2019.5

News in brief

GRILL POWER: Sandy Williams, getting ready for the Australia Red Cross 100-year fund-raiser. Picture: Stephen WarkHolistic lookat good healthA FREE complete health improvement program (CHIP) information night will be held at Dora Creek Seventh-day Adventist Church on Monday, August 27, at 7pm. CHIP is a holistic approach to good health, focusing on diet, exercise and mental attitude. Phone 4973 6228.
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Piper speaksat breakfastMP Greg Piper will talk about what’s happening in the area when he addresses the Toronto Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast next Thursday, August 28, from 7am at Toronto Multi-Purpose Centre. Financial security for small businesses will also be discussed.

Funds raisedfor Red CrossBUNNINGS Warehouse Morisset recently hosted a Red Cross Centenary Fundraiser which raised $921, including $140 from donations. Proceeds will go to the Red Cross.

Grant cuts hit nowFEDERAL government budget cuts will remove $24 million from the first quarter’s payment of vital grants to local councils across Australia this week, the Australian Local Government Association said. The Financial Assistance Grants, provided annually by the government, help councils pay for community services and infrastructure, including roads, parks and libraries.

Fare evasion targetedTHE Central Coast and Lake Macquarie have been identified as hot spots for public transport fare evasion, and will be among areas targeted by the state government, which is recruiting 65 extra transport officers. Fare evasion costs taxpayers millions of dollars a year, which means less for extra transport services, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said.

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GARDENING: The truth about bulbs

FLOWERING: The term bulb applies to any plant with a swollen storage organ.
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I NOTICED this week that the early summer bulbs have arrived at the nursery – it seems like yesterday that we were stocking up on jonquils and tulips, which should be fertilised when they begin to die off.

I did consider writing this column about the magnificence of spring bulbs, their perfume and colours, but in reality the new bulbs made me stop and think about correct terminology for the many flowering perennials we simply label bulbs.

The most popular planting time is autumn when we prepare for spring colour – if you haven’t been successful and there isn’t any sign of emergence you might still be able to buy freesia and ranunculus plants in seedling punnets.

Now to be a little more definitive – it may surprise you to know that freesias are not bulbs but corms.

Bulb is a term applied loosely to any plant with a swollen or thickened storage organ. Nevertheless, all bulbs and bulb-like structures have one characteristic in common, they are food storage bins that the plant can draw on to start active growth after dormancy.

These storage bins are the reason that you leave the foliage on the plant until it has ripened and dried naturally.

The food for these reserves in the bulb is manufactured in the leaves, so the longer the leaves survive, the bigger the bulb for next season.

Gladioli are corms and are in the same family as crocus, anemones and ranunculus – gladioli flower in summer and together with water lilies and bearded iris will soon be available for planting.

Dahlias are popular summer flowers – they are tubers, not bulbs, as are some begonias, cyclamen and potatoes.

Herbaceous perennials grow from crowns – the difference being that crowns are left divided and cut back, whereas bulbs can be lifted.

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PHOTOS: Brahmans through to grand final

PHOTOS: Brahmans through to grand final The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.
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The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

The Brahmans are through to their second straight grand final in the George Tooke Shield. Photos: RS Williams.

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AD FEATURE: Love is in the air

PLAYFUL: Galahs often get up to amusing antics. Picture: Geoffrey Dabb
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GALAHS are starting to show off and perform for their partners all over Lake Macquarie, as they get ready for the breeding season.

Galahs are well known for their playful activities, such as hanging upside-down or playing soccer with pebbles.

“Towards the end of winter, galahs begin renovations and interior decorating of their nest hollows for the arrival of their eggs,” Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife chief executive Susanna Bradshaw said.

There are plenty of creative options to make backyards more galah-friendly.

“Leave big, old trees in your garden so that galahs have somewhere to nest and socialise.

“On farms, try to provide hungry birds with their own feeding area away from crops.

“And if you love having these characters in your garden, it’s worthwhile installing a bird bath as galahs never stray too far from water and love playing in it.”

■ Visit backyardbuddies.net.au.

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Author heading back to Port Fairy

PORT Fairy has always been a special place for author Larry Votava.
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As a child Votava and his family would head down the coast from their Geelong home to spend their summer holidays camping in Port Fairy.

For 14 summers the Votava family would camp at the Gardens Caravan Park, a time that had a lasting effect on Votava.

“I have really strong and fond memories of Port Fairy and the summers we spent here,” Votava said.

“Camping was a popular thing for families to do back in the 1970s and Port Fairy was the perfect place.

“Our parents could let us just take off and they didn’t have to worry about us.

“I remember the East Beach and Pea Soup and the spinning wheels and procession down the street on New Year’s Eve.”

Now aged 55, Votava is coming back to Port Fairy as part of the town’s Ex Libris Book Fair on the weekend of September 5 to 7.

He has published his first novel, The Mahogany Ship, a fictional story about a young boy on his summer holidays searching for the fabled ship.

In the book a reward has been offered for anyone who can find the ship ensuring the young boy has to contend with treasure hunters and other weird and

wonderful characters.

The town the book is set in is Frigate Bay, a town that has an uncanny resemblance to Port Fairy.

“I must admit I find it hard to put the book into any certain category, it is fun, adventurous and a coming-of-age story in some ways.

“I think it appeals to a wide range of readers and I have feedback from people that it brings back memories for them of their own summer holidays,” Votava said.

The appearance at the Ex Libris will be the first major promotional engagement for Votava since becoming an author.

He said he was looking forward to seeing Port Fairy having only been back once since his childhood holidays.

“When I started writing the book four or five years ago I brought my parents to Port Fairy to have a look around.

“We certainly noticed some changes from those earlier days but essentially it was still very much the same, the vibe of thetown hadn’t changed much.”

Votava combines his time as an author with his work as a mineral exploration field assistant in the mining areas of Western Australia with Perth now his home.

He will be taking part in the Men Talking Books session on the Sunday of the Ex Libris festival along side Derek Guille, Roger Haldane and Matt Porter.

Getting the chance to talk about the role of men in literature as both authors and readers is something he is looking forward to.

He said given the strong presence of men in the mining industry workforce he had gained an insight into the reading habits of his workmates.

“As a rule women do probably read more than men do but I think men read more than might be thought.

“Spending long periods in those mining areas you can see that reading is an important part of everyday life for many of the men, it is certainly a valuable relaxation tool.”

The Mahogany Ship is on sale at Warrnambool Books and at online bookshops and will be for sale in Port Fairy during the Ex Libris weekend.