Monthly archives: October 2018

Bob Irwin will skip granddaughter Bindi Irwin’s sweet 16

Bindi Irwin’s 16th birthday celebrations may not be so sweet, thanks to an old family rift, if reports are to be believed.

Grandfather Bob Irwin confirmed he won’t be attending the event at Australia Zoo next month. Rather, he’ll be more than 2000 kilometres away, working on a crocodile conservation project.

”In actual fact I’ll be in Cape York, so I won’t be there,” Bindi’s grandfather told 9 Stories.

The family had a public falling out in 2008 when the 74-year-old quit his job at Australia Zoo. Staff claimed he was upset about the commercial direction his son’s wife Terri seemed to be taking the zoo.

In 2010, after suffering a heart attack, he told the Daily Telegraph he had not been visited by his grandchildren.

”I haven’t heard from them [Bindi and Robert] and it is sad but that is a part of life, I guess,” Irwin said at the time.

His grandchildren were in Los Angeles for the launch of Free Willy::Escape from Pirate’s Cove, which starred Bindi.

The family released a statement through Australia Zoo wishing Irwin all the best.

”It has been a worrying time, but Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin and the entire Australia Zoo family are relieved that Bob is now doing well,” the statement said. ”Knowing Bob, he’s as tough as nails and will be back on his feet in no time.”

The conservationist wouldn’t tell the Nine Network if he sees his grandchildren often, but he said he does ”[keep] in contact with family members on a regular basis”.

”I think Terri’s done a great job with those children, she’s had to raise them herself,” Irwin said, in rare praise of his daughter-in-law.

”They are well-adjusted children – they have a good background with their dad. Nobody could be more down to earth than Steve was. They’ve got a great future ahead of them.”

He says he has plenty of admiration for the conservation work his grandchildren are doing. ”I’m really excited about the projects they are involved in,” Irwin said.

Bindi is also excited about her upcoming plans, and says she’s ”looking forward to tackling the bigger issues facing our world today” after her 16th birthday.

She wants to bring conservation issues into public discussion.

”The non-consumptive use of wildlife and over human population tend to be topics that are not openly discussed and until we start talking about these issues, we can’t create positive change,” Bindi said.

She is studying a Certificate III in Business and Tourism at Tafe, and says she wants to use it to help her mum manage the zoo.

She says she’s not done with television and movies yet either. ”I also hope to continue my film work in order to spread my message of conservation. I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for me.”

A public birthday bash is planned at the Zoo on Bindi’s birthday, July 24. There is an open invite to the animal onesie-themed event, which will include a giraffe jumping-castle and face painting.

A low-key family event will follow the public party.

Bindi, who has been in the public eye since birth, seems sedate about the celebration, telling Nine: ”I plan to spend my birthday with my family, Chinese take-out and a good book.”

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Hockey World Cup won, now for the games

With her grandson Andrew Charter playing in the Hockey World Cup, resident Lorna White has spent more than few cold nights in front of the TV watching and is hoping he gets selected for the Commonwealth Games. Picture: Declan RurengaTHE World Cup match between Australia and the Netherlands captured plenty of attention across the world this morning, but for one Junee resident Australia are already champions.

Junee resident Lorna White was up at the crack of dawn to see her grandson Andrew Charter play in the Hockey World Cup grand final.

“I’ve spent a few nights in front of the television, I’ll set an alarm, go to sleep and wake up to see the games,” she said.

The final match was between Australia and the Netherlands with the Kookaburras winning 6-1.

While he wasn’t born in Junee, Andrew’s mother was and he spent a considerable part of his youth with his grandparents.

“He loved spending time in the country,” Mrs White said.

“His mother always played hockey for Junee and district and Andrew used to play soccer when he was little,” she said.

When he was just eight years old, he was asked to fill in for his sister’s hockey team and while initially hesitant he was eventually convinced to play.

“Then he played the following week and was put in as goalie; he did very well,” she said.

At his second game he was spotted by a hockey coach and Mrs White said his family was told he’d do well in the future.

Mrs White was incredibly excited when Australia were given the World Cup on Tuesday morning.

“The commentators were talking about how they thought he was the best goalie of the tournament, he only let three goals in throughout the competition.”

After their third consecutive World Cup, the Kookaburras’ focus will turn to the Commonwealth Games in July.

“I’m hoping he gets selected for the Commonwealth Games,” Mrs White said.

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SE to host Australian Off-road Championships

THE SE is hosting an Australian championship motorsport event on June 21-22.

The Australian Off road Championships are moving to the Coonawarra for two days of racing in the forests just off the border outside Penola in the cabernet centre of Australia.

Luke Bunnik competes at an earlier South Australian Off Road Championship event in Pinnaroo.

The best off road motorcycle racers in Australia and some of the best in the world are travelling to compete in round seven and eight of the national championships.

Off road motorcycle racing is contested in natural terrain with motorcycle racers competing against the clock in a high speed pursuit of skill and endurance designed to test ability, fitness and endurance.

Predominantly based around the eastern coast of Australia, the off road competition is supported by industry heavyweights in the motorcycle fraternity with Yamaha, KTM and Husqvarna all represented with factory support.

