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Phoenix 17122021

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Price: $2.00 Inside this ISSUE Friday, December 17th 2021 PHONE: 9041 1041 Sgt Andy Galbraith—Top 3 in Excellence Award Page 7 COVID-19 WA Statistics As at 14 December 2021 Tested 1,998,595 Confirmed Cases 1,124 Recovered 1,113 Deaths 9 Active cases in WA 2 COVID-19 in Australia Vaccinations 19,264,759 (93.4%) Fully Vaccinated 18,454,334 (89.5%) WA—Cases 1,124—Deaths 9 ACT—Cases 2,204 —Deaths 15 NSW—Cases 87,248—Deaths 640 NT—Cases 313—Deaths 1 QLD—Cases 2,180—Deaths 7 SA—Cases 1020—Deaths 4 TAS—Cases 240—Deaths 13 VIC—Cases 138,000—Deaths 1,424 Bencubbin - Bruce Rock - Corrigin - Doodlakine - Kellerberrin - Merredin - Moorine Rock - Mukinbudin - Narembeen - Nungarin - Southern Cross - Tammin - Trayning - Westonia Peter McCrae awarded Life Membership Page 14 By MERREDIN CRC Just like the phoenix of Greek mythology that regenerates itself when needed, our community newspaper, The Phoenix will be reborn in 2022. It is with some sadness that this issue of The Phoenix, as a slick regionally distributed newspaper, will be the last printed in this format and will no longer be distributed regionally. The decision was difficult however, the Merredin CRC could no longer afford to support the financial loss of producing The Phoenix. However, from 2022, The Phoenix will be produced and printed locally, at the Merredin CRC, and available from several of our local shops and businesses. The Merredin CRC would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the production and distribution of The Phoenix over the last six years, including Crystal Print, Merredin Freightlines, Allways Foods, our regional distributors, Bencubbin News & Post, Bruce Rock Newsagency, Corrigin Newsagency, Doodlakine Store, Kellerberrin Pharmacy, Moorine Rock General Store, Mukinbudin Café, Mukinbudin Trading Post, Narembeen Post Office, Southern Cross Hardware & News, Tammin Post Office, The Phoenix Reborn Trayning Post Office, Wegners Rural Nungarin and Westonia Co-op as well as our Merredin local businesses, Nextra Newsagency, Two Dogs Home Hardware, Puma Roadhouse and Anderson’s BP that sold The Phoenix too. In 2022, we will continue to provide a quality community newspaper focusing on Merredin, with only a few cosmetic differences. As always, we thank those that advertise with us and look forward to your continuing business, without you we would not be able to produce a community newspaper. A reminder to everyone that we are always on the lookout for articles, so if you are part of a community group, organising an event or simply have an interesting story to tell, then send your article and some photos to us.

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2 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 Lillian Armstrong: Thumbs up to the Shire gardeners for their hard work in getting the lawn in front of the Visitor Centre to perfection for “Carols by Candlelight”. Well done. Kristy Ashwin: Thumbs up to Erin Postans from IGA for helping me out down the street last week. I really appreciated your speedy help in a not so nice situation. Tamra Hendriks: Thumbs up to our local posties and parcel delivery drivers in the heat this week, making sure everyone will receive their Christmas parcels on time. Jennifer Lee Ryan: Thumbs down to Merredin Shire Council disconnected numbers!! THE PHOENIX Produced fortnightly 110 Barrack Street, Merredin Ph: 9041 1041 Fax: 9041 1042 Deadlines Articles: 5pm Monday before publication date Adverts: Booking 5pm Friday before publication date Classifieds: 10am Wednesday before publication date Contact 9041 1041 Content/production—Kirsty Rochford administration@merredincrc.com Content/production—Debbie Morris merredin@crc.net.au Advertising— marketing@merredincrc.com Upcoming Editions 14th January 2022 28th January 2022 11th February 2022 25th February 2022 Available as an online subscription www.phoenixnews.com.au Currently distributing @ 300 copies

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 3 Nungarin Wheatbelt Markets By TRACY SCOTT It was quite warm for the Markets on Sunday 5 December—felt mainly by the Merredin Bootscooters, who performed several dances in the main street. An earlier start (eg 9.30am) may be the answer. The Lucky Stallholder this month was Val Tilbrook who makes all of those lovely cakes for sale in one of the gazebos. The winners of the Markets Christmas Raffle were: 1st Prize (Multi Function Cooker): Gillian Ovans from Merredin Bootscooters, 2nd Prize (Yoghurt Maker): Val Tilbrook’s daughter, Anne and 3rd Prize (Jigsaw Puzzle) Daz (from “Just Craftin’ Around” Kellerberrin - another of our stallholders in the hall). Congratulations to all winners and thank you to all who supported the raffle. The Markets Committee would like to thank all of our volunteers and helpers who have worked so hard behind the scenes to keep the Markets running smoothly. We would also like to thank our loyal stallholders who turn up regularly to sell their goods. They have helped to keep Nungarin on the map. By CLAYTON MURRAY Planning for the Merredin Show, which will be held on the 2nd April 2022, is now in full swing. The coordinators are working hard to bring the community even more fun and entertainment for the day. As of Saturday 5th February 2022, the borders will be eased leading into Western Australia and some new restrictions will be in place for larger events such as the Merredin Show. Even further restrictions will be put in place for those communities that haven’t reached an 80 per cent vaccination rate at this time. What does this mean for the Merredin Show next year? It means that for events over 1000 people there are certain requirements made by the Health Department, including being able to provide proof of being double dose vaccinated against COVID-19 and checking in using the SafeWA app or manual contact register. The Merredin Show Committee’s personal beliefs about vaccination do not come into this requirement, as all these are a stipulation of the event being held. A huge amount of effort 2022 Merredin Show goes into creating a COVID Safety plan, ensuring there are enough trained COVID Marshalls and sanitisation stations, and this is just another requirement of the committee to enable the show to go ahead. The committee respect the rights of those who choose not to be vaccinated, however, we would like to see as many people enjoy the day as possible, and so encourage those who intent on being vaccinated, to do so now. Your proof of COVID-19 vaccination can be accessed many ways, including by linking your Medicare to your myGov account and creating your Digital Identity in preparation for the WA Government’s new mobile app which will be available in early 2022. If you’d like to be involved in the Show, or would like to tell us what you’d like to see at the Show, email merredinshow@gmail.com, or pop into the CRC. See you at the Show!

