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Ballina News

ART, LIFE SIZED PUPPETS AND MUSIC SET TO LIGHT UP BALLINA

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Artists from across the Northern Rivers will showcase their work at the inaugural Ballina Contemporary Art Market
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ART, LIFE SIZED PUPPETS AND MUSIC SET TO LIGHT UP BALLINA

 

By Sarah Waters

The creative talent of artists in the Northern Rivers region will be showcased at the inaugural Ballina Contemporary Art Market on Saturday, October 14, from 10am – 7pm.

The fun-filled arts and cultural event will feature more than 50 arts and crafts stalls located within the Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Ignite Studios and surrounding gardens.

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Throughout the day, free creative workshops will be available for market goers, including weaving with Jugan Dandii, collage workshops with Claudie Frock and clay modelling sessions facilitated by local ceramicists.

Local visual artist Kate Stroud has developed a range of installations, including a skill testing machine, a cloud corridor and a series of augmented reality portraits for market attendees to engage with and discover.

Northern Rivers Community Gallery coordinator Imbi Davidson said the contemporary art market was set to be a fantastic community event.

“There will be many talented artists from across the Northern Rivers selling their works and wares as well as an incredible program of free, hands-on activities and entertainment for all the family,” Ms Davidson said.

“We welcome the whole community to come along and enjoy a fun, engaging and creative day,” she said.

Artists from across the Northern Rivers will showcase their work at the inaugural Ballina Contemporary Art Market

Artists from across the Northern Rivers will showcase their work at the inaugural Ballina Contemporary Art Market

Roving performances and workshops will take place by internationally acclaimed immersive theatre company Erth Visual & Physical Inc.

Erth is renowned for its puppetry-based theatrical productions and innovative community projects seen at the Sydney Festival, the Sydney Opera House and Vivid Sydney.

Live music will keep the event swinging, with a twilight laneway party from 5pm, featuring local six-piece Byron band the Versace Boys.

A busking competition, run by local radio station Paradise FM, will also take place.

For the chance to win a recording in their studios and other prizes, register interest at info@paradisefm.org.au before September 30.

The inaugural Ballina Contemporary Art Market is free, family-friendly event.

For more information visit: www.ballinacontemporaryartmarket.com.au/

 

For more entertainment news, click here.

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Ballina News

Federal Budget 2024/25: Implications for Ballina Shire

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Sharon Cadwallader Federal Budget Ballina
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Federal Budget 2024/25: Implications for Ballina Shire

 

Mayor Sharon Cadwallader of Ballina Shire Council offered insights into the Federal Budget 2024/25 and its potential impact on the local community.

Acknowledging the significant commitment of $27.7 billion towards various national projects, Mayor Cadwallader underscored the importance of initiatives targeting cost-of-living relief, education, and healthcare for community well-being. However, she expressed a desire for increased infrastructure spending specifically directed to regional areas.

“We appreciate measures aimed at supporting low and middle-income Australians, but Ballina Shire Council advocates for more infrastructure investment in regional Australia,” Mayor Cadwallader emphasised.

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Key highlights from the Federal Budget 2024/25 that are anticipated to benefit Ballina Shire and the Northern Rivers region include:

  1. Infrastructure Investment: Allocation of $40 million for regional airports and community Wi-Fi initiatives.
  2. Roads to Recovery Program: Progressive increase to $1 billion per year, along with additional funding for the Black Spot Program.
  3. Cost-of-Living Relief Measures: Including energy rebates, tax cuts, and debt relief for tertiary students.
  4. Support for Small Businesses: Funding totalling $290 million, with extensions to the instant asset write-off scheme and support for small business owners’ well-being.
  5. Healthcare Investment: $227 million for Medicare Urgent Care Clinics and regional healthcare support.
  6. Housing Initiatives: Allocation of $6.2 billion to housing programs, aiming to address housing challenges and support new home construction and renters.

“While these allocations present opportunities for our region’s development, we await further details on funding distribution to Ballina Shire,” Mayor Cadwallader noted. “With our population growing, it’s crucial that infrastructure keeps pace to support evolving community needs.”

“We hope for infrastructure investment directed towards Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, crucial for our local economy, given its significant passenger traffic and anticipated growth,” Mayor Cadwallader added.

She also highlighted the importance of addressing housing challenges amidst ongoing pressures faced by the construction industry and home builders.

For more information on the Federal Budget 2024/25, visit here

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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Ballina News

POSTIVE WHITE SPOT DETECTION IN WILD-CAUGHT SCHOOL PRAWNS SOUTH OF BALLINA ALARMING – WILLIAMSON

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Prawn WHITE SPOT DETECTION BALLINA
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POSITIVE WHITE SPOT DETECTION IN WILD-CAUGHT SCHOOL PRAWNS SOUTH OF BALLINA ALARMING – WILLIAMSON

 

The positive detection of large traces of the white spot virus in wild-caught school prawns south of Ballina yesterday is a further blow to the commercial fishing industry across the region with Clarence River estuary fishers already impacted by a two-year biosecurity lockdown, according to Clarence Nationals MP, Richie Williamson.

Mr Williamson said he understood the current discovery of the white spot virus came from routine batch testing of wild-caught school prawns from the inshore ocean area south of Ballina off the Richmond River by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), not from a prawn farm as was the case in the Clarence.

“This is alarming as it is the first confirmed detection of white spot in wild school prawns in NSW directly collected from ocean waters, not associated with a white spot outbreak. It has the potential to wipe-out our local prawn industry,” Mr Williamson said.

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“I’m calling on the NSW Labor Government not to drag its heels on responding to this serious event and provide a support package to commercial fishers in the Ballina and Evans Head region that reflects the gravity of the situation.

