Posted: 22 May, 2015

Soggy Sydney Strikes Again

Severe Weather Warning Hits Sydney

It is a wet old end to the week in Sydney, with up to 40 mills of rain expected to fall. 

A severe weather warning has been issued as a trough on the South Coast strengthens as it moves north. 

Damaging winds of 55-65 km/h have been forecast, while the Bureau is warning of peak wind gusts up to 90km/h. 

Already Sydney Airport has recorded 81km/h winds.

Dangerous surf conditions will also develop, making for hazardous surfing and swimming conditions. 

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Posted: 22 May, 2015

Sydney Home To Australia’s Worst Roads

Calls for massive funding injection or things will get worse

It may not be a surprise for some, but Sydney motorist’s confront seven of the eight most congested roads in Australia and it’s hurting the economy badly.

Results are in from the federal government’s top infrastructure advisor and they’re warning massive investment is needed to avoid a congestion crunch in Australia’s top cities.

The first audit by Infrastructure Australia looked into the country’s transport, water, energy and telecommunications systems.

So which Sydney road is choking our economy?  

Pennant Hills Road between Parramatta and Hornsby is the worst economic toll in the country, measured according to the cost of delays caused by congestion per road lane.

The second is King Georges Road from the Princes Highway in southern Sydney to the M4 in the west.

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said the traffic gridlock has "come off the back of generations of under-funding." 

Our transport networks need serious attention to cope with the national population that will boom from 22.3 million in 2011 to 30.5 million by 2031.

The cost of congestion on all urban roads in Australia was $13.74 billion in 2011 and is projected to skyrocket 290 per cent to $53.3b by 2031 unless urgent measures are taken now.

"Congestion today to the business community is the new red tape and it's choking productivity to a standstill," Mr Koury said. 

"We need to address it - it's going to cost a lot of money and a lot of planning but it needs to be done. Sydney is the best city in the world and its infrastructure is letting it down." 

The 7 slowest Sydney road’s killing our economy

Road corridor

Delay cost by lane 2011 ($m)

Pennant Hills Rd- Parramatta to Hornsby

$3.53m

King Georges Rd/ Princes Highway (M4)

$2.28m

Chatswood to Narraweena via Warringah Rd

$2.18m

Homebush Bay to Mona Vale Corridor (A3)

$1.92m

Sutherland – Ryde/Parramatta Corridor (A6)

$1.77m

Victoria Rd (A40) Corridor

$1.73m

Parramatta Rd (M4) Corridor Ashfield – Strathfield

1.64m

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Posted: 22 May, 2015

Blues Go Nuts Over Coconut Water

Health-conscious NSW players ditch booze for the natural energy drink

Andrew Fifita high fives during a NSW Blues State of Origin training session at Novotel Coffs Harbour yesterday. Source: Getty Images 

NSW Blues players have ditched the grog for a much healthier option - coconut water.

The secret weapon during their State of Origin camp in Coffs Harbour could well be the secret weapon in their chances of beating the Maroons next Wednesday.

NSW coach Laurie Daley isn’t enforcing an official booze ban, instead the squad has chosen not to touch a drop.

Not one sip of booze has been consumed by players leading into next week, and no players have hit up the bar inside NSW’s training base at the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort in Coffs Harbour.

Backrower Trent Merrin telling Triple M, “I think it’s changing all now, I think we just enjoy getting into camp and relaxing. It’s too hard now, the level of professionalism.”

Players have instead been spotted sipping the sports drink each day in camp.

It’ll be the first time in NSW’s 35-year State of Origin history where players have turned their back on any alcohol.

This drink of choice is a massive culture swing from recent years, where players would engage in boozy bonding nights - some which turned into all-nighters.

It sounds like it’s a different story up north in the Queensland camp according to Maroons legend Gorden Tallis, “Can someone tell Queensland, because I went there last night and they were still hung-over! Can someone tell them there’s a level of professionalism!” he told Triple M’s The Rush Hour.

