south coast - 2EC

Aldi a step closer to setting up shop in Merimbula

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The development application for the Aldi store will go to the Joint Regional Planning Panel. 

An Aldi supermarket is set to become part of the Merimbula streetscape after Bega Valley Shire Council yesterday formally resolved to enter into a Contract for Sale for 103 & 105 – 107 Main Street with the German giant.

 Council’s General Manager, Leanne Barnes, said that progressing the sale was another boon for the Shire.

“This is fabulous news for the town and the Shire more broadly, with greater economic activity bringing a multitude of benefits,” Ms Barnes said.

“Today’s confirmation means that this sale can progress to the next step, ensuring that locals and visitors alike may soon enjoy greater choice, the flow-on influence of greater competition and more modern and comfortable shopping conditions.

“Importantly we also envisage that small businesses will experience the positive impact through more people travelling to Merimbula and the area more broadly to spend,” Ms Barnes said.

The development application for the supermarket will go before the Joint Regional Planning Panel due the cost of construction being valued at $6.9 million (any development over $5 million has to be referred to the JRPP), and also due to Council’s role as the land owner.

Apprenticeships a possibility for young adults


South coast students receiving their HSC results today “Should consider apprenticeships and traineeships to kick-start their careers,” says Apprenticeship Support Australia, Regional Manager for Southern NSW, Tony Keir.

Mr Keir explains that “Tomorrow’s HSC results mark an important milestone in the lives of more than 70,000 young adults as they leave school and begin to develop their careers.”

“With Australia’s youth unemployment rate reaching 12.1 per cent, whilst we’re simultaneously facing a national skills shortage across a range of industries, we encourage young people to consider all the available career options,” says Mr Keir.

“The completion of an apprenticeship or traineeship in one of the areas affected by the shortage—like automotive, health, childcare, engineering, or education—is a viable way for young people to gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst getting valuable work experience and avoid joining the growing number of young unemployed and underemployed people.”

There are more than 700 apprenticeships and traineeships available across almost every industry from administration and baking to more traditional trades such as plumbing, electrical and carpentry.

For more information on the many apprenticeship and traineeship packages available visit: or call 1300 363 831.

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Drugs raid in Ulladulla

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Police have seized cannabis plants, cannabis leaf, cannabis oil and prescription drugs after a search warrant on a home in Ulladulla.

 Late last week officers from the South Coast Police District executed a search warrant on a home in Jubilee Avenue.

Inside, they located and seized eight cannabis plants, approximately 300g of cannabis leaf, cannabis oil and prescription drugs

A 59-year-old man was spoken to at the home and will be issued a court attendance notice for the offences of supply cannabis, cultivate cannabis and possess prohibited drug.

Officers from the South Coast Police District will continue to target illicit drug offences in the local community and are asking anyone with information about the possession, manufacture, cultivation and supply of prohibited drugs to come forward.

Information about illicit drugs can be provided confidentially to police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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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.

Eurobodalla mayor addresses development concerns


Development in Eurobodalla is becoming a major concern. Photo Stuart Cohen

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes has moved to reassure local oyster growers and environmental groups the Rural Lands Strategy planning proposal currently on public exhibition will continue to protect the shire’s catchment areas from the impacts of development.

The Deputy Mayor Anthony Mayne has also expressed concerns about development in the shire, saying villages such as Broulee are in danger of losing their unique natural beauty and biodiversity - the very things which attract people to the shire, to live and to visit. 

Last year Council approved a major new development at Broulee which will see the loss of endangered Bangalay Sand Forest amongst other forest. 

Ms Innes said yesterday, “It is absolutely in Council’s interests to protect catchment areas from the impacts of development and the Rural Lands Strategy planning proposal does this.” 

 “When we prepared the strategy, the steering committee’s aim was to protect our rural industries. This means there is limited subdivision potential in water catchment areas and important agricultural lands. 

 “In the entire Clyde River catchment, the strategy allows for a maximum of nine additional lots to be created by subdivision and potential for up to 20 additional dwellings. The majority of these are located more than four kilometres from the Clyde River.

“Of course, any proposed subdivision or new dwelling in the catchment would require development consent from Council, would be assessed against NSW Government legislation, and conditions would be applied to prevent detrimental impacts to water quality.

