Eden - 2EC

5 people rescued from a sinking vessel after clinging to an esky in Eden

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Five people were rescued from a sinking vessel 500 metres from Twofold Bay, Eden at Mewstone Rock Saturday morning.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) responded to a distress call from a boat operator.

Emergency authorities arrived at the scene to find the boat capsized and all five members, 2 adults and 3 children clinging to an esky.

Eden Water Police and recreational boats were there to assist RMS.

Authorities say the occupants were wearing life jackets at the time.

Paramedics treated all five people at the scene.

An investigation to the incident is underway.

A third of Tathra properties now cleaned-up

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Asbestos has been a major issue in the clean-up of the NSW Far South Coast town of Tathra, which had nearly 70 homes destroyed in a bushfire last month. 

The Tathra clean-up is going well with about a third of destroyed properties now cleaned-up, Bega Valley Shire Council’s Waste Manager Toby Browne has said.

Asbestos began being removed from the bushfire-ravaged town at the beginning of last week and is being trucked to the Eden tip about 50 kilometres south of Tathra.

Mr Browne says while the asbestos has had to be put into landfill, a lot of the material being delivered is being recovered.

"Around thirty homes were asbestos contaminated and they had to be landfilled, there's no question of that, and that's being done with the utmost care and safety, however the other 38-odd destroyed homes impacted were not asbestos and Council's is doing everything it can to recover brick, concrete and scrap steel in particular from that demolition waste stream, to reduce the amount of waste that's then going into the landfill.

“The brick and concrete can obviously be crushed into road-based or other types of gravels, the scrap metal has a market value so that will be on-sold as part of a tendering process,” Mr Browne said.  

Ambos on the job

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Paramedics on our far south coast had a busy week attending different situations on our south coast.

A group of students from Lumen Christi Catholic College kayaking in the Pambula river inlet caught themselves in a rip causing the kayak to capsized.

It was rough sea conditions, with the rip forcing the students into the water.

Paramedics were on the scene and treated the students for hypothermia. 

Meanwhile, a woman was trapped in her vehicle for sometime in Bournda, she was treated at the scene for minor injuries before taken to hospital.

Over to Eden and a Deckhand from a tugboat had to be treated, after being struck by lightning. 

Ambulance Inspector of the far south coast Bob Whitney, says that due to the heavy rain and weather conditions, it's very lucky no one was seriously injured. 

Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NSW_Ambulance_Service_Mercedes_Benz_Sprinter_-_Flickr_-_Highway_Patrol_Images.jpg

 

Council to discuss timber optimisation hub proposal

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Bega Valley Council will hold an extraordinary meeting next week to consider a development application for a timber optimisation hub at the Eden woodchip mill.

It follows the Land and Environment Court's ruling the approval given by staff under delegated authority last year was invalid.

The application centred on building a briquette and pellet factory at the mill.

Conservation group South East Forest Rescue challenged the lawfulness of the development consent that was granted despite widespread opposition.

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South East Forest Rescue spokesperson Scott Daines said the approval would have increased and extended native forest logging on the South Coast over the next decade or more.

"Logging and woodchipping native forests is one of the greatest threats to the forests of the world, and one of the greatest contributors to climate change.

"The protection of our native forests is of urgent national and international importance in these times of global climate crisis," Daines said.

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Also celebrating the court's decision was the South East Region Conservation Alliance.

Spokesperson Harriett Swift said there was overwhelming opposition to the proposal when it was put forward.

"There were more than 150 public submissions opposing the DA for the new mill, and only one supporting it, and that was a single sentence submission of just 24 words.

"This region has been through a lot over the past two years and we should not be making things worse by making a short sighted decision that will hasten climate change and make more bushfires more likely in the future," Swift said.

Images: Bega Valley Shire Council, Forest Defence NSW and Fir0002 at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

Cruise ship brawl

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A cruise ship has docked at Eden on our south coast, after a violent brawl left passengers bloodied and injured.

It's understood a group of more than 20 people from the same family started the fight on board the Carnival Legend Cruise.

Police are looking into the matter.

Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carnival_Legend.jpg

Cruises to return to Eden

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The schedule for the 2022/23 cruise season in Eden has been released.