“It needs to provide commercial fishers with the same level of support that was provided to those in the Clarence last year.

“The NSW Government was pretty slow to respond to the plight of Clarence commercial fishers who were on their knees last year, so it needs to act more swiftly this time around.

“It is also time for the Federal Labor Government to get serious about biosecurity measures in place to protect our shores from imported prawns.

“We have this bizarre situation where there is a control order on the movement of green prawns from one section within NSW, but the control order stops at the nation’s border allowing the importation of raw prawns from white spot infected countries with only ‘batch testing’ occurring.

“Why the Federal Government continues to allow green prawns to be imported into Australia from countries where the disease is endemic beggars belief. We are certainly not on a level playing field.”

Mr Williamson said he understood a new control zone will be established to cover the Richmond and Wilsons rivers, and ocean waters outside the mouth of the Richmond River restricting the movement of green (uncooked) school and king prawns and other decapod crustaceans to minimise risks of spread while further testing and investigations take place to determine if it is related to previous detections in Queensland and NSW.

“What this means for the current Clarence River Control Order already in place and the wider implications remains to be seen, but I will be watching this very closely,” Mr Williamson said.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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Ballina News

Wave of advocacy against domestic and family violence that started in Ballina

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Ballina Domestic Violence
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Wave of advocacy against domestic and family violence that started in Ballina

 

By Sarah Waters

Domestic violence is an epidemic in Australia, but past President of The Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond Dave Harmon is drawing support from all corners of the country – and abroad – to tackle the issue head on.

The grim reality of the country’s domestic violence statistics were highlighted last month, following the death of 28-year-old NSW childcare worker Molly Ticehurst, who was killed by her ex-partner.

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She was the 25th women to die from gender-based violence in Australia this year.

The Federal Government has since announced a suite of funding measures to target the escalating crisis, including an investment of $925m over five years to permanently establish the Leaving Violence Payment.

Mr Harmon said there will always be a need to support people escaping domestic and family violence, but he believes preventing it is the long-term solution.

For the past six years, since his friend’s sister was killed by her partner, Mr Harmon has rallied together rotary clubs from across the country to address domestic violence at a grassroots level.

Domestic Violence Ballina

Dave Harmon, front left, has led the ‘Rotary Says NO to Domestic and Family Violence’ campaign

“I just remember sitting there (at the memorial service) thinking this is bloody crazy, what’s going on, what could I do,” he said.

“It was 2018 and I was the incoming president of The Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond and I felt like this was my call to action.”

At a local Rotary club board meeting, Mr Harmon explained he felt as though Rotary needed to connect with the community and what’s relevant in today’s society.

The board all agreed there was probably no cause more relevant than the shocking prevalence of domestic and family violence in Australia.

Rotary formed partnerships with the NSW Police and local agencies in Ballina to discuss their ‘Rotary Says NO to Domestic and Family Violence’ campaign and they all got behind it.

Now in November each year, Mr Harmon coordinates the Domestic and Family Violence Community Walk through Cherry and River Streets in Ballina to raise awareness about the crisis.

Hundreds of people have shown up each year since the walk started in 2019 and it has gone on to become a national – and international – movement.

Last year during 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, 110 events and activities were held by Rotary clubs throughout Australia.

About 1300 Rotary clubs from 16 countries have also followed The Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond and actively participate in the ‘Rotary Says NO to Domestic and Family Violence’ campaign.

Mr Harmon saw the opportunity to take the campaign abroad when he became a Rotary District Governor last year.

He presented the idea that Rotary Zone 8, which includes rotary clubs in Australia, New Zealand and several Pacific Islands, combine together to raise awareness and advocate against domestic and family violence.

“It was fully endorsed by them all,” he said.

“It was the first time in over 40 years that we had a common purpose or cause in our rotary zone.

“That shows you how connected we feel about this cause.”

And, at a local level, Cherry St Sports group have helped to fund 1000 free shirts for the Purple Friday campaign.

The joint initiative between The Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond and Cherry St Sports has seen more than 90 businesses in Ballina, schools, council and sport organisations all wear purple t-shirts with the ‘Rotary Say No to Domestic Violence’ slogan each Friday.

Ballina Domestic Violence

The Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond run a community event with Ballina Shire Council to help combat Domestic and Family Violence, from left, retired Detective Sergeant Damian Loone, CEO of Cherry St Sports Tere Sheehan, Ballina Shire Mayor Sharon Cadwallader and Rotarians David and Robyn Harmon

Mr Harmon said it kept the issue of domestic and family violence in the spotlight, so women felt seen, heard and supported.

“Some of the discussions that have happened in our town in Ballina have been very, very powerful,” he said.

“A local hairdresser here in town, who wore the purple t-shirt, had a couple of women come in one day and discussed them being current victims of family violence.

“They hadn’t told anyone before.”

Despite the groundswell of support for the campaign here, and abroad, Mr Harmon said stamping out domestic violence won’t happen overnight.

He maintains the focus needs to be on preventing misogynistic behaviours and changing current attitudes.

“I use the analogy of the drunk driving laws that came in, in the late 1970s in New South Wales.

“It took 20 to 30 years of increased penalties and campaigning to educate our community about drunk driving.

“Today, if you see someone getting into a car drunk most of us will either ring the police or do something about it.

“We also need to step up and call it out when we see disrespectful behaviour happening towards a family member, a friend or when we’re out socially.

“But prevention is the long-term way out of this.”

Mr Harmon and his wife Robyn have helped to introduce Love Bites, a Respectful Relationships Education Program for young people into local schools.

It equips young people with the knowledge about communicating mindfully, warning signs of abusive behaviour, power in relationships and responding to concerns as bystanders.

If you need support or assistance with domestic and family violence call: 1800 RESPECT or visit 1800respect.org.au

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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