Kiama - 2ST

'Wonderful' Maggie is Kiama's Woman of the Year

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Gerringong’s Maggie Dent has been named the 2021 Kiama Electorate Woman of the Year.

A writer and author, a teacher and educator, a mother, grandmother, Member for Kiama Gareth Ward described Mrs Dent as a "down right wonderful person". 

"Commonly known as the ‘queen of common sense’, Maggie Dent has become one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators, with a particular interest in the early years, adolescence and resilience," Mr Ward said.

Maggie’s experience includes working for almost two decades as a secondary teacher before moving into counselling, and working in the palliative care/funeral services and suicide prevention.

Photo Gareth Ward MP

An eye in the sky protects beach goers from shark attack

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There is additional protection against shark attacks for another two Shoalhaven Beaches.

The Gerringong Surf Life Saving Club and Culburra Surf Life Saving Club have been included in the NSW Shark Drone program.

Surf Life Saving NSW, with the support of the Department of Primary Industries, will provide UAV coverage in every coastal LGA in the state.

Flights will commence this weekend to coincide with the start of surf patrols by lifesavers and lifeguards.

The extension of the program will see over 200 pilots employed along the NSW coastline.

Marketing Brand Studio - damien.beuvin@parrot.com

The cost-effective, drone technology has proven to be successful at keeping swimmers and surfers safe while minimising the impact on marine life.

Since the program commenced three years ago, the public response has been overwhelmingly positive, with people reporting greater confidence entering the water at locations where UAVs are operating.

Shellharbour, Kiama, and Mollymook beaches already have the Shark drone program.

The drones also are an additional tool to assist volunteer lifesavers and lifeguards identify other hazards such as rip currents, patrol outside flagged swimming areas, and assist search and rescue operations.

Images: NSW Government 

Another 'You're Kidding' stunt for Kiama's Robbie Maddison

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Kiama local Robbie Maddison has become the first man to ride across the water on two wheels from Europe to Asia and back.

Maddison crossed the Bosphorus Strait on a custom setup he created for his motorcycle on Aug. 25.

Maddison took off on his ride from special platforms set up in Istanbul's Ortaköy and Beylerbeyi neighborhoods, and the strait was temporarily closed off to shipping traffic.

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He powered his machine at 70 kilometers per hour and crossed the Bosphorus in about 90 seconds, becoming the first person to cross the body of water on a motorcycle. 

The 40-year-old then crossed the strait back again after a brief break.

Robbie said that he dreamt of this feat when he first saw the Bosphorus and had practiced for a year before attempting it. 

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Maddison had previously jumped his bike over a football field in Las Vegas in 2008 as well as jumping up and down the replica Arc de Triomphe in Las Vegas, a stunt that was televised worldwide.

Robbie was also the stunt double for Daniel Craig in the 2012 James Bond Movie 'Skyfall'.

Images: Robbie Maddinson Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another six cases in the Shoalhaven

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The Shoalhaven has recorded six more COVID-19 cases for the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday - two of them linked to known cases.

Four of the new cases were among people living in the 2540 area, the other two were in the 2541 postcode.

There were no new cases in the Kiama Local Government area, among 38 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.

They included 15 from Shellharbour and 17 from Wollongong.

A total of 38 COVID-19 patients remain in Wollongong Hospital.

The 38 new COVID cases in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District for the 24 hours to 8pm Monday bring the district's total to 2139 since the latest outbreak began in June.

NSW Health has reminded people to remain vigilant for symptoms and get tested if any appear, no matter how mild.

Symptoms include cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath.

People with mild symptoms, such as fatigue, new muscle aches or pains, a change in taste or smell or a new runny nose, should also arrange testing as quickly as possible.

NSW Health says high rates of testing are critical to detecting transmission and preventing further spread of COVID-19 in the community  

Buses replacing South Coast trains

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Advice from NSWTrainlink:

#SouthCoastLine services are suspended in both directions between Kiama and Bomaderry due to heavy rainfall causing flooding at Berry.

Buses are providing a replacement service. 

Case numbers continue to fall

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COVID case numbers are continuing to fall, with just two detected in the Shoalhaven and seven throughout the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District during the 24 hours to 8pm Monday.

The two Shoalhaven cases are both from the 2540 postcode, and one was linked to a known case.

There was also one case from the Shellharbour Local Government Area, four from Wollongong and none in Kiama.

There have now been 2,376 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

At 8pm on Monday there were 23 COVID-19 patients being treated in the health district's hospitals - and increase by two from the previous day's count of 21.

NSW Health has reported the COVID-related death of an unvaccinated man in his 80s at Wollongong Hospital.

He was the only COVID-related death in NSW for the day, although the daily figures included 282 new locally-acquired cases and two cases acquired overseas.

 

 

Case numbers fall dramatically

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COVID-19 case numbers in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District have fallen to their lowest level in months, with just nine new cases reported to 8pm on Monday.

Six of those are linked to known cases.

One came from the Shoalhaven's 2541 area, which was linked to a known case.

There were also three from the Shellharbour Local Government Area, five from Wollongong and none from Kiama.

The death of an unvaccinated Wollongong man aged in his 80s who had coronavirus along with significant underlying health conditions and passed away at Wollongong Hospital, was also included in the daily figures.

His was one of four deaths across the state linked to COVID-19, while in all NSW there were also 273 new locally-acquired cases in the 24 hours.

There have now been 2,287 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

At 8pm Monday there were 26 COVID-19 patients being treated in the district's hospitals.

COVID cases at lowest level in a month

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COVID cases in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health district have hit their lowest level in a month.

Just 23 cases were recorded during the 24  hours to 8pm on Tuesday - the lowest since Tuesday, September 14 when there were 17 cases across the district.

Of the new cases recorded overnight three were among people living in the Shoalhaven, including two from the 2541 area and one from the 2540 postcode.

Two of the three new detections are linked to known cases.

Kiama recorded no new cases for the ninth day in a row, while there were three in the Shellharbour Local Government Area and 17 in Wollongong.

There have now been 2,162 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

At 8pm on Tuesday there were 31 COVID-19 patients being treated in the health district's hospitals.

 

COVID-19 claims Kiama's New Year's Eve fireworks

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The Coronavirus pandemic has claimed another major community event.

Kiama Council has cancelled its New Year's Eve Sky Show for safety reasons.

Mayor Mark Honey said cancelling the popular fireworks and laser show, which attracts more than 10,000 people, was the right thing to do.

"There was simply no way we would be able to hold the show and keep everyone COVID safe," he said.

The Mayor said while the COVID situation might ease by Christmas, planning and setting up for the New Year’s Eve Sky Show was a six-month process.

"We needed to make a decision now, before we invested time, money and effort in an event that stood a good chance of having to being cancelled anyway.

"Obviously this is disappointing to many people, as it’s a great family-friendly way to see in the new year.

"That’s why we’re exploring options for an event in Winter 2021.

"Hopefully we will all be in a much safer state by then, and we can put together a community-focused event to reflect on what we’ve all been through, and celebrate those who have helped keep us safe," Cr Honey said.

Image: Supplied

Distrust and answers in Kiama vaccine forum

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A high level of distrust about the COVID vaccines was evident during an online forum organised by Kiama MP Gareth Ward on Thursday night.