Cruise Eden say they're looking forward to welcoming cruise ships back to the port town and the Sapphire Coast, from July onwards.

Manager at the Eden Visitor Information Centre, Clair Mudaliar, said it's great news for the town.

"We've got this beautiful new centre and we've had lots of people through but we've been waiting to welcome people on cruises to Eden," Ms Mudaliar said.

"Goodness knows the businesses in town definitely need it."

Eden Cruise Fixture

18 Cruise Ships will dock in Eden this yeat alone, starting with the Coral Princess arriving on the 12th of July.

See the full schedule for 2022/23 HERE.

Image Credit: Port Authority of NSW

Eden Whale Festival

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The Eden Whale Festival has been a successful hit with the community and tourists providing three days of entertainment, food stalls and various activities.

 

Image and video credit: Daniel Doody 

Eden woman praying for family in Tonga

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Tongan telephone connectivity has reportedly been restored today after the devastating underwater volcano eruption and tsunami that hit the area last Saturday but internet connections will remain down for at least the next few weeks.

With Tongans from all over the globe trying to call loved ones, Eden woman, Palakisa Broder has been trying to contact her husband and extended family but has been unable to get through.

Mrs Broder has been living in Eden for almost two years, after Tonga closed its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Fears for the safety of her husband David, and other family members in Tonga, were escalated for Palakisa after she received news of the death of her best friend earlier this week, who was washed away during the Tsunami.

"My friend Angelica passed on," Mrs Broder said. 

"When I heard that she passed on, it hit me and that's the worry, the unknown of my husband, whether he's okay or not okay," she said. 

Listen to our chat with Eden's Palakisa Broder who speaks openly and honestly about her family back in Tonga. 

"I spoke to him on Saturday morning and that's the last time I spoke to him.

"He tried to send me a text on Saturday while everything was going but I think that's when the internet cut out."

She reached out to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) to make contact with her husband but so far has not gotten a result.

Her message to her husband, a simple one: "Are you okay?" and "Come back here." 

Image Credit: Palakisa Broder

Eden woman's husband safe and well

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After a week of sleepless nights and many tears, Eden's Palakisa Broder got the news she was hoping for on Thursday afternoon, with confirmation from the Australian High Commission that her Husband David was safe and well.

Mrs Broder hadn't spoken to her husband since Saturday morning, just hours before the underwater volcano and tsunami hit Tonga.

Fears for the safety of her husband David, and other family members in Tonga, were escalated for Palakisa after she received news of the death of her best friend earlier this week, who was washed away during the Tsunami.

"My friend Angelica passed on," Mrs Broder said. 

"When I heard that she passed on, it hit me and that's the worry, the unknown of my husband, whether he's okay or not okay," she said. 

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Communications were restored in Tonga on Thursday and after many attempts, she finally got him on the line.

 "Hello," said David on the call.

"I feel better now, I haven't sleep or eat much," Mrs Broder said. 

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"We're going to lose a lot of plants love," David said. 

"Yeah I know, don't worry about that, what's important is that I can hear your voice and your safe," Palakisa said. 

David said he had gone to the village where Palakisa's brother and extended family live, and confirmed the the family was safe and well. 

Mr Broder is reportedly doing well but is dealing with the aftermath of the catastrophic event.

UN officials report that 84,000 people — more than 80 per cent of Tonga's population — have been impacted by the volcano's eruption.

Below is the text message David sent to Palakisa after their first call on Thursday evening. 

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Mrs Broder has been living in Eden for almost two years, after Tonga closed its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I would love to go home but it depends on Tonga, if they're going to open up the border for us to come home," Mrs Broder said. 

"It's hard because Tonga is making it hard for us to go back because of COVID, they haven't got any cases," she said. 

"They should let us come home, that's all I'm asking."

Now she knows David is safe, Palakisa said she can finally sleep well again. 

Image Credit: Palakisa Broder

Eden's historic Hotel Australasia to be sold and restored

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Eden's heritage-listed Hotel Australasia is set for a makeover. 

