shoalhaven - 2ST

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.

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 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

 

 

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."

Against the odds - North Nowra teen Bailey's remarkable survival

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Bailey Van Der Hooven was a normal, active and energetic teenager before he was hit by a car in July last year. 

And while that left him with a brain injury and a range of internal injuries, his cheekiness and love of practical jokes continues to shine during the long road to recovery, according to mum Julie. 

She says the first time Bailey smiled after the accident was on Christmas Day when he shot his bother Coby with a nerf gun, and after that the nurses at the Westmead Children’s Hospital had to be wary of meeting the same fate. 

“The whole time in the hospital I was telling the nurses and the team how funny he was and his sense of humour, and the practical jokes he does, and they all got to see that before we left the hospital which was amazing,” Julie said. 

Bailey’s jokes and his cheeky grin were something few expected to see. 

Bailey suffered substantial injuries when he was knocked over by a car while riding his bike across and intersection on the Princes Highway in Nowra. 

He suffered a brain injury, ligaments in his neck were damaged, his jaw was broken in five places – in fact the plastic surgeon said repairing it was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. 

Julie was driving past a short time later and came across the accident scene, and knew one of the paramedics attending the emergency. 

The look on his face told Julie volumes about the situation. 

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“He can’t get the look on my face out of his head, and I can’t get the look on his face out of mine,” Julie recalled. 

She was allowed onto the helicopter that flew Bailey to the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick, but as he was being prepared for surgery Julie was advised to say good-bye because medical staff feared he would not survive. 

But they did not account for Bailey’s determination and positive attitude. 

“What Bailey has on his side is his youth and determination,” Julie said. 

“I think he’s been surprising everyone since day one. He surprised ICU and he’s surprised the hospital when we left. And he’s still going, surprising al his therapists and all his family and friends.” 

After a long time in an induced coma giving Bailey’s brain time to heal, when he was awake again the communication started with him giving a long blink to say yes. 

Then on Christmas day – nearly six months after the accident – Bailey gave his first smile. 

“That was the best present in the world,” Julie recalled. 

His progress continued and when the North Nowra teenager was finally discharged on March 3 “it was a big thing at the hospital”. 

Julie said even some of the former patients came back to say good-bye to Bailey, because people in the hospital became their own form of family. 

Being back at home had been challenging at times, Julie said, but “the community here has been fantastic”. 

At the same time Bailey “has been showing more and more of himself all the time”. 

That includes showing his cheeky side, with things including regularly switching his iPad to creepy voices just to startle those around him. 

For now the immediate goal is to have Bailey talking and walking again, and Julie is determined, even certain, that will happen. 

“The way he’s going now and how much progress he’s already made he’s going to keep going and keep thriving. He’s going to be walking and talking, and he’s going to show more and more of him,” she said. 

“He just wants to prove to everyone that he’s going to walk and talk again. 

However Bailey insists he will one day play for the West Tigers. 

More immediate is the aim of getting Bailey back to school at Nowra High, and getting the ramps and equipment needed to cater for his changed condition and wheelchair. 

Nowra High School is organising a trivia night at the Bomaderry Bowling Club on August 13 to raise money for Bailey and his family. 

images: supplied

An extra $10m to tackle bad Shoalhaven roads

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When Shoalhaven City Council tried to look after its residents during the Covid crisis and not increase rates last year, it meant less money was available to look after the region’s roads.

But difficult weather conditions have seen roads take a real battering in recent times, according to Mayor Amanda Findley.

“As we’ve seen, over the last 18 months we’ve had a number of issues with prolonged rain and wet periods, coming out of fire and drought which has really impacted on the quality of our roads,” she said.

This led to a huge backlog of road repairs and upgrades, which will be addressed this year after council this week allocated an extra $10 million to its road maintenance budget.

Cr Mayor Amanda Findley said the Federal Government recently gave some extra infrastructure funding, allowing more money to be spent maintaining the region’s roads.

She said this money was all about improving road maintenance, rather than building anything new.

“What we will see is some of our areas getting re-sealed, that need a seal to keep the road in good working order,” Cr Findley said.

And the money will be spread on projects throughout the Shoalhaven.

“This is a fantastic result and it should mean that we’ll all get to see some difference in all of the different areas of the Shoalhaven,” Cr Findley said.

She pointed out the $10 million was additional to what was already planned in the annual budget.

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

Aunty Violet calls Shoalhaven indigenous community to action over COVID

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Aboriginal social worker, Aunty Violet Green, has spent a long time working in and around health services.

And as part of her continued involvement in health issues, the Walbunga woman of the Yuin nation has issued a plea for members of the Shoalhaven's Indigenous community to take all possible precautions to protect themselves against COVID.

In a video posted to social media, Aunty Violet appears with South Coast Police District Commander Greg Moore to ask people to alter their behaviour.

"Take the opportunity to get the vaccine," Aunty Violet said.

"It saves people's lives, and you don't know whose life it could be saving - it could be your family, it could be your mob, the people you work with, it could be your best friend.

"Our mob's important, and we also know that we spread the virus by moving around unnecessarily, so please, I just ask you to stay home and please get vaccinated and if you're unwell please get tested."

 

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

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 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

Berry shop fire extinguished before it could spread

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A fire in a Berry takeaway shop on Friday night was extinguished before it managed to spread to adjoining buildings.

Fire and Rescue crews from Berry and Nowra were called to the shop in Queen Street and were faced with a building filled with smoke and flames that were spilling out the roof.

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While fire fighters managed to extinguish the blaze and keep it to one shop, the takeaway was one of four adjoining shops which shared a common roof space, so it had to potential to be much worse.

The blaze was the Berry brigade's second commercial shop fire in six months.

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Its fire fighters have been praised for the dedication and professionalism they continue to shown, and the timely responses to these incidents that have prevented serious structural damage to both properties.

images: berry fire and rescue

 

Berry's Olympic silver medal winner returns

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The horse that carried Berry's Shane Rose to an Olympic silver medal is back in Australia.

After competing in the team eventing at Tokyo the 16-year-old warmblood Virgil has been through quarantine and biosecurity processes in Germany and Australia before being reunited with Rose.

Rose said he had owned Virgil since the horse was a youngster, so to have been with him for so long and taking through to an Olympic silver medal was very rewarding.

He said he always believed Virgil was a world-class horse, and put it all together in Tokyo was "very pleasing".

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"Virgil had a fantastic preparation," Rose said.

"Everything went to plan. We’ve had travelling issues with Virgil in the past.