“I do understand the concerns raised by one of our oyster growers at Tuesday’s council meeting, but as Mayor and a member of the Rural Lands Strategy steering committee for the four years of its preparation, I am confident the minimal additional development potential in the Clyde River catchment will not pose a risk to the oyster industry.

“I also acknowledge the concerns raised by Coastwatchers and the South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance, however, claims that the planning proposal will result in significant and widespread subdivision of rural land and clearing of bushland are simply not correct.  

 “Right across Eurobodalla, the planning proposal allows for a total of 122 new lots and 255 new dwellings. Of the 70 different areas identified in the planning proposal, 19 areas have no additional potential for lots or dwellings and 25 provide for no more than three additional lots and/or three additional dwellings.  

 “This scale of potential development across Eurobodalla is modest. 

 “For land that is or is proposed to be zoned RU1 Primary Production, the number of new lots that could be developed is 60, representing a two per cent increase on the existing number of lots. For land proposed to be zoned RU4 Primary Production Small Lots or E4 Environmental Living, the number of new lots that could be developed is 62, a 19 per cent  increase. 

 “While any increase in the number of lots and dwellings may result in some additional clearing of vegetation, development consent from Council is required and proposals must comply with the provisions of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. This Act requires a Biodiversity Development Assessment Report to be prepared by a qualified consultant and the Act includes offsetting requirements.  

 Clr Innes also addressed concerns about the potential for additional clearing for agriculture in rural areas, stating there is no greater potential for clearing for agricultural purposes as a result of the planning proposal than exists now. 

 “Almost all of the land proposed to be zoned RU1 is currently zoned Rural 1(a) under the Rural Local Environmental Plan 1987. Clearing of land in the Rural 1(a) zone for rural purposes is currently regulated by Local Land Services under the Local Land Services Act 2013. This will not change by the proposed zoning of the land to RU1 Primary Production,” she said. 


Council is encouraging anyone with concerns about the Rural Lands Planning Proposal to contact its Rural Lands Hotline on 4474 7486.  Submissions to the planning proposal should be received by Council by Friday 22 June 2018.


The planning proposal is the final step towards implementing the recommendations of the Eurobodalla Rural Lands Strategy, adopted by Council in 2016. 

Flu vaccine in short supply along South Coast

 After a massive public campaign to get vaccinated there's now a vaccine shortage.
The flu vaccine shortage is continuing along the South Coast. 
The vaccine has been in short supply nationally over the last month following a massive campaign to get the public vaccinated, and doctors and pharmacies in towns along the South Coast are also struggling to keep up. 
In Bega there are currently no vaccines for people who aren't eligible for the government's free vaccines.
However one surgery in Narooma yesterday said even the vaccines available through the government program have run out for over-65s and they were taking orders. The surgery said they were ordering every day, but had been limited to ordering 20 at a time, when previously they'd been able to order 100. 

Illegal prawn catch on the south coast

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Two men have pleaded guilty to multiple fisheries offences after being found in joint possession of approximately 240 litres of prawns, which were taken from Lake Wollumboola, Culburra Beach NSW.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) fisheries officers located the men at midnight on Friday, 11 December 2015.

DPI Supervising Fisheries Officer, Emma Corfield said officers seized the prawns and discovered the men did not hold current General Recreational Fishing Fee receipts. The men had also been using nets that did not comply with the regulation.

“The possession limit for prawns is 10 litres per person and the hand hauled prawn net used by the men had a section of mesh below the prescribed mesh size of 30 to 36mm,” Ms Corfield said.

“The men were both prosecuted for three offences under the Fisheries Management Act 1994.”

One of the men, a 30 year-old from Unanderra, had previously been issued with a field caution for a minor offence.

“He pleaded guilty in Wollongong local court on 28 September to possessing more than the possession limit, unlawful use of net and failing to pay fishing fee,” Ms Corfield said.

“He was fined a total of $4,000 and ordered to pay $2,517 in professional costs.”

Image credit: Department of Primary Industries

© Department of Primary Industries 2017


Man drowns at a beach on the Far South Coast

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Emergency services were called to Pretty Beach, a remote and unpatrolled beach on the South Coast of NSW approximately 25km north of Bateman's Bay after they received reports of a male in distress approximately 150 meters out to sea.

