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News archive

This is an archive containing every news story ever posted on the BDT website. If you’re looking for a specific article, try the search box at the top right hand side of this page. Otherwise you can just browse the archive by selecting a year and month below.

June, 2021

Kiosk volunteers thanked with cakes and a cuppa

Originally published: Wednesday, 23rd June, 2021

After working so hard, hospital kiosk volunteers had their turn to be served morning tea in the hospital foyer last week.
The morning tea was to thank the Hospital Kiosk Auxiliary for all their hard work in fundraising $125,450 for hospital medical equipment.
Manager of the Broken Hill Health Service Pamela Charnock said that the kiosk volunteers decided how their donated funds would be spent.
“The vollies sit at the meeting and they choose equipment from the hospital’s wish list,” Pamela said.
Volunteers made their decisions carefully, with an emphasis on benefitting many people, not just a few. Volunteer Elaine Johns observed that the decisions made now may even help the volunteers.
“We are old and we may need this equipment soon.”
Fundraising for hospital equipment is just one way that the kiosk volunteers give to the community.
The kiosk sells home-cooked meals at affordable prices and, as the delicious aroma of spinach and fetta pies wafted through the hospital foyer, it drew a crowd of staff, visitors and even patients. In what can be a daunting environment, the hospital kiosk is an oasis of home comforts.
This comfort includes service with a smile, as well as genuine kindness and cheerfulness.
Kiosk volunteer Lynne Hatwell explained that the reason volunteers are so caring to customers is because of the camaraderie amongst the workers, who socialise together outside of work.
“The nice thing is the friendship with the girls. Some of us go out for lunch on Tuesdays and the hospital provides Christmas dinner for us," Lynne said.
“I look forward to coming here.”
Lynne also said that Broken Hill people are lovely and will give their time to run the hospital kiosk at a time when most hospital canteens have been privatised.
“Not many hospitals do this.
“Broken Hill people are very caring and they’ll help each other out.”

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Magpies win streak continues

Originally published: Wednesday, 23rd June, 2021

Central Women's have gained their ninth-straight win this season after taking a 34-point win over the Robins.
Central coach Sheldon Hall said the game was scrappy due to the cold weather and windy conditions but that it was a relatively even game.
"I think both teams had a few out so it was a bit even. I don't think we scored a goal from halfway through the third quarter, I think. And West sort of took over a bit, so it was still a pretty even game," he said.
Hall said his teams best area of play on Saturday was getting the ball on the outside to their runners, "West obviously have Paige (Cuy) and Brydie (Mannion) in the middle who are two really good midfielders, so for our girls to get the ball on the outside to our quick runners was probably the difference, to be honest. I think it was really evenly matched other than that."
He said the one area they're always working on improving is their basic skills, "I think we had a few out so our newer players stood up. Just that a few girls are playing for the first time and there's always an emphasis on working on our skills."
The Magpie women have been undefeated so far in season 2021, and coach Hall said it is all player-driven. "It's very pleasing but obviously the girls are putting in all the hard work and a lot of players are standing up on the leadership front. So quarter time break and all that, the girls are having more input than the coaches which is good so the girls are the driving force behind it really. They're playing and working it all out so it makes my job easy really," he said.
"The girls just train hard, they communicate well and they've just got this drive because obviously Central the last season we played we finished last so the girls are really striving to ensure they don't finish last again.
"It's all player-driven this year, the girls just stand up week in, week out because they just want to keep winning and to go from last to hopefully first. But there's still a long way to go - it's only been half a season," he said.
"To West's credit they do have some good girls, and obviously they've lost a few from when they won the premiership the other year but, we've said it every time we've played them, their midfield is still as good as any others with Paige, Brydie and Sasha (Harrington) in the middle," said Hall.
"Hopefully they can get a few more new players and they won't be far off from clicking again and probably winning a few more games out of the last nine."
Central's best players were Ash Anderson, Kate Simmons, Phoebe Knell, Hannah Muscat, Daisy Tyrrell and Emma Camilleri. Nikki Phillips and Hannah Muscat finished with two goals each and Chloe Ralph one.
For the Robins, their best included Penny Billings, Brydie Mannion, Paige Cuy, Nikki Smith, Sophie Palmer and Symone Zammit.
Full-time score - Central 5 7 (37) defeated 0 3 (3).

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Gallery hosts experimental sounds

Originally published: Wednesday, 23rd June, 2021

‘Live at the Gallery’, a set of sound works exploring resonance and vibration is inspired by the vast expanse of the Australian landscape.
It features two string musicians, one of whom is returning to Broken Hill.
Double bassist Benjamin Ward recently performed a solo recital at Broken Hill Art Gallery, that included his own compositions.
Ward is a musician and composer who has been a member of the Sydney Symphony double bass section for 12 years.
A career highlight for Ward was composing orchestral music for ‘When Walawaru Soars’, a dance piece based on the poetry of acclaimed Kokatha and Yankunytjatjara writer, Ali Cobby Eckermann. It explores Stolen Generations, the loss of country and fragmented identity.
Ward also played a solo set of double bass works at the Alice Springs Beanie Festival and the Garma Festival for the Yothu Yindi Foundation.
He will be bringing these skills to Friday’s experimental soundscape of the Australian landscape.
Adding a Scandinavian edge is Freya Schack-Arnott, a Danish-Australian contemporary cellist who is a performer, improviser, composer and curator.
Schack-Arnott is the co-founder and curator of the ‘Opus Now’ music series, which is an ongoing project exploring relationships between the music of today and classical string quartets.
She is also co-curator of the Rosenberg Museum, together with violinist and improviser, Jon Rose.
In recent years, Schack-Arnott has performed in a number of festivals and major venues across Australia, Asia and Europe. This includes the National Concert Hall in Taipei, JazzSpot Candy in Tokyo and festivals in Copenhagen, Sydney and Melbourne.
The experimental music with Australian and Scandinavian influences will be set against the backdrop of ‘This is Not a Mineral Mall’, Dale Collier’s powerful audio-visual installation.
The exhibition was produced by the artist across two distant locations, the unceded sovereign lands of Barkindji Country and the lakes of Haukijärvi, Finland to raise awareness about how a rapidly-changing climate is affecting the biosphere.

The experimental music and art event is on Friday, June 25, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.
It is at Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery at 404 to 408 Argent Street and is a free event.
For more information call Hester Lyon on 8080 3444.

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Kiosk made big donation for hospital 'wish list'

Originally published: Saturday, 19th June, 2021

The Broken Hill Health Service has once again received a substantial donation from the volunteers at the Broken Hill Hospital Kiosk.
This week Kiosk Auxiliary Public Officer Dennis Roach and other kiosk representatives presented a cheque valued at $125,450 to Mr Umit Agis, Chief Executive of the Far West Local Health District.
The money was donated for the 2020-2021 financial year and will be used to buy important equipment on the hospital’s ‘wish list’. $20,598.97 will be allocated for a thermoregulatory crib, an important device used to maintain stable temperature in newborns, a key addition to the maternity ward, one that was welcomed by Director of Nursing and Midwifery Pamela Charnock who said that the health service continues too be extremely grateful for all the work the kiosk volunteers do.
“The donation presented today, to buy equipment we use across the whole hospital, is incredible. We say it all the time that our health service could not run as well as it does without the contribution of all our volunteers. We are in awe of their continued hard work and commitment to helping make our services better with this donation and the equipment we buy with it.”
The remaining funds will be assigned to purchase equipment that will be distributed across various wards and departments including $43,021.43 for nine vital signs monitors, $25,905 for three mattress systems and $1,800 for six patient televisions.
Various departments were also allocated money to purchase infusion pumps, patient alarm systems and syringe pumps, all of which will contribute to greater patient care.
This year’s donation brings the total donated by the kiosk to the hospital in the last 10 years to a staggering $1,752,500.
The hospital kiosk had been closed for nearly a year due to COVID and Mr Roach said that the volunteers were glad to be “back in business and very pleased we could once again make a large donation to the Broken Hill hospital.
“The volunteers all love working in the kiosk and love it even more when we see our hard work allows this equipment to be purchased.”
Mr Roach reminded the public that the Kiosk Auxiliary is always looking for volunteers and anyone interested can contact him on 0402 224 142.

