Showing posts with label NSW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NSW. Show all posts

Sunday, 13 September 2020

The Northern Rivers Times goes from strength to strength



An independent newspaper which came into being in the wake of News Corp's shutdown of regional print newspapers, The Northern Rivers Times has well and truly established itself.

The child of Heartland Media's Jeff Gibbs, it is a pleasure to read.

It's good to see the advertisers come onboard and at $2 a copy this weekly newspaper is cheaper than print versions of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph and The Courier Mail.

Not only that, The Northern Rivers Times is free online where it can be read in digital format or downloaded for more leisurely perusal.

The 10 September 2020 issue can be read at  
https://issuu.com/heartlandmagazineaus/docs/the_northern_rivers_times_edition_10

and the newspaper archive is at https://issuu.com/heartlandmagazineaus.

Monday, 10 August 2020

A conga line of #COVIDIOTS - Part 2


NSW Police, Latest News, 5-7 August 2020:


A man has been charged after police at a border checkpoint at Albury discovered he was trying to cross into NSW driving a stolen ute.

NSW Police manning the checkpoint stopped the utility on the Hume Highway at Albury about 7am today (Wednesday 5 August 2020).

The 27-year-old driver was unable to produce permits or ID, and further checks revealed the ute had been reported stolen from a business in West Melbourne yesterday (Tuesday 4 August 2020).

The man was arrested and was taken to Albury Police Station where he was charged three offences

Receive property stolen outside NSW

Not comply with noticed direction – COVID-19, and,

Drive conveyance taken without consent of owner.

The man, of no fixed address, appeared in Albury Local Court today, where he was refused bail to re-appear in the same court on Friday 11 September 2020.


A teenager has been charged after allegedly spitting on police, and two people have been issued with Penalty Infringement Notices for alleged breaches of COVID-19 Public Health Orders in the past 24 hours.

In the first incident, about 2.30pm yesterday (Thursday 6 August 2020), police spoke with a 15-year-old girl at a shopping centre in Blacktown and ascertained she was in breach of her bail conditions.

As police arrested the girl, it is alleged she assaulted police by kicking and punching, as well as spitting in the face of an officer.

She was taken to Blacktown Police Station and charged with two counts of assault police in execution of duty, resist officer in execution of duty, and not comply noticed direction re spitting/coughing - COVID-19.

The teen was refused bail and is due to appear before a children’s court today (Friday 7 August 2020).

Meanwhile, on Saturday (1 August 2020), a 31-year-old woman was stopped at a border checkpoint in Albury and presented a permit allowing her entry to NSW, under the provision that she was to self-isolate for 14 days at a Nimbin address.

Subsequent checks revealed the woman was not staying at the address, and following inquiries, police found her yesterday (Thursday 6 August 2020) in a vehicle at Nabiac. She was issued with a $1000 PIN for not complying with a noticed direction and instructed to return to Victoria.

In an unrelated incident, just before 1pm yesterday (Thursday 6 August 2020), police were conducting a walk-through at a licensed premise in Albury, when they spoke with a 50-year-old woman who was playing a gaming machine.

The woman produced a Victorian licence and a permit allowing cross-border travel for work purposes only.

She was issued with a $1000 PIN and removed from the club, to return to Victoria.

Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any ministerial direction or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community.

Qld Police, News, 5 August 2020:

Police take action after border breaches 

A man and woman in their 60s are among several people police will allege entered Queensland after falsely declaring they had not travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot.
Police detained the couple in Nanango yesterday after receiving information that they had allegedly travelled through the Goondiwindi police checkpoint with false declarations on July 27.

The 63-year-old man and 68-year-old woman were issued with notices to appear in the Richlands Magistrates Court on August 19 for failing to comply with the Queensland Border Direction and fraud.

They have been placed into mandatory hotel quarantine outside the South Burnett area.

In a separate matter, a 22-year-old Weipa man was issued with an infringement notice for failing to comply with the Queensland Border Direction after being intercepted in Cairns Airport yesterday.

Police will allege the man flew into Queensland from Canberra and failed to declare he had been in Sydney, a COVID-19 hotspot, on August 2. He was immediately placed into hotel quarantine.

Queensland’s border restrictions mean people who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot within the last 14 days will be turned away at the state’s border.

Queensland residents who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot can return home but will be required to quarantine in government provided accommodation at their expense.

The Queensland Police Service is committed to ensuring everyone complies with public health directions and will continue to enforce restrictions at the border.

Since July 10, 12 people have been issued with notices to appear in court while 24 people have been issued with infringement notices for providing false information on their border declaration pass…..

