Dangerous weather warning for Esperance

Esperance residents are being encouraged to secure their houses as a dangerous weather warning has been issued for all areas southwest of Bunbury, Narrogin, Hyden, Salmon Gums and Israelite Bay.
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The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) issued the dangerous weather warning for Esperance this morning, saying the unusual weather could damage homes and make travel dangerous.

“This is unusual weather that could cause damage to homes and make travel dangerous,” the warning said.

“If you live in an area southwest of a line from Bunbury to Narrogin to Hyden to Salmon Gums to Israelite Bay you need to get ready now for the bad weather coming today. This includes people in, near or between Bunbury, Busselton, Margaret River, Bridgetown, Narrogin, Katanning, Albany and Esperance and surrounding areas.”

“The worst weather is expected along coastal parts between Margaret River and Esperance.”

Widespread damaging winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour could result in damage to homes and property are expected said the DFES.

In isolated areas south of Busselton and Hopetoun dangerous gusts in excess of 125 kilometres per hour may also cause significant damage or destruction to homes and property. Conditions are expected to ease by Monday.

Isolated thunderstorms and small hail are also likely.

Surfers along the south coast between Augusta and Israelite Bay are discouraged from entering the ocean as tides may be higher than usual and beach erosion is likely said the DFES.

The DFES advises residents who are away from home to contact family or friends to help prepare vacant properties for the widespread of damaging winds that is expected.

“If you are away from home contact family or friends to prepare your property.”

The weather warning also encourages people to:

Store or weigh down loose objects around your home like outdoor furniture that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds, causing damage or injury.

Ensure your emergency kit is complete including a battery operated radio, torch, spare batteries and first aid kit.

Ensure pets and animals are in a safe area.Move vehicles under cover.

Boat owners should securely moor their boats.

Campers should find safe shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams.

If your home has significant damage, like a badly damaged roof or flooding, call the SES on 132 500 or to report powerlines down, call Western Power on 13 13 51.

In a life threatening situation call 000.

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Council tilt for vineyard owner

Nick CuguraGIVING the the city’splanning department greater power to approve private developments is one of the key platforms of Bendigo businessman Nick Cugura’s campaign for election to local council.
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As owner of Big Hill Vineyard,Mr Cugura is no stranger to council’s planning process. He said he spent $45,000 successfully appealing to VCAT the council’s decision to deny him a permit to build accommodation facilities at his winery.

He said the council lacked common sense on planning issues, holding back development.

“As a councillor I would be pushing for the planning department to have more power to rubber stamp developments.Provided they comply with planning regulations, developments should just be approved,” he said.

Mr Cugura said providing the planning department with more power would help the city’s economic development.

“We’ve got huge unemployment issues in Bendigo. Councillors should be doing everything they can to create more jobs,” he said.

He said he hoped the current crop of councillors would get the boot next year.

“The current councillors are too often fighting and arguing. Let’s do what’s in the best interests of Bendigo,” he said.

Mr Cugura said the debate over the proposed Kangaroo Flat pool was an example of council lacking common sense.

“We already have a pool on the outskirts of town that isn’t being utilised enough,” he said.

“If we have another pool it needs to be in the middle of Bendigo so no community is disadvantaged.”

A new pool would need to be 50 metres, not the 25mpool currently mooted, he said.

Hesaid his agenda for council was simple – create jobs, reduce rates and improve consistency of decisions.

Mr Cugura, who also co-owns wine management software company Ezy Systems, has lived in Bendigo 23 years.

“I came up here from Melbourne and fell in love with the country lifestyle,” he said.

“I’m really happy with the opportunities Bendigo has provided me.”

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Community relieved after Cobar woman found safe

FOUND: Cobar woman Danielle (Nelly) Martin.COBAR woman Angela Green says she “shook with emotion” when police phoned her to say her missing cousin Danielle Martin had been found alive some five days after she was last seen in the town.
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“It was just the best outcome, I took the call and just looked at everyone and screamed ‘We found her!’,” Ms Green said.

Danielle (Nelly) Martin was last seen at her Hartmann Street home on Monday and was reported missing to police on Wednesday.

Police began an investigation and made a statewide appeal for information about Ms Martin’s whereabouts, issuing a photo of the 26-year-old mother and a white Toyota Hilux they believed she may have been travelling in.

