There may have been hundreds of faces in the South Grafton Public School Infants Campus Easter Hat Parade, but this little bunny managed to catch the eye of the camera.
There may have been hundreds of faces in the South Grafton Public School Infants Campus Easter Hat Parade, but this little bunny managed to catch the eye of the camera.

Year in Review: biggest stories of April 2019

• APR 1: Tasty changes are on the horizon for the former tourist information centre site in South Grafton after finally securing new landlords on April Fools Day. Last month, Hank's Kitchen owners Christina and Aaron Hancock snapped up the property for an undisclosed sum and are currently awaiting DA approval from Clarence Valley Council to develop the site. "We have big plans for the location," Ms Hancock said.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 2: The Clarence Valley is one of 13 regional areas where 35 per cent more cancer patients die within five years of diagnosis, compared to city patients, because of difficulty accessing vital radiation therapy. Professor Peter O'Brien of the Radiation Therapy Advisory Group (RTAG) said people in Grafton just couldn't get timely access to the treatment they needed.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 3: Grafton taxpayers have the highest average income of any suburb in the Clarence Valley according to statistics released by the Australian Taxation Office. In the figures released for the 2016- 17 income year, the 2460 postcode, which includes the Greater Grafton area reported an average individual income of $43,327.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 4: In an effort to protect a major sand dune from the effects of a one-in-20-year storm, the process of "beach scraping" has commenced at Wooli. It involves sand being shifted by machinery from the intertidal zone to an area in front of the dune.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 5: Investors worried about potential changes to negative gearing rules have been casing out alternative investment opportunities and South Grafton has figured in a real estate report. South Grafton is one of 141 centres around Australia where investment properties generate enough cash flow to provide an alternative strategy to negative gearing.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 6-7: A touching paddle out tribute was held at Spooky Beach, Angourie to celebrate the life of local surfing legend of David "Baddy" Treloar. Hundreds of surfers, young and old from all over the globe bobbed quietly in a circle beyond the breakwater before erupting into cheers and splashes to say their final goodbyes to the Lord of the Point. FULL STORY HERE:

After the ceremony to honour David
After the ceremony to honour David "Baddy" Treloar at Spooky's Beach, riders filled the waves as they came back to the beach.

• APR 8: The Grafton doctor accused of running a child-stealing ring is facing the largest brief of evidence the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution has seen. Dr William Russell Pridgeon has been accused of helping finance a syndicate that stole and hid children from one parent on behalf of another parent.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 9: The NDIS has come under the spotlight after the Federal Government reallocated $1.6 billion in unspent funds from the program to increase the projected budget surplus. Rachel Choy, CEO of Clarence Valley disability service provider Caringa, said the underspend, while a nominal figure, was being attributed to a 'slow uptake'.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 10: A plot to rob a Grafton hotel armed with knives was foiled by police after they cottoned on to the group's secret code, a court heard. Keegan Laurie, 27, appeared before Grafton Local Court on Monday charged with robbery armed with offensive weapon and conspiracy to commit offence.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 11: The Federal election may not have been called yet, but for Page, Labor has fired a strong early shot, with Labor leader Bill Shorten making a flying tour of the region yesterday and Mr Shorten wasted no time in making his pitch to the people of Clarence Valley. FULL STORY HERE:

Labor senator Kristina Keneally and Labor leader Bill Shorten enjoy a joke with former Labor member for Page and Clarence Harry Woods at a visit to the Harwood Sugar Mill.
Labor senator Kristina Keneally and Labor leader Bill Shorten enjoy a joke with former Labor member for Page and Clarence Harry Woods at a visit to the Harwood Sugar Mill.

• APR 12: A new indoor pool will be built as part of a $6 million upgrade of the Grafton pool complex if Labor wins the federal election. Labor's announcement to upgrade the facility would include a 20m indoor heated pool as well as a new leisure pool. 

