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News and Reviews

The ‘Big’ Things in NSW

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The ‘Big’ Things in NSW

 

New South Wales is home to some of Australia’s most iconic “big” attractions. These enormous sculptures, often inspired by local produce or wildlife, are quirky landmarks dotting the landscape and offering fun photo opportunities and a glimpse into local culture and humour. They serve as larger-than-life emblems of the towns they reside in and are a testament to Australia’s love for the eccentric and the extraordinary.

The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour

One of the first of Australia’s “big things” and arguably the most famous, The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour is a homage to the region’s rich banana-growing industry. This massive banana has been a beacon for visitors since 1964 and is now part of a fun park with a water park, ice skating rink, and a cafe where you can indulge in banana-themed treats. The Big Banana is more than just a sculpture; it’s an experience that symbolises the sunny and playful spirit of NSW’s coastal tourism.

The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour - Big things in nsw

The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour

The Big Prawn, Ballina

Not far behind in fame is The Big Prawn in Ballina, another coastal town known for its seafood industry. The Big Prawn has undergone renovations over the years, adding a tail to its original design. The sculpture is situated adjacent to a Bunnings Warehouse, making it a… interesting… yet unmissable stopover.

The Big Prawn, Ballina - The ‘Big’ Things in NSW

The Big Prawn, Ballina

The Big Merino, Goulburn

Venture inland to Goulburn and you’ll be greeted by the towering figure of The Big Merino. Dubbed ‘Rambo’ by locals, this giant sheep stands as a tribute to the region’s wool industry. Visitors can visit the sculpture and browse the gift shop that sells a range of merino wool products, a cosy reminder of the rural heartland of NSW.

The Big Merino, Goulburn - The ‘Big’ Things in NSW

The Big Merino, Goulburn

The Big Potato, Robertson

In the small town of Robertson, The Big Potato may raise a few eyebrows for its abstract shape, but it nevertheless represents the area’s potato farming history. While it’s one of the more unusual and less polished of the “big things”, it’s a cultural icon that inspires curiosity and puzzlement, embodying the Aussie sense of humour and the laid-back, self-deprecating nature of local rural communities.

The Big Potato, Robertson - The ‘Big’ Things in NSW

The Big Potato, Robertson

The Big Golden Guitar, Tamworth

A testament to Tamworth’s status as the country music capital of Australia, The Big Golden Guitar is a colossal replica of the instrument that has come to define the musical soul of the town. It stands at the entrance to the Tamworth Country Music Hall of Fame and is a popular backdrop for tourist photos, especially during the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival, the second-biggest country music festival in the world.

The Big Golden Guitar, Tamworth - The ‘Big’ Things in NSW

The Big Golden Guitar, Tamworth

The Big Oyster, Taree

Although it is no longer part of an operating oyster farm, The Big Oyster in Taree is still a shiny shell of the town’s once-thriving oyster industry. Set against the backdrop of the Manning River, it’s a spot where visitors can reflect on the aquatic lifeblood of the region and the richness of the local rivers and estuaries. However, if you want to visit it, be prepared to get approached to buy a new car, because it has now been turned into a car dealership.

The Big Oyster, Taree - The ‘Big’ Things in NSW

The Big Oyster, Taree

The Big Guitar, Narrandera

Celebrating Narrandera’s musical heritage, The Big Guitar isn’t as renowned as its Tamworth counterpart, but it’s equally significant. This guitar is a symbol of the town’s contribution to the country music scene, making it a place of pilgrimage for music lovers trekking through NSW.

The Big Guitar, Narrandera

The Big Guitar, Narrandera

The Big Murray Cod, Tocumwal

In the small town of Tocumwal, The Big Murray Cod is a tribute to the region’s reputation as a fishing haven, specifically for Murray cod. This fish sculpture not only attracts those with a rod and reel but also visitors looking to catch a glimpse of Australia’s affinity for celebrating local wildlife in grand form.

The Big Murray Cod, Tocumwal

The Big Murray Cod, Tocumwal

These “big things” of NSW offer a road trip itinerary that’s both unique and steeped in local flavour. They are often located near playgrounds, picnic spots, or visitor centres, making them perfect rest stops for travellers. Each structure tells a story, not just of the object it represents, but also of the town in which it resides. They are monuments to community pride, local industry, and Australian culture.

Visiting these sculptures is more than just a sightseeing adventure; it’s a journey through the heart of regional NSW, showcasing the area’s industry, agriculture, and creativity. From the coast to the countryside, these giants beckon tourists to look beyond the beaten path and discover the quirky character of New South Wales.

 

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News and Reviews

UPDATE: Fatal single-vehicle crash – Lane Cove

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UPDATE: Fatal single-vehicle crash – Lane Cove

 

A driver has died following a single-vehicle crash in Lane Cove on Sydney’s Lower North Shore this morning.

Just after 4am (Tuesday 9 April 2024), emergency services responded to Epping Road, Lane Cove, after reports of a single-vehicle crash.

The Mitsubishi Mirage appears to have lost control and hit multiple traffic lights at the intersection of Mowbray Road before spinning and flipping a number of times.

The male driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, died at the scene. He is yet to be formally identified.

