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Phoenix 10022022

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$2 Thursday 10th February 2022 Issue 3 SHIRE OF BRUCE ROCK RECEIVES FUNDING TO REBUILD TOWN’S SUPERMARKET Five Wheatbelt businesses will share in $795,000 to strengthen and diversify local economies under round four of the McGowan Government's Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants. The RED Grants program is a McGowan Government iniave invesng $40.8 million over seven years in locally-driven projects to smulate economic growth in the regions. A $105,000 grant will support the Shire of Bruce Rock's rebuild of the town's supermarket, providing a crucial boost to the local economy aer the original was destroyed by re in March 2020. Research, development and consulng company Living Farm will receive $200,000 towards establishing its new head oce and operaons centre in York, allowing the business to expand and provide signicant ongoing economic benets to the region. Prefabricated modular home builder Evoke Living Homes will receive $200,000 for construcon of a new purpose-built undercover manufacturing facility in Northam. The project will allow the innovave local business to manufacture homes in all weather condions, boosng regional housing stock. Noongar Land Enterprise's Boola Boornap tree nursery will receive $100,000 to contribute to facility upgrades, enabling increased producon of nave tree seedlings and accreditaon for direct sales to the public. Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said "The latest round of RED Grant funding builds on the Wheatbelt's local capacity, ensuring businesses remain in the region, boosng jobs and supporng the long-term growth of communies. "The construcon of the Bruce Rock supermarket will not only increase the number of local jobs but provides addional investment opportunies and long-term social and economic benets for the community. These grants have played a fundamental role in driving the growth of Wheatbelt jobs, businesses and emerging local industries.

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2 THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022

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THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 3 Produced and printed fortnightly by Merredin Community Resource Centre 110 Barrack Street, Merredin Ph: 9041 1041 Fax: 9041 1042 Deadlines Arcles, Adversements (including Classieds) 5pm Monday before publicaon date Content/producon Kirsty Rochford administraon@merredincrc.com Content/producon Debbie Morris merredin@crc.net.au Adversing administraon4@merredincrc.com Upcoming Edions 24th February 2022 10th March 2022 www.phoenixnews.com.au The Phoenix Prices Prime Adversing Front $150 Back Full page $200 Ears $30 Front inside full $180 Back inside full $180 Colour Quarter $40 Half $80 Full $160 Black & White Quarter $30 Half $60 Full $120 Classies (b/w) Non business for sale free General lineage 50c per word Display per cm Public Noce $10 Employment $5 Trades 12 edions (each) $15 6 edions (each) $20 3 edions (each) $25 Artwork Fee $30 Book 12 consecuve edions or more to receive 5% o CONTENTS Police Report ............................ 5 COVID 19 Stascs ................... 6 Court Report ......................7 & 8 My Thoughts ............................ 8 Tales from the Rails .................. 9 Tales from the Train ................. 9 Library Musings ...................... 10 From the History Room ........... 10 Trades .................................... 13 Collgar Community Calendar... 15 Astronomy ............................. 16 Horoscopes ............................ 21 The Phoenix Available at the following outlets: BP Travel Stop Café 56 Cung Room Dimensions Go MAD IGA Inspire Merredin Bakery Merredin CRC Merredin Flowers Merredin Harvest Merredin Swimming Pool Nextra Puma Roadhouse Two Dogs Home Hardware Wild Poppy Café Thankyou to these businesses for their support for The Phoenix and Merredin Community Resource Centre ONLINE SUBSCRIPTIONS Email administraon4@merredincrc.com 12 or 24 edions

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4 THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 2022 SCHOOL YEAR It has been an excing start to the2022 school year at St Mary’s School. On Friday the whole school celebrated being back at school with a whole school Mass and then that evening everyone enjoyed the welcome back BBQ held at the Merredin Pool. At the Monday morning assembly, the Head Boy and Head Girl and Bus Monitors were presented with their badges. February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