The forum heard questions about the safety of the vaccines, long-term impacts, whether they could be trusted given they were developed so quickly, a database of adverse events and more.

However Wollongong University Clinical Professor and infectious disease doctor Spiros Miyakis said he knew how important vaccination was after caring for COVID patients in hospital.

"Seeing how bad this disease can turn out to be, I think that is the most convincing thing for using the tools to protect you, and the best tool, with the best evidence we have so far, is the vaccine indeed," Professor Miyakis said.

Former national president of the Pharmacy Guild of  Australia, David Heffernan told the forum it usually took 10 to 15 years to develop a vaccine, however the vaccines developed to combat COVID-19 were built of years of research and work with other diseases and vaccines.

Professor Miyakis added there was no real choice when it came to a vaccine against COVID-19.

"Why is took so little time in this case is because we didn't have time," he said.

"In 10 or 15 years probably humanity, the way things were going, would have dire consequences, therefore all the scientific community changed the process a little bit."

He said the changes meant the process were just as rigorous, but the timeframe was reduced significantly by overlapping different stages.

"There are some trial stages for a vaccine, and usually what happens when one stage finished it takes two or three years and then the next stage takes over and over and over.

"Here there was just no time so as soon as there was a signal that the vaccine works, that the side effects are not prohibitory, we were moving to the next phase, and the next phase and the next phase," Professor Miyakis explained.

Image: Gustavo Fring / Pexels

 

Dragons confirm Sims can look elsewhere

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Former Kiama local Tariq Sims may have played his last game for St George Illawarra after coach Anthony Griffin confirmed he had been given permission to look elsewhere.

Sims' NRL season ended on a horrible note on Saturday night, taken to hospital after a head clash with South Sydney's Jacob Host with a deep cut to his lip.

Still contracted until the end of next season, the NSW State of Origin second-rower approached the Dragons for an extension until the end of 2023.

The Dragons have decided they are not willing to commit that far down the track with the 31-year-old, opening the door for him to depart if he finds another suitor.

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"He is a senior player and on contract next year. But that's something for both him and his management to have a chat about," Griffin said.

Images: Dragons TV

Five fined in Kiama for COVID breaches

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Five people have been issued with infringements over COVID-19 beaches at a construction site in Kiama.

Officers attached to Lake Illawarra Police District were notified on Monday of workers allegedly from Sydney, staying in Kiama.

Police attended an address on North Kiama Drive about 7.30pm and spoke with the occupants, who were part of a construction team building a unit complex on Collins Street, Kiama.

Police attended the worksite about 11am yesterday and saw a number of employees run into a nearby carpark.

Officers located 33 workers and spoke to the project manager.

Following inquiries, five of the men were identified as being from local government areas of concern in Sydney.

Inquiries are continuing into further potential breaches.

Five new cases in the Shoalhaven

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Five new cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the Shoalhaven in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday.

Two of the new detections are linked to known cases.

Three of the new cases are people living in the 2541 postcode, while the other two are from the 2540 area.

They were among 49 new cases diagnosed in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District across the 24 hours, including the death of one man in the Wollongong area.

The man aged in his 60s was unvaccinated, he had underlying health conditions and passed away in his home.

There were also 31 new COVID cases in the Wollongong Local Government Area, including four linked to known cases, and 13 in Shellharbour - nine linked to known cases.

No cases were detected among the Kiama Local Government Area's residents.

There were also two new cases in the Southern Highlands, taking the number of cases in the Wingecarribee Shire to 58 since June.

Across NSW there were 667 COVID cases detected during the 24 hours, while 10 people died - two aged in their 50s, four aged in their 60s, two in their 70s and two in their 80s.

Five new Shoalhaven cases under investigation

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Five new COVID-19 cases in the Shoalhaven are all being investigated as they're not linked to any known cases.

All are from the 2541 postcode.

For the second day in a row the Shoalhaven's COVID case number topped Wollongong, which reported four cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, while the Shellharbour Local Government Area had three and there were none in Kiama.

The 12 cases overnight bring the total number to 2,403 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

At 8pm on Wednesday the number of COVID patients being  treated in the district's hospitals had fallen to 19.

During the 24 hours a woman in her 90s died at a Tarrawanna aged care facility, where she acquired the infection.

She had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions.

She was one of two COVID-related deaths in NSW reported in the daily figures, which revealed 293 new cases for the 24 hours.

Folk by the Sea cancelled due to Covid

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With the announcement on 28 July 2021 by the NSW Government of the extension of the lockdown for another further 4 weeks we have had to make the tough decision to cancel the 2021 Folk by the Sea festival as it was currently planned. 

Event organiser David De Santi said "Even though it's 8 weeks away we believe it's too large a financial and safety risk to press on."

"We are extremely disappointed and I assume you will be as well." he said.

Image: Supplied

 

Mr De Santi said, "We're hoping, all things being equal, we can return in 23-25 September 2022."

 

Four cases in Shoalhaven, none in Kiama

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There have been no news COVID cases in the Kama or Wingecarribee Local Government Areas for the fourth straight day.

Shoalhaven recorded four new cases, split evenly between the 2540 and 2541 areas.

One was linked to a known case.

There were 48 new cases in the Shoalhaven for the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday, with 38 of them in Wollongong - 15 linked to known cases.

There were also six new detections in Shellharbour , including three linked to known cases.

There have now been 1,951 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

At 8pm on Thursday, October 7, there were 42 COVID-19 patients being treated in the district's hospitals.

 

Four new cases in the Shoalhaven

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Four new COVID cases were recorded in the Shoalhaven Local Government Area during the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday.

Three of them were linked to known cases, one was a person living in the 2541 area, and the other three were from the 2540 postcode.

They were among 12 new cases in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, including one in Kiama and seven from Wollongong.

For the first time in several months there were no new cases in the Shellharbour Local Government Area.

There have now been 2,338 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

By 8pm on Thursday the number of COVID-19 patients being treated in the district's hospitals had fallen to 23.

 

Freedom Warrior fined after an anti-covid rally in Kiama

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A thousand dollar fine for a Freedom Warrior who allegedly breached public health orders at an anti-covid rally at Kiama yesterday.

The 31-year-old man was among a small group of protestors at the Kiama lighthouse after rally calls were sent out via social media posts.

Police, including the Public Order Riot team, was deployed.

He was detained by police after leaving allegedly Shellharbour in breach of stay-at-home orders.

Image: Glenn Ellard

Huge tree blocks Kiama driveway

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The Kiama SES Unit was called to help a resident who had a large tree fall and block their driveway.

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Upon arrival it was confirmed that the tree was not large... It.was.HUGE!!!

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Access to the property had been cut off since early Friday morning after the resident woke to see the tree had been uprooted in the heavy rain overnight. 

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The team got to work that day chainsawing the tree, so the property could be accessed by the resident.

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For emergency help in floods and storms call NSW SES on 132 500, or if life-threatening call 000.

Photos supplied

Illawarra woman charged over pedestrian fatal

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A woman will appear in court after a man was allegedly struck by a car and later died at Kiama earlier this year.

On the afternoon of  Thursday  May 16,  a Toyota Corolla was travelling west on Noorinan Street, when the vehicle allegedly struck a 69-year-old man and then a parked Pantech truck.

