Disqualified driver charged after allegedly travelling more than 50km/h over the speed limit – Hunter – 16 News


A disqualified driver will face Court after she was allegedly detected travelling nearly twice the speed limit in the Hunter Region.

About 11.30am this morning (Sunday 22 November 2020), officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were conducing speed enforcement duties on John Renshaw Drive at Black Hill, when they detected a Hyundai Elantra sedan allegedly travelling at 116km/h in a 60km/h road work zone.

A short time later, police stopped the driver, a 29-year-old woman. Checks conducted by police showed she was a disqualified driver.

It will be alleged in Court the road surface where the offence took place was loosely laid newly paved surface with no lane markings and was driving with a two-year-old child secured in the back seat.

The woman was arrested and taken to Maitland Police Station where she was charged with driving at a speed dangerous, exceed speed by more than 45km/h and drive whilst disqualified – 2nd offence.

The woman from Dungog was refused bail and is due to appear before Maitland Local Court on Monday 23 November 2020.



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Cricket Australia unveils travelling roadshow and COVID-19 bubbles


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On a blockbuster Boxing Day, the Sixers will face the Stars at Metricon Stadium in a replay of last year’s final, while the Sydney Thunder and Renegades clash at Manuka Oval. There is no Christmas Day match. Adelaide will host Perth on New Year’s Eve.

BBL chief Alistair Dobson said the fixture had been a complex process, coming at a time when host broadcaster Seven West Media was complaining about the standard of the competition.

“This is without doubt the most complex fixturing task ever undertaken by the league and we are excited with where it has landed. It has been a difficult year for so many people around Australia and we look forward to bringing the BBL to every state should border conditions allow us to,” Dobson said.

“We are working through scenarios for the remaining 35 regular season matches and finals series to be played in the New Year with our clubs, broadcasters, partners and governments. An announcement on these venues will be made in the coming weeks.”

CT chairman said Andrew Gaggin said he was delighted that the BBL would open in Tasmania.

“After a difficult year for our sport and our industry, we are thrilled to be able to welcome elite-level sport back to Tasmania,” he said.

The Sixers and Stars in action earlier this year in the BBL final.Credit:Getty

“We are working closely with the Tasmanian government to ensure we can deliver a fun and safe experience for our members and fans in attendance, seeing we will be delivering these matches in a new, COVID-normal environment. Venues will be at a 50 per cent capacity as per the government’s framework for COVID-19 safe events and activities.”

Officials hope the easing of border restrictions around the country will allow matches after Christmas to be held in all states without the need to quarantine.



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Australia’s state border restrictions are easing. Here are the rules for travelling to Queensland, ACT, NSW and beyond


Queensland will allow 152,000 more people living along the state’s southern border to enter, as South Australia also moves to ease restrictions for New South Wales travellers.

SA’s Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said zero community transmission in NSW for 14 days had prompted the decision to reopen.

Meanwhile, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said if there continued to be very low or no new cases in the state’s southern neighbour, restrictions could be further relaxed from Friday.

With everything changing once again, here’s the latest recap of who can and can’t travel freely throughout the country.

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The Queensland and NSW border zone will be extended to include the Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Glen Innes councils.

Can I travel to Queensland from ACT?

From September 25, you can if no new cases emerge in the ACT before then.

You won’t have to quarantine when you arrive in Queensland, as long as you haven’t been through a COVID-19 hotspot in the fortnight preceding your arrival.

As far as its advice goes, the ACT Government simply tells residents “to reconsider the need for any unnecessary travel to COVID-affected areas”.

That means all of Victoria and parts of Greater Sydney are best avoided for ACT residents.

What about travelling to the ACT?

For those travelling to the nation’s capital, there are directions to be followed if you have recently been in Victoria or some areas of Greater Sydney or Queensland.

If that’s you, then the ACT Government asks you to not visit or work in high-risk settings, like hospitals, aged care home, and correctional facilities for 14 days after arriving.

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Casey Briggs goes through the latest coronavirus figures, saying the recent trends are encouraging.

Can you travel to NSW from Queensland without quarantining?

From some parts of NSW, you can.

From October 1, people living in 41 more New South Wales postcodes will be able to apply for a border pass to travel into Queensland.

Residents in Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Glen Innes local government areas are the most recent areas to be added to the zone, which extends as far south as Moree.

Queensland residents will also be able to travel to those areas.

The changes come after the state recorded zero new coronavirus cases overnight, leaving just 16 active cases.

In NSW, Tuesday was the first time in more than 70 days no new locally acquired cases were found.

When will travel restrictions lift completely between Queensland and NSW?

There’s been no official date but today, Dr Young said more restrictions could be relaxed from this Friday if the number of infections stayed low in NSW.

Can you travel from NSW to ACT to QLD?

You can, but you will have to quarantine once you arrive in Queensland.

Unless you’ve gone from a NSW border zone area to the ACT without going through any other part of NSW, which is probably only possible by aircraft.

ACT travellers will have to fill out a border declaration form, confirming they haven’t been in NSW or Victoria, to enter Queensland.

What about travelling from SA to NSW?

SA will reopen its borders to NSW at midnight on Wednesday, as long as there is no community transmission of coronavirus reported in NSW today.

As well as being able to enter SA, NSW residents will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days.

People in self-isolation after entering from NSW will have to finish their fortnight’s quarantine, unlike people entering from the ACT from last week.

If you’re travelling into SA, you’ll still be required to complete an online approval form.

If you’re in Victoria, you can only enter SA if you are an essential traveller or live within 40 kilometres of the SA border.

Where can Victorians travel to?

