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Lismore News

MAZDA BT-50 XTR 4X4 DUAL-CAB UTE

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MAZDA BT-50 XTR 4X4 DUAL-CAB UTE
Mazda BT-50 . . . it’s a good thing but the real question is: Has Mazda done enough?

MAZDA BT-50 XTR 4X4 DUAL-CAB UTE

Mazda BT-50 . . . it’s a good thing but the real question is: Has Mazda done enough?

By CHRIS RILEY

For ute watchers, Mazda’s BT-50 has more in common with the Isuzu D-Max than it does the Ford Ranger these days.
After they parted ways, Mazda did a deal with Isuzu while Volkswagen went looking for something to turn into the next Amarok.
For its part Mazda reportedly had little input into the design process and as a result BT-50 is simply a re-skinned version of D-Max, although that’s probably a little harsh.
To put this in perspective, Isuzu has enjoyed meteoric success with the latest D-Max, which has stormed the top sellers list, providing a solid launching pad for Mazda — the real question is whether it has done enough?

STYLING
The new BT-50 looks more refined and car-like — a bit like the last Falcon in fact.
From the rear however the look is generic ute, with vertical tail lights replacing the stylised triangular of the previous model.
The ‘ruggedly stylish’ XTR 4×2 with an auto is $49,470, XTR 4×4 with a manual is $54,710 and the 4×4 auto is $57,210 — all prices before on-road costs.
Standard kit includes 17-inch alloys, cloth trim and manual air, carpeted floors, power windows, power adjust mirrors, LED headlights, auto lights and wipers, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam and traffic sign recognition and walk away automatic locking.
The XTR adds 18-inch alloys, side steps, power fold mirrors, advanced keyless entry and push-button start, LED fog lights, LED headlights with auto levelling, LED daytime running lights, dual-zone climate air with rear vents, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, auto-dimming rear view mirror and centre armrest for the rear seat.

INTERIOR

MAZDA BT-50 XTR 4X4 DUAL-CAB UTE

MAZDA BT-50 XTR 4X4 DUAL-CAB UTE

The cabin is trimmed in cloth with dual zone climate air conditioning, rear air vents for back seat passengers and a splash of leather for the wheel and transmission lever.
Style-wise the main difference between BT-50 and the D-Max is the centre console which has higher sides in the Mazda to prevent items from falling out.
The wheel is reach and height adjustable, while the seats have manual adjustment for rake, slide, height and lumbar support.
The screen, unlike other Mazdas, is touch sensitive, with no central control knob (but no volume control knob either).
Analogue instrument gauges flank a central info screen where speed can be displayed digitally, and traffic sign recognition keeps the driver informed of the current speed limit.

INFOTAINMENT
The infotainment system comprises a 7.0-inch touchscreen and two-speaker audio with Bluetooth streaming, AM/FM and DAB+ digital radio, Android Auto and Wireless Apple CarPlay — plus single USB and 12V outlets.
In the XTR this is upped to a 9.0-inch touchscreen with eight speakers and satellite navigation.
A new speaker is mounted in the headlining, while a 6×9-inch woofer delivers powerful bass response and two-way dome tweeters emit clear mid- to high-range sounds.
Dash-mounted and rear door ‘balanced dome’ tweeters use a voice coil and dome-shaped diaphragm to create impressive depth.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The BT-50 is powered by a turbo-diesel 3.0-litre, four-cylinder engine that generates 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, the latter between 1600 and 2600 rpm.
The new power plant features an aluminium-alloy head and cast-iron engine block, chain-driven double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, drive-by-wire throttle control and a Variable Geometry System turbocharger.
Two-wheel drive models all get a six-speed auto, while the 4×4 version is offered with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic.
You can change gears manually using the shifter with the auto, but steering wheel mounted change paddles are not provided.

SAFETY
An extensive, five-star safety package includes eight airbags, reverse camera and Autonomous Emergency Braking.
There’s also Attention Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Emergency Lane Keeping Assist – Overtaking, Emergency Stop Signal, Automatic High Beam, Hill Descent Control, Hill Launch Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention, Lane-keep Assist System (automatic models), Locking Rear Differential (4×4 models), Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Roll Over Protection, Secondary Collision Reduction, Speed Assist System, Traction Control System and Turn Assist.

