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Plus size ladies wear opens at Rubenesque in South Lismore
Plus size ladies wear opens at Rubenesque in South Lismore

07 April 2024, 8:01 PM

Rubenesque is the first dedicated plus-size women's shop to open in Lismore. Kelly Freeman, the owner, described shopping opportunities for larger women as “soul-destroying” because “the variety and sizes are so often not available. And sometimes they even justify elevated prices by the use of extra fabric.”Kelly was determined to have a shop where she can guarantee “any larger ladies will find something that will fit them, that they like.”Rubenesque sells a wide range of ladies fashion, modern as well as with an edgy, vintage vibe, in sizes 16 and up. With a sustainable vision, the clothes are all second hand with a fantastic price tag.“This is not an op shop,” Kelly reassures that her stock is not hand me downs - she has selected each piece for style, value and quality.“I do all I can to make sure the pieces are fully intact, no hanging threads or damage.”The variety and the prices are definitely attractive, “Most clothes are $5, but we go as low as $2. We have day wear, nightwear, casual, formal and evening wear. Sportswear, swimwear, handbags, jewellery, scarves, shoes and hats,” says Kelly, “and even some wedding gowns.”As you walk through the bright red doors, the shop opens out with fresh white walls and sorted racks and shelves with items inviting inspection. The dark, concrete floor feels modern.Kelly is very happy to have a shop in South Lismore, “I love South Lismore, there is a really friendly, supportive, family oriented feel to the community. I wanted to be part of it and support this side of town.” There are many shopfronts nearby, done up and looking fresh.The work Kelly has done to make this dream a reality, reflects a lot of her personal experience, frustration at expensive clothes and a lack of variety for larger women is only a part of it. Kelly lost 50kg a few years back, and not wanting to waste her own valued wardrobe she could no longer use, she started on this path. As a care worker and event manager, she has never owned a shop, but regardless, Kelly began collecting clothes for the right opportunity.Kelly reflects on why the shop has its name, “When I was younger, and I was having a “fat” moment, my father would say to me, “You are not fat, you are Rubenesque.” The name of my shop is a nod to him.”Located in an area prone to flooding after rain, Kelly is possibly putting her weather event contingency plan into effect for the current quantity of rainfall as you read this. “Everything is designed to be put up easily, and the concrete floor makes it easy to hose out,” says Kelly.The idea of flooding is, “just something you have to be prepared for.  And if there is a big flood, well, it is all second hand, the clothes, the furniture, clothing racks, desk, even the computer!” “There is more planned for this space,” says Kelly, “Out the back, I would like to open an art space for exhibitions and workshops with studios for hire.” Kelly is applying for grants to make The Beehive happen.“The grand opening is April 13th, but feel free to pop in beforehand!”You will find Rubenesque at 4/105 Union St, South Lismore, next to Bowens Pies and Silver Scissors.Kelly is open Monday & Tuesday from 1pm to 6pm, Wednesday & Thursday 10 am to 6pm and Saturday, 10am to 2pm.Friday and Sunday Rubenesque is closed.

Police chase ends in arrest after accident in Murwillumbah
Police chase ends in arrest after accident in Murwillumbah

07 April 2024, 7:23 AM

A woman will appear in Court after being charged with numerous offences following a police pursuit in the Tweed area last night.On Wednesday, 03 April 2024, a break, enter and steal offence occurred at Chinderah, where a Volkswagen Amarok was allegedly stolen. A short time later, police received a report the same vehicle was used to allegedly steal fuel from a petrol station at Mullumbimby.On Thursday, 4 April 2024, police attempted to stop the driver of the stolen Amarok at Brunswick Heads. When the driver failed to stop, police initiated a pursuit, which was later terminated due to safety concerns.On Saturday, 6 April 2024, two further police pursuits were initiated in the Tweed Heads sector.In the second pursuit, around 10pm, police pursued the Amarok from Tweed Heads to Murwillumbah, where on Tumbulgum Road, the driver of the Amarok collided with a Hyundai Imax being driven in the opposite direction.The driver of the Hyundai Imax, a 45-year-old woman, was trapped by confinement and treated at the scene by Ambulance Paramedics, before being taken to the Gold Coast University hospital for treatment for a fractured elbow and abrasions.The driver of the Amarok allegedly fled the scene, entering the Tweed River at Tyalgah. Police established a perimeter, and a Sergeant commandeered a surfboard and paddled some 500 metres along the river and arrested a 24-year-old woman.The woman was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with two outstanding warrant and seven offences;Aggravated break and enter and commit serious indictable offence – people there at Chinderah on 3 April 2024Steal motor vehicle at Chinderah on 3 April 2024Dishonestly obtain property by deception at Mullumbimby on 4 April 2024Police pursuit – not stop – drive dangerously at Brunswick Heads on 4 April 2024Police pursuit – not stop – drive dangerously at Chinderah on 6 April 2024Hinder or resist police officer in execution of duty at Murwillumbah on 6 April 2024Drive whilst cancelled at Murwillumbah on 4 April 2024She was refused bail to appear at Lismore Local Court today (Sunday, 7 April 2024), where bail was formally refused, to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court on Monday, 8 April 2024.