“For this trip we had a very specific diet and exercise plan and it worked well.  

"Virgil arrived in Tokyo feeling fit and strong which allowed him to perform at his best.”

Tokyo was Rose's third Olympics, but Virgil's first.

Now that the pair have been reunited, Virgil will rest before gearing up for next year’s World Championships in Italy.

images: supplied by Australian Government

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.

Border closures keep Ulladulla family apart

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Joanne Moore has not seen her husband Jason since the start of June, as state border closures have kept them apart.

Last year they spent 10 months unable to see each other, which Joanne said was tough on their children.

But even tougher is the predicament they are facing because she is trying to sell their Ulladulla home so she and the children can move to Western Australia where Jason works in the mining industry on a fly-in, fly-out basis, but they have been refused permission by the WA Government.

"I wrote an email to the Premier, Mark McGowan, and he didn't read it personally, he passed it on to another office, and they basically said 'No, wanting to relocate to WA is not an excuse to get an exemption'," Joanne said.

While Jason's employer has put together a relocation package to help workers reunite with their families, and she has been told her home will sell quickly once she puts it on the market, it's left Joanne in an incredibly difficult situation.

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"I read in the news yesterday that the borders aren't looking like they're going to open until April 2022, so unless a miracle happens I'm stuck here until 2022 and when this house sells stuck without anywhere to live with two children and four animals," she said.

Joanne said she thought she was doing the right thing by ensuring she and her children were fully vaccinated, even getting her 12-year-old daughter vaccinated when the West Australian Government had not even made vaccines available to children that young.

But it was not enough to convince the WA Government to let them in.

"They're just saying that I don't have any grounds to get an exemption to be able to get into Western Australia, even though I'm fully vaccinated and there's no actual cases of COVID, and never has been in Ulladulla," Joanne said.

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The WA Government has classified all of NSW as extreme risk, and says the only people who can enter Western Australia from an extreme risk jurisdiction are certain senior government officials; certain active military personnel; a member of the Commonwealth Parliament, a person carrying out functions under a law of the Commonwealth; and skilled specialists required to perform time-critical services, who are specifically approved by the State Emergency Coordinator or Chief Health Officer or who belong to a specified class of specialist worker that been approved by the State Emergency Coordinator or the Chief Health Officer.

Images: Joanne Moore

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 Beach man to head health services

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Chris Bertinshaw of Callala Beach has been appointed chair of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s board, and brings a wealth of management experience to the position.

His previous positions include CEO of a private health insurance fund, managing director of a medical fraud prevention company and CEO of the Australian Spinal Cord Injury Network.

“While I’m not a medical clinician, I’ve been working adjacent to clinicians in one way or another over 20 or 30 years,” Mr Bertinshaw said.

And he said he would use his experience to help deliver the best possible medical services to people in the region.

“I’m going to be focusing on trying to ensure that the organisation works as efficiently and productively as possible to achieve the outcomes for the community on the South Coast,” he said.

That task was made a lot easier by the work of his predecessor and the health board’s initial chairman, Professor Dennis King.

Mr Bertinshaw said Professor King established great relationships with all the local health networks, communities, politicians and the Health Minister.

“I feel like I’ve been blessed with being able to stand on some giants’ shoulders and see the future much further than I would otherwise be able to.”

Mr Bertinshaw’s appointment has been welcomed by Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Chief Executive Margot Mains.

“I am delighted that Mr Bertinshaw will be joining our Board as Chair,” Ms Mains said.

“I have no doubt that his skills and experience will add tremendous value to the board.

“As the incoming chair, Mr Bertinshaw has the passion and experience to successfully lead the board’s oversight of health services for our local communities now and into the future,” Ms Mains said.

image: supplied

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.

 

 

Cambewarra in a spin over park upgrade

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Children with mobility issues are able to access a new spinner in Cambewarra following Shoalhaven City Council’s efforts to make parks accessible to all.

And following the official opening on Saturday even a number of adults were keen to try out the new play equipment in the Howell Faulks Park.

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley has paid tribute to the Cambewarra community for its leadership and guidance on what was needed for the village.

“Particularly those from the Ratepayers and Residents Association, and I want to pay my respects to you because wow, what a motivated bunch of people you are,” Cr Findley said.

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“With your brainpower delivering things to us to work with, then we get to do fantastic projects in that really collaborative way, so I really want to give that appreciation.”

Collaboration was at the centre of the park upgrade, with the State Government contributing $50,000 and the council $25,000.

The local community also did its bit by putting up a shelter.

images: Glenn Ellard

Car on side following crash at Bomaderry

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A car was left on its side and leaking fuel following a two-vehicle crash on the Princes Highway at Bomaderry about 11.30am today (Wednesday).

The accident occurred between the Illaroo Road and Bolong Road intersections.

Police and NSW Fire and Rescue were on the scene, with traffic reduced to one lane, causing delays.

No-one was injured in the accident.

Image: Peter Andrea

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

 

 

COVID case in Sanctuary Point

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Sanctuary Point has been identified as an area of concern in NSW Health's latest list of potential COVID exposure sites.

Culburra Beach continues to concern health officials due to fragments of the COVID virus being found ion the town's sewage, while no cases have yet been identified in the town.

People living in Culburra Beach have again been urged to be tested if they have the slightest of cold or flu-like symptoms.

In today's COVID figures there were 38 cases from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, including two from the Shoalhaven.

That takes the Shoalhaven's number of active cases to 18.

 

COVID case in the Shoalhaven

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A Shoalhaven resident has tested positive for COVID-19.

The man aged in his 30s is a close contact of an existing case.

Officials from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District say the man has been in isolation during his infectious period.

image: supplied

Covid hits weekend's junior Shoalhaven AFL carnival

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Covid restrictions brought hasty changes to the weekend’s junior AFL carnival in Nowra.

Teams from the Illawarra, Central West, Sapphire Coast and Shoalhaven played in a range of age groups, until Covid restrictions came into effect late on Saturday.

Tim Martin from AFL South Coast said they affected a few players in the Central West teams who had spent time in the Blue Mountains, and all the Illawarra sides.

“Unfortunately with the latest restrictions that came in we ended up having the send the Illawarra teams home,” he said.

“The vast majority of those players and families were from the Wollongong and Shellharbour regions which are now subject of a lockdown.”

Mr Martin said it was a shame, as the Illawarra teams were performing well but missed out on the chance of being in play-offs on Sunday.