Eden’s historic Hotel Australasia is a very close to returning to private hands after Bega Valley Shire Council yesterday voted to enter into the Contract for Sale and Side Deed with Irisha Pty Ltd and Rubycove Pty Ltd.

The agreed sale price has been incorporated into the contract, with the purchaser agreeing to carry out the restoration of the Hotel, use the restored Hotel, develop the laneway in accordance with the side deed, and register on the title on settlement, Council has said. 

A Restoration Work Bank Guarantee to secure the carrying out of the restoration work has been agreed with the purchaser.

The resolution follows ongoing negotiations between Bega Valley Shire Council General Manager, Leanne Barnes, and the developer.

“Throughout our negotiations it has been clear that Irisha Pty Ltd and Rubycove Pty Ltd are committed to and focussed on reinvigorating the site,” Ms Barnes said.

“Council has also taken a number of performance bond actions to encourage surety for the community through the restoration phase.

“Now 112 years old and listed as a heritage item under the Bega Valley Local Environment Plan 2013 this building is an absolute Eden icon, with the ongoing community interest showcasing this perfectly.

“It will be just wonderful to see it return to its former glory in the near future – the Eden community absolutely deserves that,” Ms Barnes said.

Government launches Eden Regional Forestry Hub

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A new $1.1 million Regional Forestry Hub has been launched in Eden to support forest industries growth and innovation in the Eden region.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the Federal Government had responded to industry calls to establish a hub in the Eden region and would continue to deliver on its commitments to Australia’s forest industries.

“The Eden region has considerable potential for future growth and innovation in both native forest operations and plantations,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“The Eden hub will work with the forestry industry to identify limitations for existing processing facilities and wood resources, and find innovative solutions to support future opportunities for value adding.

“This new hub brings the total number of regional forestry hubs to 11 around the country, which are bringing together local forest industries and communities to develop strategic visions and regional analysis to drive growth in Australia’s forest industries.”

Senator for New South Wales Jim Molan applauded the establishment of the hub and welcomed what it would deliver for the Eden region.

“I congratulate Mr Malcolm McComb on his appointment as inaugural chair of the Eden Regional Forestry hub and look forward to working with him and forest industries in the Eden region,” Senator Molan said.

“The Eden region has a rich forestry history, knowledge and experience to draw on and high potential for future growth. Hub members will get to work immediately to identify the opportunities and challenges facing the region.

“I am proud that the Morrison Government is continuing to work with our forest industries to meet the challenges of the future and drive growth and innovation in regional Australia.”

The Australian Government has provided $19.8 million toward the establishment of 11 Regional Forestry Hubs around Australia.

The Eden Hub will now consult with industry stakeholders and begin to prioritise and undertake strategic assessments important to the region.

Despite drought, COVID-19, floods and fires, the farming, fishing and forestry sectors are projected to be worth over a record $78 billion in production value this year.

Mystery of Jean Lecler remains unsolved

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Jean Lecler remains in a critical condition at Concord Hospital in Sydney. 

South Coast Police District detectives are still looking for public assistance in relation to a serious incident at the Eden Gardens Country Club last month, during which a 62-year-old man sustained burns to 90 per cent of his body and head injuries.

Police have released a photo of the man, Jean Lecler, and are trying to establish his movements in the lead up to the incident. 

Mr Lecler remains in a critical condition at Concord Hospital. 

Green-keepers found Mr Lecler on the fairway of the golf course when they started work on Friday, the 25th of May. 

It's also understood there had been a fire and a small explosion involving an aerosol can. 

Mr Lecler is believed to have come from Victoria around the 16th of May. 

Police would like to hear from anyone that may have seen or spoken to Mr Lecler prior to the incident, or the days before.

Please contact Bega detectives on 6492 9999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

SES and VRA rescue training exercise

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SES Bega, Eden and Bermagui along with the Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) members all joined in a rescue training operation in Bega.

The scenario was two people tried to cross a flooded river, but managed to get into some trouble, one of the victims had disappeared.

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Despite the situation not a real event all members took the training seriously as they had the opportunity to use their skills.

Deputy Unit Controller Michelle DeFriskbom, expected a 100 percent from all rescuers from first responders to the ground crew liaising over the radio waves.

