shoalhaven - 2ST

'Banned from one banned from all' launched across the Shoalhaven

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Police are supporting the Shoalhaven Liquor and Gaming Accord’s ‘banned from one, banned from all’ initiative across the South Coast Police District.

Shoalhaven Liquor Accord Chairman Garry Wilbraham said "From Wednesday 1 December 2021, licensed venues from Berry to Huskisson will be involved in the campaign that will deny entry to patrons who behave inappropriately in pubs and clubs across the Shoalhaven and refuse entry to those people at other licensed premises."

Acting Inspector Ryan Sheaff from South Coast Police District said "Police are supportive of initiatives that create a safer environment for patrons and staff.

Shoalhaven hotels and licensed clubs will network information and details about banned patrons to prevent them attending any licensed premises for up to five years for serious offences such as assaulting club staff or security officers.

Anyone carrying out illegal activity such as drug dealing at licensed premises will also face bans.

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“The ‘banned from one, banned from all’ initiative by the Shoalhaven Liquor Accord is a great idea for getting people to party safe and be socially responsible for their actions,” Acting Insp Sheaff said.

“Patrons who are going to play up at one venue can expect their night to end abruptly and find their options for socialising at licensed premises limited.”

Images: Peter Andrea

 

 

 

23 drug drivers nabbed in four-day blitz

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Of 1265 drivers tested during a four-day Police traffic blitz last week and over the weekend, 23 were found to have drugs in their system.

Officers from the Traffic Operations Group working with officers from the South Coast Police District conducting alcohol and drug testing at roadside locations in Nowra, Ulladulla, Batemans Bay and Eden.

A total of 2195 breath tests and 1265 drug tests were conducted and, of those tested, police say 23 drivers returned positive indications for drugs.

A 52-year-old male was stopped after trying to avoid the RBT site where he returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.241. He was charged with high range PCA and driving with a suspended licence.

Photo NSW Police.

3 Covid deaths for the Illawarra Shoalhaven

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There were 1142 positive COVID-19 test results (cases) notified for the 24 hour period to 4pm yesterday, including 408 positive PCR tests and 734 positive rapid antigen tests (RATs).

A breakdown of cases is provided below: 

  • 543 cases from Wollongong Local Government Area (LGA)
  • 235 cases from Shellharbour LGA
  • 305 cases from Shoalhaven LGA
  • 59 cases from Kiama LGA

NSW Health is today reporting the deaths of three people with COVID-19 from our Local Health District (LHD).Details are as follows: 

  • A female her in 60s from Wollongong LGA who was vaccinated against COVID-19
  • A male in his 80s from Wollongong LGA who was vaccinated against COVID-19
  • A female in her 90s from Wollongong LGA who was vaccinated against COVID-19

80K winds in Nowra overnight but help not needed

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The fierce wind has been keeping the SES busy over the weekend, but some relief in the Shoalhaven overnight.

There were 14 call outs for the SES at Moss Vale since 6pm yesterday... but none in the Shoalhaven.. despite gusts of up to 80kmph.

However JASON SIMMS from the SES says it's not over yet..."We're expecting the winds to come back up and reach damaging winds thresholds again, with the potential along the coastal areas including the Illawarra and the Shoalhaven. We're then expecting the winds to abate and ease failrly quickly into the late morning." 

Photo: For illustrative purposes only. Source: https://www.albany.marines.mil/Photos/igphoto/2002056839/

A glimpse of blue skies but the wet weather continues until mid next week

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A first peak at blue skies above the Shoalhaven this morning after a week of heavy rainfall.

The Weather Bureau has lifted the severe weather warning for the Shoalhaven as the slow moving off-shore low continues to weaken.

Weather Bureau forecaster Helen Reid "We are expecting to see an easing trend in weather across the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands during the next few days.

"There will be showers and thunderstorms and we do also need to be mindful there is still hazardous surf conditions, " she said.

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Ms Reid said, "Blue skies, doesn't everybody want blue skies but we can't expect them anytime soon."

She said, "Possibly on Thursday next week, we have a few days of rainfall and thunderstorms, some of those will be severe thunderstorms, but we are expecting maybe an easing trend towards the middle of next week."

Minor flooding is occurring along the Shoalhaven River.

The Shoalhaven River at Nowra peaked at 3.21 metres around 2:00 am Thursday and is currently at 2.69 metres and falling with minor flooding.

The Shoalhaven River at Terara peaked at 3.12 metres around 3:00 am Thursday and is currently at 2.56 metres and falling with minor flooding.

The Bureau of Meteorology it is expected that flood water may still impact low lying areas, roads and causeways including but not limited to:

🔹Shoalhaven Heads, Greenwell Point, Culburra- Orient Point

🔹Bolong Road to Broughton Ck Bridge and Burrier Road

🔹Shoalhaveen Ski Park and Coolendel Camping Reserve and Caravan Park

The Bureau said the Comerang Island Ferry Service is still impacted by this predicted flooding.

Images: Peter Andrea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A national strategy needed to control Feral Deer

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While Bambi might be a Disney darling, feral deer are running rampant across the  Shoalhaven.

The feral deer problem is so big, a website has been launched to support a National Feral Deer Action Plan.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said “Feral deer cause significant impacts on agriculture, the environment and are a road safety concern."

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Feral deer are estimated to cost land managers an average of $2,133 per year - per property for control measures.

Feral deer cause damage to Australia’s natural environment and agricultural businesses by trampling plants, grazing, and ring-barking young trees, fouling waterholes, causing soil erosion, spreading weeds, and potentially transmitting livestock diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease.

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Mr. Littleproud said "The new website will support the development and delivery of the National Feral Deer Action Plan, raise awareness of feral deer impacts, and provide strategies and tools for managing feral deer.

“It provides a platform for communities wanting to manage the impacts of feral deer in their local area and to share knowledge of what is and isn’t working, through videos, podcasts, and events. It will also provide access to news articles and updates on research findings," he said.

You can check out the plan here.

Images: Supplied

A nuclear plant for the Shoalhaven is again on the table

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During question time in Federal parliament yesterday Energy Minister and Member for Hume ANGUS TAYLOR said he had an open mind on the use of nuclear energy.

It follows a call this week by the Australian Nuclear Association for the construction of twenty nuclear energy plants and nominated potential sites including Shoalhaven & Jervis Bay as one of eighteen regions for nuclear power stations.

While Prime Minister Morrison has said nuclear power is not on his agenda..  Queensland MPs Keith Pitt and James McGrath have called for a parliamentary inquiry into the issue.

Labor Member for Gilmore FIONA PHILLIPS says she and the Shoalhaven community will never accept a Nuclear Power Plant being built here and has called on the government to clarify where it stands on nuclear power.

Photo: https://australianmap.net/jervis-bay/

A return to winter with wind, rain and storms forecast for the Shoalhaven

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The last of a beautiful Shoalhaven sunrise this morning for a few days at least with the weather about to change dramatically.

The Shoalhaven is in for a warm day with tops in the mid to high 20s before a cold front rips through the region later today.

The mercury will drop significantly as a gusty southerly with a possible thunderstorm and rain arrives.

Jiwon Park from the Weather Bureau said we could get up to 40 millimetres of rain later today.

"Local heavy rainfall is possible with any thunderstorm in the vicinity of the front.

Park said when the front arrives later today, the temperature will drop dramatically bringing with it a wintery blast.

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"Once the front moves through, a cooler southerly airstream will be dominating and the temperature will be dropping down to the low teens along the coast," he said.

More rain is forecast tomorrow with falls between 60 and 100 millimetres while a hazardous surf warning is also in place for the Illawarra coast.

Things will settle down on Wednesday with showers and wind easing.

Images: Joanne Cox & windy.com

A severe weather warning for damaging winds issued for the Shoalhaven

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The Bureau of Meteorology is warning a low-pressure system east of Tasmania will produce strong winds through the Shoalhaven On Wednesday.

Damaging winds, averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90 km/h are possible.

Winds will remain strong and gusty throughout Wednesday before easing Wednesday evening.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should,

* Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.

Image: Supplied

 

 

A Shoalhaven woman and two Shellharbour men the latest COVID-19 victims

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NSW Health is reporting a Shoalhaven woman and two men from Shellharbour are among the 30 people state-wide who have died from COVID-19 related illness in the 24 hours till 8pm yesterday.

The Shoalhaven woman was aged in her 80's and was vaccinated against Coronavirus.

The two Shellharbour men, one in his 70's, the other was in his 80's, were both vaccinated.

Across the Illawarra Shoalhaven local health district there are 659 positive COVID-19 cases notified for the 24 hour period to 8pm Monday, including 291 positive PCR tests and 368 positive rapid antigen tests.

There are 150 cases from the Shoalhaven, and  29 cases from the Kiama LGA.

There are 335 cases from the Wollongong Local Government Area and145 cases from the Shellharbour LGA.

Active COVID cases across the Illawarra Shoalhaven on the rise

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Across the Illawarra Shoalhaven region there are 423 active COVID-19 cases

According to Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District figures, 33 of those are in the Shoalhaven and 17 are in the Kiama area.

To the north of the Shoalhaven, there are 312 active Coronavirus cases in the Wollongong local government area and 61 in Shellharbour.

NSW Health said active cases are people who've tested positive for the virus, are in isolation and are being clinically monitored by authorities.

Infected patients are considered active for 14 days after their symptom onset date.

NSW Health said it remains vital that anyone who has any symptoms or is a close or casual contact of a person with COVID-19, isolates and is tested immediately. 

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The increase in COVID-19 infections has resulted in another COVID testing venue opening at the Milton Showground.

Other COVID Testing venues in the Shoalhaven are located at;

Bomaderry Histopath Drive-through & Walk-in Clinic

Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre Carpark.

90 Cambewarra Rd, Bomaderry.

8am-5pm - 7 days

NOTE - Altered hours in December & January:

25, 26, 27, 28 December - 8am-4pm

1, 3 January 2022 - 8am-4pm

 

Culburra Beach Histopath – Crookhaven Park 

Drive-through & Walk-in Clinic.

Culburra Oval Mini Fields Carpark (opposite Culburra Beach Tennis Courts)

Entry via Prince Edward Ave, Culburra Beach. 

8am - 3pm - 7 days

NOTE - Altered hours in December & January:

25, 26, 27, 28 December - 8am-4pm

1, 3 January 2022 - 8am-4pm

 

Gerringong 4Cyte Pathology Drive-Through

Gerringong Medical and Cosmetic Centre.

139 Belinda Street.

9am-3:30pm - Monday-Friday.

 

Kiama Laverty Drive-Through Pop-up Clinic

Netball Club behind Kiama Leisure Centre.

1 Havilah Place Kiama (entry via Terralong Street)

Note: no appointment, no doctor referral required.

8am-4pm - Monday-Friday.

8am-1pm Saturday-Sunday.

NOTE - Altered hours in December & January:

25, 26, 27, 28 December - CLOSED

29, 30, 31 December - 8am-12pm

1, 3 January 2022 - CLOSED.

 

Milton Ulladulla Hospital

106 Princes Highway.

T: 4454 9100

Note: no appointment, no doctor referral required.

Please bring your Medicare card with you.

8:30am-4pm - 7 days

 

Milton Histopath Drive-through & Walk-in Clinic

Milton Showground.

107 Croobyar Rd.

Note: no appointment, no doctor referral required.

Open 12pm-3pm, 20 December.

Then, 8am-3pm - 7 days

25, 26, 27, 28 December - CLOSED.

1, 3 January 2022 - CLOSED.

 

Nowra

Shoalhaven Hospital

2 Scenic Drive.

Location: Hospital in the Home (HITH) area.

T: 1300 002 108

Note: no appointment, no doctor referral required.

8:30am-12:30pm and 1.15pm - 4.30pm - 7 days.

NOTE - Altered hours in December & January:

25 December - CLOSED.

26, 27, 28 December - 8:30am-12:30pm

1 January 2022 - CLOSED.

 

Nowra Southern IML Pathology Drive-Through Clinic

57 Junction St.

Note: no appointment, no doctor referral required.

9am-5pm - Monday-Friday.

NOTE - Altered hours in December & January.

25, 26, 27, 28 December - CLOSED.

1, 3 January 2022 - CLOSED.

 

North Nowra Southern IML Pop up Drive-Through Clinic

Bernie Regan Sporting Complex, West Cambewarra Rd

(enter via Illaroo Rd)

Note: no appointment, no doctor referral required.

8am-3pm - 7 days

NOTE - Altered hours in December & January.

25, 26, 27, 28 December - CLOSED.

1, 3 January 2022 - CLOSED.

 

Nowra Showground Laverty Pop up Drive-Through Clinic

West St.

Note: no appointment, no doctor referral required.

8am-4pm - Monday-Friday.

8am-12pm - Saturday-Sunday.

NOTE - Altered hours in December & January:

25, 26, 27, 28 December - CLOSED.

29, 30, 31 December - 8am-12pm

1, 3 January 2022 - CLOSED.

 

Sanctuary Point Respiratory Clinic

195 Kerry Street.

T: 0478 799 400

Testing times vary daily.

 

St Georges Basin Southern IML Pathology Drive-through Clinic

St Georges Basin Sporting Complex.

Panorama Road (off Wool Rd)

8:30am-5pm – 7 days.

 

Sussex Inlet Histopath Drive-Through & Walk-in Clinic

Sussex Inlet Aquatic Centre, 21 Thomson St, Sussex Inlet .

8am-4pm – 7 days (including public holidays)

25, 26, 27, 28 December - 8am-4pm

1, 3 January 2022 - 8am-4pm,

 

Ulladulla Respiratory Clinic

114 Princes Highway.

T: 4455 5422

Note: Appointment required.

 

The Huskisson Southern IML Pop up Drive-Through Clinic is not currently operating.

 

Additional COVID-19 cases reported in the Shoalhaven and South Coast

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NSW Health has confirmed another two positive cases of COVID-19 in the Shoalhaven.

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Illawarra Health district website said the two cases are residents of Shoalhaven Local Government Area and investigations are ongoing.

A spokesperson could not provide details of what town or villages those cases are located at or whether they had been active in the community.

The two additional COVID-19 positives bring to four the number of active COVID-19 cases in the Shoalhaven after South Coast MP Shelly Hancock confirmed two positive cases in the Nowra area on Friday.

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Bega MP Andrew Constance today said via social media there had been one COVID-19 positive case confirmed in the Batemans Bay area.

Anyone with symptoms should come forward for COVID-19 testing.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore/scratchy throat and
  • shortness of breath.

