sussex inlet - 2ST

Coronial Inquest into the deaths of three Shoalhaven residents in the 2019 Black Summer Bushfires due to start


The Coronial Inquests into the deaths of three Shoalhaven residents during the 2019 Currowan Black Summer Bushfire is expected to start today.

The Coroner will examine the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 69-year-old Sussex Inlet man Michael Campbell - 75-year-old John Butler senior and 70-year-old Laurie Andrews both from Yatte Yattah.


A Coronial Inquiry into the Currowan Bushfire had previously heard the blaze was ignited by lightning strikes and had jumped the Princes Highway near Lake Conjola on New Years' Eve in 2019.

Images: NSW Rural Fire Service & Gavin Flannigan



Council "knew nothing" about mine exploration


Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley says she was just as shocked as residents to learn this week of an application to explore for non-metallic minerals over a 9 square kilometre area between Sussex and Berrara.

"This is the first time Shoalhaven Council and Shoalhaven Councillors have heard that and exploration licence application was being assessed by the NSW Goverment in that area," Cr Findley said.

"The outrageous part of this is that NSW Government don't have to contact council throughout this process because they're the approval authority.

"There's very little consultation with the community in regard to these items."

"The application is very similar to the coal seam gas issue that we had only a few years ago, where there was an exploration licence for coal seam gas that would have had an effect on the Shoalhaven River."

The application covers Cudmirrah and parts of Swan Lake near Sussex Inlet, much of which is surrounded by National Park.

Cr Findley says residents need to let their feelings be known by contacting the State Government.

"What I absolutely recommend is that all community members get in touch with the NSW Resource Regulator and get them to understand that the people of the Shoalhaven aren't happy with this submission," she added.

"It's an outrageous proposition that there would be any mining in this fragile coastal area the future, so why give an exploration licence in the first place, when a mine couldn't and shouldn't be approved in this location."

Cr Findley says sand mining is still an important part of industry in the Shoalhaven, with existing sand mines in the Shoalhaven River and at Gerroa.

"Sand is a critical resource for concrete and construction, but it's getting the places right on where the mines are established."

She said exploration  licences don't necessarily mean that a mine will begin, but explained that sometimes companies get them and hang onto them to exclude others from looking.

"There would be massive hurdles in the way of anyone wanted to develop a sand mine in that fragile area," she said.

With only one access roads into Sussex Inlet and Cudmirrah, Cr Findley said it wouldn't be feasible to have heavy industry in such a small village.

Photo Shoalhaven Council

Flooding latest for ST GEORGES BASIN at SUSSEX INLET


Minor flooding is occurring on the St Georges Basin at Sussex Inlet.

The SES says a second minor peak was observed along the St Georges Basin at Sussex inlet with the high tide early Monday afternoon.

The St Georges Basin at Island Point Rd peaked Monday morning with minor flooding.


The river has now fallen below the minor flood level and is still falling.

Photos: Gerringong RFS

Illawarra Shoalhaven Marine Rescue Crew bring over 800 people back safely to shore


Despite the wettest start to a year on record, Marine Rescue NSW has had its second busiest 12 month period ever with 3,905 rescues safely delivering 8,599 to shore.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke congratulated Marine Rescue NSW volunteers for their outstanding efforts.

“One third of the rescues conducted in the last financial year were for life-threatening emergencies, sometimes in the worst of weather and sea conditions and at the dead of night,” Ms Cooke said.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers whose skill, bravery and dedication saves lives on the water and helps keep our State’s waterways safe.”


For the Illawarra Shoalhaven there were 404 rescues, 195 in potentially life-threatening circumstances bringing 802 people safely to shore.

  • Port Kembla                       107
  • Shellharbour                       27
  • Shoalhaven                        77
  • Sussex Inlet                        55
  • Jervis Bay                           96
  • Ulladulla                             30
  • Kioloa                                    3

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said that the number of rescues had come in slightly below the previous year, thanks to the poor weather over the popular summer boating period.


“Over the year our volunteers received an extraordinary 223,338 radio calls, nearly one every two minutes.

"These included 73 Mayday calls when lives were in imminent danger, and 47 Pan Pans, when boaters were in an urgent but not life-threatening situation, as well as 14 flare sightings,” Commissioner Tannos said.


