City to investigate community consultation options on local traffic issues

Council will be presented with a report on a suggested process for engaging with the community
about local traffic issues in the Kardinia Ward.

This week, council requested the report from the City’s CEO to address community members’
concerns about pedestrian safety at the following locations:

  • Burdekin Drive, Highton (at or near the entrance to Christian College);
  • Highmont Drive and Charolais Court, Belmont;
  • Meadowvale Drive and Amarina Crescent, Grovedale; and
  • Carter Road, Armstrong Creek.

Community members have approached councillors over the years about these areas and believe
that pedestrian wombat crossings could improve safety.

An assessment will be undertaken to determine if statutory warrants for pedestrian safety
improvements are met at these locations.

Last night’s resolution was as a result of a Notice of Motion from Councillor Ron Nelson.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said council wants to engage further with residents about these areas and noted that Meadowvale Drive is an active project for the City.

Community members have identified that these areas could be reviewed for pedestrian safety improvements.

We want to know more about what some of the perceived issues are and look forward to receiving the CEO’s report on a suggested process for consultation.

Cr Ron Nelson thanked community members for raising potential safety issues in the Kardinia Ward.

The Kardinia Ward’s population continues to grow, which puts pressure on our existing

Pedestrian safety is paramount, which is why I’ve raised a number of Notices of Motion on how to make improvements for community members on this very topic.

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Collin Street Bottega Veneta smashed in Melbourne ram raid as Victoria Police investigate

Handbags, shoes and jewellery have been taken from a high-end designer store after it was smashed into during a burglary in Melbourne’s CBD.

Victoria Police were told a black SUV reversed into Bottega Veneta on Collins Street about 3.40am on Wednesday before it reversed and smashed forward into the store.

Two men are then believed to have gotten out of the car and entered through the smashed glass window.

Watch the video above for the latest update on Tiger Woods being rushed to hospital

They made off with a number of items.

The value and description of the stolen items is still being determined, but they are believed to be handbags, shoes, accessories, jewellery and fragrances.

A crime scene has been set up at the store.

The men involved are both perceived to be Caucasian in appearance and one was wearing a black hat and top.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

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Police investigate ‘deliberately lit’ house fire

For the latest, follow The Beat, the Mercury’s live breaking news blog with the latest traffic, police, fire and ambulance news across the state.

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SA police to investigate fatal crash near Victorian border

SA police are investigating the fiery crash that killed a truck driver in Victoria near the Bordertown checkpoint where motorists queued to cross before borders closed at midnight.

Even though Victorian Police are looking into the death, SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said he instigated an inquiry into how the state’s border checkpoints were managed.

He said a traffic management expert was deployed with a senior police officer to make sure the current set up was appropriate.

Mr Stevens said it was not fair to speculate if a lack of resources at the Bordertown checkpoint led to the fatality.

“I think we should conduct our inquiries and provide factual information based on the information that we’re able to obtain and be clear in our assessment as to what the circumstances were,” he said.

“Any loss of life on our roads is a tragedy and impacts on so many people.

“This truck driver’s family is now grieving and the people he works with, his friends, his colleagues are all experiencing significant loss.”

The three trucks collided along the Western Highway in Victoria, which is the continuation of the Duke highway in SA.

Just before 2.30am, one truck crashed into the rear of another station truck and hit into a third about 5km east of the border.

All three vehicles burst into flames.

Premier Steven Marshall and SA chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier both offered condolences during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

It was also announced travellers from NSW and Western Australia would longer need to undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing upon arrival into SA.

Mr Marshall said the changes would come into effect from midnight on Saturday.

It comes as SA closed its border with Greater Melbourne at 12.01am on Thursday.

“We know this (the UK) variant is at least 50 to 70 per cent more transmissible so for people who have been to Victoria, have come across the border and are not in quarantine, it is very important that you all take a look at the DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) website regularly,” Professor Spurrier said.

Professor Spurrier praised her Victorian counterparts for their contact tracing and felt “positive that things would settle down fairly quickly”.

She said the state usually looked for 14 days of no locally acquired cases before easing border restrictions but said it may not be necessary with Greater Melbourne.

“It’s too early to say how long we’ll have that border up for and it will depend on how things go over the next couple of days,” Professor Spurrier said.