Lifesaving assets including the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Surf Life Savers from Batemans Bay SLSC, the Far South Coast Duty Officer and Paramedics were all tasked to respond.

It is understood that the 35-year-old male had been swimming with friends when he lost his balance and was swept away by a strong rip current.

Once on-scene, the helicopter was able to locate the missing man and winched him aboard where CPR was immediately commenced as they raced towards land and the waiting paramedics.

Subsequent treatment was continued for over 30 minutes in a valiant attempt to save the swimmer’s life, but unfortunately all efforts to resuscitate him proved unsuccessful.

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said the tragic incident is a sad reminder of how dangerous the ocean can be, while also praising the professionalism of the responding agencies.

“The incident happening in such a remote area highlights why it is so important to be at a patrolled location, especially if it is an unfamiliar environment that you only visit while on holidays.

 “On behalf of everyone in the lifesaving community, I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the man’s family and friends at this difficult time,” Mr Pearce said.

At the time of the incident conditions were relatively calm, however the beach is known for the presence of strong rip currents near the rocks.

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Marine parks' rezonings announced

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After a lengthy process there is certainty for fishers and conservation
The NSW Government has released its final rezoning for NSW Marine Parks. 
Four Batemans Marine Park sites have had their conservation status downgraded and have been rezoned to habitat protection, meaning shore-based recreational fishing will be allowed in those areas permanently. 
They are North Head at Batemans Bay, Congo Point South Beach, Mullimburra Point to Bingie Beach
Brou Beach and Bullengella Beach to Loader Beach, near Narooma. 
Meanwhile the five-year recreational fishing amnesty is no longer in place at the following three sites: Guerilla Bay Beach(Burrewarra North; Burrewarra Point to Long Nose Point(Burrewarra South)and Broulee Island - these sites are once again marine sanctuaries. 
And at Jervis Bay Marine Park, the amnesty has now ceased at the following four sites, and enforcement of sanctuary zone rules has recommenced at Hammer Head; Crocodile Head to Point Perpendicular; Bowen Island, Steamers Head and St Georges Head.
Other rezoning has occured at Cape Byron, Solitary Islands and Port Stephens-Great Lakes marine parks. Lord Howe is unchanged.
Department of Primary Industries Deputy Director General, Fisheries, Dr Geoff Allan, has said in all ten zones have been rezoned from sanctuaries to habitat protection. 
“We have had over 6,600 submissions about this proposal. We acknowledge that there are a range of passionate views out there amongst those that use and value ocean beaches and headlands.
“Following a five-year amnesty on compliance action with regard to recreational line fishing from ocean beaches and headlands zoned sanctuary, these changes now bring certainty for our state’s fishers."

Mega Pod of whales off Bermagui gains worldwide intrigue

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A mass gathering of whales off the south coast has caught the imagination of the environmental world.

Hundreds of migrating whales are feasting on bait schools around 20 nautical miles off the coast of Bermagui and Sapphire Coastal Adventures' Simon Miller managed to capture the phenomenon.

"We’ve got what's called a mega pod that's been off the coast of Bermagui, which is a mass aggregation of humpback whales and they're all feeding on these small bait fish," Mr Miller said.

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"It’s a phenomenon that hasn't been seen very regularly," he continued.

"We saw it last year for the first time and it’s occurring this year as well."

Local Photographer David Rogers captures the action in which hundreds of migrating whales are feasting on schools of bait off the Bermagui coast. 

Mr Miller said it's hard to say exactly how many whales are in the pod.

"I reckon anywhere from 150-200 whales but there’s just so many, it’s impossible to count as they’re not all on the surface at the same time," Mr Miller said.

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"We've got some some drone footage which captures how many whales are busting up through the bait at once, it’s pretty incredible."

Images/Video: Sapphire Coastal Adventures/Merimbula Marina, David Rogers

Narooma Busking Championships this Saturday

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Queanbeyan's popular Pipes and Drums musicians will join the fun on Saturday 

Narooma’s Regional Busking Championships this Saturday promises to be ‘sensational’ and it is free for spectators.

