THE MORNING GRILL: Tourism Boom in Dubbo

Good Morning and welcome to your Morning Grill, you're here with Grace from Nyngan. Email me grace.ryan@fairfaxmedia.com.au 

Today's weather

DUBBO / TRANGIE / NYNGAN: Hot. Sunny morning. Slight (20%) chance of a shower or thunderstorm during the afternoon and early evening. Winds N/NW 15 to 20 km/h tending W/NW in the morning then becoming light in the early afternoon. Daytime maximum temperatures in the mid to high 30s.

COBAR / BOURKE: Hot. Sunny morning. Slight (20%) chance of a shower or thunderstorm during the afternoon and evening. Winds N 15 to 25 km/h tending NW 15 to 20 km/h in the morning then becoming light in the middle of the day. Daytime maximum temperatures around 40.

Front Page News

Jillie and Andrew Rose were featured in the Great Big Adventures campaign, which was made in collaboration with representatives such as Dubbo councillor Greg Mohr, Inland NSW CEO Graham Perry, Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson and Candace Torres from Destination NSW. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Jillie and Andrew Rose were featured in the Great Big Adventures campaign, which was made in collaboration with representatives such as Dubbo councillor Greg Mohr, Inland NSW CEO Graham Perry, Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson and Candace Torres from Destination NSW. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Tourism is worth $209 million annually to the Dubbo economy, according to the figures from Destination NSW.

Based on a four-year annual average to the year ending September 2014, the biggest chunk of tourism dollars, $138 million, came from domestic overnight visitors .

Dubbo received an additional $61 million annually from domestic day trippers and $10 million from international visitors.

When it came to overnight and international tourist expenditure, Dubbo outperformed Bathurst and Orange.

Dubbo's annual average overnight expenditure was $52 million greater than Bathurst and $25 million more than Orange. Meanwhile, Orange and Bathurst saw almost half the expenditure from international visitors as Dubbo, at $6 million and $5 million respectively.

READ MORE HERE

"When the visitors come into the region they're not just spending money on tourism but on the economy as the whole. That's why one of our goals is not just to encourage new visitors to the region but to get the existing visitors to stay an extra night or two," - Inland NSW CEO Graham Perry

Making Local News

COULTON BACKS CANNABIS SUPPLY: Federal member for Parkes Mark Coulton has backed the introduction of legislation to Parliament that will allow Australian patients with painful and chronic conditions, and their doctors, access to a safe, legal and reliable supply of medicinal cannabis. In Canberra on Wednesday, Minister for Health Sussan Ley announced amendments to the Narcotics Drugs Act 1967, which would allow the controlled cultivation of cannabis for medicinal or scientific purposes through one single national licensing scheme - an Australian first.

DIETITIANS READY TO SERVE KNOWLEDGE: Dubbo residents thinking they have a slim chance of losing weight are being offered support and advice. Dietitians at the Dubbo Community Health Centre are planning to show them how to drop kilograms during Australia's Healthy Weight Week from February 15. The dietitians will set up a stall at Orana Mall on February 16 from where they will teach interested members of the public to compare the fat and sugar content of food and read food labels.

Dietitians Leslie Tang and Rachelle Lee are willing and ready to help Dubbo residents improve their health. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Dietitians Leslie Tang and Rachelle Lee are willing and ready to help Dubbo residents improve their health. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

RESILIENT COBAR WANT TO BOUNCE BACK: The loss of more than 100 jobs at a mine at Cobar is a blow but the town is a "resilient community" with some opportunities on the horizon, a local business leader saysCobar Business Association president Sharon Harland reported the group would continue with its efforts to keep the economy moving and also that some employers were recruiting. She remained determined in the wake of CBH Resources' announcement this week that it would cut 116 positions - more than half of its workforce - at its Endeavor Mine at Cobar.

TEACHING FAMILIES TO SAVE FOR EDUCATION: DUBBO residents are taking part in an educational incentive scheme to help them cover the rising costs of sending kids to school, bills, food and everyday living. The Smith Family's Saver Plus program is a $500 incentive for families to set a goal to help them save money for their children's education costs. Participants set a goal to save between $5 and $50 a month consistently for a 10-month period, sponsors then match their savings dollar-for-dollar.

PRIME PIECE OF REAL ESTATE UP FOR GRABS: A prominent piece of real estate in Dubbo's CBD with Mitchell Highway frontage has gone on the market. The Cobra Street property that has Raine and Horne and Pizza Hut among its tenants will go to auction on February 23. Selling agent Andrew McDonald said the 1926 metres squared two-storey retail and commercial building was fully leased with four separate tenants.

BROOKE WORKING ON RECIPE FOR SUCCESS: Dubbo apprentice chef Brooke Stewart is about to put her original recipe on the line for an opportunity to work with a world culinary leader. Ms Stewart is one of 34 finalists in the 2016 Proud to be a Chef program. The second-year apprentice at Dubbo RSL will put her cooking skills to the test in Melbourne for the chance to win a $7500 paid international culinary placement.

