News Just In

Scone Court Report : February 2018

MAGISTRATE Julie Soars began her appointment at the Scone Court House on Thursday and stressed the importance of a licence being a privilege not a right to many who came before her. “With the public transport issues in regional areas most people need their licence to get to work, it is a privilege to have a licence not a right and should be treated as such,” said Magistrate Soars. She also asked, “has Uber come to Scone yet?” Musing most Uber drivers would like longer fares to mine sites. Magistrate Soars also said she preferred anyone on a treatment plan “to be overseen by someone to help keep them responsible and on track.”

On Friday Magistrate Malcolm McPherson stood in for Magistrate Soars and court will not sit in Scone in March, due to training commitments for Magistrates in New South Wales, but will resume in April.

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King of the Ranges Kicks Off

THE annual King of the Ranges Stockman’s Challenge has begun today in Murrurundi, with plenty of events for the whole family planned throughout the weekend. Earl Kelaher, president of the King of the Ranges said riders from all over the country have arrived in Murrurundi to test their skills and entertain the crowds in a […]



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Speaking From the Heart

Dr Ross Walker, cardiologist and best selling author of seven books, will be the final speaker for the Virtual Men’s Shed on Friday, March 23. Belinda McKenzie, project officer for the Scone Neighbourhood Resource Centre, said the whole community would enjoy listening to the world renowned speaker. “We are excited to bring Dr Ross Walker […]



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Stroke Patients – Early Detection Crucial

An 80 year old female from Scone, who suffered a stroke has been taken to the John Hunter Hospital by the Wesptac Rescue Helicopter. Scone Ambulance transferred the patient to Muswellbrook Hospital to meet the chopper. Mark Bell, manager of Scone Ambulance stressed the importance of recognising signs and symptoms of stroke early, due to […]



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Diving In for New Blocks

THE Scone Swimming Club is calling for local businesses to dive in and help them raise money for new starting blocks on Friday, March 2. Josh Arnot, committee member of the Club said he was thankful it was a handicapped race. “I’m going to have a jump in and a paddle,” he laughed. “I’m not […]



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No Woman Left Behind

THE Scone branch of the Country Women’s Association welcome the community to their morning tea to celebrate International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8. Lyn Tout, president of the Scone CWA said this year’s guest speaker is Tania Chesworth from Hunter Belle. “This year’s theme is ‘leave no woman behind’ and the role of women […]



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Last Hurrah for Virtual Shed

THE last tour for the Upper Hunter Virtual Shed will be held next weekend at the Australian Stock Horse Society Nationals in Tamworth. Belinda McKenzie, project officer for the Scone Neighbourhood Resource Centre said many friendships have been forged during the last two years of tours. “This has been a great networking opportunity for the […]



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Yabbie Doo Good Night

THE Scone Neighbourhood Resource Centre raised more than $10,000 at their annual fundraising night on Saturday. The winner of the yabbie race was Pronto Puppy, named after sponsor Erin Williams from Beyond Dog Training. Lee Watts, manager of the Centre said it was a great night. “The people that were there, the number was smaller […]



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Welcome Rainfall

SINCE yesterday afternoon there has been light rain across the Upper Hunter and while the showers will clear today there is another cold front predicted for the weekend which is expected to bring more rain. The following rainfalls were recorded since 9am yesterday: Aberdeen: 2 ml Blandford: 25 ml Bunnan: 10 ml Ellerston: 12 ml […]



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Call the Sheriff – Dares Bones

IT has now been more than three years and Mark “Bones” Curtis is still unable to get a place to live in Maitland or Newcastle to be near the rehabilitation services he needs, to slow the march of the cerebral palsy that is crippling his body.

Bones said he has had enough of Compass Housing and will now stop paying rent until something is done.

“Let them take me to court, let them call the sheriff to kick me out, I’m not scared,” said Bones.

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Last Chance for Learners

WITH fatal car accidents being a regular event on the New England Highway, helping young drivers become safer drivers and tomorrow the Roads and Maritime Services will conduct a seminar to educate supervisors of learner drivers. The workshop is free and bookings are essential. WHEN: 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Tuesday, February 20. WHERE: Council Chambers, 135 […]



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Moonan Going Nuts

THE Moonan Mummer’s are preparing to tread the boards in their latest production ‘My Husband is Nuts’, by Devon Williamson. Kath McLoughlin, secretary of the Mummer’s said the production is a great fit for the Mummer’s crew. “Besides being hilarious and ever so slightly ridiculous, it’s also the perfect length for our patrons,” said Ms […]



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Calling for Friends of Strathearn

