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need2know: RBA statement awaited

Local shares are poised to open higher as more data points to a strengthening of the US economy.
Nanjing Night Net

What you need2know:

• SPI futures up 27 at 5522

• AUD at 85.68 US cents, 98.53 Japanese yen, 69.17 Euro cents and 54.10 British pence

• In late trade, S&P 500 +0.2%, Dow +0.3%, Nasdaq +0.2%

• In Europe, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.3%, FTSE +0.2%, CAC +0.5%, DAX +0.7%

• Spot gold rises 0.3% to $US1143.88 an ounce

• Iron ore falls 1.4% to $US75.38 per metric tonne

• Brent oil slips 0.2% to $US82.81 per barrel

What’s on today

RBA Statement on Monetary Policy, Australian October Construction PCI, US October labour force report, US consumer credit, Germany September industrial production.

Stocks to watch

Credit Suisse has cut Origin Energy to ‘underperform’ and has a $13.50 target price, down from an earlier target price of $15.00.

UBS has a “neutral” rating on Commonwealth Bank of Australia and a target price of $80.“CBA announced unaudited Cash NPAT of ~$2.3bn in 1Q15 (to 30 Sept). This is slightly ahead of the numbers embedded in our 1H15 forecasts,” the investment bank said in a broker’s note.

The following stocks will trade ex dividend today: National Australia Bank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Kingston Resources (rights issue), Austin Exploration (stock split).


On the $A, Ray Attrill, global co-head of FX strategy at National Australia Bank, wrote: “For all the compelling fundamental reasons for the AUD fall, we can’t ignore the fact that the simple break below the recent low of around 0.8650 provided the cue for fresh bouts of selling, with almost a full cent taken off the currency following that.”

ECB chief Mario Draghi fended off complaints about his leadership style and firmed up a promise of €1 trillion to revive the struggling euro zone economy.

The rouble may have plunged 25 per cent against the US dollar so far this year, but some currency traders are betting on a further 10 per cent drop in 2015 on the grounds that the currency is still expensive once trade and inflation are factored in.


Oil markets fell back after a one-day spike as worries about high supplies returned to haunt traders, while the dollar pressed on with its rally which weighed on commodities priced in the currency.

Aluminium advanced for the first time in three days after the latest jobless claims data bolstered positive sentiment on the US economy.

Orange-juice futures dropped 1.1 per cent extending a slump into a bear market as US demand ebbed and prospects improved for a bigger citrus crop in Florida, the world’s second-largest producer.

United States

US stocks are higher in afternoon trade in a volatile session on Thursday, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting fresh records on an indication that the European Central Bank would take more policy action if needed to boost a struggling euro zone economy.

First-time jobless claims dropped 10,000 to a three-week low of 278,000 in the week ended November 1, the Labor Department reported. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 285,000.

Labor Department figures on Friday morning in the US may show nonfarm payrolls rose 235,000 last month and that the jobless rate probably held at a six-year low.


Europe’s main stock markets ended higher after  ECB chief Mario Draghi signalled the central bank was readying further stimulus measures if needed to combat deflation and stagnation within the eurozone.

“The governing council has tasked ECB staff and the relevant Eurosystem committees with ensuring the timely preparation of further measures to be implemented, if needed,” Draghi told reporters.

Draghi’s comments followed a call by the OECD to overcome its reluctance and undertake quantitative easing given the very weak state of the eurozone economy and the risk of damaging deflation as inflation is running at just 0.4 per cent.

Qatar Investment Authority and a US investor have approached Canary Wharf-owner Songbird Estates about a possible takeover, a deal which would increase the sovereign wealth fund’s presence in London real estate.

What happened yesterday

Australian shares reversed early gains on Thursday as banks were sold down and miners sank, with Fortescue plunging dramatically after the iron ore price hit a five-year low.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 11.8 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5506.1. The broader All Ordinaries Index dipped 13.6 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5479.2.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Facing a wall of silence

Creditors are growing increasingly frustrated at a lack of answers following the liquidation of agricultural equipment company Cornish’s.Creditors are growing increasingly frustrated at a lack of answers following the liquidation of agricultural equipment company Cornish’s.
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In information supplied to Cornish’s creditors on October 31, the company owes more than $4 million to about 254 companies.