A member of the public found Ms Martin on the Lerida Road, about 5km outside Cobar, about 2.40pm Saturday.

She was taken to Cobar Police Station then to Cobar Hospital for treatment for hypothermia.

Ms Green said she had hoping for the best but admitted she feared the worst.

“My stomach was churning the whole time, all we wanted was for her to be found alive,” she said.

Ms Green said Ms Martin remained in hospital and her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

What happened in those few days Ms Martin was missing was the subject of a police investigation.

But one thing that was clear, Ms Green said, was how community-minded Cobar had rallied to help one of its own.

“On Friday afternoon I put a post on Facebook asking if people on motorbikes might be able to meet at the truck bay on the Wilcannia Road to search for Nelly and within an hour there were about 18 motorbikes there ready to go,” she said.

“Property owners throughout Cobar, Tilpa, Louth, Mt Hope and Nymagee were checking their properties and pilots and property owners were doing aerial searches.”

Ms Green thanked the Cobar Roosters rugby league club for allowing a command post to be set up there to coordinate the search, along with local residents who had helped organise meetings, food and other supplies for those taking part in the search.

“Without them we would have been lost – there were so many people who helped, from the police and the people searching and even those people who didn’t live in Cobar but shared a post on Facebook to get the word out there, we can’t thank them enough,” she said.

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Tower green light for Sebastopol

CLEAN UP: Resident John Grigsby says a 35 metre tower would be an improvement on a vandalised fence. Picture: Justin WhitelockRESIDENTS set to live in the shadowof a proposed35-metretelecommunicationstower in Sebastopol have given the proposalthe green light.
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A home owner livingadjacent to the vacant site which has been earmarked for a Telstra telecommunications facilityon Spencer Street said he did not mind if the controversialtower was built, while another said it might actually improve the appearance of the street.

The City of Ballarat will consider a planning permit on Wednesdayfor the development of the facility which will include an equipment shelter, 2.4m high security fencing and the 35m tower with six antennas. Thecouncil report has recommended the development be approved.

The report said there were 11 objections to the notice of application, including a petition with 70 signatures, but those in the immediate areasaid they were less concerned.

John Grigsby, who has lived across the road from the proposed telecommunications centrefor nine years, said the existing site was a frequent target forvandals.

“I don’t mind (the 35m tower),” Mr Grigsby, 89, said. “It’s no worsethan looking at that bloody ugly fence.If they build it they might finally clean (the graffiti)up.”

The site is located in an industrial zone but is located oppositea residential area.

Another nearby resident who did not wish to named said many in the surrounding area were opposed to the tower but that didn’t include somewhose homes directly faced the site.

“We don’t care. It’s an eyesorenow,” the woman said. “It won’t look great but it might look better than it is now. It has always had graffiti and we’d hope for they’d do something about it.”

The woman said she understood some people in the area were concerned about radiation from the facility but her husband was not.

Other concerns mentioned in objections to the development included the contrast with the rest of the neighborhood, potential property devaluation, and that the tower will be visible from public parks.

The council report said there was a strategic justification for approving the facility, as part of a general upgrade of broadband telecommunications.

Telstra has declared in its proposal the highest level of electromagnetic radiation from the facility will be 0.55 per cent of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency standard.

According to the council report, while there is information both positive and negative with regard to potential health issues caused by telecommunication towers, cases before VCAT involving the potential healthside effects have been consistently dismissed.

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St Brigid’s College students organise sleep-out for homelessness

St Brigid’s College students organise sleep-out for homelessness Horsham’s St Brigid’s College students and Young Vinnies committee members Millie Friend, Imogen Chesterfield, Esther Craig, Aily McAuliffe, Ashley Hobbs and Claire Burke with one of the blankets they have made for St Vinnies. The Young Vinnies group has also organised a sleep-out for Thursday night. The event will raise awareness of homelessness. Group member Kathryn Op de Coul is absent. Pictures: PAUL CARRACHER
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Horsham’s St Brigid’s College students and Young Vinnies committee members Millie Friend, Imogen Chesterfield, Esther Craig, Aily McAuliffe, Ashley Hobbs and Claire Burke with one of the blankets they have made for St Vinnies. The Young Vinnies group has also organised a sleep-out for Thursday night. The event will raise awareness of homelessness. Group member Kathryn Op de Coul is absent. Pictures: PAUL CARRACHER

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