The man was taken to hospital and later died.

The 19-year-old female driver of the Corolla was taken to hospital for mandatory blood and urine tests, before being taken to Lake Illawarra Police Station where she was later released pending further inquiries.

On Sunday  the driver was issued with a court attendance notice for negligent driving occasioning death.

She is due to appear in Kiama Local Court in December.

Photo: Power/2st stock

Injured walker rescued from Kiama track

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A female walker slipped in a muddy section of the coastal track on the headland north of Easts Beach yesterday afternoon.

Injured and unable to walk from the scene, NSW SES volunteers worked with NSW Ambulance paramedics to lift the patient into a mule stretcher and she was transported to the nearest road, then taken to hospital for treatment.

Story and photo: Kiama SES

Jobs boost as new Kiama aged care centre opens

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The new aged care facility built on the site of the old Kiama Hospital has been officially opened this week.

Blue Haven Bonaira has all the mod cons and will feature 58 independent living units and an aged care home for a further 134 residents.

The state government contributed $15 million dollars to the project and cutting the ribbon on Thursday Kiama MP GARETH WARD said it will create 120 jobs for local nurses, cooks, dietitians, caterers, cleaners, maintenance and many other specialised jobs.

Photo source: https://www.bluehavencare.com.au/bonaira-development/

Kiama Council getting back to business after Coronavirus restrictions are eased

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Kiama Council will welcome people back to its customer service centre this morning after the easing of COVID-19 health restrictions.

Council said it'll be operational for limited face-to-face services and residents can make payments and drop off documents without being fully vaccinated against Coronavirus.

Kiama's pools are also reopening today for lap and recreational swimming and aqua classes.

Image: Kiama Council

Kiama Council signs up for a better future

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Kiama Council has signed the Better Futures Declaration to advocate for strong climate action policies from the Federal Government.

Mayor Mark Honey said the declaration was closely aligned with council's policies.

"This ties in very well with what Kiama Council is doing in addressing climate change, trying to reduce our net emissions to zero," he said.

"I think that us being involved with the Cities Power Partnership has been a great benefit to the community."

Council has set the target of achieving net zero emissions by 2031 for all its operations, facilities and services, including an interim target of obtaining half its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

The declaration pushes for a national response to reach net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Better Futures Australia is a network of partners who are amplifying climate work and bringing together public and private sector leaders to scale success stories and demonstrate Australia’s readiness for an ambitious national response to climate change.

Kiama Council is also a foundation member of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership, Australia’s largest network of local councils leading the way to a thriving, zero emissions future. 

Kiama Downs dominates IRB event

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Kiama Downs Surf Life Saving Club has dominated the first round of the NSW IRB premiership series, winning an incredible 15 of the 23 finals in Terrigal over the weekend.

Team Manager Steve Strong says his team ran really well over the duration of the weekend and is pleased with the results.

He says the team has been joined this year by some new Under 23s and rookies, and continues to have strong female crews.

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Despite being a small country team, Kiama Downs is the defending series and state champion, and has put in the hours and passion to ignite the team for 2021 and develop the skills of new members

The next round of the Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership is at Cape Hawke on the lower North Coast on May 29 and 30.

Competition will then move to Warilla Barrack Point on June 12 and 13, before the fourth and final round at Ocean Beach on the Central Coast.

Images: Richard Black

Kiama Harbour plans back on display

 

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Plans to redevelop Kiama Harbour have been altered and simplified on the back of hundreds of submissions from members of the community.
NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings said the responses made it clear the community wanted the rock pool swimming areas protected, and the boat ramp to stay where it was.

“The early consultation process focused on working with Kiama Municipal Council and some key harbour users, to help shape a draft strategic framework, to then seek broader feedback from the local and wider community,” Mr Hutchings said.

“Despite some restrictions due to COVID-19, we consulted extensively with the community throughout the first half of this year, with numerous workshops held, as well as site visits, and the feedback received has shaped the final draft of the plan.

“The project team received 213 individual submissions and the overwhelming sentiment from the feedback received highlighted the importance of the harbour to local residents, nearby communities and tourists.

“A number of key issues were raised, including the importance of the Men’s Baths, the need to maintain the existing character and charm of Kiama Harbour, and a strong preference for the boat ramp to remain in its current location.”

“As a result of that feedback we’ve revised the plan, and we now have an action plan that will allow us to do some things in the short term. And so, we’re going to put that plan back out there so that we can get further consultation,” Mr Hutchings said.

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He said the feedback was taken on board, and given that a number of the medium and long-term opportunities were not widely supported, the approach was reshaped into an action plan, to focus on the short-term activation opportunities.

“We’ve simplified the action plan to be supported by three key objectives for the future development of the harbour precinct,” Mr Hutchings said.

“These are to celebrate local and regional attractions and activities, to respect and enhance the coastal character and environment, and to support commercial and recreational boating activities.

“Now that we’ve refined our approach, we are keen to hear the community’s thoughts on this updated plan, and we think people will see that we’ve really listened to them.”

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All feedback will be considered as part of the final Kiama Harbour Revitalisation Action Plan.

Feedback on the Kiama Harbour Revitalisation Plan will be open from August 30 until September 10. To have your say, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The community and other stakeholders are also invited to attend an online information session, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include Kiama in the subject line to register your interest and you will be sent details on how to join the information session.

images: supplied

Kiama lift rescue

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A rescue of a different kind for SES volunteers at Kiama.

On Saturday morning they were called to the railway station following reports two adults were trapped inside the elevator.

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The internal doors had become separated from external doors and were unable to be opened.

The SES crew stabilised the elevator and doors, isolated power to the station, cut door cables and then used the jaws of life to force open the doors and free the occupants.

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No one was injured.

Photos: Kiama SES

Kiama man's death linked to COVID-19

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A Kiama man's death in Wollongong Hospital has been linked to the COVID outbreak.

The man aged in his 70s passed away in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, with his death reported in today's COVID figures.

He had received one vaccine dose.

The five deaths reported during the daily COVID updated also included a Wollongong woman aged in her 80s, who passed away in Wollongong Hospital.

She had received two doses of the vaccine.

Both had underlying health conditions.

The daily update reported 62 new COVID cases in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, including five in Kiama and three in the Shoalhaven - one of which was linked to a known case.

There were also 34 in Wollongong, with 15 linked to known cases, and 20 in the Shellharbour Local Government Area, of which eight were linked to known cases.

Three cases were detected in the Wingecarribee area.

Kiama mother and daughter reveal the pain and uncertainty of NF

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Kiama mother and daughter Julia and Jessica Szulerowski say they are living with ticking time bombs hidden away in their bodies.

It is neurofibromatosis, better known as NF – a genetic condition causing tumours to grow on nerves, with potential impacts including blindness, deafness, learning problems, lumps under the skin and life-threatening brain tumours.

34-year-old Jessica had a tumour on her brain stem removed when she was just 16, while mum Julia has had a tumour removed from her adrenal gland, and cysts taken from her skull and base of her spine.

While neither has had any major medical problems for a while, Julia said things could change without warning.

“Jess and I could be perfectly healthy, in fact we’ve had 14 great years since moving back from the States, but we never know what tomorrow’s going to bring,” she said.

