Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Boost to funding for medical research in the Hunter


The Hunter region is set to benefit from over $6 million dollars in Federal funding to support medical research in the region.

The funding from the Australian Government's Medical Research Future Fund will support researchers across the Hunter, Central Coast and Mid-North Coast districts.

New research will include best practice models for telehealth and aged care as well as healthy weight strategies.

Practices such as telehealth help those in rural areas access health services without having to travel long distances.

Chief Executive of Hunter New England Health Michael DiRienzo said the research funding is great news for the Health District and its partners.

"We can now utilise this funding to further promote the translation of research into better health outcomes for our patients and our community," he said.

Funding will also target Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, older Australians and those living in rural areas.

Mr DiRienzo said the research will allow a better understanding of individual communities and their needs.


National housing campaign helping Hunter residents


As homelessness rates increase across the Hunter, the region has welcomed the new national housing campaign Everybody's Home.

The campaign will focus on delivering affordable housing solutions to everyone and improving Australia's housing system.

Newcastle housing provider, Compass attended the launch of the campaign this week.

Compass is lobbying alongside more than 30 other organisations for the government to implement its five-point plan for housing.

The plan includes meeting the demand for additional housing by supporting first home buyers, increasing support for renters and reducing homelessness.

The most recent Census data shows homelessness has risen nationally, with 6,000 people on the waiting list for social housing in the Hunter.

CEO of Compass Housing Greg Budworth said the campaign calls immediately for the government to look at increasing supply to meet much-needed demand.

"The system is broken. We need a responsible ministry and a coordinated effort between the states," he said.

Mr Budworth said many are unable to cover basic needs such as food, education and medical expenses due to the rising cost of housing.

The community can get involved by visiting


Extensive road closures across Lake Macquarie due to flooding



Lake Macquarie Council are urging motorists not to drive in flood waters, as some roads in the area are closed and others are reportedly covered by pooling water.

The road is CLOSED at:

- King Street, Warners Bay adjacent to Warners Bay High School
- Pacific Highway, Gateshead for northbound traffic
- Weir Road, Barnsley; and
- Oakdale Road, Gateshead.

While water on the surface is reported at:

- Bareki Road, Croudace Bay near Thomas H Halton Park
- Main Road, Cardiff near Cardiff Toyota
- Main Road, Edgeworth, near Impala Street
- Creek Reserve Road, Boolaroo
- John Street, Warners Bay
- William Street, Teralba at the corner of York Street
- Appletree Road, Barnsley
- Main Road Edgeworth, near McDonalds; and,
- Five Islands Road at Booragul roundabout.

If you find yourself in a flood emergency situation, call the NSW SES on 132 500.

Main Road, Cardiff earlier today. Image: The Herald. 

Roads begin to flood across Hunter amidst wild weather



The Bureau of Meteorology says a line of thunderstorms is currently passing through Redhead and is set to affect Charlestown, Boolaroo and Lake Macquarie.

The storms are now going to hit Newcastle, West Wallsend and Cardiff.

The SES have already responded to around 55 calls across the Hunter, many of which were requests for sandbags.

Residents looking to secure sandbags for their property are being encouraged to attend SES supply points at these locations:

Singleton: 9-11 Queen Street, Singleton.
Dungog: Clarence Town Road, Dungog.
Maitland: Waterworks Road, Rutherford.
Tomaree: Sandy Point Road, Corlette.
Newcastle: 75 Elizabeth Street, Newcastle.

65 millimetres of rain has fallen today at the Barrington Tops, while Dungog received over 100 millimetres within an hour this morning.

There have been reports of around 4 feet of rainwater on the road at University Drive at Callaghan, as well as pooling water on Lookout Road near McCaffrey Drive.

In Wallsend, the Upper Reserve is already underwater, while drains near Wallsend Plaza are filling up quickly.

Try to avoid driving through Cardiff - Main Road and Fern Valley Road are flooded.

The SES say they have 300 volunteers at the ready to be deployed wherever they are required across the Hunter as the onslaught continues.

The Bureau of Meteorology still expect around 100 to 200 millimetres to fall across Newcastle and the Lower Hunter over the next 24 hours, while a Severe Thunderstorm Warning remains in place. 

Drivers risk it on flooding Cardiff Roads. Image: SRC. 

Dungog Cops A Downpour As The Hunter Goes On Flood Watch


The Hunter Region SES has been handing out sandbags as the region prepares for torrential rain and thunderstorms.

The Weather Bureau has forecast intense rainfall across the day, with between 100 and 200 millimetres expected in parts of the Hunter.

Already, 117 millimetres has been recorded at Dungog in just one hour this morning.

A Severe Weather Warning has been issued for the Hunter, with the warning area extending to the Upper Hunter and Mid North Coast.

Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens are on flood watch along with the Lower Hunter, Paterson, Karuah and Williams Rivers and the Wollombi Brook.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

SES warns of heavy rains on their way


The State Emergency Service is warning Hunter residents heavy rain forecast for later today has the potential to cause flash flooding.

A coastal trough, cradled between two high-pressure systems will develop along parts of the coast over the next 24-hours.

The weather bureau is forecasting up to 20mm of rain on Tuesday and up to 120mm on Wednesday with no sign of stopping until Friday.

Rachel Squires from the SES said the weather is unpredictable and residents should be prepared now.

"Clean out your gutter, make sure anything lying around in your yard is secure and keep on top of information that comes through," she said.

"You can follow [the SES] on our Facebook page, or you can follow the Bureau of Meteorology on the web - they provide information and updates on rainfall and river heights."

The SES advises people who find themselves trapped by flash flooding to seek refuge in the highest available place and ring your local SES Unit on 132 500 in emergencies.

Muswellbrook Mayor confirmed as Upper Hunter candidate


Labor has announced Muswellbrook Mayor, Martin Rush will run as the Country Labor candidate for the Upper Hunter in the March 2019 State Election.

State Opposition Leader, Luke Foley made the announcement during a visit to the region this morning - describing the new candidate as having conviction and commitment to the local community.

In the Upper Hunter seat in the last election, Country Labor recorded one of the largest swings against the National Party of 20.8%.

Martin Rush said he believes that margin has narrowed even further since 2015.

"We had over $650 million dollars of commitment from all sides during the last campaign," he said, "because as the margin narrowed (and that became obvious to both major parties that the seat was up for grabs) there was some interest in the seat - and that was really refreshing."

Mr Rush believes this renewed interest will make for a hotly contested seat but promises it will be a fair campaign.

"From my perspective, we just want to get out and tell a positive story," he said, "we want it to be a solution-based campaign.

"So you won't see our side engaging in any confrontational or negative politics with the other side - that's just not us."

Mayor of Muswellbrook, Martin Rush.