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THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 5 Police Report WELCOME NEW AND RETURNING STAFF Amber-Lee Kernaghan, Year 3/4 Classroom Teacher Chantelle Squire, Pre-primary Classroom Teacher Verity Hughes, Humanies Teacher Rakesh Gookooluk, Mathemacs Teacher Dianna Tomazos, Science Teacher Alli Watson, Art Teacher Gaby Paterson, Phys Ed Support Rachel Turner, Murdoch University Prac Student—Year 3/4 Kate Dufal, Murdoch University Prac Student—Year 3/4 Tracy Pickering, Principal By HEATH SOUTAR, Senior Sergeant Hello to all from Merredin Police Staon in what has been a busy start to the year. Overall, our crime gures within the subdistrict are down but we have sll had some issues occur in the early part of the year. Crime gures can be accessed at the Western Australian Police Force Internet Site and they are very easy to navigate through. Burglaries have occurred at the BP Service Staon, Barrack Street and the Merredin Golf Club. Several juveniles have been charged with oences relang to the BP Service Staon and they will face various judicial processes. Members of the public alerted Police to the fact they were there on site and as a result of a very quick response they were caught comming the oences. Thank you to the public that called and it just goes to show what can be achieved by having some ‘eyes on the street’. Northam Forensic ocers aended the Merredin Golf Club and several items have been sent away for forensic tesng. This tesng can take some me but we are more than hopeful of some posive results that will idenfy the oenders and see them facing the courts. Several Golf Carts were used by the oenders and subsequently recovered during the course of the day aer the oences occurred. Stealing and shop the connues to be a problem in Merredin, but thanks to some great CCTV that is being supplied by vicms and vendors, we are usually able to idenfy the oenders and have them charged. We usually don’t have to much posng of these images on Social Media as the team here at Merredin are quite adept at working out who is who. An-social behaviour is also connuing within the subdistrict with several disturbances being reported, if you see something happening, then please ring us on 131444 and we will do our best to get there as soon as possible. One of our ocers was seriously injured recently aending one of these incidents, a male person has been charged with oences and is currently within the courts. The ocer, received a fractured leg and is facing a very lengthy recovery before she is back on full dues. Alcohol and drug eected drivers are sll being caught throughout the Wheatbelt and Merredin, if you think you can get away with it, you won’t, our vehicles here and from the surrounding Police Staons are always on the lookout, you will get caught. We have recently lost two of our ocers who have transferred out. Young Tom MATTIN is heading to greener or redder pastures up north, Tom came here as a probaoner and is now a very accomplished Police Ocer ready to tackle all that will be thrown at him up there, we wish him and his girlfriend all the best. Tyler WINTER, Merredin’s ‘Cizen of the Year’ is being beckoned by the coast. Tyler has achieved so much here at Merredin and will be missed by the community, there were not enough hours in the day for Tyler and he achieved so much here in Merredin. We wish them all the best in the future endeavours. Stay safe and take care.

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6 THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 COVID-19 WA Stascs As at 9 February 2022 Tested 2,353,277 Confirmed Cases 1,905 Recovered 1,563 Deaths 9 Active cases in WA 333 COVID-19 in Australia Vaccinations: 1 Dose 21,831,166 (85%) Fully Vaccinated 20,300,210 (79%) Booster 9,182,529 (35.7%) WA—Cases 1,905—Deaths 9 ACT—Cases 39,613 —Deaths 31 NSW—Cases 1.16M—Deaths 1,616 NT—Cases 25,612—Deaths 5 QLD—Cases 470K—Deaths 332 SA—Cases 134K—Deaths 139 TAS—Cases 32,877—Deaths 22 VIC—Cases 944K—Deaths 2,219 COVID-19 coronavirus Need Help setting up Service WA app? Contact Merredin CRC on 90411041 or email administration4@merredincrc.com and make an appointment