All in all it was a successful training event. 

 

Image credit: Daniel Doody

Video by Daniel Doody 

Small grocers on south coast well stocked

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Food shortages in some major supermarkets on the south coast is continuing  due to large numbers of staff in isolation with COVID-19 however some small local grocers remain well stocked. 

Fresh produce, meat and dairy and products are the main items that are proving difficult to find in most south coast supermarkets.

A lack of staff at farms, warehouses and abattoirs as well as a shortage of delivery drivers, is resulting in low stock on shelves.

However owner of the Tathra Friendly Grocer, Nicole Dowdle, said their stock levels are still good.

"Fortunately our grocery stocks and fruit and vegetables have still been at about 95 per cent," Ms Dowdle said. 

"Luckily we use a local butcher, and he supplies us as much as we want," she said. 

"We have  delivery coming today and I understand that we may not get the chicken we wanted due to staff shortages at Cordina."

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Coles supermarkets have re-introduced limits on some products across the state due to 'high demand'. 

Coles customers in Eden, Bega and Batemans Bay are limited to one packet of toilet paper per person and two units of paracetamol and aspirin with other limits on chicken, meat and sausages as well.

Store Manager at Super IGA in Moruya, Yvette Woods, said although her store has sold out of toilet paper, they will not be introducing shopping pack limits at this time.

"We are monitoring the situation but we haven't seen any kind of hoarding type behavior in store," Ms Woods said. 

"We will take action if necessary but being an independent supermarket, we can put limits on items as we please but I think everyone is staying quite calm in our shop at the moment, so we'll just play it by ear," she said. 

Ms Woods said the Moruya supermarket was running at about 78 per cent with the main shortages for them being chicken, toilet paper and Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Tests which are being snapped up fast. 

"We got 48 RAT tests in on Monday and they sold within 30 minutes, so we are trying to get more," Ms Woods said. 

"Overall our stock levels are pretty good, we've had no issues with meat (except chicken), dairy or fruit and veg."  

 Image Credit: Flickr / Marco Verch  

Support for job seekers on the South Coast

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The Federal Government is funding two local employment projects that will see up to 40 young job seekers on the South Coast benefit from training in hospitality and basic land management.

The Morrison Government’s Local Recovery Fund is providing $55,000 for a pop-up community café in Eden later this month, while a $70,000 land management project in the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla is scheduled to start in November.

The projects are also an opportunity for local school leavers and job seekers to develop soft skills such as teamwork and communication.

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert MP, said the initiatives would support up to 40 locals looking to break into a new job.

"This region has done it tough, not only are the impacts of the bushfire still being felt but local tourism has been hit hard by COVID-19, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel through our National Plan which is our roadmap to keep the Illawarra and the South Coast open for good," Minister Robert said.

"We want to see locals make the most of the jobs opportunities delivered by the National Plan, Planting the Seed will give young people with limited or no work experience, valuable experience in land care, forestry and agriculture," he said.

"Importantly, the activity can go towards modules that make up a Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management."

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Senator for New South Wales, Jim Molan, said the Eden pop-up café will give locals industry accredited, hands-on hospitality experience while preparing them for their next job in a region with increasing demand for qualified staff.

"This is the result of the Morrison Government’s Employment Facilitators, Local Jobs and Skills Taskforces, and local businesses all working together to help our region," Senator Molan said.

"It shows what we can achieve through effective local partnerships for our local communities."

Local employment group Campbell Page has been chosen to manage the Planting the Seed project and Eden Community Access Centre is partnering with APM Employment Services to deliver the Eden Hospitality Training Hub.

The Local Recovery Fund is part of the Morrison Government’s $276 million Local Jobs Program.

It supports regions by funding tailored projects to help align job seekers with employment opportunities in their community.

In the 2021-22 Budget, the Local Jobs Program was extended to 30 June 2025.

It was expanded from 25 Employment Regions to all 51 Employment Regions across Australia from 1 July 2021.

More details about the Local Jobs Program can be found  HERE.  

Images: Canva, Jim Molan 

Technology brings together students and their elders

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Eden Library has partnered with the Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) and Twofold Aboriginal Corporation (TAC) to provide technology training to the local community.