‘Fifty-five busker registrations, that’s over 200 people from Victoria, Canberra, Sydney, out to Cowra and Gundagai will fill Narooma throughout Saturday with all kinds of wonderful music and other performance acts,’ said excited Festival co-ordinator Sandra Doyle.

‘That will be topped off with a concert from 4pm at the Golf Club from a variety of performers who have busked through the day. Narooma will certainly be buzzing.

‘Each act will play at four or five of the 35 busker hot spots around town that are sponsored by the adjacent businesses, with music ranging from country, blues, jazz and rock, to Scottish bagpipes, dancers, poets and circus acts.

‘Extra busker hot spots this year are around the Kinema (where the River of Art Festival Art Prize exhibition is still on display at the SoART Gallery and School of Arts’ Studios), on NATA Oval and near Quarterdeck.’

The Festival is hosted by Narooma Rotary Club, partnered with River of Art, and is part of the Australian National Busking Championships (ANBC). It is the last major event in the 2018 River of Art Festival.

A programme listing each busking act and the timetable for each hot spot (9am-3pm) is available online and in hard copy on the day from the Busking Information Stall opposite the Ice Creamery, from the Visitors’ Centre and from the yellow Rotary-vested Busker Vote sellers. Profiles of some of the registered buskers are on the website and on Facebook.

‘Not all buskers will be competing. For those that are, every spectator can vote for their favourite busker for the People’s Choice prize of $1,000 by buying a special busker vote from our sellers, each vote costs $1,’ said Festival committee member Lynda Ord.

‘We count up votes for each busker to determine the winner. Of each $1 vote, the busker gets 10 cents. If the purchaser writes their name on the back of each vote, they enter a lucky draw. Each busker keeps any coin they collect.’

Narooma’s four judges will roam around listening to all competitors throughout the day, with the overall winner’s prize also $1,000.

‘We’re absolutely thrilled at how this festival has been embraced by our community,’ Mrs Ord said.

‘Symons will operate a free bus through the day to ferry people between busking hot spots which extend from the Plaza to the Flat.’

Narooma Lions, Quota, CWA and VIEW Clubs will help Rotary on the day, as well as many other volunteers.

A display on NATA Oval (behind the Visitors’ Centre) will also feature between 30 and 60 classic cars from the  Quattro Giornate Auto Classiche, the Classic and Vintage Motor Club of Eurobodalla and the Southern Motor Association, as well as new cars from the AMH Motor Group from Moruya.

New arts and theatre space for Merimbula announced


A concept drawing of the new Theatre Twyford at Merimbula.

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro, and Member for Bega Andrew Constance has announced the NSW Government has provided $7.4 million in funding for a new professional arts and theatre space at Twyford Hall in Merimbula.

The Deputy Premier and Mr Constance made the announcement in front of a welcoming crowd whilst visiting Twyford Hall today.

Mr Barilaro said the funding will go towards a brand new purpose-built raked theatre with seating capacity for 200 people, adjacent to the existing Twyford Hall.

“As Minister for Regional NSW, I want people to look to our regions as see them as vibrant places to live and play – and an investment like this one goes a long way to achieving that,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This massive investment in the Twyford Theatre project is a huge boost for arts and culture in the region – and one that will significantly enhance the richness of people’s lives.

“Not only will local arts enthusiasts will have a brand new home, but the facility is also set to become a major regional attraction that will be capable of hosting major concerts and events, and in turn draw big numbers of visitors to the area.

Mr Constance said the project has had overwhelming public support.

“As the local member, it gives me great pleasure to make an announcement that will have a regional effect,” Mr Constance said.

“We will see artist and visitors to Merimbula from far and wide to experience what the new Theatre Twyford will provide.”

“The region has a thriving arts and cultural community, and this multi-million dollar project will only enhance that offering,” he said.

President of Twyford Hall Inc. Bill Deveril said it was tbrilliant news for Merimbula and South East New South Wales. "We thank the NSW Government and particularly our local member Andrew Constance who has encouraged us and supported us in this project." 

“This region has a vibrant community arts scene which will now grow even stronger with this announcement, making the dream of a professional standard theatre in our region a reality. 