Lismore Netball Clubhouse reopens over two years after big flood
Lismore Netball Clubhouse reopens over two years after big flood

07 April 2024, 12:01 AM

The Lismore Netball Clubhouse officially reopened yesterday, ready for use once more after being inundated in the 2022 floods. Clubhouse executives, netball life members, politicians and netball superstars mingled while major sponsor, Woolworths, revealed a surprise $10,000 gift to help them along the next leg of the path.  The president of the Lismore Netball Club, Melissa Dundas, opened the event and spoke passionately about how much the Lismore Netball community meant to her, the sport and Lismore. “Two years ago, where we stand bright now was far from pretty. The water had risen halfway up the second level of the clubhouse. Everything was pretty much gone.” Melissa spoke of the catastrophic flood in 2022 and the effect it had on the club, which operated out of a container to keep the game in play. Melissa described the basic nature of what they were left with, but their community rallied, allowing the sport to go on and be enjoyed as it gave some a “social aspect if only to forget about their personal challenges for at least a little while.” There were some dignitaries that couldn’t make it, ironically due to the weather, but the Netball Australia's CEO, Tracey Scott’s, words were able to be shared with those that attended, “This clubhouse is not just a beautiful facility, it is a symbol of the power and strength of our community sport and how netball brings those together when the chips are down.” The local council, state and federal government sponsors Woolworths, as well as many personal donations from near and far, enabled the clubhouse to be reinstated. Member for Page Kevin Hogan MP acknowledged the life members in attendance and the “work done over the years and decades.” Mr Hogan spoke about the importance of community assets and how the state and federal government saw the importance the clubhouse played in the city. He went on to say that, “What brings joy to my heart is that I come here this morning, and I look across these courts, and see the families here, the children having fun, learning how to play netball, how to be good sports and how to be a good part of our community,” and gave thanks to all of those that have contributed. Netball matches were in game all around as the speeches were made, supporting the importance of what was being celebrated. Catherine Cox, ex Australian Diamond, member of the order of Australia (OAM), inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame and Woolworths ambassador for “grassroots netball” stepped forward. Ms Cox spoke about how she had seen the devastation the floods caused firsthand and how delighted she was to see the kids out there playing on the courts once more. She then got a little emotional before revealing the further $10,000 donation to the Lismore Netball Association to help go towards “the jobs still to be done,” to cheers and applause. Ms Cox spent time with some of the youngest netballers playing Get Set Go. At the end of the team chat, she said, “I feel like this is a full circle moment for myself, so I can only imagine how the association feels about all of this.” She spoke about her experience post-flood of the “devastation around the whole community, and the netball courts - my area of passion and it was something that we wanted to try and help with if it was possible.” Lismore Netball made a successful bid for the Woolworths Pick Fresh, Play Fresh grant.“They ended up getting $30,000 that has made all the difference, as you can see here today, and certainly the clubhouse was the biggest component of that, and then another $10,000 today. So it is really special to be a part of this - what this is all about - all these happy smiles and people enjoying the great sport we all love.” Speaking with Lynne Sims, one of the four life members in attendance, she said she became a life member in 2005, which was only part of her 43-year involvement. ”This has meant a lot as I am seeing girls that I coached when I first started, and seeing them coach their children and their children coming to rep now,” Lynne spoke passionately about the people that make up 58 teams that play in 34 games on Saturdays in a range of divisions. We were standing in the “control centre” of the clubhouse. As we were talking about the importance of the clubhouse for coordinating the many aspects of the sport, an alarm went off. Lynne pressed some buttons, which sounded chimes, indicating the end of the first quarter and the beginning of a break in play. She didn't miss a stride and went on to explain, “We have our meetings, classes and coaching clinics here, which makes a difference - look at the view - you really can see everything that is going on.” It is plain to see the advantage the height of the clubhouse gives to training their coaches.(Lynne Sims, life member of the Lismore Netball Association, microphone in hand overlooking the Lismore Netball Courts) “We have been working out of the shipping container, and it is choc-a-bloc, as that was where everything was stored. That was what we worked out of for two years.” Lynne said. The ribbon was cut by former Australian Diamond netballer, now commentator, Catherine Cox to officially declare the clubhouse open, and a large cake and nibbles were enjoyed as part of the celebrations.

Is AI ready to give medical advice?
Is AI ready to give medical advice?