However he said the Shoalhaven’s junior AFL players also performed well during the tournament played in Nowra and at the Bay and Basin Leisure Centre, which had teams from the four regions competing in under 13 mixed, under 15 and under 17 boys, and youth girls.

“The Shoalhaven kids acquitted themselves quite well, they did pretty well in the 15s boys, and their 17s girls won two of their three games,” Mr Martin said.

image: supplied

COVID vaccinations in Jerrinja today

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A COVID vaccination clinic is being held in the Jerrinja community from 10am today.

Jerrinja resident Rodney John urged community members to be vaccinated to help life return to normal.

In a video posted to social media he said the lockdown was tough, "But to keep one another safe there's now a vaccine out there that will keep us all safe."

Mr John said vaccines had been brought in to Jerrinja, "So anyone from community who wants to come up and get the shot - I'm not forcing anybody - but if you want to come up and get it that's one step closer to a step out of our door, to get out in the real world and start mingling in with each other again.

"But until then we need to get the rules and  regulations down pat," he said.

image: supplied

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 

 

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.

Dry cleaning rises out of Nowra fire's ashes

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When fire destroyed the Lyrebird Dry Cleaners in central Nowra during January, staff members Vicki Lowbridge and Lisa Etheridge took immediate action to ensure Navy contracts were maintained.

Vicki said the Lyrebird owner was not interested in resurrecting the business after the fire, which was caused by an electrical fault.

She said she had been interested in going out on her own for a while, despite the challenges of being visually impaired, so she and Linda went straight to work following the blaze.

They bought machines and carried out dry cleaning in their own homes, just to make sure they held on to the contract and continued looking after other loyal customers.

“So we went up to Sydney straight after the fire, got some machines, so they were in Cambewarra, they were in Wandandian, they were anywhere we could put them so that we could keep the service to the community alive,” Vicki said.

While the Navy initially looked elsewhere to have its cleaning needs met, that soon changed as Vicki and Linda were able to provide a quicker service than had previously been possible with Lyrebird.

And their efforts brought a strong mark of approval when they finally managed to establish their own business – Shoalhaven Dry Cleaners near Bunnings in South Nowra.

“Once we went out on our own, literally on the second day, we got two Pantech trucks full of Navy supplies literally dumped into our shop here, so I guess you could say they were happy with us,” Linda said.

Many customers are also happy to see the faces that became so familiar during a combined 35 years working at Lyrebird.

The only people happier about the new business are members of Linda and Vicki’s families, who spent months living with large volumes of clothes waiting to be dry cleaned.

image: Glenn Ellard

Dylan and Lara dive in to help clean up Jervis Bay

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So much of the rubbish dropped on the roads or in the streets ends up in the ocean, impacting on sea life and the marine environment.

That is why Dylan Boag and Lara Hindmarsh from Woebegone Freedive in Jervis Bay have spent the past two years devoting one day a month to cleaning up problem areas with the help of friends.

They have donned scuba gear to clean up underwater areas, walked along roads to pick up roadside rubbish, and cleared beaches of all sorts of trash.

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As Dylan explained, “We either focus on roadsides, because everything on the side of the road eventually leads into the ocean, or we do south-facing beaches after a storm event, or we do actual dive site clean-ups where we put a tank on and dive down and try and collect as much debris as we can like fishing line, beer bottles and all that kind of stuff.”

After the big swells of recent days they took to Steamer’s Beach in Booderee National Park this week, requiring a one-hour walk each way and a steep climb to get to the location, but Dylan said the effort was needed.

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“The beaches that are facing south, like Steamers, they get the most debris after a big swell event,” he explained.

The reason behind the regular clean-ups was simple.

“Part of our company ethos is that we want to give back to the community, and we also realise that it’s good for business to have a really clean ocean, clean ecosystem, so I guess we just want to set an example,” Dylan said.

“I think it’s really important to have a pristine marine park – it’s good four tourism and good for our general wellbeing as well.

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“That’s how it started and it’s evolved from there.”

Dylan says the biggest problems are cigarette butts and fishing debris, while they have also come across lots of cutlery, toothbrushes, used bottles and large amounts of discarded polystyrene.

Clean-up plans are posted on Woebegone’s social media pages, and Dylan and Lara encourage people to join them in helping protect the environment.

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They are particularly keen for children to take part in cleaning up the region.

Dylan and Lara said since starting their cleanups a number of other businesses including Seakayak Jervis Bay, South Coast Mariculture and Jervis Bay Brewery had come on board to lend a hand.

images: supplied

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.

Endangered birds start nesting on Shoalhaven beaches

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Endangered Pied Oystercatchers have arrived to make nests on Shoalhaven beaches, and will soon be followed by other endangered birds including hooded plovers and little terns.

David McCreery from National Parks said it was an exciting time, but added there were things local residents could do to help protect nesting birds and their eggs.

“While we are excited to see these birds return, we also face each nesting season with some apprehension as there remain real threats to the birds and to the few eggs the female lays each year,” Mr McCreery said.

“One of the best ways that people can help this species is to keep their pet dogs away from birds and their nests. 

“Beach-goers really must take care when walking through the dunes as any minor disturbance can damage eggs or cause adult birds to abandon their nest.

 “We know its easier said than done, the golf-ball sized eggs can be well camouflaged so avoid the high dunes and walk only on the wet sand to avoid nesting sites," he said.

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“If people see a nest site we ask that they please don’t disturb the birds or eggs, instead call NPWS so we can go down and install signs or barriers to protect the site as best we can. 

“NPWS Rangers along with the Saving our Species team and dedicated South Coast Shorebird volunteers will be monitoring nests right through summer until March next year. 

“There are some threats that are more difficult to control, such as predation from foxes or storm surges, but with the help of local volunteers we are doing what we can,” Mr McCreery said. 

The South Coast Shorebird Recovery Program spans beaches from the Illawarra to the Victorian border and is boosted each year by volunteers.

Images: Leo Berzins

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 protection for Berry's heritage

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Berry's heritage has been given extra protection through changes to the Shoalhaven Local Environmental Plan.

The LEP has incorporated the Berry Heritage Planning Proposal which lists 12 additional heritage items and two heritage conservation areas in Berry, covering Queen Street and the Berry Showground and surrounds.

Amendments to the LEP help recognise and protect items and streetscapes of local heritage significance and ensures future development considers the heritage character of the area. 

The changes are the culmination of a process that started a year ago.

Shoalhaven Council decided in September last year to amend the Shoalhaven Local Environmental Plan by incorporating the Berry Heritage Planning Proposal.

