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Northern Rivers Local News

Candlelit memorial for Tweed schoolgirl

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Candlelit memorial for Tweed schoolgirl Charlise Mutten

Candlelit memorial for Tweed schoolgirl

Margaret Dekker
Hundreds of heartbroken children, parents and community mourners gathered outside Tweed Heads Public School last Wednesday evening to remember much-loved pupil, Charlise Mutten.

Candlelit memorial for Tweed schoolgirl Charlise Mutten

Charlise Mutten

The nine year old’s body was found in Hawkesbury bushland last Tuesday, January 18, four days after her mother first reported her missing from Mt Wilson in the Blue Mountains.

Charlise was allegedly murdered by her mother’s fiancé, Justin Stein, during a family holiday at a luxury venue in the Blue Mountains. The girl’s body was found after a 5-day search and investigation by NSW Police Homicide Squad. Stein was charged with her murder late last week and was remanded in jail after his arrest at Surry Hills Police Station.

The smart and gentle Grade 4 student was remembered as ‘polite, courteous and a conversationalist’ by her teachers as her classmates spoke through tears at the school-gate vigil to remember the life of Charlise Mutten.

“We dearly miss our Charlise. May her soul fly high as she begins her next journey,” one friend said to the gathering.

Charlise’s mother Kallista Mutten was admitted to a Sydney hospital and was unable to be interviewed by police at the time her daughter’s harrowing death was confirmed. It’s understood Charlise Mutten was raised by her caring grandparents in Coolangatta.

Her father spoke of his devastating loss, online.“Goodbye you beautiful little girl. I love you so much. I miss you every day!” he posted on Facebook.
The Tweed Heads Public School expressed its condolences on the school’s Facebook page last Wednesday afternoon shortly after the devastating news broke; the close community had been hoping and praying for better news.

“We are absolutely devastated to hear this morning’s news about Charlise. Our hearts go out to her family, we cannot begin to imagine the distress they must feel. Charlise was a much loved member of our school who brightened all our days, every day. Today we will be in touch with the Department of Education to explore options to support our students and staff when school resumes.

“This is our last photo of Charlise from our 2021 presentation day where she received her class award for literacy.

“Please note that as this is now a judicial matter, we will be closing comments on this post and will not be making additional public posts.”
The accused made no application for bail and will next appear at Penrith Local Court in mid-March.

Northern Rivers Local News

DEEGAN BACKS PAY RISE FOR LOW-PAID WORKERS

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

DEEGAN BACKS PAY RISE FOR LOW-PAID WORKERS

Labor Candidate for Page Patrick Deegan today confirmed his support for an increase to the minimum wage for Northern NSW workers.

“The real wages of ordinary Australians are going down under the Morrison-Joyce Government,” Patrick Deegan said.

“Inflation is now steaming ahead at 5.1 per cent. Everything is going up, except for wages.

“That’s why I fully support Anthony Albanese’s call for an increase to the minimum wage, and agree that the minimum wage should go up in line with inflation.

“An increase to the minimum wage of around 5 per cent would equate to just one dollar an hour. It would be a modest increase, but it is desperately needed by many people in Northern NSW who are struggling to make ends meet.”

Patrick Deegan said Northern NSW included some of the most disadvantaged communities in Australia.

“For many people in our region, life on the minimum wage is not an abstract concept. It is their lived reality.

“These are the people who suffer most when governments choose to pursue policies that intentionally drive down wages.

“That’s why so many felt deflated when the Prime Minister claimed an increase to the minimum wage that matched inflation would be ‘incredibly reckless’.

“Let’s get this straight: a small increase to minimum wage would help people to pay for their rent, for their petrol and their food. It would be anything but reckless.”

Patrick Deegan called on Member for Page Kevin Hogan to support low-paid workers in Northern NSW by also backing the call for an increase to the minimum wage.

“Kevin Hogan has been missing in action on the issue of pay and the cost of living. The people of Northern NSW need to know where he stands.”

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2022 Floods

Byron Shire Flood Update – 1:00pm Wednesday 30 March 

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Byron Shire Flood Update – 1:00pm Wednesday 30 March 

 

Residents and businesses in many parts of the Byron Shire, especially Byron Bay and Suffolk Park, have been affected by flooding with heavy rainfall across the region overnight.  

Rainfall figures released by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) show Coopers Shoot recorded 319mm of rain to 9am this morning (30 March 2022) with 282mm at Byron Bay. 

A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and thunderstorms remains in place. 

Moderate flooding is also possible along the Brunswick River at Mullumbimby and along the Marshalls Creek at Billinudgel early this afternoon.  

All available Council staff are at work, although many have also been impacted by the rain and flooding.   

For links to all the latest information from the SES, BoM and Council go to our Emergency Dashboard. 

Our Facebook page has loads of information as well. 

Roads 

 

At 11:30 am, we have 37 reported road closures and a significant number of flood cautions issued across our network in Byron Shire. 

The M1 is closed southbound at Tyagarah. 

Significant flash flooding has been experienced in the Byron town centre and industrial estate. 

The flash flooding experienced in Lawson, Jonson Street and surrounds has been unprecedented. Traffic controls have been in place since early this morning.  

Shirley Street is closed at Kendall Street and Ewingsdale Road is closed near Belongil Bridge at Sunrise Boulevard, police are on the scene. 

We also have a landslip reported at Broken Head Road near the Coast Road and emergency services have been on site this morning. There is another landslip reported at Bangalow Road that remains inaccessible to emergency services. 