On September 8, W. Bill Cornish Pty Ltd sold their Narromine, Gilgandra, Gunnedah and Quirindi branches to Wideland Ag and Construction, before Cornish’s went into liquidation.

Shaw Gidley was appointed as liquidator on October 22 and PKF Lawler have been named as administrators.

However, creditors trying to uncover additional information have hit continual dead ends.

ITC National’s Director Peter Briggs, said he was not concerned about the money he was owed, but about the handling of the situation.

Mr Briggs said after contacting PKF Lawler he was told to contact Cornish’s director Doug Upcroft directly, however his number had been disconnected.

Mr Briggs was also given Jacqi Upcroft’s phone number but found it been disconnected as well.

“I can only hope there is a thorough investigation into the conduct of the directors of Cornish’s. To shut shop on a Friday (September 5) and the new owners commence business on the Monday (September 8) leaving only a PO box as a contact for the entire Cornish’s group stinks.”

He said he would like to find out what happened to the proceeds of the sale of Cornish’s.

Gason Sales and Marketing manager for agriculture Peter Piddington said he was also failing to find answers.

“I made a number of phone calls and left messages and I’ve had no calls returned,” he said.

“It’s disappointing to see an old established business go out of business. We’ve been dealing with them for 30, 40 years. It’s very disappointing when these things happen.

“The way it has all worked out is disappointing,” Mr Piddington said.

A meeting of creditors is expected to be held with Shaw Gidley on November 12.

Shaw Gidley and PKF Lawler were both contacted for comment but did not respond.

Wideland Ag and Construction did not wish to comment and Mr Upcroft could not be reached for his response.

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GALLERY: The week that was in the central west

GALLERY: The week that was in the central west PARKES: The NRMA’s partnership will see direct support for two of the Festival’s major precincts: The NRMA Cooke Park Main Stage in the popular Cooke Park precinct and The NRMA Festival Boulevard.
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ORANGE: Her flair for jazz may have served her well during The Voice, but at Molong Central School yesterday, Holly Tapp’s pop and folk talents attracted the students’ attention.

FORBES: The dry finish hasn’t been kind to Forbes farmers but results from a local crop competition show that wheat and barley yields are holding up well considering.

COWRA: Canowindra have made their way to the top of SportsPower Cup table after a remarkable victory at Henry Lawson Oval against Grenfell on Saturday afternoon.

ORANGE: Owner of Pete’s Car Wash Peter Mueller with some of Orange’s veterans Barry Bettles, Allan Bennett, Ben Cook and Lindsay Wright who will be eligible for a free car wash on Remembrance Day. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

PARKES: Trainer Ricky Watt and his good looking chestnut gelding Tyson’s Tiger prevented a clean sweep by local stables at the Dubbo TAB meeting on Saturday.

GRENFELL: Lisa Schaefer, owner and creator, of Lisa Schaefer Millinery was thrilled to receive confirmation last week that her designs had been short listed in the very exclusive category of “Invitation Only” in the Crown Oaks Day, Myer Fashions on the Field, Millinery Awards.

BLAYNEY: A few months back fire badly damaged the facade and awning on the Oliver building in Adelaide Street and since then Council has been working closely with the owner to repair what is now a very unsightly building.

ORANGE: Jockeys (front) Brooke Timmis, Tiffany Jefferies, Cat Markwort and Rachel Hunt and at back, Kacie Chater, Eleanor Webster-Hawes and Ashleigh Borg made up the all female line up at the Orange Melbourne Cup races. Photo: STEVE GOSCH. 1104sgjockey1

FORBES: The enthusiasm was visible yesterday when kids took to the soccer field to be coached by former Matildas star and potential 2015 Women’s World Cup player Renee Rollason.

COWRA: Traditional Ukrainian folk dancers Melissa Rohozynsky, Katerina Kobryn amd Melania Berehovy performing a welcome dance during Saturday’s twin events at Europa Park.