“The Theatre Twyford will lift the live theatre and music community here to new levels of involvement and enthusiasm, but further it will provide the stage for professional touring circuits which at present do not come here. 

“Twyford Hall has long been the heart of Merimbula and that heart will beat even stronger when the new theatre is built alongside the current Hall,” Mr Deveril said. 

One of the greatest supporters of the project, Frankie J Holden said it was a wonderful project for the entire Bega Valley Shire.

“It will revolutionise and enrich our lives in so many ways: strengthening and deepening our local arts and performance scene, bringing world class Australian and international performers, helping the vital tourism industry and of course providing jobs.

“It is a great tribute to the dreamers who envisioned the concept, and to the persistence and hard work of many locals who never gave up on the dream.

“Not forgetting the advice, support and counsel of Andrew Constance and his team, who have helped shepherd the project to fruition,” Frankie J said.

“It’s been a real team effort, just like any showbiz production.

As I’ve heard in many a movie: “Let’s put on a show”!!

Night of terror on South Coast leaves one dead and two critical

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 Police have blocked the road in front off the house in East St, Bega where the stabbings allegedly took place.  
An woman is dead and two men are in a critical condition following a night of terror in Bega and surrounding district on the state's South Coast. 
A 20-year old man is in custody following a night of violence, in which he allegedly stabbed a 69 year old woman to death and left a 71 year old man in a critical condition at a house in East St, Bega yesterday afternoon. Police say it was a domestic incident and it's believed the victims were the man's grandparents. 
The 20-year-old was then a subject of a five-hour man hunt, during which he allegedly car-jacked a car and attacked the driver with a hammer, on Sapphire Coast Drive between Tathra and Merimbula, not far from Bega.
This man is also in a critical condition. Police have not released the age of the driver. 
Police were doorknocking homes, many of them isolated and in bushland, along Sapphire Coast Drive between Bournda and Kalaru late yesterday afternoon, warning residents to secure their houses and vehicles. 
At some point in the hours of terror its believed the man crashed a stolen car and drove for some time in the damaged car. 
The 20-year-old has been interviewed by police overnight in what is a murder investigation, and may face court in Bega today. 
Residents in the area took to social media to warn their friends and loved ones and stay updated. Police and emergency helicopters could be heard overhead in the vicinity, and a number of roads were blocked. 
Police were initially called to the house in Bega about 3.30pm and the man was taken into custody along Sapphire Coast Drive about 8.20pm. 
Police say the two men who remain in a critical condition this morning are being treated in Sydney hospitals. 

Police pursuit in the south coast

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A woman has been charged following two police pursuits at Ulladulla and East Lynne yesterday.

About 12.30pm on Saturday 10 February 2018, police were informed of a vehicle allegedly driving dangerously on the Princes Highway, near Fisherman’s Paradise.

The white Mitsubishi sedan was sighted by police about 1pm driving south along the Princes Highway at Ulladulla and a pursuit was initiated.

Shortly after, it is alleged the sedan mounted a gutter and collided with a parked vehicle before travelling at dangerous speeds.

As a result, the pursuit was terminated.

About 1.20pm, police initiated a second pursuit after the vehicle was sighted on the Princes Highway, East Lynne.

The pursuit was again terminated due to the manner of driving.

The vehicle was later found abandoned at Mogo.

About 2.15pm, police arrested a woman near a caravan park at Moruya.

She was taken to Moruya Hospital then to Bateman’s Bay Police Station.

The 26-year-old woman was charged with fourteen offences including;

  • Drive motor vehicle during disqualification period
  • Police pursuit – not stop – drive dangerously (x2)
  • Drive manner dangerous (x2)
  • Negligent driving (x3)
  • She was refused bail and was due to appear in Batemans Bay Local Court on Sunday, February 11.

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    Police search for man who drove at policewoman

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    People along the South Coast are being asked to help police in a search for a man who drove a ute at a police officer in Queanbeyan yesterday.  

    Just after 1.30pm an officer from Monaro Police District attempted to speak with a man on Mowatt Street at Queanbeyan East, due to concerns about the driver’s behaviour. As the officer approached the ute the driver accelerated harshly towards her, forcing her to take evasive action to avoid being hit.

