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Local News

Tough weekend of footy looms

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Grafton Ghost Tackle
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Tough weekend of footy looms

 

By Tim Howard

Grafton’s rugby league clubs face a tough two days of footy coming off a wash out of Group 2 Rugby League games at the weekend.

The Grafton Ghosts hit the road for Macksville on Saturday, lining up against the team chasing them for third spot on the ladder.

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Like the Ghosts, Macksville have claimed the scalp of the South Grafton Rebels, who they beat 26-18 in round 3 and will be keen to add Grafton to the list.

New Ghosts captain coach Dylan Collett said you always have to be wary of taking on Macksville at home.

“They’re always tough down there,” he said. “What we’re hoping for is a week of sunny weather to get the track dry.

“We’re sick of play on wet, boggy grounds.”

Collett said the wet weather was a major contributor to the 12-12 draw the Ghosts played with second-placed Sawtell in round 3, the team equal with them in points, but ahead on averages on the competition ladder.

“The game against Sawtell was really a rain affected game that could have gone either way,” he said.

“The ground was a mess and it was raining, but I was pretty pleased with the way everyone put in.”

It will be the Grafton Ghosts first game for three weeks after a competition bye and washout, a factor Collett has tried mitigate on the training paddock.

“Even though we didn’t play at the weekend, we had a training run and the players really put in,” he said.

“I think this early in the season it won’t be too much of an issue because it’s early days for everyone.”

He was excited to get talented half Jordan Gallagher on the paddock after the Ghosts signed him this season from the Rebels.

Gallagher, playing in the 7 jumper, was a pivotal player as a teenager for the Rebels during their march to the 2022 premiership.

Collett said Gallagher missed the early part of this season because he’d been holidaying in Japan, but would be a key part of the Ghosts’ plans for the rest of the season.

He was also pleased with the form of another recruit, fullback Toby Macintosh who has fitted in well at the club.

He said he had come from the Burleigh Bears where he was a noted try scorer, an issue the Ghosts wanted to remedy after last season.

Despite finishing in the top four, the Ghosts had a -40 points differential through the season and only scored 240 point just two more than the last-placed team.

“You have to score tries if you want to win competitions,” said Collett, who scored 15 four-pointers for his team last year.

On Sunday the Rebels face possibly their biggest ask of the season to date, the high flying Nambucca Roosters.

Already in 2024 the Roosters have accounted for premiers Woolgoolga, who they clobbered 42-10 in round 1 and Macksville, flogged 44-8 the following week.

By contrast the Rebels, beaten 2024 grand finalists, have been patchy and struggling for cohesion.

They have been competitive, but lost close games to the Ghosts 28-20 and Macksville 26-18.

But they bounced back in their last outing, putting Coffs Comets to the sword, 36-18, in a deferred round 2 game.

As happened last year, the Rebels have lost key players and have put together a new-look team for 2024.

Coach Ron Gordon brought in lock Richard Roberts and moved club stalwart Grant Stevens into the front row.

Based on the Coffs Comets game it will give teams plenty of head aches.

Stevens was dynamic in attack against the Comets, repeatedly gaining big metres with his ball carries.

And Roberts was a powerhouse in attack and defence.

Roberts’ brother Tyler was also effective at centre and another import, Conrad Lardner, looked at home in the second row.

The Rebels v Nambucca first grade game kicks off at 2.40pm on Sunday at McKittrick Park, South Grafton.

 

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Casino NSW News

Casino Showground Bookings Now Available

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Casino Showground Bookings Now Available

 

We are excited to announce that the recently revitalised Casino Showground and Racecourse precinct will commence accepting bookings starting from Monday, June 3rd.

With a generous funding injection of $12.8 million from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, alongside contributions from various sources including the NSW Showground Stimulus Program, Drought Communities Funding, Crown Lands, and Council, the total investment in this redevelopment has reached $14.4 million.

This newly enhanced facility boasts a range of features including a spacious undercover arena, an outdoor sand arena, turfed areas, covered stables, and a state-of-the-art racehorse stable complex capable of accommodating up to 80 horses. Additionally, new parking areas for cars, trucks, and floats have been added for the convenience of visitors.

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Of notable appeal is the newly constructed racehorse exercise area, which includes round yards, a horse walker, and a 50-metre equine pool. These amenities are expected to draw considerable interest from equestrian enthusiasts and event organizers alike. Furthermore, enhancements such as powered event camping areas have expanded the facility’s versatility, allowing for hosting a diverse range of events including country music festivals, car shows, trade exhibitions, and markets.

Despite the official opening ceremony held on April 20th to commemorate the acknowledgment of government funding, certain essential construction tasks remain pending due to unforeseen circumstances. These include the high-voltage power upgrade, completion of the equine training area, and fencing installations crucial for ensuring the safety of all facility users.