Then in May council undertook formal public consultation as part of the process, and now the process has been finalised.

Images: Shoalhaven City Council

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Fair dinkum, Nowra Players latest show delayed by COVID

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The Nowra Players were due to take to the stage tonight to open their season of the heartfelt Australian play Dinkum Assorted.

But with COVID and lockdowns dictating all aspects of life, the performances have been postponed until November and December.

Director Peter Szota said tickets sales started when there were no restrictions, but after selling out a few shows they were told of 50 per cent audience limits so they had to move people and even put on an extra performance.

“We finally got that sorted out about a week ago, and we thought beautiful, we’ll put on an extra performance, everyone was happy, we had all performances pretty much sold out to the public at 50 per cent capacity,” he said.

But then the lockdown hit for a week, cancelling the last two rehearsals and forcing the performances to be delayed – but for how long?

“When the last two rehearsals were cancelled we know we’d have to put it back for a week or maybe two, then we started to talk about it and we thought ‘This is unlikely to finish after a week’, which as we heard from the Premier is true, so it will only be on in November-December hopefully, keeping our fingers crossed,” Mr Szota said.

The play is a real Szota family affair, with Peter directing, his wife Debbie producing, and their daughter Annaliese performing in the play and singing an original song as part of the show.

The play Dinkum Assorted is set in the early days of World War 2, when women go to work in a biscuit factory to keep it alive after the men all head off to fight in the war.

image: supplied

 

Fast track projects to boost South Coast jobs: MP

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With the Shoalhaven economy continuing to struggle, South Coast MP Shelley Hancock has called on state and federal governments to pour billions of dollars into the region by fast tracking projects.

She wants work on redeveloping the Shoalhaven Hospital, upgrading the Princes Highway south of Nowra and the Milton-Ulladulla bypass, and building the Budawang School and a new school at Worrigee or South Nowra brought forward.

Mrs Hancock said the multi-billion dollar infrastructure pipeline would help get people to work, as well as supporting thousands of jobs across the region including food and hospitality, accommodation and a multitude of industries along varying supply chains.

“Our region needs to get humming again so now is the time to ensure these major projects are primed for construction and have people ready to work,” she said.

“From the north at Mount Ousley, to the south at Budawang School and the Milton Ulladulla by-pass, major multi-million dollar projects are in the planning stages almost ready to go, and what better way to get local people back to work than on our hospitals, roads and schools. 

“There is no doubt the lockdowns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our region significantly.

“The NSW Government should be doing all it can to support us recover and assist people back to work," Mrs Hancock said.

“Construction projects support a multitude of jobs including apprenticeships and traineeships, as well as benefit local businesses including all kinds of eateries and accommodation providers, with increased patronage and spending.

“The Commonwealth and NSW Governments have committed significant funding for road, health and education projects across the region, so the money is there, and now it is time to get them started.”

Mrs Hancock has written to the Commonwealth and the NSW Treasurers today, as well as the Ministers for Infrastructure, calling for the region to be prioritised with funding to allow projects to be fast-tracked.

“The benefits of fast-tracking local infrastructure projects cannot be understated,” Mrs Hancock said.

“Our local economy will benefit from the significant financial boost whilst our region will enjoy the roads, schools and hospitals we need for our growing communities.”

The infrastructure projects across the South Coast region seeking Mrs Hancock wants to see fast tracked include: 

  • Milton/Ulladulla Princes Highway by-pass
  • Budawang School construction
  • Jervis Bay Road/Princes Highway intersection upgrade
  • Jervis Bay Road to Sussex Inlet Road Princes Highway upgrade
  • Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital redevelopment
  • Worrigee/South Nowra school construction
  • Shellharbour Hospital construction
  • Mount Ousley/Princes Highway interchange upgrade

Image: NSW Health

 

 

 

 

 

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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire decimates Jervis Bay Stock Feeds

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Years of hard work went up in smoke tonight as the well respected family business, Jervis Bay Stock Feeds in Falls Creek, was gutted by fire.

The blaze started about 7pm, and was attended by several Rural Fire Service crews along with NSW Fire and rescue.

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Investigators are on their way to the scene to look into the cause of the fire, and fire fighters were tonight donning breathing apparatus as they prepared to enter what was left of the main building.

Investigations are also expected to look into whether there was asbestos in the building.

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Earlier as the fire was taking hold, a man rushed into the building and through the smoke to rescue a dog inside.

The fire cut power to several nearby homes.

images: Glenn Ellard

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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

Fishing fees help fund Shoalhaven improvements

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Shoalhaven City Council has been given more than $264,000 to improve the region's fishing facilities.

South Coast MP Shelley Hancock announced the money from the Recreational Fishing Trust will allow for a new fishing projects in the region.

The bulk of council's funding will be directed to improving facilities at St Georges Basin, including upgrading a fishing jetty located off Island Point Road, renewing the fishing jetty at the end of The Basin Road,  providing a fish cleaning table and rod holders, and upgrading the Sanctuary Point  and Erowal Bay jetties.

There will also be work to provide safer access to existing fish cleaning tables located on intertidal rock platforms at Bendalong and Kioloa, and build a fish friendly boardwalk and fishing platforms on the Currambene Creek/ Myola training wall.

An extra $43,200 will be given to Newcastle University to measure recreational fishery enhancement resulting from substantial habitat repair in Burrill Lake.

Mrs Hancock said the projects were part of a record 94 grants funded this year through the Recreational Fishing Trust to improve and promote recreational fishing in local areas.

“This is fantastic news to see projects on the South Coast be rewarded and receive funding to support locals with their passion for fishing,” Mrs Hancock said.

“This funding will see fishing access improvements in St Georges Basin, Jervis Bay, Bendalong and Kioloa.

“The best thing about Recreational Fishing Trust grants is they are fishers’ licence fees being reinvested back into local projects which benefit the South Coast region.

“Each year we put out the call for applications and every year we see unique, positive projects. Through this round of funding, our passionate fishos have truly outdone themselves.”

Mrs Hancock said a new round of applications had opened and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) would accept applications until October 15.

“This is your licence fees at work, so if you’ve got an idea then please, get your application in and take advantage of this available funding,” Mrs Hancock said.

image: supplied

Four arrested after South Coast drug investigation

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Three men and a woman were arrested last night following an investigation into the supply of prohibited drugs on the South Coast.

Officers searched a house on Mernie Street, Old Erowal Bay, about 5.45pm yesterday and allegedly located a clandestine laboratory and items consistent with manufacturing prohibited drugs, including 2kg of pseudoephedrine.