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THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 7 25th January 2022 Perth Central Law Courts Melville Verhoeven appeared on charges of driving with prescribed illicit drug in oral uid or blood, possessing a prohibited plant, assault occasioning bodily harm, and two charges each of disorderly behaviour in public, and being armed or pretending to be armed in a way that may cause fear. He was remanded to appear in Perth on the 22nd February 2022. 31st January 2022 Northam Courthouse Reginald Hayden appeared on a charge of no authority to drive – cancelled. He was remanded to appear in Northam on the 14th March 2022. David Hatch appeared on charges of gains benet by fraud and stealing as a public servant. The maer was adjourned to appear in Bunbury on the 18th March 2022. Perth Central Law Courts Kyle Brown appeared on charges of no authority to drive (disqualied from holding or obtaining), and reckless driving. He was remanded to appear in Perth on the 14th February 2022. David Engelbrecht appeared on a charge of exceeding speed limit between 10 and 19km/h. He was remanded to appear in Perth on the 23rd February 2022. 7th February 2022 Kalgoorlie Courthouse Logan Olney-Kemp appeared on a charge of no authority to drive (disqualied from holding or obtaining). He was remanded to appear in Kalgoorlie on the 28th February 2022. 9th February 2022 Merredin Courthouse Court Report Michelle Abrahams appeared on a charge of reckless driving. The maer was adjourned to appear in Merredin on the 7th April 2022. Peter Brown appeared on 3 charges of gains benet by fraud and stealing as a servant. He was remanded to appear in Merredin on the 6th April 2022. Locklyn Carroll appeared on 2 counts of a breach of bail (fail to appear soon aer) and unlawful & indecent assault. He was remanded to appear in Northam on the 14th February 2022. Max Carter was convicted of exceeding 0.08g alcohol per 100ml of blood. He was ned $1,000 and had his licence suspended for 8 months. Jason Coles was convicted of 2 counts of stealing. He was ned $600, ordered to pay $259.30 costs and to pay $189.92 in compensaon. Shane Cull appeared on a charge of failing to comply with a requirement to provide a sample of oral uid. The maer was adjourned to appear in Merredin on the 10th March 2022. Clive Davis appeared on a charge of damaging property. The maer was adjourned to appear in Merredin on the 10th March 2022. Deep Singh appeared on a charge of possessing a prohibited drug (Heroin). The maer was adjourned to appear on the 10th March 2022. Troy Fitzgerald appeared on charges of making a statement or giving informaon which was known to be false and indicated a threat, damaging property by gra, unlawfully possessing a controlled or prescripon drug, stealing, without lawful excuse trespassing on a place and possessing drug paraphernalia in or on which there was a prohibited drug or plant. The maer was adjourned to appear in Merredin on the 10th March 2022. Blake Gray appeared on a charge of having no authority to drive – suspended (other than nes suspension). The maer was adjourned to appear in Merredin on the 1st April 2022. Shauna Hansen appeared on 2 counts of a breach of family violence restraining order. She was remanded to appear in Merredin on the 10th March 2022. Allan Hayden appeared on a charge of unlawful assault and thereby did bodily harm with circumstances of aggravaon, 22 counts of a breach of family violence restraining order, a breach of protecve bail condions and assault occasioning bodily harm. He was remanded to appear in Merredin on the 10th March 2022. Bradley Hayden appeared on a charge of common assault in circumstances of aggravaon or racial aggravaon. The maer was adjourned to appear in Northam on the 28th February 2022. Colbey Hetherington appeared on a charge of careless driving causing death, grievous body harm or bodily harm and aempng to pervert the course of jusce. The maer was adjourned to appear in Perth on the 2nd March 2022. Tiara Hooker appeared on a charge of common assault in circumstances of aggravaon or racial aggravaon. The maer was adjourned to appear in Northam on the 28th February 2022. Irene Jea appeared on a charge of disorderly behaviour in public. The maer was adjourned to appear in Merredin on the 10th March 2022. Jusn Jea was convicted of unlawful assault and thereby doing bodily harm with circumstances of aggravaon and obstrucng public ocers. He received a 6 month suspended imprisonment order, suspended for 6 months. He was also convicted of disorderly behaviour in public, was ned $400 and ordered to pay costs of $134.50. Melissa Lawrence appeared on 2 counts of assaulng a public ocer, obstrucng a public ocer and being armed or pretending to be armed in a way that may cause fear. She was remanded to appear in Merredin on the 7th April 2022. Juwan Lile was convicted of having no authority to drive (never held), using an unlicensed vehicle on a road and disorderly behaviour in public. He was ned $800, ordered to pay costs of $259.30, to pay a half annual licence fee of $13.40 and had his licence suspended for 3 months. Sco Paton was convicted of having no authority to drive – suspended (other than nes suspension). He was ned $1500, ordered to pay costs of $259.30 and had his license suspended for a further 9 months. Andrew Reiling was convicted of having no authority to drive (never held) and driving a motor vehicle under the inuence of alcohol. He was ned $3,500, ordered to pay costs of $259.30 and lost his licence for life. Wayne Smith was convicted of having no authority to drive – suspended (other than nes suspension), had his licence suspended for a further 9 months, was ned $1,500 and ordered to pay costs of $259.30. Lecia Tasker was convicted of 2 counts of having no authority to drive (never held), was ned $1,200, ordered to pay costs of $259.30 and had her licence suspended for 3 months. Tevita Taumalolo appeared on a charge of criminal damage or destrucon of property. He was remanded to appear in Perth on the 25th February 2022.

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8 THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 My Thoughts CHEERS TO A GREAT 2022 I’m honoured to be invited to join the Phoenix as a contributor. I’ve been a supporter from the side lines for a while and it’s great to step into the arena and be part of this great publicaon. This rst column is a bit like the rst day of school, a bit of a get to know you and the me of the year to kick o couldn’t get any beer. I host the breakfast show on 1098 Triple M and have been in the region for nearly 4 years. I enjoy watching sport and have recently taken up basketball aer a long, long me, don’t ask about my stats!! I also like to swim regularly and can handle myself in the kitchen. Although it’s been too hot to cook much lately. And what a crazy me it has been over the last 2 years. But less of that and more of the good stu. We’ve been resilient here in the Central Wheatbelt and we’ve been fortunate to live close to a normal life. What I love about being here is the community spirit, whether it’s through events, sport, entertainment and other outlets. It was so good to have some of our regular events back in 2021 with the introducon of the Gateway Merredin Fesval, which is a fantasc iniave and long may it connue. A big shout out to Jusn Freind, previously of the Cummins Theatre for sparking the conversaon that has started what hopefully will be one of the connuing highlights of the Wheatbelt calendar. And then of course we have long standing xtures such as the Show and Gala Night just to name a few. Here’s hoping there aren’t too many disrupons throughout the year. Hope you had a well-earned break aer harvest and with the kids back so school, some sort of roune returns! Cheers to a great 2022! Terry Siva Court Report Carissa Wanless appeared on 2 counts of careless driving causing death, grievous bodily harm or bodily harm. The maer was adjourned to appear in Merredin on the 10th March 2022. Paul Wanless was convicted of exceeding 0.08g of alcohol per 100ml of blood, was ned $1,750, ordered to pay cost of $259.30 and had his licence suspended for 10 months. Megan Waerston appeared on a charge of intent to defraud forges a record. The maer was adjourned to appear in Midland on the 8th March 2022. Paul Wiggan appeared on 2 counts of assaulng a public ocer and obstrucng public ocer. He was remanded to appear in Merredin on the 7th April 2022. Valenne’s Day used to be all diamonds, roses and romance. Now I’m like, if you REALLY love me, let me sleep in, bring me coee and tell me how prey I look in my new yoga pants