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Tree canopy loss in NSW Northern Rivers from Clarence Valley LGA to NSW-Qld border by January 2020


Firegrounds post major fires which were actively burning in September 2019 to January 2020, mapped by https://geo.seed.nsw.gov.au/Public_Viewer/


Southernmost half of coastal Bundjalung National Park showing full canopy loss

Degrees of canopy loss in the Cloud Creek and Guy Fawkes region

Thursday, 30 May 2019

The weather is slowly getting colder, but before minds turn to the thought of glowing fire in the hearth remember this....



Sitting before a glowing fire on a cold winter's night is something many people have done at some point in their lives.

However, this has fast become a luxury we as a society can no longer afford.

Because now when we go firewood gathering, sadly we are often taking the last remaining homes in that locality of Australian hollow nesting native birds, small marsupials, reptiles, frogs & insects.

Other things to remember about firewood gathering.......

Fines apply for removing fallen timber or trees from national parks or nature reserves.
Collecting wood from Travelling Stock Reserves is illegal in New South Wales and you can be fined if caught.

If you'd like to collect firewood for personal use from a state forest within NSW you need to apply for a permit and any timber taken must be paid for in advance.

Firewood permits are available online from the Forestry Corporation of NSW at: www.forestrycorporation.com.au/about/permits.  These permits only allow the collection of fallen timber and fines apply if rules are broken.

Removing fallen timber from roadside reserves is prohibited by many councils, so please check with your local council before considering collecting firewood from these areas.


Clearing of native vegetation on rural land is legislated by the Local Land Services Act 2013external link and the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016external link

Clearing of native vegetation in urban areas and land zoned for environmental protection is legislated by the NSW Vegetation SEPPexternal link.

Please report suspected unlawful native vegetation clearing to OEH. 
You can contact Environment Line on 131 555 or send an email to info@environment.nsw.gov.au.

Illegal activity can also be reported to Local Land Services on 1300 795 299 or by contacting your local police station.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

NSW 2019 State Election Results in Northern Rivers electorates


At close of ballot counting on Saturday, 23 March 2019:

o   The Green’s Tamara Smith retains the seat of Ballina
o   The Nationals Chris Gulaptis retains the seat of Clarence
o   Labor’s Janelle Saffin gains the seat of Lismore
o   The National’s Geoff Provest retains the seat of Tweed.

Overall the Liberal-Nationals Coalition retains government in NSW for the next four years, with 46 seats at close of counting on Saturday.

At close of ballot counting on Saturday:

o   In the Ballina electorate 888 people (or 3.55% of all ballots) voted for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidates standing for the Legislative Council
o   In the Clarence electorate 2,653 people (or 9.08% of all ballots) voted for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidates standing for the Legislative Council
o   In the Lismore electorate 1,498 people (or 5.54% of all ballots) voted for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidates standing for the Legislative Council
o   In the Tweed electorate 1,559 people (or 6.80% of all ballots) voted for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidates standing for the Legislative Council.

Across the state far-right, openly racist One Nation had attracted est. 36,630 votes or 1.1% of all ballots in the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) and est. 6.1% of all ballots in the Legislative Council (Upper House) by close of counting on Saturday.

Counting recommences today and ballot count updates can be found at https://vtr.elections.nsw.gov.au/home or https://www.abc.net.au/news/elections/nsw/2019/.

Monday, 11 March 2019

State of Play 11 March 2019: as both Australian federal election and New South Wales state election grow near



A Newspoll survey of 1,610 Australian voted was conducted between Thursday 7 March and Sunday 10 March 2019.

The Federal Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government suffered its 50th consecutive loss on a Two-Party Preferred (TPP) basis since June 2016 in this latest Newspoll.

50th Newpoll results:

Primary Vote – Labor 39 percent (unchanged) to Liberal-Nationals 36 per cent (down 1 point), The Greens 9 per cent, One Nation 7 per cent.

Two Party Preferred (TPP) - Labor 53 per cent (unchanged) to Liberal-Nationals Coalition 46 per cent (down 1point).

Voter Net Satisfaction With Leaders’ Performance – Prime Minister Scott Morrison -2 points and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten -15 points.

If a federal election had been held on 10 March 2019 based of the preference flow in July 2016 then Labor would have won government with a majority 86 seats (up 2 seats since February poll) to the Coalition's 59 seats (down 4 seats since February poll) in the House of Representatives.

On the basis of these predictions voting in the NSW North Coast electorate of Page held by Nationals MP Kevin Hogan may go down to the wire.

