• Archives
  • Categories
  • Budget blues dampen Chinese rate cut’s boost to Australian shares

    2018 - 07.05

    A cut in Chinese interest rates at the weekend has sparked a short-lived surge in Australian shares on Monday morning and analysts predict more Chinese monetary easing.
    Nanjing Night Net

    China cut its benchmark one-year lending rate by 25 basis points to 5.1 per cent and its benchmark deposit rate by the same amount to 2.25 per cent at the weekend.

    The news of the cut – plus a very strong 1.5 per cent lift in the Dow Jones on Friday – pushed the local sharemarket indexes 0.9 per cent higher after the open.

    However, the market soon fell back on domestic factors, IG Markets strategist Stan Shamu said.

    “The cut had a pretty positive impact, we got off to a good start,” he said. “It had a big impact but it then turned very minor.”

    Another sell-off of the banks and general jitters ahead of Tuesday’s federal budget stripped the local market of all its gains before noon, he said.

    At 1.20pm AEST on Monday, the S&P/ASX 200 was up just 0.09 per cent at 5639.4.

    The cut in rates by the People’s Bank Of China was the third in six months. The central bank is trying to lift growth in what appears likely to be China’s worst year in a quarter of a century.

    The PBOC acknowledged that “China’s economy is still facing relatively big downward pressure”.

    “At the same time, the overall level of domestic prices remains low, and real interest rates are still higher than the historical average.”

    The rate cut followed weaker than expected April trade and inflation data, which analysts said may have spurred the PBOC decision.

    “In a nutshell, we are neither surprised nor impressed by this interest rate cut,” Societe Generale analyst Wei Yao said. “If economic growth continues to slide, policy easing will have to step up as well.”

    Westpac analyst Jonathan Cavenagh said further Chinese monetary easing was likely.

    “Sunday’s announcement is unlikely to be the last, with our economics team expecting the one-year lending rate to be 4.6 per cent by year’s end, while the required reserve ratio is expected to fall to 16.5 per cent from the current 18 per cent.”

    Sentiment in Chinese shares should be improved by the cut, he said.

    The correlation between China’s sharemarket and others in the region “had not been that strong”, he said, so the spillover effect to other sharemarkets, including in Australia, was “limited”.

    Capital Economics said it also expected the required reserve ratio to fall from 18 per cent to 16.5 per cent.

    However, as inflation was expected to rise later in the year – automatically pushing real interest rates down – further cuts to benchmark rates by the PBOC were unlikely, it said.

    “Today’s cut to benchmark interest rates is not a sign of panic, as some will argue, but a rational response to weaker than expected data,” Capital Economics said.

    “Policymakers have room to act more forcefully if needed but are choosing to dole out stimulus in a measured way.”

    Goldman Sachs Group economist Song Yu – who correctly declared growth in 2014 had troughed and would be followed by a rebound  – said there would be a repeat of that pattern this year.

    “Now it’s very similar to this time of last year in terms of having a combination of monetary, fiscal and administrative loosening,” said the Beijing-based economist, ranked the best overall forecaster of China’s economy by Bloomberg Rankings for the past two years. “The data in recent years consistently show us one thing: If the Chinese government really, really wants to push up short-term growth, they can.”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Federal budget 2015: Business confidence flat in April ahead of budget, says NAB

    2018 - 07.05

    “Until confidence lifts significantly it is difficult to see a sustained economic recovery developing.” NAB chief economist Alan Oster. Photo: Michele MossopBusiness confidence was unchanged in April, according to the latest National Australia Bank survey, as uneven economic growth, uncertainty around Tuesday’s budget and continued weakness in consumer spending and unemployment weighed on sentiment.
    Nanjing Night Net

    NAB’s latest monthly business survey of more than 400 companies, found no change in the mood from March, at 3 index points, after a jump from zero in February. Business conditions, meanwhile, slipped from 6 to 4 points, giving back some of the gains posted between February and March.

    NAB chief economist Alan Oster attributed the movements to resurgent uncertainty about growth patterns, unemployment trends and consumer behaviour.

    He said the impact of the interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia in February had so far proved limited, although last week’s cut, to 2 per cent, should provide stimulus beyond the investor housing market.

    “Until confidence lifts significantly it is difficult to see a sustained economic recovery developing,” Mr Oster said.