06 April 2024, 9:01 PM

A world-first study has found that when asked a health-related question, the more evidence given to ChatGPT the less reliable it becomes -- reducing the accuracy of its responses to as low as 28 per cent. As large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT explode in popularity, they pose a potential risk to the growing number of people using online tools for key health information. Scientists from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, and The University of Queensland (UQ) explored a hypothetical scenario of an average person (non-professional health consumer) asking ChatGPT if ‘X’ treatment has a positive effect on condition ‘Y’.  (How a person asks a health-related question of ChatGPT influences the accuracy of its responses.) The 100 questions presented ranged from ‘Can zinc help treat the common cold?’ to ‘Will drinking vinegar dissolve a stuck fish bone?’ ChatGPT’s response was compared to the known correct response, or ‘ground truth’, based on existing medical knowledge.  CSIRO Principal Research Scientist and Associate Professor at UQ, Dr Bevan Koopman said even though the risks of searching for health information online are well documented, people continue to seek health information online, and increasingly via tools such as ChatGPT.  “The widespread popularity of using LLMs online for answers on people’s health is why we need continued research to inform the public about risks and to help them optimise the accuracy of their answers,” Dr Koopman said. (Dr Bevan Koopman co-authored the world-first study) “While LLMs have the potential to greatly improve the way people access information, we need more research to understand where they are effective and where they are not.” The study looked at two question formats. The first was a question only. The second was a question biased with supporting or contrary evidence.  Results revealed that ChatGPT was quite good at giving accurate answers in a question-only format, with an 80 per cent accuracy in this scenario.  However, when the language model was given an evidence-biased prompt, accuracy reduces to 63 per cent. Accuracy was reduced again to 28 per cent when an “unsure” answer was allowed. This finding is contrary to popular belief that prompting with evidence improves accuracy. “We’re not sure why this happens. But given this occurs whether the evidence given is correct or not, perhaps the evidence adds too much noise, thus lowering accuracy,” Dr Koopman said. ChatGPT launched on November 30, 2022, and has quickly become one of the most widely used large language models (LLMs). LLMs are a form of artificial intelligence that recognise, translate, summarise, predict, and generate text.  Study co-author UQ Professor Guido Zuccon, Director of AI for the Queensland Digital Health Centre (QDHeC) said major search engines are now integrating LLMs and search technologies in a process called Retrieval Augmented Generation.  “We demonstrate that the interaction between the LLM and the search component is still poorly understood and controllable, resulting in the generation of inaccurate health information,” said Professor Zuccon. The study was recently presented at Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), a premier Natural Language Processing conference in the field. Next steps for the research are to investigate how the public uses the health information generated by LLMs.  Disclaimer: CSIRO and The University of Queensland, being evidence-driven organisations will always advocate for health information to be evidence-based. Current LLM technology, while promising does not have a body of evidence to support their use in real health settings. 

Plants to be grown on the moon when humans return
Plants to be grown on the moon when humans return

06 April 2024, 7:43 PM

Some light reading for your Sunday about a story that most would have thought fanciful 20 years ago let alone today.NASA has announced that when humans take their first steps back on the moon after 50 years during the Artemis III mission, astronauts will cultivate and return lunar-grown plants to Earth for the first time.Known as Lunar Effects on Agricultural Flora (LEAF), the project will collect plant growth and development data that will help scientists understand the use of plants grown for both human nutrition and life support on the Moon and beyond.Slated for a September 2026 launch, the consortium of partners who will pioneer this initiative includes a core group from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space (P4S), headquartered at the University of Adelaide.The project is led by Space Lab Technologies and involves the University of Adelaide, La Trobe University, and NASA Kennedy Space Center, all P4S partners, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture, University of Colorado Boulder, and Purdue University, with additional analysis to be conducted by the P4S node at the University of Western Australia.“This research will be a pivotal step toward understanding how we might use agriculture in space to support human crews, paving the way for sustained lunar exploration and even missions to Mars,” said Project Lead and Space Lab Vice President, Christine Escobar.Associate Professor of Plant Synthetic Biology at the University of Adelaide and P4S Chief Investigator, Jenny Mortimer, said the mission will tell us how plants respond in an off-Earth environment, and how well we can build a robust, fully contained environment that allows them to thrive.“The data we capture from the mission, both from the lunar surface and what we learn when we analyse the samples upon return, will help us to design the lunar and Martian crops of the future,” Associate Professor Mortimer said.Professor Mathew Lewsey, of P4S and the La Trobe Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and Food, said the LEAF investigation would provide information about how plants could grow in extreme conditions.“The seeds we send to the Moon will germinate in an enclosed capsule, which we will be monitoring through a remote camera,” Professor Lewsey said.“Our team of scientists will collect data on the plants as they grow on the moon, monitoring their size and morphology, then conduct genetic and metabolic analyses of individual cells when the plants return to Earth.“We can then apply this knowledge to improve plant resilience to radiation and other environmental challenges.”The LEAF experiment includes a plant growth chamber with an isolated atmosphere, housing red and green varieties of Brassica rapa (Wisconsin Fast Plants®), Wolffia (duckweed), and Arabidopsis thaliana.Experiments undertaken as part of the LEAF program will progress P4S goals to develop novel plant-based foods and biomanufacturing technologies that assist humans to explore deeper into space than ever before, while also advancing on-Earth sustainability and efficiency.“LEAF has been made possible by bringing together world-leading skillsets in engineering, plant science, molecular analysis, and space logistics – it is a perfect representation of what P4S is here to do, to assist in delivering a new frontier for humanity,” said P4S Director and University of Adelaide Professor, Matthew Gilliham.“The learnings and technologies we gain by growing plants in a completely closed loop, as we must do in space, will provide new options for improving sustainable plant production and processing here on Earth.”Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo, said the selection of Plants for Space involvement in Artemis is a major vote of confidence in Australia’s space sector.“This is another example of the cutting-edge space research and innovation happening in Australia, and the demand there is for us to contribute to generation-defining international missions,” Mr Palermo said.“Importantly too, the technologies and practices developed as part of Plants for Space will improve life on Earth and benefit all Australians by addressing challenges like food security and water scarcity.”LEAF is one of three science instruments so far announced selected for development for deployment on the Moon’s surface as part of NASA’s Artemis III mission, all of which will be set up near the lunar South Pole.The other two are a Lunar Environment Monitoring Station, a compact, autonomous seismometer suite designed to carry out continuous, long-term monitoring of ‘moonquakes’; and the Lunar Dielectric Analyzer, which will measure the regolith’s ability to propagate an electric field, a key parameter in the search for lunar volatiles, especially ice.