“57 per cent of calls were for flat batteries, running out of fuel or engine problems, providing boaters with an important reminder to keep their vessel properly serviced and to always carry enough fuel for the journey. In total, 65,433 boaters Logged On to their local Marine Rescue base, helping to keep them, and their passengers, safer.”

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers also attended 247 groundings, 146 capsizes and 23 medical emergencies, with most rescues while boats were fishing (37 per cent), cruising (32 per cent) or sailing (eight per cent).

Weekends accounted for 50 per cent of all rescues, with Sundays the busiest day with 27 per cent of rescues, and Thursdays the quietest on the water. Boaters were most likely to be rescued between 12pm and 3pm, with 40 per cent of all rescues at this time as boaters begin to head home and strike mechanical issues or deteriorating weather conditions.


As the warmer months approach, Marine Rescue NSW is urging boaters to follow the safety advice and wear a lifejacket, check the weather conditions before heading out and to Log On with their local Marine Rescue base so they can be quickly located in an emergency.

images: NSW Marine Rescue  

Jasmine Greenwood wins Commonwealth Games gold


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

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

Australia's Keira Stephens clinched the bronze medal.

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

Image: Newsroom


Man rescued from Sussex Inlet house fire


A smoke alarm is being credited with saving a man from fire at a Sussex Inlet house early Saturday morning.

Rural Fire Service fire fighters wearing breathing gear pulled the man from the burning house at about 6.30am after a neighbour heard a smoke alarm and raised the alert.

The home occupant was treated for smoke inhalation before he was taken to hospital.

His pet cat also escaped the blaze.

Units from Sussex Inlet, Cudmirrah, St Georges Basin and Wandandian helped to extinguish the blaze which was contained to a bedroom.

A NSW Rural Fire Service spokesman said the blaze highlighted the importance of home fire safety.

Image: Newsroom


Minor Flood warning for Sussex Inlet and St Georges Basin


Minor flooding is possible at Sussex Inlet today on the high tides.

The SES said, an abnormally high tide has the potential to cause minor flooding along the St. Georges Basin at Sussex Inlet today as well.

Based on the prediction provided by the Bureau of Meteorology, it is possible on the high tide the properties and low lying areas fronting the St Georges Basin may be affected by minor flooding.

Between tides flood levels will drop below minor flood levels.

The first high tide of the day 14 June 2022 is at 8.57 am - the second high is at 9.02pm

What you need to do:

People in areas likely to be impacted by flooding should act now to prepare properties for flooding;

• Stay up to date with information. Listen to flood warnings and follow the advice on how to protect yourself, family and property - see below for ways to stay informed

• Pack essential items in waterproof bag: food, water, warm clothes, medications, valuables, important documents, toys for children in case you need to leave

• Prepare and crate your pets so you always know where they are

• Clean up yards and secure moveable objects such as trampolines, BBQs and outdoor furniture

• Check on your family, friends and neighbours and share this information.

Farmers and rural property owners should move pumps, other equipment and livestock away from rising waters.

Motorists should never drive through flood waters, which may have washed away road surfaces and could be deeper or faster-flowing than they look.

The SES said safety is your highest priority - Never drive, walk or play in flood waters.




Minor flood warning for Sussex inlet and St Georges Basin


The SES is reporting minor flooding is occurring along St Georges Basin.

The St George Basin at Island Point Road peaked at 1.30 metres around 11:00 pm Monday and is currently at 1.27 metres and falling slowly, with minor flooding.

Sussex Inlet peaked at 1.08 metres around midnight Monday into Tuesday and is currently at 0.90 metres and steady, with minor flooding. Sussex Inlet may reach near 1.00 metres around midday Tuesday, coinciding with the high tide.

Based on the prediction provided by the Bureau of Meteorology it is expected the following areas will be impacted by floodwaters:

Sussex Inlet

• Fairview Crescent, River Road, Ellmoos Avenue, Poole Avenue, Nielson Avenue.

• Low lying areas along the Inlet

Sanctuary Point, St Georges Basin Village and Old Erowal Bay

• Low lying areas



NBN connecting more villages in the Shoalhaven


More businesses and homes across the Shoalhaven are set to have access to ultrafast broadband following NBN Co’s announcement of the latest suburbs and towns across Australia that will become eligible to upgrade to NBN’s Fibre to the Premises. 