New pop-up drive through COVID-19 testing clinics have been opened at;

Bomaderry Histopath Drive Through Clinic

Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre Carpark

90 Cambewarra Rd, Bomaderry NSW 2541

8am – 5pm – 7 days

Huskisson Southern IML Drive Through Clinic

Huskisson Scout Hall Carpark

Kioloa Street, Huskisson 2540

8am – 5pm – 7 days

Sussex Inlet Histopath - Drive-through Clinic

Sussex Inlet Aquatic Centre

21 Thomson St, Sussex Inlet

8am – 4pm – 7 days

For additional COVID-19 advice visit the Illawarra Shoalhaven District Health Facebook Page 

Images: Supplied & NSW Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After ten months, Wheelbarrow Road is open

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Wheelbarrow Road south of Ulladulla has re-opened following upgrade works undertaken by Shoalhaven City Council after the bushfires.

The works included the construction of a new and improved Wheelbarrow Road bridge over Lucy Kings Creek, Morton as well as seven-metre wide bitumen sealed surface along 2.3 kilometres of Wheelbarrow Road that were previously unsealed.  

The council-funded project cost $1.3 million and took 10 months to complete.  

The January bushfires destroyed the timber Wheelbarrow Road bridge, along with four other bridges in the Shoalhaven. 

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley says council has worked as quickly as possible to rebuild infrastructure damaged by the fires with more fire resilient replacements. 

“I’m delighted that in addition to a fire resilient bridge, the upgrades to Wheelbarrow Road will improve safety and access for residents and visitors to Morton,” she said. 

“The Wheelbarrow Road project included vegetation clearing, earthworks and road widening. It has taken time to secure funding, finalise tenders and arrange contracts but it has been worth the wait."

Aged care visits announced but Blue Haven is not in the loop

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The NSW State Government has announced visits to aged care or nursing home facilities will be allowed from the 11th of October.

The relaxation of the restrictions has been welcomed by family and friends of aged care and nursing home residents, who have been kept apart during the NSW Coronavirus lockdown.

At least one Shoalhaven aged care provider was unaware of the announcement by Premier Gladys Berejiklian during Wednesday's 11 am COVID-19 case update.

The Kiama Council-controlled Blue Haven aged care group declined to comment because it had not been officially informed by the State Government or NSW Health of the easing of the visitation restrictions.

A spokesperson said late yesterday afternoon, that it had " Just checked and no formal change to health orders yet."

The Blue Haven spokesperson indicated it would not comment until the NSW public health orders had been changed.

Image: sabinevanerp / 318 images Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alleged child molester arrested in the Shoalhaven

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A man will face Nowra court today over sexual touching and intimidation offences alleged to have occurred at a leisure centre.

Detectives from South Coast Police District commenced investigations after receiving reports two boys – aged 13 – had allegedly been assaulted and sexually touched by a man in a change room at a leisure centre in the Shoalhaven area.

Police will allege the offences took place on a number of occasions between October 2021 and February 2022.

Following inquiries, a 41-year-old man was arrested in the carpark of the leisure centre about 5pm Thursday  February 17.

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He was taken to Nowra Police Station, where he was charged with nine offences, including two counts of stalk/intimidate intend fear physical harm, two counts of willful and obscene exposure in/near public place/school,

He also faces four counts of common assault, and intentionally sexually touch child aged between 10 and 16 years.

The man was refused bail and will appear at Nowra Local Court today.

Images: Peter Andrea 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another COVID-19 victim reported in the Shoalhaven

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Health authorities have reported another COVID-19 related death in the Shoalhaven.

NSW Health said a male in his 80s from Shoalhaven Local Government Area who was vaccinated against COVID-19 has died..

There are 641 positive COVID-19 cases notified for the 20 hour period to 4pm on Tuesday, including 319 positive PCR tests and 322 positive rapid antigen tests.

There are 145 cases from the Shoalhaven Local Government Area and 32 cases from Kiama.

NSW Health has reported 352 cases from Wollongong and 112 cases from Shellharbour.

At 8pm Tuesday, there were 174 COVID-19 patients in Illawarra Shoalhaven Hospitals .

 

 

 

Another two COVID-19 venues of concern listed in the Shoalhaven

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NSW Health has named another two Coronavirus venues of concern in the Shoalhaven.

PETstock South Nowra at 2/142 Princes Highway is listed.

If you were at this venue on Wednesday, September 15 2021 between 9 am and 9.35 am then you should get tested immediately.

NSW Health advises you should self-isolate until you get a negative result.

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Australia Post at Shop 20, 73 Meroo Street Bomaderry has also been listed as a Coronavirus venue of concern.

If you were at this location on Monday, September 20 2021 between 1 pm and 1.30 pm you should get tested immediately.

NSW Health advises you should also self-isolate until you get a negative result.

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Visit the NSW Health website for other venues of concern notifications and further advice on COVID-19 precautions and testing sites.

Images: NSW Health

 

Art sale raises $25,000 for fire victims

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Fire victims themselves were among many that purchased works at the charity Coastal Creative Appeal art exhibition held at the Ulladulla Civic Centre over the long weekend.

Organiser Susan Curran says 480 people visited the exhibition which showcased more than 200 artworks, from textiles and pottery to paintings and sculptures - all donated to help victims of the Black Summer Bushfires.

More than $25,000 has been raised so far, with an additional $12,000 expected to flow in as a result of online sales.

Mr Curran says the art community has been very generous, with some fire victims purchasing stunning coastal-inspired works to install in their new homes.

“People lost everything in the fires and they wanted to have something beautiful to put on their walls when they rebuild,” Mrs Curran said.

“People were very keen to get in the door and we sold $10,000 worth of artwork in the first two hours.”

Each artist nominated a local recipient to receive the proceeds from their sale and Mrs Curran said funds raised form the sale of her pottery and textiles would assist her friend who lost her home in the Deua region near Moruya.

Mrs Curran put the call out to her huge networks of local and interstate artists to provide works for the exhibition and says she was overwhelmed by the response.

“We have so many local people that lost their homes in the fires and so many artists out there that wanted to help in some way, so it just made sense to have an exhibition,” she said.

As well as individuals and families, the Coastal Creative Appeal will also contribute to the Milton Public School P&C fund for fire affected kids, the Ulladulla Community Resource Centre, the Conjola Recovery Fund, Wires and Firesticks Alliance.

Remaining artworks will be available for sale via the Coastal Appeal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/coastal.appeal.3

Australia Day Awards for Shoalhaven achievers

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Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips,  congratulates the residents of Gilmore who have been bestowed an award in the Australian honours system.

Medal of the Order of Australia.

Ms Leonie Fleming from Ulladulla;

OAM.

For service to aged welfare, and to education.

Ms Patricia Hall from St Georges Basin;

OAM.

For service to the community of Liverpool.

The late Allan McDonald from Ulladulla;

OAM.

For service to the community.

Raymond Pearson from Basin View;

OAM .

For service to veterans and their families.

Meritorious Awards.

Carmel Donnelly from Lake Conjola;

Public Service Medal for outstanding public service to regulatory reforms in New South Wales.

Jennifer Lawther from Callala Beach;

Australian Fire Service Medal.

Military Awards, including Order of Australia in the Military Division.

Captain Simon Bateman from Gerringong;

Bar to the Conspicuous Service Cross.

For outstanding achievement in the development of the Australia-India bilateral defence relationship as the Australian Defence Adviser to India.

Lieutenant Commander Kate Carriage from South Nowra;

Conspicuous Service Medal.

For meritorious devotion to duty as the Naval Aviation Systems Program Office Deputy Chief Engineer between January 2019 and December 2020.

Lieutenant Michael Loring from Wrights Beach;

Conspicuous Service Medal.

For meritorious devotion to duty as the Staff Officer Safety in Shore Force

 

Awesome result for Shoalhaven Animal Shelter

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The Shoalhaven Animal Shelter has marked a milestone as it celebrates its first year in the hands of Shoalhaven Council.
Not one animal had to be put down, with all 598 animals including dogs, cats, roosters, sheep, a goat, a horse and a bird going to new homes.
Mayor Amanda Findley says it's a tribute to the hard working volunteers at the facility and the big hearts of the Shoalhaven community when it comes to adopting new pets.
Photo source: https://www.maxpixel.net/Sky-Silhouette-Sunset-Dogs-Back-Light-Animals-2222801

Babies could be putting us to shame

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There are around 4500 babies born in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District each year, and they could be putting the rest of us to shame when it comes to keeping fit.

If you've ever wondered just how much movement your little one does, Huggies has found the answer.

They've researched just how much bubs aged between six and 36 months move and the numbers are staggering.

The data has revealed that little ones are walking up to four times more than adults a day, taking a staggering 17,448 steps, which is the equivalent of climbing the Sydney Harbour bridge six times.

With 1,710 different moves per hour, bubs are doing more reps than an average 45-minute circuit class, the research found.

Bubs are doing a range of movements, with a daily average of 5,280 crawl steps, 2,640 commando crawls, 1,440 bum shuffles and 720 climbs.

The research also showed that little ones clock up an impressive 2,400 daily leg kicks which is 20 times more kicks than the average soccer player makes during a game.

Image: 2ST News

Baby turtles lose their way in storms

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An influx of Loggerhead Turtle hatchlings  have been found washed up on beaches along the South Coast as a result of the wild weather and rough seas.

Beachgoers are being asked to report any stranded turtles to the South Coast Branch of Australian Seabird Rescue on 0431 282 238.

People should try and stay with the hatchling until a rescuer arrives, or place the baby gently in an opened container or box with a towel or something soft beneath it.

Australian Seabird Rescue advises people not attempt to put turtles back in the water, to keep pets and children away and mininilaise human interaction with the hatchling.

Do not attempt to give it any food or water.

For larger sea turtles, do not attempt to move them as you risk causing injury. 

Loggerhead Turtles are normally found in tropical and temperate waters off the Australian coast, as far south as Jervis Bay, but heavy seas may have forced the youngsters further south.

Photo Australian Seabird Rescue

Barrengarry Mountain to re - open

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The wait will soon be over for motorists trying to get to the Shoalhaven or Highlands via Barrengarry Mountain.

The section of Moss Vale Road is set to re - open at 5 tomorrow arvo, in time for school holiday traffic.

The road will open to two lanes at this section with two lengths of single lane access open under traffic control while restoration work continues.

A reduced speed limit of 40 km/h will be in place where work is continuing and the remainder of the road will open with the normal speed limit of 60.

Repair work has included more than 2,500 tonnes of rock fill, around 100 square metres of reinforcing mesh and concrete, and more than 50 soil nails.

Planning work to restore full access on Cambewarra Mountain is continuing.

Image: Gareth Ward via Facebook

Beaked whale dies on Gerringong beach

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Rescuers were unable to save a beaked whale stranded on Warri Beach at Gerringong yesterday.

In challenging conditions, ORRCA members were called out to a live stranding at the southern end of the beach, however the whale died by the time rescue crews arrived,

According to ORRCA, the conditions were rough and the currents were too strong to secure the whale.

A large wave rolled in and the sea reclaimed mammal before a full assessment could be carried out.

ORRCA is asking anyone in the Kiama, Gerringong, Gerrora and Shoalhaven to keep an eye out for the whale as it could wash ashore in the coming days.

As with all marine mammals, they are protected in Australian waters and even though this animal is deceased, it is valuable from a scientific research point of view.

ORRCA spokes person Jools Farrell says it's unusual to find a beaked whale on the South Coast.

She says if anyone sees the whale floating in the shallows, they should not enter the water or attempt to pull it ashore.

"Even if it's on the beach, they must not touch the whale as they can carry diseases," she said.

"They need to call ORRCA and we can contact National Parks," she added.

It's believed the whale could have been travelling in a small pod, but ORRCA is unsure of the type of beaked whale as there are around 32 different species. They feature a beak-type nose and the males have tusks.

If you do come across this or any other stranded, injured, or entangled whale or dolphin please call the ORRCA Rescue Hotline on 9415 3333 and report it asap.

The stranding follows the death of a rare Blainville’s Beaked Whale at Coffs Harbour two days ago.

Berrara blue tree to start the conversation

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Blue trees at Cudmirrah Beach and the Sussex Inlet Golf Course are trending on social media this summer, but the artworks aren't just beautiful, they carry a serious message.

RUOk? ambassador and part-time Berrara resident Garry Sims, says by snapping and sharing photos of the blue trees, with the hash-tag RUOk? people are raising awareness of suicide in Australia.

He took a photo of the blue beach tree yesterday which attracted more than 100 comments, but Mr Sims says many people didn't know  what the artwork was all about.

"A lot of people commented that they found the tree very striking, but didn't know what was about, so it started the conversation," he said.

"We need people to be talking about mental health and asking RUOk?

"Sharing photos of the blue trees is really a way of taking a message and making it go viral."

Mr Sims, a police officer, says the Blue Tree Project is taking off around the country and highlights the eight people, on average, that take their own life every day in Australia.

He says no part of the community is immune to suicide.

"In my work in NSW police, I see the tragedy that suicide causes - friends, families, workmates all suffer.

"We have to do something to prevent the loss of Australian lives."

Mr Sims says we need to make people realise that a conversation can change a life.

"There are a lot of people at the moment, for a number of reasons, dealing with mental health issues.

"These visual type of signs, such as the Blue Tree Project, make people think about how important it is to have a conversation.

"It's a very simple project, and it's just as simple for a conversation to start by asking Are You OK?"

To find out more about the project go to https://www.bluetreeproject.com.au/

If you need help, call Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline 13 11 14.

Photo Garry Sims.

Berry named the state's top tourism small town as Shoalhaven dominates

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There are celebrations in Berry after it was named the State's top tourism small town in the NSW Top Tourism Towns awards for 2022 earlier today.

In fact the Shoalhaven dominated the awards, with Berry winning one of the three categories, and Huskisson and Ulladulla finishing runners-up to Carcoar and Mudgee in the other two.

The judges noted Berry is a friendly and historic town that offers visitors many activities and attractions, including a mouth-watering array of fabulous gourmet restaurants to award winning wineries, unique homewares shops and boutiques, as well as well-appointed accommodation provided by a passionate tourism community.

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley congratulated the communities of Berry, Huskisson and Ulladulla for being recognised in the prestigious awards.

"We live in the most beautiful place and wish Berry all the best for the Australian Tourism Awards as they battle it out against the states," she said.

"We are incredibly proud of our communities and businesses for their achievement and commitment to providing a welcoming and vibrant town for both locals and visitors to enjoy.”

Berry Chamber of Commerce and Tourism President Louise Hallum said the whole town was "humbly proud" after winning the award.

“Berry is beyond thrilled to have even been part of NSW's Top Tourism Town Awards," she said.

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"It really does recognise the passion with which our Berry locals share their absolute love of what they do.

"Berry is blessed with stunning bucolic scenery and oodles of village charm, but it is the unique events, fantastic accommodation, specialist shopping, exceptional dining and winery experiences that are all delivered with legendary Berry hospitality that ultimately makes Berry such a special, truly memorable place to visit and be," Ms Hallum said.