    “To date, rate cuts have not appeared to do much and it will be interesting to see what, if anything, this week’s Federal Budget will do.”

    With the Federal Government committed to spending restraints, the central bank has been under more pressure than usual to stimulate demand and investment through lower interest rates.

    However, some economists have warned that too much monetary easing can be counterproductive, with the potential to sharpen, rather than smoothen out, imbalances in the economy. Queensland Investment Corporation chief economist Matthew Peter said on Monday low interest rates were helping fuel double-digit house price inflation in Sydney, for example.

    “That’s all a function of the interest rate being forced down much lower than it would need to be if there were some other demand-side stimulus to support the economy – and that naturally would come from fiscal policy,” he said.

    NAB’s Alan Oster also noted from the survey that  investment was patchy as the much-need transition away from resource-linked infrastructure remained narrowly-based.

    “Low interest rates are having a notable impact on the most sensitive sectors of the economy, like investor housing, and the recent rate cut in May should further contribute to these trends,” said Mr Oster.

    “Nevertheless, pass-though to the broader economy has been somewhat mixed.”

    He once again highlighted business reluctance to invest in new capacity as a drag on the economy, despite some signs of a pick-up in the consumer mood.

    Trading and profitability both slipped in the April survey, while labour, input and retail costs were largely flat.

    He said the lower Australian dollar should have fed through to higher input costs, which would eventually be passed on to consumers.

    However, the currency impact appeared to have been offset by lower oil prices.​

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Motley Fool: The real losers from lower rates

    2018 - 07.05

    For almost two years now investors have been taking out more mortgages than first home buyers.When the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates last week, we saw the traditional fanfare over winners and losers from the decision.
    Nanjing Night Net

    For the couple paying off a mortgage on a house they bought ten or twenty years ago, it was all upside. A lower rate reduces those interest payments and puts upward pressure on house prices, making them richer on paper and – due to lower interest payments – quite immediately boosts their spending money (or means they can pay off that loan more quickly).

    On the other hand, retirees living in their own home off the income from term deposits, are seen as the victims. Lifelong savers, these people have too much cash to deserve the pension, but can’t afford to live off the interest. Worryingly, they are eating into their principle. They are the first to receive our sympathy.

    That’s fair enough, but we hear a less about the impact on young adults. Still studying, or at the beginning of their careers, they are saving for a house deposit, often with a partner or spouse. The only problem is, their savings don’t earn more than 3% in the bank, and – even putting aside a generous portion of their moderate pay package – house prices seem to outstrip even their best efforts at saving.

    Big city property booming

    House prices across the 5 largest capital cities are up 8% in the last year. Sydney has seen faster growth, with prices up 14.2% in the last 12 months, according to data from CoreLogic. There’s little doubt this growth has been assisted by successive interest rate cuts. As a result, many young couples working in east coast cities, hoping to build their own nest, face little prospect of success in that regard. At least, not without some help from Mum and Dad.

    Unfortunately, this leads to inequitable outcomes. Since support from Mum and Dad is now important in getting into to property, young couples who don’t get that help are faced with significant hurdles to home ownership. This is particularly true in Sydney or Melbourne.

    Adding insult to injury, some say that lower interest rates are to their advantage. After all, they are told, now they can afford to borrow more money. While true, this fact is hardly good news. It isn’t just first home buyers who can afford to borrow more. It’s everyone, including investors. And those same investors also benefit from the tax break afforded by negative gearing.

    Indeed, for almost two years now investors have been taking out more mortgages than first home buyers. For the entirety of 2015, first home buyers have accounted for less than a third of new Australian mortgages, according to data from the Australian Finance Group. That’s a strong indication that investors are crowding first home buyers out of the market.

    Are there better options?

    With record low interest rates offering a paltry return on savings, it is increasingly attractive for would-be first home buyers to postpone that ambition and invest in shares instead. With shares in high quality companies yielding considerably more than term deposits, the benefits of compounding are not out of their reach.

    In fact, sharemarket investing is one area where a younger generation may have an advantage because statistics demonstrate that the length of time owning shares is one of the most reliable indicators of overall returns. With relative youth comes a relatively long time horizon during which a high quality business with honest and competent managers can generate value for its shareholders.