Sussex Inlet, Mollymook Beach, North Nowra, Callala Bay, Broulee, and Callala Beach are to be hooked up.

Homes and businesses will be able to access ultrafast internet speeds of up to one gigabit per second, otherwise known as 1,000 megabits per second – or blazing-fast broadband. 

Work to hook up the Fibre to the Node network is underway. 

NSW Senator Jim Molan said it will provide a much-needed boost to economic activity and employment in the region. 

Click here for more information on the new towns and suburbs.

Click here for more information on the NBN.

Image: Supplied 


New 'jewel in the crown' for Sussex Inlet


The Sussex Inlet Streetscape has been officially opened.

The 500-thousand dollar makeover of the CBD features upgraded footpaths, street furnishings and a new mural in Peace Park.

Carrying out the official duties on Sayurday, Shoalhaven Mayor AMANDA FINDLEY says  it's another great asset for the community, giving new appeal to the coastal town.

Photo: Left to Right: Mayor Amanda Findley with Gail Drummond and Kerry Howes. Source: Shoalhaven Council

No further flooding expected at Sussex Inlet or St Georges Basin


The SES has advised the levels at Island Point Road and Sussex Inlet fell below minor flood levels Tuesday afternoon and no further flooding expected .

The level at Sussex Inlet is generally falling but small renewed rises to below the minor flood level are expected on the high tide.

No further flooding is expected in the St Georges Basin.

The St George Basin at Island Point Road is currently at 0.96 metres and falling slowly below the minor flood level.

The Sussex Inlet is currently at 0.61 metres and steady below the minor flood level.

Image: Peter Andrea

Push for multi-purpose centre at Sussex


After 40 years of waiting, the Sussex Inlet community could soon have a permanent library, Community Technology Centre and  visitors’ centre, with Shoalhaven City Council set to recommence investigations into finding a suitable site to construct a multi-purpose building in the village.

Council previously purchased the old bakery in Sussex, however asbestos made the building unusable and the building was demolished and the land sold in 2012.

Following the sale of the old bakery property, Council under former staff commenced investigations on proposed sites for the community facility which included Thompson Street and other locations.

Councillor Patricia White says the community has waited long enough and finding a site should be a priority for council.

"My understanding was that this work was being undertaken by Property following reports to council, that included that the current library building in Sanctuary Point may no longer be able to be transported due to the age, condition and other uses suggested by the Sanctuary Point community," she said.

"Sussex is a growing little town and we need a multi-purpose facility.

"So, after some 40 years of waiting, it is time for council to continue the investigations to secure property for the establishment of the Library, CTC and other services for the Sussex residents, which will give absolute certainly to the community."

Photo Shoalhaven Libraries


Sandbags available for those at risk of flooding


With heavy rain forecast over the next three days, Shoalhaven SES units are on standby.

The St Georges Basin Unit is open today (Friday) with sandbags available for residents whose properties have a history of flooding.

Sandbags will also be available for collection from the Sussex Inlet SES cache.

Call the NSW SES hotline on 133 500 for emergency assistance.


The SES reminds residents to:

Maintain your yard and balcony. Secure or store items that could blow around in strong winds

Clean your gutters, down pipes and drains regularly to prevent blockages

Trim trees and branches that could potentially fall on your home or property

Fix any damage to your roof, including broken or missing tiles

Check your insurance policy is current and adequate

Make a Home Emergency Plan for your family that outlines what you would do in an emergency

Prepare an emergency kit with essential items in case you lose power or need to leave home in an emergency

Listen to your local radio station and other media for weather warnings


South Coast Police foil attempted armed robbery


South Coast Police have busted an alleged robber mid-hold up at Sussex Inlet.

Some officers were on patrol yesterday afternoon when they noticed a man walk into a pharmacy and close the door behind him.

They followed and claim an armed robbery was taking place with several people inside the premises.

Police seized a replica pistol and arrested a 25-year-old man.

He has been charged with robbery while armed with dangerous weapon.

The alleged offender has spent the night in the lock up ahead of a Court appearance in Nowra today.

Photo:  ST/Power news

Staff locked in room during armed robbery at Sussex Inlet


Police are appealing for witnesses following the armed robbery of a club at Sussex Inlet.

