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Essential reading: Riverstone Public School students Jake Sawtell, Hayley Sawtell, Evie Zarka and Callum Zarka hope to crowd fund $10 000 to rejuvenate their school’s library. Riverstone Public School have launched a unique crowdfunding campaign to help rejuvenate their school’s library.

Water and rodent damage has led to limited resources in the schools large and vibrant library.

The book shelves are mainly empty –with somesecond hand book donations.

With a goal of$10,000, the Dymocks Children’s Charities has committed to a Library Regeneration program at the primary school and will match the money raised, returning it to the school in the form of $20,000 worth ofbrand new books.

Dymocks Children’s Charities general managerPaul Swain said the charity’svision was to provide resources to kids whowill benefit the most.

“Our vision is to change kids lives one book at a time,” he said.

It’s hoped additional resources will allow pupils to participate in the Premier’s Reading Challenge.

The challenge aims to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students, and to enablethem to experience quality literature.

“The school will choose the books they receive,” Mr Swain said.

“Every single one.

“Which means they can choose books on the list so students find it easier to complete the challenge.”

Dymocks Children’s Charities is the only charity in Australia that provides a free choice of books to schools.

In 2015 alone they worked with 86 schools, 16,500 children and donated 22,500 books.

Riverstone Public School is urging the community and local businesses to get behind their campaign and help create a learning centre for students where they are encouraged “toread, to read more and to read more widely”.

“We are encouraging the school to help themselves and then we will give them a leg up,” Mr Swain said. Deadline:Friday, September 2.

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Whenever the issueof speed cameras arises, you can be sure the mention of revenue will soon enter the conversation.

The state government quietly added two Maitland area roads to its list of mobile speed camera locations recently –Raymond Terrace Road at Millers Forest and Lindesay Street in East Maitland.

It means mobile speed cameras –those mounted in vehicles –could be parked on these roads from August 1.

Labor Maitland MP Jenny Aitchisontook aim at the government for not making a public announcement and giving motorists fair warning.

She also criticised the government for reducing funding for road safety while increasing initiatives that generate revenue.

Millers Forest resident Selby Green (pictured) suggested the government should instead conduct a serious review of speed limits on Raymond Terrace Road, while East Maitland man Steve Bourke said speed humps could be a useful alternative to cameras.

The bottom line is the death toll on NSW roads has significantly risen in the past year and the Hunter features several times in that list of calamities.

Something needs to be done.

According NSW Centre for Road Safety data published on August 15, the state’s road toll had risen by 21 per cent so far this calendar year, compared with the same period last year.

That means 43 more people have died on NSW roads between January 1 and August 15 this year (252) than January 1 to August 15, 2015.

Clearly something has to be done to address the issue of road safety.

However, the question is whether continuing triedand apparently ineffectivemethods is worthwhile.

In the past couple of years, there has been a strong push to warn motorists of the dangers of driving using a mobile phone, or being otherwise distracted, and the impact of fatigue.

High ranking highway patrol officials have frequently pointed out the contribution that these, as well as drugs and alcohol, have made to the death toll.

A broader discussion about road safety in the Hunter needs to be ongoing.Ultimately, effective measures need to be taken to reduce all unnecessarily risky behaviour on the road–not just speeding.

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For a highly regarded roaster, don’t askJames Carter to describe what a coffee tastes like.He’s not interested.

He just knows what tastes good.

“I know whether it’s good or not, but geez, don’t ask me to put it into words,”he says. “I wouldn’t know where to start.”

James is the owner and man behind River Roast Coffee, and Real Coffee Espresso Barin Lorn.River Roast Coffee is a multi award winning label and it’s fairto say itsits up with any coffee in the country –and Maitland is its home.

Consider this: one of the world’s most prestigious coffee competitions is the annual Sydney Royal Fine Food Show award.James had champion coffee in 2009 and the following year picked up a second gold medal.

That was for his Paterson Blend, a product that continues to marchout the door at his Real Coffee Espresso Bar. And the medals are still coming in too.Ask any of the country’s top coffee aficionados and they’ll know ofRiver Roast all right.

“I producelocally roasted, small batch coffeeand craftit into the best possible coffee blends I can,” he explains. “You drink my coffee and you’re tasting my passion.

“I don’t mind if someone tastes one of my blendsand doesn’t really like it -that’s personal taste. Ijust want to put a coffee in front of them that is made fresh, that isprepared correctly and that gives the coffee beans every chance to shine.”

James fell into coffee –he was originally in the catering industry –but these days he’s happy to call himself a coffee tragic.