CANOWINDRA: Kain Earsman cleaned up the awards at the Tigers’ presentation night including first grade’s Best and Fairest, Players’ player, the Josh Lynch Medal and the Club player of the Year.

ORANGE: Tori Moore, Kate Butcherine and Sophie Law had their money on Jeff Brasch’s horse Devil in a Dress when she ran round at Towac Park for the Melbourne Cup Day meeting. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 1102sgtowac

PARKES: Police and emergency services confer about the ‘plane crash’ and criminal activity at the Parkes Airport during the mock training exercise on Saturday. Some 65 personnel were involved in the special event. Photo: RENEE POWELL

BLAYNEY: CHAMPION Australian wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley has prevailed in a dramatic finish to win his fifth New York marathon.

FORBES: The champagne was flowing and the women were dressed in their racing best at this year’s Forbes Toy Library’s Melbourne Cup Luncheon.

COWRA: The dangers to home renovators from asbestos removal is the theme of Asbestos Awareness Month for November.

ORANGE: Around 80 residents took to the streets on Friday night to protest against sexual violence and take part in the Reclaim the Night walk.

BATHURST: David McKibbon believes the erection of a dry stone wall on the O’Connell Road will one day cause a serious accident as it impedes motorists’ line of sight on that busy stretch of roadway on the outskirts of the village. Photo PHILL MURRAY 110514pwall

BATHURST: Bathurst Family History Group members Barry Konemann and Ron Murphy (left) and Bob Freeman (right) working on the damaged headstones at Bathurst cemetery with Bathurst Correctional Centre inmates George, Luke and Rene. Photo PHILL MURRAY 103114pgraves

MUDGEE: A Bedford MFR fire truck, circa 1970s, was named in honour of the late Joshua Pedley at Mudgee Motorfest on Saturday. Pictured are family members Phillip and William Pedley (right) with Mitchell Pedron, Mid-Western Regional Councillor Paul Cavalier and Alan Selman AFSM. PHOTO: COL BOYD

OBERON: Oberon Multi Purpose Service has installed a flagpole and raised an Aboriginal flag as part of the health district’s commitment to “Closing the Gap”.

OBERON: On Thursday last week students from Black Springs Public School travelled to the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery to see the Art Express exhibition.

OBERON: Oberon RSL Club held a best dressed competition on Melbourne Cup day. The winners were Kathy Robinson and Geoffrey Jones.

RYLSTONE: Diners were impressed by the food and the relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere at this year’s Rylstone StreetFeast.

BATHURST: Inland Building and Construction’s Jordan Price, Mackenzie Smith, Josh Pleming and Chris Yewdall putting the finishing touches on one of the outdoor play areas at Jenny’s Kindergarten and Learning Centre.

BATHURST: Amanda Griffin and Julia Sjollema got up close and personal with their catch of the day at Bathurst’s annual carp blitz. Photo ZENIO LAPKA. 110414zcarp8

BATHURST: Developer Lester Hewitt at the new Icely Estate near Eglinton as the pouring of the kerb and guttering enters its final stage. Photo BRIAN WOOD 102214lester

BATHURST: The Assumption School students dressed up for their Melbourne Cup celebrations. Photo CHRIS SEABROOK 110414cassumptn

BATHURST: Western Advocate readers sent in lots of photos of hail after a fierce storm on Wednesday afternoon. This photo was sent in by Tanya Willey.

LITHGOW: Mayor Maree Statham and niece Regan Scott get into the Halloween spirit.

MUDGEE: Trine Gay, Alex Reynolds, and Sue Jakins celebrated the Melbourne Cup in style.

MUDGEE: Vehicles of all makes and vintages came from afar for the annual Cudgegong Cruiser’s Motorfest at the Mudgee Showground on Saturday.

