Weekly News Roundup

August 10, 2018

Image: ABC News

Ekka season has finally arrived.

Almost half a million people are expected to converge on the RNA Showgrounds in Brisbane for the Royal Queensland Show this August.

Before you run off for a day of dagwood dogs, showbags, and strawberry sundaes, take a gander at our handy guide to make sure you get the most out of your Ekka experience.

When is Ekka running?

It’s on right now!

It starts today, Friday August 10, and goes until August 19.

It’s at the Brisbane Showground, 600 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills.

Gates open everyday at 9:00am, and close at 8:00pm.

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Another strong quake hits Indonesia’s Lombok, witnesses say buildings have collapsed

The Indonesian island of Lombok has been shaken by a third big earthquake in more than a week as authorities say the death toll from an earlier quake has reached at least 259.

People ran onto roads in panic and buildings were damaged by the magnitude-5.9 quake, causing more “trauma,” national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Buildings still standing on the island have been weakened after Sunday’s 6.9 quake that killed at least 259 people, according to Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, and a 6.4 quake on July 29 that killed 16.

Conflicting reports over the number of people killed in Sunday’s quake continued, with Indonesia’s top security minister, Wiranto, telling reporters the death toll had risen to 319.

Thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed in the 6.9 quake and more than 150,000 people are homeless.

Geoscience Australia and the United States Geological Survey measured the quake at magnitude-5.9 after Indonesia’s geological agency earlier reported the quake had a magnitude of 6.2 and was shallow, at a depth of 12 kilometres.

It also said the quake’s epicentre was on land so there was no risk of a tsunami.

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Drought takes an emotional and physical toll across New South Wales

This week a young truck driver was admitted to hospital suffering from exhaustion, having driven 57,000 kilometres in four weeks carrying hay between South Australia and New South Wales to help farmers feed their starving stock.

It is a story that brought tears to the eyes of toughened farmers who were friends of the man.

They have seen droughts before and done everything they can to prepare.

But there has never been a big dry like this one, some say.

For Graeme Burgess, a sheep and cattle farmer near Tamworth who also runs a small livestock truck, the tale of the young truckie typifies just how hard people are working to get through the big dry.

“He’s burnt himself out on the workload that’s been placed on him and trying to get hay up to these poor bloody cockies that have got no food at all,” Mr Burgess said.

A friend of Mr Burgess has the young man’s phone while he is in hospital — he took 75 calls in a matter of hours, all from farmers wondering where their hay deliveries were.

“It’s awful. They just about kill themselves to get it done,” Mr Burgess said.

When it comes to surviving the drought, Mr Burgess thinks he might get through.

He has cut his cattle numbers back from 250 head to 78. He sold his animals early as fat cattle and thinks he can keep the remaining young ones he has got going.

If he is able to fatten his lambs he should be able to make some decent money.

“Cattle-wise, that’s a wait and see. We don’t know what three months is going to do,” he said.

But as far as the trucking is concerned, numbers are dropping back on Mr Burgess’s side of the business.

And when it does rain, he does not expect work to pick up because everyone will hold on to their stock for breeding or fattening.

This weekly news roundup is curated with stories from ABC News.

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