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Lead By: Staff-Editor-02


Whale entanglements in NSW waters hits new record

Marine Wildlife Project Officer with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Andrew Marshall, said between May and September there were 35 reported whale entanglements off the NSW coast and only a handful of successful rescues.

"The rope itself often gets stuck on the animal for a period of time which can cause chronic injuries and chronic illness," he said.

"It's a very sad fate for most of those whales that are tangled and we can't rescue.

"There's probably been around six entangled whales rescued between Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

"Our success rate for rescues is normally quite high, but this season has just been a horror for getting good information at an appropriate time and then the sea and wind conditions being on our side as well.

In the past couple of days there have been reports of a humpback whale entangled off the NSW north coast, with the first sighting off Scotts Head.

"We have had a hazardous surf warning and strong winds, so it wasn't possible to get a vessel out yesterday, and that's been another feature of this season for us this year," Mr Marshall said.

"The whale is now likely south of Crescent Head and possibly around Port Macquarie and we do have a team ready to go if it is sighted."

Whale rescues 'incredibly dangerous'

Mr Marshall said any whale entanglement rescue was complex and carried a lot of risks.

"We are working out of a three to four-metre long inflatable rubber boat, so we are very vulnerable to wind and sea conditions," he said.

"Then add to that the unpredictable behaviours of a 25-tonne panic-stricken wild animal.

"Both the whales and other influences at these incidents can be incredibly dangerous without training and experience so only trained crews are allowed to engage in these rescues.

"There are at least three documented fatalities from rescuers trying to help whales and being struck or drowned in the process.

"The whales which seem 'compliant' with rescuers are more likely just exhausted, because the majority in our experience will defend themselves vigorously."

Fishing lines and buoys a big issue

Mr Marshall said it was a common misconception that whales were mainly getting tangled in shark nets or marine debris.

"That just doesn't stack up with our data; in the vast majority of cases, it's not debris and less than 10 per cent is nets," he said.

"The highest proportion of causes for entanglements is ropes with floats, which is probably associated with fishing equipment that's in use at the time.

"Thirty-two of the cases this year in NSW have been ropes and floats."

More whales, more entanglements

Mr Marshall said it was fantastic to see humpback whale numbers recovering and booming, but that also meant there would be an increasing number becoming entangled.

"The fishermen using the gear have not had to evolve their techniques to cope with the increase in the whale population," he said.

"That's playing to the increase in incidents of entangled whales.

"Really, no one in our generation has had to deal with the whale population at its current level.


Wauchope in the spotlight

Wauchope in the spotlight

Updated : 14-09-2019 13:34:58


There are so many great things happening around our region at the moment, especially in Wauchope and surrounding areas.

With the awesome upgrades being made to the Wauchope CBD, the town is bright and bustling and there is no better time than now to check out what’s been happening.

The addition of outdoor seating, beautiful gardens, footpaths and pedestrian crossings has made the Main Street more accessible and safer for the community to visit, eat and shop, especially as we start to come into the busy Christmas period.

And don’t forget about the many fantastic businesses in Wauchope, their doors are still very much open despite the work, and I really encourage everyone to pop in for some retail therapy and help support them.

Some exciting events are also coming to Wauchope in the coming months, including the popular Moto Fest on Saturday 14 September at the Wauchope Showground.

This event really showcases the passionate people in our community and provides a fun and interesting day out for the whole family.

And it doesn’t stop there, with lots of exciting projects planned for the upcoming financial year. From playground replacements at Rocks Ferry, further improvements to Bago Road and getting work started on the Hastings Regional Sports Complex, the future is definitely bright.

What a great performance from our Wauchope Blues in the weekend’s rugby league grand final. Whilst we didn’t get the trophy this year, we are all so proud of your efforts, and look forward to another great season in 2020. Take a well-earned break, and hold your heads extremely high.

This weekend I encourage everyone to jump in the car, drive out to Wauchope and have a look around, you just never know what surprises you may find amongst the changing main street, and the stunning rolling hinterland.

To learn more about what’s coming up in Wauchope, check out our video at pmhc.nsw.gov.au/futureprojects and discover some of the exciting happening over the next 12 months.

Stuff the silver we're going for gold!

That's the message from the generous bowlers that took part in Friday's Mayors Sporting Fund Bowls Challenge.

$4,800 was raised that will go directly towards assisting young local athletes on their road to Tokyo 2020... and beyond!

Whilst some of the bowling talent was questionable, a HUGE thanks goes to all that braved the wind, and contributed to our young future sports stars. Special thanks to MBC Recruitment for coming on board as sponsor, and Port City Bowling Club for the generous use of the greens.

