Preparations under way for poppy ‘field’

Over the Anzac Day Weekend, Wolseley Park will become a sea of red.

Gunnedah Woodturners in action with Gunnedah Shire Council manager of community development Debra Hilton. The group has spent 90 hours creating the poppies for the Anzac Day exhibition.

Gunnedah Shire Council staff and their families who volunteered their time to help get the poppies ready in time for Anzac Day.

The park will become home to a pop-up art installation featuring 500 red wooden poppies.

The installation’s aim is to provide a symbolic show of respect and support for the sacrifice and service of the men and women who went to World War I and the conflicts that followed.

The art installation is a community project and is collaborative effort involving the Gunnedah Shire Council and the Gunnedah Woodturners.

Over the past few weeks, the Woodturners Shed at the showground has been busy with scores of volunteers crafting 500 fibreboard poppies for the three-day installation.

Thanks to the Woodturners’ massive effort of 90 hours work, the poppies were recently completed.

This month, 24 Gunnedah Shire Council staff volunteers and their families donated their time to participate in a working bee which involved painting the stalks green and getting the poppies ready for “planting”.

The project is one of a variety of events scheduled in the lead up to Anzac Day, including the Between the Crosses Exhibition by Cate and Geordie Clark at the Creative Arts Gallery, and the joint funded, Two Rivers Arts Council stage production of Echoes from the Trenches by Maggie Denman.

The opening of the exhibition on Thursday, April 23, will also provide an opportunity to showcase the contribution of the shire’s residents who have worked to complete the 500 Knitted Poppies Project.

Safety and security of the 500 poppies over the three days will be a challenge due to the public location.

A council spokesperson said council hoped the community would rally to support the event and respect the sacrifice that the service men and women of Australia made, by keeping the installation intact for the duration of the event.

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History favours the Warriors

SOUTH Wagga Warriors will be looking to consolidate their good record against Blu Js when they meet in the Wagga softball A grade preliminary final at French Fields on Saturday.

South Wagga Warriors hold the upper hand between the two teams having beaten Blu J’s already twice this season and the stakes will be highest this time with a grand final spot up for grabs.

The Warriors power batters Jane and Montana Kearnes, Shellie Ervine and Louise Matheson will be hoping to keep their good form going for this important match.

Their outfield and infield fieldershave helped the Warriors keep runs scored against them to 44 for the regular season.

The pitching combination of Jane and Montana Kearnes, along with catcher Kiara Ervine, will also be keeping the chances of Blu Js getting on base to a minimum.

Blu Js come into the match after defeating Kooringal in the minor semi-final by three runs.

Jasmine Williams has been the stand out player for Blu Js this season at catcher.

The return of Kristy Mohr to help Carmel Hutchinsonfill the pitchers plate is a boost for Blu Js, whowill look to get a great start against Warriors.

Libby Schofield at shortstop has alsobeen a great addition to the team this year.

Wagga softball preliminary final draw: (A grade) South Wagga Warriors v Blu Js D1; (B grade) South Wagga Warriors v TurveyPark D1; (C1 grade) Blu Js v Turvey Park D1; (C2 grade) South Wagga Warriors v Saints D3.

KEY PLAYER: South Wagga Warriors will be looking for a big game from Jane Kearnes on Saturday.

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Second win but team’s doing job by halves

Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco wrestles with St George-Illawarra interchange player Heath L’Estrange. Picture: Anna Warr.IN Monday night’s round two clash, the Wests Tigers played exceptionally well in the first half.

In round one, they played their best footy in the final 40 minutes.

In this Sunday’s game against Souths, the Wests Tigers will need to be on the ball for the full 80 minutes to compete with last year’s premiers.

In a stunning first-half display on Monday night, the Wests Tigers ran in four tries in about 30 minutes, dominating the Dragons in attack and defence and entering the half-time break up 20-4.

Pat Richards scored a double while James Tedesco and Kevin Naiqama also crossed the try-line.

The intensity dropped significantly in the second half with a penalty goal to the Wests Tigers the only points added in the final 40 minutes.

Coach Jason Taylor said he was happy with the entire first half.

Pat Richards lines up for one of several goal kicks. Picture: Anna Warr.

“I thought we played some really good footy,” he said. “We defended well on our try-line for a few sets in a row and then did some really nice execution in our attack, which we have been working hard on.”

With the boys so far ahead on the scoreboard, the second half saw them drop the structure and control they had worked so hard on in the preseason.

That allowed the Dragons more opportunities in attack but the Red V couldn’t penetrate the Wests Tigers’ defensive line.

“We’re happy all in all with the result but we played well in the second half last week and we played well in the first half this week,” Taylor said.

“So there’s that challenge there for us down the track to put a couple of halves together.”

Captain Robbie Farah knows the quality of opposition steps up to a new level in rounds three and four.

“It’s been a good start to the year for us but we’ve got Souths and Bulldogs, so two weeks in a row where we’ll find out how we’re going.”

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Quarry to back koala program following breach

Gunnedah Quarry Products Pty Ltd will contribute $32,000 to a koala project following a significant breach of its extraction limits.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) said this morning Gunnedah Quarry Products had entered into an enforceable undertaking, following a breach of the company’s environment protection licence and an investigation by the EPA.

EPA Armidale regional manager Simon Smith said the company had an Environment Protection Licence which allowed it to extract up to 100,000 tonnes of gravel per year at Mary’s Mount Quarry in Mullaley.

“Between May 2013 and 2014, Gunnedah Quarry extracted a total 166,563 tonnes of material, that’s 66,653 tonnes in excess of the licence limit,” Mr Smith said.

“This was not in accordance with the licence conditions.

“The EPA believes that the incident had the potential to cause environmental harm, particularly in the form of noise and dust emissions.”

The company will contribute $32,000 towards a local koala research project which will be carried out by the Office of Environment and Heritage.

“This project will provide a good environmental outcome and will benefit the long-term conservation of the koalas in the area,” Mr Smith said.

The project will involve the analysis of community koala sighting data, tracking koalas around the Mary’s Mount area using GPS collars, undertaking tree and habitat surveys, and will look at how koalas use the landscape. The project will help identify and protect critical linkages and help to make sure future planting programs are most effective for the koala population.

Gunnedah Quarry Products Pty Ltd will also pay the EPA’s legal costs.

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PhotosTouch football finals

Photos | Touch football finals E’Claires Sweets have done it again. For the sixth year running, the girls have won the Cootamundra Touch Football competition, this year 4-3 against their arch rival the Central Brad’s Beauties.

C Grade champions won 1-0 with a break-away try from Jess Leak (bottom left) in the final five minutes of the game.

Globe Rabbitohs took out the touch footy competition winning 7-0 against Family Rippin n Tearin. The Cootamundra Herald would have loved to provide photo coverage of the game however the pitch was too dark. Picture: Jay Somers

Sisters Kristen (left) and Jess Leak a formidable duo in the C Grade competition. The girls were thrilled to win on Friday night.

One Hit Wonder’s Erin Boxsell taking it all in her stride before scoring a try on Friday night. One Hit Wonders defeated Central Storm 1-0.

Elisha Kelly surrounded by Central Storm players in the B Grade final.

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