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Boggabri SES sees change of command

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The name Geoff Eather is synonymous with the Boggabri Drovers' Campfire. But what some people may not know is that he has also been instrumental in keeping the town's SES going.

The 78-year-old has stepped down as controller after 32 years in the position and handed the reins to fellow member Victoria Gunther.

It is a fitting transition, as Mr Eather stepped into the position in 1986 after the death of Victoria's grandfather, Norm Patterson, who was "very instrumental in getting state emergency going here in Boggabri" after the 1971 flood in the Namoi Valley.

Boggabri SES new commander Vic Gunther in role her pop first filled

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It was almost an accident that Vic Gunther even joined the Boggabri SES, but now she's been named its commander - and it's a title she wears with great pride after her grandfather first filled the role.

Ms Gunther said she initially didn't think she could even sign up, due to having a bone condition.

Cotton farmer defends water use in drought-hit Murray-Darling Basin, as ecologists warn of 'tipping point'

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Cotton has become a contentious crop in this drought.

Farmer Andrew Watson, from Boggabri in north-west New South Wales, says some of the criticism of irrigators has been vicious.

"Having seen some death threats … it just shows there's a real lack of understanding of how the systems work," he said. 

"We only use the water that's allocated to us."

It's harvest time and Mr Watson says this year's crop is down.

"We've actually had a real shortfall in water. So the crop outcome is not very good," he said.

"We're probably going to produce an outcome that's about 70 per cent of what we'd like to produce."

Unless there's significant rain, next year will be worse.


Boggabri school students gain leadership tips at primary conference

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GIVING their best to themselves, their peers and their school was the theme of a leadership event this week - for children.

The GRIP Student Leadership Conference took place at the Tamworth town hall, drawing schools from not only the local areas but also as far away as Scone and Narrabri.

Among the Gunnedah area schools represented were eight students from Boggabri Public School, whose assistant principal said it was a "very fun and inspirational way to instil some leadership qualities into students and give them a motivation for where they can go and how they do that".


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