Garness returns, but still doubts over team

St Michaels have been buoyed by the return of fast bowler Dave Garness for the 2016-17 season.
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Dave Garness, pictured bowling for St Michaels in 2014, will be back at the Wagga club for the upcoming season.

Garness has returned to the club following a year in Cootamundra with Ex-Servicemans.

He can’t wait to get back involved in a higher standard of cricket.

“I am pretty keen to get back over and started,”Garness said.“I missed the competitiveness of it.

“I enjoy the boys at St Micks and while I enjoyed playing in Coota it wasn’t as strong as Wagga.”

Garnessis looking to help the team go on step further after they were beaten by Lake Albert in last season’s grand final.

Coach Ryan Forsyth expects he will be a big boost for the team’s bowling ranks.

“He decided to stay in Cootamundra last year with some family commitments he hadbut he is really excited and keen to come back, make an impact,” Forsyth said.

Doubt remains over the availability of Angus Le Lievre, who is weighing up a move to Canberra, after making a big impact in the second half of last season.

Forsyth believes Garness would be an ideal replacement in the bowling ranks ifLe Lievre doesn’t play.

“The fact that we have Dave would almost replaceAngus in terms of his bowling,” Forsyth said.

“In terms of his batting we’d just have to find a couple of bats to fill the void.”

With the seasondelayed dueto the wet weather, there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding who will line up for last season’s grand finalists.

Chase Grintell has moved to South Wagga while Fraser Noack and Rhys Lloyd have both left with university commitments.

Another with uni commitments is Tom Byrnes, but he is expected to return.

“I am confident we will get him back,” Forsyth said.

“He is a junior and has really enjoyed his time here, particularly last year but first are foremost are his commitments in Sydney.

“He travels back for footy and it is a huge commitment for him.”

Despite uncertainty over the team,Forsyth is confident the Saints will once again be pushing their claims for the title.

With a number of changesthis year, Forsyth expects a fairly even competition.

“I reckon it will be a really even comp this year from what I’ve heard in terms of player movements,” he said.

“That is pretty exciting and the fact that the association has got together and revamped the draw, the Twenty20, which won’t be happening this year, the one-day final and the points system just makes it exciting.”

The club is yet to lock in a captain for the season, with James Elliott yet to commit to the role again.

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Racing NSW to the rescue

TOUGH TIMES: Wagga trainer Gary Colvin and his staff evacuate horses from his stables over the October long weekend as flood waters hit. Picture: Colvin RacingRACING NSW have come to the rescue of Southern District racing participants and delivered an emergency funding relief package as a form of compensation for washed out meetings.
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Southern District experienced a month like no other when it went through September without a single meeting, with nine consecutive wash outs as constant rain wreaked havoc on the region.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’Landys AM announced on Tuesday an emergency funding relief package of up to $500,000 for trainers and owners in the Southern District Racing Association (SDRA).

This comes on top of additional race meetings that have been scheduled where possible.

V’Landys, who is on a working holiday in the United States, said Racing NSW wanted to help where they can.

“The funding relief is a response to the uncharacteristically high rate of abandoned race meetings in the Southern and Western regions in the past six weeks,” V’Landys said.

“The incredibly high rate of abandonments has affected trainers in particular, who have to pay their staff and continue running costs.

“Racing NSW is fully committed to our participants and this was the appropriate action to compensate the trainers and their owners.”

Racing NSW have identified horses that had accepted in cancelled meetings and will contact trainers in coming weeks to organise relief.

A $1000 payment will be made with $500 going to the owner, and $500 to the trainer.

There is also funding available on application for any significant storm damage caused to a trainer’s property or supplies by the rain, wind or flooding.

Wagga trainer Gary Colvin has been out his stables for the past week and will soon start the clean up after flood waters forced he and his team out.

He was pleased to hear about Racing NSW’s funding package.

“It’s bloody great,” Colvin said.

“It’s great to see them do that sort of stuff.

“It’s hard on the owners too, not just the trainers, because their horses aren’t running. We’ve been poking around for a couple of months without racing and they have got to pay the bills. We miss out on the cream because we’re missing out on percentages.

“Both parties have suffered pretty bad.”

Colvin said relief packages like these help give owners confidence in the racing industry.

“We’ve got to keep people involved in racing,” he said.

“Calling off these races, people start shaking their heads and it’s hard on everyone.”

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Wet weathers adds fuel to fire

Central Victoria is likely to experience rapidly escalating fire behaviour in late summer fuelled by excessive growth, predicted thunderstorms and late heat waves.
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Emergency Management Victoria is preparing for a shorter but more intense fire season, with fire agencies currently planning fuel control.