It was a sentiment echoed by Shoalhaven Council Tourism Mananger Coralie Bell.

“We are thrilled for Berry to be bringing home the gold for the competitive NSW Top Tourism Town Awards and equally proud of all six of our Shoalhaven towns who received highly commended or secured a finalist spot back in April," she said.

"Being recognised as winners and finalists emulates the passion our business operators have for growing and developing our visitor economy.”

More than 12,000 people voted for this year’s Top Tourism Towns awards from a list of 30 finalists, with the winners announced at the Local Government NSW Destination and Visitor Economy Conference in Orange this week.

Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Minister for Tourism and Sport and Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the winners captured the essence and uniqueness of the state’s tourism offering.

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“The incredible natural beauty and warm welcome that awaits in the Top Tourism Towns of NSW fulfill the compelling promise of the NSW Government’s Feel New tourism campaign,” Mr Ayres said.

“We know travellers want more than a checklist of things to see. They want experiences that inspire, amaze and revitalise."

He said Berry was a vibrant example of the unique attributes of regional NSW that set the state apart from other visitor destinations and leave a lasting impression.

NSW Tourism Industry Council Executive Manager Greg Binskin said the awards celebrated towns with a population under 1500, between 1500 and 5000, and a population over 5000 residents.

“Berry, Small Town winner, was admired as a gorgeous town between the mountains and the sea, with its greenery and gardens equalled only by the stunning historic homesteads and abundance of amazing shopping," he said.

The awards are managed by the NSW Tourism Industry Council, with tourism associations, local councils, local chambers and visitor information centres collaborating to enter their towns.

Carcoar, Berry and Mudgee will represent NSW at the Australian Top Tourism Town Awards later in the year. 

Images: NSW Top Tourism Town Awards 2022

Berry rider wins silver as Matildas are denied a shot at gold in Tokyo

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Berry rider Shane Rose has won a silver medal at the Olympics after teaming up with equestrian great Andrew Hoy and Kevin McNab to finish second in the team eventing.

Our boys held their never in the jumping to hold off France while Great Britain claimed the gold.

Rose now has three medals from as many Olympics, adding last night's silver to his Rio eventing bronze and Beijing silver.

The 48-year-old placed 10th in the individual while veteran Aussie and eight-time OIympain, Hoy scored bronze. 

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Shellharbour soccer star Cailtin Foord will be playing for bronze in Tokyo after the Matildas dream run came to an end with a 1-nil loss to Sweden.

Skipper Sam Kerr had a goal controversially disallowed just before half-time before Sweden took the lead early in the second half.

Our girls now face defending Olympic champs the USA who were upset by Canada 1-nil.

Former Warilla high school student, Jye Edwards makes his Olympic debut in the athletics this morning when he contests the 1500 metres heats.

The 23-year-old is ranked 22nd in the world over the distance and will run in the second heat at 10.16am AEST.

Images: Australian Equestrian Team Facebook and Football Australia

Beware of Christmas sale scams

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With only a month until Christmas, Scamwatch is warning South Coast residents to be careful when buying gifts online this holiday season.

Losses to online shopping scams have increased 42 per cent this year, with almost $7 million in reported losses.

The ACCC says scammers are now targeting people doing their Christmas shopping, including in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, with fake websites that look like genuine online stores, fake ads on classified websites such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree.

Fake sale of pets has accounted from more than $2 million in losses, followed by shoes, vehicles and phones.

According to Scamwatch, reports of online shopping scams involving consumer goods, such as shoes, phones, computers and toys, continue to be high, but the most common thing people were trying to buy when they were scammed was puppies and other pets.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said people aged 24 and under reported the highest number of scams involving phones and computers.

“Watch out for popular products being sold at prices much lower than on other websites and sellers requesting payment through direct bank transfer or cryptocurrency,” Ms Rickard said.

“Take the time to consider who you are dealing with and don’t be pressured by special offers.”

“Do your research by checking independent reviews of online stores or the seller’s history on classified websites.”

Another scam to be aware of if you have made recent purchases online is fake parcel delivery notifications via text message or email.

“Australia Post will never ask you to click a link to enter your personal details, nor will they ask for credit card details or a fee to deliver your packages,” Ms Rickard said.

“If you have been the victim of a scam, contact your bank as soon as possible and contact the platform on which you were scammed to inform them of the circumstances.”

Most financial institutions offer a charge back service for credit cards and will dispute a credit transaction with the merchant if they still exist.

More information on scams is available on the Scamwatch website, including how to make a report and where to get help.

Photo ACCC

Bong Bong Road residents say no to resort plan

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Residents of Bong Bong Road at Broughton Vale claim the size, design and density of a proposed tourist resort at the end of their country lane is not in keeping with the rural amenity of the area.

Shoalhaven City Council will consider a development application for the tourist cottages, with capacity for more than 60 people, plus a function pavillion that could accommodate around 250 guests.

Spokesperson for residents, Wendy Priddle, describes the resort plan as a "high density urban style development" that will "destroy the natural environment and have a detrimental social impact on the lives of nearby residents".

She claims the proposal includes plans for additional development, which would bring the total number of cabins to 21.

"There is strong opposition, for many reasons, throughout the wider Berry community, to this totally inappropriate development application," Ms Priddle said.

"Particularly residents from Bong Bong Road and Mount Hay Road, which adjoins Bong Bong Rd, as well as Woodhill Mountain Rd who overlook the development."

Shoalhaven councillor John Wells, who has met with neighbouring residents onsite, says the level of community concern means the proposal should go to full council for determination.

Brazen thieves target wire at sports fields

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Shoalhaven City Council is asking residents to notify NSW Police of any suspicious activity at sportsfields in the region following wire being stolen from floodlights at four facilities.

Access to the sportsgrounds will be restricted until the lights can be repaired.

At Huskisson Sportsground, the protective steel cover had been removed wiring stolen, wire cables were removed from the pits and poles at St Georges Basin Soccer Fields (pictured) and several hundred metres of underground cabling was removed from The Wool Lane Sportsfield.

The Crookhaven Rugby League Field at Culburra Beach also had all of its underground cables removed, along with cables removed from the plastic conduit on all light towers.

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley says council has advised a number of sports user groups that they will be unable to use the sportsfields until the grounds can be declared operational again.

“We take theft seriously and we are asking local communities to assist us by reporting any suspicious activity via phone or online to Crime Stoppers," she added.

Anyone with information should contact Crime stoppers on 1800 333 000

Photo Shoalhaven City Council

Burn off - Shoalhaven  

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The RFS is continuing to prepare for bushfires.

They say hazard reductions don't remove the threat of fire and it doesn't remove the need for you and your family to be prepared.

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If there is a hazard reduction burn planned for your area, take the following steps:

Keep doors and windows closed to prevent smoke entering homes
Keep outdoor furniture under cover to prevent ember burns
Retract pool covers to prevent ember damage
Remove washing from clotheslines
Ensure pets have a protected area
Vehicles must slow down, keep windows up, turn headlights on
Sightseers must keep away from burns for their own safety
If you have asthma or a lung condition, reduce outdoor activities if smoke levels are high and if shortness of breath or coughing develops, take your reliever medicine or seek medical advice.

Photos: NSW RFS

Bushfire hub to re-open in Ulladulla

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Bushfire affected residents in the southern Shoalhaven will be able to access further support with the opening of the Shoalhaven Recovery Hub in Ulladulla this week.

The Shoalhaven Recovery Hub, coordinated by Shoalhaven City Council, will open its doors from Thursday 4 February 2021.

The hub will operate out of the Ulladulla Civic Centre and will open weekly on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturday mornings.

On hand will be the Council Bushfire Recovery Outreach team together with service providers and agencies.

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley says a lot has happened over the past 12 months, it has not been easy with COVID-19 restrictions and hopes opening the hub will make it easier for community members to access support and feel comfortable to visit for a coffee and a chat.

“Council remains committed to supporting bushfire affected residents in the community," Cr Findley said.

'Everyone is at a different stage of the recovery journey. That is why we want to ensure there is a space that people can come to connect and reach out for support.

“Whilst COVID-19 saw the closure of some recovery outreach services, Council has continued to aid the community through its dedicated Bushfire Recovery Helpline.

"The Bushfire Recovery Outreach team has received thousands of calls since it started in June 2020.

“I encourage the community to drop into the Hub and connect with Council’s Bushfire Recovery Outreach team.

"You can also talk with a number of service providers and agencies such as Barnardos for advice, support and information as well as referrals for health, wellbeing and financial support.

“You can call council’s dedicated Bushfire Recovery Helpline between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday on 4429 5888 our team is here to listen and to help.”

Council will have in place a COVID-safe plan and practices for the Hub to ensure public safety.

The Shoalhaven Recovery Hub’s opening hours will be: 

  • Thursdays, 10.30am – 4.00pm
  • Fridays, 10.30am – 4.00pm
  • Saturdays, 10.00am – 1.00pm

Businesses welcome visitor influx equal to summer

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After a devastating start to the year, Southern Shoalhaven businesses are relishing an influx of visitors, with tens of thousands of holiday makers providing a much-needed boost to the local economy over the school holiday period.

Many business owners say the October long-weekend was busier than the peak Christmas holiday period as visitors from Sydney and Canberra made the most of a short beach break after months of Covid-19 restrictions.

Belinda Brown from Allure on Ocean Motel in Mollymook said the long weekend was the busiest she had experienced in a decade, with visitors lapping up the fantastic beach weather, and also spending up in local shops and eateries.

“It was definitely busier than the last three Christmas periods,” she said.

“We were booked out well in advance and had to turn people away.”

Belinda said, with limits on live entertainment, visitors were making the most of the local beaches, shopping in Ulladulla and Milton, and were treated to a spectacular display by large pods of whales with “perfect timing”.

“People were eating out at the clubs, cafes and restaurants and many people told me they wanted to spend their money locally to support our economy,” she said.

“Some people came back and used their credit after their summer holidays were cancelled during the fires.”

Belinda said in general people were “more mindful” and observed by Covid-19 restrictions.

“I think people are getting used to living with covid,” she said.

“People were happy to book ahead at a restaurant or wait longer for a table at a café.”

Nearby, Matthew Forbes from Mollymook Surfbeach Motel says many visitors booked at the last minute, perhaps waiting for a change to travel restrictions.

“This has been the busiest October school holidays in the last eight years,” he said.

“We have had a mix of visitors from the ACT and Sydney enjoying the perfect weather.”

Milton village was bustling with shoppers and diners according to David Johnson from the Milton Promotions Committee.

“It was a huge long weekend, with lots of people holidaying at home, and many saying they had come down to support the area after all the dramas of the bush fires and covid,” David said.

“The crowds were as big as Christmas time – which was great.”

Mollymook Surf Club also recorded bumper summer holiday crowds with thousands flocking to the beach, but observing covid regulations and keeping their distance

Further south, Colin Bailie from the boutique Pebbly Beach Escape hosted 30 guests and is expecting another influx after the Murramarang National Park opened on Tuesday after being closed for 10 months due to the impact of the Currowan bush fire.

Photo: Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club

 

Bypass meeting at Burrill Lake tonight

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 Transport NSW has released its preferred route for the Milton-Ulladulla Bypass and it has been met with a mixed response from the community.

The route follows a corridor from Little Forest Road north of Milton, west of Ulladulla and Milton townships and re-joins the Princes Highway at Canberra Crescent, just north of Burrill Lake.

While residents and business owners in Ulladulla and Milton have been lobbying for a bypass for more than 20 years, and are happy to finally see some progress, there are concerns about the preferred route.

Following community feedback provided in March and April 2020, a number of bypass options were developed by Transport NSW including bypassing Milton and Ulladulla, extending the bypass to include Milton, Ulladulla and Burrill Lake and further extending the bypass to include Lake Tabourie.

According to Transport NSW, the options were evaluated and on balance the existing corridor in the Shoalhaven LEP was found to best achieve the objectives of the project and Princes Highway upgrade program.

However, the proposal has been met with outrage by Burrill Lake residents who claim the plan to funnel traffic into the village would increase the already congested roads during peak periods.

A meeting will be held tonight (Thursday) at 6pm at 32 Lakeview Drive Burrill Lake where the community will form a battle plan to have the bypass constructed to the west of their village.

Burrill Lake Residents Association Ian Carroll invites people to attend the meeting and have their says on what he says is the most important issue the village will face in the next 100 years.

State member for South Coast Shelley Hancock, who was a Shoalhaven City Councillor when the original route was mooted in the 1990s, agrees the preferred option is not the best option.

“I think the original route at the time was ok, but so much has changed since then,” Mrs Hancock said.

“We have a new Burrill Lake bridge and here we have an exit at Canberra Crescent – and this my concern.”

Mrs Hancock said she spoke to Transport Minister Paul Toole yesterday, and raised the concerns of Burrill Lake residents.

She is encouraging Transport NSW to rethink the preferred option and encourages residents to have their say via the online survey.

“If we have to go back to the drawing board, we have to go back to drawing board,” she said.

“In this day and age you can't have a bypass exiting at Burrill Lake.”

Shoalhaven City Council Patricia White says many people are very happy to see the bypass moving forward, however she understands the frustration of the Burrill Lake community, especially considering the recent growth of the village.

“There are more people living in Dolphin Point and Burrill Lake now, and that’s a fact,” she said.

“We have to look at whether this is the right place for the road and, if it is, we have to look at the best outcomes.”

Transport NSW says the preferred option would maximise the amount of traffic using the bypass, including heavy vehicles, and provide the most opportunities to connect to town centres, businesses, services, homes and local roads compared to other options assessed.

“This would provide smoother and more reliable journeys day-to-day throughout the community,” The Transport NSW report says.

“It would also provide opportunities to enhance the character and liveability of the area, support sustainable economic growth and improve safety for transport users. This option would have lower impacts to environmentally sensitive areas, avoiding greater impacts to native vegetation and wetlands.

“Our plan for the Princes Highway is for safer, more reliable and better connected journeys to the Victorian border.

“Transport for NSW is planning further work to understand the future needs and performance of the Princes Highway south of the preferred strategic corridor.

“This will include consideration of improvements as part of the Burrill Lake to Batemans Bay upgrade project.

Transport NSW is seeking feedback via a number of options.

Complete the online survey.

Have your say by Sunday 20 December, 2020.

Have a question? Join us online via Facebook Live

Meet the project team and ask your questions during our online Q&A.

Date: Monday 7 December, 2020

Time: 2pm-2:30pm

Register: facebook.com/NSWRoads/events

The session will also be recorded and posted to this webpage.

You can also contact the project team via:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 1800 719 759

Mail: Milton Ulladulla bypass project team,
PO Box 477, Wollongong, NSW.

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For more information on how the preferred option was selected, read the preferred strategic corridor option report (PDF, 7.51Mb) and our Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 1.16Mb).