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Broken Hill’s Big Freeze

Originally published: Saturday, 19th June, 2021

Coles Broken Hill is kicking goals in their fundraising efforts for Fight MND.
The local store is sitting second in the South Australian region and third across the state of New South Wales having sold 930 beanies, $18,619 worth, which along with cash cash donations from customers has their overall total sitting at $19,119.41.
Last year the store raised around $10,000 for Fight MND, meaning this year they have almost doubled their total.
And the fundraising efforts are not over yet, with the team set to host a cake stall fundraiser next Saturday June 26 at 9.30am. They’re also planning to make a cash donation closer to the end of the Fight MND campaign, which finishes up next Tuesday, June 22 which will hopefully bump them higher up the list.
According to Store Manager Fran Moore, the team have some cash donations to follow but “we are holding them back because we actually want to beat the store in our region that’s beating us. We’re just holding a bit back until the last minute. That way we might be able to pip them at the post and be first in our region and potentially be either two or three in NSW.
The cake stall is happening after the closing of the campaign and Fran said that’s why the team social club is making the cash donation. “We’ve estimated that we’ll make between $1,500 and $2,000 from the cake stall and that’s the cash donation that we’re making out of our social club, and when we’ve sold the cakes that will be donated back into the social club. So Tuesday lunchtime is when we’ll make our cash donation,” said Fran.
Coles Broken Hill Team Member Circle Leader, Jayne Johnston said she believes Broken Hill want to support the cause because it has affected so many people in the community.
“The team has really got behind it and supported it because it’s a foundation that’s close to a lot of our hearts. It’s affected a lot of locals, someone in my family then affects you because you’re my friend and then their friend and it reaches out and so on. Plus everyone loves Neale Daniher don’t they?”
Manager Fran said being an AFL community is also a big factor in how well the campaign does. “Being a big AFL town does help, because you have a look at maybe some of the stores that are leading the groups. They’re usually big AFL areas - Victoria’s sales are triple ours because obviously they’re heavily into AFL,” she said.
“And the weather helps, people want beanies to keep their ears warm.”
Fran agreed that MND has affected many people which is why the campaign is so successful.”Me personally, I have experienced it, one of my best mates, someone I worked with from Coles passed away two years ago,” she said.
While Coles Broken Hill may have sold out of MND beanies, they are still accepting cash donations through their checkouts.  
“You’ve just got to tell them when you’re being served that you want to make a donation to MND and they’ll put it straight through into the foundation,” said Jayne.
“We’ve literally just got a button that we press for MND donation and that all goes straight to the cause,” said Fran.
Donations can still be made at Coles up until midnight of Tuesday June 22, and the Coles cake stall to raise funds takes place next Saturday June 26 from 9.30am.

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South storm home over Magpies

Originally published: Saturday, 19th June, 2021

South's Under 18s side continued their winning streak with a 75-point defeat of the cellar dweller Magpies.
This game was one of the best Central have played, with great defensive pressure throughout the game, In particular in the first quarter where they kept the Roos to just three goals.
It was South’s Jackson Bray who got the game rolling. Playing out of full forward for a majority of the game was well suited for Bray, he slotted the first goal of the game.
South’s Ty Johnston and Dan Ryan both followed in similar fashion, kicking their first goals of the night to finish off the first term.
The Roos led 22 points to Central's nil at the first break.
The second term was a low scoring affair overall, but Harry Butcher kicked his first of what would be a small bag for the Southies. Central's best on ground for the night, Nick Devoy kicked a great goal on the run to put the Magpies on the board.
At half time the scores saw South ahead on 34 points to Central's seven.
To kick off the second half, South’s Ty Johnston and Jackson Bray both kicked their second majors of the game. Before Nick Devoy made it a couple for the Magpies, with a right-leg snap from the scoreboard pocket.
Harry Butcher kicked his second for the night with a dribble through the big sticks, followed by a goal from Ty Parker to extend South’s lead.
South's Marcus Purcell booted a goal after playing on down field from a free kick, and then managed a second shortly before three-quarter-time.
South led 71 to Central’s 13 at the final break.
The last term of the game saw a trio of goals from the Roos to seal their win. Dan Ryan came through first to kick his second for the night, before Harry Butcher booted back to back majors to finish the game with four to his name.
The Roos ran out winners by 75 points, but in respect to the Magpies their side of 16 fought hard to keep the score line from blowing out and displayed a valiant effort for the game’s duration.
Central's best player was Nick Devoy, who played across the ground with ease. From the back lines where he was relentless, to his run and carry through the centre and finishing off in the forward lines with two goals. He was joined by Ned Schaefer, Will Campbell, Bryce Bottrell, Garth McAvaney and Karson Cole in the best players.
Luke Collins was named best on ground for South after a strong performance throughout the game. The likes of Harry Butcher, Ty Johnston, Caleb Everuss, Marcus Purcell and Bulya Boney were also among their best.  

Full time score - South 11 11 (77) defeated Central 2 1 (13).

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Slattery named for NAB League

Originally published: Thursday, 17th June, 2021

Local football talent, Adam Slattery is set to star in the GWS Giants Academy’s NAB League team this weekend.
The NAB League is the revamped TAC Cup competition. It is now essentially an Eastern-Australia-wide competition for recruiters to watch and scout players all in the one competition.
Slattery was confirmed to have made the Under 19s GWS Giants Academy team on Tuesday night, to play in Sydney against the Tasmania Devils on Sunday morning. “I’m very excited. I missed the start of the year due to injury so I was out for about 13 weeks with a hamstring injury, so I can’t wait. It’s a good opportunity and I’m very excited, so it should be good,” he said.
Slattery said training has been intense and frequent to get himself into the best form he can for his football, “It started last October with preseason with the Giants and then there were a few camps in Sydney with the Giants earlier this year that I missed due to injury. So while they were there, I was doing three PT (Personal Training) sessions a week with Brock Martin at CSC, plus the South trainings twice a week, so, yeah, training pretty hard.”
In what will be a jam-packed weekend for Slattery, it begins with his participation in a Debutante Ball on Friday night before travelling to Sydney, “They’re going to ring me today to work out flights but they’ve already booked me in so, hopefully, I’m flying out Saturday morning.”
The star midfielder and forward will resume his rotating role in these positions for the Giants, “I’ve always played as a mid/forward for them, so I reckon I’ll start forward and there’s three of us normally where one starts on the bench, one forward and one midfield and we just rotate every five or six minutes.”
Slattery is aiming to play his best brand of footy in this weekend’s game, “Just hoping to get some touches really. My defensive pressure is what they’re looking for and my speed, so I just need to showcase what I’ve got and hopefully they like that.”
Slattery’s selection in the team comes after being announced in the 40-man squad at the start of the year, “So in that 40-man squad they pick the team every week to play games. I was meant to play last week but I don’t know, because of Coronavirus and Melbourne, we were meant to play in Melbourne so they just swapped it.
“They rang me last week and said that I wouldn’t be playing because they’re not changing the team, but that I’d definitely be playing this week. And then they rang me last Tuesday and said they didn’t know if the game was going ahead, they said if it goes ahead then you’re definitely in,” said Slattery.  
“So then the team came out last night (Tuesday) at 7.30 and I was in the middle of deb practice.
“They won by 80 points last week so I wish I played, we’re versing a hard team this week. It’ll probably be better playing a hard team, they said they wanted me for the hard team so that’s good.”
Slattery hopes this is the first of a few more games in the NAB League, “The Giants don’t play every round in the Nab League, I don’t know why but for some reason they don’t. So they were only meant to play three games but they’ve already played like four or five, this will be the fifth I think. We haven’t lost a game yet.”
GWS Giants Academy Manager Western, Anthony Tidball said Slattery has always had the “X-factor” which he is now putting on show and he’s put in the hard work to play at this high level.
“Adam has been part of the Giants program since he was 12, so we started off with a bit of a chubby little fella running around in the 13’s and he’s always had some X-factor that made him stand out from the rest,” said Tidball.
“Now his training has ramped right up, he’s put a lot of his own personal time and effort into getting himself to a standard that’s at the level to play representative or NAB League level. He’s done a lot of work with Brock Martin at CSC, they’ve done a lot of work together. He’s really got himself to a level that he’s actually a fair chance to be drafted in the next couple of years.”
Initially there was a group of one hundred Under 19 age Giants which gets cut down to the 40 man squad by regional managers and coaches across the district. “Adam was always going to be part of that, just due to what he’s done over the past few years and his games down at North Adelaide,” said Tidball.
“Then he went down to camps and performed really well in the trial and internal matches at the Giants, but he hurt his hamstring pretty badly over there and tried to come back a bit early and hurt it again. So he probably would have been in the round one team, but due to injury he wasn’t.
“Now that he’s finally right he was going to be picked last week but we couldn’t get any flights to get him over there, so this week was the perfect week to get him over. He’s playing one of the top teams, Tasmania I think are sitting second on the NAB League ladder, so it’s a really great opportunity for him.”
Slattery is the first local player who has gone all the way through the Giants Program to make it to the NAB League in its new format. “It’s an exceptional feat for someone from Broken Hill to make it, just due to the time, travel, commitment and juggling that, plus making sure that they’re working or going to school or doing whatever, so it’s a pretty awesome effort,” said Tidball.
“It’s a really exceptional effort to make pretty much the Under 19 level equivalent of the AFL, it’s a pretty awesome feat so it’s something the town should really cherish, it doesn’t happen every year. What Adam is doing is really paving that way and a great example for the young guys coming through.”
Tidball encouraged local football lovers to make the effort to watch Slattery in action, “If you do get a chance and you want to go down and watch him in a South game, you can watch just how well he does at local level.”
Slattery’s game with the GWS Giants Academy team will be live on the NAB League App from 9am for anyone who wants to watch. “If anyone from Broken Hill is interested or keen, jump on and have a look,” said Tidball.