Even the sports betting is favouring Labor over the Coalition.

Meanwhile in New South Wales just 12 days out from a the March 2019 state election and  The Guardian is reporting that that:

A new poll indicates Labor leads the coalition 51% to 49% on a two-party preferred basis with Daley ahead of Berejiklian as preferred premier.

The UComms/ReachTel poll, published in the Sun-Herald, also shows the Coalition’s primary vote has dropped to 28.7% while Labor’s remains steady at 34.1%.

While a YouGov Galaxy poll conducted for The Daily Telegraph shows the NSW Nationals are on the cusp of losing Barwon and Lismore and are also facing battles in the National­ seats of Upper Hunter, Tweed, Murray and Coffs Harbour, and Liberal-held Coogee, East Hills, Penrith and Goulburn.

It is being said that the loss of six of those ten seats would result in a post-election Berejiklian Government being a minority government. The last minority NSW government was voted in from 1991-1995. It was a Coalition Government supported by Independents,

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

If you live in a NSW rural/regional area or an outer metropolitan suburb with thick tree cover.....


Now is the time to make or update your bushfire survival plan.

Because the fires have come early this year and intermittant rainfall is unlikely to ease the threat for long.


http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/rainfall/

Crikey.com.au, 16 August 2018:

NSW has declared its earliest total fire ban on record, with hundreds of South Coast residents forced to flee their homes amidst a massive blaze.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that fire crews battled at least 83 fires across the state, following stronger-than-expected winds, creating fire bans that beat the previous record by two weeks. Compounding problems was the fact that, according to The Daily Telegraph ($), two huge water bombers were not in action because they had not yet arrived from the US ahead of Australia’s summer season.


Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
New South Wales

Fire Weather Warning for the Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region and Illawarra/Shoalhaven fire areas.

Issued at 10:37 am EST on Wednesday 15 August 2018.

Weather Situation
Warm, dry and windy conditions over southeast NSW today ahead of a cold front,
which will pass to the south of the state overnight.

For the rest of Wednesday 15 August:

Severe Fire Danger is forecast for the following fire areas:
Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region and Illawarra/Shoalhaven

The NSW Rural Fire Service advises you to:
- Action your Bushfire Survival Plan now.
- Monitor the fire and weather situation through your local radio station,
www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au.
- Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency.

The Rural Fire Service advises that if you are in an area of Severe Fire Danger:
- If you plan to leave finalise your options and leave early on the day
- Only stay if your home is well prepared and you can actively defend it
- Prepare for the emotional, mental and physical impact of defending your
property - if in doubt, leave.
For information on preparing for bushfires go to www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.

No further warnings will be issued for this event, but the situation will
continue to be monitored and further warnings issued if necessary.

For up-to-date information for your local area see NSW Rural Fire Service’s  Fire Danger Ratings and Total Fire Bans and Fires Near Me.


Sunday, 11 March 2018

A brief respite in the NSW Berejiklian Government's war on the natural world


"Clearing under the Code may threaten the viability of certain threatened species at property and local landscape scale. The risk highest in overcleared landscapes where most clearing is likely to occur under the Code." [NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, "Concurrene on Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code", August 2017, p. 3]

Sometime in 2017 a document was prepared for the NSW Minister for Environment & Heritage and Liberal MP for Vaucluse Gabrielle Upton to sign in order for increased clearing of native vegetation across New South Wales to occur.

This new land clearing policy came into effect in August of that year but faced a legal challenge.

The Coffs Coast Advocate, 9 March 2018:

THE Land and Environment Court has delivered a massive blow to the NSW Government by ruling its land clearing laws invalid because they were made unlawfully.

The Nature Conservation Council (NCC) launched a legal challenge to the codes last November arguing Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair failed to obtain concurrence from Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton before making the codes, as is required by law.

This morning the government conceded this was the case and NCC chief executive Kate Smolski was was quick to pounce.

"Today's ruling is an embarrassing admission of failure by the government and a great victory for the rule of law and the thousands of people who have supported us in taking this action,” she said.

"It is deeply troubling that the government disregarded the important oversight role of the Environment Minister when making environmental laws but we are even more concerned about the harmful content of the laws themselves.

"By the government's own assessment they will lead to a spike in clearing of up to 45 per cent and expose threatened wildlife habitat to destruction including 99 per cent of identified koala habitat on private land.

"Premier Berejiklian must act now to prevent further plundering of our forests, woodlands and water supplies by scrapping these laws and making new ones that actually protect the environment.”…..