Four new bus shelters on the way for Lismore
Four new bus shelters on the way for Lismore

05 April 2024, 9:00 PM

State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin says Lismore City Council will receive $70,000 in NSW Government funding to build four new bus shelters in Lismore.After the endless rain over the past two months, that feels like two years, it will be welcomed by bus travellers in Goonellabah and near the Lismore Base Hospital.Ms Saffin said Transport for NSW had confirmed funding for three new shelters in Goonellabah and a fourth near LBH.She said the projects are being delivered under the latest $1.6-million round of the NSW Government’s Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Grant Scheme (CPTIGS).“I know from my contact with Lismore City Council’s Traffic Advisory Committee that the council is proactive in seeking funding to improve and maintain its bus stop network, a priority which I have always supported,” Ms Saffin said.“I’m very pleased to see three new bus shelters on the way for Goonellabah – Waratah Way-Acacia Avenue; Waratah Way-Kookaburra Terrace; and Grevillia Grove-Kookaburra Terrace.“The planned bus shelter for Uralba Street-Hunter Street should be a plus for bus passengers needing to get to and from Lismore Base.“New bus stop shelters make public transport more accessible and attractive as an option to get around our local area so this investment is well targeted.“They will provide better comfort, security and weather protection for public transport users.“The next round of the CPTIGS opens on 1 July this year so I encourage local councils to check their eligibility and apply for funding.”For a full list of councils and funding amounts visit: https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/operations/community-transport-operators/country-passenger-transport-infrastructure-grants-scheme.

$1 million for research into young driver behaviour to help make roads safer
$1 million for research into young driver behaviour to help make roads safer

05 April 2024, 8:01 PM

The deaths of eight people on NSW roads across the Easter long weekend has again highlighted the importance of road safety research in helping to reduce this tragic toll.The NSW Government has awarded $1 million to two research partners with their work to focus on young driver behaviour. The University of Melbourne and Suncorp (AAMI) will carry out different innovative research projects that will seek to improve young driver behaviour and safety on the road.The primary approach of the research funding is to influence and improve young driver behaviour using technology, making NSW roads safer and CTP Green Slip premiums more affordable for road users. AAMI will use their smartphone app, financial incentives and nudge theory as part of their research.The University of Melbourne will conduct an experimental test using Urban Analytica’s (UA) in-vehicle telematics and smart phone apps. The UA smartphone app will provide personalised safety feedback to drivers in real-time after each journey. Participants will also receive financial incentives via the app to encourage safe driving and emission reduction.The results of the research projects which will be delivered within 24 months will aim to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes involving young drivers and minimise NSW's compulsory third party scheme costs.Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology Anoulack Chanthivong said, “The $1 million awarded by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is part of the NSW Government’s ongoing commitment to fund road safety research and programs that prevent or reduce injuries from motor crashes.“The tragic deaths of eight people across the Easter weekend demonstrates the value of this sort of research in helping to reduce future road deaths and trauma.”Acting SIRA Chief Executive, Dr Petrina Casey said, “Drivers under the age of 25 are still up to four-and-a-half times more likely to be involved in a motor crash and up to five times more likely to be involved in a motor crash resulting in death or serious injury.“The outcomes of this research will give us a better understanding of what incentives are most effective for modifying young driver behaviour,“ Dr Casey said.

Football Far North Coast spreads kindness and soccer balls to Nepal
Football Far North Coast spreads kindness and soccer balls to Nepal

05 April 2024, 8:00 PM

At the Lismore App, we love a feel-good story. This week has been tough for many Lismore and Northern Rivers residents and business owners because of the potential flood, so we felt it a good time to share the good deeds of Steve Mackney and the team at Football Far North Coast.We all hear that football (or soccer to most) is a global sport and the most participated sport in the world. The number of miniroos teams (ages 5 to11) for the 2024 season has grown to over 420, which is 70 over the 2023 numbers.Steve received a letter from Kelsey Buss about how some soccer gear from Football Far North Coast has changed the lives of students in a small Nepalese school The letter is below.Thank you Football Far North Coast,Mero naam Kelsey ho!Hello, my name is Kelsey Buss and I am a final year medical student at the University of New England, Joint Medical Program. I recently completed a four week medical elective placement in Kathmandu, Nepal. During my time in Nepal, I spent a week in a Nuwakot Village which is located 45 kilometres or a 3 hour drive from the capital city of Kathmandu. I was hosted by the Sherman (a traditional Nepalese doctor) granddaughter and her family.I had the opportunity to visit a local Government School – the Shree Balkanya Basic School. This school opened 25 years ago and is funded by the Government of Nepal thereby education is free for all students. Currently, there are 25 students, 6 teachers, 1 nursery and 5 classrooms. Students who attend the school are aged from 2 – 12 years old. The school was impacted by the devastating 2015 earthquake which rocked Nepal. The Principal of the school was explaining that numerous classrooms were destroyed by the earthquake. Since then, the Government of Nepal has assisted in the rebuilding of one of the buildings that housed 5 classrooms. However, a further building that was destroyed and demolished has not yet been re-built. The Principal and teachers are hopeful that a new building will be re-built soon as they are currently having to share classrooms. In particular, the nursery is being shared with a classroom of junior students.I had the opportunity to visit this school with the assistance of Work the World – a international placement provider for health care students. During our visit I was able to donate soccer balls and a soccer pump to the school with the assistance of Steve Mackney, the General Manager of Football Far North Coast. The students were so excited and teachers so grateful for this donation.(Kelsey assisting the Principal in handing out soccer balls to the students at the school. Photo: supplied)I was also able to donate soccer kits (including water bottles, shin pads, socks and shorts) and jumpers to my host family as a thank you for welcoming me into their village and home for a week. Laxmi (the host mother) was so appreciative by receiving these gifts that she became overwhelmed with emotions. She was so excited to pass on these gifts to her husband, her son, aged 4, and her daughter, aged 2.(A photo of the soccer kits that were donated to the host family in Nuwakot Village. Photo: supplied)On reflection, this opportunity reinforced to me that soccer is a universal language for happiness. Although I spoke broken Nepali this was no barrier to the children and villagers. Everyone understood the symbol of a soccer ball and everywhere there was flat land in the village, you would see soccer posts and children playing soccer until the sun went down.You may be wondering why? Why did I bring soccer gear to Nepal?Well, since I was young I have had the opportunity to travel overseas to third-world countries with my family. Every time we travelled my Dad made sure to contact Steve at Football Far North Coast to arrange soccer gear to bring with us to donate to local schools. This initiative by my Dad I have now inherited. The ability to bring smiles and a pop of joy to people during hardships is always something I try to implement into my everyday life.This would not be possible without the assistance of Football Far North Coast. Thank you for spreading smiles in Nepal!You have to love a feel-good story. Enjoy your Sunday.