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THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 9 TALES FROM THE RAILS RAIL WA 150 – 2021 Celebrang 150th Anniversary of Railways in Western Australia A modern take on travelling by train Tales from the Train By LADY RANTHAM Pole Posion. When you are a regular train commuter going a decent distance, you work out the system prey quickly. The secret to scoring a decent (or indeed ANY) seat is to achieve Prime Pole Posion on the Plaorm. Henceforth referred to as 4P. Now I know my aernoon train and have worked out the sweet 4P spot at the Perth Underground and arrived there rst as the previous Cockburn train le, so perfectly med. Engage Smug Mode. A few others joined me as the minutes cked down to the crical moment that the train arrived. As the metal behemoth rounded that nal bend into the staon that makes the track shriek in that unearthly audio zone that makes the ear shut down protecvely and the bladder clench with unease, there was a fair crowd of us. I am not worried. I'm in 4P. The doors will open right next to me, clear for the disembarking throng and in perfect posion to curl into the double seat of my choice. As the penulmate disgorgers stepped out, with that awkward 'let's not make eye contact please' expression, I felt a disturbance in the force. A human chisel was cleaving her way between the train and the crowd, determinedly forcing her way towards the door, one hand braced on the train, the other elbow scything unsuspecng commuters in less-4P posions away from the track and bruising not-an- insubstanal- number of unprotected chests. She arrived right behind me and pressed herself RIGHT up against me. I could feel her both on my thigh and my shoulder. I should menon at this point that I'm wearing a fairly full backpack, so she's curved over my side silhouee like an adhesive poulce, quivering slightly as the last hapless student ed the carriage. She then braced an elbow on the train and levered me away from the door, shoving me powerfully out of her way. I must admit at this point, it was so comically rude that I was laughing. As I stumbled out of her way, was caught by a handsome blonde in a hot pink polo shirt and helped back to upright, she then got upset at me for laughing!!! I gestured grandly for her to proceed me (for my own safety) and was joined by the crowd in some exasperated side glances and not a few 'tsk's to which she took even more oense. I have kept an amused smile on the whole journey home as I type this update and glance up occasionally to her glare. Best thing of all? She ended up being squashed into her seat by a next- generaon man-spreading tradie who has been working HARD today, while I scored the diminuve overseas student smelling faintly of jasmine. Karma. Instant and sasfying. By JANE PATRONI, Chairperson On the back of a busy harvest lled with the sights and sounds of road and rail trac passing through Merredin 24/7, the business of transporng bulk grain is an accepted logisc. This is a far cry from the sights of the small weighbridge huts that once doed the routes of the narrow gauge rail networks in WA. This small hamlet of Hines Hill grew near the siding on the former narrow gauge railway line, 20kms west of Merredin and on the eastern side of Lake Baandee. The Hines Hill weighbridge is situated on the southern side of the highway at the site of the original grain bin, when wheat was carted by horse and cart in bags. It comprises a corrugated iron building approximately 1.5 x 2.5 metres with a curved roof, a wooden door in the north-east corner and a hatch facing the weighing plaorm on the east side. The hatch is closed with a boarded shuer. The balancing mechanism remains in place though not operaonal. The weighing plaorm has a mber deck and concrete surround; there is sll some movement in the plaorm. It was one of the rst privately owned weighbridges established in the district. It was installed and ready to use by 1st July 1926. In 1939 successive droughts forces ownership to go to the railways and CBH paid fees to use the bridge. Jarrah decking was replaced prior to the 1943-4 season. In 1951 CBH purchased the weighbridge for 50 pounds and used it unl the standard gauge opened in 1966-7. Ron Whitehead bought the bridge paying rates to the WAGR. On a recent inspecon of the structure, it appears that although the building is padlocked, a sheet of corrugated iron cladding is missing from the rear, some mber framing is broken, ooring boards have roed and deteriorated. In an aempt to arrest the further deterioraon of the Hines Hill weighbridge, the Railway Museum will discuss avenues to facilitate its full or paral restoraon with the Shire. On 14 January 1996, Hines Hill was the site of a horric rail crash. A Naonal Rail train in one direcon misjudged the stop and went past the red signal, hing the last wagons of the Westrail train. These wagons contained diesel which burst into ames. The driver and guest passenger were killed. In the aermath the signalling was altered to prevent trains entering the crossing loop simultaneously. Since the accident, the crossing loop at Hines Hill was lengthened for longer trains. Hines Hill – a small hamlet with a big agricultural and rail history. THE HINES HILL WEIGHBRIDGE