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4 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 Court Report 23rd November 2021 Merredin Courthouse Allan Hayden appeared on charges of assault occasioning bodily harm and unlawfully assault and thereby did bodily harm with circumstances of aggravation, plead guilty to 22 charges of breached a family violence restraining order and was convicted on a charge of breach of protective bail conditions. He was remanded to appear in Merredin on the 7th December 2021. Perth Central Law Courts Matthew Jetta appeared on a charge of criminal damage or destruction of property. He was remanded to appear in Perth on the 22nd December 2021. 24th November 2021 Joondalup Courthouse Kevin Abbott plead not guilty to a charge of threats to injure, endanger or harm any person. He was remanded to appear in Joondalup on the 20th April 2022. 29th November 2021 Northam Courthouse Kerry Kordell Smith plead guilty to a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm. She was remanded to appear in Northam on the 17th January 2022. 29th November 2021 Bunbury Courthouse Jimayne Williams plead not guilty to a charge of unlawfully assault and thereby did bodily harm with circumstances of aggravation. He was remanded to appear in Bunbury on the 13th December 2021. Northam Courthouse Craig Thompson plead not guilty to a charge of common assault in circumstances of aggravation or racial aggravation, two charges of unlawfully assault and thereby did bodily harm with circumstances of aggravation and two charges of breach of protective bail conditions. He was remanded to appear in Northam on the 16th February 2022. Perth Central Law Courts Karl Mogridge plead not guilty to a charge of aggravated robbery. He was remanded to appear in Perth on the 21st December 2021. 6th December 2021 Northam Courthouse Marcus Hayden plead not guilty to a charge of common assault. He was remanded to appear in Northam on the 13th December 2021. 7th December 2021 Merredin Courthouse Scott Cunningham was convicted on charges of common assault in circumstances of aggravation or racial aggravation, being armed or pretending to be armed in a way that may cause fear, unlawful wounding with a circumstance of aggravation, breach of protective bail conditions, and no authority to drive – cancelled. He had his licence suspended for 9 months, was fined a total of $1500 and ordered to pay costs of $259.30. Cecil Fitzgerald plead not guilty to a charge of common assault in circumstances of aggravation or racial aggravation. He was remanded to appear in Merredin on the 10th February 2022. Troy Fitzgerald appeared on charges of made a statement/gave information which was known to be false which indicated a threat, and stealing and was convicted on charges of damaged property by graffiti, and unlawfully possessed a controlled or prescription drug. He was remanded to appear in Merredin on the 18th January 2022. Paul Harder appeared on charges of possession of prohibited drugs with intent to sell or supply, possessed drug paraphernalia in or on which there was a prohibited drug or plant, cultivate a prohibited plant with intent to sell or supply and two charges of unlicensed person possess firearm/ammunition. He was remanded to appear in Perth on the 13th January 2022. Yasmin Hayden was convicted on a charge of common assault. She was fined $800 and ordered to pay costs of $134.50. Sheaylee Jeanes appeared on charges of reckless driving, assault occasioning bodily harm and two charges of no authority to drive (never held). The matter was adjourned to appear in Collie on the 22nd December 2021. Dale Laws appeared on a charge of failed to comply with notice issued under subsection (1) of this act. The matter was adjourned to appear in Merredin on the 21st December 2021. Jamie McCarthy appeared on charges of reckless driving, and drove with prescribed illicit drug in oral fluid or blood. The matter was adjourned to appear in Merredin on the 21st December 2021. Rommel McGrath appeared on charges of reckless driving speed of 155 km/h or more, driver of a vehicle failed to comply with a direction to stop (circumstances of aggravation), stealing, and reckless driving speed of 155 km/h or more to escape pursuit by police. He was remanded to appear in Kalgoorlie on the 23rd December 2021. Richard Miller appeared on charges of inadequate storage facility for firearms, possessed drug paraphernalia in or on which there was a prohibited drug or plant, possessed a prohibited drug, and unlicensed person possess firearm/ammunition. The matter was adjourned to appear in Merredin on the 21st December 2021. Kevin Muchira was convicted on charges of reckless driving speed of 155 km/h or more, no authority to drive – suspended (other than fines suspension), and failed to display P plates. He had his licence suspended for 15 months, was fined $1500 and ordered to pay costs of $259.30. Logan Olney-Kemp was convicted on a charge of no authority to drive (disqualified from holding or obtaining). The matter was adjourned to appear in Kalgoorlie on the 10th January 2022. Matthew Paterson was convicted on charges of behaving in a disorderly manner in a public place or in sight or hearing of any person in a public place, behaving in a disorderly manner in a police station or lock-up, and obstructing public officers. He received a 9 month community based order. Charmane Pearce was convicted on a charge of possessed drug paraphernalia in or on which there was a prohibited drug or plant. He was fined $200 and ordered to pay costs of $259.30. Andrew Reiling was convicted on a charge of breaching a violence restraining order. He was fined $500 and ordered to pay costs of $134.50. Samuel Sellwood plead not guilty to a charge of impeded another person’s normal breathing or blood circulation by applying pressure to neck. The matter was dismissed. Georgia Wotherspoon was convicted on charges of no authority to drive (fines suspended), and provided false or misleading personal details. She had her licence suspended for 3 months, was fined $1000 and ordered to pay costs of $259.30. Allan Hayden appeared on charges of assault occasioning bodily harm and unlawfully assault and thereby did bodily harm with circumstances of aggravation, plead guilty to 22 charges of breached a family violence restraining order and was convicted on a charge of breach of protective bail conditions. He was remanded to appear in Merredin on the 9th February 2022. Jason Hill appeared on charges of being armed or pretending to be armed in a way that may cause fear, common assault, threatened to kill, in circumstances of aggravation, unlawfully assault and thereby did bodily harm with circumstances of aggravation, and criminal damage or destruction of property. He was remanded to appear in Merredin on the 21st December 2021. Perth Central Law Courts William Riley plead not guilty to charges of assaulting a public officer, unlawful assault and thereby did bodily harm with circumstances of aggravation, being armed or pretending to be armed in a way that may cause fear, criminal damage or destruction of property, and unlawful wounding. He was remanded to appear in Perth on the 10th December 2021. Melville Verhoeven appeared on two charges of being armed or pretending to be armed in a way that may cause fear and a charge of with intent to do grievous bodily harm unlawfully wounds another, he indicated plea of not guilty on two charges of disorderly behaviour in public and charges of drove with prescribed illicit drug in oral fluid or blood, and possess a prohibited plant. He was remanded to appear in Perth on the 11th January 2022. 8th December 2021 Northam Courthouse Reginald Hayden plead not guilty to a charge of no authority to drive – cancelled. He was remanded to appear in Northam on the 31st January 2022.