Senior members of last year’s NSW playing group requested the introduction of coconut water this series to help with rehydration.

Just like goji berries, quinoa and kale, coconut water has been embraced as a powerful and natural health booster.

The Blues trained in a massive downpour yesterday before a training-free day today.

The NSW squad returns to Sydney on Sunday before setting up camp near ANZ Stadium. 

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Tags: Coconut Water, State Of Origin, Blues

Posted: 21 May, 2015

Daniel Morcombe's Killer Loses Appeal

Had been trying to have his conviction overturned

Brett Peter Cowan, the man convicted of Daniel Morcombe's murder, has had his appeal thrown out of court.

Cowan is sentenced to life behind bars with a 20-year non-parole period.  

Queensland's Attorney-General was trying to have the sentence extended, that appeal was also rejected.

Bruce Morcombe was in court today, he says he has mixed emotions.

"Eleven and a half years ago was the last time Denise and I, and the family, saw Daniel. We don't forget.  Today we hope Mr Cowan doesn't forget his actions have resulted in him spending a minimum 20 years in jail.  We hope they're tough," he said.

Cowan's legal team won't rule out further legal action though.  They're claiming police involved in getting Cowan's confession overstepped the mark.

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Tags: Daniel Morcombe, Brett Peter Cowan, court, appeal

Posted: 21 May, 2015

Appeal Dismissed For Sydney Murderer

Sean Lee King loses appeal over brutal stomping murder of girlfriend Jazmin-Jean Ajbschitz

A Sydney man who beat and stomped his teenage girlfriend to death while high on ice in 2011 has lost his appeal over the sentence.

Sean Lee King was put away for at least 25-and-a-half years in 2013 after he kicked and hit Jazmin-Jean Ajbschitz, dragged her bruised and bloodied body around her Sydney apartment and stomped on her chest until her heart stopped.

An expert described the injuries like those you’d see in high speed car crashes.

The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed the 29 year old's appeal yesterday that his sentence was excessive, finding just punishment reflected the “exceptionally violent” manner of Ms Ajbschitz’s death.

The 18-year-old had threatened to leave King earlier in the day in a text message and initially refused him entry when he came by her apartment block later.

King, who was on parole for earlier guns and drugs charges, smoked the drug throughout that day and made phone calls to Ms Ajbschitz, saying "I'm going to f---ing kill you. Wait until I see you. You don't know what I can do".

He initially admitted to the murder but pleaded not guilty on the grounds he was high on ice at the time.

Despite this, the court agreed with the original decision that King’s drug use was an aggravating factor, saying he continued to use even though he knew it made him violent.

Given the “exceptionally violent” nature of the murder, Ms Ajbschitz’s “terror and suffering” and King’s limited prospects of rehabilitation, the sentence was not manifestly excessive, the court held.

Government Minister Pru Goward says it's thankful the decision didn't go his way.

"Women will not report if they believe society doesn't see the crime as a serious one, and the courts need to continue to make it clear that domestic violence homicide is a particularly abhorrent form of murder."

He’s facing a maximum sentence of 33 and a half years and will eligible for parole in April 2037.

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Tags: Sean Lee King, Jazmin-Lean Ajbschitz, Sydney murder

Posted: 21 May, 2015

Car Recall Bigger Than First Thought

More than 550,000 Aussie cars affected

More Australian cars have been caught up in the latest car recall - now considered the largest in the world - over faulty airbags. 

All up, 56 million cars are already being pulled from the roads globally...34 million in the US, and more than half a million here. What's scary is that figure's expected to climb. 

After initially denying there was any problem (and then claiming it had been fixed), Japanese company Takata has revealed the problem is far bigger than originally thought. All of these airbags could spray shrapnel in an accident... it's all to do with moisture getting in during the manufacturing process.

The company makes 20% of the car industry's airbags. 

Overseas, at least six deaths have so far been linked to the fault.

