Posted: 4 May, 2015

Huge Sinkhole Forces Western Sydney Residents To Flee

Dozens spending a second night out of home

Storms have eroded soil and affected the strength of a construction site, with fears the buildings would collapse. Source: AAP

Dozens of people in Sydney’s west have spent a second night away from home after a sinkhole forced the evacuation of three apartment blocks.

About 60 people from three apartment blocks in Harris Park were evacuated on Saturday night, after a sinkhole spread from a construction site filled with rainwater.

Residents of one of the Parramatta blocks were allowed to return on Sunday, but the two others will remain empty until further notice as engineers assess the site.

Potentially undermining the buildings foundations - the sinkhole opened up alongside the blocks when, after weeks of rain, the walls of the empty building site began to collapse.

“Initial inquiries have indicated recent severe weather conditions have caused excessive soil erosion and affected the structural integrity of the buildings,” NSW Police confirmed in a statement.

All occupants have been looked after, staying with friends or family for the night.

The footpath on Parkes street has also been labelled unsafe and the road is closed.

A team of civil engineers, geologists and the construction site developer have been working to find out the extent of the issue and attempt to reinforce the site.

A Fire and Rescue cherrypicker was used to lower inspectors into the pit to inspect the damage.

Gaping hole in the ground from adjoining construction site. Source: AAP

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Tags: sinkhole, western sydney, parramatta

Posted: 3 May, 2015

Two Die In Sydney House Fire

Couple dead after Lower North Shore blaze

(image - Daily Telegraph)

Two elderly people have died in a house fire on Sydney's lower north shore.   

Firefighters were alerted to the blaze in Kooyong Road at Riverview just after 6.30am on Sunday.   

They arrived to find the home well alight.   

The residents, a 75-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman, were found dead.   

The house was destroyed and neighbours were evacuated as a precaution.   

Police say it's too early to determine the cause of the fire.


** POLICE STATEMENT


Police investigate fatal house fire – Riverview Sunday, 03 May 2015 09:34:49 AM 

Police will prepare a report for the Coroner after the death of two people in a house fire on Sydney’s North Shore this morning.

Shortly after 6.30am (Sunday 3 May 2015), emergency services were called to a home in Kooyong Road at Riverview after reports that it was well alight.

Emergency services attended with Fire and Rescue NSW officers attempting to douse the flames.

The premises were completely destroyed by the fire and neighbouring homes had to be evacuated during the operation.

Police from North Shore Local Area Command also attended the location.It appears that the two residents, a 75-year-old man and 70-year-old woman died in the fire.

A crime scene will be established when it is deemed safe for investigators to enter the home.Police will prepare a report for the information of the Coroner outlining the full circumstances surrounding the deaths.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page:

 Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.


ENDS **

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Tags: fire, riverview, Firefighters

Posted: 2 May, 2015

Deadly Weather Hits NSW

Rains claim five lives

The wild weather that claimed the lives of five Queenslanders has hit NSW's mid north coast with residents bunkering down waiting for the rains to stop.

(image - Brisbane Times)

The deaths of five people, including a five-year-old boy, have served as a tragic reminder of the danger of crossing flooded roads as Queensland was battered by storms.   

An east coast low swept across the southeast on Friday afternoon, with therelentless downpour cutting off roads, washing away cars, and leaving dozensstranded.   

Frustrated motorists spent hours in grid locked peak hour traffic and the rain wreaked havoc with public transport timetables.   

Caboolture, north of Brisbane, was the hardest hit with more than 350mm ofrain falling within 24 hours - 277mm in just three hours.   

Some drivers took their lives in their hands and attempted to cross flooded roads, defying repeated warnings from authorities.   

Two four-wheel-drives were swept into a torrent at 5.30pm during an attempt to cross Beerburrum Road at Caboolture, which had been covered by the swollen King John Creek.  

All three occupants in one car drowned - a 74-year-old man, 39-year-oldwoman and five-year-old boy, all from the same family.   

Two people - a 21-year-old woman and her 16-year-old brother - managed to escape the second vehicle.  

But they would face an agonising 12-hour wait not knowing what had happened to their 49-year-old father.   

His body was recovered 100m downstream early on Saturday.   

In nearby Burpengary late on Friday evening, firefighters rescued a 68-year-old woman who was clinging to a tree after she and her husband drove into floodwaters.   

The 75-year-old's body was found more than six hours later.   

Emergency Services Minister Jo-Ann Miller said the weather had been devastating.   

"Queenslanders know that these families may never be the same again because their loved ones did not make it home."   

An investigation is under way into each incident, Inspector Lee Jeffries said.   

"I have only been in the Caboolture area for a limited time, I haven'tseen anything as significant and as tragic as this," he said.  

"In any incident where there is visible floodwater across the road, it canbe easily avoided."  

