Friday, 19 January 2018

Pedestrian Killed At Belmont

BY IAN CROUCH

A pedestrian has been killed after being struck by a car at Belmont.

The 79-year-old man was crossing the Pacific Highway near the intersection of Ada Street at about 8.45pm on Thursday when he was hit by a Toyota Hilux.

Police and paramedics rushed to the scene but were unable to revive the man.

A 55-year-old man who was driving the Hilux was uninjured - he was taken to Belmont Hospital for mandatory blood and urine tests.

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

A report is being prepared for the Coroner.



Thursday, 18 January 2018

Stage Two of the Nobby's Refurbishment Project ready to Get Underway

BY JESSICA ROUSE

The next stage of refurbishment works at Nobby's Beach are about to get underway.

Newcastle City Council announced Stage 2 of the works today for the Nobby's Pavilion area including an assisted-change room with a toilet, shower, basin and bench.

Among the other additions are a new lift and change amenities to better assist those with mobility challenges.

The public domain improvements include three external shower towers with 12 showers on new draining platforms, an access ramp from Bathers Way to the lower promenade and more seats and benches.
Image courtesy NCC.

The change-rooms are gone and will be replaced with more toilets and showers, which despite beachgoer uproar, council says is a better deal.

"The improvements we're seeing down there have been I think quite well accepted  by the community considering we've increased the toilet facilities, more accessible change rooms, so when the works are finished there I think people will be really please like they have been with the whole Bathers Way Project," said Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.

The facilities will house seven female and five male cubicles, plus two urinals for men and two ambulant stalls and external wash basins for passers-by.

Council said they're making sure everything is built for use well into the future.

"We were always planning to make sure that the change rooms that we built met current standards and the current standards, we went over and above current standards. We've been sourcing particularly high-grade steel and metal for the disabled lift," Lord Mayor Nelmes.

It's all part of the $1.7 million improvement project funded by the NSW Government through the Newcastle Port Community Contribution fund, Nobbys Surf Life Saving Club, Newcastle City Council and NSWSLSA and Department of Family and Community Services through the SLSA NSW Community Inclusion Project. 

Image courtesy NCC.

Man Dies at Hunter Valley Coal Mine

BY JESSICA ROUSE

A contractor has tragically died at a coal mine in the Hunter Valley.

Police have confirmed the 39-year-old who was employed as a dump truck driver at the Glendell Coal Mine in Ravensworth, was found in his truck shortly after 1pm yesterday.

He died of a massive heart attack while behind the wheel of the "wobbly" articulated truck.

The coal mine's emergency response team rushed to the man's aid and attempted to resusitate him for some time until an ambulance from Singleton arrived.

Paramedics spent 10 minutes on the 39-year-old but he couldn't be resusitated.

CFMEU District President Peter Jordan said the man was undertaking top soil work in an isolated part of the mine which is being rehabilitated.

The company he was contracted by was a small Singleton company caleed NJR Excavations.


Shark Detection for Blacksmiths

BY JESSICA ROUSE

Summer just got a little safer for beachgoers at Blacksmiths with a funding boost for shark protection.

Lake Macquarie Council were successful in their bid to the state government for funding for drone equipment and training for staff on a 14 week trial.

$33, 290 will be put towards the trial as a part of the NSW Government's Shark Observation Grants Program.

Brad Sutton, the Lifestyle Services Manager at coucil said they'll be able to use the footage if they need to, but generally the same protocols if they spot a shark will apply.

Image surf-forecast.com
"We will be able to share that through media releases as well as maybe on our website any aerial photographs that we have of the sharks. But I guess the important thing is and the take home message is that we will act on that information immediately and close the beach as appropriate."

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot Macdonald said, "Improved survelliance on beaches provide a clearer line of vision for surf lifesavers to spot sharks and are also useful for spotting people in distress."

Brad Sutton said the trial will give them a better idea of how operating a drone fits in with lifesavers day-to-day work.

"The drone technology has been proven to be effective is sighting sharks from the air, part of what we will be looking at is how compatible is driving a drone for a lifeguard given their other safety obligations."

In the end though, anything that will keep surfers, swimmers, rock fishers and beachgoers safe at the beach can only be a good thing.

"For every person that is fatally attacked by a shark, 100 people drown on our beaches so our focus is still highly on water safety and promoting those safety messages. This year has been a significantly busy start to the year, in the first two weeks we've had 172 rescues," said Brad Sutton.

UPDATE! Police Investigate Violent Street Robbery At Mayfield East

BY IAN CROUCH

A man will front court today (Friday) accused of assaulting and robbing a 23-year-old man at Mayfield East.

Police say the victim was walking along Omara Street just before 12.30 yesterday morning when a man approached him and demanded his wallet.

The man allegedly punched him in the face and fled with his backpack.

Following inquiries, Police went to a home on Margaret Street Mayfield East yesterday afternoon and arrested an 18-year-old man.

He's been charged with robbery and resist officer in the execution of duty and refused bail to face Newcastle Local Court today.

+++
EARLIER

Police are searching for the culprit involved in a violent street robbery at Mayfield East.

A 23-year-old man was walking along Omara Street just after midnight on Thursday when he was approached by three men.

One of them demanded his wallet but when he said he didn't have one it's alleged the man punched him in the face, causing him to fall to the ground.

The attacker then grabbed the man's backpack and ran off, joining the others down the road before all three ran into Ingall Street.

Police say the main culprit is described as being of African appearance in his late teens or early 20's.

The victim suffered only minor injuries and was able to make his way home where he called police.




Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Railway Workers Choo-Choo Choose to Strike

BY LAUREN FREEMANTLE

Hunter commuters travelling within Newcastle or Sydney will have to think of another way to get to work, school and everywhere else, with rail workers steaming ahead with a 24 hour strike later this month.

Members of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union will walk off the job for 24 hours on Monday, January 29th over a pay dispute, bringing trains across the state to a halt.

They're hoping to secure a 6% pay increase from the state government.

The Union had originally planned to stop working overtime hours on January 25th, however decided that wouldn't send a strong enough message.

Meetings are planned for the next 48 hours, where union and government officials will try to find a solution to the stalemate.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance has called on the rail union to cancel the strike, saying it will force the cancellation of all rail services and leave commuters stranded.


Trucking Association Calls for Better Investigation Processes

BY SARAH JAMES

The Australian Trucking Association is calling for a change in the way truck crashes are investigated.

It comes following a horror crash at COORANBONG on Monday which caused a man's death and saw the M1 motorway closed to traffic.

A huge blaze was sparked as a fuel tanker clipped a parked truck, and the tanker full of ethanol exploded.

The truck driver who collided with the end of the pile-up sadly died at the scene.

Geoff Crouch from the Trucking Association says the federal government needs to give the Australian Transport Safety Bureau the power to investigate truck accidents.

In the past twelve months, NSW truck fatalities have increased by 86%. NSW is the only state to experience this trend, with the rest of Australia having their number of truck-related deaths fall.

At present, there is no clear reason for this increase in fatalities.

Geoff Crouch says the involvement of the Australian Safety Transport Bureau will allow better safety measures and regulations to be put in place.

"We are calling for the appropriate level of funding to be given to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau...to investigate serious road accidents and to come back with recommendations on how to prevent them from happening again," he said.

Australian Trucking Association