Broke. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE.

Broke. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE.

And here is your national snapshot

State of the nation

Need a national news snapshot first thing? Well, we have you covered. 

► BENDIGO, VIC: A Kangaroo Flat woman who disappeared last month may have met with foul play, homicide detectives have said. Samantha Kelly, a mother of four children, had not been seen for two weeks when she was reported missing on February 4. Read more.

SALT CREEK, SA: Two female backpackers have survived a terrifying ordeal after a man allegedly tried to kidnap and murder them in South Australian bushland. Suffering serious injuries, the international backpackers aged in their 20s were discovered by local fishermen near Salt Creek in Coorong National Park just before 6.30pm on Tuesday.Read more.

TUMBARUMBA, NSW: When Rooting King came from behind to win the Tumbarumba Cup 20 lengths ahead of the pack, it was Aussie media personality HG Nelson’s first brush with the magic of the region. The prominent comedian and writer has now thrown his weight behind the fight to stop the state government’s forced merger of Tumbarumba and Tumut councils. Read more.

WELLINGTON POINT, QLD: A teenage student was barred from enroling at a Redland high school after authorities refused to accept her into year 10 without a signature from her dead mother or absent father. Briannen Maidens, 15, was devastated after her application to enrol at Wellington Point State High was rejected because she did not have the signature of a parent or an official guardian. Read more.

KATHERINE, NT: A furious Primary Industry and Fisheries Minister is adamant he has “nothing to hide” despite leaked emails and bank statements showing he was preparing to invest more than $630,000 with a Vietnamese company given the green light in 2014 to build Australia’s largest dragon fruit orchard in the Northern Territory. Read more.

► BALLARAT, VIC: Child sexual abuse survivor, Brett Matthews has spent decades of his life searching for a “lost boy” whose innocence was stolen after he was raped by a primary school teacher at five years-old. “I’ve spent most of my life feeling like a lone wolf,” Mr Matthews said. “I’ve never felt I really belong anywhere.” Read more.

BATHURST, NSW: A group of Bathurst residents pushed themselves to the brink of physical and mental exhaustion recently, all in the name of charity. Lucas Graves, along with nine other people from Game4Charity, participated in a gaming marathon over the course of seven days and streamed it live around the world. Read more.

National news

► Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Warren Truss is set to announce his retirement on Thursday, sparking a cascade of moves within the Nationals that will see the likely elevation of Barnaby Joyce. But Mr Truss is not expected to step aside as Deputy Prime Minister until March 17, providing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sufficient time to reconfigure his government - a task suddenly made more difficult by the clouds hanging over two ministers, the need to replace a third and the resignation of his respected Trade Minister, Andrew Robb. Read more.

► About 100,000 'super rich' Australians would feel the burden of a new death tax, which could raise about $5 billion a year in federal revenue if introduced, according to Community Council for Australia chairman Tim Costello. Many countries including the United States and United Kingdom already have what's called a death or inheritance tax – with differing rates and thresholds – that aims to claw back some money from rich people bequeathing assets to younger generations. Read more.

► The number of bushfires in Australia is on the rise - up 40 per cent since 2007 - local scientists have found. In a new research paper, published on Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science, scientists from CSIRO and University of Tasmania also say the increasing bushfire frequency indicates a major climatic shift - though the research does not directly ascribe the rise to human-caused global warming. Read more.

National weather radar

International news

► NEW HAMPSHIRE, US: When Bernie Sanders took to the dais to accept his thumping victory in the New Hampshire primary, some of his young volunteers in the audience were simply overcome. One young woman sobbed and sobbed as her companions took turns hugging her. Young men embraced and stomped thunderously in unison. Read more.

► EAST JAVA: Three people have been killed after an Indonesian Air Force plane crashed into a house in Malang in East Java on Wednesday morning. The pilot of the Embraer Super Tucano ejected himself from the plane before it crashed but was found dead in a nearby rice paddy field. Read more.

THAILAND: Police have disrupted a major fake passport syndicate supplying travel documents to people wanting to reach Australia. Australian investigators worked closely with authorities in Thailand to identify six key members of the syndicate, including a master forger known as "The Doctor". Read more.

On this day

1812 – Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry "gerrymanders" for the first time.

1990 – Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner.

2011 – The first wave of the Egyptian revolution culminates in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak and the transfer of power to the Supreme Military Council after 18 days of protests.

The faces of Australia: Adele Jones

ADELE Jones believes volunteering is good for the soul.

It's the main reason she took the advice of State Cup volunteer and friend Nerrida Kirk on board and put her name down to help in the referees tent at next week's junior State Cup.

"I was just having a walk with Nerrida, we got talking and she told me they needed volunteers so I thought it was a good time to get back into it," she said. Read more.

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