DUBBO: Virginia Carter plies the knitting needles to add poppies to a vast visual tribute to those who fought for their country – the tribute is called 5000 Poppies and will be created in Melbourne in 2015. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

DUBBO: Dubbo turned out in style to celebrate the 2014 Melbourne Cup at the Dubbo Turf Club. Pictured are Kym Johnson, Kirsty Colliver, Alanna Lawes and Sue Walsh. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

DUBBO: The Orana Rural Fire Service (RFS) are assisting Orana Local Area Command with the investigation of a blaze that stretched 164 hectares along the eastern edge of the Newell Highway on Tuesday morning.

DUBBO: Hannah Wright, Maddison Wallace, Paris Burns and Candace Brien after they finished their final HSC exam. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

DUBBO: Broken Hill to Dubbo 24-hour Zoo2Zoo riders Matt Keele, Paul Schroder, James O’Reilly and Antony Bishop after achieving their goal with 20 minutes to spare. Photo: GREG KEEN

DUBBO: Tony Ryals at the site of a planned and now approved multi-dwelling housing and serviced apartments development with frontage to Cobbora Road at Dubbo.

DUBBO: Harley Palin with sons Sonny, 6 and Jasper, 3 at the Macquarie Regional Library book sale. Photo: GREG KEEN.

MUDGEE: A Day On The Green brought a little bit of everything to Robert Oatley Vineyards on Saturday; rock, country, soul, local talent, rain, sunshine, and three decades of hits from one of Australia’s most loved musicians. Pictured is Marlene Cameron from Mudgee with Tracey Mclean from Gold Coast.

NARROMINE: The cream of the crop of agriculture students attended the Rotary Youth Crop, Agronomy, Grain and Seed Camp in Narromine.

TRANGIE: The children dressed up to visit registered houses for the annual Halloween “trick or treat.”

WELLINGTON: Alice Chad and Laughlan Bailey get in the spirit for Melbourne Cup celebrations.

BATHURST: Stephen Champion from the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre this week launched the 2015 season program, packed full of variety. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA 110314zbmec1

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3 men hurt at fire front

Contained: smoke from the Willi Willi Rd fire on Wednesday.THREE Rural Fire Service (RFS) firefighters were treated in hospital on Monday after separate incidents, two for smoke inhalation and the other for a back injury sustained in a fall.
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All the incidents occurred at the Willi Willi Rd fire which has been burning for 10 days west of Kempsey.

Since it began on Wednesday October 29 close to the edge of Willi Willi Rd in Sherwood, it has consumed 932 hectares of bushland.

Houses have been threatened by the blaze but so far no property has been lost to the fire.

RFS Lower North Coast Zone manager Superintendent Lachlann Ison said the incidents were a reminder of the dedication of the RFS crews.

“The first incident involved a male firefighter from the Mooneba brigade falling and injuring themselves mid-morning on Monday, they were transported to Kempsey Hospital and released later that day,” Superintendent Ison said.

“The other two incidents were smoke inhalation as a result of the prevailing wind direction wile the crew were conducting back burning operations around the fire.

“The wind was blowing the smoke straight back over them and they probably stayed a bit too long on the fire ground.

“The second casualty was taken to Kempsey Hospital about 6pm and kept overnight for observation, the third person was brought in about 7.30pm and they were transported to Port Macquarie Hospital and again kept in overnight.

“They have all now recovered and been released from hospital. The two male firefighters were from the SWR and Crescent Head brigades.

“It is a reminder of the dedication the crews have for getting their job done that they didn’t think about themselves only the task they had which was to conduct the back burns.”

Superintendent Ison said the Willi Willi Rd fire is burning within established containment lines and is being monitored by the RFS.

Smoke and flames will be visible for several days as back burning operations are undertaken to protect property which may be threatened by the fire.

For more information about fires near you and fire safety advice you can visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Sowing the seeds to business success in Stawell

LINDA Hunter’s venture into business ownership was a year in the making and sprung out of her perceived need for a business in town to stock what she now offers.
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Linda Hunter at Linda’s Cottage Country in Main Street.

Chloe Rowlings, owner of Chloe’s Massage and Beauty Therapy.

“I decided to go out and do something on my own because I recognised there was a need for it from within the town,” she said.

Linda’s Cottage Country stocks local and regional produce, music and art supplies and even home brew.