Check out the fun in our image gallery below... and we hope to see you at the next Mayor's Sporting Fund fundraiser... golf at the Kew Country Club on Friday 8 November. @mbcrecruitment @portcitybowlingclub


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Launch of ‘The Globe’ and the end of ‘Sports Reporter’:

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Voters: Better the Devil?

15-04-19

Running a government should be like running a successful business.

At the top of any successful business is the CEO and then you have people that occupy responsible positions they advise the CEO on matters that will effect the running of that business successfully and at a profit, minimizing spending and maximizing profit for the shareholders.

Over the last decade we have witnessed some of the so called best of the best CEO rolled or sacked from their job for under performing and not coming up to shareholders and board members expectations.

The Coalition Government that is in office, runs their party and Australia exactly the same as the businesses of this great land.

That's the prime difference between Liberal and Labor, Labor runs the country like nothing is too much to spend to be popular, so irresponsible treasures like Wayne Swan and Chris Bowen, just can't put the brakes on the Prime Ministers rash promises.

As a result they first jack up taxes to cover the spending, when they run out of money, they tax everything they can get their hands on and when that is exhausted they turn to the money lenders and that's when the debt stats to become unmanageable, like we have all seen in the not so distant past.

Over five years ago the public was made aware that there would have to be cuts to clear the massive debt and get the budget back to surplus, responsible people would realize this was the correct approach to the situation left by Labor's mismanagement.

The Liberal's and Nationals are no different managing the country as a business and you are the shareholders and they want their CEO (PM) to give the shareholders their best, Abbott was unpopular , so he was replaced by Turnbull who supposed to be a world beater, but it was as plain as the nose on your face that he had serious issues, so we now have Morrison, who is a good man a trustworthy family man with his shareholder well being in his heart a great treasurer and a fine Australia.

So I ask you all why do you want to throw away all the good work the Coalition has done and vote for a shifty union dominated person like Shorten that will send the country back into debt and we will have to start all over again, when we vote the coalition back in three years' time.

Seems ridiculous to me. Don't you think? Give them another go.

Raymond G Mc Donald


Time for a new approach to immigration?

April 2019

It's time to put the emphasis on quality when it comes to immigration. That's the message from Liberal Democrats lead candidate for NSW, David Leyonhjelm, who is calling for a different approach to managing strong population growth.

"It's hard to ignore the congestion in our major cities. But calling for blanket bans on anything is never the answer," he declared.

"There is a shortage of people in many areas, and highly skilled professionals and business people create more jobs when they come here. This is not the case for family reunion migrants. The emphasis has to be on the quality of newcomers to our state rather than just the quantity, which is all we've heard so far in this debate.

"The Liberal Democrats have a long-standing policy that requires new migrants to make a substantial financial contribution in order to live here, and that denies new migrants access to welfare," David explained. "This is based on the fact that taxpayers have paid for the services new migrants will use, such as roads, public schools and other key infrastructure.

"The state government could also do a lot to ease congestion through greater investment in infrastructure. This is not just new train services and motorways, but practical considerations such as parking at train stations and bus stops. And there is much more that could be done to promote greater use of motorbikes and scooters," he added.

"For a new approach to immigration that doesn't involve soap box speeches or thinly veiled racism, the Liberal Democrats are the answer."

The Liberal Democrats support the retention of character, criminal and health checks on migrants, and endorse rigorous and relevant security screening before a resident can become a citizen.

"We want people who will embrace our values, not seek to impose their values on us. Anyone applying for residency or citizenship who supports female genital mutilation, forced marriages or the subordination of women is not welcome."

The Liberal Democrats are running in both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council at the March 23 election.

Kate Fantinel 


Stock-up on the torches and candles!

05/02/19

The article in Daily Telegraph (31/1/2019) by Sheradyn Holderhead, “Dark Ages to last for years” revealed the Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor is totally in the dark on how the South Eastern Australia Electricity grid works.

When he declared: “It’s telling that the biggest problems are in Victoria and SA states that have seen fit to shut down baseload (power Stations, he forgot to mention NSW shutdowns).

The Chinese company, China Light and Power (CLP) which owns Energy Australia, bought 1000MW Wallerawang Power Station in 2013 and closed it in 2015 as it was not making a profit. This is despite the NSW Government spending millions of tax-payer dollars replacing the generator transformers.

This closure meant that NSW lost 10% of its baseload coal fire power stations. But there was no public outcry like the one generated by the closure of Hazelwood power station.