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Local volunteer awarded Queen’s birthday honour

Originally published: Thursday, 17th June, 2021

Broken Hill resident, Sandra Haring, has been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours List with the Medal of the Order of Australia or OAM for her decades of volunteer service with the St John Ambulance.
The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent way Australians recognise the achievements and service of their fellow citizens and on June 2, Sandra received an email which informed her the award had been bestowed and congratulated her on her medal. But she was sworn to secrecy.
“I was overwhelmed and excited but I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone.”
Sandra’s award was in recognition of her work as a Superintendent and cadet trainer at St John Ambulance over many years, work that saw her play a major role in transforming the organisation.
“When I started at St John at the age of nine there were nursing cadets, which meant girls, and ambulance cadets, which meant boys.”
According to Sandra, back in the day, as the children reached young adulthood, the women progressed to the nursing division and the young men the ambulance division, “even though they didn’t work in ambulances,” said Sandra.
“When I was 16, I was sent to the supper room with women who were set in their ways, separate from the men. They were just doing knitting and talking about their babies and grand-babies. I wanted some action.”
Women at that time were only permitted to volunteer as first aiders at indoor events, while the men volunteered outdoors, which didn’t agree with young Sandra, so she challenged the system.
“I asked to join the men’s group because they were doing the work.”
Sandra and Betty Newstead went on to merge the separate divisions for males and females into one division, which was considered disruptive in the mid-1970s.
“We were the rebels. I was at the ripe old age of 16 and Betty was 36.”
Sandra enjoyed her adult years in the new, unisex St John division and was disappointed when the Broken Hill cadets disbanded in 1983. However, Laurie Camilleri and Ray Mitchell, who is a Knight of the Order of St John, supported Sandra to become a trainer.
Five years after cadets disbanded, Sandra and John Stewart were able to re-open in 1988 and she has been teaching the cadet program ever since and enjoying watching young people learn life skills, gain confidence, grow and go on to excel in life.
“I won’t give up on a child unless that child gives up on me.”
A favourite anecdote of Sandra’s concerns the mother of a young new cadet who informed her that “the boy always drops out of every new venture” before asking Sandra to “let her know” when it started happening.
Sandra told the boy’s mother “I’m not going to report back to you because he won’t trust me.” That particular boy continued with the cadets until he left for university.
“On his way to university he stopped at my house to thank me and say goodbye.”
Sandra’s outstanding service to our community has now earned her an OAM which will go nicely with the Broken Hill Citizen of the Year Award she received in 2020 and the New South Wales Volunteer of the Year Award that was bestowed on her in 2019.
Although for Sandra, that particular boy’s thanks was “reward enough.”

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Save the Civic Debutante Ball

Originally published: Thursday, 17th June, 2021

With two girls eager and ready to participate in their deb; Council have extended the call for more debutantes for their Civic Ball.
Council need at least five debutantes for the ball to go ahead.
Dance instructor Gemma Murray said her deb was one of the best experiences of her life.
Gemma did her deb ball in 2017 under dance instructor Andrew Bevarne.
Tragically Andrew passed away two weeks before the ball went ahead.
“It was really emotional, but we came together as a group to do it for Andrew,” Gemma said.
“A deb ball is tradition in my family, my mum did it, and her mum did it as well.
“I enjoyed all of it, but I really enjoyed the dance lessons. It was a way for us to bond before the event.”
Gemma said the father/daughter dance was also a special moment for her.
She said the first year she became the dance instructor, they did a dance to honour Andrew.
“We did a dance to one of his favourite songs and it was still the traditional choreography.
“I’ve kept a lot of dances to carry that on for him.”
Gemma said she wants to see this year’s deb go ahead.
“Because we couldn’t have it last year, I thought the interest would be high.
“One participant already has her dress and everything. We just need some more girls.
“I recommend doing it, it was one of the best nights of my life.
“I will always remember it.”
Gemma said it was also special to share the night with friends and family.
“Everyone comes together, my mum and Nan helped me into my dress; which was really special.”
Mayor Darriea Turley said early interest in the event hadn’t yet translated into nominations.
“We actually had a number of girls interested at the start of the nomination process, but only two ended up actually registering so far, which was surprising,” Mayor Turley said.
“Hopefully the extended nomination window will allow more girls to commit and share an extravagant evening with their fellow debutantes and squires.”
Mayor Turley noted that it had been a tight turnaround to organise the event, but hoped the ball would still be able to go ahead.
“We only really got the green light in early May to push ahead with the event after monitoring COVID-19 restrictions.
“We knew it would be touch and go with such a narrow nomination period, but we still wanted to give the city’s youth the opportunity at a glamorous night out.
“It’s an important event for young adults and a local tradition, so hopefully the extended nomination window will provide the extra time needed to get a more nominations across the line.”
The Civic Deb will be held on August 27 at the Civic Centre, nominations for the ball have been extended until June 20.
Anyone wishing to nominate or seeking further information on the ball can contact Council’s Events Officer, Shannan Botten, on 8080 3322 or events@brokenhill.nsw.gov.au

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A step closer to electrical self sufficiency

Originally published: Saturday, 12th June, 2021

Broken Hill came a step closer to being electrically self-sufficient this week with overwhelmingly favourable results delivered by a third-party economic impact report for a proposed 200 MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage system developed by European green energy company Hydrostor and Australian sustainable energy developer Energy Estate.
In 2020, Hydrostor’s 200 MW, 8 hour or 1600 MWh storage system was selected by NSW’s transmission network service provider, Transgrid, as the preferred option for a reliable and secure electricity storage supply for Broken Hill in response to Essential Energy’s decision to decommission diesel back up generation for the city.
The ecologically sensitive system uses off-peak or surplus electricity from the grid or other renewable source to run compressors that produce heated compressed air. Heat is extracted from the air stream and stored inside a purpose-built cavern where hydrostatic compensation is used to maintain the system at a constant pressure, preserving the heat energy for use later in the cycle.
Hydrostatic pressure then forces the air to the surface where it is recombined with the stored heat and expanded through a turbine to generate electricity on demand, offering the same service as a natural gas plant while having zero emissions.
The impact report demonstrated significant economic benefits to the local community with total investment expected to be up to $560 million, with the vast majority of construction expenditures occurring within the community of Broken Hill.
The Project will employ an average of 260 full time equivalent construction jobs over three years, with a peak in the second year of construction reaching 350. On completion it is expected to support substantial local employment opportunities with 70 ongoing jobs through the course of the facility’s operational life of 50 years.
In addition to the economic benefits, the project will provide a critical long-term grid reliability solution to the city in a manner that does not rely on fossil fuels, eliminating potential supply chain disruptions. Importantly the project is also up-scalable, enabling the community and future mining operations to grow over time.
In announcing the positive economic feasibility study Simon Currie, Principal of Energy Estate echoed the recent words of Cobalt Blue CEO Joe Kaderavek and demonstration plant manager Adam Randall in outlining Energy Estate and Hydrostar’s commitment to ethical development.
“We will be, as are Cobalt Blue, committed to hiring and upskilling a local workforce wherever possible to build and operate the facility. We want this to be a community driven project with the best interests of the community at its centre. It’s a world leading technology that will provide class leading jobs in what is clearly a part of our global energy future.”
Hydrostor’s innovative technology is perfectly suited to a location like Broken Hill because it can utilise existing mine infrastructure to create the storage cavern. And the availability of a large renewable energy source only adds to the overall “symmetry” of the project.
“We can build a green field cavern in any location but of course the cost will be higher. Having an existing site makes the project even more appealing,” Mr Currie said.
Informal conversations between Energy Estate and Cobalt Blue have led to agreement as to ways in which the project can be mutually beneficial, with any additional step toward environmentally sustainable energy production only adding to the international attractiveness of truly “green” cobalt from Cobalt Blue’s Broken Hill mine.
“I was speaking with Joe and he can see a fleet of electric buses tacking workers out to their site. It’s an exciting idea.”
Energy Estate are in negotiations for a mine site and expect to announce the location in the coming weeks. All things going well, Currie expects the facility to be online by 2025.