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 5 Sandy Hooper My Thoughts Letters to the Editor Domestic Violence There are many reasons we hurt another, be it human or animal. Why can we inflict this pain and suffering? What drives a person to be able to do this? This brings me to the individual themselves by exploring the science of identity through our personality. To understand ourselves and other people, we must separate what is common to all humanity; how humans reliably differ from one another in their thoughts, feelings and behaviour and how the same person acts differently in different situations. Personality often equates to traits and strengths. For example, if we are power motivated people with a desire to have an impact on others and to be seen as dominant. In its most destructive form, the power motive can make a person controlling and abusive or both which may lead to someone being hurt. In addition to this, a person’s moral judgement and reactions also colour his or her actions, as moral issues can assume greater or lesser importance. Feeling another’s pain and suffering or not, ideas of justice and rights, ability to self-sacrifice, respect for another, or acceptance to immoral activities all play a role in how we act as an individual in different situations. It really is in us if we can hurt another living being, it is in the building blocks of our inner self. When it comes to domestic violence a small number of cases are perpetrated by women against men, children, or animals. Men have a far greater percentage of committing a violent act onto another and this is usually committed by someone in the victim’s domestic circle that they are dependent on. It’s about power and control. Abuse can take the form of physical, sexual or psychological abuse. Betraying the trust of another can cause anxiety, depression, impairing social skills and increasing the likelihood the victim then themselves will engage in harmful practices, such as self-harm, substance abuse or suicide. An absolutely vicious cycle to say the least. The abuser uses fear, guilt, shame and intimidation to wear their victim down and to keep their victim under their thumb. Red Flags: • Extreme jealousy • Possessiveness • Unpredictability • Bad temper • Cruelty to animals • Verbal abuse • Extremely controlling behaviour • Antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships Examples of abusive behaviour are: • Intimidation • Coercion • Ridiculing • Harassment • Treating an adult like a child • Isolating from family and friends or regular activity • Use of silence to control • Yelling or swearing Should any of these signs manifest in a relationship it would be my advice to run a mile. Abusive people believe they have rights because their own feelings and needs should take priority or because they enjoy exerting the power that such abuse gives them. Abuse is a learned behaviour and may well run in families. In an abusers mind they don’t want their victim to have a life separate from them, or an equal voice in the relationship. When children are subjected to any form of domestic violence, be it direct or on another family member, they may complain of physical symptoms such as tummy aches or start wetting the bed, they may have temper tantrums or become aggressive. Children may have problems at school or internalise their distress and withdraw from other people. One thing is for sure they are likely to have mental health issues life long should they never experience the safety of a loving and caring relationship that can turn things around for them. Domestic and family violence is a crime and should be reported to police immediately. Should anyone be in the unfortunate position of being subjected to any form of physical assault, stalking or unwanted sex, or any type of threat, report this! Police officers are committed to using all lawful means to police this crime. Finally, should we be this kind of human that narratives of redemption have failed, and we continue to hurt another, let it be known we are the lowest form of life on earth, and the embarrassment and shame is not so much on their victim, but themselves for being an absolute failure towards another. Fancy being that person that can inflict pain and suffering onto the innocent. There should be more harmful penalties for this crime. Dear Editor, I would like to put it to the public on their usage of bins. In this day and age of cans, bottles, tins, milk containers and every other sort of packaging available, how many people fill their recycle bin 4 times faster than their general waste bin? Every week my recycle bin is full and I am hanging for the next week when Avon Waste do their next fortnightly run. This results in bags tied up, accumulating in my driveway which in turn fills the bin The ‘Letter to the Editor’ and ‘My Thoughts’ section of the Phoenix is a place for the community to express their views and opinions on issues that directly or indirectly affect any part of it. The Editor would like to remind the community that The Phoenix reserves the right to refuse any contribution on the basis of ethics, which includes, but is not limited to, personal vendettas or attacks. Please be aware that we do not ‘fact check’ ‘Letters to the Editor’ or ‘My Thoughts’ and therefore cannot guarantee the contents authenticity. The Phoenix may or may not have the same opinion as the authors. If you would like to reply to a particular author, please send a ‘Letter to the Editor’ by emailing administration@merredincrc.com, or visiting the Merredin CRC. Recycling again as soon as it is empty. My general rubbish bin however, is hardly used and on bin day every week it presents only quarter full. Of course it isn't prudent to put recyclables into land fill, but how many people would opt for a change in the bin run where the recycle bin is emptied every week, and the general rubbish emptied every fortnight. I am just wondering if anyone else has this same problem. Joe Goedhart Merredin I realise that people have the right to choose what medical treatment they have but I am bemused by several factors in regards to the COVID 19 vaccination. In my early days at school, it was acceptable that students would get Measles, Mumps, Whooping Cough, Chicken Pox (and sometimes Scarlet Fever or Rubella). Now most of these diseases are almost a thing of the past due to childhood vaccination. During the summer season, in my late teens, there could be an outbreak of Poliomyelitis. Several of my friends (and I) contracted the complaint. Some folk who suffered became paralysed, some died. I was only lightly affected but suffered in later life from Post-Polio Syndrome. In my first year of teaching, onto the school campus came the Polio vaccination van. All children were vaccinated. Now I believe it’s drops on a sugar lump, but I’m not sure. When did you last hear of a Polio outbreak in Australia? When I went to work on the island of New Britain in 1965, I was not allowed to travel there without a Smallpox vaccination. I believe that there is no longer Smallpox in the world. Come to early 2000. Professor Barry Marshall and his partner floated the idea that some stomach ulcers were caused by a germ. He could not convince many of his peers, so gave himself a stomach ulcer which he treated with antibiotic and both men were given the Nobel Peace Prize for medicine in 2005. Folks, look into history and think again. Edward Jenner and Louis Pasteur to name just two, were subject to disbelief and ridicule. Let’s protect our neighbours by our actions. Esther Robartson Merredin COVID 19 Vaccination

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6 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 Tales from the Rails RAIL WA 150 – 2021 Celebrating 150th Anniversary of Railways in Western Australia By JANE PATRONI, Chairperson, Merredin Railway Museum It is hard to believe that the end of another year is fast approaching. For us at the Railway Museum it has been busy, exciting and exhausting as we have seen some great planning come to fruition over twelve months. This year marked 150 Years since the first steam locomotive – the Ballaraat – was landed in WA at Lockville (near Wonnerup) and plied its trade for the WA Timber Company, carting timber from the forests to the port to be loaded onto ships. After many years of dilapidation, the locomotive was restored and is housed in a purpose-built section of the Busselton Visitors Centre. It’s well worth a visit if you are travelling in the South West. The restoration work, guided by the Museum’s Interpretive and Design Concept Plan continues. During the year informative panels were installed in the newly painted Ticket Office. This gives our visitors some important historical information about the railways and its importance to the Merredin townsite. On entry to the Museum, the commemorative wall displaying the names and designations of former employees is an interesting point of discussion. Due to increased interest, curators Ross and Kaye are pursuing the supply of additional plaques which can be affixed to the existing wall. This year we enjoyed extending hospitality to the public. We hosted morning teas to a variety of groups including former railway employees and their families, the Men’s Shed, the Shire’s Parks and Gardens staff, various university groups and bus tours. Both the Military and Railway Museums joined forces to Thank a Volunteer during Heritage Week by doing a street walk around the town, visiting places of interest and enjoying a shared lunch. This experience was given as a tour option during the highly successful Merredin Gateway Festival which enabled visitors to either complete the walk or to view a “virtual” electronic representation shown in our Refreshment Room. We were selected to host the AMaGA - Australian Museums and Galleries Association’s wheatbelt workshop with representatives joining us from Kellerberrin, Bruce Rock and Narembeen. The Railway Museum was invited by Rail Heritage to be represented at the annual RailFest held in Bassendean which enabled us to showcase Merredin as a day trip (or longer!) destination from Perth. Of significance was the celebration of 50 years continuous service of TransWA’s Prospector train. Held at the Railway Station, we as a community are the envy of many country towns that cannot boast a passenger rail service. It was a great occasion for many former railway employees as they made the trip to Merredin to rekindle past friendships and to reminisce on times spent in the town. Gloria Banks cut the celebration birthday cake and recalled how, with limited resources, a small but persistent group of locals fought to preserve the railway buildings for future generations. Philippa Rogers (RailHeritage WA) kindly gave us the loan of their model Prospector for the next few months. We were the recipients of some kind donations from former railway employees. A name badge and apron, a crib box, a map of original station drawings, photographs and albums, some overalls and an inspector’s dust coat as well as a yardmaster’s cap complete with gold braid have been added to the collection and will be displayed as appropriate space is created. We were the recipients of some excess furniture and crockery items, compliments of the local Masonic Lodge when it sadly disbanded. The addition of a fridge, hot water system, pie warmer and soon to be installed cupboards have been added to our inventory and are much appreciated by our members as they continue to provide hospitality and value add to the Museum experience. We at the Railway Museum would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has visited, helped out in any way, donated precious personal items to add to our collection or faithfully supported us this year. Your goodwill is very much appreciated. We look forward to seeing you in 2022 as we continue with our plans to improve your railway historical experience with us. On behalf of us all we wish you all a Blessed and Safe Christmas, New Year and Holiday Season.