The Weekend Wrap
The Weekend Wrap

05 April 2024, 5:45 AM

Whichever way you look at it, it will be a wet weekend as the weather pattern that arrived on Wednesday evening continues to affect Lismore and the Northern Rivers.The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a wide range of rainfall, indicating the falls will be less widespread across the region. Saturday's prediction is for 3 to 25mm, while Sunday's is 7 to 35mm. The weather system should start to clear on Monday, and we will start to see some drying, sunny conditions.This week's rain has cancelled nearly all events scheduled for this weekend, so it is more a case of what is not on rather than what's on.As mentioned yesterday, Ladies Day was set down for this Saturday but has been abandoned, and the Lismore Parkrun was to celebrate its 8th anniversary on Saturday morning; this has been postponed to next weekend.A final reminder that Daylight Saving finishes this Sunday, so before going to bed, turn your clocks back 1 hour.The Lismore Farmers Markets will be going ahead tomorrow morning from 7:30 at the Lismore Showgrounds.Take your boots, umbrellas and wet weather jackets as well as your resusable shopping bags to grab some homegrown fruit and veg, hot breakfast, coffee/tea and other goods on sale. Live music is by Broadfoot this week.The Come and Try Sports Day for Blind or Low Vision people is on at the East Lismore Bowling and Tennis Club on Sunday between 9am and 1pm.While some activities may be hampered due to the wet weather, others will be in full swing. A BBQ breakfast will be provided.The event is free, and families and carers are welcome.The Lismore Jazz Club has a dry and fabulous afternoon of Jazz lined up at the Lismore City Bowling Club on Sunday afternoon.The Ben van Kleef Quintet will entertain jazz lovers from 2pm at the Molesworth Street club.It will be the final day of the IAO - Esoteric Arts in Oz exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery tomorrow (Saturday) between 10am and 2pm.The rain is playing havoc with all sports this weekend. The NRRRL and Football Far North Coast seasons were to have kicked off but as it stands, the NRRRL games have been postponed while football (soccer) has seen the closure of all but four fields across the region. Casino matches tonight, tomorrow and Sunday will go ahead as will two at Mullumbimby on Sunday pending ground inspections tomorrow.Once again, the cheapest fuel in Lismore is the new Astron service station on Ballina Road. Lismore's next new fuel offering is the long-awaited 7-Eleven, which will open next Thursday.Here are your cheapest locations to fill up over the weekend:E10 is 196.9 across Lismore, 191.9 across Casino with the Metro on River Street, Ballina the cheapest at 193.9.Unleaded 91 is 197.9 at the new Astron on Ballina Road, 193.9 across most petrol stations in Casino and 196.9 across Ballina.U95 is 206.7 at the Independent on Wyrallah Road, East Lismore, 208.9 at the EG Ampol on Canterbury Street, Casino and 206.9 at the Shell at 323 River Street in Ballina.U98 is 213.9 at the new Astron on Ballina Road, 214.9 at the United on Johnston Street in Casino and 214.9 at the Shell at 323 River Street, Ballina.Diesel is 205.9 at the new Astron on Ballina Road, 211.9 at the United, the Casino Roadhouse and Nightowl Puma on Johnston Street and the Ampol on Dryaaba Street in Casino and 203.9 at the Metro in Ballina.Have a great and dry weekend!