“One day we’re fine, walking around, the next day we’re laying in bed unable to get up, we just don’t know what NF will do.”

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But neither have let the condition slow them down.

When Jessica had the tumour removed from her brain stem at age 16 she missed only two days of school, and some days went straight from radiation treatment to rehearsals of a play she was doing.

She has gone on to complete studies in English literature, media and cultural studies at Wollongong University.

And mum Julia has run many marathons and is now local coordinator of Cupid’s Undie Run on Valentine’s day, raising money for NF research.

But that doesn’t mean life has been easy.

“Living with NF is tough because society does reject you,” Julia said.

“I had a little boy in the supermarket come up to me once and say ‘You’ve got lumps all over for face’, and my only response was, ‘Well, yes I do’, then I left without my groceries.”

Jessica said she was also bullied in high school because of her condition.

The Children’s Tumour Foundation is raising awareness of NF throughout May.

Images: Glenn Ellard

Kiama records first case in a fortnight

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Kiama has recorded its first COVID-19 case in a fortnight, as the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District had its lowest case number for months.

There were also three Shoalhaven cases - all from the 2541 postcode and none of them linked to any known cases.

They were among just 16 cases throughout the district for the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.

There were also two cases in the Shellharbour Local Government Area and 10 in Wollongong.

A Wollongong woman in her 80s with underlying health conditions died in Wollongong Hospital.

She had received one dose of a vaccine.

There have now been 2,278 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

At 8pm on Sunday there were 30 COVID-19 patients being treated in the district's hospitals.

 

Kiama rescue - the full story

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A rock fisherman is lucky to be alive, thanks to a lifejacket and a fast response by volunteer lifesavers from Kiama Surf Life Saving Club.

On Sunday 4 August, a 58-year-old male was fishing at Little Blowhole, Kiama when he lost his footing and fell into the water.

Passers-by were alerted to the incident by the man’s brother, who was unable to notify emergency services himself because he could not speak English. They immediately called Triple zero (000).

It is believed that the male rock fisher was in the water for an hour before emergency services were notified. He was fully clothed and was wearing a lifejacket and fishing cleats.

The Surf Life Saving NSW State Operations Centre was notified of the incident by Police and tasked the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter, South Coast Branch volunteer Duty Officer, the Kiama Jet Rescue Boat Service and the Kiama SLSC callout team to respond.

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Two lifesavers from Kiama SLSC, Bradley Dawson and Toby Streamer, responded to the incident, quickly mobilising an inflatable rescue boat (IRB). They soon located the man floating 200 metres off East Beach headland.

“The man was extremely cold but very appreciative when we found him. He was wearing an approved life jacket but had been in the water for over an hour,” said Brad Dawson from Kiama SLSC.

“He told us he’d been fishing on the rocks when his rod got jammed. He overbalanced and fell into the water,” said Brad.

The man was taken to East Beach for treatment. Multiple ambulances were dispatched to the incident and paramedics treated the rock fisherman for mild hypothermia and water ingestion.

“The lifejacket he was wearing definitely saved him. It would have been impossible to tread water for an hour in those conditions,” said lifesaver Toby Streamer.

A police officer also sustained injuries, including a broken leg while attempting to locate the fisherman on the rock platform. The volunteer lifesavers and the NSW Fire Brigade treated the police officer before paramedics arrived.

Conditions were hazardous at the time of the incident with large sea swells hitting the NSW coastline. 

Story source: Surf Lifesaving NSW. Photos source : Surf Lifesaving NSW & Renai Ettridge

Kiama residents support voluntary assisted dying in NSW

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The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill will continue to be debated in NSW parliament today with Member for Kiama Gareth Ward to deliver a speech on the issue.

Ward said his position is representative of the majority of residents in his electorate.

"I undertook an electorate-wide survey of my community and I said I would be bound by that survey.

"88% of people in my electorate said that they support this Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.

"I will therefore discharge that in the house," Ward said.

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Whilst the bill is still a long way off becoming legislation, Ward said the option is an individual choice.

"I'm not saying any one person is right or wrong on this issue.

"I'm not saying that anyone has to use this path.

"The evidence is that most people don't and even those people that are approved don't make the decision to end their own lives.

"There is an enormous comfort in knowing that this option is there," Ward said.

Voluntary assisted dying laws have been passed in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania while New South Wales is yet to pass legislation.

"For that reason, I think it is important we look at the available safeguards," Ward said.

"Should this legislation pass, NSW will have the strongest safeguards of any state in Australia and that's why I am comforted in supporting this bill," he said.

Images: Gareth Ward MP Facebook

Lucy looks to repeat surfing perfection at Kiama

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Gerringong's Lucy Darragh will be looking for a repeat of the form that saw her get a perfect score in Coffs Harbour last weekend, when she lines up for event five of the 2021 Woolworths Surfer Groms Comp Series in Kiama starting tomorrow.

The under 12s surfer has already shown she is one to watch in the competition that features Australia's best young surfers from under 8s through to under 14s.

The weekend's competition is event five of the 2021 Woolworths Surfer Groms Comp Series.

The elite event will see male and female surfers competing in four different age divisions, starting at Under-8s through to the Under-14s and will be the first event of the series run in NSW this year.
 
About 80 competitors are expected in the hotly-contested event.

Image: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

Missing man last spotted in Kiama

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Police are looking for a man missing from Ingelburn that was last seen in Kiama.

Kenneth Klees left his home around 7.30am on Monday February 1 and hasn't been heard from since.

He was seen at the Commonwealth Bank ATM in Kiama on the same day.

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Police are appealing for public assistance to locate him.

Any information can be provided by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Images: NSW Police

More COVID cases in Nowra and Kiama

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Two new COVID cases in the Shoalhaven are being investigated to find out how the people became infected.

However two new infections in Kiama are linked to known cases.

The cases are among 17 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District reported in this morning's daily COVID update, including nine in Wollongong and four in Shellharbour.

There are now five active cases in the Kiama local government area, and 23 in the Shoalhaven.

Meanwhile Coles Supermarket in Nowra has been identified as a potential COVID exposure site.

Coles has been advised that a person who later tested positive for COVID-19 visited the store between 10.13 and 10.20am on Thursday, September 9th.

The supermarket has since undergone a deep clean, but people who were in the supermarket at the time have been asked to monitor for symptoms, and undertake a COVID test if any develop.

More COVID-19 cases in the Shoalhaven and Kiama

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The Shoalhaven has recorded another two positive Covid-19 cases up until 8 pm on Tuesday night.

There are now 14 active Coronavirus cases in the Shoalhaven.

Illawarra Shoalhaven health said on its website the two cases are residents of Shoalhaven LGA, both of whom are linked to known cases.

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There is another reported case in the Kiama LGA.

There are now two active Coronavirus cases linked to Kiama.

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The Illawarra Shoalhaven District Health website said the case who is a resident of Kiama LGA, whose infection is under investigation, and who is isolating out of the Local Health District.

Images: NSW Health

More local exposure sites listed

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More COVID-19 exposure sites across the Shoalhaven and Kiama have been listed on NSW Health's website.