Call for comment on Hitchcocks Lane Berry rezoning

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Shoalhaven City Council is seeking community feedback on a proposal to rezone land south of Hitchcocks Lane in Berry to permit new housing development.

The land is on the western side of the Princes Highway, south of Hitchcocks Lane, adjacent to the Huntingdale Park residential estate. The proposal is now open for public comment with submissions accepted until 8 January 2021.

The Planning Proposal seeks to rezone approximately 11 hectares of rural land to the R2 Low Density Residential zone. The land is identified as a potential residential growth area in the Shoalhaven Growth Management Strategy (GMS) 2014.

The proposed changes to the local environmental plan (LEP) would allow subdivision of the land into up to approximately 150 new housing lots ranging in size from 700 m2 to 350 m2. Allowing for a limited amount of smaller lots is intended to encourage smaller homes to provide more housing choices and opportunities for the local community.

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley said, “Berry is a very popular place to visit and to move to, and state and local strategic plans identify this land as a potential location for housing growth. We also know the local community wants to protect the character qualities that make Berry such an attractive place.”

The proposed R2 Low Density Residential zone allows for mostly detached single houses. Providing a mix of lots sizes encourages housing variety, including two, three and four-bedroom homes to cater for a wide range of household needs and aspirations.

Council is also seeking feedback on a draft development control plan (DCP) that will support the proposed LEP changes and promote high quality design outcomes. The draft DCP focuses on promoting development that is compatible with Berry’s local character while also protecting the distinctive landscape views of the area.

The draft planning controls include the provision of landscape screening on the southern and eastern edges of the land, while also increasing landscaping opportunities within the future subdivision.

“The proposals are at a point where the Berry community can have their say on them before they are finalised and enable more detailed future residential subdivision applications.  Any feedback received will be considered by Council as part of the finalisation of the Planning Proposal and DCP,” said Clr Findley.

The proposal is open for comment via Council’s website getinvolved.shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au/projects/hitchcocks-lane.

Photo supplied.

Call for govt to follow Shoalhaven's lead on renewable energy

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Federal Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips has told Parliament that Shoalhaven is leading the way when it comes to renewable energy innovation and she is calling for the Morrison Government to "step up and do the same".

She said Shoalhaven City Council's Reclaimed Water Management System will be up and running in about 12 months, with South Coast dairy farmers leading the way on energy in Australia.

"In March I've spent a lot of time talking with organisations about energy. I learnt so much, and I was so proud of what I saw," she said.

"I met with Phil from Innovate Energy at farmer Tim's farm-  one of the farms involved in Australia's first biogas waste energy plant, near Nowra.

"I've spoken about our cow poo energy project before, but I'm just so excited about it that I can't stop talking about it.

"Local farmers have been pushing to do this for years, and now it's becoming a reality.

"I got a first-hand run-through from Phil and Tim.

"There's another plant on its way, at Kangaroo Valley."

Mrs Phillips says Repower Shoalhaven's solar farm project, partnered with Flow Power, is looking to be up and running by the end of the year.

"Local businesses are excited to be involved, and it won't be long before the Shoalhaven solar farm becomes a real staple in our local energy market," she said.

"I also met with the South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance in Moruya to talk about how they are helping the Far South Coast community become more energy resilient.

"They are focusing on strengthening the grid locally and, in only five days, they managed to secure 860 signatures in support of a feasibility study into microgrids across the Eurobodalla.

"This is remarkable, and it just goes to show that local people want to see us looking to our energy future and formulating a plan now that will help us build that future that will have all those mutual benefits for communities—job creation, lower power bills and addressing climate change."

Mrs Phillips says we are "facing one of the greatest challenges of our time, and the Morrison government is wasting precious time with its inaction".

"We need a clear and coherent energy plan, and we need it now," she added.

"We are getting closer and closer to a real energy crisis.

"We know some of the ways we can address that crisis but, without guidance and support from the government, industry will continue to be backed against a wall.

"Moving towards a renewable energy future also holds a wealth of opportunity.

"What frustrates me more than anything with this government's failure on energy is the opportunity for job creation that we are wasting.

"These industries won't pop up overnight. We won't suddenly become 100 per cent reliable on renewables tomorrow.

"What we are talking about is a transition, and transitions take time.

"They take careful planning—making sure we help those who are moving out of old industries at the same time that we are helping people move into new ones."

Photo Repower Shoalhaven

Callala wetland boardwalk to link villages

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Callala Beach and Callala Bay residents are calling for Shoalhaven City Council to construct a shared pathway or boardwalk to link the two villages.

Councillor Patricia White presented a petition with 1,785 signatures to last week’s council meeting

With the proposed O’Halloran housing development, the new motel and surging tourist numbers, residents say a link between villages is urgently needed, especially considering increased traffic flow along a very narrow Callala Beach Road. 

Cr White says she was approached by residents and community groups that had come up with the "great plan" to connect the two villages.

"There is quite a bit of natural wetland out there and they've asked for a boardwalk over the wetland to provide a more direct link between the two villages," she said.

"We've got some developments happening, including a new subdivision at Callala Bay, and the club at Callala Beach is putting in an application for some great new accommodation.

"With a lot of people walking to Club Callala and walking to the beach from Callala Bay, they wanted an alternative route. 

"I'm hoping that council will include this project in the next round of grant funding that becomes available."

Photo Shoalhaven Tourism.

 

 

CEO identifies Shoalhaven's biggest challenges

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Shoalhaven council's new CEO STEPHEN DUNSHEA says infrastructure and coping with the massive influx of tourists every year remains the region's major challenges.

He says while the work on the highway has been very welcome, it's also made the journey from Sydney to the Shoalhaven easier and quicker.

MR DUNSHEA says at last count we were getting 3-million visitors a year and that's only going to grow.. leaving the city with the challenge of how to cope with that.." Doing so and balancing it with the natural environment, which is the very reason that we all choose to live here and the very reason why all these tourists want to come here. So it's managing that growth, providing for that infrastructure, but doing it in a very considered and sympathetic way to our beautiful natural environment that we have here. It is a challenge!" 

Photo: STEPHEN DUNSHEA. Source: 2st/Power news stock

Coast COVIDsafe website launched

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Councils on the South Coast NSW have launched a public awareness campaign calling on visitors and residents to stay COVIDsafe over the Summer holidays.  

The Stay COVIDSafe on the South Coast campaign was developed in partnership with Shoalhaven City Council, Kiama Municipal Council, Shellharbour City Council and Wollongong City Council.  

The media campaign includes  advertising across the local government areas on commercial television, radio and social media to get the message out to residents and visitors in the region.  

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Amanda Findley says the message is simple...

"We want everyone to enjoy their time over the summer, whether it's in your home, at your local beach, pool or park – do your bit to stop COVID in its tracks.  

“If you head to the local beach, pool or park plan ahead to avoid disappointment. You can find information on changes in place on your local Council’s website,” Cr Findley said.  

 “Stay socially distanced, observe limits on gathering numbers, follow directions from our lifeguards and other authorities and respect those who are out there working to keep our community safe this summer."

When visiting your local Pool, Beach or Park, there’s a few things you can do:

  • Avoid disappointment by being aware of all restrictions that are in place
  • Remain a towel-length (1.5m) apart from anyone not from the same household
  • Minimise the use of communal facilities
  • 'Swim & Go!'
  • If you are unwell, stay at home or in your accommodation, and organise to get tested at the nearest testing clinic.

For more information go to: https://shoalhavenssf.com.au/covidsafe

Coastal wind and surf warning for Illawarra to Eden

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The weather bureau has issued a gale warning for the coastline from the Illawarra down south to the Eden Coast.

These conditions will extend into Friday.

The Bureau said beach conditions in these areas could be dangerous and people are advised to stay well away from the surf and surf exposed areas.

 

 

 

Council to help Albatross theatre group find a home

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Due to a lack of income, following the covid-cancellation of three big shows, the Albatross Musical Theatre Company is urgently seeking a new home.

The theatre group can no longer afford to rent their large shed in Bomaderry which has been used for rehearsals and set building for many years.

The will have to vacate in April and are desperate to find another venue ahead of their next show, Alice in Wonderland.

The group is hoping to secure a low-cost shed, big enough to hold sets and to construct a full-size stage - the same as that used in the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre.

There must also be room for a cast of up to 70 to rehearse and, at times, a large orchestra will also need to rehearse. The venue needs to have toilet facilities, storage rooms and off-street parking.

Shoalhaven City Councillors last night voted to support a Notice of Motion calling for council to assist in the search for a new, affordable home for the group.

ATM committee member Julie Frazer says AMTC has been operating in the Shoalhaven for 45 years and desperately needs to find a suitable venue so their shows can go on.

"It's getting pretty dire," she said.

"If we can't find somewhere to build and store our sets, and rehearse for Alice in Wonderland, we won't be able to go ahead.

"If we can't find a space, there's a chance AMTC will not be able to continue."

Mrs Fraser said the group puts on around three professional shows at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre each year, however covid restrictions prevented the 2020 shows from going ahead, costing the group thousands of dollars in income.

She says they don't want to downsize or compromise the quality of future shows, so a large practice venue is a must.

"We hope council can help us find a venue, so we can proceed with Alice in Wonderland in July," she added.

Photo AMTC

 

 

Counterfeit currency circulating the Shoalhaven

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Police are urging the community to be on the lookout for counterfeit money circulating the Shoalhaven.

People should be on the lookout for counterfeit $50 and $100 notes.

Anyone who is handed one of these notes is asked to contact Police.

Tips in determining a fake or genuine note:

  • Genuine notes are made of plastic and will bounce back if scrunched in your hand.
  • Check the clear window, it should be part of the banknote, not an addition.
  • You shouldn’t be able to scratch the white image on the window of $20, $50 or $100 notes.
  • When you hold the banknote to the light, you should see the Australian Coat of Arms.
  • Look for the ‘star’; diamond-shaped patterns are printed inside a circle on both sides of the banknote. When you hold it up to the light, the patterns should line up perfectly to form a seven-pointed star.
  • The printing should be sharp. Check for irregularities such as less clearly defined patterns, and thicker or thinner lines, or colour differences.
  • If you hold the note under a magnifying glass, you should see tiny, clearly defined words.
  • Overall, genuine banknotes don’t fluoresce, apart from the serial number and special patches that do fluoresce under UV light.

Police advise when checking a banknote, inspect a range of features from the list above and don’t rely on just one or two features.

Anyone with information about this incident should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

Image: NSW Police

COVID-19 multiple Shoalhaven venues of concern

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NSW Health has been notified of a number of new casual contact venues of concern associated with confirmed cases of COVID 19.

If you were at a casual contact venue at the time and date listed here, immediately get tested and isolate until you get a negative result, even if you have had a test in recent days.

If your date of exposure at this venue occurred in the past four days, you must get another test on day five from the date of exposure.

Wear a mask around others and limit your movements until you get another negative result, and continue to monitor for symptoms, getting tested again if any symptoms occur.

NSW Health has provided the following information - 

Pizza Hut Nowra

Shop 1/78 Kinghorne Street

Tuesday 28 September 2021, 6:45pm to 6:55pm

Coles Nowra

Kinghorne Street and Junction Street

Wednesday 29 September 2021, 11:45am to 1:05pm

Wednesday 29 September 2021, 1:40pm to 2:45pm

Tuesday 28 September 2021, 1:15pm to 2pm

Thursday 23 September 2021, 10:25pm to 10:30pm

The Ginger Jar Bakehouse

15 Kinghorne Street, Shop 12 Shoalhaven Arcade

Tuesday 5 October 2021, 7:30am to 2:10pm

Aldi Nowra

8/16 Kinghorne Street

Wednesday 29 September 2021, 1:20pm to 1:40pm

Tuesday 28 September 2021, 4:20pm to 4:35pm

Monday 27 September 2021, 12:30pm to 1pm

Welcome Chinese Restaurant Bomaderry

55 Meroo St

Wednesday 6 October 2021, 5:35pm to 5:40pm

Wednesday 6 October 2021, 5:20pm to 5:25pm

Choice Pharmacy Bomaderry

Shop 1 Woolworths, 320 Princes Highway

Wednesday 29 September 2021, 5pm to 5:05pm

Coles Vincentia

Shopping Centre, 29 The Wool Road

Thursday 30 September 2021, 10am to 1:10pm

BWS Vincentia

Corner Naval College Road and the Wool Road

Thursday 30 September 2021, 2pm to 2:15pm

Woolworths Vincentia

8 Moona Creek Road

Thursday 30 September 2021, 1:45pm to 2:05pm

ALDI Vincentia

8 Moona Creek Road

Thursday 30 September 2021, 1:40pm to 1:50pm

Image: News

Culburra's Mikey Wright takes a break from the Championship Tour

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Culburra's Mikey Wright will take a break from the Championship Tour after the Corona Open in Mexico.

The Shoalhaven local is known mostly for being one of the planet’s premier free surfers and that's what he plans to return to.

The 24-year-old said, "The Corona Open will be my last event and I just want to chase the swells again."

"It's been a fun time," Wright said.

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Mikey said he will spend the next few months traveling, surfing, and making videos again.

Images: Supplied 

 

Damaging winds warning issued

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Strong west to northwesterly winds associated with a trough extends across the higher areas of the Alps to southeastern NSW coastal regions.

DAMAGING WINDS, averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts of 90 km/h extending eastwards of the ranges to the coast.

Locally DAMAGING WIND GUSTS to 110km/h are possible about the Illawarra Shoalhaven district.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service recommends that back country travel be postponed until conditions improve.

Locations which may be affected include Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra, Goulburn and Cooma.

Significant wind observations include:

High Range 102 km/h at 4am

Montague Island 89 km/h at 3am

Mount Ginini 85 km/h at 12:25am

Nowra 82 km/h at 3:50am

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
* Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall.
* Report fallen power lines to Endeavour Energy 131 003, Essential Energy 132 080
* Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.

For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

 

 

 

 

Disaster assistance available in Shoalhaven

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Disaster assistance is now available in 23 local government areas including Shoalhaven, Kiama, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly, Wollongong and Shellharbour following the recent severe storms and flooding.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Minister for Emergency Management, Senator Murray Watt, said the flooding had led to a large number of evacuations throughout metropolitan Sydney, the Hawkesbury and the Central Coast, with major flood operations still ongoing.

“We have seen some of these impacted communities being hit by floods for a third and fourth time in 18 months, which is extremely distressing to the residents of these communities,” Minister Watt said.

“The Australian and New South Wales governments have worked very cooperatively through this latest flood emergency, to ensure defence and other resources were deployed early and fast.

“Similarly, we’re now working hard together to make sure that impacted communities get the financial and other assistance they need as soon as possible.”

New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke, said significant recovery support would be required to help support communities once the major weather event passes.

