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Thud! That’s the sound of Bunya Pines dropping their cones

Summer heralds the sounds of loud thuds at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, as the Bunya Pine begin to drop their cones. This year the large cones have already started to hit the ground but only time will tell if this is going to be a bumper crop and break records. The Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidwillii) is a native of the subtropical rainforests in the mountains in south-east and northern Queensland and closely related to Australia’s other living fossil the Wollemi Pine. The Bunya Pine can grow up to 35-45 metres in height and live for 600 years. The nuts can be 20-35 cm… Read more »

Touched by Olivia design principles

Inclusive new playground at Warragamba to set standard across NSW

A new Macarthur region inclusive playground will set the standard across the state in a move that will get the thumbs up from more than one million NSW residents with disabilities. Civic Park, Warragamba was the only Sydney play space to receive funding as part of the State Government’s initial injection of $750,000 to pave the way for playgrounds everyone in the community can use. The Wollondilly Shire playground was successful in its application for funding to help it go from the design phase to construction. Thanks to the $350,000 grant, the Warragamba play space will incorporate universal design principles… Read more »

A wild dog caught on camera by Greater Sydney Local Land Services.

Thumbs up for wild dog, fox baiting campaign in Macarthur

Grazier John Cooper is looking forward to a more relaxed new year following his involvement in the latest Macarthur wild dog and fox baiting program. Coordinated by Greater Sydney Local Land Services (GSLLS), the latest program, which wrapped up in December, was the largest targeted control campaign coordinated in the area to date. GSLLS biosecurity officer Annaliese Geddes said the growing support of landholders throughout the Macarthur region had resulted in a highly collaborative, coordinated campaign aimed at reducing the impact of wild dogs and foxes in the area. “Our latest efforts saw 34 landholders take part in a four… Read more »

    The Kontos Report

    Fearless comment, a peek behind the news, some fun and satire with Top 5, topped off with the week’s most interesting image - or two.

    Comment


    Australia Day

    Australia Day on January 26 just needs a makeover

    Australia Day is more at risk of becoming irrelevant due to lack of interest than it is of being moved to another date to appease a couple of critics. Despite what you hear from some quarters, there is no move to change the date from January 26. Yes, a couple of councils have cancelled Australia Day celebrations on January 26Read more »

    South West Confidential


    Gladys Berejiklian

    Hello to Gladys for breakfast and goodbye to Mandy at dinner

    None other than Gladys Berejiklian, the NSW premier, will be the guest speaker at the final business breakfast forum of the year for combined Macarthur councils group, MACROC. The acronym stands for Macarthur Region Organisation of Councils. Its last breakfast forum should be an interesting one, at least from Campbelltown’s point of view. While Camden has agreed to become aRead more »

    Top 5


    twilight parade for Fisher's Ghost festival.

    Some highlights from a long year that went too quickly

    With 2017 about to expire, it’s instructive to look back at another hectic year. If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, where’s the year gone, I would be able to retire. Which means the past 12 months are a bit of a blur, especially at the pointy, tired end of it all. Thinking about someRead more »

    Picture This


    The "tip'' is behind a small rise

    Time we matched wits with the rubbish dumpers

    It’s amazing how ingenious some people can be. No matter how complex the challenge, they will find a way. Sadly, ingenuity is not always put to good use. And that is why no square centimetre of beautiful, pristine bushland is safe from ingenious people who don’t have a hint of a social conscience. This beautiful bushland is on the rightRead more »

    News


    vicarious trauma

    Vicarious trauma: push to help doctors and nurses recognise the symptoms

    A South West Sydney Local Health District nurse has started a campaign to help drug and alcohol nurses and doctors recognise the signs of vicarious trauma in themselves and their colleagues. Ravina Raidu, a drug health nurse, won two awards at the recent Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs conference for her work to highlight the signs andRead more »

    Kids of Macarthur annual gift wrapping service

    It’s a wrap as Kids of Macarthur raises almost $10,000

    For 21 days leading into Christmas, 180 volunteers and staff from the Kids of Macarthur health foundation wrapped gifts for shoppers at Macarthur Square in exchange for a gold coin donation. They didn’t keep a count of how many gifts were wrapped over 21 days, but this wonderful local organisation devoted to helping our sick kids raised $9,800 from thisRead more »

    Business


    Campbelltown chamber

    Chamber will turn 70 next year but party looks set to start in 2018

    The Campbelltown chamber of commerce and industry has been around for almost 70 years. It was established in 1949, so in 2019 it will celebrate 70 years of monthly meetings and business networking in the Campbelltown area. But maybe it’s going to start celebrating 12 months early if the promotion for the chamber’s first get together for 2018 is anyRead more »

    Western Sydney Airport is opening up many opportunities for local businesses.