The NSW Government is yet to issue a statement on the decision.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nature Conservation Council (NCC)

Media Release, 9 March 2017:


Court finds NSW Government land-clearing laws invalid

The Land and Environment Court today ruled the NSW Government’s land-clearing laws invalid because they were made unlawfully.

“The government has bungled the introduction of one of its signature pieces of legislation, and in the process demonstrates its careless disregard for nature in NSW,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said.

“Today’s ruling is an embarrassing admission of failure by the Berejiklian government and a great victory for the rule of law and the thousands of people who have supported us in taking this action.”

The Nature Conservation Council, represented by public interest environmental lawyers EDO NSW, launched legal challenge against the government’s land-clearing codes last November.

NCC had argued through its barristers Jeremy Kirk SC and David Hume the codes were invalid because the Primary Industries Minister failed to obtain concurrence of the Environment Minister before making the codes, as is required by law. The government today has conceded this was indeed the case.

“It is deeply troubling that the government disregarded the important oversight role of the Environment Minister when making environmental laws, but we are even more concerned about the harmful content of the laws themselves,” Ms Smolski said.
“By the government’s own assessment, they will lead to a spike in clearing of up to 45% and expose threaten wildlife habitat to destruction, including 99% of identified koala habitat on private land.

“These laws were made against the advice of the scientific community and against the wishes of the vast majority of the many thousands of people who made submissions.

“It would be completely cynical for the government to immediately remake these laws without first correcting their many flaws and including environmental protections the community wants and the science says we need.

“Premier Berejiklian must act now to prevent further plundering of our forests, woodlands and water supplies by scrapping these laws and making new ones that actually protect the environment.”

Ms Smolski pledged to continue the campaign to overturn weak land-clearing laws.
“As the state’s peak environment organization, we will do everything we can to expose the damage of land clearing and will not stop until we have laws that protect nature,” she said.

“These laws are a matter of life or death for wildlife. More than 1000 plant and animal species are at risk of extinction in this state, including the koala and 60 per cent of all our native mammals.

“Land clearing is the main threat to many of these animals, and the laws this government introduced unlawfully are pushing them closer to the brink.


“It is regrettable that we had to take the government to court to make it abide by its own laws, but it demonstrates the critical role organisations like ours play in our democracy.”

Media Release, 2 March 2018:

Environment Minister knew 99% of koala habitat would be exposed to land clearing by contentious new laws, FIO document shows

A document obtained under freedom of information laws shows the Berejiklian government knew its new land clearing laws would cause extensive harm to wildlife habitat but pressed ahead with the changes anyway.

“This is damning evidence that the Environment Minister approved these new laws knowing they would expose 99% of identified koala habitat on private land to clearing,” NCC CEO Kate Smolski said.

“The document also shows the Minister was warned the laws could cause a 45% spike in land clearing and that they would mostly benefit very large agribusinesses that could clear land on a massive scale, not smaller enterprises and farming communities across the state.

“It shows what we have suspected all along – environment policy in NSW is being dictated by the National Party and the powerful agribusiness interests the party represents.

“Minister Upton knew these laws were very bad for threatened species and bushland, yet she approved them anyway. This is a disgrace.”

The document, obtained by EDO NSW for the Nature Conservation Council, was prepared by the Office of Environment and Heritage for the Environment Minister and outlined the consequences of Ms Upton agreeing to land-clearing codes proposed by Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair.

Key warnings in the document include:

* “The regulatory changes will further increase agricultural clearing by between 8% and 45% annually.” (Page 3)
* Clearing under the code risks: “Removing key habitat for threatened species, including koala habitat (less than 1% of identified koala habitat in NSW is protected from clearing under the Code)” and “Increasing vulnerability of threatened ecological communities”. (Page 6)
* If unchecked “such clearing could destroy habitats, cause soil and water quality impacts”. (Page 5)
* “The main benefits are likely to be private benefits for large farming operations which broadscale clear under the Code.” (Page 6)

“These are terrible laws that put our wildlife at risk,” Ms Smolski said. “Premier Berejiklian should act immediately to protect the thousands of hectares of koala habitat at risk by exempting sensitive areas from code-based clearing. “In the longer term, she should go back to the drawing board and draft new laws that protect our precious wildlife and bushland.”

Download the FOI document here


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Snapshots from NSW Office of Environment & Heritage"Concurrence on Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code", August 2017:




UPDATE

The respite ended before it really began………

The Guardian, 11 March 2018:

But the government made no delay remaking the laws, announcing on Saturday it had been completed.
“The remade code is identical to the previous one and is an integral part of the new land management framework which gives landowners the tools and certainty they need,” said David Witherdin, the CEO of Local Land Services, which oversees clearing under the codes.
The move was condemned by the NCC.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Is the Berejiklian Government treating a conservation trust & koala protection fund as a method to pork barrel on the NSW North Coast ahead of the next state election?