Popular Rural Landholder Initiative workshops return for 2024
Popular Rural Landholder Initiative workshops return for 2024

04 April 2024, 9:00 PM

The popular Lismore City Council Rural Landholder Initiative field days return for 2024 with an exciting workshop, the Principles of Landscape Hydration, to kick off several valuable workshops planned throughout the year.To launch this year's series of workshops, the Principles of Landscape Hydration, held on Saturday, 13 April, from 10am to 4pm, will feature guest presenter Stuart Andrews from Tarwyn Park Training. Tarwyn Park Training is renowned for empowering landholders with practical soil and waterway restoration techniques, productivity improvement and strategic habitat management. Mr Andrews will explain the five principles of landscape hydration, which starts with managing the water flow and extends to a holistic system that manages vegetation, livestock and infiltration to benefit the overall landscape, including biodiversity and increased rural production.Lismore City Council Environmental Strategies Coordinator Kate Steel said this field day serves as a unique platform for landholders to learn vital knowledge from leaders in land management.“The Principles of Landscape Hydration workshop is structured to equip our rural community with the knowledge to explore leading-edge strategies for soil, land and waterway management on private lands,” she said.“This initiative features Stuart Andrews from Tarwyn Park Training, who aims to rejuvenate landscape functionality and farm profitability, which will also play a crucial role in climate change mitigation.“The workshop will also allow landholders to exchange knowledge, network and learn directly from leaders in land management. The field day promises engaging presentations and on-site visits to locations where landscape hydration techniques are successfully implemented.”Spaces for this informative workshop are limited, ensuring an intimate and impactful learning experience. Interested participants are encouraged to register to secure their participation.This is the first workshop for 2024, with more workshops planned.On Saturday, 4 May, the Council, in partnership with Boatharbour Landcare, will feature explorative walks, informative stalls and exciting hands-on activities. Later in May, Council will join forces with Friends of the Koala to support their Koala Conversations festival. This festival will focus on efforts to enhance koala habitat in our region. For further details on the Principles of Landscape Hydration, registration information and future events, please visit www.lismore.nsw.gov.au/Community/Environmental-strategies/Rural-Landholders-Initiative#section-4. 

Lismore and NRs Business Community gets behind Autism Awareness Month
Lismore and NRs Business Community gets behind Autism Awareness Month

04 April 2024, 8:02 PM

April is National Autism Awareness Month, where recognition raises awareness about autism acceptance and promotes inclusion and connectedness for people with autism. Social and community support can help people with autism achieve optimal health and reach their full potential. Business NSW Northern Rivers is co-hosting the Autism@Work Business Luncheon with the Northern Rivers Autism Association next Tuesday, 9 April 2024 in Ballina as part of Autism Awareness Month and the official launch of the Northern Rivers Autism Association.“Micheal Lynch, Chair of the Association has been working tirelessly with our team on this event and we hope to demonstrate the support we can put behind such a great initiative to embrace a neurodiverse workforce in our region,” said Jane Laverty, Regional Director Business NSWThe luncheon will feature guest speaker, Mat Rogers a dual code international with a prominent career in both rugby league and union. After a stellar career representing Queensland, the Kangaroo’s and the Wallabies, Mat finished his career back in the NRL with the Gold Coast Titans, retiring in 2011. With his wife, Chloe Maxwell, Mat is devoted to the charity they established, 4ASDKIDS, after discovering their son was autistic, so they could help other families with autistic children. “We are excited to have Mat lead the conversation along with an expert panel sharing thoughts on the amazing value we can bring to our businesses and employees with a neurodiverse workforce and inclusive workplaces.” Mrs Laverty said.“This is going to be an inspiring event and an opportunity for Micheal Lynch to share his vision for the Association. The Northern Rivers business community is looking forward to being part of this month of awareness-raising and promoting inclusion and acceptance.The expert panel includes:Luke Terry, CEO of Whitebox Enterprises/Beacon Laundry (located in Bangalow and newly formed social enterprise)Andrew Cashin, Professor of Autism and Intellectual Disability with Southern Cross UniversitySamantha Albertini, Senior Manager People & Culture with Social FuturesJodi Rogers, locally based counsellor (Birds & Bees) who has just authored a book called Unique - what Autism Can Teach Us about Difference, Connection and Belonging“Most of us know someone on the spectrum and know that autism can be a superpower. With more than ¾ of Australians on the spectrum being young (between 5 and 24) it is important that we look at how our workplaces can adapt for neurodiverse people and enable greater inclusivity.” Facts about AutismAutism is a neurological developmental difference that affects the way an individual relates to the environment and people in it. The effects differ from individual to individual, which is why the term ‘spectrum’ is used.1 in 100 estimated Australians are autistic205,200 estimated Australians are diagnosed as being autisticMore than ¾ of Australians on the spectrum are young (between the ages of 5-24)38% of Australians on the spectrum participate in the workforce (compared with 83.2% of people with no disability).Source:  www.thespectrum.org.auThe Business Luncheon event starts at 12noon at Ballina RSL on Tuesday, 9 April with tickets available via Humanitix or by contacting the Business NSW office on 0437 655 268.Bookings can be secured via Humanitix - BOOK HERE or scan the QR code.