    Foolish takeaway

    Ironically, buying shares is one way of benefiting from lower interest rates. By investing in a sensibly diversified portfolio of shares, a young couple can position themselves to benefit from lower interest rates without taking out a 30 year loan. While it’s no replacement for owning their own home (which is, after all, where the heart is) it may well be the most prudent decision. After all, a recent study from New York University found Sydney housing to be the third-least affordable in the world, with Melbourne not far behind at sixth.

    Attention investors:Don’t miss our new report on our #1 ASX share pick for 2015. This growing, highly profitable tech company has all the makings of a great long-term investing – not least of all a generous, fully franked dividend. Your copy of our brand-new report is free, so just click here now to get your copy.

    Claude Walker is a Motley Fool investment analyst. You can follow Claude on Twitter @claudedwalker. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to educate, amuse and enrich investors. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Affordable homes plan for southern Sydney

    2019 - 05.21

    Helping with affordable housing: George Bakopoulos and Agnes Yi from St George Community Housing with site sub-foreman Lee Henderson at the Sutherland site. Picture: Jane DysonACCESS to affordable housing is such a major problem that it is have an effect on the rest of Australia’s social rankings.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The latest report from the respected Social Progress Index showed Australia was the 10th most socially advanced nation in the world but 19th for shelter and 51st for housing affordability.

    In Sutherland Shire — where million-dollar homes are the norm in some areas — the problem of affordable housing shows no sign of abating.

    Affordable housing is for workers on a low income who may not be eligible for social housing but are struggling to find a home in the private rental market.

    St George Community Housing has recognised the problem and has begun its first affordable housing development project.

    The 42-unit development site in Belmont Street, Sutherland, was chosen for its proximity to public transport.

    The rent on the units will be set at market price with eligible tenants paying 75 per cent and St George Community Housing paying 25 per cent, said spokeswoman Agnes Yi.

    Potential clients had to have an income of less than $45,000 to be eligible.

    “Sydney house prices are so high,” she said.

    From July 2013 to June 2014 the organisation received about 25 applications for affordable housing a month, with the amount jumping to 42 a month now.

    Ms Yi said that number was likely to increase again once the units reached their completion date.

    “Lots of working families are applying,” she said.

    Despite the 46 objections from neighbours, Ms Yi said Sutherland Shire Council had been supportive of the plan.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Tour de Rocks 2015

    2019 - 05.21

    On the morning of April 9, 18 very enthusiastic Guyra bike riders headed out from Armidale on the three day Tour de Rocks annual bike ride. They were accompanied by six great support personnel.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The first day’s ride was amazing with morning tea stop at Wollomombi school and then up the mountains to Raspberry Flat where a great lunch was waiting.

    Then it was all downhill to the junction where the riders found their tents and bedding all prepared by the great support team.

    That night we were all entertained to the wee hours of the morning by the local cattle rummaging through our campsite.

    The next morning we were all eager to get on the bikes and start pedalling again. This was another beautiful day’s riding with lunch at Bellbrook and then onto Willarwarrin Showgrounds for the night.

    Entertainment here was supplied by the local band at the local pub across the road – a great experience.

    The next day it was an early start so we could get into South West Rocks by lunchtime.

    A highlight of the last day was Michael Kirk being awarded the GOOSE Jersey, for his attempt at trying to wipe out our whole team whilst we were riding in peleton on a busy road.

    The Guyra support team were also acknowledged for their outstanding work in helping with meals.

    In the week before the ride, members of the Tour de Rocks Board and Guyra team members Dave Mills and Jayden Gaddes visited Ben Lomond, Black Mountain and Bald Blair Schools to deliver the message of Be Fit, Be Healthy and have fun.

    The ride this year attracted 320 registrations, with 47% coming from Armidale. The ride was extremely well organized and everyone had a wonderful time.

    The money raised by this great event goes toward the objectives of the ride, which are to:

    -Raise funds for cancer research.

    -Increase the level of awareness in relation to cancer prevention through education and awareness programs, including healthy living programs, training programs and nutritional information.

    -Assist where we can through community programs to ease the burden for those engaged in the battle against cancer.

    The Guyra Tour de Rocks team would like to thank everyone who donated and helped them fundraise for this great event.

