Rural Notebook | Rain prayers were answered on tablelands

LARGER THAN LIFE: This statue of Banjo Paterson adorns the entrance of the Waltzing Matilda Centre at Winton.

LARGER THAN LIFE: This statue of Banjo Paterson adorns the entrance of the Waltzing Matilda Centre at Winton.

IN the midst of lots of problems for the rural community, there have been some bright spots during the past few weeks.

The Federal Government’s relaxation of financial household support criteria is welcome news to the farmers who qualify.

It’s clear that the level of support won’t be within cooee of the amount that was provided by the Fraser/Anthony Coalition some 35 years ago. Of course, the Commonwealth Government wasn’t saddled with $560 billion of debt in those years.

There is the State Government’s half-billion-dollar farmers assistance package, and the generosity of people from all walks of life.

Of particular importance was the Bathurst Catholic Church day of prayers for rain that was held two Sundays ago.

By the next Monday morning, fresh, clear water was flowing at the Crossley Bridge, Sofala and the Vale Creek Bridge at Perthville.

Both of these watercourses have been bone dry for many months.

Perhaps the church might schedule another day of prayer with a request to aim higher to the clouds.

The lovely, clear water at both bridges is a great sight and has lifted many spirits

MOB RULES: A shearing team pose for a photo at the shed’s cut out.

MOB RULES: A shearing team pose for a photo at the shed’s cut out.

Wishes Granted

DISTRICT farmers who have been hoping for freight subsidies and a bit of financial assistance have also been rewarded with a real life Grant in the form of Grant Denyer, who is at the forefront of fundraising efforts that include Buy A Bale and the Black Tie and Boots Ball in Bathurst.

I’m sure that lots of farmers join me in thanking Chezzi and Grant Denyer.


Ill-fitting genes

THE ongoing debate on the reality or otherwise of climate change continues to cause instant argument.

Debating the issue won’t change opinions on either side as political persuasions seem to determine every discussion.

My involvement in the wool industry over many years tells me that South Australian-blood merinos should not be run in our Central Tablelands.

During the past two decades, there are many flocks in our district that carry a lot of SA genes and their locally grown fleeces are creamy white and they comb well at shearing.

If we return to average to wet seasons in future, we may rue the day we changed our sheep breeding strategies.

Judging day

DON’T forget the Bathurst Merino Association Ram Expo, working dog auction and junior sheep judging contest on this Saturday at Bathurst Showground.

The junior judging will consist of an industry skills discussion at 10am, with the judging from 11am-noon.

This competition is open to ages six to 17 years and serves as a basis for larger competitions such as the Dubbo ram sale junior judging.

Contact John Dwyer on 0427 324 435 or Kirby McPhee on 0401 402 351 for details.

Aurora’s a star

GAI and Peter Healey of Duramana are proud grandparents. 

Miss Aurora Healey is a little daughter for son Simon and his wife in Melbourne.

I’m told that Grandma Gai is coping well but Grandpa has a touch of the speed wobbles.

Matter of course

CENTRAL Tablelands Local Land Services is running regular training courses to accredit farmers to use 1080 and Pindone baits for controlling pest animals.

These courses are now free of charge and upcoming training days are August 16 and September 11. 

Bookings are essential. Phone 6333 2300.

Shops suffering

PLEASE spare a thought for all the small businesses in country towns that must be feeling the effects of the mongrel seasons that just keep coming.

Every shop in the smaller country towns would have to be concerned and even the town businesses in Bathurst and Orange must be noticing the flow-on effects of serious drought.

It’s great to see the way so many of the charities are helping the private individuals and weighing in behind the scenes.

Pay attention

RATES of pay for casual and part-time workers are always of interest and recent newspaper ads for Sydney suburban truck drivers are noted.

Pay of $28.10 up to $39.40 per hour, plus super, and generous overtime available is advertised for HC drivers.

The current hourly rate for contractor lamb catchers is around $30.

Country farm contractors must have reliable, capable staff as they are the face of a business. They should always be paid when due and encouraged to come to subsequent jobs.

Of course, the client who doesn’t pay his account is of no value to any business and should be on the first page of every Black Book.

The person who is honest and needs time to pay is a completely different character and deserves respect.

Diary dates

  • This Saturday, 10am to 3pm, Bathurst Merino Association Ram Expo, junior judging and working dog auction.
  • Also on Saturday: Black Tie and Boots Ball; fully booked.
  • Sunday, August 19: Bathurst Merino Association/Farmers lunch at Perthville Hall at noon. RSVP necessary. Contact Kirby McPhee, 0401 402 351.

Laugh lines

A SHEEP cockie and a clergyman were having a coffee downtown.

“God sent an angel to Bathurst and she reported that 95 per cent of the people were in mischief; only five per cent were doing the right thing,” the cockie was told. 

“So He sent an older angel, who reported the same figures,” the clergyman continued. “So God emailed the five per cent to thank them for being faithful. And do you know what God wrote?”

Our sheep cockie looked glum. “No, I don’t,” he replied. “I didn’t get His email.”


THE agent, who was on his first skydive, pulled the ripcord, then the second one and rocketed towards Mother Earth. 

He met a farmer rocketing upwards and yelled: “Do you know anything about parachutes?”

“No,” the farmer yelled back, “but do you know anything about gas stoves?”