“I’m feeling relatively confident, as we’re getting more and more information from Victoria. I’m hopeful that this will settle down.”

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NT Police investigate body found at Casuarina Beach in Darwin

Northern Territory Police are investigating the discovery of a 33-year-old man’s body at a beach in Darwin’s northern suburbs.

A crime scene was set up at Casuarina Beach just in front of the surf life saving club.

Police said the deceased person appeared to be Aboriginal and aged between 35 and 40 years.

Police tape with the words ‘Restricted Area Keep Out’ was erected about 200 meters from the body, which had been lying on the sand in the middle of the beach.

Police said they were alerted to the body after a dog walker discovered the deceased man at about 6:45am this morning.

Major Crime Squad detective Sonia Kennon said police were of the view the body had been in place only recently.

She said the deceased man was only partially clothed when found.

NT Police Detective Sonia Kennon said it was too early to determine cause of death.(ABC News: Jano Gibson)

“The death does not appear to be suspicious at this stage. The man’s identity and the circumstances leading to his death are still being investigated,” Detective Kennon said late Thursday afternoon.

“If anyone does have any information about anyone that is lost or missing at this point in time they can call Crime Stoppers,” she said.

The area is a popular recreation spot, with people regularly bringing their dogs to the beach for morning walks.

Detective Kennon said it was hoped tides and rain would not hinder the investigation.

Police tape at Casuarina Beach
There is restricted access to some parts of Casuarina Beach, where a body was found.(ABC News: Jano Gibson)

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South Australia flags hard border with Greater Melbourne as authorities investigate coronavirus cases

People from the Greater Melbourne area could be barred from entering South Australia from midnight tonight, SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens has warned.

SA authorities said they were planning to prohibit Melbourne residents from entering the state, but were waiting on more information from Victorian authorities before enforcing the change.

“Our intention is, as of midnight, to institute a lockout for the Greater Melbourne area,” Commissioner Stevens said.

He said the border closure was “subject to further information from Victoria” and “it may change”.

Commissioner Stevens said he wanted to give people as much notice as possible of the “likely” border closure.

“It’s a very dynamic and moving situation,” he said.

“Our steps in South Australia are taken with an abundance of caution to make sure that we are minimising the risk, but at the same time, not taking steps that aren’t deemed to be necessary.”

He said travellers to SA from regional Victoria would not be affected by the change.

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said it was important to give potential travellers the “heads up” on the potential border closure.

Professor Spurrier said she was expecting more details about how many close contacts and travellers linked to the Holiday Inn at the Melbourne Airport had been tested for Covid-19 as well as results.

Current rules require already travellers from Melbourne to undergo three COVID-19 tests in the first fortnight after they arrive in SA.

If the hard border goes ahead, only people returning home, genuinely relocating, or essential travellers, will be allowed to enter SA.

More to come.

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Queensland police investigate suspicious death in north Brisbane suburb of Bracken Ridge

Queensland Police are investigating the death of a 39-year-old man in Brisbane’s north.

Officers were called to a property on Wobur Street in Bracken Ridge after midday Sunday.

It is understood a relative had found the man inside the house.

Authorities are calling for anyone who witnessed suspicious behaviour in the area from 11:00pm on Saturday to come forward.

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Auditor-General asked to investigate dodgy Yeelirrie uranium mine approval – 16 News

The Greens have asked the Auditor-General to investigate the approval of the Yeelirrie uranium mine in Western Australia by former federal environment minister Melissa Price, after a damning ABC report this week showed a deeply flawed approval process.

Greens Environment Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young wrote to the Auditor-General Grant Hehir on Thursday and requested his office consider the matter (letter attached).

“The Morrison Government’s conduct when it comes to approval of this uranium mine stinks. Former environment minister Melissa Price, ticked and flicked the night before the 2019 federal election against the advice of her own department,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“The environmental approval of this mine smacks of political interference and cronyism.

“FOI documents show that somehow between 9.31pm and midnight, the minister managed to examine hundreds of pages of the decision package she had just received, remove key protections for threatened species and grant approval.

“The minister went against her own department’s advice and did so after the company had asked her to expedite the process together with former resources minister Matt Canavan who also intervened to get the approval across the line.