Shortly after 10.30 last night two armed men entered the RSL on Jacobs Drive.

One armed with a firearm and sledge hammer, the second with a machete and sledge hammer - threatened six staff members and locked them in a room, before stealing some cash and fleeing the premises.

The first man is described as having a large build and was wearing dark clothing with his head and face covered at the time of the offence... the second  is described as having a smaller build and was also wearing dark clothing, with a red bandana covering his face.

No staff members were physically injured during the incident.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

Photo: Google Maps

Sussex Inlet armed robbery investigation continues


We're being asked for our help as inquiries continue into an armed robbery at Sussex Inlet last year.

About 10.30pm on Thursday July 25 two men forced entry to the RSL on Jacobs Street.

Armed with a firearm, sledgehammers and a machete, they threatened six staff members and locked them in a room, before stealing cash and escaping.

Detectives have released a CCTV image of a man in a North Wollongong hardware store who they believe may be able to help with their inquiries.

He is wearing black pants and a black and grey hooded jumper.He is wearing black pants and a black and grey hooded jumper.

Investigators are not suggesting the man was involved in the incident, but they are appealing for information to identify him and anyone who may have information about the incident to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Photo: NSW Police

Sussex rescue vessel named in honour of John Nicholas


A new $343,000 rescue vehicle, the John Nicholas, was commissioned by NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos, Deputy Commissioner Alex Barrell at Sussex Inlet yesterday.

Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet volunteers joined Dorothy Nicholas, the wife of founding member John, who lives in a nursing home, to officially commission the Sussex Inlet 20 to the MRNSW fleet.

Mrs Nicholas said as a life member of the organisation, her husband was extremely proud to have the vessel named after him.

Mr Elliott says the modern new vessel means the members of the Sussex Inlet unit are now better equipped than ever to respond to emergencies and save lives on the region’s busy waterways.

“The NSW Government is a proud supporter of Marine Rescue volunteers, which is why we have invested an additional $37.6 million to deliver 38 new rescue vessels, improve volunteer operating facilities and enhance the marine radio network.”

Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock says the 7.5 metre Ocean Cylinder vessel, fully-equipped with search and rescue, communications and navigation technology, was an investment in the safety of both the unit’s volunteers and the region’s large local and visiting boating community.

“The Government is committed to ensuring our volunteers have the safe, fit-for-purpose equipment they need for their life-saving work,” she said.

“This is a valuable rapid response resource that the unit can deploy to incidents on the Sussex Inlet, St Georges Basin and up to 15 nautical miles offshore.”

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said Sussex Inlet 20 was one of 103 vessels, worth more than $25 million, delivered under the organisation’s Fleet Modernisation Program.

Mr Tannos thanked the boating community for its ongoing support for Marine Rescue NSW and the State Government for its $37.6 million, four-year financial injection to fund upgraded volunteer resources and operational facilities.

“This support means we are able to ensure our volunteers have safe, modern and reliable rescue vessels like this one for their work to assist and protect NSW boaters,” he said.

Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet Unit Commander Karen Lowry said the vessel was launched in November last year, with the commissioning postponed due to covid-19, and had already been put to good use during the summer bushfires and floods.

She said the Sussex Inlet crew is prepared for a busy summer ahead.


“The boat is manoeuvrable and durable, which makes it a great resource for operations on the Inlet’s bar and the Basin, both of which can be hazardous for inexperienced boaters or when the wind blows up,” she said.

“As well as the suite of search and rescue technology our crews need, it also carries advanced first aid equipment, including a cardiac defibrillator and oxygen kit so we are ready to provide immediate assistance in a medical emergency.”

Sussex Inlet 20, powered by twin 250hp Suzuki outboards, was built by Yamba Welding & Engineering on the Northern Rivers.

Service medals were presented to volunteers Les Pataky and Aaron Hayward during the afternoon's celebrations.

Photos Katrina Condie

Three new SES vehicles were also presented in the Shoalhaven. Story HERE




Two charged over Sussex Inlet club armed robbery


Two men have been extradited from Queensland and charged over an alleged armed robbery at Sussex Inlet in 2019.

The State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad established Strike Force Dalwood to investigate an armed robbery at a registered club in Sussex Inlet on Thursday 25 July 2019.