Jigamy is home to the Monaroo-Bobberrer Gudu Keeping Place where both Eden LALC and TAC deliver many services to the local Aboriginal community.

Council’s customer experience librarian, Cat McLean, said the technology training funded by the NSW State Library and Telstra shone a light on iPads and smartphones, and offered one-on-one help with more specific technology queries.

“It’s such a rewarding experience to expand this program to the community at Jigamy and develop the skills required in our digital world of technology,” Ms McLean said.

“We welcome any kind of technology question—nothing is too great an ask.”

Chair of Eden LALC, Uncle BJ Cruse, said the training offered valuable tools for people less familiar with technology.

“When you get older it is harder to pick up the latest technology which many young people take for granted. It was good to learn how to use many of the latest features of phones and computers, often necessary for our day-to-day lives,” he said.

Modern devices change so quickly, making it difficult to navigate if people aren’t confident using the technology.

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“That’s where we come in,” Ms McLean said.

“If we don’t know the answer to a technology issue straight away, we will go through the process of figuring it out with you—it’s where some of the best learning takes place for everyone.”

Eden Marine High School’s Aboriginal Education Officer, Stacy Muscat said the training offered a great way for people to connect at Jigamy.

“It was great to see young kids sit down with their elders and interact with them in their world,” Ms Muscat said.

Eden LALC CEO, Mark Bateman, said it was good to see the younger generation, including those from the Eden Marine High School, helping their elders navigate the digital space enabling them to communicate even when separated by distance.

“We want to thank the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs for providing the IT equipment though the COVID Community Connections Project grant funding to both of our Aboriginal organisations,” Mr Bateman said.

Eden Library is hoping to hold drop-in sessions at the Monaroo-Bobberrer Gudu Keeping Place as often as once-a-month, however community members are also invited to pop into the library at a time that suits them.

Images: Bega Valley Shire Council

Tip-off results in hundreds of mussels being returned to the water

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Acting on information provided to NSW DPI's Fishers Watch hotline, Fisheries Officers have been able to respond quickly to a report of alleged over-collection of Mussels at Ben Boyd National Park near Eden.

Arriving just as the fishing party of four was packing up for the day, Fisheries Officers inspected the fishers' catch and equipment.

In two large buckets, the fisheries officers found 797 mussels which, based on the number of fishers, was 597 over the legal bag limit for the four fishers.

Mussels, cockles and pipis have a combined bag limit of 50 in total however, only a maximum of 20 cockles in possession is permitted.

In another bag belonging to the fishers, Fisheries Officers found a number of mixed fin fish, including silver trevally, with their tails cut off.

Fish species that have a size limit cannot be mutilated in any way that might impact the accurate measurement of their size, including cutting the tails off.

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Gilling and gutting is permitted.

All excess mussels were returned to the water alive by Fisheries Officers with the mutilated fish seized.

Compliance actions against the fishers will now follow.

NSW DPI would like to thank members of the public who call the Fishers Watch hotline. The information provided helps Fisheries Officers target their patrols to improve the sustainability of NSW's fisheries resources.

If you see suspicious fishing activity, you can call 1800 0430536 or report it online at https://fal.cn/3fMUz.

Fishing rules and regulations are available on NSW DPI website or via the FishSmart app which can be downloaded for free from app stores.

Images: NSW Fisheries

Works in Eden to start next week

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Road resurfacing works will commence on a section of Bass Street, Eden on Monday 23 May.

Local contractors will remove some of the existing pavement and lay a new asphalt surface.

Work will start around 7am and will take approximately eight hours each day to complete, over a period of five days.

During the works the speed limit of the site will be reduced to 40km per hour.

Access to sections of the road will be restricted at different points in time and will be under traffic control, with detours in place where required.

Temporary lane closures will be in place.

Traffic control will be on-site to help motorists to access their homes or businesses. Where possible, please advise the traffic control or crew member of your desired destination and assistance will be provided.

On-street parking will not be available during working hours.

Commuters should expect minor delays for the duration of the works which are due to be completed by Friday 27 May, weather permitting.

Image Credit: Bega Valley Shire Council