AS 2019 winds down, we see newly elected governments in Canberra, London and Macquarie Street and each has quite a strong working majority.
The threat of impeachment to US President Donald Trump will probably amount to nothing as the president's Republicans control the Upper House and they know that the nation's economy is close to boom conditions and quite low unemployment.
Great Britain seems assured of its Brexit removal from the European Union - for better or worse, but a long-awaited decision.
It's interesting to watch how party leaders handle the loss of an election with former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull showing us all how not to react to a loss.
I think that PM Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese are showing us how to conduct oneself as a real Aussie.
Democracy seems to be at its best in Australia when federal governments are Coalition and most state and territories are Labor-controlled.
DAVID Goldney, who is an ecologist, sometimes contributes his Eco News column to the Western Advocate.
In a recent column he discussed the changes to farming practices that have been carried out on a Bathurst property where all the usual problems had arisen.
Compacted soils, reduced rain infiltration, low soil carbon, and low productivity are the usual suspects on granite country and these problems were all present.
David goes on to discuss the use of a Yeomans Chisel plough, cell grazing and carbon cycles.
He has been in Bathurst soil and water science for many years, and is an active member of Greening Bathurst.
He is an affable member of our community and would be a valuable colleague for NSW Farmers, Local Land Services and Bathurst Merino Association as a guest presenter of his skills.
FAREWELL to long-time Bathurst farmer and grazier Ray Williams, who passed away recently.
Ray and his wife Mary conducted their property at Clear Creek and their flock was renowned for producing fine quality wool for overseas markets.
Ray will be greatly missed by his many friends.
Don't be late
THIS is the final reminder for Bathurst Merino Association members that the first shearing of wether trial teams will start at 7.30am this Saturday in the woolshed at Vale Creek Wines, Cow Flat Road, Georges Plains.
Please bring your own refreshments.
Boost for Bob
CONGRATULATIONS to Bathurst's 2BS Citizen of the Year for 2020, Bob Cassidy.
Bob is a former city council alderman and co-organiser of the long running Edgell Jog in our city.
He spent his younger days at Perthville, where his parents operated the village post office.
SEVERAL years ago, district landholders were strongly advised to put together biosecurity plans for the livestock on their property and to transfer these plans in written form into booklets that are kept in a secure place.
These plans outline the biosecurity risks to grazing animals that may arise from contact with stray sheep or cattle and fibre contamination from shedder sheep.
The presence of shedder sheep was a real no-no several years ago, but current landholders are now genuinely concerned at large mobs of feral goats that are being farmed alongside specialised woolgrowing flocks.
Just what a producer will write in his biosecurity book in these circumstances must be worrying.
Can these producers guarantee the disease status of their next-door animals?
THE announcement of the final curtain for the fully imported Holden Commodore marks the end of an era for Australian motorists.
All the way from the small VB Commodore (some with four cylinders) to the lovely VE model, every owner has a story.
Commodore utes and one tonners were sales leaders until dual-cab four-wheel drive utes stole their markets.
Many lifelong romances probably had their start in the back seat of a Holden Commodore.
Apparently, General Motors will offer Chev Camaros, Holden Colorado and their range of SUVs to our Australian market.
Until next year
I HOPE that this column has brought you some country news during 2019 and that our diary dates have been of use.
Every reader would know that we try to see the bright side of life and not dwell on the problems of the rural sector.
The column won't appear for several weeks and we hope to continue into 2020 if possible.
Rosemary and I hope that Christmas brings peace and joy to your families and buckets-full of rain across our state.
Let's stay positive and hopeful and enjoy the festive season.
Christmas is a wonderful season as long as you weren't born a pig or a turkey..
Many thanks to the editor and staff for giving Rural Notebook some space in the Western Advocate each Thursday.
OUR man was trying hard to win the city girl.
"My dad is 92, quite unwell, has 16,000 acres of basalt country and a $5 million share portfolio," he whispered to her.
When he met the lass 10 days later, she said: "Say hi to me; I'm your brand new stepmother."
GEORGE and his wife put $2 in a fortune telling machine at Darling Harbour and out popped a card.
"You're a great family man, careful with your wages, and a great lover; you weigh 86kg. Have a nice day," the card read.
George's wife looked at the card and said: "Not only that, they got your weight wrong too."