Heatwave to bring ‘three or four days’ of 40-degree heat to SEQ


While Brisbane itself is only tipped to reach a top of 34 degrees on Wednesday, Ipswich to the west is forecast to swelter through a 41 degree day – after not dropping below 38 degrees from Sunday.

Wednesday is also expected to see the mercury hit 44 degrees in the Lockyer Valley towns of Gatton and Laidley, with tops of 35 along the Sunshine Coast.

But the heat will first be felt more keenly further west. The Channel Country, Maranoa and Warrego regions are likely to reach the mid-to-high 40s, while Birdsville could experience “a few days” at about 45 degrees from Friday.

Overnight temperatures will also bring little reprieve, remaining above or about 30 degrees across the weekend.

“And some of that over hot overnight air is also going to move into south eastern parts of Queensland,” Mr Narramore said.

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Minimum temperatures in Brisbane will drop to only 23 degrees on Tuesday.

The heatwave will be the second to descend on the state this spring, with the first a fortnight ago bringing temperatures in the south-east close to 40 degrees.

Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Lachlan Parker urged residents to not be complacent about the risks of heat-related illness: “If we have several days of high temperature, the body is unable to reset itself”.

Despite the heat, Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre research director John Bates said wetter and more humid weather in the state across the summer meant a repeat of last year’s bushfires was less likely.

With a La Nina event expected to drive above-average rain and cyclone activity, the bureau’s head of climate operations, Andrew Watkins, said Queensland would instead see “at least” four of the tropical storms develop – and one cross the coast.

“Odds are above 80 per cent of getting above average rainfall in eastern Queensland,” Dr Watkins added.

“So that part of eastern Queensland – if we do see wet soils, high rivers and then tropical cyclones cross the coast – [has] an increased risk of widespread flooding.”

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Why council cancelled auction on homes with overdue rates



THREE days before homes went under the hammer to recover long-overdue property rates, Lismore City Council has reached an agreement with the owners.

It is understood council will now only proceed with the sale of vacant land.

Mayor Issac Smith said this was a good outcome for the homeowners and all ratepayers.

“Selling someone’s home for unpaid rates is always the very last resort and something we will never take lightly,” he said.

“I am extremely relieved that we have been able to reach a satisfactory agreement with all the homeowners to address outstanding amounts, consistent with Council’s policies to support residents facing hardship.”

Mayor Smith said this has been a tough and unfortunate process to go through.

“But it is important that we deliver fair and equitable treatment of ratepayers,” he said.

“While supporting those in vulnerable circumstances.”

Council announced in August last year that 15 properties would be sold at auction to recover unpaid rates, some with overdue rates of up to $42,000.

Council’s General Manager Shelley Oldham said council staff have been working with affected homeowners to ensure they made use of council’s Hardship policy and had access to all relevant support services so that appropriate settlements could be reached.

“It was an unsettling process for all concerned, but council feels we have made sufficient progress to ensure the sales do not go ahead,” she said.

“I would like to acknowledge the homeowners and council staff who have worked together with much goodwill to achieve this very positive outcome.

“We also thank Legal Aid Lismore, Lismore & District Financial Counselling Service and NSW Trustee and Guardian for their ongoing engagement with council and advocacy on behalf of these residents.”

Ms Oldham said council is also very aware of the lack of affordable housing and rental properties across all of the Northern Rivers.

“We believe today’s outcome balances fairness with compassion against this difficult backdrop,” she said.

Council has been contacted in connection with how much this process has cost ratepayers and if the back rates owed will be paid in full.





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Here’s what you can expect with today’s The Inner-West weather



Moist air with a dew point of 17.5 at 3pm today means the temperature will feel like 32.4 degrees making the day slightly humid. The relative humidity is 41 per cent.
The highest expected temperature today is 30, which is 4 degrees higher than yesterday’s max.
Warmer conditions are expected on three of the next six days, with the mercury climbing above today’s maximum on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday.
The chance of rain today is 10 per cent.
Showers are less likely tomorrow with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a slim (5 per cent) chance of rain.
The UV index is predicted to be 11. There is an extreme risk of harm from sun exposure. Unprotected skin can burn within minutes in today’s conditions. Experts suggest looking for shade and avoiding sun exposure around noon. General advice is to take all precautions such as using eye protection, sunscreen and covering up.
Winds will be north-northwest around 4 km/h in the morning shifting to east-northeast around 19 km/h in the afternoon.
Details for the next six days:
Friday, November 27: Mostly sunny. Min – 17. Max – 25.
Saturday, November 28: Mostly sunny. Min – 18. Max – 36.
Sunday, November 29: Hot. Becoming windy. Min – 22. Max – 39.
Monday, November 30: Partly cloudy. Min – 17. Max – 24.
Tuesday, December 1: Partly cloudy. Min – 17. Max – 31.
Wednesday, December 2: Possible shower. Min – 18. Max – 25.