TODAY the Friends of Strathearn are holding their annual general meeting and are hoping to encourage more community support for local aged care. Yvonne McGrady, president of the Friends of Strathearn said it was important to look after the elderly in our community. “Strathearn is so important to the town, they are looking after people […]



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Drumming Up Delicious Celebration

“It is that time of year again to celebrate Australia’s diversity and respect for everyone who calls Australia home, from the traditional owners to those who have come from many countries around the world,” said Lee Watts, manager of the Scone Neighbourhood Resource Centre. “There are many ways to celebrate our diversity either through sport, […]



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Calling Fringe Dwellers

AS many townships throughout the Hunter grow, so too does the need for semi-rural landowners to understand their responsibilities for the land, according to Carolyn Jenkinson from Hunter Local Land Services. “We understand not everyone living on the fringe of local towns may be rural producers, but we want to help them manage pest animals […]



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Praying for Suriname

THE Scone Uniting Church will host world prayer day on Friday, March 2 at 7pm. Prayer day is celebrated in more than 170 countries on the first Friday in March and led by Christian women who welcome the community to join in prayer and action for peace and justice. This year the country of focus […]



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Drought Workshops

“Landholders are reporting unprecedented conditions on their properties, after both normal spring rain and decent summer storms have failed to eventuate,” said Justine Baird, regional pastures officer for Hunter Local Land Services. “Many producers have chosen to offload stock because of critical feed and water shortages, however some are still grappling with these hard decisions,” […]



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Neighbourhood Yabbies Ready to Race

LEE Watts said this Saturday’ fundraiser for the Scone Neighbourhood Resource Centre is shaping up to be a good night. “The Yabba Dabba Doo yabbie races are definitely a highlight,” she laughed. “We have named them after people who have donated, but in a fun way so there is Footloose after the podiatrist and Aria […]



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Total Fire Ban in Place

THE New South Wales Rural Fire Service has declared a total fire ban for the Greater Hunter today with the rating level at severe due to forecast hot and windy conditions. During a total fire ban, NO fires may be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended. Gas and electric barbeques may […]



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Call Out for Uber

UBER driver Michael Collins, is encouraging people in the Upper Hunter to become Uber drivers, earn some extra money and help reduce drink driving on our roads. Michael Collins who is based in Branxton, has previously been a prison guard and knows all too well the problems with lack of public transport and drink driving […]



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Newgate Leads Book One

THE move to Riverside Stables at Warwick Farm has proved to be a lucky charm with the first day of the Inglis Classic Yearling sale being the best to date. At the end of Book 1 yesterday, the average sale price rose 34 percent on last year to $94,486 with a clearance rate of 92 […]



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Update: Accident at Halcomb Hill

THE 25 year old male who died in a three car accident at Halcomb Hill at approximately 11:50pm last night was a foreign national who was living in Scone. His partner had critical head, chest and pelvic injuries and was flown to the John Hunter Hospital by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. In another vehicle was […]



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Accident at Halcomb Hill

THE New England Highway is blocked following a three vehicle accident shortly before midnight, at Halcomb Hill, approximately five kilometres north of Aberdeen. The road is closed in both directions. Light vehicles are being diverted via Segenhoe Road south of the accident, which connects to a short dirt road. Trucks are being diverted via the […]



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State Should Pay – Not Ratepayers

“THE ratepayers of the Upper Hunter Shire should be turning up to the Chamber and asking ‘where is the state government in all of this’?” said John Preston, Fishers Shooters and Farmers party. “And ask why the Councillors are not kicking up a stink in Macquarie Street?” he said. Mr Preston said it was utterly […]



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Rates – There Are Other Options

COUNCILLOR Lee Watts who voted against the application to IPART for the 20 percent rate rise said there are other ways the Council could fund activities in the Shire without such a steep cost increase for ratepayers. “To start with all of the things on the list, which the rate rise will cover, were already […]



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Another Horse Ready to Rock

THE Upper Hunter Men’s Shed have produced another beautifully restored rocking horse and there are two more in their stables ready for the special treatment. John Pratley, who is the leading hand in the restorations said the rocking horses have become a tradition for the Men’s Shed. See photos below. “It seems to have become […]



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Muswellbrook GM to Come to Scone

STEVEN McDonald has been appointed as the new general manager of the Upper Hunter Shire Council effective March 19. Mr McDonald is currently the general manager of the Muswellbrook Council, where he has served since 2006 and has 32 years experience in local government. Mr McDonald, who will move to Scone to live in the […]