The Con is searching for musical talent to join NRs Youth Orchestra
The Con is searching for musical talent to join NRs Youth Orchestra

04 April 2024, 7:00 PM

Local young musicians have a huge opportunity to join the Northern Rivers Youth Orchestra in Lismore this July. Hosted by the esteemed Northern Rivers Conservatorium, this orchestra brings together talented young musicians from all over the region for a three-day-long intensive program of rehearsals, workshops, and performances. Led by inspiring guest conductors from associated regional conservatoriums, you'll have the chance to work with some of the best music educators in the country and learn from their wealth of experience. As a member of the NRYO, you'll be honing your skills, collaborating with other talented musicians, and getting to perform at the Whitebrook Theatre in a public grand finale concert. You'll also make new friends and be part of a supportive and inspiring community of young musicians who share your passion for music. Northern Rivers Youth Orchestra participants can expect to learn a wide range of music from the high energy to the sublime, sourced from blockbuster movies, iconic bands and famous classical works, featuring many well-known composers both contemporary and historical. "Speaking as someone who has done it every year since 2012, it is such an incredibly fun, rewarding and motivating experience… alumni from NRYO have gone on to be world-class soloists and ensemble performers," says Tilly Jones, local performer/composer and Northern Rivers Conservatorium librarian. The Northern Rivers Youth Orchestra is comprised of full orchestras, concert bands, and string ensembles. The cost for seniors (AMEB 4+) is $190, and for juniors (AMEB 1–3) it is $170. An early bird discount of $20 applies until the of 3rd June. You can apply now for the Northern Rivers Youth Orchestra and join them for an unforgettable three days of music-making. Learning, and inspiration.  The Northern Rivers Youth Orchestra will be held 9 to 11 July, 2024. To enrol, click heps://enrol.nrcac.edu.au/enrol-workshops/.

Weather closes school and cancels events
Weather closes school and cancels events

04 April 2024, 3:05 AM

The current weather system has caused the early closure of Lismore South Public School & Ngulliboo Jarjums Preschool and the cancellation of some weekend events.The Lismore South Public School said on its Facebook page, that they "will now be non-operational for the rest of the school day. Please come and pick up your children. Thank you for your cooperation."Scott and Daniel at the Lismore Turf Club must feel they are cursed with another important race day cancelled. Ladies Day was set down for this Saturday but is abandoned.The Lismore Parkrun was to celebrate its 8th anniversary on Saturday morning, this has been postponed to the following weekend.The NRRRL and Football Far North Coast seasons were to kick off this weekend but may be revised depending on the state of the pitches and ovals.While the rainfall intensity has a lull with more expected throughout the rest of today and tomorrow, the Bureau of Meteorology has just issued a Flood Watch for a number of River systems down the NSW Coast which includes the Richmond River and Tweed and Rous Rivers for minor flooding.The Minor Flood Warning for the Wilsons River still remains current. The Wilsons River is currently showing 3.08m at 2:12pm.Dunoon Road, North Lismore has been added to the list of roads with water over them as has Wyrallah Road at Monaltrie.From earlier:A lot of causeways through Eureka, Federal, Rosbank are closed.Corndale Rd (FR Hotspot) has water lapping at the road, won't be far off going over.Eltham Rd closed just past the pubTuntable Creek road closed at landslipPaterson Rd (The Channon) causeway floodedBrowns Creek at Brewster St- near the square is over the road.Drains in south Lismore are overflowing and water over the road- particularly Casino St, Wilson St etc.Roads in the Goolmangar area have deep water across the road.Boatharbour Road at Richmond Hill RoadLindendale Road near WollongbarLismore City Council has just closed Hensley Car Park and will provide updates on any other car parks if necessary.

Seniors encouraged to get moving this April Falls Month
Seniors encouraged to get moving this April Falls Month

04 April 2024, 3:00 AM

Older Australians in Northern New South Wales are being encouraged to get physically active this April, to help build their strength and maintain their independence.Better Balance for Fall Prevention is the theme of this year’s April Falls Month, an annual event held throughout April supported by the NSW Fall Prevention and Healthy Ageing Network to encourage older adults to become more active and reduce falls.Locally, exercise and dance classes for people aged over 50 are underway in Alstonville, Casino, Grafton, Lismore, Tweed Heads, Wardell, Yamba and across the Northern Rivers.Health Promotion Manager, Elayne Mitchell said staying physically active is the single most important thing we can do to stay independent as we age.“As we get older, our bodies lose muscle strength and coordination, so the more active we remain, the better chance we have of maintaining our physical function,” Ms Mitchell said.“Improving strength and balance in our legs allows us to complete regular daily activities more easily, including getting up and down stairs, in and out of cars, negotiating uneven surfaces and reducing the risk of falling.“Older people benefit from regular tai chi, group exercise programs, gym sessions, community- based falls prevention programs such as Stepping On, or simple exercises at home to improve muscle strength and balance.“Research has also shown that regular exercise can reduce falls in older people by 23 per cent, but slowly building up high-challenge balance exercises can increase the effects of exercise by up to 40 per cent.”NNSWLHD is partnering with Rotary Clubs across the District to provide pop-up Falls Prevention Awareness information stalls, where you can find out about falls prevention and healthy ageing.Locations•      Friday 5 April, 10am-4pm, Lismore Square, Uralba and Brewster St, Lismore•      Sunday 7 April, 8am-midday, Iluka-Woombah Community Markets, Middle Street, Woombah•      Thursday 11 April, 9am-2pm, Alstonville Plaza, 93 Main St, Alstonville•      Friday 12 April – Sunday 14 April, 9am – 3pm, Bunnings, 2 Bruxner Hwy, Lismore•      Friday 12 April – Sunday 14 April, 9am – 3pm, Bunnings, River Street and Horizon Dr, West Ballina•      Friday 19 April, 10am-4pm, Lismore Square, Uralba and Brewster St, LismoreThe Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) has collaborated with the NSW Fall Prevention and Healthy Ageing Network to produce a range of April Falls resources for patients, families, carers and health staff.Fall Prevention information is also available on the CEC website.To find local physical activity and healthy lifestyle programs, including fall prevention programs, visit the Active and Healthy exercise directory. Information and advice to support older adults to be more active is also available on the Active and Healthy website. This includes home-based exercise circuits designed for beginners to follow along at your own pace from the comfort of your own home.

