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New South Wales News

LABOR MUST COME CLEAN WITH REGIONAL NSW ON FEDERAL BUDGET CUTS

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LABOR MUST COME CLEAN WITH REGIONAL NSW ON FEDERAL BUDGET CUTS

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole has called on the Federal Labor Government to come clean on its plans for regional NSW in the Budget after it told media regional infrastructure funds were on the chopping block.

“This morning we’ve had the strongest indication yet that Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers is preparing to take the axe to regional infrastructure projects in this month’s Budget,” Mr Toole said.

“If that’s the case, he should be upfront now about which projects they plan to take the hatchet to and which regional communities will miss out.

“This is the same old thing from Labor who don’t get why investment in the regions matters.

“The NSW Government has built a record $19.4 billion pipeline of transport and road projects alone in regional NSW that is transforming our state, unlocking new economic opportunities for our communities and ensuring safer, faster journeys for families and freight. Because we know building infrastructure in the bush builds opportunities.”

Mr Toole called on NSW Labor leader Chris Minns to finally stand up for the principle that regional NSW deserves its fair share.

“Sadly while Federal Labor is preparing to axe regional infrastructure projects, NSW Labor conference is gathering in Sydney where it’s expected to axe the Shadow Minister for Regional NSW from Labor’s Legislative Council ticket – the only person on its team that understands the bush.

“If Chris Minns won’t even fight to save one of his own frontbenchers, what chance is there he will bother fighting for regional communities?”

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the NSW Government had delivered three consecutive record transport and roads budgets for regional NSW.

“We’ve invested in transformative projects right across the State – like the upgrade of the Great Western Highway and Princes Highway – and small projects that make a big difference in local communities.

“But we can’t do it alone. Continued federal funding is critical to us keeping these projects on track.

“Labor is clearly trying to test what the reaction will be to it cutting regional infrastructure projects in this month’s Budget.

“I can tell them this for free – regional communities will not accept this shabby treatment.

“Pulling the pin on regional infrastructure projects send a very clear message that Labor is willing to scapegoat the bush to improve its bottom line.”

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New South Wales News

Great strides made on popular Shoalhaven walking track

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Shoalhaven Walking Trck

Great strides made on popular Shoalhaven walking track

 

Significant enhancements to some of the Shoalhaven’s premier outdoor recreational spots are currently in progress, with anticipated completion by the middle of the year. These upgrades span from Burrill Lake to Vincentia, elevating the experience of the region’s cherished walks and foreshore areas.

This initiative, supported by the Restart NSW Infrastructure Grant from the New South Wales Government, involves Council spearheading extensive improvements across seven key sustainable tourism infrastructure projects. The endeavours aim not only to boost the area’s appeal to tourists but also to provide long-term benefits to the local community.

Mayor Amanda Findley highlighted the dual benefits of these upgrades: enhancing accessibility for residents and visitors alike, and spotlighting the Shoalhaven’s breath-taking coastal landscapes.

“These paths and walkways are already popular among both locals and tourists. Thanks to the upgrades, their appeal is set to increase even further,” Mayor Findley remarked.

The scope of work extends beyond trail improvements, including significant enhancements to parking facilities, accessibility features, signage, amenities, and the addition of new viewing platforms.

“These enhancements are designed to ensure the longevity and sustainability of the infrastructure, catering to both casual visitors and avid hikers,” Mayor Findley added, emphasising the projects’ role in stimulating economic growth and allowing users to intimately engage with the region’s unique natural settings.

With Easter and the school holiday period approaching, Mayor Findley is eager to provide updates on the progress of these seven projects and encourages the public to visit some of the already completed sites.

Completed upgrades available to the public, funded through the Restart NSW Fund, include:

  • Plantation Point in Vincentia, now featuring beach access ramps, new accessible amenities, pathways, and parking facilities.
  • The Palm Beach waterfront at Sanctuary Point, boasting new BBQs, shelters, accessible pathways, enhanced amenities, and parking improvements.
  • The Basin Walk between St Georges Basin and Sanctuary Point, including a new shared path and the ongoing upgrade of a 5km stretch to Wool Lane, with additional boardwalk sections to be added.
  • Bherwerre Wetlands in Sanctuary Point, offering an accessible car park and boardwalk leading to a viewing platform, alongside a wide boardwalk connecting Larmer Avenue to the parking area.
  • Hyams Beach, which now has formalized parking, a new playground, picnic shelters, park furniture, an amenities building, landscaping, and walkways.
  • One Track for All in Ulladulla, featuring upgraded tracks now suitable for wheelchair-assisted users and mobility scooters due to asphalt resurfacing.

Continuing projects include the Coomee Nulunga Cultural Walk in Ulladulla, the Southern Headlands Walk from Narrawallee to Blackburn Headland in Burrill, and final enhancements at Hyams Beach.

For further details on the Sustainable Tourism Infrastructure Project, the public is encouraged to visit the Council’s website.

 

For more National Australia News, visit here.

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New South Wales News

Trio charged following major operation – Riverina

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Trio charged following major operation – Riverina

Police have charged a number of people, following a major operation in the State’s Riverina, targeting illicit criminal activity.

Between Tuesday 12 March 2024 and Thursday 14 March 2024, officers from State Crime Command’s Raptor Squad, with assistance from Traffic and Highway Patrol, Southern Regional Enforcement Squad and officers attached to Riverina Police District, conducted an operation targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs and organised criminal networks.