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James Frawley to join St Kilda Saints


He played 14 games in 2020 to extend his career to 239 games – one short of his uncle’s tally of 240 games – and was keen to play on. But the Hawks recruited Adelaide’s Kyle Hartigan as a free agent and wanted to give opportunities to young defenders on their list.

Frawley played in a premiership in his first season with Hawthorn after crossing to the club from Melbourne as a free agent. He had played 139 games with the Demons. He played exactly 100 games with the Hawks and became a reliable fixture alongside retired skipper Ben Stratton and the more free flowing James Sicily.

St Kilda lacked a lock-down defender in the finals, with Dougal Howard struggling to contain Richmond’s Tom Lynch in the semi-final at Metricon Stadium. Howard had a good year but was not suited to a tight defensive job and Jake Carlisle extended for one season.

Frawley joins Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis and Grant Birchall as players from the 2015 premiership side who extended their careers at other clubs. Birchall had an offer from the Hawks, while they were happy to trade Mitchell and Lewis to clubs willing to offer them longer-term deals.

From that team, Brad Hill has since played for Fremantle and St Kilda, Isaac Smith joined Geelong as a free agent at the end of this season and Taylor Duryea and Matt Suckling played for the Western Bulldogs. Cyril Rioli retired prematurely to move back to the Northern Territory.

Townsend began his career at Greater Western Sydney before joining Richmond, where he became the fairytale story in the Tigers’ 2017 premiership. He played for Essendon in 2020 and could provide the emerging Suns with some added toughness inside 50 next season.

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The Suns know Townsend will drive high training standards and is a popular player who will add positively to the club’s culture.

He has played just 60 games since making his debut for the Giants in 2012 but the 12 games he played for the Bombers in 2020 was the highest number of games he has played in one season.

Meanwhile the AFL’s last minute decision to allow clubs to place two players from their primary list on to the rookie list has led to Sydney telling Robbie Fox they intend to re-rookie him after announcing on Tuesday that he had been delisted.



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BYRON GRIDLOCK: Aim for 1km every minute, says councillor



MOVING a kilometre every minute might have seemed like a bizarre, distant dream for many motorists in and around Byron Bay.

But that’s a minimum rate of movement Byron Shire councillor Alan Hunter hopes his colleagues will support as a target for traffic movement within the shire.

Cr Hunter will bring a notice of motion before the council meeting this week, seeking support for a goal of one minute per kilometre travelled on our roads.

He hopes to see this target incorporated in a range of the council’s committees, including the Byron Bay Town Master Plan, and hopes to seek public comment on the idea.

 

<< 11 things being discussed at this week’s council meeting >>

<< GRIDLOCK: Doctors, buses caught in ‘perfect storm’ chaos >>

<< Did Nicole Kidman cause Byron’s traffic bedlam? >>

 

Cr Hunter said the idea came out of a recent workshop involving some councillors and Transport for NSW.

“We started talking about a vision and we didn’t come up with one,” Cr Hunter said.

“The average punter out there is not frustrated with the condition of the roads; we’ve done a lot of work on that,” he said.

“But I don’t think the community is any more satisfied than it was before because the frustration in getting around is just so great.”

While Byron Bay Bypass works are still ongoing, Cr Hunter said he thinks the council should consider a connection between Tennyson and Lawson Sts as well as shuttle buses to reduce traffic in the CBD.

“It’s a luxury now, that Byron can’t afford, to have everybody driving around town in their car,” Cr Hunter said.

This week, the traffic has been compounded by road works delays on Shirley St, an influx of schoolies and the closure of Bangalow Rd for filming.

But Cr Hunter said it’s a bigger issue requiring considered solutions.

Cr Hunter, who has been living in the area for about 16 and a half years, never saw traffic backed up on Ewingsdale Rd for years when he first arrived.

“Not it’s happening every day,” he said.

He said he didn’t cast blame upon the film crew working on Nicole Kidman’s Nine Perfect Strangers miniseries, or the visitors.