“You see that 500 gram packet there,” he says, pointing to ground coffee on a shelf in his Lorn store. “That’s probably an entire year’s work for a single plant. It’s precious stuff, you don’t want to waste it.”

James’ introduction to coffee roasting came at just the right time –when Australia was starting to take its coffee seriously.Now it has one of the most serious coffee cultures in the world, no doubt.

“It’s a world away from when I started 20 years ago,” James recalled. “Back then if you wanted top coffee you probably had to go to LygonStreet in Melbourne.Nowadays coffee places are popping up everywhere, and Maitland is no different.”

The River Roast coffee beans are an exotic lot …at any moment you’re likely to be tasting coffee from Central America, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Sumatra, Kenya, Peru or Mexico –and that’s just off the top of his head.

“The young kids who work here, I don’t let them near the machine to start with,” James says. “They have to learn. I’d rather they have no training so I can teach them my way. Teach them to love what we’re doing.”

Hunterhedonists苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛 TASTE THE PASSION:James Carter, the man behind the multi award winning River Roast Coffee. Picture SIMONE DE PEAK

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Truck work: Riverstone residents are concerned over trucks dumping soil on land near the old meat works, creating an increasing flood risk. Picture: Andrew BrownMore than 50 Riverstone residents met with representatives from Blacktown Council to voice their concerns over illegal land work carried out on the site of the old meat works.

It comes as development company Sakkara Capital Management was fined a further $16,000 for noise pollution and failing to keep the road clean.

The company was fined $30,000 earlier this month over illegal land filling.It was estimated up to 400 trucks per day were dumping soil on the site.

Senior Environmental Health Officers from Blacktown Council as well as Riverstone MP Kevin Connolly met with residents, who are worried the dumping of soil on the site will increase the likelihood of flooding in the area.

Riverstone resident Diane Baldwin said the meeting was a step in the right direction.

“It was a great outcome. We were told the trucks aren’t allowed to start work before 7am and have to finish by 6pm,” she said.“I’m not against development, but they had to do the work legally.”

A spokesman for Blacktown Council said further fines will be issued if noise complaints are not addressed.

The NSW Environmental Protection Agency is also investigating the illegal activity.

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Science week activities fizz and pop across the region | photos St Patrick’s Primary School’s Eliza Lane and Nic Paturzo with Laura Noonan from Victoria Police who talked about how officers use robots in their work.

Molly Carey, Layla Thom and Maddy Turner create an explosive volcanic reaction in Koroit.

Campbell Holmes and Connor McDonald (front) race their droids in the playground as part of the organised activities at Koroit

St Patrick’s Primary School’s Luke Turner watches Jordan Lathwell cause a chemical reaction using household items.

Bree Holscher sets her droid up in the playground. This year’s National Science Week theme is Drones, Droids and Robots.

St Patrick’s Primary School, Koroit student Estelle Evans with her group’s droid entry.

St Patrick’s Primary School students (l-r) Amelia Bell, Tahlia McLaren April King, Lily Carey and Josie Collins set up their experiments which they performed for kinder children.

Koroit’s Max Phillips and Riley Brown create butter from milk in their experiment.

Family groups combine to make droids at St Patrick’s Primary School, Koroit. Pictured: Molly McLaren, Connor McDonald, Tahlia McLaren, Lucy McLaren and Ella McLaren

St Patrick’s Primary School Koroit student Noah Pigdon was awarded the drone with the biggest personality for his team.

Woodford Primary School science teacher Dave Atkinson and student Kyle Gleeson launch a rocket while classmates watch on.

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Big celebration: CWA president Pam Dein and life-time member, Jean Geyer cut the birthday cake to celebrate 78 years of the Association in Wauchope.The Countrywomen’s Association held a specialcelebration last week in Wauchope for their 78thbirthday.

Helping to blow out the candles was local lady, Jean Geyer,a life member of the CWA, a patron of the Association, and90 years young.

“I’ve been in the CWA for 50 years,” she said proudly, wearing her CWA 50thmedal.

“There are so many things you can do -cookery, any handicraft you like,drama and singing, and each year, we study two different things.

“This year, it’s blueberries and cedar trees.”

Jean has written and directed plays, and acted in them. “We have such a lot of fun,” she said.

The CWA in Wauchope would love to see more members.

Their knitters and quilters meet every Monday at 10am in their building beside the libraryto make Wrap With Love blankets for people in the Third World.

They’re grateful to ‘ghost knitters’ who knit squares for quilts and leave them at members’ doors. And to Pearson’s Transport in Port Macquarie who bring the finished quilts to Sydney to be sent abroad.