Suffolk Park experienced significant flash flooding overnight, a number of roads remain cut off here. 

New Brighton Road is closed near the intersection of Redgate Road. 

The majority of our major hinterland roads remain cut off and inaccessible, with crews unable to further inspect the damage in these areas. We have been advised by locals a new landslip has occurred at Wilsons Creek Road. We will provide updates on this when they come to hand. 

We’ve received reports of a number of trees down, blocking roads across our network, many in areas we are still unable to access. 

Evacuation Centres

 

The Cavanbah Centre Byron Bay was opened as an Evacuation Centre this morning by the lead agencies (Department of Communities and Justice and Northern Rivers NSW SES). 
 
We are aware getting to the Cav is a challenge at the moment because of road closures. Check MyRoadInfo to see what roads are open and closed.  

Water and Sewer

 

All available staff are working on the water and sewer network across the Shire. 

Any urgent problems with water, sewer and drainage should be reported to our Depot staff on 02 6685 9300. 

Non-urgent problems can be reported via Report It on our website. 

Drinking water and water for household use 

There is currently no problem with water supply in the Byron Shire and the water is safe to drink and for household use.  

Our water treatment plant at Mullumbimby is still off-line but we have enough water reserved and we have also turned on the emergency connection to the Rous County Council water supply. 

There are no water restrictions but we do ask that people use water sparingly until the flood water recedes and operations return to normal. 

Sewer 

Heavy rain yesterday and overnight is continuing to have an impact on our sewer system and our network is under pressure from the large amount of water flowing into pump stations around the Shire. 

Staff are doing all they can but they can’t get to some sites because of flooding.  Once the rain stops and water subsides we will get to all the affected areas. 

Stormwater 

Everyone should stay out of stormwater.  This is the water in the streets and coming up through the drains. 

Stormwater is dirty and often contaminated with sewer run-off and other substances that are harmful to our health.  

For more information about the danger of stormwater go to the NSW Health website. 

Waste 

Due to the severe weather and issues with access, Byron Resource Recovery Centre, the tip, is closed today. 

Kerbside bins will be collected on your normal bin collection day. There may be some delay to collections if access has been limited due to road closure and flooding. 

Flooding through Byron township has resulted in multiple vehicles getting inundated and large quantities of floating rubbish. This area will be a primary focus for our crews clean-up once water levels drop.

  

Areas that we have not been able to collect are: 

·        Byron Industrial Estate 

·        Skinners Shoot Road  

·        Shirley Lane   

 

Flood recovery clean-up is on hold. 

 

Visit Flood clean up and waste for more information. 

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2022 Floods

Severe Weather Conditions in Ballina Shire – Avoid Unnecessary Travel

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Severe Weather Conditions in Ballina Shire – Avoid Unnecessary Travel

 

UPDATE 12.30PM WEDNESDAY 30 MARCH 2022

 

The Lennox Head Cultural Centre is open today as an evacuation centre for anyone seeking shelter from the severe weather and flash flooding.

 

Please only travel to the centre if it is safe to do so. If you are currently safe in your home, it is still the best option to stay where you are and stay off the roads if possible.

 

For emergency help in floods and storms call the SES on 132 500.

 

ROADS AND FERRY UPDATE

Residents are strongly urged to avoid travel today.

 

The Pacific Highway is closed from Wardell to Tintenbar, between Coolgardie Road and Tamarind Drive. This means the Cumbalum Interchange remains closed as well as the Interchange at West Ballina. River Street in West Ballina is also currently closed due to floodwaters.

 

The Burns Point Ferry remains CLOSED until further notice.

 

Due to access and safety restrictions Ballina Shire Council staff cannot inspect and signpost all urban roads. As soon as it is safe to do so our crews will complete inspections and Council will post updates to www.livetraffic.com. Please be aware of changing conditions in your local area.

 

SANDBAGS AVAILABLE

Anyone needing to collect sandbags should lodge a request with SES by calling 132 500.

 

COUNCIL SERVICES

The Recovery Centre at the Ballina Surf Club remains closed today due to the severe weather. The Recovery Centre will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Flood-impacted residents can still access support by calling the Service NSW hotline on 13 77 88.

 

Minimise water use

If you hear your toilet gurgling, it is expected during the extreme weather we are currently experiencing.

The current high rainfall and tidal impacts are putting extreme pressure on our pump stations and wastewater network.

Council crews are doing all they can to clear the excess backlog but they’re up against it in the current conditions.

To assist us please minimise your water use such as bathing/showering, washing and toilet flushing.

If residents experience problems with sewage entering their home please contact Council on 1300 864 444.

 

Bin collection

Council’s Resource Recovery Team will be unable to complete collections today, Wednesday 30 March due to flooding.

Missed collections are expected to be rescheduled for Saturday 2 April 2022. Where safe to do so, residents can leave their bins out for recollection.

 

Missing bins
If you are in need of a bin replacement, please log a request via the Community Portal on ballina.nsw.gov.au/CommunityPortal or call 1300 864 444 for our team to log your request.

 

Waste Management Centre Closed

The Waste Management Centre on Southern Cross Drive is closed today due to staff not being able to access the site. It will reopen tomorrow if it is safe to do so.

 

Ballina Byron Gateway Airport

Commercial flights have been cancelled today and access roads are flooded. Passengers should not to travel to the airport today and should contact their airline directly for flight information.

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