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Local News

Rebels hit rock bottom

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Rebels captain Grant Stevens, shown here in a file photo from 2022, took over the coaching role in addition to the captaincy in the absence of regular coach Ron Gordon on Saturday.

Rebels hit rock bottom

 

By Tim Howard

The South Grafton Rebels have slipped to the bottom of the Group 2 Rugby League table after a disappointing loss to the Coffs Harbour Comets.

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The Rebels had fought back to lead the Comets 12-8 at half time, but fell away in the second half to succumb 26-12.

It’s the club’s seventh loss of the season, with the only win coming back in April against the Comets at McKittrick Park.

It was particularly disappointing for the Rebels who just a week earlier had been pipped at the post by competition leaders Nambucca 22-20.

The only good news for the struggling club is they play the rest of the season at their McKittrick Park fortress, beginning with Sunday’s clash against Macksville.

The 2024 season has been a tough one for the club, seemingly perpetually rebuilding even while enjoying success on the field.

Premiers in 2022 and grand finalists last season, each year the club has dealt with an exodus of players but with shrewd recruiting and a steady supply of talented juniors coming through the ranks South Grafton has been able to get results.

While the results have not come so far this season, the team remains competitive, with a number of close losses, by 2, 4, 6 and 8 points the difference between a poor season and a good one.

Club officials privately have said the draw, which has allowed them only two home games so far this season, has not done them any favours.

At half time on Sunday Rebels supporters were waiting for their team to kick away as they did in the game against the Comets in round 2.

Richard Roberts and Nick McGrady had scored tries, which McGrady converted.

Instead the game plan went out the window in attack and defence with dropped passes and missed tackles gifting the Comets points.

They capitalised scoring three converted tries and shut the Rebels out for 40 minutes to run away with the game.

Comets halfback Jett McCarthy had a whale of a game, scoring two tries as well as kicking three goals.

The Rebels face another tough afternoon on Sunday against a tough, uncompromising Macksville outfit who love to get on top through their forward pack.

Macksville came out on top on a bitterly cold and wet afternoon at Macksville in April, but Rebels fans will look to make it hot and uncomfortable for the visitors at home this weekend.

The Grafton Ghost had the bye at the weekend after putting together their best game of the season against Macksville the week before.

On Saturday the Ghosts host Sawtell in a crucial game for both teams.

When they two clubs last met in April the result was a 12-12 draw.

The Panthers have been impressive for most of the season, sitting in second spot on the ladder two points ahead of the Ghosts.

A win on Saturday for the Ghosts could see some changes in the top four, depending on other results.

 

For more sports news, click here.

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Local News

The Beauty of the Sugar Industry

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Harwood Sugar Mill Mural

The Beauty of the Sugar Industry

 

A recently completed mural at the entry to the 150-year-old Harwood Sugar Mill is stopping traffic and creating excitement in the little village with the oldest Australian owned sugar mill.

In the lead up to the 150-year celebrations, artist Nitsua, has created an artwork that reflects the blending of the cane growing and milling activities in the Northern Rivers, that exists thanks to the all-Australian partnership between the grower-owned NSW Sugar Milling Cooperative and family-owned Manildra Group.

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The artwork was commissioned by Sunshine Sugar as part of the preparations to celebrate the significant milestone of 150 years continuous manufacturing operation and Australian ownership – all on the same location on the bank of the mighty Clarence River.

As Sunshine Sugar CEO, Mr Chris Connors commented: “Not too many businesses in Australia can say they have achieved such a significant milestone, which is why we are making the effort to celebrate and promote the resilient industry we have here in NSW.”

Sunshine Sugar and the NSW sugar industry have a line-up of community events and activities happening at Harwood (near Yamba) in August. The celebrations with culminate in a massive outdoor community event to be held at the Harwood Cricket Oval on Sunday 25th August.

Find out more at: 150th Harwood Mill Landing Page – Sunshine Sugar

 

For more rural news, click here.

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Kyogle News

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre “Golden Wattle” to Visit Northern Rivers Region

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Golden Wattle

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre “Golden Wattle” to Visit Northern Rivers Region

 

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre, Golden Wattle, is set to visit towns in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, providing easy access to Centrelink, Medicare, National Disability Insurance Scheme, and Department of Veterans’ Affairs services.

Golden Wattle will visit:

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  • Nimbin: Wednesday, 17 July, opposite the neighbourhood centre, Cullen Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Urbenville: Thursday, 18 July, near Captain Cook Park, Urben Street (9:30 am to 3:30 pm)
  • Woodenbong: Friday, 19 July, in front of Woodenbong Hall, Unumgar Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Kyogle: Monday, 22 July and Tuesday, 23 July, in the Kyogle visitor centre car park, Summerland Way (9:00 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Bonalbo: Wednesday, 24 July, in front of Bonalbo Hall, Koreelah Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Tabulam: Thursday, 25 July, opposite the hotel, Court Street (9:30 am to 3:00 pm)

About Mobile Services Centres: Mobile Services Centres are 20-tonne trucks operated by Services Australia staff, providing regional and rural Australians with friendly, face-to-face service and tailored support. On this trip, staff can assist with:

  • Centrelink claims
  • Medicare registrations
  • Accessing online services

Additionally, information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Department of Veterans’ Affairs programs and support services will be available.

For more information, visit the Services Australia website.

 

For more local news, click here.

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Lismore News

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

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Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with North-Tracks Works Chair Patrick Higgins, Secretary/board member Kevin Bell and Mr Bell’s working dog Maezzie. - Youth Crime Prevention

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

 

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has successfully secured a $30,000 grant for North-Tracks Works, a Lismore-based organisation dedicated to empowering vulnerable young people. This funding will enable the expansion of their life-changing programs to engage more youth in Goonellabah, Coraki, and Casino.

Ms. Saffin expressed her gratitude to NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley for approving the grant following her advocacy on behalf of North-Tracks Works. She praised the organisation, which operates out of a shed in South Lismore, for its impactful work with young people aged 11 to 18, offering one-on-one support, mentoring, and practical learning opportunities.

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“I previously secured a $44,000 Local Small Commitments Allocation grant to help North-Tracks purchase equipment and materials for skill-building,” Ms. Saffin said. “This additional grant will allow North-Tracks to employ youth workers and expand their proven youth program, which is supported by Richmond Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner.”

Patrick Higgins, Chair of North-Tracks Works and a local real estate agent, thanked Ms. Saffin for her efforts in securing the additional funding from Minister Catley. “We don’t fit in the box for normal funding. Our approach is about creating a sense of belonging and purpose through our skills program and training working dogs. It’s the work with the dogs that bridges the gap,” Mr. Higgins explained.

“At North-Tracks, we spend 10 percent looking back, 10 percent at where you are now, and 80 percent looking forward. We help them chase their dreams and goals,” he added. “Our team has three basic goals: keep them safe and alive, keep them out of jail, and help them move forward to live a full and productive life.”

This funding is set to sustain and expand North-Tracks Works’ impactful initiatives, providing more opportunities for at-risk youth to gain essential skills and find a sense of purpose and for Youth Crime Prevention.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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