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")

Hazard reduction activities – Wilcannia town

The NSW Rural Fire Service Far West Team is advising that hazard reduction burning will be conducted within the township of Wilcannia beginning on the 4th August 2012. Burning activities will be conducted by the local and surrounding Brigades.

With the current season of rainfall and subsequent high vegetation growth, the NSW Rural Fire Service holds the responsibility to make safe communities across NSW. As part of this responsibility the Far West Team is conducting hazard reduction works across its area of responsibility. With the support of the communities, residents and Brigade volunteers every effort is being made to support land owners and managers in their role of managing the risk of fire on their land within the township. By conducting burning of the vegetation around the residential areas of the town reduces the risk during a bushfire emergency.

The burning will be conducted from:

4th August around the area of Barkindji Drive, Woore and Hood St’s in the North Western aspect of the village out to the fire break.

11th August burning will be conducted to the rear of the Council Yard out to the Barrier Hwy and White Cliffs Rd.

19th August burning will be conducted along the Barrier Highway from Dry Lake Road back toward town.

University doors open to more regional and Indigenous students

University enrolments by regional and Indigenous students have increased to record levels, reversing an historical trend that has often seen them locked out of higher education.

In 2011, a total of 5,381 Indigenous students commenced a university course, an increase of 6.1 per cent from 2010. Since 2007 the number of Indigenous students studying at university has increased by 2,437, or 26 per cent.

Commencements for students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds increased by 3.3 per cent to 56,710, while total enrolments of low SES increased by 26,456 since 2007, or 23.9 per cent.

Regional and remote student commencements also increased after declining under the Howard Government. Total enrolments increased by 24,427 students since 2007, or 17.4 per cent.

Limits on student places meant many talented young people missed out on the opportunity to realise their full potential, "The Gillard Government removed the restrictions on student numbers and we are now seeing young people from rural and regional Australia, from migrant backgrounds, Indigenous people and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds, taking up the opportunity to get a university qualification.

FREE Maggie Dent Wilcannia Seminars: 31st July – 2nd August 2012

Black Duck Wisdom (all welcome)

WHEN: 31st July, 5:30pm – 7:00pm

WHERE: Wilcannia Golf Club function room

Wilma (for parents)

WHEN: 1st August, 9:30am – 11:00am

WHERE: Wilcannia Women & Children’s Safe House (morning tea provided)

Kids & substance abuse (for secondary students & parents)

WHEN: 1st August, 12pm – 1:30pm

WHERE: Wilcannia Central School library (school lunch afterwards)

Importance of calmness, stillness & silence (for Central School & St Therese’s staff & parents)

WHEN: 1st August, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

WHERE: Wilcannia Central School library (afternoon tea provided)

From the Shire Agenda

8.1.1 2012 Local Government Elections

There are only 53 days until the Council election. The Electoral Commission has appointed Mr Darren Flowers as the returning Officer and he will be based in Broken Hill.

Candidate information packs will be distributed by the Electoral Commission in the near future and will be available in all towns. Nominations will be received at the Wilcannia Shire Office, the Menindee RTC and the Ivanhoe MSO.

Electoral rolls close on the 30th July. Nominations for those interested in standing for Council open on Monday 30th July and close on Wednesday 8th August at noon.

Non residents who enrolled on this roll at the last election will need to re-enrol as enrolments do not carry over from election to election.

8.1.4 Emergency Services, Funding Discussion paper.

Council will contribute $119,600 to the funding of the Rural Fire Services in the Council area in the 2012/13 financial year.

From Monday's Community Forum

Yesterdays Community Forum (Monday 16th, July) outlined a number of programs and initiatives currently happening or in the pipeline at the Central School. One of the big changes this term will be the introduction of Student Passports.

Each term, each student will commence with $W100 (Wilcannia dollars) in their account. This $W100  balance must be maintained and must not be spent until the last week of term.

Should this $W100 decrease due to poor behaviour reports it must be  restored and built upon before any purchase may be made. At the end of the term all savings in the balance will be transferred to the following terms passbook. Dollar values will be awarded as follows:
Excellent    = $W5
Satisfactory  = $W2
Poor = -$W5

Behaviour Key


  • On time for class
  • Completes class work with diligence
  • Follows teacher’s instructions at all times

Ray Martin back in Wilcannia again

Well known Wilcannia visitor over the years, Ray Martin, returned on Friday wearing his Humpty Dumpty Foundation hat.Ray Martin in Wilcannia

Ray, CEO of the Humpty Dumpty Foundation Paul Francis and cameraman Les Seymore were in the region to deliver nearly $70,000 worth of medical equipment for use in children’s and babies medical facilities.