Its decision-making like this that led to the Tomago Aluminum smelter being forced to shut down to avoid an embarrassing blackout on that sweltering day of February 10, 2017.

Before electricity prices doubled over the past decade, Energy Australia used to be owned by Australians. It was the property of the governments of NSW and Victoria, the so-called guardians of our state assets.

The recent black-out in the Eastern suburbs (31/1/2019) is what happens when you privatise an electricity asset. In October 2016 the then “Magic Mike” Baird Government sold Ausgrid for $16 billion to Australian companies IFM Investors and Australian Super.

One of the first actions the consortium took was to turn a recently completed $70 million apprentice training building at Homebush into a store room. Clearly, training apprentices – the sparkies of the future – is not on their agenda. In addition, they sacked meter connecting officers and electrical inspectors and replaced them with contractors.

Even Piers Akerman describes his frustration with Ausgrid in his Sunday Telegraph article (“A shocking state of affairs over power (26/3/2017).

The $16 billion windfall from selling our utilities will quickly dissipate due to loss of productivity and the lack of a skilled workforce.

So, when the next big storm hits Sydney it is highly likely there will be extended blackouts and an increased risk of fires in electrical substations.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will then hit another milestone triggered by her fire sale of the network which filled government coffers but created further risks of unreliability in the power network.

I strongly recommend people stock up on candles and torches, I know I am.

Tony Morrissey BSc (ENG) UNSW, SMIEEE, MIE AUST CPENG


Banking Inquiry:

05/02/19

It was a good investigation into the American run banks in this country. I wonder if time could be turned back if the coalition would have been so keen to have that inquiry into the unions, and their crystal ball would have predicted the push, after that inquiry, for a banking inquiry.

Was an inquiry into the unions such a good idea after all? The blowout in costs brought little fruit for the coalition compared with the egg on their face with the banking inquiry's final report.

I couldn't help but notice how West Australian former Senator, Rod Culleton, was railroaded and forced to resign following his call in his maiden speech to have an inquiry into Australian banks.

Until the banking inquiry I was never aware dead people were capable of paying bank charges.

Lets hope we see banking honesty in the future and those responsible for bad behaviour face the full justice of the courts. However, I won't hold my breathe waiting.

Jay Nauss


Skilling NSW for the future & tackling youth unemployment

29/01/19

Unemployment in NSW is now well below 5 per cent and jobs creation over the past 12 months is at record levels.

Mission accomplished? Not quite. Businesses across NSW face a real challenge in securing qualified staff. Right across NSW skill shortages are one of the biggest issues facing almost every business. However, despite these shortages we have a youth unemployment rate in the double digits. In some regional areas of NSW youth unemployment exceeds 20 per cent.

There are some 70,000 unemployed youth across NSW, this presents both challenges and an opportunities. We must as a state do more to assist the next generation get the training they need to secure meaningful employment. Sadly more often than not young jobseekers don’t have the training or skills to secure these opportunities.

To make matters worse, many young job seekers have incurred debt completing training that will not assist them in securing a meaningful career or have been trapped in a school system that measures success by whether or not they secure a university place. Providing the skills and training necessary to overcome barriers to securing employment should be the number one priority of the next government of NSW.

There are some things we can and must do. For starters we need to address the perceptions of Vocational Education and Training (VET). This can be done by providing parents and students with the facts and more contemporary advice on where the job opportunities are today and in the future. Importantly, we need to provide more flexible pathways that promote the value, importance and opportunities provided by trades training. Addressing skill shortages and tacking youth unemployment must be a priority for all sides of politics.

The NSW Business Chamber is calling for additional measures to help address this issue these include a new $100 million dollar youth re-engagement fund to get young people back into training and into work, a target of 20,000 school based apprenticeships and traineeships to be delivered over the next four years.

The Chamber is also calling for the funding of Career Advice Hubs that provide contemporary industry careers advice and improvements to our TAFE system that: improve enrolment processes; deliver more contemporary course content; and support for a complementary private Registered Training Organisation (RTO) network. In New South Wales the need for skilled workers will become even more urgent as the state embarks on a period of record investment in infrastructure.

The next four years will see in the order of 87 billion dollars invested in new hospitals, schools and roads right across the state. This investment provides a once in generation opportunity to train our future labour force and importantly help start the careers of thousands of young NSW jobseekers. Skilling NSW for the future and tackling you unemployment is key to keeping NSW the Number 1 economy in Australia.

Kellon Beard Regional Manager,

Mid North Coast, NSW Business Chamber


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