Guest speakers at the birthday lunch were Colleen and Gary Waterson from Blaze Aid, who help needy farmers.

After natural disasters, Blaze Aid volunteers help farmers recover physically and emotionally.

Colleen said: “We help them build fences and we help with their mental state. The suicide rate is high.”

Blaze Aid has 7000 volunteers across Australia, mostly grey nomads who are over 65 and are prepared to travel.

They organise a camp and have co-ordinaters who instruct the volunteers.

Colleen and Gary have done five camps all around Australia. “It’s so rewarding. We now do farm sits, as well, so that farmers can get a break,” she said.

The charity gets a lot of donations andvolunteers give up their precious time to help others.

If you’re interested in joining or helping the CWA, please ring Pam Dein on 65853736.

(Photo on page 14)

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UP HIGH: Lachie Williams wins a line out and throws the ball down to Bob Scott in the Tricolurs minor semi-final win over West Wyalong. The Tricolours progress to the qualifying against Temora this weekend. The Cootamundra Tricolours are just one win away from the 2016 GrainCorp Cup grand final.

The team travels to Temora this weekend to face the Tuskers in the qualification final. The winner progresses to the grand final against Blayney the following weekend.

The Tricolours could not be in a better position heading into the qualification final. The team is coming off the back of a dominant win over West Wyalong in the minor semi-final.

In the West Wyalong game the Tricolourswere up at half time so coach Mick Gay had the luxury of resting a number of players in the second half.

As the scoreline favoured the Tricolours for the majority of the game Gay did not have to send out some of his key players who were nursing niggling injuries on the bench.

The rest for those who played and those with injuries is extremely beneficial in preparation for the Temora clash.

Alex Hardie, who captained the side when they last played Temora, also returns this week so a full strength Tricolours side will take to the field on Saturday.

Also in the Tricolours’ favour is the fact that they easily beat Temora 36-5 when they last played back in round 14.

On top of all of this is Temora’s current form slump. The Tuskers scraped past Grenfell in their final regular season gameand were humiliatedby Blayney 38-3in the major semi-final.

There could not be any more factors in the Tricolours favour heading into the qualifier.

The opening ten minutes of the Tricolours win over West Wyalong was some of the team’s best football all year, the Tricolours scored three times.

First, Josh Hudson scored from a rolling maul. ThenRob Lindon miraculously caught the ball at his feet and poppedit up to Isaac Mitchell who set Bob Scott off down the touch line.

Finally, cohesive play from the forwards allowedthe backs to spin the ball out to Berkeley Hardie who ran round the Weevils’ defence to score as well.

If the Tricolours can replicate that sort of play Temora do not stand a chance.Gay knows that the team can win.

“We’ve got a pretty good chance. We need to maintain our defence,” he said.

With everything going in the Tricolours favour in the lead up to the game it will be important not to underestimate the opposition.

The Tuskers have a number of players returning from injury for the clash and will have home-ground advantage. The game promises to be a true test for both sides and the grand final berth will be well won.

Kickoff is at 2.30pm with the match acting as the curtain raiser for the women’s grand final.

Temora will take on West Wyalongwhich sees the top two teams from the regular season face off.

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REVIEW: Mayor Rod Fyffe [right] and city chief executive office Craig Niemann say a four-year review has saved the city money and led to a culture of positive change. The City of Greater Bendigo says a four-year independent review will bag a total of more than $4 million in savings for city coffers.

But the city’schief executive office Craig Niemann said a cultural of institutional change was the biggest outcome from the reviewundertaken in 2013.

“It’s a ‘can do’ attitude, it’s a positive approach to change, thatyou can’t be afraid of change,” MrNiemann said.

“The Local Government Act is going to change next year, there is going to be a change of council, there’ll be a whole host of different things happen so it’s about how the organisationresponds to that.”

The review was the first major initiative of the current council after it was elected in 2012. In June 2013 the Independent Review Committee gavecouncil until this October to adopt 69 recommendations.

They includeda personnel evaluation system totrackthe performance of the city’sdirectorates, units and individuals, new framework for evaluating, prioritising and funding capital works and improvements tosystems for logging, tracking and handling customer inquiries and complaints.

From July 2013 through June 2017 the costs of the process are expected to exceed $2.3 million, with $1.2 million spent on additional staff, more than $100,000 spent on staff training and more than $400,000 spent on software and communications equipment.

However, the city saidsavings in the same time periodwould exceed $6.6 million, with more than $4.8 millionshaved from expenditure on consultants, contractors and external services.