A 48-year-old man was arrested at the scene and taken to Nowra Police Station where he was charged with manufacturing a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs and possessing a precursor chemical.

He was refused bail to appear in Nowra Local Court today.

Another 48-year-old man was later arrested in Caringbah and charged with manufacturing a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs and possessing a precursor chemical.

He was refused bail to appear in Sutherland Local Court today.

Investigators also stopped a vehicle on Owen Street, Huskisson, just before11pm. The vehicle was searched, and police seized 200ml of GBL, over $3000 cash and four mobile phones.

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During a subsequent search at a house on Hawke Street, Huskisson, officers allegedly seized an indictable quantity of methylamphetamine and $4000 cash.

A 38-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man were arrested and taken to Nowra Police Station, where they were charged with two counts of supplying a prohibited drug, possessing a prohibited drug, and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

The man was also charged with manufacturing a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs.

They were refused bail to appear before Nowra Local Court today.

Police remind the public to contact Crime Stoppers or local police if they witness what they believe to be suspicious behaviour.

In relation to clandestine laboratories, this can include suspicious/abnormal chemical odours, unusual patterns of behaviour, including coming and going intermittently and at odd hours of the day or night, and people carrying large containers of chemicals into residential properties.

images: police

Four arrested following alleged attack in Nowra motel

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Four people have been arrested after a man was allegedly attacked and robbed in Nowra last night.

Police have been told an 18-year-old Bomaderry man had arranged to meet a woman in a room at a Nowra motel.

However when he got there another man was inside the room. Police believe the trio were known to each other.

A short time later, three males allegedly entered the room armed with a tomahawk and knives.

The group allegedly struck the Bomaderry man, stomped on his head and stole his gold necklace and a bag containing his mobile phone, wallet and medication.

The man escaped and ran to the Nowra Police Station., where he was treated by paramedics for cuts and abrasions to his face.

Police arrested five people - two 17-year-old males, a man and woman both aged 18, and a 21-year-old man.

The 18-year-old Bemboka woman was charged with aggravated robbery inflicting actual bodily harm.

A 21-year-old man from South Nowra was charged with robbery armed with an offensive weapon.

The teens were also charged with robbery armed with an offensive weapon.

All four were refused bail, with the man and woman facing Nowra Local Court today.

The 18-year-old Campbelltown man was released without charge, pending further inquiries.

Investigations are continuing.

image: Glenn Ellard

From Nowra to Perth: Maddy ready for new AFLW season

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Nowra’s Maddy Collier was one of the first players signed up when the AFLW competition launched in 2017, and she has just signed up for her sixth season in 2022.

However her football journey has taken the tough and versatile defender across the country after playing the first three seasons with Greater Western Sydney, and preparing to start her third with the West Coast Eagles in Perth.

And she is confident of doing well when the season starts in early 2022.

“I’m really excited, I think we’re shaping up to have a really good team, and I think we made a lot of inroads this year in the 2021 season, so really looking forward to what’s ahead,” she said.

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Collier was a teenager attending Nowra High School when she was inspired to play AFL after watching her brother take to the field with the Nowra Blues, but there were no Nowra teams for girls so she started in Kiama.

From there she was signed by Greater Western Sydney for the inaugural AFLW season in 2017, staying another two years before switching to Perth.

And at 25 she has become one of the more experienced players in the competition, and Collier said she was starting to use her experience to guide younger players.

“I get to use my experience in the team with the new girls coming through,” she said.

“I like to take them under my wing and show them what I know, and tell them what I’ve learnt from being an AFLW footballer since the beginning.”

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It has not always been easy, as Collier has suffered a broken ankle and a couple of concussions playing the game she loves.

But she says she has been lucky with only a few injuries.

“Every sport you play is going to have injuries and complications and things that you need to be aware of, so really it is up to the individual,” she said.

“But I think AFL really offers a lot – it’s one of the most dynamic sports in the world, it’s a 360 degree sport, so there’s lots of challenges from different angles, but injuries are going to happen in sports, it’s a part of life, but I don’t think it should deter any young girl from wanting to play, or parents even.”

Each team will play 10 games in the 2022 AFLW season, which plays during summer and early spring.

Collier enjoys the game so much she has spent a couple of winters in Victoria playing with women’s VFL club Essendon, but this year she is about to start a psychology degree at university in Perth, and has remained in the western capital.

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The West Coast Eagles have regarded her as a key signing for next year.

"It's really good to lock Maddy away, as she probably had her best season of football last year," coach Daniel Pratt said.

"We'll continue to give her clarity on her role, and feel she'll be a mainstay of our football club for the next four or five years, so it's really good to sign her again, alongside a couple of the other girls."

images: supplied

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.

Going gold in memory of Sussex Inlet's Georgia

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Today marks three months since 12-year-old Georgia Fletcher of Sussex Inlet succumbed to Neuroblastoma, but a fundraising push to help neuroblastoma research has been delayed due to COVID restrictions.

Shoalhaven Goes Gold was due to launch today in Nowra's CBD, but that's been pushed back for two weeks.

However organiser Sue Hammond-Warne hoped the fundraising would continue regardless,

"A couple of people I know are having a virtual morning tea, Shoalhaven Community Choir are having a virtual morning tea where they're going gold, and they've raised almost $300 for neuroblastoma," Ms Hammond-Warne said.

Much of the fundraising efforts are centred on the Facebook site In Memory of Georgia, which is selling merchandise, calendars, raffle tickets and more.

"There's a lot of information on the Facebook page," Ms Hammond-Warne said.

"It's three months today since this wonderful angel's passing, and so any time in September we're hoping to raise money for Child Caner Awareness Month and especially neuroblastoma, but today's a special days, and we'd really love people to get on board and give a bit of gold today, it'd be lovely."

Other events are planned throughout September and October by Shoalhaven Assistance and Support Inc.

image: glenn ellard

 

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.

Grants available to help strengthen Shoalhaven

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Applications are open for Shoalhaven City Council’s bushfire recovery grants program.

Small grants up to one thousand dollars are available, along with larger grants of up to 10 thousand dollars.

Individuals, community groups and organisations delivering small scale, short-term projects in the community which help overcome social impacts of the 2019-20 bushfires are able to apply for funds.

That could include individuals hosting a street party or community barbecue, or groups organising disaster preparation packs for the community or a new short term mental health program.

The grants program provides small-scale financial support for projects which contribute to community improvement, wellbeing, resilience and recovery.  

