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")

Driver reviver -- also a place to catch up with old mates

Wilcannia Driver Reviver ran throughout the Easter weekend.Bob Peterson and Dennis Bulldog Williams at Driver Reviver

The word appears to have travelled that the roads out here are not cut by floodwaters and the amount of traffic on the road was considerable.

Early indications are that more people used the service this year than in 2011.

Local Bob Peterson came down for an espresso coffee and met up with former local Dennis “Bulldog” Williams who was visiting town.

The van was manned by volunteers, from the Tourist Association SES and Rural Fire Service. It was noted this year that there were a lot less negative comments about Wilcannia.

Darling River peaks at February predicted height

On the 7th February the Bureau of Meteorology predicated a flood peak of near 10.6 metres on the 24th February.Darling River at 10.6 metres, at Baker Park

Following upstream and local rain in early March they raised the predicted height to near 11.00 metres around the 23rd March. By the 13th March the peak was being progressively lowered. The plot graph on the Bureau of Mets website shows the level flat lining today at 10.62.

Water Level:  10.625 m, recorded @ 12:30_11/04/2012

remaining steady: 10.629 m, recorded @ 04:30_15/04/2012

The river today (see right) —up to the last step at Niggleys Steps at (Baker Park)

No NBN broadband in Wilcannia anytime soon

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today announced 1,010,700 New South Wales homes and businesses will have access to National Broadband Network (NBN) fibre services under NBN Co’s first three year fibre rollout plan.

NSW Highlights

  1. 1,010,700 homes and businesses in the three year NBN rollout

  2. Construction to begin between 1 April 2012 and 30 June 2015

NBN fibre already under construction to 67,900 NSW premises.

The indicative three year rollout plan lists the New South Wales locations where construction of the national fibre network will begin between 1 April 2012 and 30 June 2015.

The closest town to Wilcannia included in the list where work will begin before 30th June 2015 is Dubbo.

MAARI MA wins two state awards

Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation has won two awards at the 2012 Aboriginal Health Awards.

The award winners were announced at a special awards ceremony in Sydney last night – on the evening of National ‘Close the Gap’ day.

Maari Ma took out the Director-General’s Award for its workforce strategy - Planning for our future: developing and implementing an Indigenous workforce development plan in far west NSW.

Maari Ma also won the Closing the Gap in Aboriginal Health through Excellence in the Chronic Care Award category for The Outback Vascular Health Service - specialist chronic disease care is now part of the local team.

Maari Ma Chief Executive Officer, Bob Davis, said to receive recognition at a state level is testimony to the Boards strategic vision and dedication of the organisation’s staff over a long period of time.

2012 April RFDS Clinics (Wilcannia & White Cliffs)

RFDS DOCTOR Wilcannia

Wednesday 4th: Dr. Mike Hill

Good Friday—No clinic

Easter Monday —No clinic

Wednesday 11th: Dr Fabian Schwartz

Friday 13th: Dr. Fabian Schwartz

Monday 16th: Dr. Fabian Schwartz

Wednesday 18th: Dr. Naomi Watts

Friday 20th: Dr. Malcolm Moore

Monday 23rd: Dr. Fabian Schwartz

Anzac Day: No Clinic

Friday 27th: Dr. Naomi Watts

Monday 30th: Dr. Fabian Schwart

RFDS DENTIST—WILCANNIA

Monday 16th: Lyn Mayne

New community-service centre preparations

Last Thursday (29th March) local contractor Jim Sammon and staff undertook the safe removal of several inches of soil from the state government office block site opposite the Westpac Bank.New community-services centre preparations

Due to the possible presence of asbestos in the soil had to be kept wet and the interior of the tip truck tray lined with black plastic. The plastic was wrapped around the soil prior to disposal.

Samples were taken to be sent to Queensland for testing.

Construction of the building is due to start sometime this month and is expected to be completed by the middle of the year.

Looking for water saving ideas

NSW Water Commissioner, David Harriss, today asked communities throughout the Murray-Darling Basin to put on their thinking caps to help come up with water saving measures.

The ideas are sought to help offset the social and economic impacts of the proposed Basin Plan.

David Harriss said that he is asking Basin communities for ideas that could save water for the environment or improve the delivery of environmental water to assist in meeting the new sustainable diversion limits under the Plan. These water savings ideas will form part of the NSW Murray-Darling Basin Environmental Works and Measures Feasibility Project.

The project is funded by the Commonwealth Government and will look at eight proposals already nominated by the NSW Government, as well as provide $1.2 million to assist Basin communities to identify viable local water savings and efficiency measures.

Wilcannia Tourism March 2012 meeting report

At last Friday evening's Wilcannia Tourist Association meeting (30 March) a brief report was given on the collection of sample from the Knox and Downs site that have been sent away to be tested for any asbestos residue.

The samples were collected while there was an asbestos testing company representative here last week. It was resolved that further talks with the Shire take place over the future of the building. In last years Tidy Towns report, the fact that the first thing visitors see when they drive into town is the burnt out building and scaffolding was highlighted. It will be 10 years this September since the building burnt down.

Shire Grant offered.

There were a number of suggestions put forward as to how the Association could best use the grant being offered by Central Darling Shire Council for Tourism organisations in the shire

Know your fish

In 2007, Western CMA and NSW Department of Primary Industries undertook a collaborative project to assess the condition of instream and riparian habitat in the Darling River from Murtee to Ten Mile Rocks. This project produced a Habitat Management Plan that identified and prioritised actions to address the degradation of instream and riparian habitat and enhance aquatic ecosystems and the species within them.

During the community consultation phase of this project, some Aboriginal Elders of the Wilcannia community expressed concern that young people of Wilcannia were losing their cultural fishing knowledge, and that too many fish were being taken from the river. There was a desire within the local Aboriginal community to encourage sustainable fishing practices and to see the old ways and the old rules of the Paakantji promoted.

New Board for Wilcannia Arts

Eddie Harris commenced the role of Aboriginal Arts Enterprise Development Officer for the Wilcannia Arts program in early January this year.   James Giddey from West Darling Arts has been guiding Eddie in setting up the program and is extremely keen to see arts programs up and running again in Wilcannia. James represents West Darling Arts as the auspice body for the 2 year grant.

One of Eddie first jobs has been to establish a Board who will oversee the program. The Board is:
Colin Clark—Chair
Dale Woods —Deputy Chair/treasurer
Chris Elliott—Secretary
Kevin (Cat) Cattermole
Dave Curry.

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