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 7 A modern take on travelling by train Tales from the Train By LADY RANTHAM The packed train is one of the few places where an innocent commuter can sit, enjoying the scenery, and be subjected to having someone wave the most private (or at least the *favourite*) bits of themselves to within a distance of 15cm of one's head, without so much as a formal letter of introduction. Today I was subjected to a 3-car, but properly seat-full train which gave me an unrivalled vantage point for a powerful little human drama enacted in the Priority Zone, which is where the elderly, infirm, pregnant or studiously ignorant enjoy the daily cabaret of their commutes. Picture a packed train with two very small, very elderly oriental ladies (EOL), dressed in exciting new-season shades of beige, sitting quietly with the mobility aid of their choice, heads dangerously close to the trouser regions of A) a teenager wearing a bright watermelon print dress, B) a slender metrosexual whose shoes cost more than my sword collection and C) a young stockbroker-type with loosened tie, an excess of hair gel and rolled up sleeves……and a pained expression. He was sweating. I'm not sure if it was a curry, a heavy night's drinking or a dodgy petrol-station hotdog that had caused it, but you could TELL that he was acutely aware of the explosive potential of the lower end of his gastro-intestinal tract AND the fact that it was aimed squarely at the faces of two EOLs who may well die if the unimaginable (but oh so easy to imagine) horror came to fruition (pun intended). At each station, his agitation grew. At one point, where the train made an ungainly wobble when clacking at speed over a rough bit of track, he gripped the yellow pole with pure, unadulterated panic on his fashionably stubbled face. It was at this point, Fragile Petite Octogenarian Number 1 (FPO1) suddenly checked. She stopped gazing out the window. Her head tilted. Her expression gained a suspicious twitch. She was obviously performing an internal status check with her olfactory organs. After a moment of immobility, she resumed her placid observation of the modern-day shenanigans, of which she was pleased to disapprove. The tension abated. Approximately 3 minutes later, and about 90 seconds out of the Perth Underground Station, people began to get up, preparing to leave the train in one massive crush, momentarily creating our very own mobile vomitorium. They began to fill the Priority Zone, causing Object A), B) and C) to adjust their positions, when I saw it. FPO1 froze again, but this time, her expression solidified and hardened with a sense of a vile suspicion confirmed and her gaze swung inexorably, like the wrath of the Titans, to focus with withering condemnation (now at a distance of approximately 8cm) at the midseam of Exhibit C)'s trouserseat. It was as I saw her hand tighten around the grip of her walking stick that the doors blessedly opened and Exhibit C) managed to clear the compartment in a heartbeat, while keeping everything from his knee’s northwards clamped together so tightly I thought he was on casters. After the crush subsided, I wended past FPO1 and 2 and fervently wished, oh how I wished, that I had made a study of the invective of several Asiatic cultures..... Police Report By HEATH SOUTAR, Sergeant Merredin Police Station Happy Festive Season to all within our wonderful community from the staff at Merredin Police Station. Over Christmas you will see an increased effort from Merredin Police Station and our surrounding outstations on our roads, targeting alcohol and drug impaired driving, speeding, seat belt and mobile phone offences and unlicensed driving. Normal and extra patrols will target all major and minor roads at all times over this period, in an effort to make the roads safe for all of us. Our very own Sgt Andy GALBRAITH was recently recognised for his efforts within the community by making the Top 3 in the Individual Category of the Channel Nine News Excellence Awards. He unfortunately did not take out the top award at the recent awards breakfast held in Perth but it was fantastic to see his efforts rewarded. Merredin Police Station made the top 10 in the team award and all going well, we can take out the awards next year. Please look out for our Emergency Services Christmas Parade this Sunday 19 December. Representatives from Police, Fire & Rescue, Ambulance, Bush Fire Fighters and our State Emergency Service will be escorting a very special guest around town to meet the kids and hand out some treats. You will hear and see us coming from a mile away and our stops will be at the Merredin Recreation Centre at 5.00 pm, Merredin College at 5.25 pm and Apex Park at 5.50 pm. Please bring your kids along to meet our very special guest, who might be wearing a red suit whilst being escorted in a wonderful old army vehicle supplied by Merredin Military Museum. They can also meet some of our wonderful emergency service workers and check out the emergency vehicles. This event is being made possible by the efforts of our amazing Emergency Service Workers, Merredin Military Museum, Merredin CRC and our wonderful Merredin Youth Community and Merredin Blue Light. We look forward to seeing you there. Please stay safe over our Christmas and New Year Period, enjoy the holidays!!!!

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8 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 9 Library Musings Merredin Military Museum Awards By ROB ENDERSBEE Congratulations to Rob Endersbee and Mike Ivey who were awarded a well-deserved life membership to Merredin Military Museum, both are founding members and are still very much involved with dedication and enthusiasm to the Museum. Also, congratulations to Kobe Peters in receiving an honour certificate for loyal and dedicated service to the museum, starting out as cadet and then staying on as volunteer. Well-deserved awards to all three members. M&M Cookies in a Jar Kobe Peters, Rob Endersbee and Mike Ivy By WENDY PORTER, Merredin Regional Librarian Well, it’s that time of year again! Hasn’t the year just sped by? Remember to stop by the Merredin Library to pick up some holiday reading. Not sure what to read? Try one of these. ‘Through the farm gate: a life on the land’ by Angela Goode takes you through the pain, joy, fears, dedication, and complexity it takes to live on the land. Although growing up often visiting friends’ farms, after years working as a journalist, Angela was surprised that living on a cattle farm with her husband was not the idyllic life she remembered. Christmas is the season for overindulging in food, but what about those with diabetes? ‘The Australian Women’s Weekly Diabetes the complete collection’ book has over 150 healthy recipes including diabetic friendly desserts and snacks. It covers information about what foods to consider and what to avoid, as well as healthy alternatives. Why not try Open Turkey and Apple Burgers, Creamy Seafood Soup, Skim Milk Marshmallows, Banana Matcha Fro-yo or even ice cream Sandwiches. The Australian Women’s Cricket Team is one of Australia’s most successful sporting teams, but until recently, women’s cricket was not widely recognized. ‘Clearing Boundaries’ by Fiona Bollen with Matt Bonser show the rise of Australian Women’s cricket. The book includes not only statistics, but many previously never seen photographs from the Bradman Museum’s Holman Collection as well as some from private collections. From 5 January to 29 January, the Merredin Library will only be open half days to allow for stock take. Library hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10am until 2pm, Wednesday 1pm to 5pm and Saturday 10am -12noon. Stay tuned for a new Summer Reading Program to help keep the kids entertained. Remember the Merredin Library will be closed from 12 noon on Friday, 24 December 2021 until 10am on Tuesday, 4 January 2022. Come in and grab some extra books before we close. All e-resources will be available throughout the break for library members. Don’t know how to access them? Ask library staff for details. Stay merry and safe. New Rules for eRideables By CONSUMER PROTECTION Electric scooters and skateboards will likely appear on many Christmas wish-lists this year, given the growing popularity of these eRideable devices and others like them in recent years. To avoid disappointment when shopping for eRideables, it is important to be across the new rules that are now in effect covering how they can be used. One of the key changes implemented by the Road Safety Commission has been to where these devices can be ridden and how fast they can go. For eRiders over 16 years of age, the devices can be ridden up to 10km/hr on footpaths and up to 25km/hr on bicycle paths, shared paths and local roads. Children under 16 years old can still use low-powered, low-speed motorised scooters with a maximum power output of 200w and maximum speed of 10 km/h. Helmets are compulsory, so too is giving way to pedestrians, keeping left, using a bell or verbal warning when approaching path users, as well as the use of lights and reflectors when riding at night-time. Protective gear such as knee and elbow pads is also strongly recommended. Another safety aspect to be aware of is that most eRideables are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which can catch fire if they are overcharged, damaged or not approved for use in Australia. Overnight or unsupervised charging can therefore be dangerous, so the devices should be unplugged as soon as a full charge is reached. Only use the battery and charger provided with the equipment and be cautious about purchasing any electrical items from overseas. As we urge consumers to familiarise themselves with the new regulations, we are also warning retailers to ensure they are not selling eRideable devices that exceed size, weight and speed capabilities, nor should they mislead consumers about what is or isn’t allowed when it comes to using them on public paths or roads. Further details about the new eRideable regulations can be found on the Road Safety Commission website, while consumers who feel they have been misled should try to resolve the issue with the retailer first. If that fails, consumers can contact Consumer Protection by email consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54 Ingredients 1 1/3 cups self-raising flour 2/3 cup brown sugar 160g Mars mini M&Ms ½ tsp salt Method Layer ingredients in a 500ml capacity jar. Press each layer down as you go. I use the end of a rolling pin. I like flour with salt, sugar, flour then M&M's for stripe effect. M&M's last keeps lines clear otherwise it blends slightly. Print cooking instructions (see Notes) and tie with a ribbon around jar. Equipment Glass jar with lid Notes Copy these cooking instructions and add to the gift tag. M&M Cookies Makes 20 Extra Ingredients: •125g butter (room temperature) •1 egg •1 tsp vanilla extract