    Officers lost sight of the vehicle before it was sighted on Bungendore Road by another police vehicle, which saw the ute cross to the incorrect side of the road and hit a guard rail. Police initially pursued the ute but stopped the chase due to safety concerns. The ute was driven across the border into the ACT and was found empty about 1.50pm on Pialligo Avenue, near the airport. A search involving police from both NSW and the ACT is now underway for the man.

    The man is described as being of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern appearance, aged in his 20s, with a slim build and dark hair styled in a mullet. He was wearing a dark-coloured top.

    Anyone with information about the driver’s identity or his whereabouts is urged to contact Queanbeyan Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

    Police will be out in force during Operation Towards Zero

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    Local police will be targeting south coast drivers making bad choices, as part of the State's Operation Towards Zero.

    Traffic and Highway Patrol Acting Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said the responsibility of reducing road trauma lies with every person using the road.

    “We will ensure that anyone caught taking risks, or risking the lives of others, by doing the wrong thing on the road, will be stopped and dealt with according to the law,

    “We will have more officers, more often, at more locations to detect, stop and take those road users not obeying the rules off the roads,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

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    Rethink on plans to double dog-beaches in Eurobodalla

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    Plans to increase the number of dog-beaches in the Eurobodalla Shire have gone back to the drawing board.

    Eurobodalla Council will go back to the drawing board following an enormous community response to its plans to double dog off-leash areas in the shire from 12 to 24.

    Over the last month the coastal council received two-and-a-half thousand surveys and 140 letters and emails, in response to its proposed changes to the Companion Animal Management Plan.

    Beaches that were set to become 24/7 doggy beaches were Long Beach, Surfside, Corrigans Beach, Sunshine Bay, Circuit Beach, North Rosedale, Guerilla Bay, Congo, Narooma Main, Mystery Bay and Handkerchief Beach.

    Council’s Divisional Manager Environmental Services Deb Lenson said Council is now considering the feedback.

    “We had an amazing response and we thank everyone who contributed,” she said.

    “We will now revisit the maps with the consideration of the wider community’s feedback and views.”

    Ms Lenson said the large response to the survey proved there was great interest in the issue – from dog exercise areas, and dog-poo bag dispensers to signage and compliance.

    “People are very passionate about their own patch, and it’s important to remember that we will never be able to please everyone,” she said.

    “We are already seeing trends through the surveys that show very differing views. For example, some people believe dogs should be allowed on all beaches at all times, others believe that dogs shouldn’t be allowed on any beach and then there’s those who understand that a mix is important and they are just as passionate.

    “We need to try and find a balance that is acceptable to dog owners and non-dog owners, with consideration of the environment.”

    The community will have another opportunity to comment on the draft plan when it goes on formal public exhibition later this year. Any feedback received during the public exhibition period will again be considered before the final plan is adopted by Council.

    For more information about the project visit and search for “dog exercise area review”.


    Romance and triumph among the Thunder and Dust


    The Sapphire Speedway is the star of a new documentary, Thunder and Dust.  

    South Coast film makers Andrew Moore and Fiona Scott will show their documentary Thunder and Dust – a year with Sapphire Speedway at the Picture Show Man theatre in Merimbula on Monday 18th June, at 7:30pm.

    This screening will cap off a five-year project of researching, interviewing and filming to produce a 90-minute story of a dedicated community group that strives to keep their 45-year club afloat while dealing with natural disasters, regulations, insurances and lack of money. The speedway is located between the villages of Candelo and Bemboka, in the Bega Valley. 

    “When I first got involved with Sapphire Speedway as race secretary, I never dreamed that I would end up making a documentary about the club”, said director, Andrew Moore. “But the more I learned about the history, the setbacks and the superhuman efforts the members put in each and every meeting, the more I felt the story needed to be told.”

    Producer Fiona Scott said there were once over 700 speedways in Australia. Today there are less than 90. Land rezoning, finances and the increasing burden of compliance have seen many tracks close since their heyday in the 1970’s. For Fiona it was important that people knew about their local speedways, how they started and why it is important to keep the smaller rural-based grass roots tracks in operation.