The koala population of New South Wales ends the year as it began - in danger of localised extinction on the NSW North Coast and widespread extinction across the state.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 December 2017:

Koala populations are under siege in many parts of NSW, including the far north coast of NSW. 
Photo: Cole Bennetts

The Berejiklian government proceeded to buy two blocks of land for koala habitat, overriding internal concerns the purchases were "not a priority" as protections were already in place.

The acquisition of the land in the Tweed Shire earlier this year comes as a new poll finds strong strong local support for new koala national parks.

There is also confirmation the state's new biodiversity conservation act prevents threatened regional populations of any species - including koalas - securing elevated endangered status.

Documents released under freedom of information to the North Coast Environment Centre (NCEC) reveal Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) staff doubted the benefits of paying almost $1 million for about 104 hectares of land for koala protection near Pottsville, north of Byron Bay……

Ashley Love, a spokesman for the North Coast Environment Council, said the spending appeared aimed at shoring up support for National MPs in marginal electorates in the region.

Mr Love is also concerned the government will squander the $10 million koala fund - meant to protect "vital" habitat - and a separate $240 million biodiversity conservation trust to protect land with high conservation values.

"It was a bad precedent at the very beginning of when this government's going to spend a lot of money on private land," he said…..

A ReachTEL of 700 residents in the state seat of Lismore found 68.3 per cent of participants in Lismore town and 71.9 per cent in Ballina support the creation of national parks to protect koalas from logging and land clearing.

"This polling shows that were the government to create them, they would be broadly welcomed,"  Alix Goodwin, chief executive of the NSW National Parks Association, said.

"We expect that the forthcoming Whole of Government Koala Strategy will reflect the wishes of the community and include new protected areas."

The new biodiversity conservation act, which is widely viewed as easing controls on land-clearing, has also stripped the NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee of its ability to highlight localised threats to species.

The independent NSW Scientific Committee made a preliminary finding in August that the koala population near Port Stephens was endangered as it is '"facing a very high risk of extinction in NSW in the near future."

However, the new conservation regulations passed later that month precluded a local population of a species from having a separate rating if it already listed. Koalas are deemed "vulnerable" in NSW.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Crime trends in the Clarence Valley October 2007 to September 2017


In the ten years between October 2007 and September 2017 crime trends in the Clarence Valley Local Government Area have remained numerically and statistically small in 5 crime categories covering murder and violent robbery.

While crime trends remain stable in 6 crime categories (assault unrelated to domestic violence, sexual assault & other sexual offences, stealing from a car and stealing from a store ) and fallen in another 4 crime categories (stealing motor vehicles and break, enter dwellings & non-dwellings and malicious damage).

Crime trends have only risen in 2 out of 17 commonly listed crime categories over these ten years – Fraud up 10.5 per cent & Assault –Domestic Violence Related up 3.6 per cent.


October 2007 to September 2017
Fraud, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
Statistically significant Upward trend over the 120 month period.
The average annual percentage change was: 10.5%

October 2007 to September 2017
Assault - domestic violence related, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
Statistically significant Upward trend over the 120 month period.
The average annual percentage change was: 3.6%

Other crimes that are often mentioned whenever the subject of crime arises.

October 2007 to September 2017
Sexual assault, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
No statistically significant upward or downward trend over the 120 month period.

October 2007 to September 2017
Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
No statistically significant upward or downward trend over the 120 month period.

October 2007 to September 2017
Break and enter - dwelling, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
Statistically significant Downward trend over the 120 month period.
The average annual percentage change was: -5.5%

October 2007 to September 2017
Motor vehicle theft, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
Statistically significant Downward trend over the 120 month period.
The average annual percentage change was: -4.2%

October 2007 to September 2017
Malicious damage to property, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
Statistically significant Downward trend over the 120 month period.
The average annual percentage change was: -5.9%

As for drug and alcohol offences in the Clarence Valley Local Government Area (est. resident population 51,367), the data collected over the ten year period revealed that cannabis cultivation was stable but possession and use of cannabis had risen over that period. While possession and use of cocaine, ecstasy,narcotics and other drugs was numerically small and statistically insignificant over those same ten years.

Click on images to enlarge

Selected crimes across 17 major crime categories.


NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research Crime Trends Interactive Tool to create graphs and tables for other NSW local government areas.