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")

Catchment Management Authority seeks local knowledge

Western CMA  acting Catchment Officer Aboriginal Communities Blackie Gordon along with CMA staff Guy Gibbs and Andy Mackay spent last Thursday in town talking to, interviewing and filming local Aboriginal elders.

Of particular interest was the local knowledge about native foods, especially the quandongs, wild oranges and leopard wood trees. There was some interesting discussion on the different regional names for the wild orange.

The video filmed on the day will be used in later CMA publicity and education programs. Comments and thoughts on the Catchment Plan were also recorded.

Right: David Clark with Guy Gibbs and Andy McKay

Mixed reactions to Native Title revamp

Attorney General Nicola Roxon used the 20th anniversary of the Mabo decision to announce a review of the Native Title Act passed under the Keating government in 1993, a year after the Mabo decision was handed down.

According to Ms Roxon money has been set aside in this year’s budget to help speed up the determination process.

Under the proposed reforms, the government will look at four areas:

  • Legislate a criteria for a “good faith negotiation” on native title claims so that parties can no longer “sit back and wait for the clock to tick down until an arbitrated outcome is available to them”
  • Make land use agreements more flexible so that a “wider range of topics will be able to be negotiated on between indigenous groups and land rights holders”
  • Work with the stakeholders so that historical extinguishment of native title in parks and reserves is not a barrier to reaching agreements
  • Clarify the tax treatment of payments from native title agreements so that income tax and capital gains tax will not apply.

Ms Roxon has been firm in her view that “incremental” changes are more likely to deliver wide spread benefits than a radical change will.

Wilcannia Art Centre Renovations begin

The task of getting the new Wilcannia Arts Centre at the old Uniting Church Hall up and running has begun. Art Centre Renovation

Chair of the Board, Colin Clark said he cannot thank Steve Ross and the CDEP workers enough for their commitment to the project.

So far they have cleaned up the yard, excavated the 25 metre trench and had it ready for the phone lines to be installed.

Colin and Steve have also reached an agreement whereby every Wednesday the CDEP will work at the centre.

This week they will begin the tidy up and repainting of the inside.

The small residence at the back of the hall has also been included in the renovation plans. The opening of the Centre is expected to take place around the beginning of August.

Driver Reviver gains some new faces

Wilcannia’s Driver Reviver program welcomed some new workers this long weekend.

Owners of the Court House Hotel, and recently arrivals in Wilcannia, Adrian and Sarah Fethers (below) staffed the van on Monday morning, and Deleece Manton, from the Wilcannia Women’s Safehouse took on the Sunday afternoon shift with Tourism president Bill Elliott.

Recently returned resident Barry Spratt was shown the ropes by Germaine Bates for his first shift on Saturday morning. Other shifts were run by Steve and Sissy Thompson, Ben Cain and Vanessa Hazell.

Karin Donaldson and Central School Principal Michelle Nicholson offered their apologies for not being able to take part due to pressing personal reasons.

St Therese's Community School -- Important Dates


  • 20th June at 2pm. Speech and OT information for parents/families (Afternoon Tea provided)
  • 27th June – NAIDOC Open Day
  • Friday 22nd June – Technology Showcase Day 11.45 followed by lunch
  • Friday 29th June – Last day of school for Term 2
  • Monday 16th July – First day of school

Wellbeing Support at St. Therese’s Community School

At St. Therese’s Community School focus is on the ‘whole development’ of each child. We have a holistic approach to Education which focuses on the emotional, social, physical and academic development of our students.

Living and Working on the Land


Up to $1,500 in prize money to be won!

This year's theme is- 'Living and Working on the Land'.
The competition is FREE to enter and open to all ages.

There are five categories to be won:

  • Open Colour
  • Open Black & White
  • Open Digital Manipulation
  • Primary Student
  • Secondary Student

To enter the 2012 Life and Light Photographic Competition please  either go the CMA website (, or ring 1800 032 101 or write to
Western CMA
PO Box 307
ENTRIES CLOSE Friday  27th July 2012

What the State Budget means for Wilcannia and the Far West

Despite the expected Budget outcome of a deficit of $824 million at the end of the 2012/13 financial year, there were a couple of funding announcements that affect Wilcannia.

Out of the $20 million Minor School Maintenance Budget Wilcannia Central School will receive $8,290, White Cliffs Public School $1,798 and Ivanhoe Central School. $4,937.

Additional funding has also been provided for the training and skill development of General Assistants.

Wilcannia Central School will receive $1,000, White Cliffs Public School $400 and Ivanhoe Central School $600.

The Aboriginal Housing Office will undertake major works and provide 2 units of Accommodation in Wilcannia at a cost of $1,150,000.

The State Property Office is spending a total of $1,243,000 on the new office/accommodation block in Reid Street, opposite the Westpac Bank. Most of this will be spent before the 30th June of this with only $1,000 to be spent in the 2012/13 year.

Bourke selected as an essential NBN gateway

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today announced that the north-west NSW town of Bourke will be one of ten towns across Australia that will have a satellite ground station. This ground station will act as an essential satellite gateway, helping deliver fast broadband to rural and remote communities across Australia

The Bourke ground station will be operational in 2015 and contribute to providing between 15,000 and 20,000 Australians with broadband speeds of up to 12 megabits per second.

“For too long, people living in rural and regional Australia have had to live with second class telecommunications infrastructure. Through the rollout of the Gillard Government’s National Broadband Network all Australians will have access to fast affordable broadband – either through fibre to the home, fixed wireless, or satellite services.

“Like water and electricity, the Gillard Government sees fast broadband as an essential utility that should be made available to all Australians, no matter where they live.

Water shepherding arrangements

NSW Water Commissioner, David Harriss, today invited comment on the proposed water shepherding arrangements for the Barwon-Darling river system and its tributaries.

The proposed arrangements look at the feasibility of shepherding Commonwealth environmental water from the Barwon-Darling system and its tributaries, including those commencing in Queensland, through the Menindee Lakes to the River Murray system.

After considering various options an ‘end-of-system’ accounting and dealing framework for water shepherding is proposed. These proposed arrangements ensure a ‘transparent

rules’ based approach, utilising existing frameworks. Consistent with the MoU, one of the guiding principles in the development of the methodology is that there are no adverse impacts on third parties, such as irrigators.”

“We now invite all interested parties to review and comment on the draft proposed water shepherding arrangements during the consultation period. Submissions close on 2 July, 2012.”

Flying Padre program


14-18 Pooncarie, Menindee C.S., Ivanhoe Community and Prison
19-20 White Cliffs Music Festival
21-23 Teaching for Adelaide College in Adelaide
25th Pastoralists Association AGM
27th Menindee Uniting Church Service
29th May to 1st June SOTA Mini School; Big W Patrol - Wanaaring, White Cliffs Wilcannia areas

8-11 Patrol South
12th Menindee Central School and Community
14-15 Possible Training in Cobar
18-21 Pooncarie, Menindee, Ivanhoe
22-24 On leave in Sydney for eldest son's 18th birthday!
24th Menindee Uniting Church Service
26-29 East Patrol

1-6 Various places for NAIDOC week
11-13 South/West towards Wentworth
15-21 Uniting Church National Assembly (Adelaide)