DRIVING

MAZDA BT-50 XTR 4X4 DUAL-CAB UTE

MAZDA BT-50 XTR 4X4 DUAL-CAB UTE

The drive experience is slow, heavy and truck-like overall. Depending on what you’re looking for, this may not be as bad as it sounds.
On a more positive note, it’s a relaxed, easy vehicle to drive that cruises effortlessly and uses hardly any fuel for a vehicle this size. You’ve gotta like that.
New BT-50 weighs up to 50kg less than the previous Ford-based models.
With a 76-litre tank, we were getting 7.8 litres per hundred kilometres over more than 500 kilometres of testing in various conditions.
Front suspension is independent via upper and lower wishbones with coil springs, gas-filled telescopic dampers and a stabiliser bar.
For the rear a semi-elliptic leaf with alloy-steel spring leaves and gas-filled telescopic dampers ensure maximum reliability and car-like ride and handling qualities.
Speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack and pinion steering is standard across the range, with 3.84 turns to lock
The switch to 4×4 is via a rotary knob located in the lower part of the console, with high and low range available — as well as a locking rear differential with the auto.
This model has excellent t ground clearance of 240mm and can handle an impressive 800mm of water, but we worry about the side steps which are almost guaranteed to be dented off road.
All grades and body types are fitted with under-body protection to guard against damage off-road or in rural areas.
The XTR can carry a 1090kg payload and pull a 3500kg braked trailer.
The cargo box is 1571mm long, 1530mm wide and 490mm deep, with 1120mm between the wheel arches and four tie-down points.
Our test vehicle had a tray liner, but the liner is optional.
There are two IsoFix and two top tether child seat anchor points.
Servicing intervals are 12 months or 15,000km and it comes with a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty.

SUMMING UP
BT-50 ticks all the right boxes. It’s a fine ute and certainly fit for purpose.
But still looks too refined and car-like. Too much like a Falcon in fact and look what happened to it.
Ranger on the other has delivered incredible sales results largely on the back of its blunt, chiseled macho styling and carefully crafted ‘tough as nails’ image.
Plenty of black trim helps too. That’s, demonstrably, is what buyers want and that’s what Mazda needs to provide — it’s not rocket science guys.

AT A GLANCE

XTR Dual Cab Pickup (auto) $57,210
Note: This price does not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Mazda dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Mazda BT-50 XTR 3.0L Turbo 4-cylinder diesel 6sp automatic 4×4 Dual Cab Pickup)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 3.0 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 140 kW @ 3600 rpm
Maximum Torque: 450 Nm @ 1600-2600 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.0 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: Euro 5

DRIVELINE: Six-speed automatic, 4×4

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 5280 mm
Wheelbase: 3125 mm
Width: 1870 mm
Height: 1785 mm
Turning Circle: 12.5 metres
Kerb Mass: 2030 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 76 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Drum

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / unlimited kilometres

RATINGS:
Looks: 7.5/10
Performance: 7.5/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 8/10
Practicality: 7.5/10
Comfort: 7.5/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Overall: 7.75/10

Lismore News

Lismore Lantern Parade

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Lismore Lantern Parade

Lismore Lantern Parade

Story by Lara Leahy

Lismore Lantern Parade is back in the CBD and is bigger than ever! This year’s celebration will include some old favourites, and some new aspects to the festivities, not only for Lismore, but for the surrounding communities with the theme, “Our Healing Hearts”.

Despite this year’s double dose of floods, Lismore lanterns will shine brightly once more on Saturday June 25th. After 2019’s celebration of the 25th silver jubilee event, the parade went “off track” with 2020’s Covid affected, isolated mini parades, and 2021 covid friendly event in the showgrounds. As they had always planned, the organisers are “glad to be back” in the CBD. LightUp Inc was inundated in the floods earlier this year however many fan favourites were saved or salvaged and will shine once more, amongst new creations.

The Market deLight begins at midday in Carrington and Magellan streets. Summerland Credit Union has sponsored KidsFest and provided 500 lanterns for schools and children that are flood affected. They are invited to make a lantern to join the parade.

The Heartbeats Stage will be set up in Carrington Street (outside Dragonfly) where music entertainment will resound. Little Jarjums opens the event with their Acknowledgement of Country, local talent will be playing all day, finishing with the Cuban dance band, Caribe to swing you into dance action at the end of the night.

On the corner of Magellan and Keen St, Commonwealth Bank Australia are hosting Sports in the Heart – a Cricket Clinic. Cricket NSW will be holding “Netting Sessions” to give kids (of all ages), bowling and batting hints until about 4.30pm. With sports fields still recovering, CommBank wanted to “give people an opportunity to play some sport, while picking up some tips.”