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Tags: storms, rain, weather

Posted: 2 May, 2015

Final Journey for Chan, Sukumaran

Bodies of Bali Nine pair return home following executions.

The bodies of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are believed to have arrived home in Sydney.

The men's family - including Chan's newlywed wife - touched down at Sydney Airport this morning on a flight from Indonesia that was believed to be carrying the bodies of the executed drug smugglers.

Funeral arrangements are now being made.

Photo: Getty Images

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Tags: Bali Nine, Execution, Arrive, home

Posted: 1 May, 2015

Sydney Siege Survivor Escapes Conviction

19-year-old gets off break & enter charge

Jarrod Morton-Hoffman survived the deadly Lindt cafe siege and today walked free after escaping a conviction on a charge of aggravated break and enter.

Morton-Hoffman, who was among those held hostage by gunman Man Haron Monis in December, was sentenced for the crime in Sydney's District Court on Friday.   

The 19-year-old, along with friends Luc Baumgartner and Berk Atakan, had pleaded guilty to breaking into an American Apparel clothing store during a celebratory night out and stealing about $1000 worth of clothes six months before his ordeal in the Martin Place cafe.

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Tags: siege, survivor, lindt

Posted: 1 May, 2015

Girlfriend's Boo Boo Gets Golfer Banned

Birdie's behaviour below par

     Royal Sydney Golf Club and the swimming pool 

It's not something you'd expect to see at a prestigious Sydney golf course. 

A player at the exclusive Royal Sydney Golf Club has had his membership suspended after he left his girlfriend sunbake topless at the club's swimming pool while he enjoyed a round of golf.

Keen to soak up the sun, the woman removed her bikini top -- causing quite a stir among the older gentlemen at the clubhouse. 

"All the blokes nearly had heart attacks," a source familiar with the incident telling Newscorp. 

The Rose Bay club, host to 14 Australian Opens, features a strict dress code for members both on and off the championship course. 

Not even untucked shirts are accepted on the fairways, and when accessing the pool from the Fitness Centre changerooms members are required to cover up before having a dip. 

"Only recognised swimwear made from lycra or nylon may be worn in the pool," the club's rules read. 

Bare breasts are strictly off-limits. 

The bloke was handed a three-month suspension for his girlfriend's topless sunbaking. 

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Tags: Royal Sydney Golf Club, Topless, Swimming Pool, Sydney

Posted: 1 May, 2015

Firefighters Told Not To Wear Uniforms In Public

Measure as terror threat escalates

Source: NSW Fire and Rescue facebook page 

NSW firefighters are being warned not to wear their uniforms in public in fear they may be mistaken for police, who have been the targeted in recent foiled terror plots.   

Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins has emailed staff urging them to avoid wearing identifying gear when away from work.

The terror threat in Australia was raised to high in January.

The step is thought to be aimed at ensuring the safety of firefighters after police were targeted by radicalised teens here in Sydney and Melbourne.

Not only are firies being told to remove their gear in public, Commissioner Mullins’ directive advises they travel in groups in uniform and cover identifying logos when travelling to and from work.

Fire and Rescue NSW declined to comment citing security reasons. 

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Tags: NSW Fire and Rescue, Firefighters, Uniform, Terror Threat

Posted: 30 April, 2015

Charges Dropped Against Jon Stevens

Lack of Evidence Sees Assault Case Dismissed

Assault charges have been dropped against Australian musician Jon Stevens after an incident with former fiance Jodhi Meares at their luxury Sydney home earlier this year.  

An AVO was also taken out against the Noiseworks frontman on behalf of Meares after an incident at their Point Piper home in February. 

Meares never made a police statement after the matter which is blamed for their break-up.

Police formally dropped the charges and withdrew the AVO application at the Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday. 

Stevens' lawyer Greg Goold said his client is looking forward to moving on. 

"He's very happy that the matter's finished, that the charges have been dropped and he can now effectively get on with his life as a singer," 

"The process has been extremely difficult for him because, notwithstanding that you're innocent until proven guilty, he's had to suffer.

"His engagement's been cancelled on the basis of allegation only, which he's found very difficult to deal with.

"And very costly for him as well."

Stevens didn't appear in court today as he is overseas, the incident has left him struggling to find work with over 30 shows cancelled. 

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Posted: 30 April, 2015

Hayne's 49ers Dream A Long Shot

A tough road from Parramatta to San Francisco

Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne says he's enjoying the every day journey training with the San Francisco 49ers but still has "A long road to travel" to make the NFL team.

Hayne is hoping to make the 49ers' 53-man roster which will be announced at the end of August, but the former Parramatta Eel held back from saying what he thought his chances were.

The former NSW rep says his days start at 6am and he often doesn't get to bed until midnight, studying the many different plays the 49ers have in their book.

At a press conference overnight Hayne attracted a number of Australian and local media outlets.