At this stage, the recall is so massive not all car companies have been able to calculate exactly which models are affected, but we know the makes include Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors ... typically, they're 2003 - 2007 models

Some car companies have started to release statements about the release, with many admitting replacements won't be fitted until at least next year.

While car companies are scrambling to make contact with original buyers, they're running into trouble because often the vehicles have been sold (sometimes multiple times) since the original purchase (between 2003 and 2007). 

If you think you could be affected, you should check the recalls.gov.au website or contact the car company direct. 

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Tags: car, recall, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Takata, airbags, faulty

Posted: 20 May, 2015

Nathan Tinkler Loses A-League Licence

Newcastle Jets Placed Into Voluntary Administration

Nathan Tinkler

The Newcastle Jets A-League club has had its licence terminated by Football Federation Australia (FFA).

It comes after owner, Nathan Tinkler placed club into voluntary administration today with debts of $2.7 million.

FFA CEO David Gallop said Hunter Sports Group (HSG) has been given every opportunity to continue as the owner and operator of the licence, but was unable to meet the conditions required to do so.

“FFA has taken this action to protect the interests of the football community in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, and to safeguard the image and reputation of the A-League and its member clubs,” said Gallop.

“Newcastle needs a club operating in a stable environment with certainty of resources in order to be successful and competitive in the A-League and to properly represent the community. HSG has proved to be incapable of meeting these requirements.

“HSG has behaved in a deplorable way towards the players and staff of the club in failing to meet basic obligations to pay wages. Anyone who takes control of a sporting club has an obligation to respect the people and the traditions of that club.

“HSG has failed miserably to in this regard. Today’s action to terminate the licence is the first step to restoring the proud traditions of football in Northern NSW.”

The FFA says it's now in talks with a number of parties interested in taking over the A-League club in Newcastle, Mr Gallop saying any future ownership needs to have "people at the heart of things".

Tinkler purchased the Jets' licence in 2010, and a year later took over as owner of the Newcastle Knights NRL club.

In June last year, the NRL took back control of the Newcastle Knights fromTinkler after he failed to get a multi-million dollar bank guarantee.

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Posted: 20 May, 2015

Hugh Jackman Shows The US How to Eat Vegemite

Actor teaches Jimmy Fallon the proper way to eat the Aussie favourite

Actor Hugh Jackman has pulled Jimmy Fallon up on-air after The Tonight Show host gave the iconic Aussie spread a less than impressive review.

Fallon tasted Vegemite during a segment last week and couldn’t hide his disapproval - claiming it tasted like beef bouillon that had fallen on a brewer's floor.

The actor set out to change the reputation of Vegemite in the US, telling Fallon last night, “I’ve got a bit of a bone to pick with you man. You were talking a bit of smack last week about Vegemite.”

Jackman telling the comedian he hadn’t eaten the spread the traditional Aussie way, saying it needed to be eaten on toast with butter and layered on thin.

“It’s not like Nutella, it’s refined… you just need a little bit.”

Out comes the toaster to prove the point and once Fallon tries it, he looks a lot more impressed.

“Much better! Oh, that’s fantastic.”

Jackman referred to this lesson as a “public service announcement for Australia.”

Watch the full appearance below.

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Tags: Hugh Jackman, The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon, Vegemite

Posted: 18 May, 2015

Man Hit By A Car Driven By Jon Stevens

Noiseworks frontman expected to check in with the victim today

Aussie rocker John Stevens is expected today to check on the pedestrian he hit while driving his BMW in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs yesterday. 

It is understood Stevens was visiting his son when his luxury 4WD collided with a 69-year-old man on a pedestrian crossing at the corner of Wolseley Rd and New South Head Rd just before 1.30pm.

NSW Police say the singer stopped to assist the victim, who suffered non-life threatening injuries to his head, legs and hand.

The man was taken by ambulance to hospital for treatment. Rose Bay police are now investigating with officers appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward. 