Anyone who visited the following venues at the times listed is considered a causal contact and must come forward for testing and self-isolate until a negative result is returned:

Culburra Beach: Woolworths Culburra Beach from 12:20 to 12:40pm on Friday, September 24.

Vincentia: Subway Vincentia in the Vincentia Marketplace from 11:35 to 11:50am on Thursday, September 23.

Nowra, Dan Murphy's Nowra, from 1:35 to 1:40 on Thursday, September 23.

Milton: Terry White Chemmart in Milton from 9:10 to 9:35am on Friday, September 17.

Kiama: Kiama Fair Newsagency, from 10.35 to 10.45am on Sunday. September 19.

More local venues of concern listed

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The list of local COVID exposure sites continues to grow, with more added in the past 24 hours.

Three more sites in Sanctuary Point, Gerringong and Kiama have been added to the list of local venues of concern.

Anyone who has been at the venues at the specified times is required to get tested and isolate until a negative result is obtained.

The venues include:

Gerringong:

Caltex Gerringong, 2 Belinda Street on Monday September 20 from 2:45 to 3:20pm.

Sanctuary Point:

Sanctuary Point Seafood Take Away, Shop 2/10 Paradise Beach Road on Thursday September 23 from 10 to 11am.

Kiama:

Service NSW Kiama, 64 Shoalhaven Street on Monday, September 20 from 4:10 to 4:15pm.

Mountain biker rescued from Kiama Coast Track

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For the second time in three and a half weeks, Emergency Services have been called to rescue a mountain bike rider from the Kiama Coast Track.

The female rider needed assistance after suffering an injury yesterday morning.

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Kiama SES volunteers and NSW Ambulance paramedics accessed the walking track through a nearby rural property and located the patient.

The SES said after she was assessed and treated, she was loaded into a mule single wheeled stretcher and transported across rough terrain to a waiting ambulance.

Images: Kiama SES

New Shoalhaven COVID cases under investigation

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Two new COVID cases from the Shoalhaven's 2540 postcode are being investigated as they are not linked to any known cases.

They are among 19 new cases in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District for the 24 hours to 8pm Tuesday, including eight from the Shellharbour Local Government Area and seven from Wollongong.

There were no new cases in Kiama.

There have now been 2,304 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

At 8pm on Tuesday there were 25 COVID-19 patients being treated in the district's hospitals.

NSW Health has confirmed the deaths of two men in their 90s from a Tarrawanna Aged Care Facility where they acquired their infections.

Both had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions.

They were among seven deaths across the state linked to COVID-19 for the 24 hours to 8pm Tuesday, during which 283 people across NSW tested positive to the virus.

Nine new cases in the Shoalhaven

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A further nine COVID-19 cases have been detected in the Shoalhaven, two of them linked to known cases.

The nine new cases discovered in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday include seven people living in the area covered by the 2541 postcode, and two in the 2540 area.

There is also one new case in the Kiama Local Government Area.

They are among 77 new cases in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District for the 24 hours.

Of the new cases 54 are from Wollongong Local Government Area, including 15 linked to known cases, and 13 are from Shellharbour, four of which are linked to known cases.

There are also two new cases in the Southern Highlands, taking Wingecarribee Shire's total to 60 cases since June.

Across the state there were 623 new COVID cases in the 24 hours and six deaths linked to the virus.

 

Nine new COVID cases in the Shoalhaven

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Nine new COVID-19 cases have been detected in the Shoalhaven during the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, with five linked to known cases.

Six of the cases live in the 2540 postcode, while the remaining three are from the 2541 area.

There were also three cases in Kiama, one of them linked to a known case,  among 94 new cases diagnosed within the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District in the 24 hours.

They included 66 in Wollongong, 30 of them linked to known cases, and 16 in the Shellharbour Local Government Area including 10 linked to known cases.

Since June 16 there have been 1365 in the health district.

NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said health authorities continued to be concerned about transmission rates in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.

"We see the increasing cases in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, particularly about that Wollongong and Shellharbour area," she said during the daily COVID update.

The figures released this morning showed there had been 865 locally acquired cases in the 24 hours and 15 deaths, including a woman aged in her 70s at Batemans Bay.

Dr Chant said the woman died at home shortly after receiving her second vaccine dose.

 

 

 

NSW Health lists all Shoalhaven COVID-19 venues of concern

 

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NSW Health has released a list of all COVID-19 close contact venues across the Shoalhaven as of October 6 at 8.00 am.

There are confirmed COVID-19 cases are associated with the following locations.

Berry IGA  - 8.45 to 9.15 am Monday 27 September

Bomaderry Woolworths - 5 pm to 5.15 pm Wednesday 29 September

Culburra Beach Woolworths - 12.20 pm to 12.40 pm Friday 24 September

Huskisson The Great Husky Bite - 10.30 am to 2 pm Tuesday 28 September

                                                                             10.30 am to 2 pm Wednesday 29 September

Kiama Service NSW - 4.10 pm to 4.15 pm Monday 20 September

Kiama Subway - 12.25 pm to 12.40 pm Sunday 26 September

Nowra Aldi - 12.30 pm to 1 pm Monday 27 September 

                              4.20 pm to 4.35 pm Tuesday 28 September

Nowra Autobarn - 3.10 pm to 3.30 pm Thursday 23 September

Nowra Bakehouse Delight - 9.49 am to 9.54 am Friday 24 September

Nowra Better Tyres - 1 pm to 1.30 pm Wednesday 29 September

Nowra Blooms the Chemist - 2.45 pm to 2.50 pm Wednesday 29 September

Nowra Bunnings - 8.30 am to 12 pm Thursday 16 September

                                       - 12.20pm to 12.50pm Sunday 26 September

                                       - 4.30 pm to 6 pm Tuesday 28 September

Nowra Chemist Warehouse - 12 pm to 12.30 pm Wednesday 29 September

Nowra Coles - 10.25 pm to 10.30 pm Thursday 23 September

Nowra Dan Murphys - 1.35 pm to 1.40 pm Thursday 23 September 

                                                 - 6.10 pm to 7 pm Monday 27 September

Nowra Fins Fangs and Feathers - 4.12 pm to 4.17 pm Thursday 30 September

                                                                        - 3.23 pm to 3.37 pm Thursday 30 September

Nowra McDonalds Nowra Central - 8.30 pm to 8.50 pm Wednesday 29 September

                                                                               - 9.15 am to 9.45 am 30 September

Nowra Kebabs - 11.30 am to 11.50 am Thursday 23 September

Nowra Local Court - 10 am to 11.30 am Monday 27 September

Nowra Southern IML Pathology - 9.10 am to 9.30 am Friday 24 September

Nowra Woolworths Stocklands - 4.55 pm to 6 pm Friday 24 September

Nowra Woolworths - 3.30 pm to 4.10 pm Friday 1 October

Sanctuary Point Bakery - 10 am to 11 am Thursday 23 September

Sanctuary Point Seafood Take Away - 10 am to 11 am Thursday 23 September

South Nowra Shell Coles Express - 7.50 am to 8 am Monday 27 September

St Georges Basin Clarke's Vehicle Services and LPG Centre - 11.25 am to 11.40 am 23 September

Vincentia Subway - 11.35 am to 11.50 am Thursday 23 September

Worrigee FoodWorks - 1.15 pm to 1.30 pm Wednesday 29 September

                                                  - 11.21 am to 11.31 am Thursday 30 September

Worrigee Naaji's Charcoal Chicken Kebabs - 10.55 am to 11 am Saturday 25 September

You must follow the public health advice listed below.