    Andrew and Fiona interviewed past presidents, NSW and Australian Champions, drivers who build cars and spectators and sources newspaper articles, old photos and videos to round out their story. They also found their own personal love story during the making of the documentary, and are now married. 

    Thunder and Dust features an original soundtrack featuring music by Andrew and Canberra and Candelo musicians such as Pete Wild and Melanie Horsnell.

    "Thunder and Dust is a story about community, about volunteers and about people who put their passions into action. It’s not just about cars driving round and round a track. It is about the people who make it happen and the trials they face to keep their club going,” said Andrew.

    This screening will be held as a fund-raiser for Sapphire Speedway and tickets are available at the Picture Show Man.

    School of Possibilities creates opportunities for local talent

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    Moruya photographer Peter Vassallo is a graduate of the Eurobodalla's School of Possibilities 

    Stunning portraits by Moruya photographer Peter Vassallo will be on show at the Dr Mackay Centre in Moruya from May 17-27 as part of River of Art.

    Portrait will feature photographs capturing the personality of 20 Eurobodalla identities, including Texas Dave, Damien Coen, Tim Burke, Indira Carmichael and Ed Tierney.

    Mr Vassallo is a member of  Eurobodalla Council’s School of Possibilities Art Group, a vocational employment training project that assists people with disability to develop their individual talents and potentially earn an income.

    He is best known for his photographic landscapes and said the foray into portraiture for the exhibition was a new experience.

    “I was encouraged in the art group to try portraits and it was a good opportunity to expand my skills,” he said.

    “I enjoy it, but I do get nervous at times. You’ve got to tell them to pose, where to stand and how to look.

    “My portrait work is character and subject centric – it’s centred on their life, what they do and their personality.”

    Mr Vassallo, who has cerebral palsy, has enjoyed photography since he was a “little kid wasting film”. It changed from a hobby to something more serious in 2015 when Ability Links and My Choice Matters provided him with a grant to buy his first digital SLR and hold his first exhibition.

    Mr Vassallo said photography gave him the independence to pursue something all on his own.

    “I love the freedom of it, just to be able to grab the camera and walk out the door and not have to rely on other people,” he said.

    “It’s also given me a deeper appreciation of the environment.”

    Mr Vassallo credits the School of Possibilities Art Group with giving him the push he needed to take his photography more seriously.

    “I’m still learning so it’s a long road from hobby to career, but I would like to pursue it. Doing commission work is difficult due to my lack of access to transport, but it is something I would love to do,” he said.

    An opening event for Peter Vassallo’s exhibition Portrait, officiated by local designer, craftsman and photographer Toby Whitelaw, will be held Thursday, 17 May from 6pm to 7.30pm at the Dr Mackay Centre, 9 Page St, Moruya - all welcome. The exhibition will continues Monday to Saturday, from 9.30am to 3.30pm, until Saturday 26 May. All works in the exhibition will be for sale.


    Siri teenager Darcy McKay to make full recovery

    Pambula Beach teenager Darcy McKay is helped by paramedics. Photo courtesy of the McKay family. 
    The father of the Pambula Beach teenager who called 000 through Siri after a serious motorbike accident in bushland at the back of  Lumen Christi Catholic College at Pambula Beach, says his son Darcy, will make a full recovery. 
    Darcy suffered multiple fractures and an injury to his pancreas after he went of the handlebars of his motorbike last Thursday. 
    Dad, Royce McKay says Darcy also activated the speaker function through Siri, while he was lying injured, so he could talk to 000 emergency call centre staff. 
    He says his son is now being chased by media networks throughout the country for his story and Apple has even contacted him. 

    South Coast oysters go for Guinness Book of Records

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    Clyde River oyster farmer Bernie Connell with what may be the world's biggest oyster. 

    The world record for the biggest oyster could be broken at the Narooma Oyster Festival this Saturday.

    "We’ll have several possible contenders, all Pacific Oysters from the Clyde River," said Festival chairman Niels Bendixsen.

    The Guinness Book of Records lists the current world’s biggest oyster as a Pacific Oyster (Crassiostrea gigas) found on the Danish shores of the Wadden Sea in 2013.