It has been reported an on-the-spot-alcohol test was carried out and returned a negative result.

The former noiseworks and INXS frontman has since released a statement overnight, expressing concern for the injured man.

"I hope the gentleman is okay, police and paramedics assured me he is, but I'll be checking in to make sure. It was just an accident. I can’t take a trick right now. I am devastated,” said Stevens.

He was driving his black BMW X6 just 150m from his former fiancé Jodhi Meares' plush Point Piper pad when the pedestrian was knocked to the ground. 

After making headlines recently for all the wrong reasons, it comes a week after the Aussie rocker was captured by the paparazzi leaving a Sydney restaurant after a long lunch with John Singleton.

Singo was fined $550 dollars for offensive behaviour over the boozy lunch.

Stevens also had assault charges against him dropped in a Sydney Court last month over an alleged incident involving Meares.


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Tags: Jon Stevens, INXS, Car accident, Point Piper

Posted: 18 May, 2015

Massive All-In-Brawl Erupts In Hungry Jacks

A Perth Hungry Jacks descended into mayhem.

A fight at a Hungry Jack's store has been caught on camera by a fellow diner.

The video was uploaded to YouTube sometime on Friday, and shows a group of teenagers fighting with three others by throwing chairs, tray mats and even tables at a store in Perth's CBD "after a night out".

It is not known if Police are investigating the fight or video, however with the damage that was done to the store there's little doubt that law enforcement would be involved.

In the video you can see other customers trying to get out of the way of the brawl, and staff hiding behind the counter at the store.

Massive Brawl Erupts In Hungry Jacks Uploaded at 18 May, 2015 - 2:48PM

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Rock, Shock

Trays become frisbees as huge brawl erupts in a Perth Hungry Jacks.

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Tags: Perth, Newsroom

Posted: 18 May, 2015

Lambie Green Light for Party

Former Palmer United senator wins approval to set up her own political party

Jacqui Lambie has won the tick of approval from the Electoral Commission to set up her own political party.

The Jacqui Lambie Network can now appear on federal election ballot papers and receive public funding if its candidates garner enough votes.

Senator Lambie was elected under the Palmer United Party banner but defected in November.

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Tags: jacqui, lambie, party, approval

Posted: 18 May, 2015

Haddin Confirms What Triple M Already Knew

Aussie keeper hangs up the one-day gloves

Australian wicket keeper Brad Haddin has confirmed to the world what he already told Triple M a day after winning the one-day World Cup at the MCG on March 29.
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - FEBRUARY 28:  Brad Haddin of Australia bats during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup match between Australia and New Zealand at Eden Park on February 28, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)During a hectic phone call with The Triple M Grill Team - which included talking to Steve Smith and coach Darren Lehmann, who was showing the effects of a long night of celebrating, Haddin let slip when asked about getting in the faces of the New Zealand players during the decider.
 
"I'm not gunna play another one-dayer so they can (line slightly drops out) suspended me for as long as they like..."

Have a listen for yourself...

The 37 year old hanging up the gloves having played 126 matches in the green and gold.

His one-day international career beginning against Zimbabwe in Hobart in 2001, before he finally took a permanent place in the side in 2008 following the retirement of Adam Gilchrist.

Haddin claiming 170 catches and 11 stumpings, the third most dismissals for an Aussie keeper behind Gilchrist and Ian Healy.

While with the bat he scored 3122 runs at an average of 31.53 which included two centuries placing him 18th overall an the Australian all-time ODI run-scorers list.

The official announcement coming on the eve of his departure for Australia's West Indies and Ashes Tours.

Haddin saying, "It's been a privilege to play one-day cricket for Australia, I've come through during an amazing era. I've been lucky enough to go to three World Cups and I think to finish the way I am, after that great event of the World Cup final at the MCG, it doesn't get any better."

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Tags: Brad Haddin, retirement, one-day, international, cricket, World Cup, keeper