“I don’t blame them. I blame us for not being ready for it,” he said.





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Temperatures set to soar across the southern ranges | Goulburn Post


news, local-news,

Summer clothes and a cool place out of the sun will be a high priority for the next week as the mercury is set to soar according to the Bureau of Meteorology forecast. Residents across the Southern Tablelands and Southern Highlands can expect a top of a warm, but bearable, 29 today. There is also a possibility of thunderstorms into the afternoon and evening across both regions. READ MORE: However, the mercury is expected to sneak up over the next few days reaching a forecast 34 in Goulburn on Sunday, November 29 and an even hotter 36 on Tuesday, December 1. Saturday and Sunday are also expected to be windy. Meanwhile, those in the Southern Highlands can expect a forecast top of 34 on Saturday, November 28, followed by hot and windy conditions with a temperature high of 33 on Sunday, November 29. There is some temperature relief forecast for Monday, November 30 with an expected top of 24 before the heat returns for the first day of summer on Tuesday with a top of 34. Conditions are expected to return to a comfortable 25 in Goulburn and 21 in the Southern Highlands on Wednesday, December 2. The fire danger range for the area is Low-moderate on November 26 and 27, before being increased to High on November 28 and Very High on November 29.

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Victoria achieves 27 days with no new coronavirus cases


“I think there’s every chance that there are a handful of cases out there, this is a wildly infectious virus,” he said on Wednesday. “You’ve always got to assume there’s more out there than you know.”

There have been 20,345 cases of COVID-19 in Victoria and 819 deaths, most of them among the elderly in aged care.

Victorians will be able to enter Queensland from next Tuesday after its extended run of zero-case days.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Wednesday morning she would reopen the border to Victorian travellers on December 1, after the southern state recorded its 26th consecutive day without a COVID-19 case.

NSW opened to Victoria on Monday, while Tasmania is due to open from Friday. South Australia will allow Victorians to enter the state without restriction again on December 1.

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Victorians are already permitted to enter ACT and the Northern Territory has been allowing regional Victorians to enter without quarantining since November 2, but still classifies metropolitan Melbourne as a hot spot.

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner has previously spoken of his intention to allow Melburnians back into the territory by Christmas.



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‘Bribery’: Parents warned to keep teacher gifts small


Parents are being warned not to be too generous with their children’s teachers this year, amid fears a simple thank you gift card could amount to bribery of public officials.

While the state’s public school principals have reinforced the strict gift giving rules, parent groups say they just want to express their gratitude to hardworking teachers after a horror year.

An update to the gift policy last week states cash is now explicitly forbidden along with certain gift cards and vouchers such as prepaid cash and EFTPOS cards.

The policy states gifts over $50 “should be declined”.

Parents are being warned away from gifts of cash and gift vouchers.

Seaforth Public School principal Trudy Bates told parents the new rules meant gift vouchers and cash were banned, while gifts were strictly capped at $50.

“You may need to think a little differently this year so that staff are not put in a position where they are breaching the (Department of Education) Code of Conduct,” she told parents.

“Recently I was at a principal’s briefing on the current NSW Education Code of Conduct … the answer is very black and white and we must adhere to this.”

But a Department of Education spokesman said gifts of $50 could still be accepted if they were declared on a gift register or declined if deemed inappropriate.

“The $50 amount is a reporting threshold, not a strict limit for all types of gifts,” he said.

Central Coast P and C president Sharryn Brownlee said parents just wanted to express gratitude to dedicated teachers and the notion it could be construed as bribery was offensive to the vast majority of hardworking teachers.

“It is silly to say the gift to the teacher should be singled out,” she said.

“Their argument was the parent gained influence over the teacher, and that says they believe teachers can be bought or influenced by a parent … it is saying teachers are up for sale.”

“They are talking about corruption, but until they’re giving out a bottle of Grange, it is an over-reaction in a school setting to some of the corruption and the backhanders which go on in parliament and elsewhere.”

As previously revealed by The Daily Telegraph, some Sydney school parents have handed teachers communal gifts of wads of $300 cash and $465 Visa gift cards.

Beverly Hills Public School principal Danny Squires also warned parents to make sure their gift of thanks does not amount to a cent more than $50, and reminded parents gifts were by no means compulsory.

“We are approaching that time of year where parents and students want to express their gratitude to staff members for all their hard work during the year,” he said in a newsletter this month.