Officers from North Shore Police Area Command established a crime scene which has since been examined by specialist officers attached to the Crash Investigation Unit.

An investigation is underway into the circumstances surrounding the crash and a report will be prepared for the information of the coroner.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or visit here. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

 

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Kingscliff NSW News

Man charged over alleged home invasion – Kingscliff

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Man charged over alleged home invasion – Kingscliff

Thursday, 11 April 2024 01:29:40 AM

A man will face court today charged over an alleged home invasion on the state’s north coast, resulting in the death of a man and another seriously injured.

Emergency services responded to a concern for welfare at a home on Oxford Street, Kingscliff, just after 8pm on Tuesday (9 April 2024).

Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District attended and found a 29-year-old man with a stab wound. He was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics; however, died at the scene.

The occupant of the home, a 66-year-old man, was also found suffering significant arm injuries. He was airlifted to Gold Coast University Hospital where he underwent surgery and remains in a stable condition.

A crime scene was established at the home and detectives commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident under Strike Force Chams.

Following inquiries, a 26-year-old man was arrested at a Kingscliff home about 5.30pm last night (Wednesday 10 April 2024).

He was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station where he was charged with special aggravated break and enter and commit serious indictable offence.

Police will allege in court that the man forced entry to the home and assaulted the occupant before fleeing.

The man was refused bail to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court today (Thursday 10 April 2024).

As investigations under Strike Force Chams continue, anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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News and Reviews

NSW Government looks to expand rice export industry

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NSW Government looks to expand rice export industry

 

The NSW Government will introduce a Bill to Parliament in May, to develop a new rice marketing and trade arrangement for the Northern Rivers rice export industry growing region. This is an important step in the NSW Government’s commitment to bring new opportunities to the state’s agriculture sector, and to ensure regulations do not hinder industry growth.

At the same time the NSW Government has committed to rice growers in Southern NSW and will keep existing rice vesting arrangements in place for that region with a review by 30 June 2029. This will ensure export marketing continuity for Australia’s largest rice exporting region.

These new arrangements will provide new opportunities for NSW agricultural exports – supporting a new emerging rice sector in the Northern Rivers that can contribute to expanding the state’s opportunities in overseas markets.

In practice, these changes will mean the Northern Rivers growers will for the first time be able to organise their own arrangement for exporting rice and not have to go through the vesting arrangements that binds growers in southern NSW. This aims to cut red tape and costs so the emerging Northern Rivers region can be assisted in developing.

The NSW Government’s actions recognise that there are two distinct rice growing regions in NSW and supports the implementation of changes which are considered responsible, appropriate and supportive to the continued development of both rice growing and exporting.

The NSW rice industry had an estimated farm gate value of $219 million in 2022-23. Presently around 98 per cent of NSW rice production occurs within the three southern irrigation regions of the Murrumbidgee, Coleambally and Murray.

The Bill will include a transitional start date of 1 September 2024 for the Northern Rivers arrangement, which will then occur after the 2024 Northern Rivers rice harvest.

These initiatives have been developed by the NSW Government after it was handed a report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), that was initiated by the former Liberal Nationals Government, recommending that the statutory marketing board for rice exports and its sole and exclusive export licence arrangement be removed.

The NSW Government has decided not to accept that ABARES recommendation because it wants to support and assist the rice sector to grow sustainably.

The Government will in its Bill also move to enhance the governance and transparency of the rice marketing arrangements to benefit the sector and growers.

The 2023 ABARES Independent Report into NSW Rice Vesting Arrangements and the NSW Government Response is available on the NSW DPI website.

Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Regional NSW, and Minister for Western NSW, Tara Moriarty said:

“The NSW Government is committed to creating new business opportunities for the state’s agricultural sector and we are taking action to do that for the rice industry by listening to their needs, cutting red tape and assisting growers expand their export potential.

“We are both recognising the needs and value of the established growers in the south and opening up opportunities for the emerging sector in the Northern Rivers.

“I want to acknowledge the valuable contributions made by stakeholder organisations and rice growers over the last year, who outlined what they thought was working, what wasn’t and how the Government could renew their export potential.

NSW RICE INDUSTRY

  • The NSW rice industry had an estimated farm gate value of $219 million in 2022-23 (DPI estimate) with an average farm gate value of $186 million over the past ten years.
    • The NSW rice industry is located across two separate regions of the State: Southern rice region: Roughly 97% to 99% of NSW rice production occurs within the three irrigation regions of the Murrumbidgee, Coleambally and Murray.
    • Northern rice region: A smaller quantity of rice is grown mainly within the Richmond Valley near Casino and Lismore and the Tweed Valley further North.
  • Australian (effectively NSW – as NSW makes up about 99% of national production) rice exports averaged $263 million over the past 10 financial years, ranging from $34 million in 2020-21 to $402 million in 2014-15. Rice exports are highly variable and predominantly influenced by water availability and the price of alternative crops, all of which determine supply.
  • Key Australian rice export markets include but are not limited to the following:
    • Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon)
    • Japan, South Korea, Taiwan
    • PNG, Solomon Islands, other Pacific nations
    • New Zealand

 

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