Friday, 22 July 2016

Paterson MP Calls For Calm After Buchanan Mosque Approval


The newly elected member for Paterson is urging the community not to do anything extreme in the wake of the Buchanan Mosque approval.

Objectors have taken to social media, furious with Cessnock Council's decision.

She says a lot of people had genuine objections to the development not because it was a mosque, but because it impacts on the rural amenity of the area and people were also concerned about safety aspects on Buchanan Road.

However, Meryl Swanson, who happens to live nearby the proposed mosque, says threats to burn it down are out of place.

"There are keyboard warriors out there who get on Facebook and say the most ridiculous things, and I would say to those people, take a deep breath , really think about what you're saying -does it pass the sensible test, and let's be respectful". she said.

Meryl Swanson

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Calls to Stay Safe on Farms


With more than 70 fatalities last year, the National Rural Health Alliance is calling on all Hunter farmers to stay safe on their properties.
One death occurred on a farm every five days in 2015 [Image Source: The Australian]
It comes during Farm Safety Week, which aims to shine a light on the ways in which farmers and farm visitors can be safer.

Half of all deaths take place when heavy machinery is involved, including quad bikes and tractors.

Children make up 20 percent of all fatalities, with the most common cause of death being drowning.

The Rural Health Alliance has called on farmers to identify the hazards and practice safe work practices, as well as take proper safety measures while working.

“However, to create real change, safety has to become embedded in the farm workplace psyche and awareness must extend to everybody on the property including children,” the Alliance said in a statement.

“Visitors to farms must also be factored into safety planning and be made aware of hazards.
“Sadly, 30 percent of child deaths on farms were from visiting children.”

Richard Chamen
Chairman of the NSW Farmers Industrial Relations Committee, Richard Chamen says quad bikes are a leading cause for concern because of the threat they pose to farmer safety.

“Quad bikes can be a very dangerous thing and people get out on quads that don’t really know what they’re doing, they just jump on and go,” he said.

“There’s been over 200 accidents on quad bikes that caused death over the past couple of years.”

Chamen praised the State Government’s rebate program for measures to make quad bikes safer, including a $300 rebate for those who install roll-bars on their bike.

“Also, there’s a $500 rebate given out to people for the side-by-sides,” Chamen said.

“Its good aspects, especially in farm safety work to have the Government promoting and doing things for the benefit of farmers to save lives.”

Push For Security Cameras In Hamilton


 Hamilton shopkeepers are calling on the state government to fund CCTV cameras along Beaumont Street.

They report an increase in crime around Hamilton Railway Station since it became the end of the Newcastle rail line.

The Hamilton Business Chamber says it's held several meetings with police and state government representatives, but nothing's been done to address the problem.

Another Life Lost On The Hunter's Roads


 The Hunter's road toll has risen to 28 for the year after yet another fatal crash overnight, this time at Bobs Farm.

Police say a silver Holden Commodore was travelling north on Nelson Bay Road just after midnight when ran out of control and slammed into a light pole.

The driver, a man believed to be aged in his 30's, was the only occupant and died at the scene.

He is yet to be formally identified.

Police set up a crime scene as investigations into the cause of the crash continue.

Anyone who witnessed the accident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Controversial Mosque Approved


 Cessnock City Council has given the go-ahead to a mosque at Buchanan.

Councillors voted 6-4 in favour of the controversial project at last night's meeting which was attended by several police officers, who made sure tensions didn't get out of hand.

Those against the mosque spoke of how it would create traffic problems, while some feared it would lead to increased crime, however Mayor Bob Pynsent who voted for it says it met all the planning requirements.

The Association's Diana Rah says they are looking forward becoming a part of the local community and hopes it time they can put community fears surrounding the development to rest.

Diana Rah Photo courtesy

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Mosque Decison Due Tonight


 Those for and against a mosque at Buchanan are set to come face to face at Cessnock Council tonight as a decision is made on whether the controversial plan is given the go ahead.

16 speakers will address the meeting in support of the mosque, while 12 will speak against it.

Council staff have recommended the project be approved as it meets planning guidelines.

Buchanan Mosque -artist's impression

Newcastle Misses Out On World Cup


 There's growing anger over the decision to exclude Hunter Stadium from hosting matches at next year's Rugby League World Cup.

Games will be played across the country including Cairns, Darwin and Perth, however Rugby League heartlands such as Newcastle and Wollongong will miss out.

Organisers say it's because the state government chose not to support the event - Shadow Minister for the Hunter, Kate Washington says the decision is mind boggling.

Kate Washington