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Debutantes to finally get their Ball

Originally published: Saturday, 12th June, 2021

Next Friday marks the annual South Football Club Debutante Ball, where nine lovely local young ladies will make their debut.
The ball will be the first of its kind since 2019, with COVID halting all social events and gatherings - Debutante Balls included. The SFC Debutante Ball will happen on the third scheduled date, after being postponed twice due to COVID restrictions.

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Doggies demolish Central

Originally published: Saturday, 12th June, 2021

It was a cold and windy night for football on Wednesday as North put the pedal right down, to take a 124-point win over the Magpies.
The wind was blowing strong towards the scoreboard end of the Jubilee Oval, which gave a handy advantage to the Bulldogs to get their game going in the first quarter.
Samual Micallef set the scene for the night with the opening goal, before Tasman McAllister followed suit. Fletcher Kolinac then booted back-to-back majors, followed by goals from Kody Ellis and Kyran Blore.
The Bulldogs slotted six goals and five behinds to take a 41-point lead into the first break.
The second term saw North kicking into the wind, however, they managed two majors through Taz Lihou and Rogan Turner with an across-body snap. As hard as Central tried, they weren't able to get the ball into their forward fifty. The Dogs led by 60 points at half time.
To kick off the second half, Taz Lihou kicked his second of the night, shortly followed by Fletcher Kolinac with his third. Luke Barraclough booted his first of the game, followed by a long bomb from Samual Micallef to slot his second.
Cohen Tonkin then kicked another major for the Bulldogs, Luke Barraclough kicked his second and Fletcher Kolinac booted goal number four. North had racked up a 103-point lead heading into three-quarter time.
The last term saw North's best-on-ground, Kody Ellis kick back-to-back goals; the first from on the run, and the second went through from a left-foot snap. Jet Johnson sealed the deal for the Bulldogs with a goal to end things, 125 points to Central's single behind.
Central put up a great fight to the in-form and focused Bulldogs, they continue to improve and show new strengths in each game they play. Their best players were Will Campbell who was relentless in defence, Dwight Chestnut, Garth McAvaney, Thierry Masclet, Ned Schaefer and Ben Kuerschner.
For the Dogs, Kody Ellis was best afield - quick, agile and accurate all over the ground. He was joined by Taz Lihou, Fletcher Kolinac, Kyran Blore, Frederick Squire and Luke Barraclough in the best players.
Full-time score - North 18 17 (125) defeated Central 0 1 (1).

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Simmons back in blue and white

Originally published: Wednesday, 9th June, 2021

Former local Jasmine Simmons, well-known for her sporting abilities that have taken her internationally, returned to Broken Hill last weekend to don her beloved blue and white.
Having spent three years in America playing college basketball for Oregon State, Jasmine returned home to Australia in April. She jumped at the opportunity to come back to Broken Hill and play for the North Football Club Women’s team after many years away.
“I actually just wanted to come down and play because I’ve been playing with Gol Gol for the Sunraysia League and I was like, crap, I actually just miss playing footy. Then there was an opportunity to play here and I was like, yeah, why not,” she said.
Jasmine couldn’t remember exactly the last time she played for the Bulldogs, “It probably would’ve been about eight or nine years ago, even longer than that. I think it was 15s. I didn’t get to play in the Women’s league, actually. I think I left a year or two before that started. So it’s been a while but it was so nice to put the Doggies colours back on.”
She said she was excited to be back in Broken Hill, “It was weird when we were driving in because Mum used to work at Perilya so it was funny seeing her old work site, coming in seeing the Zinc Lakes and everything and then just where I grew up. But it’s really good to be back.”
Since leaving the Silver City, Jasmine has been all over the place, “I just got back from America, so I was playing college basketball for three years and before that, I was in Canberra and Melbourne. So I’ve just been travelling, playing basketball and studying,” she said.
Her years of college basketball were spent with Oregon State with whom she said she learnt a lot.
“We trained so much over there. I was training against WNBA players who are playing in the league right now and everything. Basketball wise, you learn about the physicality of the game. The structure is so different to Aussie basketball but also like the mental toughness that you need because you’re training every single day, so that was probably the biggest takeaway basketball-wise,” she said.
“Life was just an all-around amazing experience.”
Basketball has always been a love and talent of Jasmine’s and one she says she’ll stick to in the long run. “I actually played my last game (in Mildura) not too long ago. I’m about to move to Ballarat to go play in the NBL1 so I’ll probably move up there next week or the week after.”
As for the near future, her skills on the football field are about to be put to good use at the top level, with clubs such as Adelaide, North Melbourne and Richmond all in pursuit of the talented sportswoman.
“Basketball is the long term plan, the short term plan - I’m actually potentially going to be playing AFLW this season so that’s in the works at the moment,” she said.
“Basketball-wise that’s my pathway and I love doing it, but I might be in for a change-up in the short term.”
Jasmine was overjoyed to have returned to town and played a game with the Bulldogs, especially to come away with a big win.
“Yeah it was strange because they were saying it was going to be a really tight game, but it was still really competitive and in the locker room everyone was just ecstatic so it was really cool.
“I don’t know what to say I’m at a loss for words, it’s weird being back but like in a good way.”

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“Natural jewel” acquired

Originally published: Wednesday, 9th June, 2021

The second-largest acquisition of land for National Parks will be a “natural jewel” that the state and region will be able to utilise according to Landcare Broken Hill’s president.
 Environmentalist and QC, Simon Molesworth said this week’s announcement of the purchase of the neighbouring Lanigdoon and Metford stations, 65km east of Broken Hill, was a wonderful coup.
At the start of the week, Environment Minister, Matt Kean announced the second-largest land acquisition for national parks in the last 10 years.
The plan for the two properties, totalling 60,468 hectares, is to create a new outback reserve conserving significant biodiversity and Aboriginal heritage in the region.
Once this addition is formally reserved, the national parks system will have increased by more than 350,000 hectares since August 2019, well on the way to meet the target of an additional 400,000 hectares by the end of 2022.
The purchase follows on from the recent creation of another outback reserve - Narriearra Caryapundy Swamp National Park, which was the largest purchase of private land for the national parks estate.
 “It’s made up of some pretty special places and it’s a large acquisition within ‘coo-ee’ of Broken Hill,” Mr Molesworth said.
 He went on to say it will be a boost for the Mutawintji and Kinchega National Parks.
 “Landcare Broken Hill is pleased to have another natural environmental attraction,” he said.
 “Eco-tourism is the fastest growing sector. If it wasn’t for COVID, we would have a lot of travellers.
 “People want to come and see the great open space and the wilderness. It’s an enormous addition to the National Parks network.”
Mr Molesworth said the next step is for the State Government to provide resources for the National Parks and Wildlife Service to ensure proper conservation practices are taken into account.
“The government needs to ensure that the proper reservation processing occurs and then they need to look at fencing.
“It’s better to fence in the valuable areas of the National Parks and fence out the threats.
This new park will be an important refuge for wildlife including at least 14 threatened animal species including habitat for the Australian bustard, white-fronted chat and the pink cockatoo.
In time, it is expected visitors will be able to explore sandplains and stony desert, gibber chenopod shrublands, floodplain woodland along watercourses and a lake system that, when it floods, provides habitat for a range of migratory bird species.
The properties also contain important Aboriginal heritage including artefacts such as grinding plates and stones.
“If the resources are properly provided, it’s a win/win for everyone,” Mr Molesworth said.
“It’s good news for Broken Hill, good news for NSW and good news for the environment.
“It’s a natural jewel. The Barrier Ranges sub-region is unrepresented. As a park, it will now be at a level that is desirable and attract people to the region.”
Mr Molesworth said Landcare Broken Hill is happy to offer assistance in any way they can.
 “We have a partnership with Mutawintji National Park to help replant and regenerate.
 “We have seedlings and are growing hundreds of plants to go back to Mutawintji.”