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10 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 From the History Room By ANITA METCALF RECIPES OF YESTERYEAR From the history room at the Merredin Library, these recipes are from the Merredin Mercury and Central Districts Index 1917. Sherbet 1/4lb ground white sugar, 2oz. each tartaric acid and carbonate of soda, twenty drops of essence of lemon. Add the essence to the sugar then the other powders, stir all together and mix well. It is a good plan to pass the mixture Upgrades for the Merredin Repertory Club thanks to Collgar Wind Farm By MICHELLE GETHIN The Merredin Repertory Club was very excited to find out that it was successful as a Collgar Community Fund grant recipient earlier this year. Collgar Wind Farm agreed to donate $10,000 to put towards an audio-visual system for the Cummins Theatre which was finally installed last week by 3Monkeys Audiovisual. The theatre stage monitoring camera system means that members of the Merredin Repertory Club and visiting performers can now sit comfortably in the 'green room' (backstage waiting room) waiting for their cue instead of loitering in the wings. The project was initially earmarked in the Cummins Theatre 2009 renovation plans but shelved as a long term wish list item. Merredin Repertory Club Secretary Michelle Gethin, who applied for the grant, was thrilled to see this project finally realised. "We've sat on this project ourselves for a couple of years after seeing how much it would cost to do", Mrs Gethin said. "It simply wouldn't have been possible without the generous support of the Collgar Community Fund program. We hope all the touring artists who grace the stage of the Cummins Theatre enjoy this technology upgrade too". Merredin Repertory Club President Grant Stainer with Collgar Wind Farm Site Superintendent Ross Billing in front of the TV and audio system in the Cummins Theatre green room. through a hair-sieve. Keep the sherbet in a lightly corked bottle. Grapefruit Drink Squeeze the juice of a large grapefruit into a jug, strain it, add sugar to taste. Pour soda water over it. American Long Drink One tablespoonful of the juice of any fruit, a bottle of soda water, a little cream and a few drops of lemon juice required. Put all together in a jug, mix well and ice. By CONSUMER PROTECTION Christmas may be a time for giving, but there’s one type of person you wouldn’t want to reward with a free gift this festive season – a scammer. Unfortunately that has been the outcome for about 200 Western Australians so far in 2021, who reported to WA ScamNet that they had been tricked out of almost $700,000 while shopping online. The fake websites and social media pages have pretended to sell everything from barbecues to motorhomes, but consumers never received the items, nor saw their money again. It is very easy to be fooled, with fake websites often looking very professional and sometimes stealing the identity of a well-known retailer or brand. Furthermore, the items for sale may be offered at very low prices in a bid to trigger a shopper’s excitement to bag a bargain. While the WA ScamNet team has managed to shut-down around 200 fake websites and almost 100 social media pages this year, the scam sites often quickly re-appear under different names. This means it will never be possible to close down every fake site and Don’t Get Wrapped up in a Shopping Scam this Christmas page, so online shoppers need to be confident the site is genuine before entering their personal and financial information during a purchase. The best warning sign that a retail website is a scam is the method of payment. Be very suspicious if scammers ask you to pay via electronic funds transfer or using a money order, pre-loaded money card or a crypto currency such as Bitcoin, as it is rare to recover money that is sent this way. Another important tip is to look at the overall quality of the website, grammatical errors in text, poorly edited images and whether the business provides an actual address for its location. Try to only pay by credit card or a secure payment method such as PayPal, as there is an opportunity to get your money back if something goes wrong or the item is not supplied. Better yet, consider giving preference to WA-based online retailers or doing your Christmas shopping at local bricks and mortar stores this year. For further information or to report a scam, go to the WA ScamNet website or call 1300 30 40 54.

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 11 Merredin SES Annual Dinner and Awards Night By SARGE BOTTACIN, Training Manager, Merredin SES Unit Following a successful year Merredin SES held its annual dinner and awards night as it wound up its 2021 training year and to recognised the efforts of its members. Local Manager Mr Mark Briggs also congratulated the volunteers of the unit for their untiring support to the community especially in times of need throughout the region, attending incidents as far as Meekatharra and various communities when we had Cyclone Seroja and to all in still kept focused and committed too volunteering with SES. Even though our training year has wound up, it’s pleasing to know that we are still ready to attend any callouts. Awards were presented to members for their support and outstanding service to Merredin SES and DFES. Also present on the night was DFES District Officer, Natural Hazards, Mr. Matthew Remier who also praised the support Merredin SES has given to the communities, and Mr Reimer also made presentation to members for service given. Cercate of Appreciaon Award to Mrs Judy Briggs for service given as Deputy Local Manager Cercate of Appreciaon Award to Mr Mark Briggs for service given as Deputy Local Manager Local Manager Mr Mark Briggs presents Charles Hasson the Units Local Manager’s Award for Dedicaon to Training Manager, Sarge Boacin was awarded 35 year service clasp to the DFES services medal for 35 years voluntary service to SES

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12 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 Leader of the WA Parliamentary National Party Mia Davies has called on Mr James Hayward to resign his position from Parliament, saying it was untenable for him to retain his seat. “Mr Hayward is facing serious charges, he has resigned his membership of our Party and he should now resign from the Parliament,” Ms Davies said. “Our Party took swift and immediate action in the hours after the matter was revealed, by suspending Mr Hayward, removing his membership rights and setting in motion procedures under The Nationals WA’s Constitution to consider his future. His resignation means we no longer need to pursue this action. “Our Parliamentary team have met and agree unanimously that Mr Hayward should resign from the Parliament.” Countdown to Christmas 8 days Statement from Leader of the Nationals

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 13 In All Its Glory By KAYE BELL Nungarin Heritage, Machinery and Army Museum would love to show you our newest restoration. The item is a WWII British Army Telephone Cable Layer, pictured here in its new home, the radio room at the Museum. It was recently restored, in a meticulous manner, by visiting volunteer Allan. Allan lives in Merredin and travelled to and from Nungarin for weeks in order to undertake this one off project for us. When he was initially presented with the cable layer it was rusted and the moveable parts weren’t moving. After sandblasting and much persistence it is as shown – in tip top condition. Allan assures us that even though his “one off” project is finished he will be back to hang out with his new found mates at the Museum. Thanks Allan for your wonderful work. Toddler Fun at the Merredin Pool By WENDY PORTER The Eastern Wheatbelt Early Years Network hosted their annual Christmas party at the Merredin Pool on 10 December. Over 40 children, toddlers, and babies brought along their parents or carers to have fun frolicking in the pool. Representatives from Wheatbelt Primary Health, Merredin College, Merredin Regional Community and Leisure Centre, Merredin Library and Merredin Shire came along for the fun, with lots of water toys and even a giant Connect 4 game. The children enjoyed munching on fruit whilst listening to a couple of Christmas stories. There was even a gift for each child who attended. Thanks to all who helped make the morning a success.