“We offer a range of goods that had we not been providing, people would have no choice but to go out of town for,” she said.

Mrs Hunter said for Stawell to have a positive future the people of Stawell need to start thinking positively as well.

“It is important the people of Stawell know we’re here, we’re doing things, the town is prospering,” she said.

Chloe Rowlings is another individual that recognised a need and answered the call.

“I thought the residents of Stawell needed a relaxing, professional and friendly salon environment,” she said.

“I never really considered having my own business until the last few years. Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Chloe’s Massage and Beauty Therapy provides a wide variety of high end, professional, quality and friendly services.

These include, facials, massage, body treatments, waxing, tanning, manicures, pedicures, eyelash extensions and more recently, body piercings.

“We have also just introduced a natural, affordable and Australian made and owned, skin care line. Skin juice has beautiful products to cater for all your skin care concerns,” Ms Rowlings said.

Ms Rowlings said business has been ‘going absolutely fantastic’.

“It has been going so well that I have recently employed another beauty therapist and extended my original salon by 32 square metres. I am looking to employ someone else in the coming weeks leading up to the busy Christmas period.”

Ms Rowlings said it is great to see a variety of new businesses opening and even better to see young people, such as herself getting out there and giving it a go.

“I see it as being a positive role model for the younger generation. It’s giving them the message that you can achieve your goals young,” she said.

“Try your hardest, give it your all and be positive in everything you do. It’s hard work, but it is definitely worth it.”

Inika’s Michelle Rathgeber isn’t a newcomer to the Stawell business scene, however on the back of continued success has jumped the street and extended her reach to the new business ‘Inika Indulge’.

Inika Indulge is an expansion of Inika Imports. It caters for customer demand – female attire and pampering.

“We see the expansion of Inika as a great opportunity to promote Stawell and provide employment opportunities,” Mrs Rathgeber said.

“Inika offers a huge diversity of products; gift ware, home wares, clothing, aromic products, artwork etc.”

Inika has experienced a steady increase in customers since it began operating in 2008. The business caters for a large demographic and isn’t age or gender specific.

“We estimate up to 50 percent of our customer base is from out of town, largely tourists and increasing in numbers from neighbouring communities across the Wimmera,” she said.

“By occupying a shop in Stawell we assist the whole CBD and we get to be part of a genuine and expanding shopping precinct which is arguably the ‘prettiest’ CBD in the Wimmera, something the people of Stawell should be proud of.

“We still have a number of objectives we will continue to pursue.”

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Locals bid for Kempsey Cup

Excited: Local Kempsey Cup hopeful Butane, pictured with part owner, Rick Edwards. Nine horses will contest teh Kempsey Cup this afternoon.BUTANE will be flying the local flag in the 2014 Kempsey Akubra Cup this afternoon.
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Nine horses will contest the $25,000 event which will be raced at 4.40pm, the second last race of the day.

Butane, trained by Barry Ratcliff, is the red hot local favourite.

Ratcliff is part owner with local business owner Rick Edwards. The six-year-old bay gelding loves his home track with four wins to his name over the years, including two back-to-back Diggers Cup wins this year and last.

2013 saw local connections take out the Kempsey Cup when Villamill dashed to victory in the 1450m event. Trained at Gladstone by Peter Ball and owned by a local syndicate headed by Mark Winkler, it was one of the most memorable cup victories in history.

Ratcliff will be looking to replicate that win, and apprentice jockey Melinda Graham has been given the important ride.

Butane, sired by Primus from Spellbound Miss, has an impressive career with nine wins and 12 minor placings and its prizemoney has surpassed $70,000.

Two other horses in the cup field have a link to the Macleay.

The Neil Godbolt-trained Flying Kistena is part owned by Kempsey’s Mark Simshauser. The four-year-old bay mare has had two starts at the track for two seconds.

Jockey, Priscilla Schmidt has strong family ties in the Macleay and will keen to win her first Cup and give Godbolt his seventh Cup win.

Ebony Rein is owned by local racing identity David Walker. Trained by Terry Walshe from Coffs Harbour, the four-year-old mare has a good chance of going the distance.