Mr Niemannsaid the city was committed to continual improvement through internal audits and service reviews, but that furtherindependent reviews would bea matter for future councillors.

“There was discussion at the time about whether this should happen every eight years, so perhaps every second term of council,” he said.

“Andyou could argue that councillors are are elected to do this, they are elected to make sure that I runthe organisation as effectively as I can.”

Mayor Rod Fyffe endorsed the review, saying the community had been brought into the process.

“The end result is that the organisation is, A,more efficient and responsive, B,better governed and, C,better equipped to engage with needs of a growing community,” Cr Fyffe said.

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WHILE retail beef prices might now be sitting tight, chicken continues to flex its muscle on the domestic market.

In the June quarter, indicative retail chicken prices declined 13 cents and are now tracking 28c down year-on-year, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) data.

Chicken sits at $5.31 kilogram retail weight, compared to beef’s $19.16/kg, which has waivered little from the previous quarter.

Australian Meat Industry Council representative Trevor Hill said beef had declined significantly as a percentage of turnover in his Adelaide stores, replaced mostly by chicken.

“Twelve months ago beef accounted for 33 per cent, equal with chicken. Now chicken is 38pc and beef 28pc,” he said.

“Butcher shops have to sell something to stay in business.”

MLA chief marketing and communications officer Lisa Sharp said given cattle prices had continued to surge to new highs in the third quarter of 2016, retail beef prices may again come under pressure.

However, beef’s share of fresh meat sales had remained ‘quite stable’ overall, despite the price pressures, she said.

“We know Australians love their beef – it has been a staple on the dinner table for decades – and we know Australian families still want to keep Aussie beef on their plates because of its quality and nutritional benefit.”

Emerging trends included consumers switching the types of cuts they usually purchased, she said.

“Rather than the traditional steak, some of these other cuts include rump, bolar blade and shin,” she said. “Mid-week family favourites such as sausages and mince remain popular.The great thing about beef is the wide variety of cuts available across the whole carcase. There is a cut of beef to suit every occasion and every budget.”

Hunter Valley butcher Robert Constable said offal was also doing well at the moment.

“I’ve heard that across the board from wholesalers,” he said.“I haven’t got any oxtail left this week and cheeks, kidneys, and lambs tail are in much higher demand.

MARKET COUP: Chicken sales are showing marked improvement as the price of beef starts to take its toll on consumers.

“I think it’s a sign of the ‘let’s eat cheaply’ culture of today.”.

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Signage at Alexandra Hills warning off bike riders is regularly ignored.

A COUNCIL and police blitz on unlawful motorcycle use will start soon, with fines to $6000.

Police and council officers will target areas likethe Bayside Conservation Area, Redland Track Park, Scribbly Gums Conservation Reserve off Vienna Roadand the Greater Glider conservation management area, Capalaba.

Unregistered trail bikes,mini-bikes and even converted lawn mowers are regularly ridden in conservation reserves and onstreets surrounding Hilliards State School, Alexandra Hills, including Hanover Drive,Nanette Court, McDonald Road and Fisher Street.

Fines for unlawful use of motorcycles in reserves can range up to a maximum of $6095 if prosecuted or $609for an infringement notice

Mayor Karen Williams said motorbikes were a potential hazard to riders and other users of trails including walkers, runners and cyclists.

She said mountain bike riders had been attracted in increasing numbers toRedlands conservation areas and the crack down on illegal activities would be city wide.

The use of motorcycles and quadswas unlawful and clearly signed in conservation areas.

“The fact that a number of trail bike users are entering the conservation areas through more remote access points or damaging fencing to gain access means they clearly understand this,’’ she said.

“The acronym MTB (mountain bikes) signed in our track parks and conservation areas applies to non-motorised mountain bicycles (a legitimate activity in council reserves) and not motorised bikes.

“Motorised trail bike use in conservation areas is damaging towildlife and plants insensitive environmental areas and is potentially dangerous to other legitimate users.

“Motorbikescan cause severe erosion,including damage to carefully designed trails that have taken years of efforts to establish and maintain.’’

Cr Williams said council appreciatedthat motorised trail bike riding was a popular pursuit and a skilled sport.

“It is for this reason that council has co-invested in regional trail bike facilities established on 745hectares of land at Wyaralong, about 25 kilometers west of Beaudesert,’’ she said.

“Councillors and users recently helped celebrate the opening of new trail head facilities at the Redland Track Park in Cleveland.

“These trails are important community and conservation resources that help attract key events and visitors to the city.Council …asks that all users respect these areas.”

Council and police launch crack down on illegal trail bike riders.

For cycles, not trail bikes.

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