Hayne says he's working on reaching his goals out of the spotlight, compared to the fishbowl he was living while playing as an NRL superstar in Sydney.


“I don’t put any limits on what I can do,” Hayne said.


“I’m learning and I feel like I’m getting better every day.


“I’m just taking my time, making sure I get what the coaches are teaching me right.


“I’m learning from the bottom again. I think that’s one of the, I guess, influences on me coming over, the new challenge.”


“I feel really good not being in the spotlight,” he said.

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Tags: hayne, nfl, 49ers, san francisco

Posted: 30 April, 2015

The Fallout With Indonesia

Relationship with Jakarta on the rocks

As Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran's bodies are being repatriated many Australians are concerned where a sometimes turbulent relationship with our neighbours is now headed!

The killings of Chan and Sukumaran has left many Australians angry by President Joko Widodo's white-knuckle approach in refusing clemency. The almost flimsy process of the judicial system in Indonesia has also left many feeling let-down.

John McCarthy, who served in Jakarta from 1997-2000, says Australia should have kept its ambassador in place so communication could continue.   

Philip Flood, ambassador to Indonesia from 1989-93 and also head of the foreign affairs department, says he would not have recalled the ambassador.   But since the decision has already been made, any withdrawal should be for only a short time, he says.   

Former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr also says the ambassador should have remained in place to pursue Australia's interests.   

"To pluck our ambassador out of the heart of Jakarta simply means wehaven't got the clout and this whole agenda could slide away," he said.   

Recalling an ambassador for consultations is a long standing means of expressing strong disapproval of a particular nation.   

Only hours after the execution of drug smugglers Chan and Sukumaran, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said ambassador Paul Grigson would be recalled for consultations.   

Mr Flood said Australia's decision to remove the ambassador would certainly have an impact.   

Australia had only done this twice before, he said.   

"We did it in the case of French nuclear tests in the Pacific and it was hardly noticed at all.

We did it the case of Fiji and that really did more damage to us than it did to Fiji," he said.   

Mr McCarthy said Indonesia had dismissed Australia's representations on behalf of Chan and Sukumaran, leaving it with no choice but to express its displeasure.   However this should have been done by halting all bilateral ministerial visits while executions continued, or for the rest of the year, he said.






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Tags: jakarta, executions, chan, Sukumaran

Posted: 29 April, 2015

OPINION - Let's Not Lose Our Humanity

Triple M responds to negative feedback in wake of Bali 9 execution.

Today Triple M posted a RIP message onto our station Facebook pages with an image of the two executed Bali 9 members.

The response has been a tale of two cities. Oftentimes heartfelt and humane, and then ghastly and condemning of our decision to post.

Understand this – Triple M does not condone the action of these two convicted drug smugglers.

We also will not condone state sanctioned execution.

The death penalty is barbaric and regressive to any civilised, educated society.

A lot of responses have questioned why we have chosen to post this message over an RIP for the lives lost in the Nepal earthquake.

While both are tragic, Nepal was an unforeseeable natural disaster, not a premeditated execution that could have been prevented with human intervention.

Our point here is contextual.

Two Australian men, convicted drug smugglers, who had spent 10 years in prison, who had been rehabilitated, demonstrated remorse, and in Chan’s case had subsequently devoted his life to helping others, were unjustifiably murdered by a government which doles out clemency on an arbitrary basis, if and when it suits them.

Do not misinterpret our RIP message as one of supporting drug dealers. Instead, read it, as one of hope that our humanity has not been lost in this set of circumstances.

It’s one that says, our hearts go out to the Mothers and Fathers who lost their sons and the siblings who lost their brothers - many of whom heard the shots from the other side of the island.

We cannot control the decisions our children make – we can only sit and wonder how we would feel if it were our children that had made that terrible decision 10 years ago, or might sometime in the future.

Mike Fitzpatrick

Triple M - Head of Content

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Tags: Bali 9

Posted: 29 April, 2015

Morgan Huxley's Killer Sentenced

Daniel Kelsall to Spend At Least 30 Years Behind Bars

Daniel Kelsall will spend at least 30 years behind bars for the brutual murder of Sydney man Morgan Huxley in 2013. 

The 31 year-old was followed home as he left popular Neutral Bay bar, The Oaks, in September 2013 and stabbed more than 20 times. 

Justice Robert Allan Hulme sentenced Kelsall to a maximum 40 years behind bars, describing the incident as a "chilling case of murder." 

"Whether the offender killed for the thrill of it ... or whether it was as a result of fantasy or obsession I am unable to say. It was entirely senselessand needless," Justice Hulme said.

Prosecutors said Kelsall showed no remorse and were pushing for a life sentence. 

It took a jury just under three hours to find Kelsall guilty last month of indecently assaulting Huxley then stabbing him to death. 

Huxley's parents said nothing as they left the NSW Supreme Court. 

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