    It measured 35.5cm long and 10.7 cm wide, described at the time as "the size of a man’s large and sturdy shoe". It has five oysters attached, and the cluster then weighed 1.62kg. It was estimated to be 15-20 years old and it is still alive and apparently still growing.

    Clyde River oyster farmer Bernie Connell reckons some of his oysters are bigger.

    "I’ve got a few that would weigh more than the world record and one is nudging 2kg," he said. 

    "They’re single specimens with no other oysters attached and what’s amazing is they’re only four year old.

    "If I do end up with the world champion, I won’t be selling it. I’ll keep it growing."

    Bernie thinks a few other Clyde River farmers may also have oysters that would beat the world record.

    All contenders will be weighed and measured at the Festival on the Katungul Main Stage at 12.15pm when they will also be photographed. The information will be then sent off to the Guinness Book of Records office.

    Narooma’s Oyster Festival launches with a bang this Friday afternoon at 4.30pm with a free family concert, a freestyle motocross display and fantastic fireworks.

    On Saturday the Festival will showcase oysters from eight estuaries on the South Coast, which is known as one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable oyster-growing regions, as well as other local produce and the area’s many features.

    Saturday’s program, runs from 10am to 4pm and includes the celebrity chefs’ cooking demonstrations, the Ultimate Oyster Experience, the oyster shucking competition, displays of local Yuin culture, over 70 stalls featuring local produce especially oysters, kite flying and free kids’ rides.

    Live music on Saturday starts at 10am and goes through to 6pm, as will the bar and Oyster Bar.

    Check Narooma Oyster Festival webpage and Facebook for more information and the full program.

    Suspected thief with 'bad hair' becomes social media star

    The suspect has become known as 'the guy with the bad haircut'.
    Batemans Bay police believe they're closing in on the thief that stole a bottle of expensive Gentleman Jack Whisky from the Tomakin IGA on Saturday 
    The suspect has become known on social media as the 'guy with the bad haircut' because of footage which shows he wears his hair parted down the middle with two plaits, shaved on the side and at the back of his head.  
    Police say the CCTV footage posted to their Facebook page has been shared 98 times and has reached nearly 14,000 people, and there's been one suggestion the guy with the bad hair cut also did a runner from his hairdressers.  

    Three people have been killed on the Princes Highway north of Milton

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    Three people have died and two are in a critical condition in a crash on the Princes Highway south of Sussex Inlet and north of Milton earlier today.

    About 10.45am (Tuesday 26 December 2017), emergency services attended the site on the Princes Highway at Mondayong, about 400m north of the Bendalong turnoff, where three people – from two separate cars – died.

    Two women have been airlifted and remain in a critical condition.

    Officers from the Crash Investigation Unit are at the scene and the Princes Highway remains blocked in both directions.

    One lane will be opened shortly to assist with traffic flow.

    Motorists are urged to either use alternate routes or delay your travels and avoid the area.

    Emergency services are attempting to make their way to and from the scene, and motorists are asked to ensure they assist by allowing these vehicles safe passage.

    For further traffic details monitor

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    Turning addiction on its head - Brothers 4 Recovery share their story

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    Brothers 4 Recovery, Jeff Amatto and Steve Morris, at Narooma before heading to Eden High School this morning. 
    The empowerment of overcoming addiction is being shared along the South Coast this week by those who know only too well the pitiful and incomprehensible demoralisation of an addict's life. 
    The Brothers 4 Recovery, from the Central Coast, have been talking to students from Batemans Bay, and Moruya high schools about their downward spiral into addiction, what life was like as an addict and how they've recovered and maintain their recovery. 
    Today the Brothers 4 Recovery, Steve Morris and Jeff Amatto, are visiting Eden High School and tomorrow they'll be at Narooma.  
    Steve, who is now clean and sober following a battle with alcohol, gambling and ice addiction, says students respond well to their warts and all stories. 
    "We explain to them how to get out of the life of addiction, who to access, what to access and how to sustain that life of living drug and alcohol free. I guess if we were on stage telling them statistics and showing slide-shows, it wouldn't have the same effect, so we don't hold anything back - it's not sugar-coated - we tell them everything that's happened, and they tend to listen with open ears."  
    For more information visit Brothers 4 Recovery or their  Facebook page.