Latest news and announcements

For latest news on services, roads, tours and events, please call Tourism Association president, Bill Elliott on mob. 0429 915467, or enquire via our contact form.

See also "Wilcannia News newspaper" for newspaper contact details (e.g. "letters to the editor")

New Shire Councillors will face interesting times

Councillor Ray Longfellow, incumbent mayor of Central Darling Shire Council said today that the new council, that will be elected on the 8th September will face challenging times in a lot of areas, but particularly the financial management of the Shire.

Ray Longfellow said he will be recontesting his position as a Councillor for B Ward at the upcoming election.

Ray said that future councillors will need to be switched on and have a good understanding of the functions of Local Government and the  areas that councillors can influence. In particular they will need to have a very good understanding of the difference between policy and operational matters.

Consultants to cost $300,000.

Ray also confirmed that initial estimates show that the use of consultants to fill vacant positions in the Shire will cost around $300,000 between the end of June 2012 and December 2012. Ray said this is partly the result of the shire being unable to recruit full time staff with suitable qualifications who are prepared to live and work in remote areas.

668 Kilometres equals 1 Million steps

White Cliffs to Lightning Ridge WalkAn epic adventure ended last Thursday, as White Cliffs residents Gunnel and Jurgen Hecht, Doug Brook (photo below) and Rod Cook, and poet David ‘The Shovel’ Schoeffel of Gulpa, walked into Lightening Ridge. Gunnel and Jurgen will have walked 686 kilometres – a million steps – since leaving White Cliffs on 23 June, and The Shovel only a few steps less. This incredible personal challenge is also a fundraising campaign to build a vibrant national icon in western NSW.

The Walk was inspired by an even more arduous journey 110 years ago. In 1902, horrific drought gripped the country and the opal industry was at a low in White Cliffs. Hearing rumors of a new opal find, many opal miners left White Cliffs for Lightning Ridge – on foot, bicycle, horseback or horse and cart.

No leftovers at this dinner

Community dinnerLast weeks community dinner night was a  themed BBQ night with healthy hamburgers with homemade beef and tuna patties, salads and vegetable kebabs. Overall it was a great success!! Great attendance from the local community members, approximately 60-70 people (thumbs up!!)

It was fun and great experience to work as a team between the local community members (photo below) and Maari Ma staff both from Broken Hill and Wilcannia. The community loved the foods and no leftovers!! (another thumbs up!!)  The atmosphere at the community hall was relaxing and safe, the community had a great time catching up, meeting new people and the kids love the colouring in newsletters, and spending quality time with the adults (sitting down drawing and having dinner with their family).

Once again, great effort from everyone and was proud to be part of the community dinner’s team.

King and Queen of the 2012 NAIDOC Ball

Saturday nights NAIDOC ball will become an annual event following the success of this years event. The crowd of around 100 enjoyed the night where, in true bush fashion, local talent rose to the occasion. When the band that had been booked to play for the evening had to cancel at late notice, local musicians Dave Curry, Kyle Whyman, Robert Clayton, Fred Hunter and Horse Whyman, between them filled the gap, and in the view of many, the evening was the better for it.

A new tradition was established with the crowning of King and Queen of the Ball. Brian Cox and Patricia Whyman took out the honours, and were suitably crowned with gold crowns, the handiwork of Tony Gilfoyle.  Brian wore a yellow suit, black shirt and red pocket handkerchief. Patricia wore a stunning strapless dress with ruched bodice and  drop waist chiffon skirt.

Alana Harris and Bill Elliott were runners up.

Marcia Whyman and Kyle Whyman were awarded the Best Dressed prizes for the younger set.

St Therese's "Heaps Decent"

Heaps Decent is an initiative committed to finding and nurturing the creativity of young people and emerging artists. By providing resources and opportunities, Heaps Decent supports the development of high quality Australian music with a unique identity. Heaps Decent visited us during the week creating positive and engaging opportunities for our students to express themselves, all the while enhancing creative and life skills such as teamwork and literacy. Heaps Decent will be back again later this term."Heaps Decfent"


On Friday, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation launch a new series of books published in Paakantji and English. The books are the first series to be published in Paakjantij language and English and are aimed at children who are just learning to read. The two new books, No Tharlta on the Bus and Lenny & the Big Red Malka are written and illustrated by Faith Baisden who worked in consultation with Murray Butcher to develop the books. Last year the launch of the first book in the series, My Mara Love to Clap occurred.