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“Today’s announcement will ensure immediate assistance is available to impacted communities, including assistance for people who have lost or had damage to their homes,” Ms Cooke said.

“While we are still very much in the emergency response phase of this developing weather event, as waters recede we will work with communities to assess longer term recovery needs and ensure appropriate long-term support is provided.”

Assistance available under the DRFA may include:

Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged (eligibility criteria apply);

Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged road and essential public assets;

Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations; and

Freight subsidies for primary producers.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

To apply for a concessional loan or primary producer grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

Images: 2ST newsroom

Disaster recovery assistance is available for Shoalhaven residents affected by May’s severe storms.

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Disaster recovery assistance is available for Shoalhaven residents affected by May’s severe storms.

Senator for New South Wales Jim Molan said the DRFA will assist with damaged properties and help councils with the costs of road and infrastructure repairs and clean-up, and recovery efforts in affected communities. 

“None of us will soon forget the severe winds and heavy rain that lashed the region, washing out roads and causing widespread damage to properties,” Senator Molan said. 

“Importantly, a range of practical assistance measures are now available to support the affected communities with their recovery," he said.

Senator Molan said, "The Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements were ready to help after severe winds and heavy rain lashed the region, washing out roads and causing widespread damage to properties."

He said, "It will help for people whose homes or belongings have been damaged, freight subsidies for primary producers and support for councils to assist with costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged public assets."

New South Wales Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said communities experienced significant disruption due to heavy rainfall over several days, including damage and closure of major roads.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact Service NSW on13 77 88.

To apply for a concessional loan or grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au 

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW emergency information and response website at www.nsw.gov.au/resilience-nsw

Image: supplied

 

 

 

Discounts promote a happy new year for seniors

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Older people in the Shoalhaven can start planning a busy new year with the 2021 NSW Seniors Card Directory.

The directory lists the best discounts for Seniors Card holders from thousands of businesses across the state.

Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock says the directory is full of savings, discounts and ideas that encourage active lifestyles as seniors travel and engage with the community

“We know older people have spent months at home to protect their physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic and now they can unlock the purchasing power of their Seniors Card to plan an exciting 2021," Mrs Hancock said.

The Directories will be available at Service NSW centres, public libraries, local councils and Australia Post outlets across the state from 18 December.

The directory will be available as a digital copy or a physical booklet.

East Coast low battering eases

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A massive cleanup is beginning across the Shoalhaven after this week's heavy rainfall and flooding.

The Weather Bureau forecast advised the low pressure system continues to move away to the southeast with coastal winds easing. 

During Thursday, a strengthening ridge of high pressure will form along the coast and a weak trough will develop over the inland, with this pattern persisting into the weekend.

Blue skies will return and it will be partly cloudy. 

Winds south to southwesterly 15 to 25 km/h tending south to southeasterly in the middle of the day then becoming light in the late evening.

The NSW Weather Bureau has issued a strong wind warning for the Illawarra Coast, Batemans Coast and Eden Coast.

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The Weather Bureau warned of large and powerful surf conditions which are expected to be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, swimming and surfing.

Images: Frank Battaglia and Peter Andrea 

 

Eight new covid cases for the Shoalhaven

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The Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW says the Illawarra Shoalhaven is starting to become an area of concern.

Up to 8 last night, there were 21 cases all up.

That includes nine cases in the Wollongong Local Government Area, eight cases in the Shoalhaven LGA and four cases in the Shellharbour LGA.

Across the state and New South Wales has recorded 12-hundred-and-81 new local Covid cases

Five people with the virus have died.

Eisteddfod called off for second year

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This year’s Shoalhaven Eisteddfod is the latest event to be cancelled due to the ongoing covid risk.

With many entrants travelling from out of the area, older volunteers at risk and choirs still unable to perform, the decision was made to pull the pin for the second consecutive year.

Ona Frazier from the organising committee says a virtual event will not proceed either.

"It’s definitely not the same experience and we want that sort of real experience for all the young people - and old people as well," she said.

"I think to when you go onto a stage to perform there’s that adrenaline rush that is definitely missing if you are in a bedroom or recording something in your own home.

"That adrenaline rush you get when on stage in front of an audience and judges can take you to a higher plane."

The committee took into consideration all aspects of Eisteddfod when making the decision: the potential changes to how the programme would run, limits on group sizes for performance, the requirements of social distancing, COVID cleaning requirements, and the safety of all those involved.

They are planning a special event for the spring to coincide with the launch of the 2022 Syllabus.

Photo Shoalhaven Eisteddfod.

Elective surgery return in the Shoalhaven hampered by staff shortages

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The Parliamentary Inquiry into Regional and Rural hospitals and healthcare has heard that the availability of staff will make it a challenge for elective surgery to return immediately to full capacity.

Senior executives from Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District appearing before the Inquiry confirmed that there are staffing challenges which means they are still working through how to implement the elective surgeries that were placed on hold by the NSW Government because of COVID-19.

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District boss Margot Mains was unable to confirm what capacity would be come February 7 following the Premier's announcement that non-urgent elective surgery requiring an overnight stay can begin to resume in a staged manner.

Around 150 Illawarra Shoalhaven healthcare workers remain in isolation daily as a result of being exposed to COVID-19 which is impacting the District's capacity.

The LHD said it is working on a reimplementation plan but it's not only seeing high numbers of COVID hospitalisations but increased presentations for other illness and injuries.

Shadow Minister for Health and the Illawarra and South Coast, Ryan Park said the Premier made the announcement while beating his chest but in reality, patients will be forced to wait.

"This Premier wants to pretend all is going well, when in reality we are still impacted locally by COVID," Park said.

"Staff shortages mean that those who have been waiting for extended periods of time for their surgery will have to continue to wait.

"These are people who are waiting in pain and discomfort for important operations.

"It is disappointing that the Premier wants everyone to believe we are back on track but the testimony has revealed something very different," he said.

Image: Pixnio

Expect delays on Princes Highway

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Motorists can expect reduced speed limits on the Princes Highway between Jervis Bay Road and Sussex Inlet Road over the next few months.

Workers will be carrying out surveys beside the highway from tomorrow (Thursday) until late August as part of design work for upgrading the highway.

The work means traffic control measures including a reduced speed limit of 40 kilometres per hour will be in place intermittently and on only small sections of the highway at a time, with crews aiming to avoid working during peak travel times where possible.

image: supplied

Extra police officers heading to the South Coast

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Five new police officers are heading to the South Coast command after graduating from Goulburn's  Police Academy today.

There are also three heading to Wollongong, and two to Lake Illawarra.

The Probationary Constables are among 200 completing their training at the academy, before heading to stations across the state for an extra year of training on the job.

Deputy Premier and Police Minister Paul Toole  congratulated the new probationary constables, saying they will be deployed to areas where they are needed the most.

He said every attestation ceremony was a significant occasion for the Police Force and the community.

“We are proud to offer our continued support to the NSW Police Force to ensure it has the very best people, training facilities, and technology to keep our communities safe,” Mr Toole said.

Acting Police Commissioner David Hudson said the ceremony was an important opportunity to recognise the commitment of Class 353, as well as their families and friends.

“Behind every police officer and every probationary constable is a family and a network that plays a critical role in supporting our people,” Acting Commissioner Hudson said.

“It’s more important than ever that we ensure our police have our utmost support so that they can enjoy long and successful careers.

“It’s also a unique and special occasion when we see new police dogs enter the Force. The value police dogs bring to policing – including criminal investigations and critical incident response is significant and should be recognised.”

Acting Assistant Commissioner Toby Lindsay said a career in policing was exciting and rewarding.

“As a probationary constable engaged in general duties policing you can expect to be working with and helping the community,” Acting AC Lindsay said. “You will also undertake a wide range of investigations including motor vehicle accidents, stealing offense, assaults and more.

“In addition to general duties policing, there are more than 100 specialist roles in support of our frontline police and community.”

Image: NSW Police

Filter Road bushfire contained

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The NSW Rural Fire Service is monitoring the remnants of a bushfire that erupted northwest of Nowra on Saturday.

The blaze started near Filter Road and was fanned by strong, gusty winds.

RFS and NSW Fire and Rescue crews were supported by water-bombing helicopters as they fought the outbreak in what the RFS described as tough terrain.

Crews maintained a vigil on Saturday night to ensure there were no flare-ups, before eventually containing the blaze on Sunday.

RFS spokesman Greg Allan said, "With the conditions at the time it would not have taken much for the outbreak to impact nearby properties."

The blaze burnt about 30-hectares of bushland before it was fully contained.

Mr. Allan said, "It's a timely reminder for residents that fires can happen anywhere and if you are near a fire you and your family should know what to do, so have that bushfire survival plan discussed."

Investigations are continuing into the cause of the outbreak.

Image: Shoalhaven Heads Rural Fire Service Facebook 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fires flare up in the Shoalhaven

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Fires being fanned by the strong wind sweeping through the Shoalhaven are causing some concern.

Rural Fire Service District Officer BRAD COLLINS says they're focusing on three blazes.. one west of Ulladulla, another off Braidwood Road and the other at Lemontree Creek. "The one that we're most concerned about at the moment is the one just west of Ulladulla, just behind the industrial estate down there. Crews are having trouble gaining access to that fire at the moment, so we've requested heavy machinery to come in and assist with containment of that fire."

Photo source: RFS Facebook page

Fires still burning

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Still a number of fires burning in the Shoalhaven this morning however most are under control.

The outbreaks of most concern remain Braidwood Road at Yerriyong which covers around 85 hectares and is being controlled.

The other is 36 hectares on Kings Point Drive at Ulladulla which is also being controlled and at advice level.

A helicopter will be dropping water on the Ulladulla blaze, with a decision pending on the Yerriyong fire.

Image source: RFS NSW website

Shoalhaven RFS says roads are open and no properties are threatened.

Fishermans Paradise man airlifted to Sydney in serious condition

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Paramedics responded to reports of a large log hitting a male on Alma Avenue, Fishermans Paradise south of Jervis Bay yesterday.

Two road crews along with a specialist medical team including a critical care doctor and critical care paramedic via helicopter were dispatched to the scene.

“It was essential that we activated the helicopter quickly as early reports suggested the male was seriously injured,” said NSW Ambulance Inspector Faye Stockman

“The log appeared to be six metres in length and definitely had the potential to cause life-threatening injuries.”

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Paramedics treated the man for back, hip and leg injuries and he was airlifted to St George Hospital in a serious condition.

“We know that sometimes freak accidents do occur, it is important that everyone continues to remain vigilant while working,” Inspector Stockman said.

Images: supplied

Five more COVID-19 deaths in the Illawarra Shoalhaven

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Five people with confirmed COVID-19 from the Wollongong and Shellharbour areas have died in the 24 hours until 8 pm Monday according to NSW Health.

There were 974 positive COVID-19 test cases notified for that 24 hour period across the Illawarra Shoalhaven.

That number included 437 positive rapid antigen tests and 537 positive PCR tests.

Illawarra Shoalhaven Health reports there are 124 new infections reported from the Shoalhaven and 15 from Kiama.

271 new infections came from Wollongong and 127 cases from Shellharbour 

As of 8 pm Monday, there were 168 COVID-19 patients in Illawarra Shoalhaven district hospitals.

 

Gardeners transform Berry park

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Shoalhaven City Council is continuing its roll-out of new and revamped parks, opening Berry’s George Street Park today.

Constructed on land that had been left vacant from the Berry Bypass, the park has undergone an impressive transformation thanks to the vision and work of Berry & District Garden Club members. 

Mayor Amanda Findley is impressed with the community spirit demonstrated by members who have built and will continue to maintain George Street Park. 

"This park certainly is a labour of love and is a true reflection of the Club’s motto 'Friendship through Gardening'," she said.

"I can see that many, many volunteer hours have been devoted to planning and planting the lawns, garden beds, trees, sculptures, paths and seating.

“Berry Garden Club members hand-watered the trees and shrubs throughout the heat and fires last summer and built most of the key garden features themselves.

"It is wonderful that they have made an ongoing commitment to weed and care for the garden plantings and trees at their monthly working bees.

“This is a fantastic asset for the Berry community and visitors and is a testament to the resilient spirit of the Berry community,” Cr Findley said. 

Award-winning local sculptor Michael Purdy, with assistance from local resident Bob Croker, has created two amazing sculptures that make a statement about nature's ability to triumph when threatened by urban development.   

A Red Cedar sapling is establishing itself strongly between the cleaved sandstone of the first sculpture. The second sculpture features a rescued red cedar branch symbolically banded by sunlight penetrating the rainforest. Leaning towards the first sculpture, it acts as the guardian tree of the sapling and of all the other young trees in the park. 

Sited between the two sculptures is a soaring curved timber pergola designed by Berry & District Club President, architect Stephen Buzacott.   

George Street Park can be accessed from the southern end of Albert Street or the western end of George Street, Berry. 

Photo: Shoalhaven City Council.

Grain silo fire at Manildra

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Fire and Rescue crews were called to a dangerous fire in a silo at the Manildra plant in Bomaderry in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Nowra fire station commander John Dun said crews were called at 3.30am to a fire in a grain silo.

Two FRNSW Nowra fire crews attended as well as appliances from Shoalhaven fire station, Berry fire station, Kiama fire station and two HAZMAT crews from Shellharbour fire station.

Mr Dun said it took about four hours to bring under control.

"This happens from time to time and is quiet dangerous for crews to extinguish," he said. 

On Monday afternoon, the Nowra crew also attended a fuel spill on Greenwell Point Road at the intersection with Mayfield Road.

"The area became very slippery with the wet weather and with the assistance of the RFS were able to place absorbent material on the road to assist us remove the hazard," Mr Dun explained.

Photo FRNSW.

Grey Headed Flying Foxes making the Shoalhaven home

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The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) has issued a plea for Berry and Shoalhaven communities to help protect endangered grey-headed flying-foxes which have re-formed a camp in the area.

Crucially, the camp supports babies that are entirely dependent on their mothers.

“Grey-headed flying-foxes are a threatened species that have experienced a sharp decline in their population across Australia.

"They play a vital role in eucalypt pollination and tropical seed dispersion which can help with the subtropical rainforest in the area,” said Lorraine Oliver, Ecosystems and Threatened Species Acting Senior Team Leader at DPE.

“The property owners and the surrounding community of the Berry camp have worked closely with Shoalhaven City Council and DPE to find the best ways to cope with living so close to a flying-fox camp.

Saving our Species specialists at DPE and the Council have organised vegetation removal, funding of pool covers and high-pressure hoses, while being careful not to harm or disturb the flying-foxes, and further information for the community is available online,” Ms Oliver said.