“We are seeking applications from community members and community groups who are working to cultivate a more resilient community and to improve general wellbeing and social recovery in our communities,” said Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley.

“If you have an activity, event or program which builds community resilience or brings people together and supports communities in recovery or supports community-led commemoration initiatives you are strongly encouraged to apply.”

Applications can be submitted on council’s website by August 6.

Money for the grants is provided by the joint Commonwealth State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

image: supplied

Greenwell Point retiree wins big on Keno

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A Greenwell Point retiree has had a weekend he will never forget, winning a Keno prize of more than $127,000 with an eight-spot entry in game 616 on Saturday.

Confirming his windfall with a Keno official this morning, the man explained he’d spent the weekend celebrating his good fortune.

“We were just out having dinner with friends,” he explained.

"I decided to give Keno a go. I don’t usually play but I am very glad I did.

“And then bingo! I won!

“It was a lovely surprise. Such a great weekend.”

He said he would have plenty of time to enjoy his windfall.

“I’ll have no trouble getting through it,” he laughed.

“I will be able to really enjoy my retirement.”

The winning entry was purchased at the Culburra Bowling and Recreation Club, and supervisor Tim Gehlhaar said it was the biggest Keno win they’d had at the venue.

“A massive congratulations to our winner. We hope he really enjoys his prize,” he said.

“We were so excited to see this prize won at the club. It’s by far the biggest win we’ve had.

“Everyone here was so happy on Saturday. We hope it’s the beginning of plenty more wins for our patrons.”

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

Hat's on for Shoalhaven eatery

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The South Coast’s growing reputation as a food destination has been further enhanced by a glowing review that is enough to award a prestigious chef’s hat to Bangalay Dining at Shoalhaven Heads.

The review praises the use of indigenous ingredients in the menu, and restaurant food and beverage director Ronnie Gorman said that was ironic because head chef Simon Evans was English but had taken a huge liking to the foods and flavours found only in Australia.

Mr Gorman said the chef was pioneering gourmet use of amazing and memorable Australian flavours.

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“We’ve just got these ingredients and they’re all new to everyone, and they’re all still interesting and exciting, and no one’s actually figured out the best way to use everything, so I think in 10 to 20 years time it will be such a huge impact on our menu,” he said.

While the review by Terry Durack gave the restaurant a score of 15 out of 20, which is enough to qualify for a prestigious chef’s hat when the Good Food Guide is published later in the year, Mr Gorman was not getting carried away, saying a lot could happen between now and the guide being printed.

“The guide comes out in November, so we’ve still got a chance other reviewers could come in and experience Bangalay, so we’ve got to keep our standards high, and keep that score, to make sure we can keep that hat,” he said.

images: supplied

Here's cheers to more jobs in JB Brewery expansion

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The Jervis Bay Brewery is expanding its production thanks to help from the State Government, tapping into with plans to send its products around Australia and even overseas.

In the process the brewery will utilise cutting-edge technology including solar power and hydrogen electrolysis technology that treats wastewater to produce hydrogen, which will be stored and used later in the brewing process.

Co-owner Paul Walker said the new technology was part of the company’s ethos.

“The idea is to become completely carbon neutral, so breweries by their very nature use a lot of energy, whether that be gas or whether that be electricity etc, but we’re trying to become completely carbon neutral,” he said.

The company plans to build a new production facility across the road from its current retail outlet, eventually increasing production to about one million litres of beer a year.

And the State Government has come to the party, with a $600,000 grant to help the expansion and the jobs it will create.

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Mr Walker said it was an exciting but daunting time.

“We’re looking to expand into Sydney and the ACT, as well as probably interstate and even potentially overseas as well,” he said.

“We’ve got some pretty big plans but I think the most exciting thing is about the number of jobs we’re going to create for the local community, so we’re thinking in a few years’ time we’ll have about 30 full-time jobs.”

That would include a team of brewers, a production team along with sales and marketing people “because we’ll need to sell a lot of beer,” Mr Walker said.

Announcing the State Government funding, South Coast MP Shelley Hancock said the assistance would enable the company to build a best-in-class brewhouse facility by installing new state of the art equipment .

“Installing hydrogen electrolysis technology and pairing it with solar power will allow Jervis Bay Brewing to create a production process that is less resource intensive,  making the brewery more sustainable for the future,” Mrs Hancock said.

“The upgrades will allow commercial scale production at the facility, with a vision to expand distribution into regional and interstate markets such as Tasmania and the ACT and then onto the world stage in markets like Singapore, USA and Canada.”

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

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 

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 touched out for Paralympic silver

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Shoalhaven High School student Jasmine Greenwood won a silver medal at the Tokyo Paralympics last night in the S10 women's 100-metre butterfly final.

After leading a the half-way mark the Sussex Inlet teenager was touched out by US swimmer Mikaela Jenkins on the finish line.

But it continued  16-year-old Jasmine's strong performances at the games that saw her also finish fifth and set a new Australian record in the women's S10 100-metre freestyle final.

The Bay and Basin Swimming Club member is back in the water tomorrow for the S10 women's 100-metre backstroke, before backing it up on Friday in the S10 women's 200-metre individual medley.

Mum Chelsea spoke to Jasmine after the race and said her daughter was "extremely happy" with the result and her silver medal.

"She was very happy and relieved that it all went to plan."

There was plenty of excitement in the family's Sussex Inlet home during the race, as Chelsea said "everyone was yelling at the TV", especially during the final 50 metres when Jasmine and her US rival were battling stroke for stroke.

"It's lucky we don't have any neighbours too close," she said.

"Her brother and sister were up watching her and it was very exciting."

image: swimming australia

Jervis Bay Stock Feeds rises from the ashes

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After fire destroyed Jervis Bay Stock Feeds’ main building on Tuesday night, owner Kim Trevyaud was back at work yesterday morning, setting up to work out of the two adjoining storage sheds.

While dealing with the charred remains of the shop, including a 10-thousand-dollar freezer bought just a few months ago, is hard, Kim said she and husband Darren had been uplifted by the community’s support.

That includes more than 300 messages from people offering support and comfort.

“We have had so much support,” she said.

“You just don’t realise until something like this happens how loved we are.

“The messages that I’ve been getting have just brought tears to my eyes, how much love people have for us and how much they care, it’s just been beautiful.”

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Kim was supported by family members, friends and customers as she sifted through charred remains and  set up in the storage sheds, getting a generator from a neighbour to power up her fridges while waiting on power to be reconnected.