“It seems we have yet another case of an environment-wrecking project riddled with improper process, going against department advice and with political interference all on PM Morrison’s watch. The Auditor-General’s scathing report in June last year showed potentially hundreds of cases such as this exist. It is no wonder we are in an extinction crisis.

“The Morrison Government cannot keep getting away with doing favours for its mining and development mate or our wildlife and wild places will all soon be gone.”

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Police investigate toddler found alone in West Albury at 4.30am | The Border Mail

news, local-news,

Albury police are appealing for information after a toddler wearing Bluey pjamas was found alone in West Albury in the early hours of this morning. Police have commenced a search for the boy’s parents but have been unable to locate them. It’s believed the boy, aged about two, knocked on the door of a Waratah Street house at about 4.30am. Police were called after reports the toddler had arrived at the home unaccompanied. IN OTHER NEWS: Police are looking after the boy while the investigation occurs. The boy is described as being Caucasian with blue eyes and blond hair. He is wearing Bluey pjamas. Anyone with information is urged to contact Albury Police Station on (02) 6023 9299.


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WHO experts arrive in Wuhan for much-delayed mission to investigate origins of COVID-19

A team of experts from the World Health Organization have arrived in Wuhan to probe the origins of the coronavirus more than a year after it emerged, as China reported its first death from COVID-19 in eight months.

The 10 scientists landed for their much-delayed mission on Thursday, met by Chinese officials in hazmat suits and given throat swabs on arrival, and were whisked to a hotel where they must complete a two-week quarantine before starting their work.

The virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 and has since billowed out across the world killing nearly two million people so far, infecting tens of millions and eviscerating the global economy.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says establishing the pathway of the virus from animals to humans is essential to preventing future outbreaks. 

But despite painstaking months of negotiations over their remit, the team was blocked from arriving last week – a sign of the political sensitivity of a virus origin story muddied by recrimination between nations, conjecture and denials. 

The trip comes as China moves to snuff out fresh clusters of the virus.

More than 20 million people are under lockdown in the north of China and one province has declared an emergency.

A bus carrying members of the WHO team leaves the airport following their arrival in Wuhan on 14 January.


China had largely brought the pandemic under control through strict lockdowns and mass testing, hailing its economic rebound as an indication of strong leadership by the Communist authorities. 

But another 138 infections were reported by the National Health Commission on Thursday – the highest single-day tally since March last year.

Clusters are still small compared with many countries contending with rampant infections and record numbers of deaths.

But the first Chinese virus fatality in several months – a woman with underlying conditions in northern Hebei province – seeded alarm across China.

The hashtag “New virus death in Hebei” quickly ratcheted up 270 million views on Chinese social media platform Weibo on Thursday.

“I haven’t seen the words ‘virus death’ in so long, it’s a bit shocking! I hope the epidemic can pass soon,” one user wrote.

The last death reported in mainland China was in May last year, with the official death toll now standing at 4,635.

Beijing is anxious to stamp out local clusters ahead of next month’s Lunar New Year festival when hundreds of millions of people will be on the move across the country.

As infections have spread, northeastern Heilongjiang declared an “emergency state” on Wednesday, telling its 37.5 million residents not to leave the province unless absolutely necessary.

Finding answers ‘could be a very long journey’

China is braced for the scrutiny the expert team of WHO scientists will bring to its virus narrative.

Beijing has drip-fed the idea that the pandemic started outside of its borders, preferring to focus on its relatively swift control of the public health crisis.

The WHO have been at pains to cut the political baggage attached to their mission. 

Peter Ben Embarek, team lead, said the group would start with a mandatory hotel quarantine.

“And then after the two weeks, we would be able to move around and meet our Chinese counterparts in person and go to the different sites that we will want to visit,” he said. 

He warned it “could be a very long journey before we get a full understanding of what happened”.

Beijing has argued that although Wuhan is where the first cluster of cases was detected, it is not necessarily where the virus originated.

“I don’t think we will have clear answers after this initial mission, but we will be on the way,” Dr Embarek added.

“The idea is to advance a number of studies that were already designed and decided upon some months ago to get us a better understanding of what happened,” he said.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, Tasmania

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