Unfortunately, adverse weather conditions in the Northern Rivers region have exacerbated delays, saturating many areas of the facility and rendering them unsuitable for immediate use. However, efforts are underway to expedite the finalisation of these outstanding projects in alignment with the originally tendered project costs.

In tandem with these developments, the Council is set to deliberate on its Draft Revenue Policy for 2024-2025 at its upcoming meeting. This policy will outline the proposed fees for utilising the facility and will undergo a public exhibition period of 28 days following the meeting, during which community feedback and submissions will be welcomed.

We extend our gratitude to all existing stakeholders and potential users for their patience throughout this project’s completion, which has been hampered by unforeseen challenges. We eagerly anticipate opening all elements of this facility to serve the broader community.

For those interested in booking the venue, please visit the Council’s venue hire website.

 

For more Casino news, click here.

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Evans Head News

Serenitas Celebrates Grand Opening of Multi-Million Dollar Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head

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Serenitas Celebrates Grand Opening of Multi-Million Dollar Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head

 

Serenitas, a leading provider of lifestyle communities and resorts for individuals over 50, proudly announces the grand opening of the state-of-the-art Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort, Evans Head. The celebratory event saw enthusiastic homeowners joined by Mayor Robert Mustow and Serenitas CEO Rob Nichols, who officiated the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Nestled in the tranquil coastal enclave of Evans Head, the Clubhouse epitomises refined living and leisure. Located near the historic Evans Head Aerodrome and a short walk from pristine beaches, Thyme Evans Head offers an unparalleled blend of luxury and laid-back coastal charm.

Rob Nichols, CEO of Serenitas, expressed his excitement about the new facility: “We are thrilled to be opening the Thyme Evans Head Clubhouse, inviting residents and their guests to immerse themselves in the pinnacle of luxury living. With its striking architecture, ties to Evans Head’s aviation heritage, and a host of premium amenities, this opening heralds the next inspiring chapter for the resort’s homeowners and underscores Serenitas’ unwavering commitment to excellence.”

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The multi-million dollar Clubhouse features an array of exquisite facilities, including a fully equipped gym, heated swimming pool, health and beauty studio, luxurious cinema, sports bar complete with darts and pool table, croquet court, and more. A standout feature of the Clubhouse is the sophisticated Evans Lounge, providing homeowners a serene setting to enjoy views over the aerodrome by a cozy fireplace.

“The Clubhouse caters to every taste,” added Mr. Nichols. “From our active residents utilising the fitness facilities to our social groups making use of the Art & Craft Studio and other recreational spaces for gatherings and events.”

Demand for homes at Thyme Evans Head has been incredibly strong, with sales surpassing expectations since its inception. Located in the highly sought-after Northern Rivers district of NSW, Evans Head has emerged as a coveted community known for its relaxed coastal vibe and pristine waters.

“Our homes have garnered significant interest and are selling at an unprecedented pace,” remarked Rob Nichols. “With prices starting from $615,000, we are preparing to release our final homes for sale, reaffirming Evans Head’s status as a desirable destination for discerning homeowners.”

For more information about Thyme Evans Head, please visit here.

 

For more Evans Head news, click here.

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Local News

Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award

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Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award
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Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award

 

In a competitive field of contenders, Ranger Nick emerged victorious, securing the prestigious “Australian Owned Achievement Award 2024” in the recently announced Australian Owned Business Awards on May 7, 2024.

Surprised by the announcement, Ranger Nick received a message from the judging panel praising his unwavering commitment to Australian ownership and excellence. The panel acknowledged the stiff competition and commended Ranger Nick’s business as a leader in its domain.

Reflecting on the unexpected news, Ranger Nick expressed his elation, stating, “I was on my way to the Capella Country Music Festival, after spending a few days in the scrub with no mobile reception, when I received the news. Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled, flattered and honoured.”

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This accolade marks Ranger Nick’s third triumph in a year, following his recognition as a Finalist in the Australian Small Business Champion Awards and as a Winner in the Innovation and Sustainability Excellence category of The Australian Rural Business Awards.

Renowned as the charismatic Aussie Bush Cook, Ranger Nick embodies the authentic Australian spirit with his unwavering passion for Australian heritage and traditions. He has dedicated himself to sharing his camp oven cooking and bushcraft skills with fellow adventurewrs across the country and abroad.

With four published books, his own merchandise line, and notable appearances on television and radio, including Channel 7Mates’ “Step Outside with Paul Burt” and West Bremer Radio, Ranger Nick’s influence continues to grow.

Grateful for the support he has received, Ranger Nick humbly thanked his supporters, expressing his determination to continue his endeavors. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to all for your unwavering support,” he said. “I better pull up my socks and keep on going.”

Ranger Nick eagerly anticipates receiving his official trophy at the Dayboro Annual Show in early July, marking another milestone in his illustrious career.

 

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