“We know that living near a flying-fox camp can sometimes be difficult as they can be noisy, smelly and sometimes their droppings land on clothes, cars and outdoor areas. However, extensive research has shown there is no way to move a flying-fox camp without risking them forming a new camp in a nearby location, causing more residents to be impacted,” she saidgrey_headed_flying_fox_DPI_credit.jpg

“Importantly it is best to avoid disturbing the flying-foxes during the day as this stresses the animals and causes them to fly, swirl and screech.

It can also lead to the death of their babies when they are accidently dropped by their mothers. Residents are asked to report any disturbance of the camp to the Environment Line on 131 555.”

The flying-foxes in the Shoalhaven area have likely travelled from the Hunter and North coast regions chasing food such as eucalypt nectar, rainforest fruits and, more and more frequently, the fruit grown in suburban gardens.

They generally arrive in the Shoalhaven area early summer and leave close to winter, but this depends on whether there are good food resources elsewhere.

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Tragically this flying-fox camp was also the site of two heat stress incidents where the animals were affected by extremely hot temperatures and many hundreds of them died.

DPE is working closely with Council and local wildlife carers to finalise a response plan to support residents and the flying-foxes should another heat stress incident occur in the camp.

The Saving our Species program is the NSW Government’s commitment to increase the number of threatened species that are secure in the wild in NSW for 100 years.

Further information is available at environment.nsw.gov.au/sos. 

Images: DPE 

 

 

 

Guardian Tree to inspire stories

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StoryFest’s storytelling competition is now open, with this year's theme, The Guardian Tree, focusing on the future.

Festival Director Meredith Jaffé hopes people will be inspired after a disruptive 12 months.

"So much has happened in this region in the past year," she said, "we’ve contended with bushfires, a pandemic, and disruption to our daily lives in ways we could never have imagined."

"2020 was a year of so many extremes.

"By choosing the theme, The Guardian Tree, we want to move the focus from loss to healing and finding a way to frame the future.

"We are delighted to work with Lea Brook, a Murramarang Yuin Woman and artist.

"She conceived this wonderful design for the competition as well as researching and writing a teacher’s resource on the meaning of guardian trees.

"We hope this inspires local budding and established writers to reflect on what the guardian tree means to them.

"In previous years, we have received so many wonderful and imaginative entries, and we anticipate seeing many more.

"Our judging panel will be looking for the most creative interpretations of the theme The Guardian Tree."

 The Storytelling Competition is open to all Shoalhaven residents and has categories for primary school students, secondary school students, and adults.

Entries close April 1 and prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place in each category. There will also be an Honour Roll for exceptional works.

The 2021 competition prizes are once again proudly sponsored by the Rotary Club of Milton-Ulladulla.

Milton-Ulladulla Rotary president Leonie Corrin-Smith, said "our partnership with StoryFest provides a wonderful creative opportunity for local storytellers, especially Shoalhaven school students, to express themselves".

StoryFest will hold its second festival on the weekend of Friday June 18 to Sunday June 20 in and around Milton. The StoryFest Schools Program will span the preceding week from Tuesday June 15 to Friday June 18.

The festival program will include the popular Friday and Sunday workshops, with sessions running through both Saturday and Sunday with more than 30 events featuring an exceptional line up of some of Australia’s most talented storytellers as well as some very special gala events.

For more information go to www.storyfest.org.au

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Photos supplied

Hampden Bridge work from today

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Motorists are advised of changed traffic conditions from today (Tuesday) on the Hampden Bridge at Kangaroo Valley for emergency work.
 
Work will be carried out to replace a broken rod discovered during routine inspections, between 8am and 4pm, from today until Thursday 26 November, weather permitting.
 
A reduced speed limit of 20 km/h, traffic control and lane closures will be in place either side of the bridge for the safety of workers and motorists.
 
Additional work may be required on at night from 8pm to 4am on Thursday 26 November, and intermittent closures will be in place.
 
Pedestrian access will be maintained on the bridge during all work.
 
Motorists are advised to drive to the conditions, allow an additional five minutes travel time and follow the directions of signs and traffic control.
 
Transport for NSW thanks the community for its patience while work is carried out.
 
For the latest traffic updates call 132 701, visit livetraffic.com or download the Live Traffic NSW App.

Photo Shoalhaven City Council

Heavy rainfall causes landslips and minor flooding across the Shoalhaven

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Emergency crews are on the scene of a reported landslide on the Princes Highway.

There is also a report of a fallen tree which is blocking the Highway north of Mollymook at Corks Lane.

RMs crews are on the scene attempting got clear the slide and remove the tree.

Live Traffic NSW advised there are heavy traffic conditions and motorists should  allow extra travel time and exercise caution.

A NSW Police spokesperson said police units are at the scene undertaking traffic control.

Across the Shoalhaven,  SES crews are responding to more than 28 outstanding calls for assistance after heavy overnight rainfall, which has caused minor flash flooding.

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Ulladulla SES commander Tracey Provest said "There has been as much as 230 mm of rainfall recorded Porters Creek Dam in the past 24 hours.

"There has also been 180mm of rain also in the Manyana region which is causing minor landslips," she said.

Commander Provest said "There are a significant number of jobs at the moment where people are requiring sandbags."

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She said "SES Facebook pages at Ulladulla, St Georges Basin and Nowra  are continually updated to keep residents informed."

Commander Provest said "Numerous roads across the Shoalhaven are experiencing minor flooding, including Bawley Point Road which is close to being closed."

Commander Provest has urged motorists not to drive through floodwaters and said " Remember, if it's flooded, forget it."

Shoalhaven City Council has made the new disaster dashboard available on its website. 

The Disaster Dashboard provides information on fire and flood incidents, SES NSW advice, road conditions and power outages.

Images: Shoahaven City Council & Ulladulla SES   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Live Traffic NSW 

Help for woman and children fleeing domestic violence

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Each year across Australia, nearly 10,000 women and children seeking safety are turned away because there isn’t a bed.

For many women and children, this means homelessness – couch surfing, sleeping in the car, on the street or returning to the perpetrator.

Senator Jenny McAllister, Shadow Assistant Minister for Communities and the Prevention of Family Violence
and Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips have announced the Albanese Labor Government will establish the Housing Australia Future Fund to build 30,000 social and affordable homes across the country.

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This includes 4,000 homes for women and children fleeing violence and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness, plus an additional $100 million for crisis accommodation.

Senator Jenny McAllister said, "We also know that an extra pair of hands can make an enormous difference.

"The services we talk to say that an extra person working on staff can help between 80 and 100 additional women and children each yearshe," she said.

The Senator said, "That’s why Labor will invest in 500 new workers across Australia to support people who are facing violence."

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Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips said "Here on the South Coast and Southern Highlands, Labor will provide $1.5 million for additional crisis accommodation.

"We expect this will help as many as 135 women and children to find refuge. We will also fund 13 workers to help 1,040 women and support them during the hardest time of their lives," she said.

Ms Phillips said, "Survivors of violence are strong, and they deserve our help to rebuild their lives.

"Over the past decade, the Liberal National government has failed to take this task seriously," she said.

Senator  McAllister said, "Labor will tackle the scourge of domestic violence with ambition and urgency.

Images: Newsroom 

 

 

Holiday homes could solve housing shortage

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The owners of vacant properties are being urged to consider placing them on the rental market to support Shoalhaven families struggling to find accommodation.

As we near the anniversary of the Black Summer Fires, Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley says many families that lost their homes are still looking for secure housing solutions. 

She says support services are reporting a critical shortage of rental accommodation in the region.

"We've got over 300 displaced families after bushfires and vacancy rates in the Shoalhaven are the lowest they've ever been," she said.

"People have got holiday homes sitting vacant for 9 or 10 months of the year and they're getting very little use at the moment.

"With the amount of housing pressure the Shoalhaven is experiencing, we could really do with those homes being made available."

She is urging holiday home owners to contact local real estate agent who have waiting lists and are being inundated with requests for rental properties.

 

Holiday traffic changes from tomorrow

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Motorists are advised of changed traffic conditions on the Princes Highway during the  up-coming school holiday period.

Work on upgrade projects will stop or be reduced to address congestion, improve safety and aid traffic flow through work sites from tomorrow evening.

Changes to major work on Princes Highway upgrade projects will include:

Berry to Bomaderry upgrade

All work will shut down from 6pm Thursday 17 December to 7am Tuesday 5 January 2021. There will be no work carried out during this time and the speed limit of 80 km/h throughout the work area will remain in place.

Nowra Bridge project

All work will shut down over the Christmas period, from 6am Friday 18 December to 7am Tuesday 5 January 2021. There will be no work carried out during this time and the speed limit of 60 km/h throughout the work area will remain in place

Traffic management plans will also be rolled out at pinch points along the Princes Highway to help ease congestion and improve road safety over the peak holiday period. These include:

Princes Highway and Jervis Bay Road intersection

Between Friday 18 December and Sunday 27 January 2021, the speed limit through this section of the highway will be reduced to 80 km/h for southbound motorists. The speed limit may be reduced to 60 km/h during peak travel times and traffic control staff will be onsite

Princes Highway/pedestrian crossing Milton

Traffic control staff will be on site between 9am and 3pm from Friday 18 to Thursday 24 December, Saturday 26 December to Monday 4 January 2021, the weekends of 9-10 January and 16-17 January 2021, and Friday 22 to Wednesday 27 January 2021 to manage use of the pedestrian crossing at the Wason St intersection to ensure pedestrian safety and maintain traffic flow on the highway

House fire leaves Erowal Bay couple homeless

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A Shoalhaven daughter has organised a gofundme appeal after fire destroyed her mothers home at Erowal Bay.

Di Vest, was out for dinner with friends on December 1, when she received a call telling her to come home because her house was on fire.

Her daughter Juanita Vanderburg said, "What my mum came home to was worse than any of us could have imagined.

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"The house wass completely destroyed, as was everything that was inside, leaving her with only the clothes on her back," Ms. Vanderburg said.

Juanita said, "My mum has been a part of the community in the Erowal Bay, Huskisson area for many years.

"She is a local teacher and those who know her know the generosity she brings with her," she said.

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Ms Vest and her partner Craig have found a place to stay with friends until accommodation is available.

Juanita said "Until then, there's still a lot that needs to be re-purchased and bills that still need to be paid.

She said, "Any donations would make a world of difference to my mum and our family.'

You can reach out to Di at her gofundme page Donate for Di.

Images: Juanita Vanderburg

 

Ideal conditions for RFS hazard reduction burn

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The NSW Rural Fire Service said ideal conditions are present and it is conducting a hazard reduction burn in the Tomerong area from Friday the 20th to Sunday the 22nd of August.

The Cockrow hazard reduction will cover a combined area of 244 hectares with crews from the Bay and Basin region overseeing the operation.

Crews will be working under COVID safe conditions to reduce the overall bushfire risk in this area.

We respectfully request that people stay clear of the area and if you need to speak to a firefighter on the ground, please wear a mask and maintain appropriate social distancing.

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For advice on hazard reductions in your area and how to prepare for them, go to the RFS Website

Images: Supplied 

Illawarra Shoalhaven COVID-19 infection cases fall.

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There are 896 positive COVID-19 test results  notified for the 24 hour period to 8pm yesterday across the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local health district,  99 cases lower than the previous 24 hours.

Today's numbers include 380 positive rapid antigen tests and 516 positive PCR tests.

A breakdown of the positive PCR tests show infections have fallen to 269 cases for the Wollongong Local Government Area and 122 cases from Shellharbour are 58 less than the previous day.

There has been a marked drop in new COVID-19 infections from the Shoalhaven LGA down from 131 cases to 99 in the 24 hours till 8 pm Sunday.

26 cases from Kiama is down 8 cases.

As at 8pm, 23 January there were 154 COVID-19 cases in hospital in the Illawarra Shoalhaven District.

Industrial action at Bomaderry High School

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Bomaderry High School teachers have started industrial action over the state of the school’s buildings, describing them as old, leaking and dilapidated.

NSW Teachers Federation members at the school held a stop work meeting this week, and are talking about further industrial action unless the State Government comes to the party with urgent repairs.

Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra says Bomaderry High is in urgent need of a major upgrade, with leaking buildings recently disrupting exams because of damage to the hall.

He says teachers at Bomaderry are fed up with the continuous cycle of water damage at the school because of leaking buildings, which are impacting on teaching and learning programs.

Representations by the Federation, teachers and the P and C have been ignored, according to Mr Rajendra.

He says the ball was now in the State Government’s court.

“Numerous representations by the Federation, teachers and the P and C, have been ignored and no detailed plan or timeline has been developed to address this serious problem,” he says.

“The HSC trial exam is fast approaching and there is concern that students won’t be able to sit these important tests under proper exam conditions because the school hall is out of action. This is unfair to students, unfair to their parents and unfair to teaching staff.

“It is simply not good enough for the Education Department to continually bring in contractors to patch up old buildings which clearly require major refurbishment and modernisation.”

Mr Rajendra says the Bomaderry school community deserves a permanent solution to the problem and teachers have voted to take further action unless a building plan is developed.

Innoclub offers bright futures for Nowra veterans

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Two new programs for veterans are being launched in Nowra on the night of Friday, June 4.

Innoclub is Australia's first club-based accelerator and incubator designed for defence force veterans, and at the Worrigee Sports Club is unveiling a six-day business ideas and development course to help veterans make the most of their knowledge.

Australia’s first veteran transition education program is also being launched on the night, with Innoclub co-founder Chris North explaining both programs are free and targeted at younger veterans.

“These programs are targeted at people aged under about 45, who have been in service and have been involved and they’ve transitioned but then they don’t have any connection to their community, and they seem to have lost their tribe,” Mr North said.

He added veterans leaving the Defence Force often had great ideas about businesses they would like to set up.

And Innoclub is there to help them, Mr North explaining his organisation had helped many veterans use their skills and experience to establish businesses.

“We’ve worked with model ship building, we’ve worked with a veteran beer company, we’ve worked with a mental health group,” he said.

Some of those business operators are coming to the Worrigee Sports Club at 6.30pm on Friday night as Innoclub meets with veterans to discuss the support it can offer people who want to turn their ideas into businesses, or simply utilise their skills in new employment.

InnoClub was launched in 2020 and is the start of a modern veteran’s business and innovation training hub.

Members have access to resources, ongoing mentorship and support, and seed funding via club grants and incubation services for new businesses.

This is a milestone for the club industry, where suddenly there is a real and tangible way to support the modern-day veterans.

“And it’s all free for veterans who have done a course with us,” Mr North said.

For more information chick on www.innoclub.com.au.

Image: supplied

Island Point roundabout to open Friday

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The new $5 million roundabout at the intersection of the Princes Highway and Island Point Road at Tomerong will open to traffic around midday this Friday, weather permitting.

Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock says the new roundabout will help improve safety, traffic efficiency and connectivity for motorists around the Bay and Basin area.

