Monthly Archives: November 2018

Devils dying on roads

ROAD RISK: Wildlife biologist Dr Sam Fox said the deaths of four devils were another reminder for all drivers in Tasmania of the need to take extra care when driving on rural roads between dusk and dawn.RESEARCHERS believed speed humps would protect Tasmanian devils released into Narawntapu National Park before four were killed by motorists in the area.
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Two more devils released into the park died on the Frankford Highway near Narawntapu National Park after 20 were released there for research to solve facial tumour disease.

Motorists killed two other devils on Green’s Beach Road near Beaconsfield, and on Bakers Beach Road south of the national park earlier last week.

The latest deaths prompted criticism on social media of the location selected for the trial.

Researchers selected the park because it took a long time for facial tumour disease to reach the area, according to a DPIPWE spokesperson.

“Because the site was within a national park, which has speed humps to reduce speeds as well as Parks and Wildlife Service patrols, it provided a level of protection from this threat,” she said.

The site was also chosen because:

■ research indicated the park’s devil population had undergone significant loss of genetic diversity;

■ there was little change occurring to the park’s landscape, and

■ it would give released devils the space, food and dens to let them settle down.

Vaccinated devils were released into the park on September 25.

Devils killed late last week would undergo a post-mortem examination on Monday to confirm the cause of death, according to Save the Tasmanian Devil Program team leader Samantha Fox.

Dr Fox said the deaths were another reminder for all drivers in Tasmania of the need to take extra care when driving on rural roads between dusk and dawn.

“Next to devil facial tumour disease, road kill is the greatest threat that devils face,” Dr Fox said.

“We urge all motorists to consider this when driving at night. Driving slowly is not only good road safety sense but is also good for Tasmania’s wildlife.”

After the first two devils died last week, STDP program manager David Pemberton said staff from the Parks and Wildlife Service and the STDP increased road patrols to remove road kill that might lure devils on to the roads to feed.


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Women’s safety – Parkes MP pleased with funding

MEMBER for Parkes, Mark Coulton, is disappointed many parts of his electorate have been identified as domestic violence hotspots, but is pleased the government has committed funding to fight the problem.
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“In light of the federal government’s announcement

of its $100 million Women’s Safety package to respond to respond to family and domestic violence, there has been a lot of discussion happening on this issue right across my electorate,” Mr Coulton said.

“On the one hand, I am very disappointed that many parts of my electorate have been identified as hot spots for domestic violence.

“On the other hand, I am very pleased that the government’s announcement has started a conversation about this issue throughout our communities.”

Mr Coulton’s comments come in the wake of New England MP and Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce calling for a change of culture from the ground up to counter the domestic violenceepidemic.

“It is not clever to swear around women, it’s not politically incorrect to open a door for a lady, it’s not old fashioned to give your seat up for a pregnant lady or an older lady,” Mr Joyce said.

“To be a strong man requires a lot of things, but what it certainly doesn’t include at all is hitting women. It’s about creating a sense of decency.”

Mr Coulton said the issueof domestic violence is amultifaceted one and is confident the government’s package will go some way to providing front line services to tackle the issue across his electorate.

“However it is important that, as a community, we take a stand against domestic violence,” he said.

“Any form of abuse against another person, whether physical or emotional, is simply unacceptable.”

Mr Coulton encouraged anyone suffering from dom- estic violence to reach out for support through friends and family or the 1800 RESPECT support service.

His comments come as Fairfax Media newspapers across the country, including The Northern Daily Leader, promote a campaign to End the Cycle of family violence, particularly in regional areas.

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Sculptor dreams of cute bronze koalas

FLASHBACK: Sculptor Tanya Bartlett with musician John Williamson and former premier Barry O’Farrell, right, at the unveiling of her Slim Dusty and Joy McKean statue in Tamworth in 2014. Photo: Barry Smith 240114BSG12GUNNEDAH-born artist Tanya Bartlett has unveiled her dream of a Koala Capital of the World with a collection of quirky bronze koalas on town street corners.
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In Tamworth, country music fans can sidle up alongside Slim Dusty and Joy McKean, sit down with Smoky Dawson, and proud Aussies can visit the bronze Australian Light Horse Memorial.

