Monthly Archives: January 2019

Jerrabomberra man James Hughes dies on Oallen Ford bridge near Nerriga in motorcycle crash

James Hughes died after an accident on the new Oallen Ford bridge, west of Nerriga on Sunday.The partner of a motorcyclist killed on the new Oallen Ford bridge on Sunday has blamed Goulburn Mulwaree Council for his death for failing to repair a pothole.
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Jerrabomberra man James Hughes, 50, died after losing control on the new bridge, west of Nerriga, while riding from Canberra to the South Coast.

His partner Melissa Pearce said a pothole on the approach to the bridge contributed to his death.

“Police have shown me photographs of the pothole. He couldn’t have avoided it,” she said.

“It was so large, it was almost the width of the whole road.

“If he could have avoided the pothole he would have. James was a very good and experienced rider.”

She said at this stage police didn’t believe her partner of 3½ years was at fault.

“They don’t believe he was speeding. They don’t believe there was a rider error or that James contributed at all,” she said.

The $3 million Oallen Ford Bridge over the Shoalhaven River was opened on September 11.

Police said the accident happened on the western side of the new bridge.

Mr Hughes was riding east on Oallen Ford Road, when his motorbike veered to the northern side of the road and collided with the guardrail.

He was thrown from the bike, over the guardrail, and landed five metres below on the river bank.

Police said investigations into the accident were continuing but one line of inquiry was the road condition. A report was being prepared for the coroner.

Ms Pearce said she had lost her soul mate.

“I lost the love of my life, my soul mate. Because of a pothole,” she said.

“I’m devastated and I’m angry. This should not have happened.

“James should be here at home with me. He should not be dead.

“He’s dead because there was a pothole in the road that wasn’t fixed – it’s not fair and it’s not right.”

She has called for an inquest into his death.

“I really want a coronial inquest into why this happened and how it could have been prevented,” she said.

“I just don’t want a report which says he died from injuries sustained in an accident.

“I want an inquiry into why the road, just three weeks old, was in such a poor state of repair. Why was the surface breaking up after the amount of money that was spent on it? Potholes should be fixed.”

Goulburn Mulwaree general manager Warwick Bennett said council was aware of the pothole and was attempting to make repairs at the time of the accident.

“We had received complaints,” he said.

“We had no troubles with other sections of the road.”

As the matter was under police investigation, he said council would wait to see the police report before commenting further.

It is understood just hours after the crash on Sunday, the scene was cleared and road workers were at the site.

Meanwhile the speed limit on Nerriga Road at Corang Bridge has been reduced from Wednesday.

Monaro MP John Barilaro said Roads and Maritime Services carried out a review of the speed limit on the road as part of an ongoing speed zone review program after a request from the community and Palerang Council.

“A structural report prepared by council recommended reducing the speed limit on the bridge until council carries out work to improve its long term performance,” Mr Barilaro said.

The speed limit will be reduced from 100 km/h to 60 km/h along a 500 metre section about eight kilometres south of Oallen Ford Road to around 8.5 kilometres south of Oallen Ford Road at Corang.

South Coast Register

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Australia’s most dangerous streets revealed by school testing

Areas most at risk in Broken Hill and Mount Isa. Photo: Google Earth The Palace Hotel in Broken Hill is in the line of lode. Photo: Robert Blackburn
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Accidents, illness, strangers: danger to children takes many forms. But, for brain damage caused by toxic mining metals, the streets closest to the mines in Broken Hill, Mount Isa and Port Pirie must rank as the most dangerous in Australia.

Children in these mining and smelting cities exposed to high levels of lead, arsenic and cadmium are more than twice as likely to have developmental delays than the national average, new research shows.

These children are at a much higher than average risk of lifelong neurobehavioural deficits. And those who live closest to the mines are at highest risk.

“It basically tells you the closer you live to the line of lode, the worse off you are,” said Mark Taylor, professor of environmental science at Macquarie University who led the study published this week in the journal Environmental Pollution.

In the first known such use of NAPLAN data, the researchers took the NAPLAN results of children in school catchment areas known to have high levels of toxic metals in the environment and compared them with those of their peers around the country.

They found the children living closest to Broken Hill’s lead and zinc mine – where exposure levels to toxic air, dust and soils are highest – consistently had the lowest literacy and numeracy scores in years three and five.

In Australia’s two other lead mining and smelting cities, Mount Isa in Queensland and Port Pirie in South Australia, the results were similar.

The researchers also looked at Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data, which assess children in their first year of school for physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, communication skills and general knowledge.

Children from the two Broken Hill school catchments with the highest environmental contamination were 2.6 times more likely to have vulnerabilities in two or more of the AEDC developmental areas.

After adjusting for socio-economic disadvantage, the difference between children attending schools with the maximum soil lead risks compared with the lower soil lead risk areas was about 60 NAPLAN points, or about 14 per cent.

Lead is a neurotoxin, which can affect the development of a child’s nervous system if it is absorbed, inhaled or ingested.

Its effects are greatest in unborn children and those aged up to five, because the nervous and skeletal systems need high levels of calcium to develop properly. The bodies of children growing up in lead-rich environments can be tricked into absorbing lead instead of calcium, which lead mimics.

A blood testing program in Broken Hill between 1991 and 2009 showed declining lead levels, but since 2010 they have headed upwards.

In May this year the National Health and Medical Research Council halved the blood lead level at which health intervention is required from 10 to five micrograms per litre.

This means about half the children under five in Broken Hill require health intervention for excess dangerous levels of lead in their blood.

