The bunfight is hotting up between the council and greenies over mountain bike tracks on Mt Canobolas, our long extinct volcano and the most dominant land feature in central western NSW.
The council wants to build around 80km of tracks as a tourism feature on the mountain that it says will attract hundreds of visitors and national mountain bike events.
Greenies say it will destroy the unique ecology. At 1395m, Mt Canobolas is the highest point in a line between the Pacific and Indian oceans and offers spectacular 360 degree views. On a clear day you can see forever. The sealed road that winds to the summit crosses the tracks of early explorers and surveyors like Evans and Mitchell, who struggled to reach the top back in the early 1800s on their expeditions west.
The mountain's slopes are covered by an open forest of eucalypts, magnificent snow gums, wattle, wild cherries and hyacinths in a sanctuary of more than 100 species of fauna. The shrill of crimson rosellas, cockatoos, parrots, lorikeets, and currawongs fills the air while grey kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, koalas, blue tongue lizards and echidnas abound. There's also lots of animals of the unwanted damaging kind like rabbits, foxes and wild pigs.
The mountain has several unique species of orchids and wattle trees. There's also a species of candlebark named canobolensis after the mountain that's not found anywhere else.
But while the bunfight is about bike tracks nobody has given any attention to the summit thats visited by thousands of visitors. It resembles the moonscape. A forest of ugly steel communication towers and a sea of rocks. Nothing else.
It's not in the city area but surely at least a bitumen seal or something can be done to attract it to visitors.
ARE WE BEING RIPPED OFF?
What a shemozzle we've got with Southern Cross Austereo switching its Channel Nine programs back to WIN.
You find Nine's so-called local news is on WIN and some programs have both WIN and Nine logos so it's anyone's guess what you're watching. The promos say Your watching Nine on WIN. And the local news is barely local on WIN and Nine.
In fact it doesn't meet government requirements that stations in each of their licence areas must broadcast minimum quotas of local significance comprising a minimum of 720 points every six weeks, a or 90 points a week.
Under the system two points are given for each minute of news that directly relates to the local area and they must chalk up at least 50 per cent with local material.
That's not happening. WIN local news bulletin this week had two minutes 35 seconds of local news that included Wellington (1m 55s), Molong (25s), Orange (15s).
That's probably three points scored and that falls well short of what the government wants but won't act unless there is a complaint.
The other news came from places like Griffith, Lake Macquarie, Albury, Jindabyne and the snowfields. So are we being ripped off or what?
IT'S JUST NOT THE SAME
Isn't it strange watching sport on TV with no spectators?
No cheering, no booing, no clapping, no singing, just silence. We're having rugby league games in empty grounds and the players reckon it's not the same.
Then there's the spectator-free Olympics although officials and competitors are making some noise on the sidelines. Hopefully we'll never see the likes again.
And can you imagine State of Origin being played without 40,000 Queensland spectators booing NSW?
Football crowds have been booing and heckling players and referees ever since the game kicked off in 1908. Its part of the culture. And booing and hissing is not new. It goes back to 1801 with London theatre audiences showing their displeasure at stage performances and political events while opera-goers in Parma Italy were notorious booers.
SING WITH A BIT MORE SPIRIT
Where do sporting organisations, particularly the NRL and V8s, find those awful singing budgerigars who persistently murder the national anthem?
They seem compelled to carry on with their own vocal aerobatics, which belong on The X Factor, while at the same time dragging out the words as if expressing mourning or grief.
The national anthem should be sung at a spirited pace just like it was written.
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