Ballarat’s wettest September on record has fuelled extreme growth in the area which is expected to dry out in mid-summer causing extreme concern for fire authorities.

The Bureau of Meteorology’smanager of climate prediction Dr Andrew Watkins toldThe Courierabove average bushfire potential was predicted for the whole of Victoria –particularly Central and Western Victoria.

“We’ve actually had very good rainfall into winter and early spring temperatures have been a bit warmer than normal causing good vegetation growth,” Dr Watkins said.

While cooler weather is expected to continue for a few months the excess growth will start to dry out mid summer.

“We have had more growth than usual,and as we head into summer the rainfall and cooler temperatures mean the fire season might start later than normal,” Dr Watkins said.

“Last year we had fires in October, we haven’t seen any so far but we can expect the season to start much closer to the start of summer.”

The Southern Australia Season Bushfire outlook, published before the major rainfall, says the areas above average rainfall coupled with an 80 per cent chance of above average temperatures indicates strong late spring drying is likely in forest areas including the Wombat Forest and Otway Range.

“When we get into mid to late summer the warm temperatures and less rainfall may mean that extra growth will start to dry out,” Dr Watkins said.

A spokeswoman for the state’s emergency services commissioner Craig Lapsley said the next outlook would be released in November.

“The Bushfire Natural Hazards CRC Seasonal Outlook has predicted an above average fire season for Victoria,” she said.

“Even with the recent and continuing rainfall an above average season is still a chance though the season is likely to be later and a little shorter.

“The areas of Victoria not under water will start to dry out as the weather warms, promoting growth and potential fire risk across the State. Traditionally, Victoria’s worst period for fire is in January and February. It is something the fire agencies are aware of and continuing to plan for.”

DELWP has been contacted for comment.

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WA visitor centres receive boost

Collie has been selected as one of 36 regional centres to receive funding for their visitor’s centresfrom the State Government.
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The government has invested $4.2 million over three years in regional visitor centre projects as part of the Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant program.

The funding was assisted by Tourism WA and the Royalties for Regions program.

Collie Visitor’s Centre manager Fran Kenneally said the grants provide an important service for tourism resources throughout WA.

“These grants, that Royalties for Regions and Tourism WA have put out, have sort of been able to help us to apply for something that can help our sustainability,” she said.

Ms Kenneally said the centre applied for funding to sustain the locomotive display and build a pathway for disability access around the attraction.

“Hopefully that will draw more people to the locomotives and the visitor’s centre and, as a consequence, come into the visitor’s centre and use the centre,” she said.

“The more people that come through our doors, spend money, it helps our sustainability and also it has a flow-on effect for the community because people come in here and it’sour jobto try to encourage them to spend more time in Collie and in the local community.”

$1.05 million was reserved for the 2016-17 Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grants program funding pool, with grants between $40,000 and $100,000 available for accredited visitors centres and local government authorities.

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the funding was designed to assist regional visitor’s centres across the state with sustainability initiatives including on-site attractions, technology and interior redesign.

“Visitor centres have a wealth of local knowledge that help visitors discover the best of what the regions have to offer,” he said.

“This Royalties for Regions investment contributes to a strengthened and sustainable regional economy through investment in tourism development.”

2017-18 funding applicationswill open in March.

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Device to cut down speed

The benefits of new in-car technology to stop driversfrom speeding is being weighed up by road safety experts.
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“Speed Assistance Devices” range from an app that gently reminds you of the speed limit, to a device that disables the accelerator if you try to go too fast.

The idea is gaining traction overseas; London buses will soon be fitted with devices after a trial found an 18 per cent reduction in deaths where a vehicle was fitted with an advisory systemand a 37 per cent reduction in deaths where fitted with a speed intervening system.

In NSW, a trial found these speed-limiting and warning devices could save 35 lives and reduce injuries to road users by 1455 in the state per year.

A spokesperson for the NRMA’s Western NSW branch reacted cautiously, but said all options to improve road safety needed to be looked at carefully.

“With all the new technology we really need an evidence based approach to ensure it is safe enough and effective enough,” she said.

“We doknow there are more cars coming on to the road with capabilities such as reverse parking sensors and automatic braking systems,” she said.

“They were once new, but now we’re used to them. With this one, we simply don’t know enough about it yet.”

Executive director of the NSW Centre for Road Safety,Bernard Carlon, said the devices could help those drivers who didn’t realise they were speeding.

“There does tend to be a theory that people in vehicles are like being in a cocoon, and separated from the rest of the world and not necessarily focused on the driving task,” Mr Carlon said.