“The new intersection will deliver two southbound lanes entering and exiting on the Princes Highway, two lanes entering from Island Point Road and one northbound lane entering and exiting on the Princes Highway," she said.

“The existing streetlights have been relocated and a cyclist crossing point for the highway installed on the southern side of the roundabout.

“We thank the community for their patience while temporary detours were in place during construction and the impact that they had on residents in the area.”

In the five years to September 2016 there were 36 crashes at the intersection, resulting in 45 casualties and 11 serious injuries.

While final works take place over the next few weeks, only one southbound lane of the roundabout will be open and no access for pedestrians and cyclists will be available.

This work is expected to last two weeks, however the roundabout will be operational during this time.

Additional work still to be completed at the Island Point Road intersection with the Princes Highway includes concreting of islands, asphalting, final line-marking and re-vegetation.

These projects will be completed later this year, weather permitting and materials for these projects are being sourced from local businesses.

The NSW Government provided $5 million for the construction of the roundabout from the Safer Roads program.

Photo RMS

 

 

Jasmine Greenwood wins Commonwealth Games gold

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Shoalhaven swimmer Jasmine Greenwood has won Commonwealth Games gold this morning.

The student from Sussex Inlet led at every turn in the sm10 200 metre individual medley in Birmingham, touching first in a time of 2.33.29.

Australia's Keira Stephens clinched the bronze medal.

Jasmine made her Commonwealth Games debut in 2018 on the Gold Coast.

Image: Newsroom

 

Jervis Bay Maritime Museum to complete restoration of the Crookhaven Heads Lighthouse Lantern Room

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Restoration of a piece of the Shoalhaven's maritime history is almost complete and will be opened to the public at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum

The lantern room from the Crookhaven Heads lighthouse, which was constructed in 1904, has been restored by Crown Lands and inmates from the South Coast Correctional Centre through a $200 thousand dollar grant.

The Crookhaven Heads lighthouse was decommissioned and taken down in 2007 because of the cost of high cost maintenance and continued vandalism attacks.

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Jervis Bay Maritime Museum director Diana Lorentz said "The lantern gallery is a beautiful piece of industrial revolution equipment and needed somewhere for it to be looked after."

She said, "The natural place for it was the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum which is almost halfway between the original site Cape St George and the Crookhaven Heads Lighthouse." 

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The museum has constructing a lighthouse tower structure to showcase the 1859 built Lantern Room, which now sits atop.

Ms Lorentz said "It has been designed to reflect the same proportions of the Crookhaven Heads Lighthouse, where the Lantern was operational for over 70 years."

A replica of the lighthouse keeper's cottage has also been incorporated into the structure.

Ms Lorentz said, "It does have a spiral staircase and it's not quite complete, so once the glass goes in, people will be able to go up the spiral staircase to the top, but it will only be open at special times."

The Jervis Bay Maritime Museum is now searching for an original Fresnel Lens which was used during the late 1900's.

Ms Lorentz said, "There's one up in Ballina that's almost exactly the same size as the original Fresnel Lens that was used at Crookhaven Heads which the Museum is hoping the eventually acquire." 

The Jervis Bay Maritime Museum hopes to have the Crookhaven Heads Lantern Room restoration complete and operational in time for International Lighthouse Day in August this year. 

Images: Jervis Bay Maritime Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

L'Etape community meetings planned

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L’Étape Australia by Tour de France will host face-to-face local community meetings in April ahead of the cycling event that has been rescheduled for December.

A first series of meetings will take place from April 12-14 at berry, Kiama and Robertson.

During these meetings, the organisers will present the 2021 local community engagement campaign and give a presentation of the modifications and improvement implemented (date, road closure timings).

They will also hold a Q&A session.

The capacity of each room is strictly limited to between 80 and 90 people under the current Covid restrictions and registration is essential.

To join a meeting, please secure your spot via one of the links below:

  • Berry (residents and businesses from Shoalhaven Heads, Bomaderry, Cambewarra, Berry and Kangaroo Valley) - Monday 12 April, 6pm at the Berry School of Arts -  Register for the Shoalhaven Meeting
  • Kiama (residents and businesses from Kiama, Gerringong, Gerroa and Jamberoo) - Tuesday 13 April, 6pm at the Pavilion Kiama - Register for the Kiama Meeting
  • Robertson (residents and businesses from Fitzroy Falls, Robertson and Burrawang) - Wednesday 14 April, 6pm at the Robertson School of Arts - Register for the Robertson Meeting

Photo L'Etape.

L'Etape community meetings planned

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L’Étape Australia by Tour de France will host face-to-face local community meetings in April ahead of the cycling event that has been rescheduled for December.

A first series of meetings will take place from April 12-14 at berry, Kiama and Robertson.

During these meetings, the organisers will present the 2021 local community engagement campaign and give a presentation of the modifications and improvement implemented (date, road closure timings).

They will also hold a Q&A session.

The capacity of each room is strictly limited to between 80 and 90 people under the current Covid restrictions and registration is essential.

To join a meeting, please secure your spot via one of the links below:

  • Berry (residents and businesses from Shoalhaven Heads, Bomaderry, Cambewarra, Berry and Kangaroo Valley) - Monday 12 April, 6pm at the Berry School of Arts -  Register for the Shoalhaven Meeting
  • Kiama (residents and businesses from Kiama, Gerringong, Gerroa and Jamberoo) - Tuesday 13 April, 6pm at the Pavilion Kiama - Register for the Kiama Meeting
  • Robertson (residents and businesses from Fitzroy Falls, Robertson and Burrawang) - Wednesday 14 April, 6pm at the Robertson School of Arts - Register for the Robertson Meeting

Photo L'Etape.

Large landslide blocks Woodhill Mountain Road

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A large landslide has blocked Woodhill Mountain Road near Berry.

Shoalhaven City Council says very large rocks, trees and soil are blocking the road, making it impassable to all traffic.

The site is being inspected by geotechnical engineers, and council is calling on specialist equipment to clear the road.

Residents are asked to allow extra time for detours, as only emergency vehicles are allowed to access the area.

Council says it will update the public as soon as possible.

Image: Shoalhaven City Council 

Less than 400 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours

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New South Wales continues to move in the right direction with both cases dropping and vaccinations increasing, with just 360 new cases overnight, from 88,988 tests in the 24 hours to 8 pm last night.

90.4% of people aged 16+ have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 74% of people now fully vaccinated.

The details of Illawarra Shoalhaven cases will be released in the next few hours.

There are currently 766 people in hospital, with 155 people in ICU.

Sadly, there were another five deaths in the reporting period.

Lifesavers on standby as storms approach

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With hazardous weather conditions forecast to impact the NSW coastline from today, surf lifesavers are urging the public to exercise caution.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a Hazardous Surf Warning and a Marine Wind Warning for the NSW coast from the Eden Coast to the Coffs Coast.

The hazardous weather conditions are forecast for today, Tuesday 19, and tomorrow, Wednesday 20 January.

Conditions will be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, boating, surfing and swimming. People should consider staying out of the water and avoid walking near surf-exposed areas.

Rock fishers should avoid coastal rock platforms exposed to the ocean and seek a safe location that is sheltered from the surf. 

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce says conditions along the NSW coast will become hazardous today and tomorrow and he is urging the public to take extreme caution near the coast. 

“A low-pressure system is making its way north up the NSW coastline and is producing high winds and large surf. It’s creating hazardous conditions for swimmers, surfers, rock fishers and boaters,” he said. 

“We are urging members of the public not to engage in coastal activities that might put them at risk as surf conditions intensify. Please only swim at a patrolled location and if beaches are closed and the flags are down, don’t take the risk." 

With sea swells of up to three metres (6-8ft) and strong winds forecast, there is a threat of possible beach and coastal erosion.

Tides will be moderate through the week, with modest highs during the late afternoon in the 1.4 – 1.6 metre range.

As a gazetted emergency service organisation, Surf Life Saving NSW has call-out teams, Duty Officers and surf rescue assets on standby.

The Sydney-based Surf Rescue 30 offshore rescue boat and Surf Rescue 40 and Surf Rescue 50 jetboats, based in Ballina and Kiama, are on standby to respond to critical coastal incidents. 

Lifesavers watch over eight beaches during holidays

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Professional beach patrols will be in place at Shoalhaven beaches during the April NSW school holiday period from tomorrow until Sunday April 18. 

Shoalhaven City Council’s Director City Lifestyles Jane Lewis is reminding holiday makers and locals to swim between the red and yellow flags at patrolled beaches as the swimming season draws to a close.

“Our region boasts more than 100 stunning beaches, but if you plan to swim, we recommend choosing a beach that is patrolled," she said.

Patrols will be in place at Shoalhaven Heads, Crookhaven Heads, Warrain, Cudmirrah/Berrara, Narrawallee, North and South Mollymook beaches and Tilbury Cove.

“To make your next trip to the beach safer, make sure you read the safety signs, ask a lifeguard for safety advice and swim with a friend,” Ms Lewis said. 

A beach wheelchair service is also available during beach patrol season.   

“Make sure you book ahead, there are ten beach wheelchairs available for adults and children free of charge, at seven beaches across the Shoalhaven,” she added. 

To book a beach wheelchair.

Photo Shoalhaven City Council

 

Major COVID rule changes for NSW schools

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Despite hundreds of schools across NSW including a handful in the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands having confirmed COVID cases in recent weeks and kids under 12 not eligible for vaccination, from Monday schools will no longer close if there's a positive case and close contacts won't have to isolate.

The NSW Government said from November 29, students who are close contacts of a positive case will be required to get a PCR test as soon as possible after being notified of exposure.

If the PCR test is negative, the student may return to school immediately, so long as they provide negative Rapid Antigen Home Test (RAHT) results for the next seven consecutive days.

In line with community settings, schools will no longer need to close while contact tracing occurs due to successful cohorting of year groups on school sites.

The only exception would be if there are multiple cases at a school or complex settings in place.

NSW Health has also advised that schools do not need to close for deep environmental cleans as the enhanced cleaning in place at schools is sufficient.

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Mask rules remain the same, meaning they are required for all staff and high school students, and are recommended for primary school students.

From Monday, restrictions on music will also been lifted, with instruments that rely on breath and singing and chanting allowed outdoors, within cohorts, and in line with other COVID-safe school settings.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said students already in isolation can return to school from Monday under the new approach.

"I'm delighted we can reduce the disruption for students and families, while still maintaining the safety measures for students and staff on school sites," Mitchell said.

The government said the changes were made following recent Doherty Institute and NSW Health advice.

Images: NSW Department of Education Facebook and pixabay / educadormarcossv

Mentors needed for women with disabilities

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The Flagstaff Group is on the lookout for female mentors who can volunteer their time to support a new program tailored to Shoalhaven women with disabilities.

Powering Up is an holistic and practical program to help women develop life and employment skills through mentoring and online workshops.

Flagstaff is looking for women from public and private business and community-based sectors who can volunteer their time and resources to help out from March to May.

The program will cover topics on health and fitness, cooking and nutrition, financial security and fun social activities.

If you possess the knowledge and skills required to mentor women living with disability and want to make a difference, visit www.flagstaffgroup.com.au or call (02) 4272 0222.

Photo supplied.

Mine exploration application for Cudmirrah

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A West Australian sand mining company has applied for an exploration licence over a parcel of land in the sand dunes at Cudmirrah.

Shoalhaven City Councillor Patricia White says the community is outraged and a sand mine could impact on council sewerage scheme in the village as well as cause other environmental issues.

She says residents need to act quickly to have their say via NSW Planning.

"The fact that it's been put in and the public don't get notification is appalling," Cr White said.

"If people want to make a submission, and I there are many that will be, we need to do it straight away.

"How can they put in for an exploration licence and not notify the community?"

Photo Shoalhaven Tourism

Minor flood warning for Shoalhaven River

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Minor flooding is forecast for the Shoalhaven River.

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted the Shoalhaven River  is likely to reach 2.60 metres around 04:00 am Monday with minor flooding. 

Further rises are possible with forecast rain. 

The Shoalhaven River at Terara is likely to reach 2.50 metres around 06:00 am Monday with minor flooding further rises are possible with forecast rain.

The current River height at the Terara River gauge at 02:30 is 1.967 metres and is rising, and at Nowra (Shoalhaven R) is 2.135 and is rising.

What we are expecting:

Based on the prediction provided by the Bureau of Meteorology it is expected that flood water may start to impact low lying areas, roads and causeways including but not limited to:

Depending on tidal/ocean influences, a number of houses in Haziers Road Greenwell Point (from the Bowling Club to the end of Souths Street) may be affected.

What you need to do:

People in areas likely to be impacted by flooding:

Collect children, pets, items to keep you warm, food, water, torch, a mobile phone, a charger, something to attract attention and valuables like photos and important papers.

Raise moveable items, such as furniture, as high as possible onto benches or tables, placing electrical items on top.

Decide if and where you and your family will evacuate and make arrangements to go to the home of family or friends who are in a safe location away from present and potential flooding. Take your pets with you.

Collect or create sandbags by filling pillow cases or plastic shopping bags with sand and be ready to place them around doorways and in toilets and over drains to prevent sewerage backflow.

Stock up on water, canned goods, batteries, fuel, gas, medicines, baby necessities and pet food.

Avoid storm drains and pipes, ditches, ravines and rivers. Never drive, walk, ride through, play or swim in floodwater—it is dangerous and toxic. If it’s flooded, forget it.

Latest River Heights for the Shoalhaven River:Location Height/Trend Time DateShoalhaven River at Hillview 4.38 Steady 02:44 AM MON

Kangaroo River at Hampden Bridge 11.17 Steady 01:15 AM MON

Shoalhaven River at Nowra (AHD) 2.01 Rising 02:42 AM MON

Shoalhaven River at Terara 0.57 Steady 02:19 PM SUN09/02/20

Photo: SES

Minor flooding at Nowra and Terara

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Moderate to heavy rainfall since Friday has occurred in the Shoalhaven catchment since Friday.

Renewed heavy rainfall during Sunday has caused further stream rises, and renewed minor flooding is occurring along the Shoalhaven River at Nowra and Terara.

Further rainfall is forecast during Monday into Tuesday, which may cause further river level rises and prolonged flooding.

This situation is being closely monitored, and revised predictions will be provided as necessary.

Minor flooding is occurring along the Shoalhaven River.

The Shoalhaven River at Nowra (AHD) is currently at 2.58 metres and rising, with minor flooding.

The river level is likely to reach near 3.00 metres during Monday afternoon. Further rises are possible.

The Shoalhaven River at Terara is currently at 2.35 metres and rising, with minor flooding.

The river level is likely to reach near 2.60 metres during Monday afternoon.

Further rises are possible.