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14 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 Merredin Men’s Shed Year End Together By ROMOLO PATRONI It’s a well-known fact that following the usual Thursday afternoon get together the Members adjourn to the Merredin Club for their weekly medicinal. The Merredin Club was again a well-chosen venue for the 2021 Annual Dinner and 40 Members and partners enjoyed a convivial evening. The evening started with drinks, followed by a roast with the usual Christmas trimmings and finished off with sweets. Following the meal Shed President Phil Sachse spoke of the events that transpired during the year and mentioned the importance of the Men’s Shed towards the welfare both physically and mentally to its members as a secure friendly venue where “how you going mate” means something. In so doing he mentioned that during the year some members departed to the Bigger Shed in the Sky. They will be missed. On a lighter note, he thanked his committee for the support to him during the year and some of the success we achieved like securing a grant from Wheatbelt Development Commission for a $20,000 forklift, the now almost completed project of restoring a Chamberlain super 70 Tractor for Mineral Resources, restoration of 11 seats to go back into the Nangeenan Hall for the progress Association and the continuing support to the community by way of assistance to numerous organizations like CRC on Market days Gala Night, Merredin Show, and with Shed train always popular. In other words, an eventful and successful year. Phil then announced several awards for meritorious service to: Dennis Scadden a past President, always available has made a great contribution as a member; Malcom Robartson a foundation member, regular attendee and has made long and great positive contribution particularly in the woodwork area; Sam Teasdale also a foundation member and full of ideas, Sam makes his contribution through his extensive local knowledge and experience; and Finally Peter McCrae was called forwarded to be presented his Life Membership. Peter a foundation member served as President now Deputy President and has been the backbone of the Shed since its inception. Peter’s valuable contribution in the cropping program where he has used his own machinery seeding, spraying and harvesting. This generates most of the Shed funds and he has been doing it for many years. Peter responded saying that was unexpected and that he found his contribution was small compared to what benefits he in turn has received particularly in a past dark period. The evening finished off with usual friendly banter. Members were pleased to have small talk and catch up. Great to see present Life Members Jim Flockart and Harry Rogers also Theresa O’Brien Smith a past Secretary to the Shed. A fitting way to end to a good year 2021.

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 15 Would you want to be a bricklayer, carpenter or welder? Who really knows what they want to be until they get the chance to try it! Year 9 students from four local District High Schools were provided with just that opportunity when they attended a three-day ‘Try-A-Trade’ Program run at Merredin College – Rutherford Trade Training Centre from 1 –3 December (Wednesday -Friday). Over the three days, each group was involved in many ‘hands-on’ activities, spending one-day learning new skills in each of the trades on offer. While in bricklaying, students were involved in mixing ‘mud’ and building brick walls. The welding group were learning the skill of MIG welding making some very impressive pieces of artwork. Students in carpentry put their newfound carpentry skills to good use making a picnic table and bench. All the students enjoyed the experience of learning new skills, working in a team and making new friends. Try-a-Trade Santa visits Merrittville By DEBBIE MORRIS The Merrittville Retirement Village Committee hosted a Christmas party for the residents on Monday 13 December where they enjoyed some refreshments and a visit from Santa, who handed out small gifts to everyone. Photos courtesy of Megan Simmonds Merredin Carols by Candlelight A large crowd attended the annual Carols by Candlelight held on the Visitor Centre lawn on Sunday 12 December, which was hosted by the Merredin Churches Fraternal. Performances from Merredin College Choir, A Choired Taste and The Perfect Gentlemen.

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16 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 Science By GRANT STAINER Launching a rocket and manoeuvring it in space requires a significant amount of thrust, which is the force that moves the rocket. Thrust is produced by the propulsion system of the rocket, and there are multiple different variations of system designs. However, they all work on the application of Newton’s third law of motion, which states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In a typical rocket engine, fuel and an oxygen source (oxidiser) are mixed and exploded in a combustion chamber. The hot exhaust generated by the combustion is passed through a nozzle to accelerate the flow and produce thrust. Rockets must carry their own fuel and oxidiser, as oxygen from air is not available in space, because space is a vacuum. The two main categories of rocket engines are liquid rockets and solid rockets. In liquid rockets, the fuel and the oxidiser are stored separately before being pumped into the combustion chamber where burning occurs. In solid rockets, the fuel and oxidiser are mixed and stored together, but they do not react under normal temperature conditions. However, when exposed to the heat source provided by the igniter, they then react and burn. Rocket Propulsion Liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen are the more common propellants, but a range of other propellants have also been used, including but not limited to, hydrazine, alcohols, kerosene fuels, and exotic combinations involving aluminium, boron and liquid ozone. Recently, researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have developed a rocket propulsion system that uses the main ingredient of mothballs, naphthalene, as a fuel for rockets. When heated past 70oC, the solid naphthalene transforms (sublimes) directly from a solid to a gas, which is then passed into the combustion chamber to generate thrust. The researchers chose naphthalene as it is cheaper, less corrosive, is less complicated, and more compact. The researchers have named it the Bogong thruster, and plan to test it in space in mid-2022. Rocket technology has a wide range on interlinked components that all need to work together to produce thrust. This includes chemistry of the propellants, engineering and design, materials chemistry, physics, and much more. All the various intricacies are fascinating to learn about. For more information, check out the article on the ABC website at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-09/moth-ball-technology-propels-satellites-into-space/100683662 Santa Supports My Health Record By AUSTRALIAN DIGITAL HEALTH AGENCY Santa has joined the Australian Digital Health Agency this year to urge Australians to give themselves the gift of better health care by using their My Health Record. “I’ve been using mine for years now and encourage the elves to do the same,” Santa said. “Like making a list and getting it right, having your health information in one place means you don’t forget the important things.” “I travel a lot at this time of year and if I do get sick, I don’t need to tell my health story over and over again,” Santa said. “It’s all in my digital record including my vaccination status. Besides, there simply isn’t enough room in the sleigh for more paper. With digital records, I don’t need to carry around physical documents.” Agency Chief Clinical Adviser Dr Steve Hambleton said “Santa knows the last thing we want is for him to suffer an adverse reaction because any new medication interacts with what he is already taking.” “If you’re taking medications that help you have better health, it’s important all your healthcare providers know the name and dose of those medications. This is particularly important if you’re admitted to emergency or unable to remember details. Plus, Santa’s regular GP can be updated online, for when he returns home. Surface mail takes too long, especially at this time of year.” Santa suggested that for anyone not connected with their digital record, the Christmas holiday break could be a great time to get connected. “Most Australians already have a record but they aren’t always taking full advantage of it,” he said. “While many Australians have ‘gone digital’ to adapt to COVID-19 check-in requirements, not all have yet recognised the full benefits of their own digital health record – which generally contains a health summary and COVID-19 pathology results as well as the digital immunisation certificate. If the record doesn’t have all a person’s health records, a quick chat with their regular doctor can sort that out.” Santa said better health was the perfect Christmas gift, so Australians should talk to their friends and family over the holidays, to make sure their loved ones are also using their digital records so that their health information is available as and when they need it “Follow up your health checks, don’t put your health on hold,” Santa said. “Good health is like the gift you unwrap throughout your life.” About the Australian Digital Health Agency By AUSTRALIAN DIGITAL HEALTH AGENCY When it comes to improving the health of all Australians, the role of digital innovation and connection is a vital part of a modern, accessible healthcare system. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, digital health has seen exponential growth in relevance and importance, making it more pertinent than ever for all Australians and healthcare providers. Better patient healthcare and health outcomes are possible when you have a health infrastructure that can be safely accessed, easily used and responsibly shared. To achieve this, the National Digital Health Strategy is establishing the foundations for a sustainable health system that constantly improves. It underpins and coordinates work that is already happening between governments, healthcare providers, consumers, innovators and the technology industry. For further information: www.digitalhealth.gov.au. The Australian Digital Health Agency is a statutory authority in the form of a corporate Commonwealth entity.