If you have been to any of these locations on the date and time shown below, you are a casual contact and must immediately get tested and self isolate, even if you have no symptoms.

You must follow Public Health advice on the NSW Health website.

Staff and Visitors must follow entrance screening instructions. 

Pedestrian killed in Kiama

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The pedestrian hit by a car on Noorinan Street in Kiama yesterday afternoon has died.

The 69-year-old man passed away in St George Hospital around three o'clock this morning.

The 19-year-old female driver struck the man before crashing into a parked truck around 4.25pm yesterday.

She has undergone mandatory blood and urine testing at Shellharbour Hospital.

Lake Illawarra Police are still waiting for the results and have released her after questioning.

The investigation is continuing.

Police are calling on witnesses or anyone with dashcam vision to come forward.

Image: Travis Winks

Plan to add Shoalhaven and Kiama Paralympians to Olympic Wall

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The Illawarra Olympic Fundraising Committee is working with Wollongong City Council and others from across the region to update the Illawarra Olympic Wall in Lang Park.

They want to recognise the region's Paralympians and are calling for volunteers to join a working group to compile a list of Illawarra Paralympians, past and present to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and sporting success of the region's homegrown Paralympians and Olympians.

Shoalhaven born Paralympian, Jonathan Goerlach, is the first volunteer to join the new working group and is hoping to ensure equal recognition of past, present and future Paralympians.

The Illawarra Olympic Wall in the Park's southern end celebrates the endeavors of sporting stars from the Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, Shoalhaven, and Wingecarribee local government areas who have competed in the Summer and Winter Olympics since the inception of the modern Olympic Games.

It was installed in Wollongong in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympics and was the first of its kind in Australia.

"We take great pride in all local athletes, including the many extraordinary people who have strived to become Paralympians and represent their country and local community," said Wollongong City Council, Acting Director of Community Services Lucielle Power.

"For some time now, the Illawarra Olympic Wall has recognised Olympic Athletes who have ties to our community.

"We want to extend this recognition to include our cities' Paralympians who have achieved great success for themselves and the Illawarra's sporting history.

"Council would like to have representatives on the working group from each of the five Illawarra local government areas.

"What we're looking for are people who can demonstrate that they have local sporting networks that will assist in identifying previous Paralympic participants," Power said.

It's likely that the working group will need to meet regularly over the next 12 to 18 months to compile a list of Illawarra Paralympians.

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Paralympian, Jonathan Goerlach said, "'Para' in Paralympics is defined as 'Parallel to' which means parallel to the Olympics.

"It is vital that the Illawarra be viewed as a region where all achievements of both Olympians and Paralympians are recognised in parallel - a symbolic step towards equality and inclusion," Goerlach said.

Ms, Power said the project is a big one and identifying names of local Paralympians might not be as straight forward as it seems.

"There have been many Paralympic Games and there are many Illawarra athletes, or their families, that will need to be contacted for approval to be included on the wall.

"People may have moved away from the area and the community they identify themselves with can change with time.

"That's why we're keen to work closely with community members who have a history of involvement with the Paralympic sporting community and draw upon their knowledge and connections.

"It's a big job and we're ready to get started," she said.

Expressions of interest for those wanting to be involved in the working group can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Images: Wollongong City Council and Jonathan Goerlach Facebook

Production halted on Russell Crowe film after crew member tests positive for COVID while shooting in Sydney's Fox Studios

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After upsetting some Illawarrians and South Coasters and winning over others for filming in Kiama and Berry during tight COVID restrictions early last month, production of Russell Crowe's film Poker Face has been suspended after a crew member tested positive for COVID-19 while shooting was reportedly taking place at Fox Studios in Sydney.

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Crowe has taken to Twitter stating that the cast and crew is in isolation while a second possible case is being investigated.

"Unfortunately six days from the end of our shoot on Poker Face we have had a confirmed positive COVID case amongst our crew and a second possible positive under further investigation by our Poker Face Covid team and NSW Health.

"For the safety of cast and crew and the wider community, the production has been immediately paused and everyone instructed to isolate whilst the situation is looked into," Crowe said.

The Oscar winner said the production has followed strict protocols with the cast and crew being tested three times a week for the past 11-plus weeks and resisted a number of offers from locals during his time on the South Coast.

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"The crew have been masked on set the whole time except for three individuals with medical exemptions," Crowe said.

"We feel for the crew members involved, like all the people on this show they are both very committed team players and diligent in their approach to their work responsibilities.

"We also feel for the wider community going through these difficult times.

"We hope this situation will be confined and we can be back up and running very soon," Crowe said.

The movie is due to be released next year.

Images: flickr / Eva Rinaldi and Russell Crowe Twitter

Record COVID-19 cases for the Shoalhaven

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NSW Health has reported a record number of new Coronavirus cases for the Shoalhaven today.

There are 50 new cases reported in the Illawarra Shoalhaven region up until 8 pm last night, bringing the total cases in the Local Health District to 771.

  • 24 cases are from the Wollongong Local Government Area, 10 are linked to known cases.
  • 13 cases are from the Shellharbour Local Government Area, six are linked to known cases.
  • 11 cases are from the Shoalhaven Local Government Area, four are linked to known cases.
  • Two cases are from the Kiama Local Government Area.

Second day with no new cases in Shoalhaven

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The Shoalhaven has recorded its second straight day with no new COVID infections.

In fact there were only five new cases in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District for the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday - one in Kiama and four in Wollongong.

The Kiama infection was linked to a known case, as were three of the new Wollongong cases.

There have now been 2,436 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

The number of patients being treated in the district's hospital as a result of COVID-19 at 8pm on Monday fell by one to 17.

The daily figures included the death of a man in his 70s who died at a Tarrawanna aged care facility, where he acquired the infection.

He had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

It is the fifth death linked to an outbreak at this facility.

He was one of four COVID-related deaths during the 24 hours, when NSW also recorded 173 new cases of COVID-19.

 

Sexual assault on the rise across the Shoalhaven according to latest figures

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South Coast Council areas have seen mixed results in the latest crime statistics report.

The Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands experienced a major increase in reports of sexual assault during March, according to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

The report released yesterday show the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands had an average of 13 reported sexual assaults each month, but that nearly doubled to 25 during March.

Officials praised the courage of victims and survivors who have come forward.

They believe the increased number of reports has been influenced by several high-profile cases that have drawn intense media coverage.

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Kiama has seen a drop in non-domestic violence-related assault, but there's been an increase in malicious damage to property.

There's an increase in sexual assault and fraud across Shellharbour, but a drop in break and enters, and steal from motor vehicle.

Images: Supplied 

 

Shoalhaven COVID cases continue to climb

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There have been a further nine COVID cases in the Shoalhaven area - three linked to known cases.

Five of the new cases are from the 2540 area, the remaining four from the area covered by the 2541 postcode.

There were no new cases in Kiama, among 60 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.

There were 45 in the Wollongong area, including 14 linked to known cases, and six in Shellharbour, or which two are linked to known cases.