An ancient craft still in high demand

The old Catholic presbytery on the corner of Byrnes and Hood streets is gradually taking on a new face.Simon Pandle and Jamie Davis

Heritage Stone Restoration stone masons Simon Pendle and Jamie Davis spent three days last week working on the stone repointing.

Simon, who is from Bristol and Jamie who hails from Birmingham, both in the UK, have worked on a number of stone buildings in Wilcannia. Germaine said she is really please with the high quality of the work. The work is being partly funded through Central Darling Shire Councils local heritage fund.

History of the Presbytery

At the conclusion of the 1885 Synod, the Catholic Bishops applied to Rome to form a new see in Western NSW. At the time, Wilcannia was known as the “Queen City of the West”, so the Bishops felt it was the natural town in which to base the new Diocese and that it would      eventually become a Cathedral City.

Integrated Water Cycle Management Plan

Integrated Water Cycle Management and Living with Climate Change – A Plan for the Central Darling Shire Council

Community workshops are being held to assist with the development of an integrated water cycle management strategy with due regard to the challenge of climate change to ensure water resource management in the Central Darling Shire Council is sustainable.

The project is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities under the Strengthening Basins Program.

Separate workshops will be held in White Cliffs, Wilcannia and Ivanhoe as detailed below,

White Cliffs: Tuesday  31st July 2012, 9.30am-11.30m, White Cliffs Community Hall

Wilcannia: Tuesday  31st July 2012, 2.00pm-4.00pm, Wilcannia RTC

Ivanhoe: Wednesday 1st August 2012, 10.00am-12.00am, Ivanhoe Community Hall

Big boys enjoying football

THIS SATURDAY  6.30pm 28th of July 2012                                  
18 plus: no admission for underage children.
TICKET: $25.00   BYO

Paul Browns photo taken at last  Saturday’s Parntu Warriors –v– Geebungs match

Football in Wilcannia

Candela’s photo taken at the Wings Drop In Performance Showcase don’t need words.
Wings Drop In Performance

From the Darling River Action Group Minutes -- July Meeting

The announcement (BDT 29th June) that an irrigator had been fined $370,000 for stealing water from the Lachlan River in 2008 was discussed. It is reassuring that the NSW Government has caught and fined one of the water thieves, but the process taking 4 years is a bit long. We wonder how much profit was made from the 280 megalitres that was stolen, and how often such acts took place before he was caught.

The announcement of two big water sales (BDT 19th June) to the Commonwealth was discussed. Tandou sold 14 gigalitres for more than $19 million at a profit of over $1 million. The water licences sold were not from Tandou’s Menindee farms. Tandou has evolved into a water trading company, buying and selling water rights.  The other sale was 11 Gigalitres from Select Harvest. DRAG welcomes these purchases by the Commonwealth, taking 25 Gigalitres of water licence out of irrigation and putting it back into the environment.

It is unfortunate that the purchase involved us taxpayers giving Tandou a profit of over $1 million, but that is what happens when water trading is allowed and conservative politicians put pressure on government buybacks.

Considering further study at University?

Are you a mature age Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander considering further study at University?

Are you committed to furthering your career through tertiary studies? Then the UNSW Indigenous Spring Forum could be for you.

About Nura Gili

Nura Gili is the Centre for Indigenous Programs at the University of New South Wales. The Centre is involved in supporting potential and current Indigenous students at the University, and is also involved in teaching Indigenous Studies and research in Indigenous Education.UNSW Nura Gili

About the program

The Indigenous Spring Forum is a residential program designed to provide a unique opportunity for mature age and TAFE students to find out more about studying at university, clarifying what is required to apply for and undertake studies at university, and showcasing what UNSW can offer.

Any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is over 18 and is intending to study at university in 2013 or 2014 is encouraged to apply.

What study areas are offered?

For 2012 the study areas include Arts, Business, Built Environment, Education, Indigenous Studies, Law, Medicine, Public Health, Science, Media, Performing Arts, Engineering and Fine Arts.