    Jenni Jackson

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Boston turn it on under lights

    2019 - 05.21

    WET WEATHER: Boston secured a massive win over Tasman’s during the seasons first Saturday night fixture at Ravendale.Port Lincoln football
    Nanjing Night Net

    Boston 21-22 def Tasman 4-5

    AT home by a log fire watching footy may have been a good place to be on a wet winter Saturday night but there was plenty of action at Ravendale on Saturday night.

    It was a dour, tight first quarter, and every supporter believed that under the windy and wet conditions this game would be a gigantic struggle.

    The Roosters kicked three of the four first quarter goals through Ben Daniels, Sam Clements and Dale Scharfe to the southern end, which was favoured by a two to three goal wind.

    Boston, through good work by ruckman Christian Dorward and running half back Michael Paech, hit the target of Tyler Franklin, who delivered lace out to the ever alert Dale Gericke to kick their first point of the game.

    While the Roosters were best on the scoreboard with 3-2 the Tigers showed plenty of tenacity in the hard ball contest in the conditions but wasted golden opportunities on goal by kicking another three points to go with a Dylan Dunn goal, the first of his six for the game.

    With the wind the Tigers showed the Roosters how it should be done by kicking eight unanswered goals, and with every one of those the Tiger supporters showed good voice.

    Christian Dorward dominated in the ruck while midfielder Ben Hurrell showed how to win either the loose or hard ball and bring the runners into the game.

    He was backed up by Jaykob Gooder, James Lakin, the all game toughness of Sunny Singh and Jarrad Christian, and of course the magician Malcolm Miller

    Dylan Dunn and the classy Dale Gericke went on to kick 13 of the of the Tigers’ 21 goals to the Roosters’ one loan goal through Ben Daniels over the last three quarters.

    From the start of the second quarter to the end of the third the Roosters could manage only two points, which truly amplified the authority the Tigers had over the Roosters.

    While Tasman listed eight under 21 players, don’t think for one moment that those numbers should take anything away from the Tigers who had six under 21 players – Harry Carslake, Jaykob Gooder, James Lakin, Jordan Mills, Jake Nicholls and Coen Taylor – who all played with tenacity when called.

    Tasman’s one loan goal by Ben Daniels had their supporters second guessing as to what went wrong with only one goal kicked in 84 minutes of play.

    The reality of this contest was all about the highlights of the game by the Tigers, but one must mention the effort of the Roosters’ Craig Reincke up the back. If not for his all game effort the Tigers may have kicked 30 goals.

    Rhys Kelsh in ruck never stopped giving and Luke Orbons’ back half clearances at times helped to stem the constant forward momentum.

    The Tigers kicked four, third quarter goals with two of the biggest goals for many a day when Dunn bombed back to back goals 60 metres out, and James Lakin and Aaron Castley joined the goal kicking list with one each.

    The Tiger supporters were rejoicing and shouted out they wanted more, even though their team led by 56 points, but the players obliged with another eight-goal quarter.

    The unselfish talent of Malcolm Miller was on show as he kicked two goals to finish with four, but was always looking for a player in a better position to finish off, and is credited with four assists.

    Dylan ”The Bomb’ Dunn unloaded another long shot and kicked six for the game.

    Then to top it off Sunny Singh, another Tiger favourite, took a contested mark outside the 50 and was urged on by the supporters to have a shot on goal; he obliged and the ball went straight over the goal umpire’s head and the Tiger chorus of cheers lifted once again.

    The Tiger supporters still wanted more and Harry Carslake, who had the best of his opposite number on the day, had pushed down to mark just outside the 50. The supporters and his team-mates told him to go for it and the ball sailed over the goal umpire’s head for the Tigers to kick their 21st goal.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    GALLERY: New father Rothnie boots nine goals in Tigers’ latest mauling

    2019 - 05.21

    GALLERY: New father Rothnie boots nine goals in Tigers’ latest mauling TIGERS ROAR: Demon’s star Michael Cooper is tackled by Tigers gun Michael Rothnie at the Country Club. Photo: PHIL BLATCH
    Nanjing Night Net

    TIGERS ROAR: Malachi Dutschke boots one long in the Demons big loss to the Tigers. PHOTO: PHIL BLATCH

    TIGERS ROAR: Daniel Bruce was one of the Tigers’ best on Saturday. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