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 13-14: Only two days into the official election campaign and announcements of a new pool and radiology centre for Grafton have kicked things off. More will likely come thick and fast as the campaign rolls on, and candidates from both Labor and the Nationals said key funding projects for the electorate would be revealed in time.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 15: Suicide rates continue to rise across the country with the latest report revealing a 9.1 per cent increase. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2017, 3128 people died from intentional self-harm compared to 2866 in 2016.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 16: Plans for a copper mine in the Upper Clarence are still in the pipeline, with a German based mining company Sons of Bavaria Investment Australia now assessing core samples taken from the site for analysis.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 17: History is in the making as work began yesterday on the Clarence Valley's first ever set of traffic lights. The lights will be installed at the intersection of Pound and Clarence St Grafton as part of the Grafton bridge project.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 18: A proposed residential development in Yamba has passed through Clarence Valley Council's Environment, Planning and Community Committee despite some environmental concerns. The development of 200 manufactured homes on Carrs Drive by Gold Coast developer Mavid would include a bowling green, pool and community centre.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 19: Good Friday no paper published.

• APR 20-21: After almost 10 years since the original concept plans were drawn up, a commitment has been made to fund construction of the Grafton Riverfront Precinct. Nationals candidate for the seat of Page, Kevin Hogan, announced the funding of $6.5 million for a major revitalisation of the Grafton riverfront if re-elected.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 22: Four teenagers have been charged after a high-speed police pursuit of an allegedly stolen car on the Pacific Highway over the weekend. Just before 6.30pm Coffs-Clarence Police District officers attempted to stop a Mazda CX5 travelling southbound on the Pacific Highway after it failed to stop.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 23: Dangerous driving was prevalent on our roads over the long weekend, with police involved in several high-speed pursuits and a life lost on the Gwydir Highway. A 71-year-old man died at the scene after a Ford Falcon station wagon left the road and rolled before hitting a tree. Two drivers were also charged with travelling up to double the speed limit, while a woman was charged after leading police on a dangerous chase, going more than 230km/h in wet weather.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 24: Ray Beddow was sitting in his truck on the side of the Summerland Way having a break when he looked up to see another truck heading his way. Luckily he made the split second decision to "jump to the passenger side" before the impact. The driver of the other truck was taken to Grafton Base Hospital by ambulance.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 25: It was a democratic process masquerading as a bingo tournament yesterday as a ballot for the federal election was conducted in Grafton. The lucky winner of this particular draw was an independent candidate for the seat of Page, Fiona Leviny, whose prize was the coveted top spot on May 18 ballot papers. Final results were from top: Fiona Leviny (independent), Alison Waters (Animal Justice Party), Peter Walker (Christian Democratic

Party), John Mudge (United Australia), Dan Reid (Greens), Kevin Hogan (Nationals) and Patrick Deegan (Labor). FULL STORY HERE:

Independent candidate Fiona Leviny at the Page ballot draw
Independent candidate Fiona Leviny at the Page ballot draw

• APR 26: Thousands came out for Anzac services across the Clarence Valley yesterday to honour the men and women who fought for our freedoms with Grafton seeing the best turnout in nearly three decades when more than 1000 people gathered at Memorial Park. FULL STORY HERE:

South Grafton dawn service. 24 ACU Grafton and 41 RNSWR
South Grafton dawn service. 24 ACU Grafton and 41 RNSWR

 

• APR 27-28: The redevelopment of the Grafton riverfront precinct is guaranteed after Labor announced an identical funding package yesterday. The $6.5 million announcement means Clarence Valley Council's long-term vision for the site will finally be realised, regardless of who wins the seat of Page.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 29: Grafton residents are at a higher risk of dying prematurely from a heart attack and stroke says research from the Heart Foundation. The foundation's Australia Heart Maps show the death rate in the Grafton region from the twin killers is about 71 per 10,000 people, about four people per 10,000 above the NSW average. The foundation ranked the Grafton/Coffs Harbour area 13th out of 28 regions in NSW for heart health.

FULL STORY HERE:

• APR 30: Ulmarra's speed camera busts more drivers in regional NSW than any other, second only to one of Sydney's busiest expressways. The camera has been in operation for more than three months and showed that more than 50 drivers per day were being caught out by the now infamous camera.

FULL STORY HERE: