Tim’s roving in Maclean to net stories

2.00PM: After a hectic day I've set up in the River Cafe in Maclean to type up my stories for the day.

It's been a good day for stories.

Out at Harwood Marine I met Michele Cervella and Jackson Roberts, two young locals who have been able to train and get jobs in the region.

It's a company full of surprises as managing director Ross Roberts reveals when he talks about a revolutionary products which has the possibility to improve the fuel efficiency of ocean going vessels by between 10% and 20%.

Also you can look forward to reading about Big River Bait and Tackle's horizontal diversification into the music business.

Owner Paul Kneller has put his joinery qualifications and love of guitars together and is producing custom made instruments from his shop in Maclean's Main Street.

You can read about why he and wife Cheryl made the decision to move in this direction in tomorrow's Daily Examiner.

NOON: Just sitting down with Ross Roberts from Harwood Marine in the hive of activity that's Harwood slipways.

Ross has been telling me some of the projects the company has tackled in recent times including a couple of exciting developments the in the pipeline.

Ross Roberts from Harwood Marine.
Ross Roberts from Harwood Marine.

One thing Ross is extremely proud of is a wave energy converter built for Oceanlinx in Sydney.

In layman's terms it's a big thing that uses the sea's energy to generate electricity.

Another project he's working on with Japanese inventor Yoshiaki Takahashi is a type of air lubrication for the the hulls of ships of any dimension.

Ross says the once installed the devices reduce the drag in the water, lowering fuel costs and CO2 emissions.

He says theoretically its should be possible to achieve efficiencies of 20%, but so far they've got to 10%.

If it all comes off Harwood Marine will be the South East Asian agent for the business.

In tomorrow's Daily Examiner we'll tackle what 's happening in more detail.

Harwood Marine's apprentice marine mechanic Trent Carr and marine mechanic Sean Waite at the front of one of the boats built at Harwood Marine recently. Photo: JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner
Harwood Marine's apprentice marine mechanic Trent Carr and marine mechanic Sean Waite at the front of one of the boats built at Harwood Marine recently. Photo: JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner Jojo Newby

11.00AM: Finished my morning coffee talking to the redoubtable John Ibbotson about a variety of topics from dog training to climate change.

Not surprisingly John has a few different opinions to me and came up with a few ideas I will have to check out later.

But like all good things it had to come to an end and I had to head off down the street to Big River Bait and Tackle where Paul and Cheryl Kneller are doing a few different things with their business.

I'll try to hit the right note with that story later, if you get my meaning.

I'm a bit late, but I'm just heading out to Harwood Marine to see what they're up to out there. 

9.00AM: WHAT'S happening with the Chatsworth Island ferry cottage is the first topic of conversation I've run across as I begin my roving commission in Maclean today.

Residents want to know what Clarence Valley Council is planning to do with the cottage which it is dutifully maintaining, but just as steadfastly refusing to rent out.

It's been empty to for about two years, but council are regularly mowing the grounds as though it is being kept for some use.

It's apparently just as appealing inside and has residents wondering why it's not been used for low cost accommodation.

One reason I've heard is the block is flood prone and has a septic system, but locals have pointed out this is the case for quite a few places in the region.

I'm in Maclean today and tomorrow so it will be something I can chase up.

Right now I'm typing up my first post at an outside table at Coffee Art in River St, sipping a large cappucino.

I've got a couple of appointments lined up at 10am and 11am and will be checking at renovations at one of the hotels. I'm not sure which, but I guess I'll just have to try them all.

Tim Howard is spending Wednesday and Thursday in Maclean as the Daily Examiner's roving reporter.
Tim Howard is spending Wednesday and Thursday in Maclean as the Daily Examiner's roving reporter.

6.00AM: DAILY Examiner senior reporter Tim Howard will be taking up a roving commission on Wednesday and Thursday in Maclean.

Armed with a laptop and mobile phone Tim will be on the street, dropping into cafes and businesses and intro- ducing himself to the community.

"I'm a friendly bloke," Tim said.

"I'm looking forward to meeting people from the area and hearing what they have to say."

Have a Maclean story idea? Click here to send Tim Howard an email.

Although this will be his first time as the DEX's roving reporter, Tim has been stationed in Maclean a couple of times.

"Around 2001 I was looking after Coastal Views for about six weeks while the editor was on leave and in 2005 I was in charge of again for a couple of months," he said.

Tim said his first stint down there provided him with one of his most memorable journ- alistic experiences.

"Coastal Views photographer Debrah Novak got us in with a team of fishos from Iluka on the mullet run," he said.

"We waited and waited until a lookout spotted a dark patch in the water which was a school of fish heading out to sea."

What followed was a mad scramble to the boats followed by frantic rowing as they hauled a net into the path of the school.

The result was a beach full of flapping fish all loaded into boxes to be taken to the Clarence River Fishermen's Co-operative.

Keep an eye on the DEX website for where you can catch up with Tim this week.



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