    TIGETS ROAR: Dubbo’s Daniel O’Leary attempts to evade some Tigers defenders. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

    TIGERS ROAR: Daniel Bruce looks to punch through the midfield in the Tigers’ big win. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

    TIGERS ROAR: Tigers’ Leigh Turner and Demons’ Angus Brayshaw duke it out in the ruck. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

    TIGERS ROAR: Simon Ewin zooms past the ball. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

    TIGERS ROAR: Orange’s Leigh Turner and Dubbo’s Angus Brayshaw resume hostilities in the ruck. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

    TIGERS ROAR: Simon Kay boots this one towards the Tigers’ forward line. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

    TIGERS ROAR: Daniel Bruce gets a hand pass away for Orange. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

    TIGERS ROAR: Dale Hunter fixes his hair in the Tigers’ big win over Dubbo. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

    TweetFacebookThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Schools celebrate

    2019 - 05.21

    Kyneton Primary students, Ruby, Tom, Tyson, Claire, Jayla and Hayden, hit the playground with Federal Bendigo MP, Lisa Chesters, and State Macedon MP, Mary-Anne Thomas, last Friday as the pair spruiked about the education funds in the State Budget.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Schools are celebrating the State Budget in Kyneton, Gisborne and Castlemaine in what is a “budget for families” according to Macedon MP, Mary-Anne Thomas.

    The Kyneton Primary School rebuild has its $8 million. This plus the $3.5 million given by the former State Government will fund the entire relocation, Ms Thomas said.

    There’s $5 million for Kyneton Secondary College trade and training facilities, and New Gisborne Primary School will receive a $500,000 art room upgrade to replace a building destroyed by fire in 2011.

    Castlemaine Secondary College is allocated an extra $2.5 million for its stage two upgrade and its engineering, chemistry and physics wing.

    Other initiatives set to impact the region include a mental health allocation of $24.9 million, a Climate Change Action Package valued at $12.1 million, $57.9 million for family violence actions, and $13.6 million for ambulance services.

    Funds are also secured for locally specific projects including the solar farm at Woodend’s Black Forest Timber Mill, the Calder Highway interchange at Ravenswood, and the Castlemaine Health elective surgery expansion.

    Nationals MP for Northern Victoria, Damian Drum, said locally the budget’s weight was in existing projects.

    “People of Kyneton and Castlemaine should be worried at the lack of new initiatives reflected in this budget. There is very little in the way of new ideas or plans,” he said.

    Find more detail on how the budget affects you in the Macedon Ranges and Mount Alexander in the current editions of theMacedon Ranges Guardianand theCastlemaine Mail.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Musicians unite for flood aid concert

    2019 - 04.21

    Country musician Jason Carruthers has teed up more than 20 artists to perform in a flood relief concertThe communities of Maitland and Dungog mean a lot to Jason Carruthers.
    Nanjing Night Net

    He grew up in one and lives in another.

    So when the country music artist started hearing the stories of those affected by the recent storms, hedecided to do something about it.

    “This has affected so many people that I just couldn’t sit back and not do anything,” Carruthers, of Aberglasslyn, said.

    “This was a once in a lifetime flood, but it has devastated so many people.”

    Carruthers, 45, has garnered the interest of more than 20 artists to take centre stage for The Dungog Maitland Flood Relief Concert.

    “If we can all chip away and do something it will help someone,” he said.

    “There are people out there who have lost their livestock, others have lost kitchens, and some have lost their homes.

    “Really, our lives have been turned upside down, but I think everyone wants to help and this concert will be the place to come and do it.

    “But the concert is also about ­getting people together to celebrate the fact we can do something to help ­people.

    “We’re sad about it but we are also happy that we can do something about it.

    “There has been a lot of negativity, so this will be a positive thing and hopefully this will pick people up.”

    The flood relief concert at Maitland City Bowls Sports and Recreation Club is on May 24 from noon to 7pm.

    Tickets cost $10 at the door.

    Half of the money raised will come directly to the Dungog flood appeal organised through the Dungog Shire Community Centre.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Movement gives works life

    2019 - 04.21

    Peter Steller with the bronze cast of his wooden sculpture Flamenco Fire, inspired by a flamenco dance performance at QPAC. Photos by Chris McCormack
    Nanjing Night Net

    Peter Steller s wooden sculpture Twirling through the Forest to be exhibited at the Brisbane Sculpture Festival on May 15 to 17.