Wilcannia received a Mobile Infant Warmer, valued at $7,600 for use in the Emergency Department. White Cliffs, Ivanhoe, Wentworth, Balranald and Tibooburra also received a unit. The units were purchased by long time Humpty Dumpty supporters John and Cath Murray.

The infant warmers are used to keep babies warn while they are undergoing emergency treatment including resuscitation.

During their few hours in Wilcannia they were given a tour of the localhealth facility by Wilcannia Health Service Manager Glenys Thorpe. Paul and Ray were very taken with the Ruby Davis photo hanging in the hospital waiting room. They were especially intrigued to hear the story of how the photo in the dry river bed came about and that less than 12 hours later the river was half way up the banks as the first flood water arrived.

$3.1 million to support youth leadership

Mentoring to help young people be leaders in their local communities is the focus of a new $3.1 million NSW Government program launched by Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello.

Grant applications for the Youth Opportunities program are now open and Member for Murray-Darling, John Williams is encouraging local groups to apply.

Funding is available for projects that use mentoring and other strategies to help young people feel more included in and give back to their communities.

Minister Dominello said young people have a lot to offer society, when they have access to the right chances and the right choices. Youth and community organisations and local government can apply for grants of up to $50,000 for one-off, time-limited projects.

A total of $2.6 million in grant funding is available.

A further $500,000 in funding will be allocated to targeted initiatives, such as fostering local government and civic engagement among young people, linking young graduates with employers, and helping young Aboriginal people get the driver licenses that help them get jobs.

Pamper day in Wilcannia

CePamper day in WilcanniantaCare’s Family Mental Health Support Service recently hosted a pamper day in Wilcannia to raise awareness of their programs and services and to promote self-care as a step towards positive mental health and wellbeing.

Pampering activities included foot spas, manicures and nail art, hand and feet massages, face masks and make up. A qualified beautician, Alicia from Richmond Fellowship in Bourke was available for eye brow waxing and eyelash tinting which was the most popular activity of the day.

CentaCare’s Family Mental Health Support Service Workers Abi and Vanessa explained the Mental Health Support Service offers families support, education and information.

“The program has only recently commenced in Wilcannia and we thought it was important to meet people and get out in community to explain what the program is about.

WINGS Update 10th of July, 2012

Last week we kicked off the holiday program with a buzz of activities aimed at making art, craft and costumes for this week’s Performance Showcase. Tony was busy making hats out of recycled goods with the final products being two cowboys, a pirate and Viking hats and well as some lovely Princess crowns.Wings update picture 1

The kids also helped him make 10 dog’s masks for one of the acts which were then painted. On the other end of the centre Colette and some helpers were busy with the costume making workshops. Kids helped glue, sew and cut out material to make over 50 outfits for the showcase. A big thank you to Colette Pearson for all her hard work and creative genius! We are very much looking forward to seeing everyone dressed up on the day!

On Tuesday Save the children i street workshops began with Tom, Joy and Gareth working with the kids to create comics. Kids were given i pads and a range of digital cameras to take photos and create their own comic. Some of these will also be on display on Friday at the Showcase.

Man versus wild dogs -- the real story

Research published this year by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), has made it clear that humans, not dingoes or wild dogs, are the apex or top-order predator in most Australian environments. In the struggle to protect local communities, livestock and native wildlife from wild dogs, it’s up to the human race to take the upper hand according to the latest scientific findings.

NSW DPI vertebrate pest research leader, Peter Fleming, said strategic wild dog management programs offered the best outcomes for rural communities and wildlife.

It has been suggested that the reintroduction of dingoes could help manage foxes and cats but the studies indicate that dingoes could have a negative impact on the survival of some endangered native species.

Dr. Fleming said that the risk assessment shows that up to 94 per cent of the native species in western NSW could be at risk of dingo predation, regardless of any effect dingoes might have on foxes and cats. 

As dingoes prey on the same threatened species as the cats and foxes – they also pose a real threat to livestock industries and the communities they support.