Roads begin to close as rain continues to fall
Roads begin to close as rain continues to fall

04 April 2024, 1:04 AM

Road closures and warnings of water over roads are flowing in as the current weather system continues to create havoc on our roads.The NSW SES Lismore Unit has said the following have been reported by the public or our Operators on the road.● A lot of causeways through Eureka, Federal, Rosbank are closed.● Corndale Rd (FR Hotspot) has water lapping at the road, won't be far off going over.● Eltham Rd closed just past the pub● Tuntable Creek road closed at landslip● Paterson Rd (The Channon) causeway flooded● Browns Creek at Brewster St- near the square is over the road.● Drains in south Lismore are overflowing and water over the road- particularly Casino St, Wilson St etc.Roads in the Goolmangar area have deep water across the road.Live Traffic NSW says there is water over the road at the usual low-lying spots:Boatharbour Road at Richmond Hill RoadLindendale Road near WollongbarThere are reports of water over the road on Wyrallah Road, Monaltrie just below the tip.The Hensley Street car park is about to flood so car owners are warned to move their vehicles as soon as possible.Since 9am Nashua has received another 65mm following on from the 219mm in the last 24 hours, Alstonville has received 56mm since 9am and Lismore 27mm at the Dawson Street gauge.(The Bureau's weather radar at 12:13pm with rain coming from the north)The height of the Wilsons River at 11:45am was 2.64m with the minor flood level 4.2m.

SES advises Lismore and surrounds to Stay Informed about predicted minor flooding
SES advises Lismore and surrounds to Stay Informed about predicted minor flooding

03 April 2024, 11:43 PM

With rainfall continuing to fall in the Northern Rivers and some significant rainfall recorded in certain areas, the NSW SES has advised people in Lismore and surrounds to STAY INFORMED about predicted rising minor flooding on the Wilsons River and Leycester Creek.While Lismore has recorded 85mm at the Dawson Street gauge in the last 24 hours, Nashua has recorded 219mm and Ewing Bridge at Corndale 142mm.The advice is to stay informed by monitoring warnings issued by NSW SES on their website and Facebook page, listening to your local ABC radio station, and checking the latest weather information from the Bureau of Meteorology online. This you can do through the Lismore App Weather and Weather Radar.What are we expecting?The Bureau of Meteorology advises the Wilsons River at Lismore (AHD) may reach the minor flood level (4.20 m) Thursday evening. Further rises are possible with forecast rainfall.Based on predictions from the Bureau of Meteorology, the following areas may be impacted by dangerous floodwaters:- Hensley Car Park next to Sportspower near Fawcett’s Bridge- Lower Rowing Club Car Park- Low-lying minor roads and bridges- Low-lying farming and rural areas- Low-lying areas along the RiverIf you have a car or know someone who has a car in the Hensley Car Park or the Lower Rowing Club Car Park, it would be wise to move them.View the full warning: https://hazardwatch.gov.au/a/oq5Kg9Download the Hazards Near Me App and set up ‘Watch Zones’ to receive warnings in real time. https://www.nsw.gov.au/emergency/hazards-near-me-appFor emergency help in floods, storms and tsunamis, call the NSW SES on 132 500. In life-threatening situations, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

NSW Farmers say "Don't forget rural roads"
NSW Farmers say "Don't forget rural roads"

03 April 2024, 9:24 PM

Farmers are urging federal and state governments to drastically increase funding for rural road infrastructure as vital roads remain damaged, restricted or even closed three years on from the first major flooding events in the Northern Rivers. NSW Farmers President Xavier Martin said federal and state roads and bridges were crumbling across NSW, and locals no longer believed repair was on the horizon.“The state of regional roads is simply not up to scratch, and federal and state governments can no longer bypass their responsibilities and leave us with thousands of kilometres of roads in ruin,” Mr Martin said. “Since floods first hit the Northern Rivers in 2021, rural road users have little choice but to use dangerous roads or find alternate routes to access their homes, get to work and simply go about their everyday lives.“While we recognise there has been initiatives such as the Regional Roads and Transport Package, and the appointment of a new CEO of the NSW Reconstruction Authority, the breadth of road devastation means there is still major work to be done, and it’s now getting far too dangerous for many to continue on our crumbling roads.”As the federal and state governments prepare to deliver their budgets, Mr Martin said regional and rural road repairs and upgrades must be a top priority for budget funding, otherwise farmers would struggle to deliver their food and fibre to the rest of their nation.“Our roads are key for transporting our world-class food and fibre from farm gate to dinner plate – so when our roads and bridges are crumbling around us, it makes getting food on the nation’s forks a difficult, expensive and even dangerous task,” Mr Martin said. “Enough is enough, and we need practical action to upgrade our roads and bridges that is front and centre in the federal and state budgets this year.“Rural Australia has suffered sub-standard access for too long, and it’s truly time for real action.”

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