She said her customers were the best anyone could hope for, and their support was a timely reminder of how fortunate she was.

“We could have been injured, we could have lost a family member, you cab replace things but you cannot replace people,” Kim said.

“And I’m so glad nobody was hurt, not even the fireys – I think there was one firey who got a burnt leg but they just wrapped it up and he was back to it.”

Kim said there had been fantastic support from customers.

She usually served 170 customers a day, and by lunchtime she had already served about 50 despite the damage to the main building.

Police are appealing for information about the fire that extensively damaged the iconic Falls Creek business.

Emergency services were called to the business on the Princes Highway just before 7pm, before the fire destroyed the main building.

Two adjacent buildings suffered minor damage.

Anyone who saw the fire or has dashcam or CCTV footage is asked to contact Nowra Police on 4421 9699 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

images: Glenn Ellard

Jervis Bay walk to help women fleeing abuse

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A day walking beside Jervis Bay’s picturesque beaches can help change the lives of women fleeing domestic violence or facing homelessness.

The SAHSSI 30 is being staged on August 14, raising money for the Nowra Women’s Refuge by challenging people to walk 15 or 30 kilometres from Huskisson’s White Sands Park to Iluka Beach in the Jervis Bay Territory, and return for those who can manage it.

Event organiser Joanne Warren said the CWA would be waiting at Iluka with morning tea, although that could be a disincentive for people wanting to walk the full 30km.

“In previous years I think people have been a little overwhelmed by the beautiful morning tea that the CWA provide at the 15km mark at Iluka so they’ve been a bit weighed down, but depending on the weather yes, I think we’ll get some more 30km takers,” she said.

While walking, the participants will raise important funds to help women going through difficult times, Ms Warren said.

“It’s raising money for SAHSSI the organisation, but specifically for the Nowra women’s refuge, and so that’s been the past four years we’ve been working to contribute as much as we can each year through the walk, and I think to date we’ve kind off gone up around $40,000.”

The walk along beaches and through the grounds at HMAS Creswell will also allow access to some of the state’s most spectacular scenery.

“I have lived here for quite a long time, nearly 30 years, and I was out on that walk this morning with my son and it never gets tiring, it’s just extraordinarily beautiful along that cycleway and along that white sands walk,” Ms Warren said.

“We’re very blessed to live where we live.”

For more details or to register visit www.sahssi.org.au/sahssi30.

image: Glenn Ellard

Kiama mother and daughter reveal the pain and uncertainty of NF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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But neither have let the condition slow them down.

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

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

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

But that doesn’t mean life has been easy.

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

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

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

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

Images: Glenn Ellard

Kiama MP slams Illawarra lockdown

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Kiama MP Gareth Ward has come out swinging over this morning’s decision to extend the COVID lockdowns in the Illawarra for another two weeks.

Last week Mr Ward started an on-line petition opposing the lockdown in the Wollongong and Shellharbour areas.

It has so far received almost 13,000 signatures.

With the lockdown he says the restrictions cannot be justified in the Illawarrra.

“I support lockdowns where there is an overriding public health reason to do so. When there are no cases of community transition, there is no case to lockdown our region,” Mr Ward said.

“A COVID case does not equate to community transmission.

“If you are going to place caveats on people’s individual liberties, hurt businesses and disrupt families, you need to have a justification based on evidence.

“It is an incredibly serious decision for any government to instruct hundreds of thousands of people to stay at home and only leave if you have a reasonable excuse, and failure to do so can result in a fine or even arrest.

“If there was a sensible argument for lockdowns in our community, then so be it. But if such an argument exists, I’m yet to hear it.

“If cases of community transmission appear in our community, I am more than happy to revisit the question of lockdowns,” Mr Ward said.

“But in the absence of a clear explanation about the threshold test to lockdown a community, a clear explanation about the appreciable risk and the associated evidence, it is impossible to support this lockdown.

“Whilst I appreciate there is no how-to guide to dealing with a global pandemic, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a local MP if I wasn’t asking reasonable questions about the reasons behind this lockdown that is seriously impacting our community.

“In the absences of evidence and an explanation, I cannot support this decision,” Mr Ward said.

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.

Learning library connects the southern Shoalhaven community

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Community Connect Southern Shoalhaven is putting together an online learning library to help volunteers and community organisations be more effective and efficient.

Chairman Matt Dell said many community organisations suffer because people are uncertain of their roles, or are reluctant to join committees as they don't know what to do.

He said the learning portal helped overcome that, with instruction about a range of topics.

"Community volunteers or community groups can access the portal, and there's a wealth of resources there in regards to ways to do volunteering better - in terms of governance, board toles, constitutions - and then some practical; things around like how to write grant applications,  and all sorts of resources that anyone who's in a volunteer or community-type role will be able to make use of," Mr Dell said.

He said it was all about building community capacity, after a survey of community groups showed many wanted more information about things such as governance and management, to prevent the problems of people being stuck in the same roles for years because there's no succession planning.

"The learning library is trying to address a lot of those structural issues and information issues that we feel are stopping people from joining volunteer organisations and stopping organisations from growing, and just making people's lives harder, really," Mr Dell said.

He said the learning portal was  constantly being updated with information and a range of learning tools things such as live webinars on applying for bushfire funding.

image: glenn ellard

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 museum is part of Bundanon's $33m upgrade

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Plenty of work is taking place at Bundanon with a massive art museum under construction to house three galleries as part of a $33 million upgrade.

The museum is semi-underground with dirt on three sides, providing it with vital protection from bushfires which in the past threatened the property and valuable art collection donated by the Boyd family

Bundanon’s head of marketing and communications Beatrice Spence said the collection previously had to be moved when fire threatened.

“Now if a fire was to come so close it would be safe in the new collection store that’s been included in the art museum,” she said.

“And the collection’s a very valuable one, it’s got 4000 artworks donated by the Boyd family, and it was recently valued at $46 million, so it’s a wonderful collection to be able to share more publicly now with the region.”

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From the museum a paved forecourt leads to a 160-metre long bridge across a gully, which will be a home for creative learning programs.

Ms Spence said the work will strengthen Bundanon’s standing as a cultural destination, offering a range of attractions and educational facilities when it was all finished later in the year.

“We are working towards opening to the public later this year in November, and we’ll have a wonderful new art museum and a bridge for creative learning on offer,” she said.

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An exciting summer program is being organised to show off the improvements and the work of some of Australia’s best artists.

