A round up of news and events from across the region in this week’s Goondiwindi Regional Report.
A look inside the proposed radioactive waste site, Australia Day celebrations through the region, summer harvest yields beyond expectations, attracting a new crop of Goondiwindi Show girls, cotton on the upswing and kids head back to school.
Take a look!
Landowner opens up about Oman Ama
Gordon Donovan is convinced that disposing of nuclear waste is a national responsibility.
He has nominated his 500 hectare property just outside of Inglewood to be the site of a nuclear storage facility and opened up the gates to show the cameras how the facility would operate.
“I’m pretty sure it’s fairly stable soil, there’s not much water run off – any water than runs off is contained on this block,” says Mr Donovan.
“It’s fairly close to the highway and a small town like Inglewood could actually do with the contracting out of construction phase.”
The site is one of six locations around the country being considered for the hundred million dollar facility, which promises to provide local jobs along with an impressive ten million dollar community benefit package.
But many Inglewood locals are still concerned about the potential risks posed by such an operation.
Goondiwindi residents celebrate Australia Day
No matter where you were this January 26 there were celebrations throughout the region to recognise the achievements of our local heroes.
In true Australian style, there were sausage sizzles a plenty and activities to keep the kids entertained…and keep them cool!
In Inglewood, Australia Day Ambassador, Dr Dimity Dornan spoke to the crowd about her role and the importance of ceremonies like these.
“I’m really happy to be here talking at Australia Day, because I love Australia and I love this big robust and happy family that is the mix of cultures that we have here today,” says Dr Dornan.
“Its great fun to be here in Inglewood.”
For a full list of results check out the story here
Summer pulses yield record results
Growers around Goondiwindi are thanking the latest downpour as the sorghum harvest season may beat yield records again.
However, it seems the chickpea may take first place as the stand out commodity this year.
“Well the stand out commodity for 2016 is already chickpeas,” says Geoff Webb of Gold Star Commodities.
“The prices that are available now are phenomenal, $840 a tonne for chickpeas October/November delivery. You used to think anything over $500 was a good thing for chickpeas so these are exceptional prices.”
The demand for chickpeas is increasing rapidly, as areas of chickpea growth have almost doubled in size over the last few years.
Goondiwindi Showgirls eye new competitors for 2016
Kaitlyn Bennet is showing girls across Goondiwindi what it takes to be a showgirl natural, but it’s not all about the glamour and beauty.
Last year’s Miss Showgirl hopes to inspire candidates on how to be an empowered and confident ambassador for the region.
“I think the issue with getting nominations with the senior showgirls is because they tend to be reluctant because they think the competition is sort of about looks first of all, which is a really bad stigma I want to detach from the word showgirl,” says Kaitlyn.
“I just want to encourage women my age between 18-27 to just get in and have a go because they don’t realise how much they can get out of the competition.”
Cotton conditions on the up
Namoi Cotton Area Manager Owen Webb says that recent rainfall means hope for the cotton industry in 2016, following the poor results of the year before.
“Compare it to 2015, we had about twenty percent of the area in this area that could be planted to cotton,” says Webb.
“This year we’re at forty maybe forty-five percent of the area that’s actually planted out to cotton.”
While Mr Webb is positive about the year ahead, he says conditional still aren’t ideal, with cotton gins running at around fifty percent capacity.
He hopes to see this figure rise to eighty percent if good conditions prevail.
Texas kids head back to school
There were mixed emotions as our youngest minds through the region headed off for their first day back to school this week.
For many new starters, the excitement levels were hard to contain.
But for some parents it’s been a difficult time…
Prep parent Amanda Schwenke says it was a little emotional.
“He’s the last one, of three boys. His other brothers are there so they’ll be able to look after him I think…hopefully.”