There have now been 1903 COVID cases within the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since June, and at 8pm on Wednesday there were 40 COVID cases being treated in the district's hospitals.

Across the state there were 587 new COVID-19 cases recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm Wednesday, and eight people who had COVID lost their lives.

They included a man in the 20s from Western Sydney who died in his home and tested positive after his death.

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District reminds people to remain vigilant for symptoms and get tested if any appear, no matter how mild.

Symptoms include cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath.

People with mild symptoms, such as fatigue, new muscle aches or pains, a change in taste or smell or a new runny nose, should also arrange testing as quickly as possible.

Shoalhaven records 11 new COVID cases

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There have been 11 new COVID cases in the Shoalhaven - all from the 2541 postcode with two linked to known cases.

Figures reported this morning reveal there were also six in the Shellharbour local government area and 14 from Wollongong, while Kiama recorded no new cases for the 11th day in a row.

They were among 31 cases in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District again fell for the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday.

The latest detections bring the number of COVID-19 cases recorded in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Health District to 2215 since the Delta outbreak started in June.

At 8pm on Thursday there were 31 COVID-19 patients being treated in Wollongong Hospital and one in Shoalhaven Hospital.

Health authorities have reminded people to remain vigilant for symptoms and get tested if any appear, no matter how mild.

Symptoms include cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath.

People with mild symptoms such as fatigue, new muscle aches or pains, a change in taste or smell or a new runny nose, should also arrange testing as quickly as possible.

Shoalhaven records more new cases than Wollongong

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The Shoalhaven's daily COVID-19 case tally has exceeded Wollongong's for the first time in months.

Figures for the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday showed six people in the Shoalhaven tested positive to COVID-19 - four of them linked to known cases.

The new cases are split evenly between the 2540 and 2541 postcodes.

There are also two new cases in Kiama, two in Shellharbour and five in the Wollongong Local Government Area.

The daily figures also showed the number of COVID patients in the health district's hospitals at 8pm on Tuesday had risen by another two to 25.

Across the state NSW recorded 304 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, along with a single case in an international traveller.

The 305 cases mean there are now 418 people in hospital statewide, with 97 requiring intensive care.

Three people with COVID-19 died  in the most recent reporting period, according to NSW Health.

Since the start of the current outbreak in June there have been 2,391 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.

Shoalhaven vaccination rates on the rise

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The Shoalhaven is powering ahead with its COVID-19 vaccination program.

The latest figures show more than 60 per cent of the Shoalhaven's eligible population is fully vaccinated - up from 54.8 per cent just a week ago.

And 87.2 per cent of people have had at least one jab, an increase from 82.2 per cent a week earlier.

In Kiama 89.6 per cent have had one jab, and 66.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.

In Shellharbour 86.4 per cent of people aged  over 15 have had their first vaccination and 56.2 per cent have had two, while in Wollongong  it's 81.7 per cent with one jab and 56.4 per cent with two.

To the south in neighbouring Eurobodalla 94.5 per cent have had one jab, and 66.2 per cent are fully vaccinated, while in Bega Valley 89.2 per cent had had one jab, and 64.1 per cent have had two.

Six in the Shoalhaven as district cases fall

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There have been six new COVID cases in the Shoalhaven - four from the 2541 postcode and two in the 2540 area.

They were reported this morning as COVID-19 case numbers in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District again fell, with just 22 new infections detected in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.

That included nine in the Shellharbour local government area - two linked to known cases, and seven from Wollongong of which five were linked to known cases.

Kiama recoded no new cases for the tenth day in a row.

Across the state there were 406 new locally-acquired cases for the 24 hours, with six deaths among people with COVID-19.

One of those deaths was a woman in her 80s from the Wollongong area died at Wollongong Hospital.

She had received one dose of a vaccine and had underlying health conditions.

There have now been 2,184 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

As at 8pm Wednesday, 13 October there were 33 COVID-19 patients being treated in the district's hospitals.

 

South Coast rail getting ready for New Intercity Fleet.  

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Work is set to start on extending the platforms at Kiama Railway Station.

It's part of a state government 600-million dollar infrastructure upgrade plan, which includes getting the South Coast train network ready for the introduction of the New Intercity Fleet.

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward says the new 10-car trains will provide an improved level of comfort, convenience and reliability for South Coast customers.

Construction is expected to be complete by late next year.

Photo: Google Maps

Ten new Shoalhaven cases as lockdown extended

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Ten new COVID cases in the Shoalhaven have been reported as part of today's regular update.

Five of the new instances are linked to known cases.

The 10 new Shoalhaven cases are evenly split between people living in the 2540 and 2541 postcodes.

There are no new cases in Kiama, and one in the Southern Highlands.

There were 82 new cases in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District for the 24 hours to 8pm Wednesday, including 59 from Wollongong - 11 linked to known cases, and 13 from the Shellharbour Local Government Area including eight linked to known cases.

Throughout NSW there were 941 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, and six deaths.

The new cases come as stay at home orders were extended until October 11th for a range of local government areas across regional NSW including the Shoalhaven, Kiama, Shellharbour, Eurobodalla and Wingecarribee areas.

 

 

The state's top prosecutor to consider charges against Kiama MP Gareth Ward

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Kiama MP Gareth Ward could face charges of sexual violence against two males following a Police investigation.

NSW Police media this morning provided the following statement.

'Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad previously established Strike Force Condello to investigate allegations of sexual violence-related offences against a 39-year-old man.

The incidents were reported to have occurred in 2013 and 2015.

The 2013 incident involves a man, then aged 25, and the 2015 incident involves a male, then aged 17.

New South Wales Police have now submitted a brief of evidence to The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) in relation to those individual matters.

Investigations are continuing and no further information is available.'

Mr Ward has denied any wrongdoing since being informed of the allegations by a journalist and has said he is yet to be interviewed by Police over the allegations.

He has resigned from the Liberal Party to sit on the cross-bench.

Mr Ward also resigned as Families, Communities and Disability Services Minister. 

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Gareth Ward's Kiama electorate office said Mr Ward is aware of the Police Media statement and on advice from his lawyers is declining to make any comment at the moment.

Images: supplied

 

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Three new cases in the Shoalhaven

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There have been three new COVID cases in the Shoalhaven - all from the 2450 postcode and all connected to known cases.

They are among 22 new cases reported in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District for the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.

That included one case in the Kiama Local Government area, nine in Shellharbour and nine in Wollongong.

There have now been 2,326 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

At 8pm on Wednesday there were 26 COVID-19 patients being treated in the district's hospitals.

Across the state there were 374 new COVID cases and one death linked to the virus with the 24-hour period.

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District continues to urge people to get tested when they have even the mildest symptoms, and to come forward to be vaccinated at the region's vaccination clinics, medical practices and pharmacies.

Three new COVID cases in the Shoalhaven

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The Shoalhaven has recorded three new cases of COVID-19 as part of the figures reported today, with one linked to a known case.

There was also one new case in Kiama, which is still being investigated.

They are among 36 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, including 19 in the Wollongong local government area, with 11 linked to known cases.

There are also 13 new cases in Shellharbour, with five linked to existing cases.

A total of 538 people have tested positive to COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since June.