“The other thing that will be really lovely for the local audience is there will be a café onsite which will be open seven days, and a wonderful South Coast caterer has been appointed and they do absolutely beautiful food, so people will be able to come out, see the art museum, have a walk and enjoy a lovely lunch at the café,” Ms Spence said.

images: supplied

Man allegedly spits and coughs on police during North Nowra arrest

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A man allegedly spat and coughed on police while claiming he had COVID-19 in North Nowra on Saturday night.

Police were called to a home in Page Avenue just before midnight after reports an unknown man had entered an elderly couple’s home.

The man ran off to a nearby school, with police chasing him on foot and arresting him.

Police used capsicum spray during the arrest, before the 44-year-old Ulladulla man allegedly spat and coughed on officers.

While searching the school police uncovered items allegedly stolen from the home.

The man was charged with aggravated break and enter to commit a serious indictable offence, intimidation, demanding property with menace, destroying or damaging property, assaulting police and not complying with directions regarding spitting and coughing during COVID-19.

He was refused bail and ordered to appear before Nowra Local Court today.

Police officers involved in the arrest have returned negative COVID-19 tests.

image: Glenn Ellard

Man charged after allegedly crashing into Callala Beach home

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A man has faced court charged with traffic offences after the car he was driving allegedly crashed into a house in Callala Beach on the weekend.

Police were patrolling the Callala Bay and Callala Beach areas just after 9pm on Saturday when they saw a Ford Falcon allegedly perform a burnout on the corner of Callala Beach Road and Emmett Street.

Police attempted to stop the Ford, but the driver failed to stop and a pursuit was initiated.

It was terminated a short time later due to safety concerns before the driver allegedly lost control and crashed into a home on Callala Beach Road.

The 22-year-old driver and a 34-year-old passenger were arrested at the scene.

The driver underwent a roadside drug test, which is still being analysed.

He was taken to Nowra Police Station and charged with a range of traffic offences including being involved in a high speed police pursuit, speeding at more than 45km/h above the speed limit and performing a burnout.

The Callala Bay man appeared at Wollongong Local Court on Sunday and was granted conditional bail to reappear in Nowra Local Court on Monday August 30.

The passenger was issued an infringement for failing to comply with COVID restrictions.

image: glenn ellard

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.

Millions flowing into Shoalhaven to aid bushfire recovery

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Millions of dollars are flowing into the Shoalhaven and wider South Coast to help the region recover from last year’s devastating bushfires.

The projects will be delivered through stage two of the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, co-funded by the Australian and NSW Governments.

Some of the projects funded include:

  • $717,303 to extend and improve Lake Conjola fire Station
  • $1,752,930 to construct a fire station for Manyana and Bendalong
  • $1,000,000 to create bridge with shared user path on Lake Conjola Entrance Road
  • $962,400 for the Bawley Point and Kioloa microgrid energy project
  • $2,443,605 for refurbishment of the Huskisson Mangrove Boardwalk
  • $ 951,875 to upgrade facilities and equipment at the Shoalhaven PCYC
  • $3,835,367 to improve resilience of four showgrounds in the Shoalhaven
  • $990,000 to design and construct new Bendeela Reservoir and five water tanks
  • $489,000 to upgrade major telecommunications sites
  • $949,840 to Restore habitats and build community resilience in Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven
  • $416,534 for a Sanctuary of Support in the Shoalhaven
  • $995,023 for a South Coast Centre of Excellence covering the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla
  • $947,803 for a community-led recovery and regeneration education hub for South East NSW
  • $775,349 to support Lake Conjola tourism access
  • $3,994,938 for the Royal Far West Bushfire Recovery Program working in the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla
  • $900,974 for Anglicare's Road to Recovery: Building community capacity and fostering disaster resilience program
  • $211,000 to support the South Coast Youth Volunteering Initiative
  • $225,000 for the Milton-Ulladulla Rural Landcare Forest Recovery Project
  • $2,759,486 for a Caring for Country Traineeship Project
  • $2,780,632 to create a blueprint for a resilient South East NSW
  • $1,000,000 for restoring country, culture and community in the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla.

Milton Ulladulla Entertainers look for people needing help

 

 

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The Milton Ulladulla Entertainers are looking for community groups and organisations to support as they prepare for their latest show, Illuminate.

Over the past 30 years the Entertainers have donated more than one million dollars to the community, from performance proceeds.

Matt Dell from the Entertainers said applications close on Sunday to get money from the new show, to be staged at the Ulladulla Civic Centre in September.

“The Entertainers has always been about two things, entertaining the community and providing an outlet for the entertainers themselves to come together as a group, but it’s always also been a community support organisation, so we raise funds and we give them away,” he said.

Mr Dell said any organisation could apply for assistance, “As long as you are a worthy community group - we like to keep funds in the Southern Shoalhaven, Milton Ulladulla area.”

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“You don’t have to be based here, as long as you are providing a service to the region, that’s what the funds are used for, and we’re happy to support people.”

This year’s theme is Illuminate, which is all about shining a light on the darker times the region has faced in the past couple of years.

While the show will focus on the lighter side of life, it will also feature an original song for possibly the first time in the Entertainers’ history.

The piece called Charcoal Soul has been written by member Lygiah Fowler who lost her home when bushfires swept through the Conjola area.

images: 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 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

More calls to change Milton Ulladulla bypass

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Feedback is being sought on plans for the Milton-Ulladulla Bypass, and Jan Gregory has added her voice to the growing chorus of concern about the way bypass will impact on Burrill Lake.

She said planning for the bypass started when Burrill Lake had only a few holiday homes, but now the town has more people than Milton, according to the latest census figures.

“We are one community, and I believe the third stage of the bypass should actually bypass Burrill Lake, not go through the middle of it,” the long-term Narrawallee resident said.

She argued plans for the southern end of the bypass could be easily tweaked to provide benefits for local residents and the business community.

And it started with looking at the project in stages.

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Mrs Gregory was happy with the first stage connecting back into Milton and Ulladulla via Bishops Drive, “and the next stage I believe should go to Kings Point Drive, not Canberra Crescent”.

She said connecting via the light industrial area on Kings Point Drive created the option of building a transport hub for larger vehicles delivering to Milton and Ulladulla, dropping off items to go in smaller vehicles to the relevant businesses.

“Then from Kings Point Drive it is possible to avoid the built-up area around Kings Point Drive, but there is land to the left of the current development where you can cross Burrill Lake to the northern fire-arm, and then cross from there and skirt Burrill Lake and Lake Tabourie and come out further south,” Mrs Gregory said.

images: supplied