Police allege in court two men forced entry to the premises, one armed with a firearm and sledgehammer, the other armed with a machete and sledgehammer, and threatened six staff members, before locking them in a room and stealing cash.

No one was injured during the incident.


Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives raided two addresses in Broadbeach, Queensland, where they arrested two men, aged 34 and 43.

The men were taken to Southport Magistrates Court where detectives applied for and were granted their extradition to NSW.

The pair were remanded in custody and taken to Tweed Heads Police Station where they were both charged with robbery while armed with a dangerous weapon.

 Images; Sussex Inlet Bowling Club 

War hero to tour new veteran respite facility at Sussex


One of the country’s first respite facilities for war veterans will open at Sussex Inlet on December 1.

Veteran campaigner and Australia’s last living Imperial Victoria Cross recipient, Keith Payne VC AM, will tour the new facility in the Russ Murray Lodge building at Inasmuch on Tuesday.

The three-story building, formerly used as a hostel, has had a modern makeover and will provide four self-contained units with 24 hour medical care available, as well as a communal kitchen and living area and a host of  recreational activities for vets, including a gymnasium and yoga.

Inasmuch Board member Patricia White said it has been Mr Payne’s dream to see a facility like this established in Australia and she is pleased he will be able to tour the new building before it opens.

“This is a fantastic facility for the Shoalhaven and is a great opportunity to provide respite for our veterans,” Mrs White said.

“This kind of accommodation is hard to get. Veterans normally go to nursing homes or private facilities.

“The lodge will offer 24/7 medical care if required and lots of activities for guests.”

Mrs White said Sussex Inlet was the ideal location, with shops, bowling and golf clubs and the river close by.

“We’re so thrilled to have Keith here to look through the facility himself.

“It will work in with the new wellness centre in Nowra which will provide referrals.

“We’re really pushing ahead in the Shoalhaven to have services for our local vets that aren’t available in other parts of the country.”

The service will be free to qualifying vets through the Veterans Affairs scheme.


Born on August 30, 1933, Mr Payne is an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces.

Mr Payne's VC was awarded for his actions during the Vietnam War.

Mr Payne served in the Korean War and in Malaya with his unit and in 1965.

He was a fieldcraft instructor on the staff of the Officer Training Unit, Scheyville, established to commission national servicemen.

He served in Papua New Guinea before posted to the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam in 1969.

In May 1969 he was commanding the 212th Company of the 1st Mobile Strike Force Battalion when it was attacked by a strong People's Army of Vietnam force near Ben Het Camp. His company was isolated and, surrounded on three sides, Payne's Vietnamese troops began to fall back.

Payne, by now wounded in the hands and arms and under heavy fire, covered the withdrawal before organising his troops into a defensive perimeter. He then spent three hours scouring the scene of the day's fight for isolated and wounded soldiers, all the while evading the enemy who kept up regular fire.

He found some 40 wounded men, brought some in himself and organised the rescue of the others, leading the party back to base through enemy dominated terrain.

Payne's actions that night earned him the Victoria Cross, which was gazetted on 19 September 1969.

He was evacuated to Brisbane in September suffering from an illness, receiving a warm reception at the airport before entering hospital. In January 1970 Payne was posted to the Royal Military College, Duntroon as an instructor.

Payne received his VC from Queen Elizabeth II aboard the Royal Yacht, Britannia, in Brisbane on 13 April 1970.

He was made a freeman of the city and of the shire in which his hometown was located. A park in Stafford, Brisbane, (where Payne lived) was also named after him.

He also received the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star from the United States of America and the Republic of Vietnam awarded Payne the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star.

Payne retired from the Australian Army in 1975, but saw further action as a captain with the Army of the Sultan of Oman against communist forces in the Dhofar War in 1975 and 1976.

After returning to Australia, he became active in the veteran community, particularly in counselling sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Payne and his wife raised five sons and live in Mackay, Queensland. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to the veteran community in 2006, while Flo Payne was recognised with an OAM for her service to the community, particularly through surf lifesaving and veteran's families, in 2011.

In September 2012 he became a Patron of the Victoria Cross Trust.

The mental health ward at Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane is named the Keith Payne Unit (KPU), in his honour.

Payne was advanced to a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2015.

The award recognised his "significant service to veterans and their families as an ambassador, patron and as an advocate for veterans' health and welfare."