Based on the prediction provided by the Bureau of Meteorology it is expected that flood water may start to impact low lying areas, roads and causeways including but not limited to:

• Shoalhaven Heads, Greenwell Point, Culburra- Orient Point

• Bolong Road to Broughton Ck Bridge and Burrier Road

• Shoalhaveen Ski Park and Coolendel Camping Reserve and Caravan Park.

It is expected that the Comerang Island Ferry Service will be impacted.

 

 

 

 

 

Minor flooding expected on Shoalhaven River flats

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The State Emergency Service reports Shoalhaven River levels at Nowra and Tarara are fluctuating around minor floor levels this morning (Wednesday).

Heavy rainfall observed over the Shoalhaven River catchment has caused significant river rises and Tallowa Dam is occurring. 

Rainfall has eased and no further significant rainfall is expected. 

The Shoalhaven River at Nowra (AHD) is currently at 2.11 metres and steady.

River levels at Nowra Boat Shed are expected to fluctuate around the minor flood level (2.3 m) until Thursday. 

No observed data is available for the Shoalhaven River at Terara where river levels are expected to fluctuate around the minor flood level (2.2 m) until Thursday. 

Based on the prediction provided by the Bureau of Meteorology it is expected that flood water may impact low lying areas, roads and causeways including Shoalhaven Heads, Greenwell Point, Culburra and Orient Point as well as Bolong Road to Broughton Creek Bridge and Burrier Road.

The SES is reminding people in areas likely to be impacted by flooding to avoid storm drains and pipes, ditches, ravines and rivers.

Never drive, walk, ride through,  play or swim in floodwater—it is dangerous and toxic. If it’s flooded, forget it. 

Farmers and businesses are encouraged to move pumps, animals and equipment to higher ground before roads close and organise for sufficient stock feed and water for your animals. 

Move poisons, waste and chemicals to high storage locations and gather important business documents and records and keep them with you.  

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW State Emergency Service on 132 500.

In life threatening situations call triple zero (000) immediately. 

Phot Shoalhaven Tourism

Mogo zookeeper course to kick-start careers

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Young people with a passion for animals and conservation have an opportunity to get their hands dirty and learn what it's like to work at Mogo Zoo.

A partnership between TAFE NSW and Mogo Zoo will help nurture the next generation of zookeepers in the region, with Certificate III in Captive Animals being offered at Moruya TAFE for the first time.

The course includes a work placement component at the zoo and aims to ensure a steady pipeline of zookeepers to help keep pace with industry growth.

Mogo Zoo Managing Director Chad Staples says the unique course, which is enrolling now, is the minimum required qualification for zoo-keepers and enables students to undertake work placement at the zoo as part of their studies.

He says the new course will help stimulate home-grown interest.

“It’s amazing for young people to have this opportunity to get involved in the zoo industry,” Mr Staples said.

“Having a qualification in captive animals, combined with work placement at a zoo, is the real entry point into a zookeeping career and it’s great to have a local TAFE NSW campus offering this course to true locals.”

But Mr Staples said competition for the placements would be tough, with huge interest expected from local animal lovers.

"We're looking for school leavers with a real passion and that want to kick start their career," he said.

"It's hard work, it's not just about cuddling fluffy animals."

Mogo Wildlife Park made national headlines during the Black Summer bushfires when quick-thinking staff helped saved a number of animals from perishing.

TAFE NSW Animal Studies teacher and long-time zookeeper at Mogo Wildlife Park, Rebecca Ryman, said the course provided a rare opportunity for graduates to forge a career in a fascinating field.

“There aren’t many workplaces where you can amazing relationships with exotic animals,” Ms Ryman said.

“We are blessed to have so many high-quality zoos in NSW and it’s such an interesting industry to be a part of.

“If you have a true passion for animals, it’s the best job in the world.”

The Certificate III in Captive Animals covers units including animal welfare, capturing and restraining animals and working in the zoo industry.

According to the Federal Government’s Job Outlook agency, strong growth is expected for zookeeper roles in the coming years, with employment numbers to grow to 5000 nationally by 2022.

To find out more about studying captive animals at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au

Photo TAFE NSW

Multiple health alerts issued after confirmed COVID cases in Shellharbour and Nowra

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There are now 10 venues of concern across the Illawarra Shoalhaven after a person tested positive for Coronavirus in Shellharbour.

An alert has also been issued for the South Coast train line.

A spokesperson from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District said the case is currently isolating at home along with household contacts.

"The source of infection is under investigation, however is most likely linked to travel to Sydney required for work.

"The case was working from home when not required to travel for work.

"NSW Health has been notified of new venues of concern in Unanderra, Kiama, Nowra, Blackbutt, Shellharbour CityCentre and Warilla associated with this confirmed case of COVID-19," the spokesperson said.

Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed is a casual contact and must get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

"You should continue to monitor for symptoms and if any symptoms occur, get tested again," the LHD spokesperson said.

Bridgestone Tyres Unanderra, 159 Five Islands Road - Tuesday 3 August from 10.30 am to 11.30 am

Woolworths Kiama, Kiama View Shopping Centre, 143 Terralong Street - Friday 30 July from 5 pm to 5.15 pm

NAB Nowra, 56 Kinghorne Street - Friday 30 July from 2.50 pm to 3.05 pm

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Warilla Grove Shopping Centre, 47 Shellharbour Road, Warilla - Saturday 7 August from 9.25am to 11.20am, in particular the following stores:

Cafe Els - Saturday 7 August, 9.25 am to 9.35 am

Bakers Delight - Saturday 7 August, 9.30 am to 9.35 am

Mitchell's Market - Saturday 7 August, 9.35am to 10.05am

Woolworths - Saturday 7 August, 10 am to 11.20 am

Coles, Stockland Shellharbour - 1 Holm Place, Shellharbour City Centre - Saturday 7 August, 11.45 am to 12.20 pm

Dan Murphy's - Stocklands Retail Park, New Lake Entrance Road, Blackbutt - Saturday 7 August 2021, 12.25 pm to 12.45 pm

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A casual contact alert has also been issued for the South Coast train line after the positive case travelled from Mortdale to Bomaderry on Friday, July 30 between 11.55 am and 2.17 pm.

Images: https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/50308277997, Warilla Grove and Google Maps

Mum calls for action after sons attacked in Mollymook

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A Mollymook mother is appealing for people to be proactive about racism after her two Australian Egyptian sons were attacked in a Mollymook Park on Monday afternoon.

Emily Richardson says her sons, Ziad aged 18 and Nazar, 15, were set upon at a park in Mitchell Parade by two men and a woman who threw bottles and racially abused them before jumping on the bonnet of their car and smashing the windscreen.

Police were called and arrested one of the alleged attackers, a man in his 20s, who will face Milton Court in January.

Ms Richardson has received incredible support from the community, however she says it's not the first time her sons have been the victims of racism.

"I keep telling the boys take the high road - you can't react badly because that's just giving them what they want," she said.

"I tell them to just try and be the peacemaker.

"You can't change people's attitudes if you react in anger, but it's getting harder because they are angry when these things happen.

"How many more times will I have to tell them to de-escalate, to take the high road, that they can't control other people's actions, they can only control their own reactions?"

Ms Richardson said her sons were scared and jumped in their car to try and get away.

"They called them the N-word, they hurled racial slurs at them and threw beer bottles at them," she said.

"Then, for good measure, one of them jumped on our car and kicked in the windscreen."

Ms Richardson says she has had "incredible" support from the community, including Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley who said she was "really shocked that this happened just down the road from where I live".

"I’m not that naive to think that racism doesn’t exist in our city - for it most certainly does - but we need to find a way to get rid of it - it serves only hateful purpose," Cr Findley added.

"Nazar and Ziad are beautiful young men respected by their peers and loved in this community."

Ms Richardson is calling for people in the community to take a stand against racism and be proactive.

"It's not enough anymore to say you're not racist," she said, "being not racist and being anti-racist is not the same thing - one is passive, the other is active.

"Don't think that this kind of stuff isn't happening, because it is. Regularly. Often. All the time."

Ziad was the 2020 vice captain at Ulladulla High School and was awarded the year 12 Citizenship Award on Monday.

He plays basketball with the Illawarra Hawkes and is a member of the Mollymook Surf Lifesaving Club.

He has been offered early entry into Wollongong University and, in his school leadership role, has advocated strongly against racism, encouraging students to show their support by wearing one black and one white sock. 

Nazar is the former school captain of Milton Public School and both boys have been involved in the Milton Follies Theatre group and played in representative basketball teams.

Photo supplied.

Naval disaster commemorated

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53-years on,  and the lives of 74 US sailors who perished when HMAS Melbourne and USS USS Frank E. Evans collided, will be commemorated in the Shoalhaven.

Around 200 personnel from HMAS Albatross were on-board Melbourne that fateful day on June 3rd 1969 during exercises in the South China sea.

Some of those who survived and a representative from the US Embassy will gather at the private service which has been  organised by the Keith Payne VC Veterans Benefit Group.

HMAS Albatross will also provide a ceremonial sunset guard.

Image: Wikipedia

NBN connecting more villages in the Shoalhaven

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More businesses and homes across the Shoalhaven are set to have access to ultrafast broadband following NBN Co’s announcement of the latest suburbs and towns across Australia that will become eligible to upgrade to NBN’s Fibre to the Premises. 

Sussex Inlet, Mollymook Beach, North Nowra, Callala Bay, Broulee, and Callala Beach are to be hooked up.

Homes and businesses will be able to access ultrafast internet speeds of up to one gigabit per second, otherwise known as 1,000 megabits per second – or blazing-fast broadband. 

Work to hook up the Fibre to the Node network is underway. 

NSW Senator Jim Molan said it will provide a much-needed boost to economic activity and employment in the region. 

Click here for more information on the new towns and suburbs.

Click here for more information on the NBN.

Image: Supplied 

 

NDIS National Day of Action

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People with disability, families, and workers from across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven will unite in Wollongong tomorrow, as part of a co-ordinated National Day of Action to protest explained individual plan cuts that are leaving people along the South Coast without critical supports.

The Illawarra and Shoalhaven Save our NDIS Rally will see people with disability and everyone in their circles of support coming together in the Wollongong Arts Precinct to tell their stories, and meet with Federal election candidates and members of State and local government to lobby for support to defend our NDIS.

And the Illawarra Disability Alliance is inviting everyone to join in between 10.30am and 11.15am

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The Defend Our NDIS National Day of Action follows new economic modelling which shows the NDIS employs 180,000 people in NSW and contributes almost $17 billion to the NSW economy.

The new economic modelling shows the NDIS supports more than 12,000 jobs in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, and contributes more than $1.1 billion to the local economy: 

In the key marginal seat of Gilmore, 4,162 people employed by the NDIS.

2,775 are directly employed and a further 1,387people indirectly employed.

The NDIS contributes $387,585,416 to the local economy in Gilmore.

Images: Pixabay Free Images 

 

 

New COVID-19 venues of concern

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NSW Health has been notified of a number of new casual contact venues of concern associated with confirmed cases of COVID 19. 

If you were at a casual contact venue at the time and date listed on the website, immediately get tested and isolate until you get a negative result, even if you have had a test in recent days.

If your date of exposure at this venue occurred in the past four days, you must get another test on day five from the date of exposure.

Wear a mask around others and limit your movements until you get another negative result, and continue to monitor for symptoms, getting tested again if any symptoms occur.

 

Nowra

Better Tyres Nowra, 61 Berry Street, Wednesday 29 September 2021, 1pm to 1:30pm

Aldi Nowra, 8/16 Kinghorne Street, Tuesday 28 September 2021, 4:20pm to 4:35pm

 

Worrigee

Naji's Charcoal Chicken and Kebabs Worrigee, 60 Isa Road, Saturday 25 September 2021, 10:55am to 11am

 

Berry

IGA Berry, 123 Queen Street, Monday 27 September 2021, 8:45am to 9:15am

 

Sanctuary Point

Sanctuary Point Bakery Sanctuary Point, Shop 1/20 Paradise, Beach Road, Thursday 23 September 2021, 10am to 11am

Image: News

 

New look into parking near popular playground

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Shoalhaven City Council says it is aware of the issues, and community concerns, regarding car parking at Boongaree in Berry. 

Parking elements around such an important piece of infrastructure need to be considered in regard to the entire Boongaree project.

As a result, additional measures are currently being investigated to address parking issues at Boongaree. 

Taking into consideration the consultation that has already occurred for the Boongaree Master Plan, council has decided to re-open consultation with the community for proposed additional 90-degree formal car parking spaces along North Street, 80m west of Alexandra Street, Berry.

The area impacted by the proposal is depicted in red in the image. 

Please provide your feedback by completing the online survey on council's webpage by Sunday, 10 July

The survey also presents an opportunity for feedback on any other concerns surrounding the parking presented in the Master Plan, including LV parking. 

A hard copy of the survey can be completed upon request for residents without internet access. 

New Sheriff in town

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Twenty-five new Probationary Sheriff’s Officers will be deployed to work at courthouses across the state following an attestation ceremony on 20 May, including a new graduates assigned to the Shoalhaven and Illawarra.

Parliamentary Secretary and Member for South Coast, Shelley Hancock MP welcomed the addition of a Probationary Sheriff’s Officer to both Wollongong and Nowra Courthouse.

“We want to ensure our community feels safe when attending court, so it is great to see a new recruits commencing their duty,” Mrs Hancock said.

She said, “Not only will our new Probationary Sheriff’s Officer help keep operations running smoothly at their respective courthouse, but they will also carry out important work administering Court Orders in the community.”

Nominate an outstanding Shoalhaven citizen

Images from on and around the Harbour and Circular Quay on Australia Day.

Nominations for the 2021 Shoalhaven Australia Day Awards are now open.

After a challenging 12 months for the region, the awards offer a timely opportunity to reflect and celebrate the outstanding contributions of local residents.  

This year there are five categories in this years’ Awards include:  

  • Citizen of the Year: 25 years & over;   
  • Young Citizen: 24 years & younger;   
  • Outstanding contribution towards innovating arts & culture: all ages,    
  • Outstanding contribution to the environment: all ages,  
  • Community leader contributing to an inclusive Shoalhaven; all ages,  

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley acknowledged that, while it has been a challenging 12 months for the Shoalhaven, the Awards presented a timely opportunity to reflect and celebrate each other.  

“Amongst the hardship and challenges we have all faced I know there will be plenty of inspirational people who deserve to be recognised for their contribution”, Cr Findley said.  

“If you know someone in the community who has gone above and beyond, I encourage you to nominate them for one of the five categories of the Shoalhaven Australia Day Awards.

“The Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the true unsung heroes in our community."

Nominations can be submitted until Monday November 30, 2020.  

The winners will be announced on Australia Day, Tuesday 26 January 2021 in an online COVID-19 friendly event.  

For more information and to submit a nomination for the Awards visit Shoalhaven City Council’s website

Photo: australiaday.com.au