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The Weimer Republic in Broken Hill

Originally published: Wednesday, 9th June, 2021

German Kabarett music of the Weimer Republic was on show at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery on Friday night, performed by the highly accomplished Australian tenor, Brad Cooper and his pianist, one of Australia’s leading musicians and musical directors, Bev Kennedy.
Brad Cooper’s newest show, Berlin Electric was performed to an audience of seventy in the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery’s atrium space and was developed in collaboration with Bev Kennedy during the 2020 COVID lockdown, when many performers were out of work. It is a careful selection of twelve German songs from the period of 1920-1940, and is a provocative narrative that voices the experiences of German citizens between the two world wars.
The show opened with songs that celebrate Germany’s newly found and unbridled freedom as a nation unshackled from the tyranny of monarchy and embracing a republican future. Included in the program is one of the world’s earliest known LGBT+ Anthems, The Lavender Song (1920), dedicated to the Weimer era gay rights advocate Magnus Hirschfeld, following his groundbreaking ‘First International Conference for Sexual Reform’, which called for regulations on sexual behaviour to be based on scientific research instead of religion and other cultural traditions.
The program was book-ended with anti-war songs created to protest the rise of the Nazi party and the immense loss of life and humanity at the hands of the fascist war machine.
The program was also sprinkled with more straightforward comedic numbers to lighten the emotional load of the repertoire, including an oddly familiar narrative about a marriage driven into disunion by the newfangled telephonic device introduced in Germany after WW1:
Go to your ‘ting-a-ling’ - here’s your engagement ring back - I won’t stay ‘falsely connected’! You’ve already given up love, soul, sport and Jazz, so what do you need with a wife? Even while kissing you’re still doing Business! Get engaged to your telephone, you Business Napoleon! Adieu, we’re finished!
Brad Cooper studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the National Opera Studio in London and the Music Academy of the West in California and has performed roles in major Australian and International operas. He also works with young people, having shared his love of opera with thousands of students across the country.
During the week, Brad conducted workshops on The Magic Flute at the Galler, bringing the fantastical world of Opera to 125 students from the Sacred Heart Parish Primary School, Willyama High School and Broken Hill Public School.
Brad has been visiting family and friends in Broken Hill for over ten years and uses the occasion to showcase his extraordinary talent with the Broken Hill public, having performed multiple times at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery and conducting an annual hit, Arias in the Outback at the Silverton Hotel. For Brad, his newest program, Berlin Electric, is a whimsical journey into ‘Cabaret Crossover’, a genre that blends popular music with the operatic style.
Brad first discovered German Kabarett when he went to Berlin as a 25-year-old in 2003.
“I started going to the Kabarett clubs and it never occurred to me to sing any of that repertoire because I was being a very serious opera singer,” he said.
He was attracted to the music of the interwar period because of the intense social extremes being experienced by the German citizens captured in the songs of the era.
“One of the things I found fascinating when going to Berlin was the Schwules Museum, the gay museum in Berlin. They have a big exhibit of gay rights in the city stretching right back to the 19th century which is when some of the formative work happened [such as the aforementioned work of Magnus Hirschfeld]. Because of the freedoms in the aftermath of World War One, with everyone going a little bit crazy because of the huge disappointment they’d had of losing the war, it became this new era of freedom.
“The groundwork had been done for gay rights at that time, and not just gay rights but trans rights as well, where you could live as either woman or man or whatever you wanted to do. I think it’s fascinating to realise that that’s some of the stuff that was going on.”
The failed narratives of the former monarchy’s imperialist agenda impassioned Germans with a cynical disregard for old principles, and the Berlin nightlife in the 1920s and 30s became a fulcrum for artistic expression and hedonism. German Kabarett was born, a genre that employs political satire, cynicism, humour, and irony in songs, poetry and literature.
The liberation of creative expression, however, was short-lived as the Nationalist Socialist Party came to power in the 1930s. The horrors of fascism would be experienced by some of Germany’s most vulnerable citizens, including the LGBT+ community. Thousands of gay men and women were imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps, while others were forced to hide their sexuality and queer identity. The freedoms they had enjoyed in the interwar period quickly vanished.
Developing the Berlin Electric program has caused Brad to reflect on his own experiences as a gay man, “In my early teens when I came out, you think you’re discovering it for the first time. You think that the struggle you’re currently involved in is ‘the’ struggle, the new struggle. But one of the things I’ve learned from going to Berlin and finding out about that interwar period is that this stuff was going on a lot earlier than that.”
Excavating the historical legacy of these powerful social movements both comforts and challenges us to embrace the reality of Australia’s own queer traditions, which have largely been scrubbed from the history books.
Brad is exalted to see Broken Hill accept its gay history, “Since first coming out to Broken Hill 15 years ago, it seems to have embraced its connection to gay history, especially in the last decade. It’s nice to see that kind of change and I like to think there are some gay and lesbian and trans people that don’t feel the need to leave town.
“Isn’t this what we’ve always fought for, that a young person doesn’t need to leave all their friends behind and make new friends just because they’re gay?”
Berlin Electric at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery was thoroughly entertaining, funny, and at times a heartbreaking educational experience delivered by the exquisite talents of two of Australia’s most gifted musicians. It provided a window into a not too distant world of political and social unrest that causes us to reflect on contemporary struggles and reminds us of those brave men, women and non-binary people who have combated some of the darkest periods of history with humour, humanity and joy.
Brad is soon to leave for Austria for the Robert Stolz Projekt, collaborating with friends in Australia and Europe in celebration of the music of Robert Stolz. Until his next visit we say, adieu! And goodluck.

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South holds on in tight tussle

Originally published: Saturday, 5th June, 2021

In a relatively low-scoring affair, the Under 18s Roos side held on to defeat North by just 11 points in the late game on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs did well in keeping ladder leaders, South, to their lowest score of the season and the closest the Roos have come to being beaten. But the Roos spread of class and talent was enough to get them over the line.
While the rain held off for a majority of their game, it was still played on wet and slippery ground, which was an added hurdle in terms of gameplay.
The first quarter began with a bang, as South’s Locky McKenzie goaled in the opening minutes. But it was only a matter of time before Kody Ellis snapped one through in response for the Dogs.
McKenzie slotted his second goal shortly after, with a long run in towards goal to unsuccessfully handball over an opposing player, only to get it back and dribble across the goal line.
Adam Slattery then booted his first goal of the night, to finish the quarter with the Roos in front by 14 points.
Neither team could convert their opportunities in the second term, with both the Dogs and the Roos scoring a single point each. South led 21 points to North’s 7 at halftime.
The rain began to fall as the second half got underway, however, it didn’t last long it was enough to further delay any goals. The first major of the second half came from South’s Dan Ryan, with six minutes left to play in the third term.
The Bulldogs were eager and clawed their way back into the game where goals from Kody Ellis and Cohen Tonkin allowed North to sit just seven points behind at the final break.
The final quarter was a close one. Adam Slattery kicked his second as the opening goal followed by one from Bulya Boney. Later in the term, it was North’s Rogan Turner who kicked truly for a goal but it was too late for the Dogs when the final siren sounded.
South managed to hold on for an 11-point win.
It was a tight tussle - heated and fiery at times - and a good game to watch. Both sides were vigorous in their hunt for the footy with a rough and determined style of play from both teams across the ground.
The Bulldogs best players were Fletcher Kolinac, Taz Lihou, Sam Micallef, Ethan Hocking, Kyran Blore and Jet Johnson.
For the Roos Adam Slattery, Locky McKenzie, Luke Collings, Mason McCully, Thomas Stokes and Cooper Treloar were among their best afield.
Full-time score - South 6 4 (40) defeated North 4 5 (29).