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Neighbourhood Blows Up

THE Scone Neighbourhood Resrouce Centre has plenty of things worth blowing up said Lee Watts, manager of the Centre. “There is the choice of three inflatables for hire,” said Mrs Watts. “Pick a Zorb Suit, divide into teams, five aside and let the hilarious fun begin,” she said. “Rather than the standard soccer tackle, use […]



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Expect Delays South of Parkville

THE Roads and Maritime Services have advised they will begin roadworks today on the New England Highway south of Parkville and to expect delays. The work will be done over two weeks between the hours of 7am until 8pm on weekdays and 8am until 6pm on Saturdays. A speed limit of 40 kilometres an hour […]



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Accident Near Cressfield – Update

NSW Police have said the motorcyclist who died at the scene of an accident near Cressfield Stud on the New England Highway at approximately 4:45pm yesterday was a 40 year old male. Initial investigations indicate the rider collided with a northbound 4WD before colliding with a second 4WD travelling south. The driver of the north […]



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Accident Near Cressfield

AN accident has occurred on the New England Highway in front of Cressfield Stud approximately 15 kilometres north of Scone. Emergency services are on scene. To avoid the accident, motorists heading north from Scone can use Middlebrook and Cressfield Roads and motorists heading south should turn right into Cressfield Road, then take Middlebrook road to […]



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Controlling Pests in Dry Times

FEEDING and watering stock during the dry conditions is the priority, but it is also the optimal time to control pests advises the Hunter Local Land Services. Luke Booth, biosecurity team leader for Local Land Services, said pigs and wild dogs are moving further afield for food and water. “The only upside to drought conditions […]



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Cassilis Saddled up for Rodeo

MINI bulls will be a feature at the Cassilis Rodeo this weekend with bulls from the national finals in Tamworth coming to town. “They are like a real bull, but tiny, so the kids get on them which is a bit of fun,” said Tim Stanley, president of the Cassilis Rodeo. “We’ve had heaps more […]



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Stock Report: January 30

By Stuart Sheldrake THERE was another large yarding, not quite as many as the last couple of weeks, but still there were 2,600 cattle. Probably not as many cows as we’ve been yarding and they sold to firm rates, in fact store cows could have been a fraction dearer. There were a few fresh faces […]



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Editorial: Rate Variation Circus

WHEN it comes to special rate variations what goes up, won’t come down. If IPART approves the Upper Hunter Shire Council’s application for a 20 percent rate rise over three years, our rates will remain at that level forever more and then we will still be subject to the usual consumer price index (CPI) rates […]



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Getting Ready for Tennis in Gundy

THE Gundy tennis court is a hidden gem backing onto the Pages River at the Showground that has fallen into disrepair, but a group of residents have begun work to bring it back to life for the local community. Kylie McGregegor Vella said while the group are not tennis players they saw an opportunity to […]



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Time to Support Farmers in Drought

FARMERS in the Upper Hunter should have the same drought support as farmers in Queensland, who are given up to $40,000 per farm, per year, believes John Preston of the Fishers and Shooters Party. Mr Preston, a Singleton resident, was in Rockhampton today learning more about the Queensland drought support package and is keen to […]



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Blue Horse Causes Blue

LAST night Council voted to buy a $15,000 Blue Horse to help attract tourists to the area. The sculpture, Big Blue, by Nick Adams was on display in the Shire during the 2016 Horse Festival. Mayor Wayne Bedggood declared a conflict of interest and left the room while the motion was debated. Councillors Lee Watts […]



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Council Apply to Increase Rates

AT last night’s Council meeting a motion was passed to apply to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to raise rates in the Upper Hunter Shire Council by approximately 20 percent in the next three years. The decision was made despite a survey of residents which showed 56 percent did not want the variation, […]



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Local Fires Update – Jan 29

FOUR fires continue to burn locally, but have been contained or brought under control. Myles O’Reilly, district coordinator for the Liverpool Plains Rural Fire Service, said the all crews were busy during the weekend but they feel they are on the home stretch. “The fires last week certainly have posed their challenges for the whole […]



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Editorial: Inspiring Individuals

LAST year I attended a funeral of a cousin, Jill, who had received an OAM for her work with koalas and the environment. When I saw her brother I noticed he was wearing an OAM on his tie and assumed it was Jill’s, but he had earned one himself for his work in the environment. […]



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Heaven Ridge Fire

A fire which began from a lightening strike, mid-afternoon yesterday continues to burn at the top of Dry Creek. Mark Murphy, from Liverpool Range Rural Fire Service said, “the fire bombers are working on it and the ground crews have been on it all day.” “We have a dozer going in tomorrow morning and we […]



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