The Southern Highlands was clear of new cases, however an earlier instance was reassigned to the Southern Highlands, taking its total since June to 24.

Three Shoalhaven cases under investigation

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Health officials are investigating the origin of three new COVID-19 cases in the Shoalhaven, which were announced today.

The three cases, all from the 2541 postcode, were not linked to any existing cases.

They were among eight new cases in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District reported during the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.

That included one case in the Kiama Local Government area, one in Shellharbour and three in Wollongong.

There have now been 2,369 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

At 8pm on Sunday there were 21 COVID-19 patients being treated in the district's hospitals.

Ups and downs in COVID case numbers

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While the Shoalhaven has been free of new COVID cases for 11 days, numbers in other areas of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District have been going through big changes.

Kiama had been without any new cases for weeks, but on Saturday three new cases were detected - one of them acquired interstate.

And this morning it was announced five new cases had been detected in Wollongong in the 24 hours to 8pm Sunday - the highest daily tally for more than two weeks.

All five were linked to known cases.

The volatility has resulted in health officials reminding people to remain vigilant for even the mildest of symptoms, and to continue to come forward for testing and vaccination.

At 8pm on Sunday there were seven COVID patients being treated in the district's hospitals.

During the same timeframe NSW recorded 180 new cases of COVID-19, and an unvaccinated woman in her 50s from south western Sydney died.

Across the state there are 202 COVID cases admitted to hospital, with 30 people in intensive care, 15 of whom require ventilation.

 

Vaccination rates given a jab in the arm

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About 87 per cent of eligible people in the Shoalhaven are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In fact all local government areas in south-eastern NSW have topped the 80 per cent double dose benchmark, and all except Wollongong are above the 95 per cent single dose figure.

Wollongong's single dose vaccination rate is 91.1 per cent, according to figures released by South Eastern Primary Health Network Coordinare.

When it comes to double dose rates Euroboalla leads the way in south-eastern NSW, with 93.3 per cent of its residents fully vaccinated, while Kiama and Upper Lachlan are also above 90 per cent double dose for eligible residents.

Higher vaccination rates have opened the door for travel between regional areas and Greater Sydney to resume on Monday, November 1.

 

 

Ward calls for jail time for COVID positive people caught out and about

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Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has called on the NSW Government to jail people who deliberately leave a place of isolation when they have tested positive for COVID-19.

Ward will write to the NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard recommending a maximum of one year in jail for this breach of the Public Health Orders.

If the NSW Government does not agree with this proposal, Ward has indicated introducing a Private Members Bill.

Ward will also request the common law offence of 'incitement' be listed under COVID penalties on the NSW Health website.

"A $5,000 fine just doesn't cut it," Ward said.

"A person who deliberately leaves a place of isolation when they have tested COVID-positive puts our community at risk.

"This is selfish, dangerous and unacceptable.

"We are clearly going to have to live with this virus for a very long time and we need penalties that reflect the severity of those who recklessly put our community at risk.

"A prison sentence reflects the seriousness of breaching an isolation direction.

"If you know you have COVID, it is totally unacceptable to put the rest of the community at risk by leaving isolation unless in the case of an emergency.

"A fine simply doesn't reflect the severity of leaving isolation and spreading this highly infectious virus.

The Member for Kiama said his proposal for a prison penalty would only apply to persons over 18.

An exemption would exist for persons who are participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme and fleeing family or domestic violence.

Whilst the NSW Health website lists penalties for breaches of the Public Health Orders, Ward said the Government needed to make clear that inciting people to breach the Public Health Orders could also constitute an offence.

"Those that incite or encourage people to breach the Public Health Orders also need to know that they can face possible penalties at law.

"Unlawful public gatherings from protests to parties risk the hard work of our public health officials and those that are doing the right thing; staying at home, getting tested and getting vaccinated.

"The offence of inciting a crime is still a common-law offence however, it has also been legislated in the Crimes Prevention Act 1916 (NSW) and s11.4 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

"Encouraging breaches are just as serious as those who breach them.

"By strengthening penalties for reckless behaviour and making the law clear, we can better support our frontline police and send a strong message that poor behaviour will not be tolerated," Ward said.

Image: Gareth Ward MP Facebook

Ward yet to be interviewed by Police over damaging allegations

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Kiama MP Gareth Ward is back advocating for his electorate in the wake of sexual violence allegations that surfaced via a journalist just over a month ago.

Ward is yet to be interviewed by police despite the allegations forcing him to step down from the Liberal party and as Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services.

"I haven't received any advice as to what the allegations are.

"They (Police) have a job to do and I'm not reflecting on that at all," Ward said.

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Ward denies any wrongdoing and has maintained that position since the allegations surfaced on May 13.

"These allegations were put to me by a journalist.

"How that journalist found out about those allegations is a matter for conjecture.

"I can't allow what might be happening in the background to detract me from the important work I have as a local member of parliament," he said.

Ward has a number of items on his work agenda.

He has launched a petition calling on the NSW government to allocate much needed funding to upgrade Bomaderry High in the state budget.

"I've still been working and I think because of what's been suggested through a journalist, obviously that carries with it a huge burden but I want people to know that I'm still working and still delivering as the local member.

"That's what I'll always continue to do while I've got the privilege of being the local member of parliament," he said.

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Ward said he would not seek out NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller to find out exactly where the investigation is at and what the allegations are.

"That would be entirely inappropriate.

"It's an independent Police investigation, that's a matter for Police," Ward said.

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The Premier was shocked and distressed by the claims but Ward wouldn't be drawn into revealing if and what support Gladys Berejiklian has offered him since.

"I'm not going to comment on what other people may or may not be doing.

"My focus is getting on with the job.

"Whatever may be happening in the background, that's a matter for those that are dealing with those matters.

"I'm not going to let it detract from my focus as the local member which is the job I love, the community I love and is what is so important to me right now and always will be," he said.

Ward laughed off a question about whether or not he will ever return to the Liberal party.

"Oh look, let's just see what happens with the investigation.

"As I say that's a matter for Police and I have every confidence and faith that they will thoroughly investigate," Ward said.

Written by Travis Winks

Images: Gareth Ward Facebook

 

 

 

 

Woman caught allegedly breaching public health orders for a fourth time during Dunmore blitz

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People still aren't getting the lockdown message.

The NSW Police Highway Patrol has issued more than 30 infringements including several to Sydneysiders during a traffic and COVID compliance operation on the Princes Highway at Dunmore last Saturday.

14 people were fined for breaching the public health orders including a 37-year-old woman and 41-year-old man from Campbelltown.

They were heading to Kiama without a reasonable excuse and were fined a thousand dollars each.

Police said checks revealed that it was the fourth time the woman has allegedly breached the orders.

A couple from Cronulla were also fined and directed to return home after attempting to travel to Nowra without a permit, while a 38-year-old man from Narellan Vale was also fined for travelling to the region without a valid reason.

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Police conducted 460 random breath tests during the blitz with one motorist awaiting the result of a secondary drug test.

Officers also issued 11 traffic infringement notices, two motorists were fined for speeding while four traffic-related charges were also laid.

Illawarra Highway Patrol said it plans to conduct similar operations in the future.

Images: Traffic and Highway Patrol Command