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10 THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 Library Musings By WENDY PORTER, Merredin Librarian Hello all. Life seems determined to keep throwing curve balls, but that won’t stop the Merredin Library from receiving new stock on a monthly basis. Here is a taste of what’s new. Have you ever had a cake that had a secret layer? If so, did you ever wonder how it was made? Wonder no more! ‘Secret-layer cakes’ by Dini Kodippili shows you how to make your cakes excing again with hidden layers of brownie, cookie, mousse, pudding, fruit and more. Maybe you would like a ‘blackout brownie red velvet cheesecake’, or a ‘fudgy pistachio baklava cake’? Perhaps a ‘Ceylon Cinnamon Chocolate meringue cake’ or a ‘Nutella and berry queen of puddings’ is more to your liking? Try it and see. Now that kids are back at school, do you dread their upcoming maths homework? Adam Spencer’s ‘Maths 101’ gives you the answers to all those curly quesons that your primary child may ask. Quesons such as ‘Mum, why isn’t 1 a prime number?’ are answered. This book is aligned to the Australian mathemacs primary school curriculum, and even adds in some fun acvies to help your child learn. ‘The Bushwhackers big Australian Songbook’ compiled by Dobe Newton is a collecon of some of the best-loved folk songs in Australia. Have a go at playing and singing the ‘Wild Colonial Boy’, ‘The Band Played Waltzing Malda’ and ‘Click Go The Shears’. The book features music, lyrics, guitar chords and illustraons, enough to keep anyone entertained for hours. Remember that all Merredin Library members have access to a range of e-resources 24/7, just ask sta for details! If you are reluctant to come into the library at the moment, take advantage of our ‘Call and collect’ service. Just give us a call and we will select some books for you. All you have to do is come and collect them. You could even check out our catalogue and ask for an item to be put aside for you. Just ask our friendly sta for help. The Merredin Library is back to normal hours now, so give us a call on 9041 1222. See you soon. WA SENIORS AWARD The 2021 WA Seniors Awards were presented by the Council on the Ageing (WA) in partnership with the State Government on 25 November. The Minister for Seniors and Ageing Minister Don Punch said the WA Seniors Awards have again recognised the very best individuals, local governments and businesses who contribute to an age-friendly Western Australia. Recognising and celebrang the great value older people bring to community life is so important and the WA Seniors Awards are a great way to celebrate older peoples' contribuons. Contribuons of seniors, businesses and local governments celebrated yesterday included James Freeman who was recognised for the many years of volunteer work with the Bibbulmun Track Foundaon. The annual WA Seniors Awards celebrate and recognise the valued contribuons of seniors, businesses and local governments within the community. James (Jim) Freeman, formerly of Merredin and now living in Mandurah, was the WA Senior of the Year - Regional. Jim was recognised for his 23 years of dedicaon and volunteer service to the Bibbulmun Track Foundaon since its incepon in 1997. Jim has volunteered in the Foundaon oces, lead events as a guide for the Foundaon and maintained parts of the Bibbulmun Track for 20 years, which involved walking secons of the track four mes per year, oen involving eight-hour return drives from his home in Merredin. From the History Room By ANITA METCALF From the history room at the Merredin Library, these recipes are from the—Merredin Mercury and Central Districts Index 1931. The hardest work of the bush housewife is connually to serve tasty dishes from the same arcles. APPLE DOUGH PUDDING Peel, core and cut four apples into slices, put the pieces into a basin with 2oz. sugar, ½ lb chopped suet and 1lb our. Mix to a paste with ½ pint cold water. Steam or boil and serve with either brown sugar or plain sweet sauce. APPLE SURPRISE Peel six baking apples, scoop out the cores and ll with equal parts of buer and sugar moistened with a few drops of lemon juice. Make a baer of two eggs, two heaped teaspoons of our, the same measure of sugar and a gill of milk. Pour this over the apples and bake in a slow oven for one hour. Before serving dust with sugar. FRIED APPLES Peel and cut apples into rings, fry in boiling fat about ve minutes. Serve with pork chops, sausages or curries, or as a second vegetable. Jim taking a lunch break along the Bibbulmun Track

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THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 11 IT’S SNAKE SEASON By WHEATBELT NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT With the days geng longer and warmer, snakes are on the move and it is important to look out for your safety, but most of the me when we see these guys they are just catching some rays or passing through. Many snakes actually lead a very quiet life over winter and sele down somewhere, only emerging occasionally to feed. Over the rst warm days of spring though, they start becoming more acve again and are commonly seen warming up in the sun or out and about on the search for mates and summer feeding grounds. A diverse range of more than 25 snake species inhabit the Wheatbelt and while technically more than half of those are venomous, only eight species in the region are considered to be dangerous to humans. The remaining 17 or so are either non-venomous or likely to only cause local swelling and discomfort. The Wheatbelt is also home to nearly a dozen legless lizards which are commonly mistaken for snakes. As an important part of the ecosystem, snakes are great at cleaning up pests like rats, mice and rabbits, and in turn provide food for raptors, goannas and other animals. They typically feed on small mammals, birds, rodents, frogs, skinks and insects. Some even live underground and eat termites and ant larvae. Pythons (non-venomous) oen inhabit roof spaces and sheds and can be a great snake to have around as they clean up mice and other vermin. Other more dangerous snakes like Dugites, Gwardars and King Brown (Mulga) snakes will also be aracted to areas where prey occur, such as rock or wood piles, sheds and loose stacked metal sheeng. Tiger snakes will oen be drawn to ponds and shade houses too as they search for frogs. As a result, snakes are oen in the vicinity of humans, pets and livestock, but they will typically avoid conict when they can, and as long as they have an escape route will generally leave anything larger than themselves alone. Most bites occur when people try to kill or capture a snake, or the snake is cornered or trodden on, so the best tacc is to give any snake a wide berth and allow it to move on. Several products are available which can be used to deter snakes from around your house, shed or other key areas, including spray mixtures and solar-powered garden spikes which emit pulsing vibraons through the ground around them. Keeping grass short, removing any rubbish piles or building material and keeping chook pens and bird cages clean and free of excess grain that would aract rodents is also helpful in reducing the risk of snakes around your home. Although we have many venomous snakes in Western Australia and some are lethally dangerous, there are also many snakes that are harmless, but idenfying which is which is dicult as they can look remarkably similar. If you have a snake trapped in your house or garden it is best not to try and remove it yourself. There are a number of specially trained volunteer snake removers you can get in touch with through the Wildcare Helpline on (08) 9474 9055. For pets or working animals that appear unwell aer spending me in the bush or near risk areas, or that have been seen interacng with a snake, veterinary aenon should be sought straight away. If you or another person has been bien by a snake (or may have been) it is important to stay calm and sll, apply pressure and a rm bandage to the area, and call for immediate medical assistance. You can nd out more about snakebite symptoms and rst aid in the factsheet from St John Ambulance.