The SE has a strong representation in the SA Off Road Championships. Every year SA hosts a round of the national championships in a combined state event.

This year rounds three and four of the State championship will mix it with rounds seven and eight of the national calendar.

This will put the best and the rest of SA’s off road racers head to head with national competition on the same day on the same course.

Off road racing is unique in that all competitors race the same course at the same time, riders are graded on their ability and start in order from the fastest to slowest.

This form of motorsport is one of the few in the world where the fastest professional athletes in the world line up with everyday riders, same tracks, same challenges and the same results page.

With the welcome support of the Pacific Pine Plantation Company and Wattle Range Council the back drop for this event will be pristine pine forests, 12km from Penola on the Dergholm road.

The course is open and set with an arena start in a disused quarry where spectators will have open access to the course.

Jemma Wilson and Jess Gardiner are flying back from Europe to compete; they are two members of last year’s world winning number one women’s off road team who raced for Australia in the ISDE.

Also among the riders will be Toby Price, recently victorious in the Finke Desert Race.

Off road motorcycle racing has a strong history and healthy representation from riders in the SE among those competing in this event.

These include Mount Gambier’s Anthony Greene who is currently fourth in the Australian Off Road Championships Veterans class, Mike Widdison who is currently leading the Veterans SA Off Road Championship class and Jade Tiller currently second in the SA Off Road Championships women’s class.

Luke and Matt Bunnik both of Naracoorte also compete: Luke is leading the C1 class with Matt currently third in the Junior J2 class. They are among many locals competing this weekend.

The event will be signposted 12km from Penola on the Dergholm road, racing runs from about 9am to 3pm Saturday and 9am to 2pm Sunday.

Entry is $5 per person with children under 14 free, with catering available. It’s not often that a motorsport event of this calibre comes to the SE so check it out and enjoy the racing.

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Fluoride focus of Molong meeting: ‘now it’s time to act swiftly’

IN FAVOUR: Dr Anthony Brown spoke in favour of adding fluoride to Molong’s water supply at Tuesday’s information session. Photo: CONTRIBUTEDAFTER what she describes as more than four years of frustrating lobbying and stalling from Cabonne Council, Rural Dental Action Group advocate Marj Bollinger is satisfied fluoride could be added to Molong’s water “in the not so distant future”.

Mrs Bollinger attended Tuesday night’s Cabonne Council community information session, which included advice from dental health professionals and council staff addressing the pros and cons for fluoride introduction.

Molong remains one of a handful of towns in NSW without fluoride in the water system, despite Mrs Bollinger appealing for its introduction in June, 2010.

“Over the years I have been extremely frustrated with Cabonne Council for their lack of action on this issue especially following community consultation and subsequent survey in 2011 when, in my opinion, the issue could have ended with the stroke of a pen in favour from Cabonne Council,” Mrs Bollinger said.

“After the meeting [on Tuesday] I cameaway prepared to accept the answer from council staff as to why council has taken so long and trust they will come to a conclusion to fluoridate Molong water supply.”

Cabonne Council communications and media officer Dale Jones said ultimately the final say belonged to the Department of Health.

“Several years ago Cabonne Council resolved to refer the issue to the Department of Health for determination because we are not health experts in this area,” he said.

“This means the decision eventually will be made by the department’s director general.

“The department goes through an extensive process before making any decision and we understand the department is close to concluding that study.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, NSW Oral Health’s Dr Shanti Sivaneswaran and Anthony Brown from Sydney University’s school of rural health highlighted startling improvements in oral health and declines in dental decay since fluoridation began in Australia.

Mrs Bollinger said council and the Department of Health had no alternative but to add fluoride to the water supply.

“The reasoning to delay any decision was because council had no real knowledge regarding the benefits or otherwise on fluoride, so it was necessary to act responsibly and take their time to get it right by seeking clarification from the appropriate health authorities, which they now appear to have done,” she said.

“Now it’s time to act swiftly.”

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Footy Show duo dive with the sharks

SHARK DIVING: Calypso Star office manager Natasha Becker (left) and skipper Andrew Wright (right) with AFL Footy Show personalities James Brayshaw and Billy Brownless in front of one of the Calypso Star boats. Mr Brownless dived with the sharks as part of a dare when he lost his certainty tip on last week’s footy show.THE Footy Show’s Billy Brownless and James Brayshaw visited Port Lincoln on Tuesday to dive with the sharks as part of a dare announced on last week’s show.

Mr Brownless lost his “certainty tip” and was dared to go diving with the sharks in Port Lincoln, so he brought Mr Brayshaw along with him.

The pair arrived in Port Lincoln on Monday night with their film crew and were introduced to the region’s local seafood.

“I’m all seafood’ed out.”

Calypso Star took the pair out to Neptune Islands and office manager Natasha Becker said they were fortunate enough to see six sharks.

“Billy was a bit nervous,” she said.

“He tried to keep a calm face, but the fear set in.

“The first shark we saw was five metres and it rolled sideways and eyeballed him.”

Once safe on dry land, Mr Brownless said it was a unique experience to be so close to one of the world’s largest predators.

“Being in the water a metre away, you see how graceful they are,” Mr Brownless said.

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