He could envisage this sort of device being used in a similar way to alcohol interlocks as a way of stopping recidivist speeders from repeating the same offence.

And he was continuously reviewing the potential of these apps to reduce road trauma.

To introduce drivers to these sorts of devices, which are already used by the trucking industry, Transport for NSW developedSpeed Adviser, a free app that uses NSW open source information to remind drivers of the speed limit.

Speeding is the single biggest contributing factor in fatal road crashes, road safety experts say.

European research has found that a decrease in speed of even 1km/h could reduce road fatalities and injuries by as much as four per cent a year.

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Our disaster plan is a beauty

ROUGH LANDING: Cleveland Point – and a few sightseers’ cars – being hammered by a storm last summer.REDLANDCity Council’s disaster plan is such a beauty it is being used by universities across the country as ameasure of best practice in planning.
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Mayor Karen Williams said the plan was aboutensuring thecommunity wasas safe as it could be from disasters.

The plan directs how councilresponds to a disaster, communicates, recovers, reduces risks, identifieshazardsand prepares for events.

“The important thing about our disaster plan is that it is not only the finished product that isimportant, it is collaboration, consultation and community involvement that makes it one ofAustralia’s best planning processes,’’ Cr Williams said.

It comes as the Weather Bureau warns residents topreparefor more cyclones this season than last.

Climate prediction services manager Andrew Watkins said Australians should expect an average to above-average cyclone season, due to neutral to weak La Nina conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

“This year we’re experiencing warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures around northern Australia, and this will help to fuel the tropical cyclone season ahead,’’ Dr Watkins said.

“History shows that in an average season, about 11cyclones form in the Australian region between November and April. On average, four of these will make landfall.”

Last year had the lowest number ofcyclones on record with just three having formed during the season. Only one made landfall.

“It is highly unlikely Australia will see a cyclone season as quiet,” Dr Watkins said.

The RACQ’s Paul Turner said people needed to be safety conscious withtheir homes andbehaviour as the storm season began.

“Summer storms generally come and go quicklybut their affects can last foryears so people need to be across safety advice and take it seriously,” Mr Turner said.

“There are some simple steps which will help safeguard lives and property.

“At home, make sure you’ve cleared the yard of debris, packed an emergency kit, have anevacuation plan and ensure your insurance is up-to-date and covers what you need most.

“If you’re caught out on the road in a storm, always remember if it’s flooded, forget it. Obeyall signs and directions from emergency servicesand don’t ever gamble on yours, or yourrescuers’ lives by ignoring warnings.”

Cr Williams said council would work with the community toensure preparation wasas strong as possible.

“You owe it to yourselves and your family totake some time in making sure you have a plan in the event of severe storm, bush fire,flooding or heat wave,’’ she said.

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Pens at the ready

Year 12 students James Trotter, Rosie George, Tammie Pye and Rhys Smith from Boorowa Central School are all busy studying for their HSC exams that kick off today. The textbooks are open and the last minutecramming is well and truly underway as Year 12 students at Boorowa Central School prepare for the start of their HSC exams.
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The exams begin today with every student in NSW taking the English Standard or Advanced Paper 1.

Boorowa Central School studentsJames Trotter, Rosie George, Tammie Pye and Rhys Smith have all been busy studying in the lead up to their exams.

Rosie said she’s nervous andit’s been a busy and stressful time.

“I think I will do well in some exams and maybe not so well in others,” she said.

“It’s alright, I’m just starting to hate English,” Rhys said.

Whilst fellow student James said it will be a ‘walk in the park’.

“It’s good, it’s pretty full on trying to cram in as much as possible in the last week,” he said.

For Rosie and Rhys, their results in the HSC could make or break their dreams of getting accepted to uni, with Rosie hoping to get entry into the University of Western Sydney and Rhys wanting to study at the University of Newcastle.

“I want to go to uni and study nutrition and go onto become a dietitian,” Rosie said.

“I want to get accepted into the University of Newcastle,” Rhys said.

“I probably take a working gap year.”

Both Tammie and James say they are a bit more relaxed about the exams as their plans don’t rely on results.

Tammie hopes to move to Wagga Wagga to study Aged Care or Beauty Therapy at TAFE while James hopes to get an apprenticeship with an electrician or as a refrigerator mechanic.

“If anyone is looking or an apprentice?” James said.

“It doesn’t mean much for what I want to do, I just like bettering myself as much as possible.

All of the students agree however that they would like to see a shake up of the current HSC system, suggesting a model similar to one used in the ACT.

“Not just sitting one big exam,” James said.

“Have an assessment task worth 10% at the end of each term in Year 11 and 12.”