Of note, about 11.30am on Wednesday 13 March 2024, officers attached to Riverina Police District with assistance from specialist officers executed a search warrant at a premises in Northcotte Parade, Mount Austin.

Police arrested a 33-year-old male and 40-year-old female at the scene.

They were conveyed to Wagga Wagga Police Station and both charged with take/detain in company with intent to get advantage occasion actual bodily harm.

The man was refused bail and woman granted conditional bail. They will appear in Wagga Wagga Local Court on Wednesday 5 May 2024.

During the search warrant, officers found a 55-year old male inside with injuries, who they will allege was detained against his will.

Other notable results include;

– 6 Firearm Prohibition compliance (FPO) searches in Patamba Street, Kooringal, French Place, Glenfield Park, Boree Avenue, Forest Hill, Adams Street Ashmont, Hayes Street North Wagga Wagga and Giraween Mews, Glenfield Park.

– 3 people arrested and charged for outstanding warrants.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Riverina with assistance from Raptor Highway Patrol issued 13 traffic infringement notices, detected 1 positive random drug test, and issued two defect notices.

Commander of Riverina Police District Superintendent Andrew Spliet said this week’s operation sends a strong message to people involved in criminal activity in the Riverina.

“This two-day operation has put a substantial dent in criminal activity in the Riverina Police District,” Superintendent Spliet said.

“This isn’t the first, nor will it be the last major compliance operation involving specialist police, including the Raptor Squad officers, to bolster the great work being done locally within the Police District to crack down on illegal activity in our communities.”

Commander of State Crime Command’s Raptor Squad, Detective Superintendent Andrew Koutsoufis said this deployment demonstrates the Command’s commitment to tackling regional crime.

“Residents in regional NSW can expect to see more of Raptor Squad as we continue to take on various deployments and operations.

“These deployments – as well as through our fully fledged Raptor North and Raptor South squads –means Raptor have far-reaching capabilities tackling crime across the state.”

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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National News Australia

Fire and Rescue NSW recording Lithium-Ion battery fires at a rate of five a week NSW

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Lithium-Ion battery fires

Fire and Rescue NSW recording Lithium-Ion battery fires at a rate of five a week NSW

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has expressed concerns about the rising rate of Lithium-Ion battery fires as crews responded to four separate incidents yesterday.

Nine fire trucks rushed to an address in Apprentice Drive at Berkeley, on the state’s Central Coast, just after 5pm yesterday when an electric vehicle charging station caught alight.

Crews established a defensive perimeter around the business, fearing multiple Lithium-Ion truck batteries were at risk of catching fire.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze without further incident.

Around 4pm yesterday, a tradesman drove to the Tingira Heights Fire Station at Lake Macquarie, alerting firefighters that his toolbox was on fire.

The maintenance worker told the crew he was driving when he noticed a large amount of smoke in his rear vision mirror.

Lithium-Ion battery fires

Lithium-Ion battery fires

When he stopped his ute and opened the large toolbox, he found an unattached battery for his hedger ablaze.

The man covered the flames in dirt and drove to the nearby fire station.

Firefighters opened the toolbox and observed the dirt bubbling as the battery had entered a process, known as ‘Thermal Runaway; whereby the cell was off-gassing and threatening to explode.

They submerged the battery in a container of water until the danger had passed.

In a third incident around 12.45pm yesterday, a fire broke out in the rear of a garbage truck travelling along Derby Street at Silverwater, in Sydney’s west.

The driver stopped the truck and tipped the burning rubbish onto the roadway.

FRNSW crews arrived and found one battery amongst around 150 Lithium-Ion cells had entered ‘Thermal Runaway’ and was on fire.

The battery was submerged in water, preventing a chain reaction, and the scene cleaned up.

In a fourth Lithium-Ion battery-related blaze, an e-bike caught fire on the third floor of a 10-storey apartment block at Bankstown, in Sydney’s south-west.

Residents were evacuated from the French Avenue address around 6.30am, as 25 firefighters and four trucks responded to the scene.

Sprinklers were activated and suppressed the flames.

The fire crews extinguished the fire and ventilated the building.

An occupant suffered a superficial burn when he tried to remove the burning e-bike.

FRNSW has recorded 63 Lithium-Ion battery fires to date in 2024, subject to review, at a rate of 5.7 blazes a week.

Seven people have been injured in the fires.

There were 272 Lithium-Ion battery-related fires in 2023, at a rate of 5.2 a week.

Thirty eight people were injured last year.

FRNSW is reinforcing its public messages to households and businesses to use extra caution around Lithium-Ion batteries and related devices.

It warns people:

  • Never sleep or leave home with your Lithium-battery-powered devices charging
  • Don’t leave them constantly on charge
  • If Lithium batteries are damaged or compromised, dispose of them properly
  • Don’t throw them out in the rubbish, they can start garbage truck or rubbish tip fires when compacted
  • Contact your local, approved recycling centre for disposal advice
  • Don’t leave devices charging on beds, sofas or around highly flammable materials
  • Try to charge devices outside if possible
  • Always buy reputable Lithium-battery brands and never ‘mix and match’ components
  • Beware of cheap, substandard Lithium battery-powered devices
  • Avoid dropping, crushing or piercing battery cells
  • Store batteries and devices in a cool, dry area, away from combustible materials
  • Install active smoke alarms in your home/garage
  • Ensure you have a home evacuation plan in the event of fire
  • Don’t store or charge Lithium-Ion-powered devices near exit points in your home or business.

For further information, visit the FRNSW website: https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=9392

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