February 27, 2010
Police are investigating a suspected arson attack at a swimming centre at Grafton.
Around 11.20pm yesterday, officers from the Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command were called to the swimming complex in Armidale Road, South Grafton.
Upon arrival, police found the centre’s office area well ablaze.
NSW Fire Brigades units from Grafton and South Grafton responded and brought the blaze under control at 11.50pm.
February 27, 2010
A woman is in a critical condition after falling off her bicycle following a collision with a parked car at Duranbah, near Tweed Heads, yesterday.
About 2.20pm, the 27-year-old woman and a male friend were cycling north along the shoulder of the Pacific Highway at Duranbah when the incident occurred.
Police have been told the pair was on a training ride from Southport in Queensland to Byron Bay and back when the woman hit the rear of a red four-wheel-drive which was parked on the shoulder.
The driver of the car and the woman’s friend rendered first aid to her before emergency services were called and she was taken by ambulance to The Tweed Hospital.
February 27, 2010
A man will face court charged with the alleged murder of a man who went missing on the State’s far north coast earlier this month.
On Wednesday 10 February a man was reported missing to Byron Bay Police. The 54-year-old was last seen at Lennox Head on Monday 8 February.
Strike Force Whip was established to investigate the man’s disappearance, which comprises detectives from State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad and Tweed/Byron Local Area Command.
Following inquiries, a 38-year-old man attended Lismore Police Station about 12.30pm yesterday (Friday 26 February) before being arrested.
The man was interviewed and subsequently charged with murder.
February 27, 2010
The public relations representatives, who arrived in Byron Bay this week (25 February), work to promote Australia as a tourism destination internationally and domestically. They are making the most of their first visit to Byron by undertaking a famil of Byron and the broader Northern Rivers region.
February 26, 2010
Bruce at Dave’s Bait Shop in Ballina says there’s quite a bit of colour in the river, so the lower sections have been the focus for flathead, a few bream and blackfish on yabbies.
Plenty of mud crabs through the creeks and the lower river. River fishable to about Pimlico.
The walls have turned up some jew to about 15kg on lures and soft plastics.
There were some nice tailor around before the blow came through, so there’s the hope of more once things settle.
February 25, 2010
Minister for State Development, Ian Macdonald, today conceded to pressure from the Greens’ Ian Cohen and committed in the House to a ‘proper economic review’ of the Repco Rally – in compliance with the Motor Sports (World Rally Championship) Act – with a statement in the Parliament today.
“My office was alarmed to hear that Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), the company contracted to review the Repco Rally, was not going to be undertaking an economic cost benefit analysis. Mike Cahill, the managing director of IMC, confirmed this in correspondence with a resident in the Rally area,” says Ian Cohen.
“I asked the Minister in Question Time today why IMC was not doing an economic analysis and how IMC could possibly recommend the continuation of the Rally to the Minister if such an analysis has not been done.
“The Minister’s initial response was his usual bluster about what a great event it was and how local businesses did such good trade over that weekend.
February 24, 2010
The stage is set for the 2010 Allphones NSW Surf Life Saving Championships as the State’s surf stars converge on Blacksmiths Beach, Swansea Belmont this weekend.
Almost 4000 individual competitors from more than 100 clubs are expected to take part.
The State’s leading surf lifesavers will test their skills at the annual competition which attracts crowds of up to 10,000 spectators wanting to see competitors fight it out for glory in the water and on the beach.
The NSW Allphones Masters & Open Surf Life Saving Championships will commence with the Masters hitting Blacksmiths Beach on February 25 and their younger counterparts taking centre stage from Friday February 26 through to Sunday February 28.
Last weekend Manly upset Cronulla’s 12-year winning streak by taking out the overall pointscore at the 2010 NSW Age Championships, while Wanda finished second.
For the last two years the overall pointscore winners in the Open champs have been Manly, after stealing the title from Cronulla, and Manly will be frontrunners to secure another victory this year.
It won’t come easy though – Cronulla SLSC is home to some of NSW’s leading surf stars who will be looking to conquer not only the individual events but the team events as well.
Host club Swansea Belmont will be looking to better its great effort last year when it placed fourth overall.
The club has always been at the forefront of the competitive ranks in the Hunter Branch at NSW and Australian Surf Lifesaving carnivals and this weekend will be another massive effort from the club’s workforce and competitors.
This is the final year in a three-year hosting arrangement for the club.
The Open Ironman event is shaping up to be a battle royal, with a number of top competitors ready to race when the gun goes.
Chris Allum, who won in 2007, hopes to make a comeback. His brother Hayden is also a contender and both are current Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman Series competitors. Mark Simpson is also in the mix.
Last year’s winner, Jono Stock, from Manly is back again, as is second placegetter, Kendrick Louis from Collaroy.
Warilla-Barrack Point’s Ali Day is on fire after finishing sixth overall in the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain series at Cronulla last weekend. Hayden White will also bolster the club’s chances in his events.
