Tuesday, 24 January 2017

BREAKING! Out Of Control Bush Fire North Of Singleton

BY IAN CROUCH

Fire crews are at the scene of an out of control bush fire at Camberwell north of Singleton.


The Rural Fire Service has just issued an Emergency Warning for residents.

The fire is burning in the vicinity of McInerney Rd, Alpha Street, Lethbridge Street, New England Highway, Glennie Street, Dyrring Street, Dawson Street and Dulwich Place.

The fire has crossed the New England Highway and is heading towards Camberwell Village.

The RFS says residents should shelter in place as the fire front arrives and take advice from firefighters in the area.


So, far it's more than 10 hectares neat the historic village and the New England Highway is closed in both directions.

The Transport Management Centre says motorists should use the Golden Highway instead and allow extra travel time.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Teen To Face Court Over High Speed Pursuit At Port Stephens

BY IAN CROUCH

A Port Stephens teenager has had his drivers licence suspended and cancelled after allegedly leading police on a high speed pursuit while under the influence.

Officers noticed a Ford Falcon travelling above the speed limit on Gan Gan Road at Anna Bay on Saturday night and tried to pull it over.

However the driver failed to stop, prompting a pursuit.

Officers terminated the chase for safety reasons when the car allegedly reached 160 kilometres per hour in an 80km/h zone.

Further inquiries led police to a nearby home on Pacific Avenue where they arrested an 18-year-old man.

He was taken to Nelson Bay Police Station where he allegedly returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.021 - as a P-Plate driver, he is prohibited from driving with any alcohol in his system.

The man's been charged with police pursuit (Skyes Law), driving with special range prescribed concentration of alcohol and exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/has a P2 Licence holder.

He's due to face Raymond Terrace Local Court on Monday 13 February 2017.


Motocross Rider Seriously Injured In Lake Macquarie Crash

BY IAN CROUCH

A motor cross rider is lucky to be alive after a sickening crash at Lake Macquarie.

The 24-year-old was taking part in competition at the Awaba Motor Cross circuit yesterday afternoon when he crashed heavily after going over a jump, with his head hitting the ground hard.

The Hunter's Westpac Rescue Helicopter flew him to the John Hunter Hospital where he's now reported to be in a serious but stable condition.




Friday, 20 January 2017

MacDonald lambastes 'anarchist' Greens

BY GARY-JON LYSAGHT

Scot MacDonald
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald has accused the NSW Greens of harbouring anarchists in the parliamentary offices.

Mr MacDonald made the comments while discussing calls made by Left Renewal, a socialist splinter-group of the Greens.

"The Left Renewal faction, or whatever they call themselves, actually operate out of the offices NSW Greens MPs," Mr MacDaonald said.

"If they wanted to distance themselves, they'd remove these people from their staff but they haven't done that.

"So we're faced with the position that the Greens are still backing these people and still believe that Australia Day is not for them."

Greens MP David Shoebridge was quick to throw away Mr MacDonald's claims, saying the party does not, in any way, support burning the Australian flag.

"It's remarkable that the jingoistic Liberal party who harbour some pretty deep racists in them to criticise other parties' membership," Mr Shoebridge said.

"The Greens are pretty clear about this, we don't support - as a state of federal party - burning the flag but we absolutely support reviewing 26th January as our national day and particularly for our First Peoples."

Australia Day has been heavily criticised for being on the same day as British colonisation 1788, with many now calling it Invasion Day.
David Shoebridge [Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Mr MacDonald said he was open to the opportunity to change the day, but didn't want it to become negative.

"I'd be very concerned if we went to an overly negative description of it like Invasion Day," he said.

"It was certainly a disruptive occasion in 1788, no question about that."

"I think most of us are working very, very hard at getting along with each other and I've got the utmost respect for our Indigenous communities."

Mr Shoebridge, on the other hand, welcomed the chance to change the day to something more accessible.

"Many people like May 8 - M8 Day.  I personally think there's a lot to be said about the day in which we successfully passed a Referendum to give our first people proper citizenship and to celebrate that as a moment of coming together," he said.

"Whatever the day is, we can certainly do a lot better than the day that marks the invasion and the dispossession
of people who'd been in this remarkable continent for 40,000 years."

Possible closure of Weston Fire Station

BY JESSICA ROUSE

There are strong concerns the fire station at Weston, near Cessnock, could close with the state government reportedly planning to join the station with Abermain.

The Abermain fire station is less than four kilometres down the road from the Weston fire station, but both have proven to be vitally important in recent bush fire emergencies in the area.

With ferocious fire ripping through Kurri Kurri and Heddon Greta this week residents, firefighters, and local politicians alike, are expressing their concern of the potentially dangerous move.

Cessnock MP Clayton Barr is particularly concerned the state government is making cuts to resources the community need, and would suffer to be without.

"As recently as this week, we've seen those incredible fires throughout that area and we saw them less than two weeks ago and then less than two months ago again. It is just absurd that these cuts would be taking place in a place surrounded by bushland like Cessnock and Kurri and Abermain, and more broadly across the Hunter."

There has reportedly been little to no consultation with the community, let alone with fire fighters in the area.

"Mike Baird has announced his retirement, but the policies of Mike Baird live on and the minister who is enacting the policies of Mike Baird. or his government, which is to cut $22 million out of fire and rescue NSW staffing and fire stations."

Two storey structure fire at Vacy

BY GARY-JON LYSAGHT

Firefighters from the Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW
are tackling a blaze at a two storey structure at Vacy, near Dungog.

There are reports more than 40 firefighters and 12 trucks are at the building on Summerhill Road.

Firies are fighting the fire from a distance because there are fears the building could collapse.

RFS are reporting the attached garage is storing firearm ammunition.

All the occupants have been accounted for.


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Fires Blaze In The Hunter

BY: ARIANA GATTI

Residents around the Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and Hunter areas are relieved the torrential fires from yesterday have seized.

With temperatures dropping and the possible chances of rain, bushland around the Hunter can take a break.

No reports have come through on houses being lost or damaged, although, other remnants such as sheds and open properties have been burnt or destroyed by the blaze.

At least 26 fire crews tackled the ongoing fires, with some extensive help from helicopters and other aircraft flying over, dropping water to extinguish the blaze.

Police undertook investigations today in order to figure out how these fires began and if one or more arsonists were invloved in purposely lighting the fire.

Investigations are still ongoing.

Mayor of Cessnock, Bob Pynsent says, "It was a very frightening experience for a lot of people in our local area."

"We are so happy that there's been minimal damage to surrounding properties and a big thank you to all the emergency services who worked so hard to protect our community", he says.

Image result for nsw 2017 fire

[Image sourced: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/evacuation-warnings-issued-as-multiple-fires-in-kurri-kurri-region-burn-out-of-control/news-story/6a4d33eb7de6ac83d5d11a0aaea8815a]