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THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 13 BEAUTICIAN CARPENTER PEST CONTROL SARAH SOMERS LAWYER Family Law – Divorce – Separation - Property Settlement – Defacto Relationships Children’s Issues – Contact/Residence Competitive hourly rates – Reduced fee for Initial Consultation Serving the Wheatbelt Community 85 Fitzgerald St, Northam 0427 725 501 sarahsomers@iinet.net.au LAWYER AWD ENTERPRISES Painng Contractor Rego No 2916 Domesc, Commercial, Industrial Protecve Coangs, Insurance Contact Walter 0411 494 340 walterstrother@hotmail.com PAINTER EARTH MOVING DENTIST COMPUTER TECH SUPPORT PHOTOCOPIERS COMMERCIAL

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16 THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 Astronomy WTF 10th —23rd FEBRUARY 2022 By PETER BARRETT Welcome back, Watchers of The Firmament. While I have been on holidays all the planets with the very temporary excepon of Jupiter have disappeared from the evening sky and become morning stars. Uranus is also sll visible in the evening but is now very faint as it too gradually approaches conjuncon. It can be seen from the chart that Jupiter goes from seng 53 minutes aer sunset at the beginning of the fortnight to being just 24 minutes behind the sun at the end of the fortnight. Safe to say it too will become a morning star someme in early March. Fortunately most of our favourite “xed stars” are sll available for our viewing pleasure. Unlike the planets, the stars are much more regular in their habits, and they reappear year aer year in almost the exact same spot in paerns that have scarcely changed for thousands of years. Most of the stars are so far away that even if they were moving at a million kilometres per hour (and some of them have been determined to be moving even faster than that) we would not noce. The sophiscaon and precision that is required of any instrument used for measuring such things is as breathtaking as the stupendous distances they look into. It has been calculated that even from the viewpoint of our nearest stellar neighbour Alpha Centauri most of the constellaons we are familiar with here on earth would sll be recognisable, with the sun appearing as a brighsh star in the northern constellaon of Cassiopeia. Thus the rise and set mes of the “xed stars” advances at a more or less steady rate of three minutes y six seconds a day. It can be seen from the chart that the planets are rather less regular. Take Mercury for example. Its rise and set mes hardly change at all this week, and next Thursday it appears to start going backwards! What’s going on? Noce that on Saturday the 12th the planet is 50% illuminated. This is a clue that an inner planet has reached its furthest point from the sun from earth’s perspecve and has commenced to move behind the sun. It has “turned the corner” from our point of view and because that point of view is edge-on to its orbit we see it begin to move backward toward the sun again. Astrologers call this “Mercury Retrograde” and assign all sorts of obscure supersous nonsense to the phenomenon. Venus the other inner planet moves considerably slower and the chart shows it is sll racing away towards its own elongaon. Then it too will become retrograde. The outer planets also become retrograde for a short me around the me of their opposion. This is because it is the me when the earth passes them, being faster. Just as cars seem to go backwards as we pass them, so do the planets. Then once we have gone past they appear to be following us again. This is a great me of year to take in the glories of the southern sky. The small and large Magellanic clouds appear close to the south pole between the bright stars Achernar and Canopus as two disnct smudges of light. Binoculars are sucient to make out that these are galaxies disnct from our own Milky Way, and therefore amongst the most distant things you will ever see. Looking at these things is like looking back into the prehistoric past, such is the me span required for their light to reach us. Seeing something as it was hundreds of thousands of years ago helps me to anchor my ny but comfortable niche in this incomprehensibly vast random empness of the universe, and compels me to keep looking up for the Next Big Thing. May you also submit to such a salubrious addicon.