    Western Sydney Airport opportunities: 700 industry reps at info day

    Around 700 industry representatives will gather in Western Sydney today to find out how they can compete for the range of opportunities being created by the Western Sydney Airport during its construction and operation. WSA Co, the company established by the Turnbull Government to build the airport, will inform businesses on procurement for the airport main works, enabling works andRead more »

    Lifestyle


    helicopter prison break from Silverwater in 1999.

    The bank robber, his lover and a helicopter prison break

    In 1999 serial bank robber John Killick  and his lover Lucy Dudko masterminded one of the most daring prison breaks of all time. Killick, who had turned to a life of crime to feed his gambling addiction, had met Russian immigrant Lucy Dudko at a party four years earlier. Killick and Dudko went on the run in 1999 when aRead more »

    circusclown

    Circus workshop: step right up kids, for juggling lessons

    Step right up and don’t be shy – Stockland’s Willowdale community in Denham Court is offering the ultimate summer holiday treat for youngsters – a free circus workshop next Wednesday, January 17. From 9.30am to noon, children aged from five to 14 can get outside, get active and most importantly have fun at Willowdale Regional Park with a kids circusRead more »

    Technology


    my-metropolis-400x300

    My Metropolis app chance to shape city of the future

    Our city’s generation next is being given the chance to use their creativity to help shape the city’s future through a new app launched by the Greater Sydney Commission in partnership with the NSW Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People (ACYP). The free app, My Metropolis, is an interactive tool that encourages our younger members of the communityRead more »

    Property


    Earlier Easter could boost market activity

    Earlier Easter could boost first quarter market activity

    Santa may still be packing his sleigh and tinsel away, but the earlier arrival than usual of the Easter Bunny could boost local property market activity in the first quarter of 2018. Vince Labbozzetta, director of Raine & Horne Liverpool, says Good Friday falls on March 30 compared to April 14 last year. The earlier timing, combined with a possibleRead more »

    off the plan home buyers

    More protection mooted for off the plan home buyers

    There has been a massive increase in the number of off-the-plan contracts over recent years in NSW. In 2006/07 there were just 2,148 off-the-plan contracts, contributing to 1.25 per cent of all residential property sales across the state. Last financial year there were 29,022 off-the-plan sales, accounting for about 11.5 per cent of all residential property sales in NSW. That’sRead more »

    Motoring


    Commodore_interior

    Hold on to your seatbelts, next-gen Commodore is almost here

    Don’t you just hate it when car companies bring out a new car and charge through the nose for it? Well, that’s not the case with the next-generation Commodore, despite its stunning looks, huge list of high-tech features and great driving dynamics. Next-generation Commodore pricing begins at just $35,990 (driveaway) for the entry level LT 2.0-litre turbo, which is $3,935Read more »

    The next-gen Commodore

    World award nomination bodes well for next-gen Commodore

    Ahead of its Australian launch early next year, the next generation Commodore has been boosted with global automotive experts shortlisting the Opel Insignia for the 2018 World Car of the Year awards. Developed hand-in-hand with the next-generation Commodore, the Opel Insignia has received rave reviews in Europe since its introduction earlier this year. Drivers have cooed over its sleek butRead more »

    Sport


    The Ghosts head into the Raby sheds

    Ghosts go down to Parra in loss they had to have

    Almost a year ago, Macarthur’s premier cricket club, Campbelltown Camden Ghosts, were struggling without a single win after 10 rounds of the Sydney premiership. A week later, on Saturday, January 21, the Ghosts got the monkey off their backs when they defeated Mosman at Raby in round 11. After some soul searching and a lot of tough decisions, the GhostsRead more »

    Isaac De Gois has taken over the coaching reins from Liam Fulton at 2017 Group Six premiers Campbelltown City Kangaroos.

    Kangaroos say goodbye to Liam Fulton and hand clipboard to Isaac De Gois

    When the reigning Group 6 rugby league premiers, Campbelltown City Kangaroos, start their 2018 campaign with a light training run on the evening of January 23 at Fullwood Reserve there will be a familiar figure holding the clipboard. But no, it won’t be Liam Fulton, the Wests Tigers legend who took them all the way to the club’s first premiershipRead more »

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