A number of local trainers will field horses over the eight races tomorrow.

Ratcliff: Malleable (race four) and Malone (race eight); Tony Green: Harvard Graduate (race five); Vince Jones: Lady Shaftesbury (race five); Eddie Yabsley: Miss Rabble (race six); John Scott: Rodeo Grand (race six – first emergency); Julie Lynch: Brasileiro Macho (race eight).

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Round 2 cricket photos

Round 2 cricket photos RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.
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RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

RS Williams was stationed at the Yass cricket venues on Saturday to take these photos from the Snipers v Buffaloes and Dingos v Horns matches.

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The changing face of business in Stawell

STAWELL’S Central Business District appears more active and alive than it has for a number of years.
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This can be attributed to businesses new and old, flourishing at the hands of owner/operators who are both fresh and experienced.

Justin Barber and Daniel Digney at Hammer and Gad.

Nineteen year old Rachael Hedges is the newest and youngest person to take on the retail challenge.

Ms Hedges has not long opened Indigo Lane, a store stocking clothes for babies and beyond.

While her mother runs the business side of the operation, Ms Hedges is behind the counter full time along with one other part time staff member.

Ms Hedges said she recognised a need to make children’s wear more available and affordable.

“There has been a good response from people so far,” she said.

“They are glad to see a shop that offers more children’s clothing,” she said.

“We’re all aware that shopping in country towns can be costly, but what we’ve tried to do is encourage more people to shop locally by making it more affordable,” she said.

When the opportunity to purchase the family friendly cafe/restaurant/bar Lillies and Lattes in Main Street arose, joint owners Justin Barber and Daniel Digney jumped at the chance.

“Daniel and I have both wanted to run our own businesses for a long time and we saw a big opportunity here and room to grow,” Mr Barber said.

“This may sound weird coming from a younger person of Stawell, but we love Stawell and we thought why not? It was that simple.”

Lillies and Lattes caters for all ages at all times of the day.

“We don’t try and market to any specific demographic. We want everyone to feel welcome,” Mr Barber said.

“We also provide entertainment, live music, disc jockey and pool (eight ball) competitions to accommodate both young and older people.

“The food is great, the coffee is great, the beers are cold and we are proud to employ 14 people.”

As the weather heats up Mr Barber has promised even more developments in the coming months, including a new night menu.

“We really want something for the people of Stawell to do after 6pm. We shouldn’t have to leave Stawell every weekend to have a good time,” he said.

Mr Barber has encouraged the people of Stawell to focus on a future where tourism and new businesses are key to keeping the town economically viable.

“That can only be done by people taking a risk and going for it,” he said.

“We need to think outside the square and we need to lead by example.

“There are a lot of people that are having a go, both young and old and its great. We still need more people to jump on the bandwagon, you will be surprised at how contagious a positive attitude can be.”

Northern Grampians Shire Council’s Business Services and Tourism Officer, Shelly Chalmers, heaped praise on the determined and positive nature of the young entrepreneurs.

“Just to show the enthusiasm for being here and that they want to get in and have a go is fantastic and very encouraging,” Ms Chalmers said.

“They are so enthusiastic, it’s really good for Stawell,” she said.

Council’s Manager Economic Growth Debbie Bach said the growth in business driven by our youth has helped to reinvigorate the town.

“We’re very pleased to see them taking that step,” Mrs Bach said.

“It is a big step for anybody to go into a business, let alone when your that young, so we think it is a really positive thing for the town.

“It sends out a really good message to everyone, that young people are prepared to stay here and be involved in our community.”

And with even further developments on the horizon, the present positive vibes should carry the town well into the future.

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Alan Jones’ mystery talkback caller: who is Barbara?

Who is Barbara?Alan Jones received a call from an eccentric character, but is Barbara a real-life listener or a Barry Humphries protege chanelling the world’s favourite dame?
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Alan Jones must have thought he met his kindred spirit.

Finally, the long-haired, latte-sipping, quinoa-eating, over-educated, under-appreciating yahoos of Sydney had met their match.