As the light starts to fade, pull your hats and cloaks on, and watch out for the Lantern Parade to begin (around 5.30pm). Look out for old favourites and new, including a Brigade of Tinnies – A salute to the volunteer organisations that play so much of a role in keeping the region safe.

Also, watch for the Procession of the North and South where communities from areas surrounding Lismore are embraced after “their journey of survival and loss this year”.

In store for the Fiery Finale year will be the bonfire, heart-warming food, some gentle fireworks (no big boomers or screamers) as well as some special events. A ceremony to “begin to make peace with the river and healing ourselves and the land in which we live”.

The details of which are being held close, but it will include a couple of special messages for the people.

Jyllie Jackson, Lismore Lantern Parade’s coordinator received an Order of Australia medal on Australia day earlier this year. Jyllie sees the award “as symbolic and goes to everyone that has made the lantern festival what it is.” Jyllie has also received a message from the Governor General (who is unable to attend) and will reveal it at this ceremony.

The parade leaves from the Library along Magellan St and turns left into Molesworth St, winds its way down Victoria St to the levee where the Fiery FInale will take place. Maps will be made available on socials and the Lismore Lantern Parade website, closer to the event.
The event will wrap up at about 8.30pm, but local venues are planning to be up and running to host after parties.
Due to the fireworks, pets are asked to be left at home.
The event coordinators request that you consider the Covid risk and wear a mask.

 

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Lismore News

REGIONAL WORKSHOPS FOR ABORIGINAL STAKEHOLDERS

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

REGIONAL WORKSHOPS FOR ABORIGINAL STAKEHOLDERS

North Coast Local Land Services invites Aboriginal stakeholders to a series of workshops to talk about how we can help you and your community and guide the development of our local Aboriginal Engagement Strategy.

Kira Duroux, Coordinator Aboriginal Programs and Community Engagement, said ‘We’re looking forward to speaking to our Aboriginal stakeholders so we can learn more about the needs and aspirations of the Aboriginal community.”

“This feedback will help us develop our engagement strategy, but it will also help us to find opportunities to partner with Aboriginal Stakeholders to deliver projects across the region”, said Ms Duroux.

Aboriginal community members, Native Title Holders and Claimants, Local Aboriginal land Councils, Aboriginal organisations and services, and relevant agencies supporting Aboriginal stakeholders are all invited to participate.

The dates for the workshops are:

  • Tuesday 5 April 2022 at the Clarence Valley Aboriginal Healing Centre in Grafton
  • Wednesday 6 April 2022 at the Macksville Ex-Services Club in Macksville
  • Thursday 7 April 2022 at the Port Macquarie Golf Club’
  • Monday 16 May 2022 at Summerland Farm in Alstonville (Delayed date due to flood recovery)

Each workshop runs from 9:30am to 1:30pm. Places are limited due to venue capacity.

Registrations are essential and close COB Monday 28 March 2022.

To register and for more information, please contact Lisa Wellman via email on lisa.wellman@lls.nsw.gov.au or mobile 0427 337 471.

Note: Relevant Covid 19 restrictions may apply subject to required NSW Health and Department Policy. Attendees are required to comply with current COVID-19 protocols and must be fully vaccinated.

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2022 Floods

STREETSIDE MEDICS SENDING MEDICAL VAN TO LISMORE CONSULTING SPACE FOR LOCAL GP’S TO SEE PATIENTS IN NEED OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

STREETSIDE MEDICS SENDING MEDICAL VAN TO LISMORE
CONSULTING SPACE FOR LOCAL GP’S TO SEE PATIENTS IN NEED OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

Streetside Medics, the mobile medical service founded by 2022 Young Australian of the Year Dr Daniel Nour to provide free health and medical care to the homeless, is delivering one of it’s medical vans to Lismore today, Friday 11 March.

From 10:00am Saturday 12 March, the van will be operational as a temporary hub for local GPs whose facilities have been impacted by the floods to consult with patients in need of care (eg prescription consultation, ongoing health issue consultation, minor injury consultation and more).

Media interviews with Dr Daniel Nour are available at the van in Lismore 10:00am – 12:00pm Saturday 12 March.

The van will be located outside The Lismore Clinic, 185 Molesworth St, Lismore.

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