Josh Blair from Swansea Belmont is sure to give these guys a nudge, after finishing ninth in last weekend’s Round 5 of the KNG series.
The big question is whether Manly’s Naomi Flood can collect a sixth successive title win in the Open Ironwoman event. Her chances are good after last weekend’s third place in the Kellogg’s Ironman series. She will come up against a tough field of competitors, including local Swansea Belmont competitor Nikki Chapman.
Freshwater’s Alisha Miller and Terrigal’s Amy Nurthen will also be hot on her heels. Last year’s second placegetter Maddison Prior from Warilla-Barrack Point will contest the U19 along with the Open Ironwoman. Tahnee Fleming from Byron Bay will also double up in the U19 and Open events.
On the beach, Queenscliff’s Laura Shorter will carve up the sand in both the Open Beach Flags and Sprint events. Jake Lynch from Newport will defend his U19 Beach Sprint and Flags titles and throw his hat in the ring for the Opens.
From the State’s north, Cudgen Headland will put forward some good competitors, including Rohan Small, Jarrad Cain and Scott McCartney in the individual and water teams events. Sawtell’s Kayla Russell and Sarah Tisdell will compete in Open water events.
Hunter club chances include Redhead’s Stewart McLachlan in the Open Board and Isaac Morgan who has moved up to the U17 events. Hannah Trypas will be hard to beat in the U15 water events. Swansea Belmont U17 chances include Kirsty Waugh in the water events and Emily Chaffey who is contesting the U17 and also taking on the Open Ironwoman event.
The South Coast push will be led by the strong Warilla-Barrack Point team. While great things are expected from Ali Day, Warilla’s Jordan White will defend her U17 Ironwoman crown and also line up for the Open Ironwoman. Bernadette Cardillo, now with Bulli, will compete in a range of U17 and Open beach events.
Central Coast star performers are likely to include: Stephanie Carey (The Lakes) who is taking a swipe at both the Open water events and the Beach Sprint and Flags. Terrigal’s Joanna Baxter moves up from the U19 to the Open events, and Ed Gourley will be interesting to watch in the U19 events. Karlee Nurthen is in form after taking home a swag of medals including U14 Ironwoman at last weekend’s junior championships. She will be back this weekend to have a go at the U15 events.
Cronulla’s Elly Graf will defend her U19 Beach Flags and Sprint titles, as well as be a good chance in the Open events, after the retirement last year of Bulli’s Cara Langendam. Kyle O’Brien from Cronulla will be back to defend medals in the U17 water events. Jessica Lauricella, competing for Wanda, is one to watch in the U17 water events. She was chosen for this year’s High Performance Squad and is in good form. Maroubra’s Tara Coleman performed well in the ski and board events last year.
The Championships will come to a dramatic close on 28 February in what will be a massive day of finals with the pageantry and colour of the March Past up first and the prestigious Ironman and Ironwoman tagged as the events to watch later in the day.
Following this year’s event, competitors will say goodbye to Swansea Belmont and head north for the next two years to Cudgen Headland SLSC at Kingscliff.
Round 1 – IRB Premiership
The first round of this year’s IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) Premiership will also kick off on Saturday afternoon at Swansea Belmont. Water safety crews from clubs around the State will demonstrate their rescue skills in this fast-paced, action packed event.
February 24, 2010
Local filmmakers Stephen Jones and Tatiana Velasco will share the story behind their soon-to-be-released surf art movie, El Mar Mi Alma (The Sea My Soul), on Friday evening, February 26, at a special event at Harvest Café, Newrybar.
Filmed on location in Chile by renowned photographer/cinematographer Dave Homcy, El Mar Mi Alma captures the essence of a coastal road trip and surfing journey with some of the world’s top pros – Dave Rastovich, Ramon Navarro, Dane Ward, Crystal Thornburg, Chris del Moro, Joel Parkinson, Christian Merello, Leo Acevedo and Diego Medina.
February 24, 2010
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is commencing its annual autumn wild dog monitoring and control program across the Northern Rivers Region conducted in conjunction with the local Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) and NSW Forests and interested private landholders.
NPWS Pest Management Officer, Lisa Wellman, said prior to the start of each program, which began in 2006, advertisements are placed in local newspapers advising people.
“The program is undertaken twice a year in autumn and spring and looks for evidence of wild dogs, which can then be controlled,” Ms Wellman said.
“Control programs are based around baiting programs, and monitoring is also undertaken after control to determine how successful the program has been.
February 24, 2010
Motorists travelling in the Northern Rivers area now have ready, reliable access to roads information with the launch of a new website called RoadInfo www.myroadinfo.com.au
“This is especially important in times of emergency,” said Cr Jenny Dowell, president of the Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils (NOROC).
“Although the new system will show roadworks and scheduled road closures on an everyday basis, it will come into its own during a flood or in other emergency event.
“It is the experience of most councils that the information people request most is ‘what roads are closed?’ and ‘how can I travel from A to B?’