    Peter Steller’s wooden sculpture ‘She’ to be entered in to the Brisbane Sculpture Festival on May 15 to 17. Photo by Chris McCormack

    WELLINGTON Point wood sculptor Peter Steller puts his heart and soul into every piece of wood he sculpts and the results are breathtaking.

    He began his journey into the realm of art 13 years ago when he took up woodturning.

    After a while he grew bored with woodturning and craved something more in his work.

    “After you have turned a few hundred bowls, a bowl is a bowl is a bowl is a bowl,” he said.

    “I started cutting out sections in the bowls and entered that in the RNA competition and won first prize.

    “It’s just one of those things that you gradually morph into.”

    Peter, a retired physiotherapist, said he had an appreciation for the form of the human body.

    “That’s why I like to make things now that always have a sense of movement,” he said.

    “It is the essence of the sculpture and it has got to be seen from different angles.”

    Peter said he had found inspiration from a number of influences, including a performance he went to at QPAC called Flamenco Fire.

    “Just a phenomenal performance and I could not get over how beautiful it was,” he said.

    “It was the swishing of the shawls, the dresses and the stamping of the feet and jumping in the air and the like.”

    That performance inspired his award-winning sculpture Flamenco Fire.

    His favourite woods to work with were from jacaranda and Moreton Bay fig trees.

    “To me the Moreton Bay fig is the essence of Queensland,” he said.

    “It is a beautiful tree on the outside, but inside the tree is even more beautiful.”

    Peter enjoyed entering competitions because it helped him improve his work.

    “Competition picks out your flaws and you can build on that,” he said.

    “Each year I think ‘what can I do now that is even better?’.”

    Peter said he would enter six of his sculptures in the upcoming Brisbane Sculpture Festival at Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens Auditorium.

    His work can be viewed from 10am to 4pm daily from Friday, May 15 to Sunday, May 17.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Scarecrow ball to secure future of Milton event

    2019 - 04.21

    BELLE OF THE BALL: The staff at Bella Coastal Property Lucy Cairns (left) and Jodie Cliff have thrown their support behind the Milton Scarecrow Festival’s fundraising ball and are working on their vintage scarecrow creation.The first Glad Rag, Sad Rag Ball is shaping up to be a colourful, fun-filled night out as well as ensuring the future of the Milton Scarecrow Festival.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The fundraising ball will be held at the Ulladulla ExServos on Saturday May 30, with Milton’s own Escalators band sure to have everyone on the dance floor for a foot-stomping good time.

    Scarecrow festival coordinator Bedelia Wilson is encouraging friends to get a table together and dress in their best glad rags or their rattiest scarecrow attire for the inaugural event.

    She said, as well as loads of fun on the dance floor, there will be raffles, a host of prizes and a good old fashioned country feast,complete with beef and lamb on a spit, roasted potatoes and corn cooked on the fire.

    Vegetarians and people with special dietary requirements will also be catered for.

    “Grab some friends and get a table together for a great night out with fabulous music dancing and some delicious food roasted on the spit,” she said.

    The Scarecrow Festival has limited funding this year and Bedelia said funds raised would ensure it runs smoothly on June 6 and for years to come.

    “This is ball is to save the festival,” she said.

    “Not only will be it be a great night out, but it will make sure we can keep running the festival that is so loved by the community.”

    With the ball just around the corner and the festival only weeks away, local families, businesses and community groups are starting work on their vintage scarecrow creations.

    The vintage 40s, 50s and 60s themed scarecrows will be judged by a panel of Milton CWA ladies, with tonnes of prizes on offer.

    More than 30 of the best creations will line up in Wason Street on Saturday June 6 for judging, with a new people’s choice category added this year.

    Bedelia helped kick start the festival 21 years ago and she said she would hate to see it fold.

    She is rallying community support and hopes the 2016 will be the best ever, with a full weekend of activities for the whole family.

    “We cannot lose this festival – it’s too important for our community,” she said.