“Please also remember that it is not necessary to give a gift. The greatest gift we receive is the progress your children make during the year as our students.”

The Department of Education’s Code of Conduct policy states: “You must never ask for money, gifts or benefits and you must never accept any offer of money, or accept a gift or benefit greater than a nominal value ($50). To do so may amount to bribery, which is a crime.”

Originally published as ‘Bribery’: Grateful parents warned to keep teacher gifts small





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Man allegedly used ‘bribes’ to have sex with step sons



A TWEED HEADS man allegedly bribed his three step sons with treats and more time to play video games as a reward if he could have sexual intercourse with them, a court has heard.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of maintaining a sexual relationship with three brothers aged between 10 and 14.

He is currently facing a three-week trial at Lismore District Court after he pleaded not guilty to the 27 charges against him.

He is charged with at least 14 counts of aggravated sexual intercourse with a person older than 10-years and younger than 14-years, six counts of indecent assault of a person under 16 years, two counts of aggravated indecency where the victim was younger than 16, three counts of an adult maintaining unlawful relationships with a child and two counts of having sexual intercourse with a person older than 10and younger than 14 years.

The alleged offences were against the three juvenile complainants, who were aged between 10 and 14 years at the time, between 2017 and 2018 in Tweed Heads South.

The man, who was the boys’ stepfather at the time of the alleged incidents, was considered the “father figure” of the household, the court heard.

The Crown Prosecutor told the court the man began a relationship with the boys’ mother in early 2017 and moved into her family home by late 2017.

After the couple broke up in August 2018, the man moved out of the house but continued to maintain a sexual relationship with one of the boys, the court heard.

The Crown Prosecutor said the “accused dealt with the boys alone” and each boy was “unaware of the extent” of the relationships the man was having with the other victims.

The man allegedly used “threats, manipulations, gifts and bribes” in order to ensure the boys kept silent about the sexual relationship.

“The accused took advantage of family routine, the mother would get up early to go to the gym between 5am-7am,” the Crown Prosecutor said.

“On many of those mornings, the accused would go into the bedrooms and wake them up and have sex with them.”

The jury heard a detailed account of the “varied sexual acts” the man allegedly performed with the three boys, including masturbating, oral sex and penile-anal intercourse.

The court heard the man even sometimes was “more brazen” and performed the “sexual acts when other people were in the house”.

The man also allegedly got one of the boys to perform oral sex on him while he was driving his car.

The court heard that after the man had moved out of the house, he allegedly tried to continue contacting the boys, even so far as telling them to “delete the messages so (the boys’) mother wouldn’t find them.”

The man even allegedly appeared at the window of one of the boys’ bedrooms two days before his arrest in September 2018, asking to perform oral sex on the child in the early hours of the morning.

During his opening address, the Crown Prosecutor told the jury they would be hearing evidence from the three victims and several other witnesses, including family and police.

However, those other witnesses are expected to only give evidence to collaborate key events and not whether they saw any alleged sexual offending, the court heard.

The Crown Prosecutor said it would be up to the jury’s assessment of the victim’s testimony as to whether they could find the man guilty.

The trial is expected to continue Thursday in Lismore District Court.





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China says coal imports failed environment standards amid stalled Australian shipments


Zhao said China had strengthened the examination and testing of imported coal regarding safety, quality and environmental standards “so as to better protect the legitimate interests and the environmental interests of the Chinese side”.

Coal is one of seven Australian imported products that have reportedly been targeted with bans by China amid rising tensions between the countries.

Australia last week said the reports were “deeply troubling” but China has denied it is levying co-ordinated trade action against Australia. China accounts for about one third of Australia’s total exports.

Traders and analysts estimate up to 7 million tonnes of Australian coal are sitting at the Jingtang and Caofeidian ports, both part of a major coal transporting hub in northern China.

The stalled shipments account for about a quarter of all imports waiting to pass customs clearance in China.

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“The ban on Australian coal is fully a result of political tensions, not because of economic reasons,” Sarah Liu, vice president of consultancy Techno-Power Eco-Energy, said at an industrial conference earlier on Wednesday.

China’s coking coal imports from Australia slumped in October to 1.53 million tonnes, or about 26 per cent of its total imports of the fuel, customs data showed on Wednesday, down from 78 per cent in March.

Despite the bans, Australia remains China’s top seaborne coal supplier in 2020, as Mongolia was forced to trim exports in the first half of the year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Reuters



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