Their biggest crime? Booing former Liberal prime ministers at Gough Whitlam’s funeral.

Incensed conservative warrior and talkback caller Barbara decided she had had enough when she called Alan Jones’ 2GB radio show on Thursday.

Armed with a cat and an Ocker-via-Oxford accent, Barbara took aim.

Kindred spirits: Barbara and Alan Jones Photo: Supplied

“Did you see those idiots booing our prime minister and John Howard and his wife as they went into the hall,” she said.

“I did,” Jones said. “Cheered Julia Gillard.”

“Yeah well that’d be right wouldn’t it,” said Barbara.

“Absolute disgrace, you see ’em there with their scarves and their soy lattes and their problems that they have with their university funding. Go out and get a job!”

Music to Jones’ ears, t’was.

But then Barbara went too far. Soy lattes are one thing, organic cookies are quite another.

“All our tax dollars are being munched up by them, they all look well fed too, with their organic cookies and their products they get from the bloody organic home-grown such and such, you know.”

Jones knew. Jones knew he was being had. “Brilliant,” he said. And so did Twitter.

This is brilliant satire. ‘Barbara’ (and her recidivist cat) take Alan Jones for a ride: https://t.co/M6OXMI7d6O

— Ben Doherty (@BenDohertyCorro) November 6, 2014But before everyone had too much fun, Barbara found the voice to take a couple more swipes.

“Who’s the little fat fella… the Palmer man… he’s okay, I don’t mind him but I think he needs to go on a diet,” she said.

All of it was too much for Jones, “Will you be my social commentator?” he asked.

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Fire bombers arrive at Stawell Airport

AS DRY conditions continue, emergency services staff in the Wimmera are making preparations earlier than usual for the coming fire season.
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Department of Environment and Primary Industries Wimmera Fire and Land District Manager Russell Manning said forecasts showed that parts of Victoria were at above average risk of bushfire and grassfire this summer.

“With the dry conditions and at least a dozen fires already this spring, we have brought forward some of our annual arrangements to ensure we are fully prepared.

“This week at DEPI Horsham 15 new project fire fighters are undertaking general firefighter training, which has included instructions in bushfire management, equipment use, safe work practices and a range of other fire operational activities.

“They will be fully trained and accredited ready for fire work in coming weeks.”

Mr Manning said with the fire danger period commencing on Tuesday, fire lookout observers had now commenced work at Mt Arapiles, Mt Bepcha near Rocklands, Reids in the Grampians and Big Hill at Stawell.

CFA and DEPI have secured their fire aircraft earlier than usual this season. Mr Manning said two fixed wing fire bombers would be located at Stawell, a Firebird helicopter at Horsham and a fire spotter plane will also be located at Stawell.

“Given the dry conditions, the early start to harvest and the number of fires already this season, we are well prepared,” Mr Manning said.

“The helicopter will arrive four weeks earlier than usual enabling the two specially trained hover exit teams, which are flown in to remote fire locations, to be trained about a month ahead of schedule,” he said.

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Northern Grampians Shire supports Walk to School program

NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council is working with primary schools once again to coordinate the 2014 Walk to School activities, after receiving funding from VicHealth.
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Cr Karen Hyslop from the Northern Grampians Shire Council joins Meagan and her sons Brandon and Dillon McCaliff.

Walk to School is a VicHealth initiative and is a month of activity that encourages primary students across Victoria to walk to and from school as often as possible throughout October.

Councillor Karen Hyslop said VicHealth’s Walk to School month highlights the benefits of walking for children, such as improving fitness, friendships, their confidence and the environment.

“Northern Grampians Shire Council is delighted to be part of this important initiative and will assist the participating schools with their activities during October,” she said.

“Last year we had one local school participate in the Walk to School program, this year we have four and we are very happy to have the Skene Street School on board.

“We want to encourage more kids to walk, scoot or ride in the shire because exercise is fantastic for children’s health and reduces the environmental impacts associated with driving.”

Brothers Brandon and Dillon McCaliff, who attend Skene Street and 502 schools respectively, will both be participating in this year’s program.

