weed and Ms Baltussen again contacted the council in fear it would spread to her property if the fence was taken down.

She said she was directed to the Natural Resource Centre SA Murray Darling Basin, who inspected the property next door and informed her it was badly contaminated.

Ms Baltussen said the man who helped her even went as far as to say he would testify in court on her behalf, however, the organisation would not confirm the conversation after being advised by its media coordinator.

The ongoing dispute reached boiling point last month, when Ms Baltussen heard banging outside her house on April 19.

“I raced to the window and it broke my heart,” she said.

“(The developer) was on a mad rampage with his co-worker, just belting into the fence and knocking, pushing any which way all the time looking to see if I had noticed yet.”

Ms Baltussen called the police, but she said she was left even more heart-broken after their visit.

“The sergeant came late on the scene and didn’t look at nearly all the information the other policemen did,” she said.

“They didn’t understand half of what had happened.

“They said “look at your old fence, he’s putting up a new one” … all the time telling Scott to continue”.

Ms Baltussen said she was upset after the run-in – not only because of the invasion of her property – but also because she felt the police had failed to help.

“The police sergeant failed to act on my complaint,” she said.

“They gave the developer permission to proceed and have no right to.

“I was the one that obeyed the rule book, kept my land clear of declared weed, never knocked over a neighbour’s fence and not tell them.

“I’ve got no one to fight for me.”

Ms Baltussen said the entire dispute was based on principle and could have been avoided.

Ms Baltussen said she was now considering seeking legal advice.

Aspire Property Invest did not return calls from The Standard.

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