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 17

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18 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 19 Protect Your Home While You’re Away on Holiday By RAC Here are some practical tips to help you protect your home while you’re away on holiday: • Let trusted neighbours or friends know your travel plans so they can deal with any emergencies. Perhaps they can park their car in your driveway, take out your bins or mow your lawn so it looks like someone is still at home. • Ask someone to collect your mail on a regular basis or redirect through Australia Post and cancel your newspaper delivery. • Buy timers for your lights and program them to turn on and off in different rooms at times that match night and day patterns. • Make sure your electrical appliances are not left on stand-by. Unplugging things like your TV and computers will protect them from power surges, and save you power as well. • Turn down the telephone ringer volume and turn off any alarm clocks so that people outside your home can’t hear them for extended periods of time. • Turn off your garage door opener and ensure the door between your garage and your home is locked. • If you’ll be away for a long period of time, consider turning off your home’s water supply at the mains to prevent the risk of leaks. • Double check all doors and windows have been key locked. • Consider increasing your home security. If you already have an alarm system, don’t forget to switch it on before you leave and make sure the person looking after your property knows how to turn it off and back on. Making arrangements to have your alarm monitored will provide you with 24 hour protection while you are away. • Be conscious of your social media activity while you’re away. Avoid discussing your travel plans on Facebook and Twitter and while it’s nice to share pictures with friends, wait to post photos from your trip until you get home.

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20 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 BEAUTICIAN CARPENTER PEST CONTROL now does steam carpet cleaning/shampooing and upholstery cleaning Call Graeme on 0458 391 232 CARPET CLEANING 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 9622 9687 / 0427 725 501 sarahsomers@iinet.net.au LAWYER 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 POOL MAINTENANCE COMPUTER TECH SUPPORT PHOTOCOPIERS COMMERCIAL

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 21 for all domestic and commercial cleaning in the Wheatbelt Call Graeme on 0458 391 232 CLEANER EARTH MOVING PLACE YOUR TRADES ADVERT Affordable exposure for your business Email administration2@merredincrc.com YOUR TRADE

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22 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 Horoscopes ARIES 21 March—19 April With Christmas approaching you are looking forward to participating in activities that could broaden your social circle. Travel is looking like a possibility. TAURUS 20 April—20 May December is a great time for serious relationships with potential partners exuding power and magnetism that draws you in. Just be careful that you’re not the one making all the compromises. GEMINI 21 May—20 June While the first half of December has been busy catching up with friends and family, the second half will be a quieter, reflective time for you. Travel plans are likely at the end of the month. CANCER 21 June—22 July You’ve been putting in a lot of effort at work and now is the time to reap the rewards. The week before Christmas could be especially profitable. December should be a rewarding month for you. LEO 23 July—22 August Relationships are developing favourably, and it is a good time to commit to someone you believe is balanced and reliable. Try to take some time out and relax over Christmas instead of focusing on work. VIRGO 23 August—22 September It’s all about work until Christmas. While work has been positive there is room for better planning to give you more time for family, and possibly to work from home. LIBRA 23 September—22 October Now is a perfect time for you to declutter – not just excess possessions, but also relationships that are simply too complicated and leave you feeling exhausted. It’s time to look after yourself. SCORPIO 23 October—21 November You want to put your stamp on your environment, so your focus will be on home and family. Finances are highlighted in December which may be linked to investing in your home. SAGITTARIUS 22 November—21 December New developments are afoot with your living arrangement and family. You will focus more on family and roots as it is a good time for communication and connection. CAPRICORN 22 December—19 January It is all about relationships for you at this time, in particular with children or a partner. Emotions may run high but there is no need to worry, you will have everything under control. AQUARIUS 20 January—18 February You are being pulled in different directions. Perhaps between work and family, or freedom and responsibility. Use the quiet time around Christmas to reflect privately on what you really want. PISCES 19 February—20 March Family, partners and colleagues are being very supportive and encouraging of you and this will help you achieve your ambitions. Enjoy the festive season and spending time with your friends and family. CLASSIFIEDS Positions Vacant

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 23 CLASSIFIEDS Positions Vacant

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24 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 Astronomy WTF 17th—30th December 2021 By PETER BARRETT Welcome skywatchers to the summer solstice edition of Watching The Firmament, and you can see by the chart that there are no less than fourteen hours and thirteen minutes of sunshine from today all the way through to Christmas Day. Just a few seconds separates the time between sunrise to sunset on these days and this is why astronomers call it solstice, from Sol meaning sun and stice meaning standing still. You will notice however that the times of sunrise and sunset are nonetheless advancing, such that the earliest sunrise does not coincide with the longest day of the year, which is December 21 for us. How come? Remember the “equation of time”, whereby the position of the sun at the same time of day describes a figure-8 pattern, or “analemma” throughout the year. Boxing Day sits at the very top of this figure-8, and June 12 is the day at the very bottom. These roughly coincide with two of the four dates on which no correction need be applied to a sundial, the other two being in autumn and spring where the lines of the figure-8 cross. For those of you titillated by last fortnight’s talk of comets, tonight’s the night! If all goes well Leonard should be just visible sporting a tail in the vicinity of Venus and will move away and upwards on successive nights. If all goes really well Leonard will be easy to spot, but astronomers and veteran comet-hunters are nervous. There is a not insignificant chance Leonard may not survive its perihelion and simply evaporate in a puff of plasma, leaving us to ponder the notorious unpredictability of these things. On the other hand a big fat cometty Christmas would be a nice finish to an otherwise quiet astronomical year. I’ll be back next year with charts and chat, hopefully full of news about more comets, supernovas, eclipses and more. If you have any suggestions to make WTF better I’m all ears. More observing tips? More sky lore and stories? More cosmology and astrophysics? Perhaps more news from the space industry, or some news of local clubs and events. It’s my mission to get more and more of you looking up, particularly at this time of the year when we celebrate all things heavenly. Merry Solstice!

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 25 Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine (COMIRNATY) By AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT, Department of Health The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved the Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd COVID-19 vaccine, COMIRNATY, for use in individuals 5 years and older. This decision follows the provisional approvals granted by the TGA to Pfizer for the use of COMIRNATY in individuals 12 years and older on 22 July 2021 and the booster dose for use in adults 18 years and older on 26 October 2021. As for other age groups, the use of this vaccine in children aged 5-11 years should be given in two doses at least 3 weeks apart. However, a lower dose (10 micrograms) will be given to children aged 5-11 years, compared to that used for individuals 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms). To deliver the smaller dose, a different orange-capped vial will be used to vaccinate children. It will be clearly differentiated from the product currently used to vaccinate those 12 years and older. In making this regulatory decision, the TGA carefully considered data from clinical trials conducted in the United States, Finland, Poland and Spain which included participants 5 to 11 years of age. The study demonstrated effectiveness by showing that the immune response to the vaccine in children was similar to that seen in older age groups. Clinical trials also showed that the safety profile in children is similar to that seen in adults with the observed side effects being mild. The most frequent adverse events seen in clinical trials in children aged 5-11 years were injection site pain, fatigue, headache, injection site redness and swelling, muscle pain and chills. Further advice on the rollout of COMIRNATY to this age group will be provided to Government by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). Provisional approval of this vaccine is valid for two years and means it can now be legally supplied in Australia. The approval is subject to certain strict conditions, such as the requirement for Pfizer to continue providing information to the TGA on longer term efficacy and safety from ongoing clinical trials and post-market assessment. Australians can be confident that the TGA's review process of this vaccine was rigorous and of the highest standard. The decision to provisionally approve the vaccine was also informed by expert advice from the Advisory Committee on Vaccines (ACV), an independent committee with expertise in scientific, medical and clinical fields including consumer representation. The TGA will continue to actively monitor the safety of the vaccine in children and adults both in Australia and overseas and will not hesitate to take action if safety concerns are identified. As an extra check, the TGA laboratories will undertake batch assessment of each batch of the vaccine before it can be supplied in Australia.