Andrew Pressler of Broken Hill manages a business that has recently been accredited in the machine extraction of lead from dust, for example from ceilings and gutters of houses.

He had his own children tested and was relieved to learn “they have not been affected” by lead in the environment.

Mr Pressler said it was a “very sensitive issue” in the city. While people were “fully aware” of the problem, they tend to “forget about it”.

“We really need to come back to the tasks” to lower the risks, Mr Pressler said.

Professor Taylor said this meant stopping children from playing in the dirt (which could mean astroturfing their yards), frequent hand washing, keeping shoes and pets outside, keeping windows closed and ripping up old carpets, with bare floorboards a preferable option.

He said families should get their children’s blood tested. “It is really important that they stay on top of the risks and do everything they can to mitigate them,” he said.

“These are subtle changes but when you add up the total sum of [them] for the whole community, and all the lost IQ points, that is quite a lot.

Professor Taylor said said a typical adult response was, “There is nothing wrong with me and I have lived here all my life.”

While some people may find it easier to ignore the study’s findings, “there is an opportunity to protect children into the future”.

The companies, too, needed to work hard to reduce emissions, he said.

“It needs to be a whole of community effort. What this information does is confirms that intervention programs that have been implemented are really important.”

The NSW government is spending $13 million on a five-year program to address the issue of elevated blood lead levels among Broken Hill children.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent by the mining companies in both Mount Isa and Port Pirie to mitigate contamination.

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Scam accused refused bail

Three people accused of being involved in a telephone scam have been refused bail after appearing in Griffith Local Court on Wednesday.
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Workers at Hanwood Post Office became suspicious when two of the accused attempted to cash a $9500 money order on Tuesday afternoon.

Inspector Scott Wilkinson from Griffith Local Area Command said the postal workers contacted the person who paid for the money order and then called the police.

“Detectives attended and arrested them about 4.30pmon Tuesday,” Inspector Wilkinson said.

“They were ringing people telling them they owe the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) money and if they don’t pay up they’ll be locked up by the police.”

Following the arrest at Hawood Post Office, detectives went to a Coolah Street home and arrested a third person over the matter.

“Theyexecuted a search warrant and recovered money, phones and documents,”Inspector Wilkinson said.

“Three non-residents were charged with dishonestly obtaining a benefit by deception.”

Amitkumar Hasmukhbhai Patel, a 33-year-old foreign worker, was arrested and charged along with 40-year-old Ashaben Patel over the $9500 money order.

Amitkumar was also charged over a similar incident involving a $5000 money order along with 40-year-old Jitendrakumar Shivabhai Patel.

Inspector Wilkinson said they were targeting vulnerable people.

“One of the victims was from Queensland and the other was from South Australia,”Inspector Wilkinson said.

“It’s a widespread sort of thing, they’re not just targeting local people.

“The Australian Federal Police and ATO have been contacted and we are assisting them in relation to the matter.”

Inspector Wilkinson said if anyone received this sort of phone call they shouldhang up immediately and report the matter to their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

“Any sort of solicitation of funds over the phone should be treated with suspicion, no government department engages in that sort of activity,” Inspector Wilkinson said.

ATO assistant commissioner Thomas Ryan said they would never intimidate taxpayers in such a threatening and demeaning manner.

All three appeared before Griffith Local Court on Wednesday and were refused bail. They will appear via video link onOctober 28.

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Music festival celebrates love of village

MUSICAL: Saxophonist Wilbur Wilde performing at the 2014 Gundaroo Music Festival. This year’s festival features Mental As Anything and Angry Anderson in partnership with James Southwell and his band.
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THE small community of Gundaroo will hold their annual Gundaroo Music Festival this weekend.

The idea for the festival was started by long time Gundaroo resident Scott Windsor, who loved to spend the day with his family and friends and enjoy some good music.

“Scott was 47 when he passed away on April 17 this year from the crippling effects of Motor Neurone Disease (MND),” Gundaroo Music Festival organisers, Fifty Acres PR member Nina Ravenscroft said.

“Being a keen drummer Scott loved playing and bringing music to the people.”

Mr Windsor struggled with the disease for two and half years.

This year the Gundaroo Music Festival aim is to raise in excess of $50,000, the target they managed to achieve at last year’s festival.

This year’s headline act is well known 80s Aussie band Mental As Anything who will sing all their well known hits such as ‘Mr Natural’, ‘Live It Up’ and many more.

Also lead singer of 70s hard rock band Rose Tattoo, Angry Anderson is teaming up with guitar sensation James Southwell and his band to perform some high-energy rock and roll and blues material.

Other bands performing on the day include local country musician Roo Arcus, the Dorothy-Jane Trio, Dasher and Alice, Bridge Between, Annie and the Armadillos and many more.

There will also be fireworks in the park from 8:30pm.

Previous headline acts have included Enormous Horns in 2013 and Daryl Braithwaite in 2014. Other acts include Aunty Jack, Alice Plumb, The Corbys, Brewn’, Nova Scotia, Marji Curran Band, Kartel, the Borderers and Blue Zoo Groove.

Regular buses will be leaving from the Canberra Carotel Motel at Watson and will also pick up at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) all day from 9:30am until 6:00pm.

They will be departing from Gundaroo to return to Canberra at 10:30am, 12 noon, 1:30pm, 3:00 pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 8:30pm and the final one at 10:30pm.

Tickets cost $25 per person or $50 for a family pass.

Pets will also not be allowed entry to the event because of the interactive animal farm and the fireworks.

To purchase your tickets now visit梧桐夜网premier.ticketek南京夜网419论坛/shows/Show.aspx?sh=GUNDAROO15.

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