Artist Bronwyn Bancroftin front of one of her works in her exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery Colours of Australia.
Artist Bronwyn Bancroftin front of one of her works in her exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery Colours of Australia. Adam Hourigan

Year in review: The biggest moments of May 2016

MAY 2: Despite his electorate winning $13million in Federal Government National Stronger Regions funding, Member for Page Kevin Hogan said there needs to be more tweaking of the distribution.

MAY 3:  The Australian Federal Police are looking into claims that a yacht washed up on Wooli Beach last week might be stolen. 

The Daily Examiner received information the yacht, which has been floating in the Pacific Ocean for nearly a year after it was abandoned near Noumea, could be the same vessel stolen in France almost three years ago.

MAY 4: A sample product to deodorise rubbish bins has kicked up a stink with two North Coast councils.

Yesterday the Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour council buildings were evacuated about 8.30am when staff discovered an unidentified white powder in an envelope delivered in the mail.

MAY 5: Backpackers on a working holiday visa are the target of a government crackdown in this year's budget, despite fears from farmers the higher tax rates will reduce the supply of labour and hurt their business.

The controversial tax change will see backpackers on a working holiday visa be slugged 32.5c for every dollar earned up to $80, 000 from July 1.

MAY 6: Some of the highest quality cattle the Clarence Valley has produced was on sale yesterday, as more than 2000 head of cattle were yarded in the annual feature weaner sale at Grafton Saleyards.

MAY 7-8: It was March 28, 2015 the last time the PBR professional bullriding circuit came to Grafton.

That was the night of the New South Wales election, and if reports are true we might be in a federal election by the time the lights go on at the Grafton Showground tonight.

MAY 9: After much speculation the Federal Election has been confirmed for July 2 after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull took time out on Mother's Day to pay the Governor General a visit. Sir Peter Cosgrove yesterday gave his permission for Mr Turnbull to call a double dissolution election, launching an eight-week campaign.

MAY 10: A NSW MP says the failure of the NSW legal system to try the men charged over the brutal death of Iluka woman Lynette Daley fuels perceptions black lives are less more than white lives.

NSW Upper House Greens representative Jan Barham said you have to ask what would happen if the roles were reversed.

MAY 11: Pressure is mounting on the NSW Department of Public Prosecutions to take action in the death of Lynette Daley, after a crowd gathered outside Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis office yesterday morning to demand justice.

After the horrific death of the 33-year-old mother of seven near Iluka in 2011, the DPP has twice declined to take the case to trial, despite police charging two suspects, Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris.

MAY 12: Police have warned delivery drivers to be mindful of their personal safety following an armed robbery in Grafton.

About 8.10pm on Tuesday, a 24-year-old man was delivering a takeaway food order to a home on Bacon St when he was confronted by two unknown males armed with machetes.

MAY 13: A North Coast employee of Australia Post has lodged a complaint against a senior staffer for allegedly telling him black people should be hanged and shot. The indigenous worker claimed he was subjected to racial torment over months, culminating in him recording a phone call in which his superior made the alleged racist rant.

MAY 14-15: Time has run out for two of McLachlan Park's camphor laurel trees, with their removal expected in the coming days as part of the park's contentious redevelopment. Security fencing was erected around the southern end of the park yesterday to mark the beginning of the next phase of the project by Clarence Valley Council.

MAY 16: The demise of two of the four controversial camphor laurel trees in Maclean is confirmation the views of the townsfolk do not count, says a former town planner.

Warren Rackham, who was a town planner with Maclean Shire Council prior to amalgamation, said he experienced a feeling of loss as he watched council workers lop branches off the two trees in McLachlan Park.

MAY 17: Labor candidate for Page Janelle Saffin has accused the government of quietly cutting $351 million of funding for the Pacific Hwy upgrade in this month's Federal budget. However Page MP Kevin Hogan has rejected the claims, and said there has been no such cut to the funding of the project.

MAY 18: Clarence Valley Council will have to go back to the drawing board with its financial plans after the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal rejected its application for a 6.5% rates increase in each of the next five years. IPART did give the go-ahead for the 6.5% increase in 2016-17 but rejected the proposal for the following years.

MAY 19: Clarence Valley fisherman who was catapulted from a four-wheel drive on Sandon River Beach has been awarded more than $1 million in damages against his former fishing buddy.

MAY 20: Native forests on the North Coast are being logged faster than they can grow back under well-intentioned but ineffective regional forest agreements. National Parks Association of NSW science officer Dr Oisin Sweeney said the agreements between the Commonwealth and state governments to allow logging in native forests had been abject failures.

MAY 21-22: The long awaited new Grafton bridge moved one step closer to reality yesterday, with Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis announcing Fulton Hogan as the preferred tenderer to design and build the $210 million project.

Artist impression of the new Grafton Bridge provided by the RMS in November of 2016.
Artist impression of the new Grafton Bridge provided by the RMS in November of 2016.

MAY 23: Fourteen years after buying Wooli Oyster Supply, Ron and Kim Guinea have decided to stop selling oysters wholesale and will limit trade to the local area.

"We are finding it hard to compete with the Sydney market," Mr Guinea said.

"The only place you will be able to buy Wooli oysters now is in Wooli."

MAY 24: A 25-year-old South Grafton man, who head butted his partner on the steps of Grafton Police Station, asked to have a six-month non-parole period waived from his 12-month jail sentence.

"Excuse me, can I do the whole 12 months," Dickson asked of magistrate Robyn Denes. "No," was the reply.

MAY 25: Maclean should be able to dip into a $1 million fund to help communities deal with flying fox hot spots, says the Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis.

MAY 26: A Current Affair reporter Chris Allen was on a Townsville street when he encountered Adrian Attwater, who was not happy to see the reporter, telling him to "f**k off" and leave it alone.

While watching Attwater on their TV screens would have been difficult for Lynette Daley's mother and step-father, keeping her story in the public eye is more important than ever for Gordon and Thelma Davis.

MAY 27: Set for Life officials were yesterday on the hunt in Grafton for the first prize winner of Wednesday's Set for life draw in which they won $20,000 a month for the next 20 years. .

MAY 28-29: A Grafton family will spend the next 20 years flicking through travel brochures to choose their next holiday destination after winning first prize in Wednesday's Set for Life draw.

MAY 30: Yamba's rugby union community plans to honour its first and only Wallaby representative Kane Douglas by naming the ground where his career began 20 years ago after him.

Clarence Valley Council has a notice of motion on its books from Cr Sue Hughes to have the Yamba Rugby Club Field No 2 renamed the Kane Douglas Rugby Field.

Ron and Jan Guinea of Wooli Oyster Supply - stopping wholesale oyster supply and only selling through Wooli shop.
Ron and Jan Guinea of Wooli Oyster Supply - stopping wholesale oyster supply and only selling through Wooli shop. Adam Hourigan

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