The boys’ mum Meagan said her family had moved from Melbourne and were excited to be taking part in the Walk to School event.

“This is a great program for us to be a part of. When we lived in Melbourne there is no way my children would have been able to walk to school,” she said.

By getting involved in the program, schools will be helping students learn healthy habits and achieve the 60 minutes of physical activity recommended for children each day.

All participating schools will receive student certificates to celebrate their students’ achievements, and will be in the running for regional prizes provided by VicHealth.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said children who walk to and from school build healthy lifelong habits, become more familiar with their neighbourhoods and make new friends with other local children.

“Unfortunately, Australian children are now among the world’s least active. In the 1960s, one in 20 children were obese and today it’s one in four,” she said.

“One of the first steps to combatting this concerning trend is to encourage kids to walk as often as they can, particularly walking to and from school.

“Last year, 30,000 students from more than 300 primary schools in Victoria joined us for Walk to School, walking more than 410,000 kilometres in total and with our schools from Northern Grampians Shire Council on board, we hope to exceed those numbers this year.”

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Palmer rejects Lambie’s Remembrance Day protest

Clive Palmer says he doesn’t support Jacqui Lambie’s call for soldiers to hijack Remembrance Day ceremonies and turn their backs on government MPs in protest against their meagre pay rise.
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But Senator Lambie did not retreat on Thursday and said Palmer United would block legislation in the Senate in protest, despite leader Mr Palmer saying her individual opinions were not the party’s policy.

The RSL, government and opposition have condemned Senator Lambie for trying to score political points on one of the Australia’s most solemn days.

And in a sign of division within the PUP camp, Mr Palmer has also distanced himself from the idea.

“No, but I understand the anguish that servicemen feel for the way they’ve been treated,” he responded when asked by Fairfax Media’s Breaking Politics if he would back his Senator’s protest.

“It’s not something I would do. Senator Lambie’s free to do what she does, she’s elected by the people of Tasmania to represent their interests,” Mr Palmer said.

“She’s got a particular understanding of the veterans community having served this nation for over 15 years in a uniform, something that very few journalists have ever done, so I think we’d be loathed to criticise others,” he said.

But he stressed that Senator Lambie’s ideas were not PUP policy.

“Individual members can say what they like whether they’re right or wrong and we’ll discuss it in the partyroom and the policy will be determined, she’s never gone against our policy, she’s always voted in Parliament with the team,” he said.

Senator Lambie did not back down on Thursday and went further and threatened to block the goverment’s legislation in the Senate during the final three sitting weeks if the pay rise was not increased.

“I can tell you we’re doing our own protest up there, Palmer United Party, I see a lot of legislation that’ll be coming up from the House and going back,” she warned.

“It’ll be a game of tennis so I think this is the straw that broke the camel’s back for Palmer United, we’ve had all but enough of it,” she told Sydney Radio 2UE.

The RSL said Senator Lambie’s protest idea was an insult to the Australia’s war dead, who are honoured in a bipartisan fashion on November 11.

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Fashions and fun at the races:a decade of photos

The fashion labels may observe a fashion week each year, but around regional Australia, the week of the Melbourne Cup Races is fashion week.
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The Glitz, the glamour…fascinators, finery and elegant hats… you’ll see all of that and more on display are regional race tracks aroudn the country at this time of year. In Goulburn, the big event isthe Girls Day Out race meeting – held on the Saturday after Melbourne Cup Day.

Until 2009, Goulburn used to celebrate their major fashionin the field event on Melbourne Cup Day in conjunction with a local race meeting on Cup Day.

This year marks the fifthyear of Girls Day Out. To commemorate the day, we’ve assembled the last ten years worth of social galleries of Melbourne Cup day Socials and Girls Day Out pics.

Darryl Fernance will be there once again snapping away, but if you’re going to Girls Day Out, we’d love to see your pics and videos too. Use the hashtag #GoulburnGDO and we’ll assemble your pics next week. but for now, enjoy these photos. You may well be in them!

Click on any of the links below to access the relevantgallery.

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