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MeatUp forums set to begin this month

Originally published: Saturday, 5th June, 2021

The MeatUp forums are ready to present some practical take-home messages and encourage producers to implement research on-farm when they start this month.
Beef, sheep and goat producers can hear the latest regionally relevant insights from research, development and adoption (RD&A) programs funded by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) at upcoming MeatUp forums.  
MeatUp forums are scheduled for Broken Hill (23 June); Port Augusta (25 June); Perth (5 August); and Dubbo (2 September).
 MLA General Manager - Research, development and adoption, Michael Crowley, said each forum had been designed by producers for producers through the input of Regional producer working groups.
“MeatUp forums validate the value of implementing new practices and technology on-farm and offer practical, whole-of-business information and tools relevant to the needs and interests of red meat producers in the local region,” Mr Crowley said.
“Producers from the area demonstrate how adopting the latest research and technology has improved their business and led to increased productivity and profitability, so it’s a great opportunity to stay up-to-date with what’s working well at a local level.
“The forums also include a global markets update, consumer insights and talk about how the red meat industry is tracking towards the 2030 carbon-neutral target.”
Geoff Duddy, a deliverer of Bred Well Fed Well workshops, said he would focus on improving enterprise profitability through understanding breeding objectives.  
 “I look forward to working through some proof of profit examples with producers to show how ASBVs work and why they are worth using. This will link to the development of breeding objectives for sheep and cattle enterprises,” Geoff said.
At Broken Hill, Andrew Moseley of “Etiwanda” will explore improving rangeland business productivity and sustainability.  
At MeatUp Port Augusta, Gillian Fennell will talk about how their one-million-acre rangelands cattle station in Far North SA has adapted with the use of technology and supplementation.
Broken Hill and Port Augusta MeatUp Forums are free for red meat levy payers and $50 (excluding GST) for non-red meat levy payers.
Registration is essential for catering and COVID management purposes. To register and for more information, visit mla.com.au/meatup

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The journey of Broken Hill’s own Private Ryan

Originally published: Saturday, 5th June, 2021

If you ever get the opportunity to visit the patch of Northern France and Southern Belgium that came to be known as the Western Front, you will most likely be struck by two things.
The first is that each of those villages that gives its name to the great battles of the First World War, evocative names like Fromelles, Villers Bretonneux, Pozier and Hamel are not distant locations on a sprawling canvas. They are, in fact, a gentle bike ride apart.
World War One was not fought across an expansive battlefield by any measure but a comparatively small and uninspiring patch of chalky, featureless farming country.
What you then come to understand having visited these innocuous fields is that, on the Western Front, as it was in Gallipoli, for weeks and in many cases months, thousands would die on muddy battlefields for meagre gains of a few metres rather than miles, many drowning in the chalky clay of the Somme that, after rain and bombardment, became an impassable, stinking quagmire of soil and rotting flesh.
To this day, when you walk across those fields, ball bearings are easily found in plentiful numbers amongst the freshly ploughed soil and make the perfect souvenir. But these trinkets tell another story, the story of what soldiers on both sides were forced to endure in order to gain those few metres.
Each one of those ball bearings was, in the case of the 18-pound shrapnel shell, one of 375 encased in a projectile designed to explode just above the ground. Those ball bearings would then fly through the air, cutting whatever was within range to pieces.
It is in the fields of white crosses, some containing upwards of 100,000 graves, orderly lines that in many cases extend from the side of the road and over gentle rolling hills out of sight, that you get a sense of the work of those shells, the true glory that was the Western Front.
An abattoir where industrial warfare was unleashed for 51 months on a generation of young men, a haunting reminder of a protracted catastrophe that claimed the lives of 16 million and amongst them, over 70,000 Australians.
The question one has to ask when one stands facing one of those cemeteries is, why did it go on for so long? Despite facing military stalemates on virtually every front, why was there no attempt at a negotiated peace before November 1918?
It is this question that lies at the heart of a quite remarkable work of history, Douglas Newton’s Private Ryan and the Lost Peace, a profoundly moving and deeply engrossing book that examines the overarching political machinations that drove the war through the personal wartime experiences of Ted Ryan, a working-class orphan raised, along with his two brothers, by his aunt and uncle Margaret and Jim Mudie, a long time caretaker of the Broken Hill water supply at Imperial Dam.
Ryan followed his two younger brothers to war, enlisting in the 51st Regiment in 1916. It is through a deft shifting between the personal experiences of Ted, both prior to signing up and throughout his service, and the larger geopolitical games that drove the war that Newton has created a work that not only answers the question of why the conflict laboured on, but also offers a compelling human insight into the consequences of that protracted four-and-a-half years of carnage.
While we have come to blindly accept that World War One, using Ryan’s personal experiences as the underlying narrative, Newton exposes a history almost entirely ignored by the chroniclers of ANZAC,  the complex geopolitical moves that began to re-shape the war only moments after the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914.
Ryan, like so many others, signed up to fight for a cause; the defence of humanity, democracy, individual rights to freedom and the promise of a just peace. But he quickly came to doubt the veracity of that cause and Newton clearly shows us that Ryan was correct in his suspicions. By the time he had signed up the war was most assuredly not all it was advertised to be. And perhaps, it never truly was.
As early as 1914, Britain and France had secretly negotiated a deal to continue fighting until they had captured all the German territory in Europe along with their colonial possessions across Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East. The war had presented the two countries, particularly Britain, with a rare opportunity for territorial gains. And so began an almost unconscionable game of political ego and imperial greed using an entire generation of young men as pawns.
Even before Australian soldiers had landed on that now mythological rocky beach in the Dardanelles, Britain, France and Russia had signed the Straits and Persia Agreement, a secret treaty that guaranteed Russian support for the war against Germany by offering a fabulous package of trophies in the Near East that included Constantinople. The Gallipoli campaign, far from having any purpose in ending the war, was almost entirely conceived to perpetuate it.
The day after ANZAC Day Britain, France, Russia and Italy signed the London Treaty, an agreement to destroy Germany with Italy joining the Entente crusade and walking away with a bulging bag of promised territorial gains as a reward. And to ensure there would indeed be a victory and no negotiated peace before their territorial aims had been met. To ensure their plans the Ententé diplomats added an additional article. To block any peace efforts launched by the influential Pope Benedict XV, the man responsible for the “embarrassing” Christmas day truce of 1914 they drafted the anti-Vatican article, officially excluding him from any diplomatic discussions.
Newton goes on to identify the many non-government campaigns for peace and notes the hysterical response to any call for an end to hostilities by the ‘victory at any cost’ press and British MPs.
He also clearly takes us through the multiple occasions in 1915 and 1916 when the leaders of the northern European neutral powers tried to initiate diplomatic negotiations behind the scenes between Britain and Germany, only to be rebuffed by the Entente powers. So too we learn of the German government’s public offer in 1916 to negotiate an end to the war - an offer scorned by Britain and France in the pursuit of a winner takes all victory.
While secret agreements and public moves for peace might not have been known to Australian soldiers on the front, in Broken Hill where Ted Ryan and his two soldier brothers had spent their formative teenage years, rumours were rife. Despite an extraordinary campaign of censorship by Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes, Broken Hill was becoming the centre of radical protest.
Perhaps encouraged by news from home of the anti-war and anti-conscription movements led by men like Percy Brookfield, in mid-1916, Ryan, wounded physically and mentally by his experiences on the battlefields, began to find the courage to voice the intuitive disgust many Australian soldiers felt for the carnage they were forced to endure.
Writing to Ramsay MacDonald, British Labor MP and outspoken opponent of the war, Ryan passionately attacked British Foreign Secretary Lloyd George and Prime Minister Asquith for their changed attitudes and expressed outrage that soldiers were dying for war aims which they had not been asked to support.
He spoke eloquently of the horror of the “slaughterhouse” that was the battlefield, of a war that would ‘make thousands of orphans, make thousands of cripples, make thousands face this hell’. And he asked a plain question. “Why shouldn’t we know what terms of peace we are fighting for, why shouldn’t we discuss what terms we are supposed to accept?” A question that is both compelling and given the wars outcome, heartbreaking.
Throughout the book, Newton seeks to understand Ryan’s actions. Twice wounded and suffering from shell shock, Ryan experienced military punishment six times, twice facing court-martials charged with desertion. He served several sentences in British military prisons after a death sentence was commuted and remained a prisoner until March 1919 when he was repatriated home. All three Ryan boys survived the war. But it is the elder Ryan’s experiences on the battlefield and his courage in bringing truth to power that form the narrative vehicle of a story of immense power and insight. A moral man faced with a moral conundrum. He saw a war that he suspected was being unjustly prosecuted and he chose to act upon it.
Should Ryan have trusted the men it transpires had lied to him?  Should he have blindly continued on? Is it courageous to suppress our moral doubts for “The Big Picture?” Or is it more important to take a stand? In our own complex world, it’s an interesting question.
While Private Ryan and the Lost Peace is a masterful history, one that reads like a thriller, it is above all a human story. A salient reminder of the power of misinformation, its effect on an individual and on democracy.
Highly recommended.