In Singleton, Tanya Bartlett’s life-sized “Pioneer” pays tribute to European settlers, while tourists to Bowral have their photo taken alongside a life-sized Mary Poppins, or Sir Donald Bradman – all creations of Tanya Bartlett.

But in Gunnedah, where Ms Bartlett was born, there is no bronze sculpture that bears her name.

The Work of Art Community Gallery currently has an exhibition including a journey of the artist’s work – and while visiting to open that, Ms Bartlett announced it has been a long-term dream to pay tribute to Gunnedah’s koalas through public art.

While Gunnedah bears the title of “Koala Capital of the World”, there is currently no public artwork where tourists can boast – through photos on Facebook or Instagram – about their visit.

Ms Bartlett told the local paper, the Namoi Valley Independent, she had already received a “really good response” to the idea.

“I have had the idea for many years but I have been so busywith big jobs,” she said.

She has still found time to make sketches and make small plasticine models of koalas that could be suitable, including a line-up of cheeky koalas she hopes would be the first sculpture to go ahead.

CUTE KOALAS: Sculptor Tanya Bartlett’s plasticine model draft. Photo: Namoi Valley Independent.

“They would be the most ambitious of the entire project,” Ms Bartlett said.

“There are quite a few possible sites where it is not going to pose a risk for kids.

“They would be life-sized anddefinitely realistic characters, not caricatures.”

Her long-term dream is to populate the town’s street corners, one by one, with cheeky koalas.

She said the idea is like the bronze pigs in Adelaide which have proven to be popular with tourists.

There is currently no funding for this project, but Ms Bartlett is likely to seek some funds through Gunnedah Shire Council artprograms and possibly public fund-raising.

The sculptures would also be interactive, with children able to scramble over them and people encouraged to take photos with them.

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Darci’s Affair wins Cootamundra Cup

Darci’s Affair wins Cootamundra Cup Darci’s Affair was the clear winner of the 2015 Darley Cootamundra Cup.
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It was the second win on the day for jockey Brendan Ward and for trainer Bede Murray.

Ward took second for trainer Colbey Hill, and Laugharne finished third for trainer Brian Young.

Winner Darci’s Affair with trainer Paul Murray (centre) and Cootamundra Turf Club president Brad Shields (right).

Darley representative Jess Brian presents the Darley Cootamundra Cup to Paul Murray.

Eager punters line the fence for the Cootamundra Cup

The historic grandstand had significant work done in order to be open to the public for the first time in seven years.

Jockey Brendan Ward on the winner, Darci’s Affair.

Darci’s Affair pulls ahead on the final stretch.

Eager punters line the fence for an earlier race.

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Tara takes another step towards Matildas dream

Jets striker Tara Andrews has won selection in a Matildas training camp. Picture: Peter StoopJETS striker Tara Andrews is not expecting to edge out the likes of stars Kyah Simon, Michelle Heyman, Lisa De Vanna and Sam Kerr for a place in the Matildas squad for games in China this month.
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But after gaining selection for a national senior training camp for the first time in three years, the 21-year-old is looking to make her mark for the future.

Andrews and Jets W-League teammate Georgia Yeoman-Dale were picked on Sunday in a 22-woman squad of Australia-based players to train in Canberra from Monday to Thursday ahead of a tournament in China from October 23.

The competition is set to be a vital part of the Matildas’ preparations for February’s Rio Olympic Games qualifiers.

Andrews’ selection comes after a breakthrough year in the US second-tier W-League with Colorado Pride, where she was the competition’s leading scorer and MVP.

The training camp call-up ends a frustrating run for the former Young Matilda, who was in the reckoning for a senior call-up before being struck by illness in 2012.

“It’s pretty exciting and the experience will be good, trying to rise up to that level and be around those girls,” Andrews said. “I went to a few camps in 2012 but then I got glandular fever, and that put me back a bit. It took me about four months to get back into soccer then another couple more months to completely get better.”

Andrews has been training with the Newcastle W-League squad for the past month and hopes to make the most of the chance at the next level.

“Playing striker, there are players like Kyah Simon, Michelle Heyman, Lisa De Vanna and Sam Kerr, so it’s going to be hard to get a spot, but I’m just going to work hard, give it my all and see what comes out of it.”

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