    Scarecrow entry forms are in Wednesday’s print edition and can be dropped off the Akwa Surf, the Milton Newsagency or Ulladulla Dry Cleaners.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Clothing bank for Dungog flood victims inundated

    2019 - 04.21

    Tammy Zanardi sorting through clothes in the pavilion at Dungog ShowgroundThe response to Dungog’s recent devastating floods was overwhelming with clothing, household goods and furniture arriving by the truckload.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Tammy Zanardi, who was the volunteer in charge of the depot at Dungog Showground, said the response from outside the area was unbelievable.

    “There were donations from all around the Hunter, Sydney and western NSW,” she said.

    “People brought trucks, 4WD and car loads of stuff to help out the people in town affected by the floods.

    “The centre was set up barely two days after the floods and it was only last week that people were starting to come up here and get what they needed.

    “People are starting to get homes to go to and it now they realise what they don’t have.”

    Ms Zanardi said volunteers Bernadette Skuse, Anne Hugo, Emma Picker, Jenni Denniss and Jacqui Wilkinson spent a lot of time at the centre.

    “Two ladies – Mel and Amanda – came down from Muswellbrook last weekend and bought a team of volunteers with them,” she said.

    “They organised us and helped out and we are really grateful for their help.

    “But we still have plenty of stuff here for those affected by the floods.”

    The centre will finish operating on Sunday, May 17 and will be open from 11am to 3pm and will be open to all the community across the shire and Stroud area.

    For a donation of $5 people can fill a bag with clothes and $10 will get you a boxful.

    “All the money raised on that day will go to the flood fund,” Ms Zanardi said.

    “It will be our final day here and everything has to go.”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Donation stuns Dungog flood victim

    2019 - 04.21

    Colleen Jones, left, with best friend Nicole Lancaster, who nominated her for the Today Show, $10,000. Photographed at the Bank Hotel, Dungog where the owner has allowed flood victims to stay and with her dogs, from left Nipper, Kinky (being held) and PriscillaAnother 10 minutes and Colleen Jones and her three foxy-cross-Jack Russell companions could have died in her home as it was swept away down Dungog’s main street last month.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The 59-year-old will never forget standing chest deep in flood water in her front yard and screaming for help with the three dogs held strongly in her arms.

    She was standing next to a large tree for some protection from the current, and she knew the strength of the water would soon carry her and her dogs away.

    Moments earlier she had re-entered the house, after helping her mother escape with her daughter, to get her dogs. There was no way she was leaving her “babies” inside.

    It was still dark, and the three of them were stranded on the raised half of the electric bed in her mother’s room. They looked terrified.

    As Ms Jones grabbed them tightly in her arms and headed for the door, the entertainment unit collapsed, and she found herself wading around furniture to get out the front door.

    It was then she made her way to that tree, thinking it could be the end.

    Luckily her 26-year-old son, Keegan, and neighbour John Edwards came to her rescue and they made it to safety.

    But what happened next still shocks her to the core. Her weatherboard house, which was at least 120 years old, floated off its piers and was swept away.

    It was the third house to disappear on that street as floodwater lashed the town. Her son’s house and the house Mr Edwards was living in also disappeared.

    “We all could have been washed away,” she said.

    Each time the near-tragedy replays in her mind she is emotional. But on Friday she had a reason to smile.

    Perched at the local pub since April 21 in a room that faces the balcony, so the dogs can be with her and her husband, Stephen, she had an unexpected visitor, Channel Nine’sToday Showcrew.

    Presenter Stevie Jacobs handed Ms Jones $10,000 to help her rebuild, and Keegan was also given $10,000.

    “I’m still in shock, I’m speechless,” Ms Jones said.

    “I’m amazed at their generosity and the fact that they came here knocking on the pub door to tell me.

    “I’m also so thankful for the generosity of the Dungog community.”

    Her friend Nicole Lancaster contacted the show after it advertised a competition to help a deserving mum, and she kept the secret for almost a week.

    “She is a wonderful person. I’m not sure how we became friends, but we have been friends for a long time,” Mrs Lancaster said.

    Ms Jones wants to buy a house in Dungog that will not be touched by floodwater.

    “In 2007 the water was knee deep in the house, and I said if it ever happens again, we will move,” she said.

    “It’ll be sad that we won’t live across the road from Keegan any more, but at least we won’t have to go through anything like this again.”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.