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THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 17 MEDIA RELEASE Hon MIA DAVIES MLA The Opposion has recently launched Parliament’s rst e-peon, calling for an independent inquiry into WA’s electricity network, following months of power disrupons which have frustrated families and businesses. Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies MLA said this summer had been “one of the worst ever” for power delivery throughout regional WA, with thousands of households and businesses losing power mulple mes since December. “Ongoing outages in the Central Wheatbelt are cosng small businesses thousands of dollars, harming local tourism opportunies, and leaving residents frustrated and upset. “The recent heatwaves during INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO WESTERN POWER AND HORIZON POWER REQUIRED December and January have been parcularly dicult for families, who have been unable to run their air-condioners in 40-degree heat and have lost hundreds of dollars of food due to lack of refrigeraon.” Ms Davies said. “The meagre $80 compensaon payment from Western Power does not go far enough, and residents want to see this urgently adjusted to reect the true cost of restocking households aer successive days without power.” The inquiry would go beyond the recent review announced by the State Government and provide an unbiased invesgaon into Western Power and Horizon Power. The State Government’s review is constrained to a four-day window from December 24 to 28, It goes nowhere near far enough in addressing the ongoing power reliability regional residents have been struggling with for several years. “An independent inquiry would consider the preparedness and responsiveness of electricity providers when power outages occur, the appropriateness of the extended outage payment, and make recommendaons to improve the performance of the regional electricity network.” said Ms Davies. Shadow Minister for regional telecommunicaons and emergency services Marn Aldridge MLC said the inquiry would also consider exisng policies aimed at improving re risks associated with the network and their impact on mely power reconnecon. “Telecommunicaons in regional WA is crical, especially during natural disasters or emergencies when the delivery of crical informaon from government agencies is required,” Mr Aldridge said. “Inquiries into the Esperance Bushres and the 2019-20 Black Summer bushres highlighted how vulnerable our networks are to power loss and why we need to develop a plan to strengthen the network. “Disappoinngly, Telstra and other telecommunicaons providers have taken very lile acon to improve network resiliency, leaving regional communies vulnerable and exposed during emergencies, unable to call for help or mobilise re crews.” Go to website to sign the Peon hps://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Parliament/LCePeons.nsf/peons/22-0002 During February's Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, we are urging women to remain ever vigilant, as ovarian cancer symptoms are vague and women oen think they are caused by other condions and may ignore them. Our Cancer Prevenon and Research Director, Melissa Ledger, said that women should pay aenon to any symptoms that are unusual for you, new, persistent, or troublesome. "If you have any of the symptoms and they happen on most days for three weeks or more, parcularly if you're over 50 or have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, go to your doctor and get a check-up," Ms Ledger said. "You won't be wasng the doctor's me, and in most cases FEBRUARY IS OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH it won't be anything to worry about, but if it is cancer and you nd it early, your chances of successfully treang it are much greater." Because it's dicult to detect in its early stages, there are more deaths from ovarian cancer in Australia than any other gynaecological cancer. Ovarian cancer stascs • The chances of a woman developing ovarian cancer by the me she is 75 is 1 in 161 • Ovarian cancer is more common in women over 50 • In 2017, 115 West Australian women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer In 2017, 94 West Australian women died from ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer can be dicult to diagnose in its early stages as symptoms can be non-specic or similar to those of other diseases. Ovarian cancer symptoms include: • a swollen, bloated abdomen • pressure, discomfort or pain in the abdomen • heartburn, nausea and bloang • changes in toilet habits (e.g. conspaon, diarrhoea, frequent urinaon due to pressure, increased atulence) • redness and loss of appete • unexplained weight loss or weight gain • changes in your menstrual paern or postmenopausal bleeding • pain during sex More research is required to beer understand the causes of ovarian cancer, but there are steps you can take to reduce your overall risk of cancer. Steps to reduce risk of cancer: Quing smoking; Being SunSmart; maintaining a healthy body weight; being acve; eang plenty of fruit and vegetables; reduce alcohol consumpon; and parcipang incancer screening programs. For more informaon Find out more about ovarian cancer. Call our13 11 20 cancer informaon and support line.

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18 THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 NANGEENAN NATTERS By JULIE TOWNROW Another year is done and dusted and we are already into the second month of the new year. The heat has been relentless, so not venturing too far from the house, with the excepon of taking the trailer to Perth to deliver scrap metal and pick up boles and cans, duly de-capped, squashed sorted and bagged in an eort to keep growing the Hall Account. I am excited to report, we have a brand spanking new, bright and shiny power pole in the south west corner of the yard. I was due to meet with Frank in Perth but with the Omicron variant starng to take hold, the reason to have non-essenal visitors could limit sta due to possible requirement to isolate, so while I am exceponally passionate about the Hall, it’s just a maer of me, but it will happen. We have received a report from a Structural inspecon, conducted on 29 December and it’s pleasing to note the foongs are sound, but recommends that a water management system be applied in remediaon works to keep the base of the building as dry as possible. A general ‘Scope of Works’ to form tender documents is in the process. The Structural Report has assisted greatly in the re-arranging of priories, but also highlights the enormity of the task at hand. Thanks to Grant Benne who has been available to help me, at short noce, with the heavy liing. My Dad had so many lile gem quotes and one that comes to mind is ‘Any job, starts at the beginning and nishes at the end’ reminding me the me in the middle doesn’t maer. So at this stage, we are back at the drawing board, to create a plan about what, why and how, so to speak, do it once and do it right, so the Hall, can sustain itself for future generaons. Having the privilege to take the Njaka Njaka Bus tour on Australia Day and listen to Mick Hayden speak of his families past stories and the passing of history from one generaon to the next, seeing the land marks and how the elders recorded their presence on the land so the future generaonal footsteps could follow, while dierent, it’s the same and again we are reminded that our opinion may dier, our beliefs may be based on these opinions, and while we may value dierent things, the value is sll the same, the respect for our forefathers and our elders, who made and shared their learning, to “Grow Up” (in Mick’s terms), our youngen’s, to mentor our future generaons makes my passion for the Hall “Our Place “ even more signicant. While our opinion of Australia Day may dier, I am so proud that we are able to live in a very diverse mul cultural country, and while it may not be perfect, history shows that “Tolerance is the oil which takes the fricon out of Life”. WHEATBELT IN A SNAP Two res tore through the Wheatbelt on Sunday 6 February as catastrophic re condions throughout the region brought gusty winds and temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius. Fires were burning in the Shires of Quairading, Bruce Rock, Corrigin, Kondinin and Kulin, with over 100 reghters and local farmers baling the blazes. The bushres came aer two other major res destroyed homes in southern WA on Saturday in Denmark and Bridgetown. Corrigin—Photo ABC Perth Corrigin—Photo ABC South West Bruce Rock—Photo Leigh Strange