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26 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 CBH COVID 19 Site and Office entry requirements By CBH The State Government recently announced mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for various industries deemed critical to the ongoing delivery of business and function of the community. Based on the current information available, the majority of CBH employees will be included within the “Remaining port operations”, “Remaining commercial transport, freight or logistics” and/or “Critical infrastructure and services” groups, or “Group 2”. Therefore, CBH is required to follow the Government’s instructions on mandating the COVID-19 vaccine and has decided to make the vaccination a condition of entry to all CBH sites and offices. As a result, anyone who visits our premises including employees, contractors, growers, transporters and visitors, are required to comply with the Government’s directions by ensuring that they have received their first vaccination by 31 December 2021 and are fully vaccinated by 31 January 2022. Aboriginal NRM Goes from Strength to Strength By WHEATBELT NRM 2021 has been a year of growth and milestones for our Aboriginal NRM team. From our Elders Advisory Group through our Noongar Boodjar Rangers, this year was a time of reflection backed by action. Reflecting On The Past Five Years This year saw the five-year Mooditj Boodjar Action Plan draw to a close. In 2021 the Elders Advisory Group reflected on the current plan and looked at what was important to them as we move forward to start a new plan in 2022. They recognised that while we are progressing there is still a long way to go and their aspirations of Recording of Traditional Knowledge, Use of Noongar language, Access to Significant Sites, Economic Opportunities for Local Aboriginal People and Meaningful Discussion are still relevant. We also took the first steps in developing a Reconciliation Action Plan, working with the Elders Group. We look forward in finalising that plan next year. Native Seed Collection Gained Momentum Following on from 2020 when we received a $75,000 Regional Economic Development grant, our seed collection enterprise went from strength to strength. This culminated in the recent delivery of seed cleaning machinery which means that we now have the capabilities for a full native seed offering. As part of this enterprise, we saw the return of former school-based trainee, Judd Stead. Returning after a five-year hiatus, Judd re-joined the Noongar Boodjar Ranger team bringing expert knowledge in the art of native species identification and seed collection. He has been a welcome addition to the team and we’re looking forward to showcasing more of his work in 2022. New kaatadjin, new skills Training and development has been a priority for our Noongar Boodjar Rangers. Earlier in the year, Rangers were offered on-the-ground exposure to soil sampling. It was an amazing opportunity to connect farmers and Rangers with both parties sharing the same goal of nurturing Country. The Ranger team also hit the classroom undertaking a huge body of training. They’ve looked at everything from plant propagation through to chemical use training and are now a highly skilled workforce, specialising in natural resource management. Milestones and celebrations Our work at Northam Cemetery hit a key milestone this year. The Rangers celebrated 100 working days on this partnership with the Shire of Northam. This has been a long-standing and much-loved piece of work and reaching this milestone was a particularly proud moment for the team. The Noongar Boodjar Rangers were also recognised as finalists in the 2021 State Landcare Awards. The award acknowledges an outstanding Indigenous community group or individual that is working towards improving land use and/or enhancing or protecting an area on behalf of the community. We want to finish by thanking all our partners, our Elders Advisory Group, our Project Support Officer and of course – our Noongar Boodjar Rangers for making 2021 such a successful year.

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THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 27 By MICHELLE GETHIN The Merredin District Lawn Tennis Club Sunsmart Junior Tennis Coaching program with Perth coach Brenton Bacon has wrapped up for 2021. Brenton has now provided 5 terms of tennis coaching based at Merredin since October 2019. This has meant that over 100 children in the Merredin area, around 50 children at Burracoppin and 20 children at Kellerberrin have been able to learn correct tennis techniques and develop a lifelong love of the game. Many children have now gained the confidence to enter tournaments around the area and even represent the Central Districts Zone at statewide competitions. Tennis coaching can be an expensive business, so the MDLTC is extremely grateful to its sponsorship partners - Sunsmart, Great Southern Fuels and the Olympic Motel who have assisted to keep costs down. The MDLTC was also a lucky recipient of some one-off funding from the Merredin & Districts Junior Football Association Cropping Program which will keep the program continuing in 2022. Brenton has confirmed that he will be back in February 2022, so join the Merredin Districts Lawn Tennis Club Facebook page for more information and also the Central Districts Tennis Association Facebook page for all the 2022 junior tennis tournaments. Photos of some of the Merredin children who did tennis coaching this term. Tennis Merredin District Lawn Tennis Club Basketball 25th November 2021 Under 12 Girls White (32) d. Royal Blue (4) Orange (24) d. Lime Green (8) Under 12 Boys Red (21) d. Light Grey (19) Green (34) d. Sky Blue (32) Yellow (29) draw Black (29) Under 16 Girls Sky Blue (40) d. Light Grey (17) Lilac (50) d. White (43) Under 16 Boys Orange (54) d. Black (39) Red (23) d. Light Grey (22) Royal Blue (34) d. Green (24) Pink (46) d. Yellow (42) 2nd December 2021 Under 12 Girls Lime Green (14) d. Royal Blue (12) Orange (18) d. White (6) Under 12 Boys Sky Blue (38) d. Yellow (27) Black (8) d. Red (7) Green (24) d. Light Grey (13) Under 16 Girls Sky Blue (36) draw White (36) Lilac (41) d. Lime Green (24) Under 16 Boys Royal Blue (48) d. Pink (36) Orange (36) d. Green (33) Red (39) d. Yellow (18) Light Grey (31) d. Black (17) Men Merredin Magic (28) d Lakers (26) Burracoppin Ballers (58) d. Topline Wogs (41) Warriors (29) d. Bulls (25) Women Sharks (27) d. Fury (23) Black Pearls (32) d. Sonics (21) Mystics (56) d. Opals (9) 9th December 2021 Under 12 Girls Orange (28) d. Royal Blue (4) White (14) d. Lime Green (4) Under 12 Boys Black (21) d. Green (15) Sky Blue (22) d. Light Grey (16) Yellow (29) d. Red (5) Under 16 Girls Lilac (34) d. Sky Blue (33) Lime Green (34) d. White (20) Under 16 Boys Light Grey (31) draw Green (31) Red (47) d. Pink (44) Orange (61) d. Royal Blue (35) Black forfeit to Yellow Men Lakers (49) d. Topline Wogs (31) Warriors (39) d. Burracoppin Ballers (29) Bulls (27) d. Merredin Magic (23) Women Mystics (26) d. Black Pearls (22) Opals (25) d. Sharks (18) Sonics (32) d. Fury (21) 4th - 20th FEBRUARY 109 events over 15 disciplines in seven sports

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28 THE PHOENIX Friday, December 17th 2021 Little Athletics By MARIE BARTLETT Tuesday the 7th of December was the last session for the Little Athletics Season of 2021! Our 2021 saw 40 children register for the season, enjoying 100m and 200m sprints, relays, javelin, hurdles, shot put, discus and long jump. We also had new committee eager to build numbers and skills of their participants. Thank you to everyone for a fantastic, fun filled, final session. The children had a blast with flag races, tunnel ball, relays and tug of war! Thank you for braving the heat and bringing your children. We ended the session with a parent v’s children tug of war – the children were pretty pleased with themselves becoming victorious over their parents! The day ended with a sausage sizzle and certificate presentation. Thank you, Steve Gregory, for taking charge of the BBQ and cooking the sausages. Here are some of the fastest times and longest distance achievers for the 2021 season. Fastest 200m (37.01 seconds), 100m (16.48 seconds) and Longest discus (12.08m) was awarded to Patrick O’Neill. Fastest 60m 12.45 seconds) awarded to Claudia Pucar. Longest Javelin awarded to Daniel Simmons (13.96m) and Longest Shot Putt awarded to Sterling Roberts 6.71m. Thank you to our Executive Committee of Chesney Maloney, Steph Gregory and Marie Bartlett for volunteering to make this season possible. Thank you to our coaches Kate Crees, Andy Galbraith and Zane Walker for your assistance throughout the season. Thank you to all of the parents who volunteered over the season and for bringing your children each week. Thank you to CBH, Great Southern Fuels, Belgravia and Merredin Junior Football for your Sponsorship of the season. And lastly Thank you to the Children for attending each week eager to learn and improve on your kills, Especially those of you that travelled. We look forward to seeing you in 2022, please like our Facebook page Merredin Little Athletics to keep up to date with all things Athletics. Merredin Little Athletics