The Boorowa News wishes all of the BCS Yr 12 students good luck with their exams.

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Swimmer Dan Fox wins yet another award

HOME GROWN CHAMPION: Daniel Fox with Olympic medal and Mayor Karen Williams.
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ONEof Redland’s favourite sons, Daniel Fox, has received a Redland City CouncilCertificate of Achievementafter hispodiumfinish at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Daniel is a two-time Paralympian, representing Australia inLondon in 2012 and Rio last month, where he added a bronze to his impressive collection ofmedals and records.

An experienced international campaigner, Daniel competed in three events in Rio lastmonth, achieving a podium finish in his pet event, the Men’s S14 200m Freestyle.

He also placed 6th in the final of the men’s 100m backstroke and 4th in his heat of the men’s200m individual medley.

Mayor Karen Williams said Daniel had learnt to swimas a toddler,steppingup to top competition in 2009 when he debuted Australia at the Global Games thesame year, where he won three gold and two silver medals.

He followed this with a second in the 200m freestyle at the 2010 World Championships andwent one better with a gold medal in the 200m freestyle at the Montreal WorldChampionships.

“Daniel continued his record of international medal-winning swims for 200m freestyle, winningsilver at the 2012 London Paralympics, gold at the 2013 IPC Swimming WorldChampionships,’’ she said.

“He also set a world record at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.’’

Cr Williams said his strong performance at the Swimming Australia Grand Prix in Townsville last year and the2015 Australian Swimming Championships in Sydney guaranteed selection in the Australianteam for the 2016 Paralympics.

“Our city watched with great anticipation as Daniel walked onto the pool deck in Rio lastmonth and our hearts swelled with pride as he stood on the podium to receive a bronzemedal for the Men’s 200m Freestyle,’’ she said. “I can only imagine the roar from his personal cheer squad, led by his mum and No 1 fanJulie and stepdad PJ, who travelled to Rio with Daniel’s siblings and partners.

“I am told there was plenty of cheer back home too, led by Aunty Allanah, who also made aspecial trip to Sydney with Julie to meet Daniel’s flight as it returned from Rio.Daniel, you have again proven yourself as a real Aussie champion.’’

Dan alsoreceived another accolade at the athletes’ Welcome Home parade in Brisbanewhen named Ambassador for the INAS Global Games to be hosted by Brisbane in2019.

The Games will attract more than 1000 elite athletes who have an intellectualdisability.

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‘I got it wrong’: Mike Baird on greyhound racing ban

The NSW greyhound industry will be given “one final chance” by the Baird government under a new regime being touted as “the strictest regulations that exist anywhere in the country”.
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Premier Mike Baird declared “I got it wrong” while confirming he would back down on his original promise to close down the industry from July next year.

Instead, Mr Baird said the industry would need to sign up to mandatory life bans and increased jail terms for live baiting and registering greyhounds for their entire lives.

A new independent regulator will be headed by former Labor premierMorris Iemma. There will be more resources for enforcement and prosecution and animal welfare.

“I got it wrong, we got it wrong, the cabinet got it wrong and the government got it wrong,” Mr Baird said.

Mr Baird said he knew a lot of people will be disappointed by the back down but said “we are listening”.

Greyhound racing ban backdown confirmed after cabinet meetingThe Baird government has confirmed a backdown of its ban on greyhound racing in NSW following a sustained campaign of media and industry pressure.

The dramatic backflipcomes despite Premier Mike Baird’s repeatedclaims that the decisionwas final and a matter of principle andit was”locked in” that the industry would be shutdown on July 1, 2017.

Mr Baird announced the ban earlier thisyear following a special commission of inquiry report that found 68,000 greyhounds had been euthanised in the past 12 yearsbecause they could not, or were too slow, to race.

But he hasfaced immense pressure from the Opposition, media outlets and the industrysince the announcement, withexpectations of a large swing against the government at the November 12 Orange byelection. Read on

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‘I got it wrong’: Mike Baird on greyhound racing ban

The NSW greyhound industry will be given “one final chance” by the Baird government under a new regime being touted as “the strictest regulations that exist anywhere in the country”.
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Premier Mike Baird declared “I got it wrong” while confirming he would back down on his original promise to close down the industry from July next year.

Instead, Mr Baird said the industry would need to sign up to mandatory life bans and increased jail terms for live baiting and registering greyhounds for their entire lives.

A new independent regulator will be headed by former Labor premierMorris Iemma. There will be more resources for enforcement and prosecution and animal welfare.

“I got it wrong, we got it wrong, the cabinet got it wrong and the government got it wrong,” Mr Baird said.

Mr Baird said he knew a lot of people will be disappointed by the back down but said “we are listening”.