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Court finding could shape nation’s future

Originally published: Wednesday, 2nd June, 2021

“It is difficult to characterise in a single phrase the devastation that the plausible evidence presented in this proceeding forecasts for the children. As Australian adults know their country, Australia will be lost and the world as we know it gone as well.
The physical environment will be harsher, far more extreme and devastatingly brutal when angry. As for the human experience - quality of life, opportunities to partake in nature’s treasures, the capacity to grow and prosper - all will be greatly diminished.
Lives will be cut short. Trauma will be far more common and good health harder to hold and maintain.
None of this will be the fault of nature itself. It will largely be inflicted by the inaction of this generation of adults, in what might fairly be described as the greatest inter-generational injustice ever inflicted by one generation of humans upon the next.
To say that the children are vulnerable is to understate their predicament.”
So wrote Australian Federal Court Justice Mordecai Bromberg in a judgement dismissing an application by a group of Australian teenagers seeking to prevent federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley from approving an extension to a coal mine in Gunnedah NSW.
Yet while the children’s action failed, Justice Bromberg’s judgement is compelling, a ruling that the environment minister owes a duty of care to Australia’s young people not to cause them physical harm in the form of personal injury from climate change. A finding that, if unchallenged, could have a profound effect on the shape of our nation into the future.
The ruling implies, in no uncertain terms, that the Australian Government has a legal responsibility not to take actions that could contribute to global warming. And the consequences of a breach of that duty of care opens the door to a claim of negligence.
Initiated by eight schoolchildren and an 86-year-old nun on behalf of all Australian children, the applicants had asked the court to prevent Environment Minister Sussan Ley from approving the Whitehaven coal project, a mine expected to produce 10m tonnes of coal annually over 26 years, enough to generate 100m tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Although he didn’t stop the proposed extension going ahead, in his judgement, Justice Mordecai Bromberg agreed that Ley had a duty to take “reasonable care” not to cause Australian children personal injury when exercising her powers to grant mine approvals. He added that evidence demonstrates children are extremely vulnerable to “severe harms” caused by climate change if temperatures rose three degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Harms Justice Bromberg candidly described as “largely inflicted by the inaction of this generation of adults, in what might fairly be described as the greatest intergenerational injustice ever inflicted by one generation of humans upon the next.”
The court found that one million of today’s Australian children are expected to be hospitalised due to a heat-stress episode or through smoke inhalation as a result of increasing bushfires, that substantial economic loss will be experienced, and that the Great Barrier Reef and most of Australia’s eucalypt forest quite probably won’t exist when they grow up. Predictions the court described as “real”, “catastrophic”, and perhaps importantly from a legal perspective “reasonably foreseeable.”
In reaching the decision Bromberg heard submissions from a panel of expert witnesses that presented estimates of the health impacts of temperature rises and realistic warnings about anticipated reduced quality of life should warming continue, submissions that were tellingly accepted by both the court and the legal team charged with defending the Minister. That the evidence, which also put a conservative figure on individual financial loss, was uncontested, signals that, at least at a legal level, the financial impacts of climate change are no longer based on a vague notion of future loss, they are a tangible, quantifiable harm.
The decision follows what’s been described as “arguably the most significant climate change judgement yet”,  with a court in The Hague ordering oil and gas producer Royal Dutch Shell to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 compared with 2019 levels via its corporate policy. In reaching its decision, the court noted that Shell had no emissions reduction targets to 2030 and that its current corporate policies to 2050 were “intangible, undefined and non-binding”.
The unprecedented ruling delivered late last week, which Shell plans to appeal, dismissed Shell’s argument that governments alone were responsible for meeting the Paris Agreement targets.
The legal decisions come as investor pressure on large polluters has been significantly dialled up. Last week, ExxonMobil, one of the world’s biggest corporate greenhouse gas emitters, was forced into a dramatic management shakeup that saw activist hedge fund, Engine No. 1, win three places on the company’s 12-person board, with founder Chris James vowing to force the company to diversify away from fossil fuels.
Formed late last year, Engine No. 1 is an example of a shift in the philosophy of capital investors whose interests are less altruistic and focussed on improving investor returns. Engine No. 1’s successful attack on Exxon was in response to the company’s poor financial performance and its failure to adapt to a decarbonised world which the hedge fund believes puts shareholder value at risk.
Meanwhile, another US oil and gas producer, Chevron, experienced an investor revolt with more than 60% of their shareholders supporting a resolution calling for the company to substantially reduce Scope 3 emissions, the pollution generated by the use of the oil and gas it produces.
And while the Dutch courts and American investors should have no say over Australian domestic policy, Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron are among our biggest gas exporters with interests in the massive Gorgon gas project off the coast of Western Australia and the North West Shelf.
With the three major multinationals now under pressure to exit or at least scale back from fossil fuel production, the transition to renewables may become far less transitory. And with the dual momentum of governments needing to be mindful of what they approve and fossil fuels companies being pressured with respect to what they propose, the Morrison government’s gas-fired recovery may well run out of steam before it even starts. And the children will say thank you.


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Much-needed MRI machine now in Broken Hill

Originally published: Wednesday, 2nd June, 2021

The GP Super Clinic’s fully-fledged MRI scanning machine has gone live and is the first of its kind for the city.
In February last year, the GP Super Clinic announced they would be installing a state-of-the-art MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) service on their premises.
MRI scans are useful in the diagnosis of several conditions and are becoming the preferred mode of radiological investigations in many cases.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the body is performed to evaluate organs of the chest and abdomen including the heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, bowels, pancreas, and blood vessels, as well as the bladder and reproductive organs like the prostate and the ovaries.
MRI scans work by using a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of internal body structures. MRI does not use radiation (x-rays).
The GP Super Clinic plans had always had a full radiology service including a fully-functional MRI service.
The Clinic’s Dr Funmi Komolafe said the MRI machine performed its first scan during the week and they were excited to have it go live.
“It is the first real MRI of its kind, the first fully-fledged MRI scan machine in Broken Hill,” she said.
“Prior to this, patients needed to travel to get a comprehensive scan and would have to go to Adelaide.”
Dr Komolafe said the machine is available to everyone in Broken Hill and the surrounding region.
She said results take two to three days to come back.
“Referrals are welcome from all services, including the hospital, which is highly convenient as we are right across the road.”
Dr Komolafe said there had been some hold-ups due to COVID but they were happy to have it up and running now.
“Right from the start of the Super Clinic development, our objectives have been to meet gaps in healthcare in the region. Needing an MRI service was one of the gaps we are happy to fill.
“It’s been a long process to put the service together and it has taken a lot of planning and collaboration. It was our vision to provide this service.”
The MRI service will complement the currently-operating Pain Management Program in confirming diagnoses, excluding sinister causes of pain and will complement the existing radiology service.
It will facilitate accurate diagnoses where cancers or tumours are suspected, and assist in the monitoring of oncology patients.
Situated right across the Broken Hill Base Hospital, it should be convenient for patients seen at the hospital to have access to the service.
Patients will now have the option to not travel out of Broken Hill for MRIs of the regions of the body like the prostate, head, abdomen, and chest, as they currently do.
This will go a long way to minimising the expenses incurred by IPTAAS, lessen the time taken off work for the residents of Broken Hill who work, and reduce the inconvenience for families and carers.
Dr Komolafe said it was also their hope to become licensed by the Government to help offset the costs of the scans.
“Normally MRI’s are Medicare-funded, but specific locations are licensed. This is determined by the Federal Government.
“We have asked for a license and we are hoping the Government support us in this.
“It would mean patients don’t have to pay out of pocket to receive a scan.
“In the view of border closures and the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, it is more important than ever that an isolated community can provide a Medicare-funded MRI service that is licensed.”