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THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 19 BY AUSTRALIAN CYBER SECURITY CENTRE Portable devices such as laptops and smartphones have become an essenal part of our everyday life, and with Christmas just passed, we may nd ourselves with new devices. Although our portable devices are convenient, they are also a key target for cybercriminals as they can contain sensive or personal informaon. To avoid cybercriminals compromising valuable informaon, it is important your sta and customers secure their devices and know how to stay secure online. Why should your business secure its portable devices? We use our portable devices for things such as business banking, emails to customers, shopping – all of which involve sensive or personal informaon. The consequences of a cybercriminal gaining access to your devices and the informaon can pose a security risk to not only your business, but also your customers. What can you do? Locking your portable devices with a passphrase, password, PIN or regularly backing up your les are some of the simple steps you can take to protect your device. The ACSC’s Quick Wins for Your Portable Devices provides further advice on how you can best secure your portable devices from cybercriminals. For more informaon, go to cyber.gov.au/secureportabledevices. Get social We’ve developed a range of resources to make it easy for your organisaon to get involved including social media les, posters, guides and yers. Please download the content from our website. hps://www.cyber.gov.au/partner-hub/cyber-security-campaign-resources PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION FROM CYBERCRIMINALS

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20 THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 Basketball 3rd February 2022 Under 12 Girls Orange (52) d. White (14) Royal Blue (16) d. Lime Green (11) Under 12 Boys Yellow (22) d. Green (20) Red (20) d. Sky Blue (7) Light Grey (14) draw Black (14) Posions Vacant Under 16 Girls Lilac (35) d. Lime Green (26) White (42) d. Sky Blue (20) Under 16 Boys Royal Blue (27) d. Light Grey (26) Orange (53) d. Yellow (30) Red (46) d. Black (18) Pink (44) d. Green (15)

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THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 21 CLASSIFIEDS Posions Vacant Horoscopes ARIES 21 March—19 April Good me to join someone who’d benet from your determinaon to get a plan o the ground. TAURUS 20 April-26 May You’re in good mental space to revisit an issue that previously le you emoonally depleted. GEMINI 21 May-20 June Good me to look at further educaon or a group project to broaden your experiences. CANCER 21 June-22July The focus is sll on others and events that may take you away from home and your comfort zone. LEO 23 July-22 August It is a good me to commit to a relaonship and join your partner as they reach out to achieve a dream. VIRGO 23 August-22 September Working cohesively with your colleagues will help you achieve success. LIBRA 23 September-22 October You will see posive achievements across all areas of your life including innovave teamwork. SCORPIO 23 October-21 November With a bit of extra eort, you will be coming near a long worked on project. SAGITTARIUS 22 November-21 December You need to focus on geng rid of debts and projects that lose you money. CAPRICORN 22 December-19 January By month end, you will be able to put into acon a plan that has been delayed since January. AQUARIUS 20 January-18 February You tend to overthink about things. You need to ground yourself and be realisc about life. PISCES 19 February-20 March Wonderful me for you, where you come up with new creave ideas to change how you usually do things. St Mary’s School Merredin Gardener Required If you have the ability to do general gardening maintenance, maintain the school oval and grounds, please email the Principal – Adriana Coniglio at adriana.coniglio@cewa.edu.au Applicant must be able to show proof of vaccination and to obtain a Working With Children’s Card.

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22 THE PHOENIX Thursday 10th February 2022 CLASSIFIEDS FULL TIME POSITION AVAILABLE Merredin Freightlines are currently seeking an MC Operator Driver will be based out of Merredin depot All applicants please email resume to merredinfreightline@ bigpond.com or call 08 9041 3444 ADMINISTRATION CASUAL/PART-TIME/FULL-TIME POSITION AVAILABLE Merredin Freightlines are currently seeking An enthusiasc and reliable member to add to our Administraon Team. The applicant will have exceponal administraon and communicaon skills. Based in our Merredin depot, hours 8.30am to 4pm. All applicants please email resume to merredinfreightline@ bigpond.com or call 08 9041 3444 Posions Vacant

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