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Support Western NSW farmers fighting the drought | Photos, Video

Western NSW farmers are battling a crippling drought and they need your help to survive it.

The Daily Liberal, Western Magazine, Narromine News, Nyngan Observer, Wellington Times, Central Western Daily Parkes Champion Post, Forbes Advocate, Mudgee Guardian, Lithgow Mercury, Young Witness and Cowra Guardian have joined forces with the charity Rural Aid and its Buy A Bale campaign to help Western NSW farmers as they fight to survive the challenging conditions.

The Buy A Bale Western NSW campaign will raise money to buy hay, water and groceries for farmers in need through an online portal.

Options to help include registering for a donation barrel, gradually filling a load of hay for a farmer with a hay truck poster, and, sponsoring a hay truck.

Money raised will go to western NSW farmers. Funds raised for groceries will be used to buy gift cards at the farmers local supermarket. That way, the money will go back into the local economy.

These Fairfax Media mastheads have also united ..

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Western NSW farmers are battling a crippling drought and they need your help to survive it.

The Daily Liberal, Western Magazine, Narromine News, Nyngan Observer, Wellington Times, Central Western Daily Parkes Champion Post, Forbes Advocate, Mudgee Guardian, Lithgow Mercury, Young Witness and Cowra Guardian have joined forces with the charity Rural Aid and its Buy A Bale campaign to help Western NSW farmers as they fight to survive the challenging conditions.

The Buy A Bale Western NSW campaign will raise money to buy hay, water and groceries for farmers in need through an online portal.

Options to help include registering for a donation barrel, gradually filling a load of hay for a farmer with a hay truck poster, and, sponsoring a hay truck.

Money raised will go to western NSW farmers. Funds raised for groceries will be used to buy gift cards at the farmers local supermarket. That way, the money will go back into the local economy.

These Fairfax Media mastheads have also united with sister newspapers across the state to launch a petition which urges the state government to provide more help to drought-stricken farmers.

More than 95 per cent of the Central West is in drought, or at the onset of drought, according to the state governments Combined Drought Indicator. The system looks at rainfall, soil moisture and pasture growth.

The remaining 4.5 per cent is considered borderline and is likely to dip towards drought given the current forecast.

This area includes the Coonamble, Warren, Gilgandra, Warrumbungle, Coonabarabran, Dubbo, Narromine, Parkes, Forbes, Weddin, Bogan, Lachlan, Weddin and Western Plains local government areas.

Take a look at the Central West in March 2018:

DROUGHT: The Central West in March 2018, according to the NSW government's Combined Drought Indicator. Source: NSW government.

Now, take a look at the central west in June 2018:

DROUGHT: 95.5 per cent of the Central West is in drought or at the onset of drought, and 4.5 per cent is considered borderline. Source: NSW government Combined Drought Indicator.

DROUGHT: 95.5 per cent of the Central West is in drought or at the onset of drought, and 4.5 per cent is considered borderline. Source: NSW government Combined Drought Indicator.

Its a similar story in the Central Tablelands where 64.8 per cent of the region is in drought and 35.2 per cent is at the onset of drought.

This area includes the Cabonne, Orange, Blayney, Cowra, Mid-Western Regional, Bathurst Regional, Lithgow and Oberon local government areas.

Take a look at the Central Tablelands:

DROUGHT: 64.8 per cent of the Central Tablelands is in drought and 35.2 per cent is at the onset of drought. Source: NSW government Combined Drought Indicator.

DROUGHT: 64.8 per cent of the Central Tablelands is in drought and 35.2 per cent is at the onset of drought. Source: NSW government Combined Drought Indicator.

Support Western NSW farmers fighting the drought | Photos, Video

  • Oberon. Picture: Brayden Gilmore

    Oberon. Picture: Brayden Gilmore

  • Picture: Sally Ryan

    Picture: Sally Ryan

  • Picture: Jane Watkin

    Picture: Jane Watkin

  • Picture: Andrew 'Pony' Munro

    Picture: Andrew 'Pony' Munro

  • Picture: Clare Kesby

    Picture: Clare Kesby

  • COONABARABRAN: Picture: Peter Small

    COONABARABRAN: Picture: Peter Small

  • Picture: Nick Anganostar

    Picture: Nick Anganostar

  • PICTURE: Tracey Carey

    PICTURE: Tracey Carey

  • YEOVAL: John, Brooke, Chris, Thomas and Jack Haycock on their farm, which has been in their family for six generations

    YEOVAL: John, Brooke, Chris, Thomas and Jack Haycock on their farm, which has been in their family for six generations

Managing Editor NSW South Kim Treasure said the Central Western Daily and other Fairfax Media mastheads had united to help make a difference.

“Farming is such an important part of regional NSW. We are partnering with Rural Aid to help the farmers who have been hit hard by the drought,” she said.

Farming is such an important part of Western NSW. We are partnering with Rural Aid to help the farmers who have been hit hard by the drought,

Managing Editor NSW South Kim Treasure

Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder said hay trucks were already being organised to bring some relief to drought-stricken farmers.

Buy A Bale truck on its way to a drought-stricken farm

“Rural Aid's drought program Buy a Bale has swung behind the dire need of farmers in Western NSW and will over the coming weeks work to provide the assistance these farmers are calling out for,” he said.

We need the people and companies of Western NSW to get behind our work and help us buy the hay and water we need to supply,

Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder

How can you help?

Donate to buy hay and water

WESTERN NSW: Top left: cattle at "One Tree", north of Broken Hill. Picture: Tennille Siemer. Bottom left: sheep grazing at Oberon create a heart shape. Picture: Brayden Gilmore. Top right and bottom right: cattle at Brewarrina. Pictures: Clare Kesby.

WESTERN NSW: Top left: cattle at "One Tree", north of Broken Hill. Picture: Tennille Siemer. Bottom left: sheep grazing at Oberon create a heart shape. Picture: Brayden Gilmore. Top right and bottom right: cattle at Brewarrina. Pictures: Clare Kesby.

Funds raised for groceries will be used to buy gift cards at the farmers local supermarket. That way, the money raised for Western NSW will go back into the local economy.

Money put towards water will be spent locally while hay will be sourced from outside the New England-North West and transported to farmers because of a lack of supply in the region.

Want to get involved at work?

Pop money in a barrel, or help fill a hay truck

Take on the challenge at work and see how far you can go.

Businesses can also sponsor a truck load of hay. Sponsorship money will flow into the Hunter account and be put towards supplies.

Want to know more?

Take a look at the NSW drought with this interactive map

Press the + button to zoom in and then click on the suns to look at pictures from across the state.

This story Support Western NSW farmers fighting the drought | Photos, Video first appeared on Daily Liberal.

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Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

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The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

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Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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Australia

Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

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The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

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