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Talking footy and feelings

Originally published: Wednesday, 2nd June, 2021

The Tackle Your Feelings program was delivered locally from the Central Football Club on Monday evening, with AFL NSW’s Ryan O’Keefe and GWS Giants coach, Leon Cameron in attendance.
Tackle Your Feelings is a free program designed to eliminate the stigma of mental health, providing coaches with free access to tools and techniques to recognise and manage mental health within football clubs and the extended community.
Dual Sydney Swans premiership player and AFL NSW/ACT Head of Coaching and Education, Ryan O’Keefe said it’s important the figureheads in football clubs can recognise the signs of poor mental health. “What we’re going through tonight is just about helping start that conversation and get people to realise and pick up things, so it’s basically an education workshop to give tools to everyone.
“It’s in partnership with the AFL Coaches Association and Players Association, to give coaches and administrators tools to help identify if there’s any mental health issues amongst their players, or even other coaches and staff and I think it’s just a really good thing to help upskill.
“I think a lot of awareness has been made of it, but I think a lot of people aren’t sure if something does arise and what to do, so this is just to help make peace and help in that space,” he said.
O’Keefe believes sporting clubs have a big role in allowing social connections to encourage people to open up about mental health. “Look, I think it’s the social connection and that’s what a footy club does in any regional town, any suburban club, anything like that. It’s the community connection; footy clubs, netball clubs, cricket clubs - I think that’s what people love... Have a talk to your friends and just mix and mingle so, I think it’s really, really important what footy clubs and any sporting community clubs do around our country,” he said.
“If you can give everyone the tools in those clubs to help identify because it’s amazing the amount of people that don’t show signs or you’re unaware that they are really battling. So they maybe show the smaller signs and if you’re not trained or have the tools to pick it up, it might escalate and go down a path which is quite sad.
“Especially for males. We do find it hard to talk and maybe communicate...so hopefully, the more we can make it aware we can take the stigma away, that this stuff does happen and it is bad but, hey, could it have been prevented? Maybe, maybe not. But at least if we’re out there trying or giving people the tools or resources to be able to deal with it or have that conversation.
“It’s amazing the amount of stories I’ve heard over my journey about someone that had a conversation with someone that changed or saved their life, so I think it’s something we’ve got to keep working on and putting more time and resources into.”
O’Keefe spoke of how the AFL world’s reactions to mental health have progressed throughout his time in the game. “From when I first started, the stigma has been put away and it’s actually safe to talk. Football clubs are now really safe environments and not this macho sort of you can’t say anything or show feelings because that’s soft or that’s weak. That’s totally gone.
“It’s about vulnerability. It’s being strong and being able to tell, help and support. You can always tell your teammates that you love them, or you’re feeling sad, or anything like that. So to be able to display your emotions and also to be able to deal with and help people with those emotions and be there as a support, or be there just to listen,” said O’Keefe.
GWS Giants Coach and Tackle Your Feelings Ambassador, Leon Cameron said the progression of mental health has gone full circle.
“From me playing as a young sixteen/seventeen-year-old at Footscray Footy Club to now being the coach of the Giants, in the last nearly 40 years, I think understanding and accepting that people have challenges in their life and in dealing with them and talking about it, is the greatest thing I’ve seen an improvement in.
“Not everyone wakes up every day in perfect condition. And I’m not talking about physically - we’re talking about the mental challenges that people go through. and there’s so many of them and I think having platforms or having programs in place for people to be able to talk about it, has only been a good thing,” he said.
“I just think having a really good understanding of people and building relationships and having that person feeling really comfortable to talk about things that might be going on in their life - Or they might’ve had a bad day, or they might be having a bad month off the field, or it could be on the field as well. You’ve got to be able to create that environment for someone to talk, and that’s one of the greatest things you’ve got to be able to do.”
Cameron enjoys being an ambassador for Tackle Your Feelings and says it’s an important role, “I think being an ambassador means clearly, being a senior coach you can use your platform to spread the word but equally when I was young, I remember I was a really shy young kid and I probably wouldn’t talk about some things, so I would’ve seen a lot of things going on where I’m from back home in the country.
“Seeing some of the heartache that people go through when if only someone was there to talk about some things that they might have been challenged on and so when asked a few years ago it was a no brainer for me, and I don’t stand here and say that I’m the answer because I’m not. But what I am is that I have an ear from our players, our staff, the people around me, my friends, my family and I’d hope to think that they have one for me as well.
“So the more people that become less stoic and hide things away, the better off we are, and the more we talk about some challenges, then as I said it can only be a great thing.”
Cameron said it was “fantastic” to be in Broken Hill promoting the event, “It’s a privilege to be here with the people of Broken Hill. It’s a great turnout here and the people of Broken Hill from all the different clubs from juniors, women’s, men’s, seniors - I mean clearly it’s a really robust area for footy.
“But it’s not just about footy, it’s about life and I think it’s just reading cues, maybe an understanding of reading cues with some people that they might be coaching. You’re not just their coach, you can be a father figure to them as well and reading cues about their parents as well and helping them out through things that they might pick up on.
“There’s no doubt there are some tough conversations, I’m not saying you can’t have tough conversations about footy and about life, I’d rather have conversations than not have one. I think everyone is looking for a reward in their life, everyone wants to be part of any organisation, part of a club, wanted - Whether it’s family members, a footy club or a soccer club. We want to be accepted and the more we’re accepted because we can understand people, then the better off we are.
“There’s a lot of really good people in this world and a lot of really good people sitting in this room. So if we can pass on one thing about Tackle Your Feelings and how you can either coach or build a relationship a little bit better than maybe in the past, and as I said before it’s a great result.”

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Locals dominate in Miner’s Cup

Originally published: Wednesday, 2nd June, 2021

Broken Hill was victorious in the eleventh Miner’s Cup clash, finishing with a 98-point win over the Far North League on Saturday afternoon.
The Broken Hill team was made up of the town’s best footballers which was evident from the very beginning, as they immediately set their plan of fast and free-flowing football into action.
The home team first got on the board through a goal from Ethan Slater, his first of many for the day. Young gun Locky McKenzie then got involved and slotted a goal before Jayden Kelly kicked his first of what would be a big day out.
Slater then slotted a second followed by a goal from Brock Ellis. Broken Hill led 34 points to Far North’s nil at the first break of the game.
To open the second quarter, it was Jayden Kelly who kicked truly for the first goal of the term, his second of the day. Far North League then managed their first goal through Waylon Johncock.
Broken Hill responded with a goal through Cody Schorn, who marked in the goal square after a great kick in from Nick Schofield.
To finish up the quarter, Ethan Slater booted his third major after a long and fast run into the forward lines.
Broken Hill sat with a comfortable seven-goal lead at halftime, 53 to 11.
The second half was no different to the first, with Broken Hill dominating around the ruck with clean clearances and quick movement. Slater kicked his fourth goal for the afternoon to open the second half, followed by a goal from Todd Davidson.
Far North got another goal on the board through Paul Haynes before Brock Ellis managed his second for Broken Hill after good hands from captain, Marc Purcell.
Jayden Kelly kicked his third, while Cody Schorn slotted a second to give Broken Hill a 69-point lead at the three-quarter time break.
Far North’s Andrew Moss got his side on the board in the final term through an early goal, before Broken Hill finished off the game with a run of majors.
Jayden Kelly kicked his fourth and fifth goals in the last quarter, with one from Liam King in between. Following those was a great snap goal from vice-captain Michael Andruszkiewicz and Rourke Turner kicked the game’s sealer.
Full time score - Broken Hill 18 15 (123) defeated Far North 3 7 (25).

Far North’s best players consisted of Dylan Barlow, Jack Rigden, Craig Hall, Brodie Caden and Seth Wait.
For Broken Hill Trent Barraclough was voted best afield, surrounded by Michael Andruszkiewicz. Marc Purcell, Jayden Kelly, Josh Cieslik and Rourke Turner in the best players.
Broken Hill Coach, Robert Hickey was full of praise for his team’s efforts post-game. He was happy with how they executed the game plan and played with heart.
“It was a fantastic effort, we had good numbers on the track the last week and we did a lot of work on our forward line entries which really worked for us today, we were really good around stoppages.
“(Trent) Barraclough and (Dylan) Brown gave us first use of the footy and we got it inside forward fifty on many occasions and we kept our forward line open which was to our advantage, so it was a good win, really good,” said Hickey.
“Our game plan was to have a half back line which was an attacking half back line, given license to run so just going with the footy and attack from half back, full back, wherever. We just wanted to take the game on play fast, flow on, free football, so a real credit to the lads with their win.”
Hickey said it was an overall great team effort with the likes of Marc Purcell and Michael Andruszkiewicz as stand outs, as well as Ethan Slater and Jayden Kelly’s proficiency up front. “We had winners all over the ground so I couldn’t point anyone out in particular... Just a credit to the whole team.”
Given the last encounter resulted in a draw in 2019, Hickey said it’s great to win convincingly. “It’s a really, really good feeling. We went there (Roxby Downs) a couple of years ago and they were probably in the same situation today where it’s hard to get all your players into the side and travel,” he said.
“So they’ve had that situation happen to them today which we had the other year. To their credit, they ran the game right out and it was played in good sportsmanship. The players were actually having a bit of a talk out there with the other guys as well, so it was really good and played in good spirit.
Hickey said it was a “big disappointment” that the Women’s combined had to be cancelled. “The AFL Broken Hill has done all these renovations and to be able to organise a gala day with the combined game of the ladies and the men would have been outstanding.
“So to have it brought down at that last minute was very disappointing for everyone and the girls were very disappointed. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is with the COVID at the moment. Hopefully going forward, they can rearrange that game and have it later in the season.”

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