Greyhound racing ban backdown confirmed after cabinet meetingThe Baird government has confirmed a backdown of its ban on greyhound racing in NSW following a sustained campaign of media and industry pressure.

The dramatic backflipcomes despite Premier Mike Baird’s repeatedclaims that the decisionwas final and a matter of principle andit was”locked in” that the industry would be shutdown on July 1, 2017.

Mr Baird announced the ban earlier thisyear following a special commission of inquiry report that found 68,000 greyhounds had been euthanised in the past 12 yearsbecause they could not, or were too slow, to race.

But he hasfaced immense pressure from the Opposition, media outlets and the industrysince the announcement, withexpectations of a large swing against the government at the November 12 Orange byelection. Read on

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McLean Care requests limited visits

McLean Care has advisedsome of their residents have recently been diagnosed as being infected with the Influenza virus in Beresford Coward Hostel.
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McLean Care are asking if family of residents believe they have been have been in contact with people with influenza-like symptoms recently, to please not visit the residential facilities whilst we care for your loved ones, and continue our risk minimisation protocols.

“McLean Care has specific protocols in place, including annual influenza immunisation for both staff and residents, and stringent hygiene practices, but occasionally the virus, which is a particularly determined bug, still manages to reach us.” general manager of residential services Sarah Wade said.

“We certainly don’t want to alarm anyone, and wish to reassure families and the wider community that we are doing everything that we can to contain the spread of the virus, and comfort and care for our residents who are infected, and make them as comfortable as possible until their illness has passed.”

As most people are aware, Influenza is a highly infectious virus that spreads through droplets caused by sneezing or coughing, and symptoms develop rapidly, within 2-3 days. An infected person can be infectious for a few days, and may transmit the virus, one to two days before the onset of their own symptoms.

Influenza is a particular risk of serious illness to people 65 years of age and over, those of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who are 50 years of age and over, residents in long term health care facilities such as residential aged care, and individuals who have complex health conditions.

McLean Care will contact the families of infected residents, and maintain open communication with them as to their health and wellbeing. If any family members of residents have any concerns, they are invited to contact McLean Care for further information and updates.

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NSW Senior State Cup locked in

Locked in: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has secured hosting rights for the NSW Senior State Cup.Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has secured a further 12 months hosting rights for the NSW Senior State Cup touch football competition.
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The announcement comes amid future planning for sports fields across the Hastings after council was given 18 months to vacate Tuffins Lane –the home of the Senior State Cup.

A three year contract to host the NSW Senior State Cup was awarded to Port Macquarie in 2013 and NSW Touch Association General Manager Dean Russell said he was pleased to announce this arrangement will continue for a fourth year.

“We have an excellent and very long standing relationship with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and we are look forward to more great football during the Senior State cup competition in December of this year and now in 2017 as well,”Mr Russell said.

Mayor Peter Besseling said the extension is a result of council’s commitment to supporting local and high level sports competition and the solid relationship that has been developed with NSW Touch.

“Council is grateful for the support of the Port Macquarie Touch Association which plays a big role in supporting this event and the NSW Junior State Cup which is under contract until 2018,” Cr Besseling said.

“Council is committed to continuing to work with the sporting community, event partners and the broader community to ensure our sporting facilities deliver short term, medium term and long term options to position Port Macquarie Hastings as a premier sporting destination.”

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Pampas chickpeas on track

ON TRACK: Wayne Melton says the wet weather has presented plenty of challenges for this year’s chickpea crop on Culverthorpe, Pampas.FARM manager Wayne Melton says ongoingwet weather has presented plenty of challenges forthis year’s chickpea crop on Culverthorpe, Pampas, but he is confident it will be a repeat of last year’s 3 tonne/hectare harvest.
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Mr Melton said the PBA HatTrick variety chickpeas had been planted on irrigation hills at 1m centres and coped relatively well in persistent wet weather.

“The cropwill certainly be late because of the wet weather,” Mr Melton said.“We’ll probablyharvest inlate November but its looking pretty good considering what we have been through.Even in the best season, chickpeas can be hard to manage but we’re on track to repeat last year’s 3tharvest.”

The 40hacrop, which is currently in flower, was planted following last year’s cotton crop. It has been sprayed three times to combat wet weather related diseases.

PBA HatTrickis an ascochyta resistant desi chickpea that is described as being well suited to the current chickpea growing areas in southern Queensland andnorthern NSW.HatTrickis the first variety to combine moderate to high levels of resistance to the two key diseases ascochyta blight and phytophthora root rot. According to Pulse Australia, more than 95pcof thechickpea crop is exported.

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