A sign saying no entry to nsw big fines next to a sign saying welcome to albury.
There are exceptions for people who live in places like Albury-Wodonga that straddle the state line.(ABC News: Greg Ryan)

Unfortunately, residents of Victoria are still not allowed to travel to other states and territories unless they meet one of three criteria — holding an exemption, being an essential worker or living along a state border.

Applications can be made to the respective states, but given Victoria’s designation as a hotspot, it could be tough.

Even then, those granted access to NSW under a border region resident permit cannot go further into the state than the border region.

“You’ll need to apply for a NSW resident’s permit to re-enter NSW (requiring a flight to Sydney Airport and quarantine),” the NSW Government says.

Travellers from other states can enter Victoria

Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services website reads: “No permit or approval is required to enter Victoria from another state — however, you will need to adhere to the restrictions and directions that are in place to slow the spread of coronavirus in Victoria.”

Who can travel to Western Australia without quarantining?

No-one, other than exempt travellers.

Everyone else has to quarantine for 14 days before they’ll be allowed to move about in the state freely.

Exempt travellers include Commonwealth workers, truck drivers, emergency service workers, federal politicians and dependents.

Transport and freight workers will have to prove they have tested negative to COVID-19 in the five days prior to their arrival.

And if you’re planning to travel from Victoria or NSW to WA, you won’t be allowed in without written approval from the state emergency coordinator.

What about travelling to Tasmania?

There are some exemptions for seasonal and FIFO workers.

Otherwise, the Tasmanian Government will consider bringing forward the date for easing coronavirus border restrictions to the end of October.

Premier Peter Gutwein said if controls were relaxed, travellers from WA, SA, QLD the NT, ACT, and possibly NSW, may be able to visit, but that depends on advice from the state controller, which is expected over the coming weeks.



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Queensland man charged after travelling in Victoria


A man has been charged for allegedly providing false information on his Queensland border declaration form after travelling in Victoria.

Police say the 48-year-old Queensland man flew from Melbourne to Brisbane on August 31 and was immediately placed into two-week hotel quarantine under COVID-19 hotspot rules.

“Investigations have revealed as well as failing to comply with the COVID-19 border direction, the man allegedly breached quarantine in Victoria,” police said in a statement on Monday.

The man was arrested on Sunday night after completing his mandatory hotel quarantine period.

He has been charged with providing false or misleading documents and is due to face Southport Magistrates Court on October 1.



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Worth travelling for: Circa Espresso review ‘Sydney’s best eggs’


Forget the age-old riddle. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter whether it was the chicken or the egg that came first.

What matters is that the eggs keep coming. Because I am going to need the team at Circa Espresso to make me Ottoman Eggs for the rest of my days.

Celebrating its 10th birthday this year, Circa Espresso is a Parramatta institution. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Eggs, which debuted on the menu three months after the café’s 2010 launch, have become an institution in their own right.

Take two free-range eggs, poached to perfection. Sit atop a lip-smacking stack of crumbed eggplant, garlic labneh, and chilli and sage butter. Add a generous sprinkle of crispy fried leek, serve with housemade focaccia – et voila! Sydney’s best eggs. Hot tip: save some bread for soaking up every last skerrick of Middle Eastern flavour.

Circa Espresso

Circa Espresso is a Parramatta institution. Picture: Circa Espresso

The dish has evolved over time, but “no longer requires any amendments”, according to Circa’s founder and the man behind the menu, Aykut Sayan. He says the secret is a combination of simplicity and precision.

“Because the dish is so simple, each element needs to be perfected before plating,” he explains. “A lot of time and effort goes into the prep of this dish each day to ensure the standards are met day after day.” 

Sayan is inspired by his Turkish heritage, as well as his passion for classical French cooking and cuisine. Both are apparent when you’re tucked within Circa’s narrow interior, surrounded by French-themed bric-a-brac and the rich aroma of fresh coffee.

“I feel that food should always reflect the owner and should tell a story about the person who owns the place you’re eating,” Sayan says.

“The food at Circa tells a story of my history, where I come from and what I enjoy.”

There are other dishes on the Circa menu, which changes seasonally. Sometimes I even consider them. But my loyalty is firm. These are the best eggs in Sydney. In fact, the Ottoman Eggs would make a strong case for the city’s best breakfast. Sure as eggs is eggs.

Circa Espresso

21 Wentworth Street, Parramatta, NSW.

Open: Tuesday to Saturday, 8am – 2pm.

See also:

The lemon tart with a national following

I found Australia’s best banh mi

The steak worth travelling more than 600km for





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Thousands of Canberra’s young people on specialist waiting lists, travelling interstate as Opposition calls for better healthcare


Jesse is just 12 years old, but she has almost as many specialist doctors as she has had birthdays.

Born with a rare condition called OEIS Complex, Jesse must travel to Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital regularly for injections to manage her symptoms.

She has had 19 surgeries in her short life, and will require more, in addition to weekly appointments for physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and psychology.

For 12 years, her family has managed her complex care by dividing treatments between the Canberra Hospital and specialist teams in Sydney and Taree.

They say it is due to a lack of specialist doctors equipped to handle Jesse’s needs in Canberra, as well as the long waiting times to see a doctor when she does need more urgent treatment.

This week, the Canberra Liberals slammed what they called unacceptable waiting times for specialist doctors, with data showing the median wait time for some children in the ACT was nearly 1,500 days.

Hours of travel taking its toll

Jesse Prince (centre) requires complex specialist care that cannot be met in Canberra.(Supplied)

When Jesse was 11, she became crippled with pain one night, and was rushed to the Canberra Hospital by her mother Krystle.

Ms Prince said despite the fact that she was able to present staff with a letter from Jesse’s specialist in Sydney, stating she might need to be seen urgently, they waited roughly four hours.

“I said I was leaving and going to make a complaint, and then all of a sudden they found a bed for her,” Ms Prince said.

We ended up being in emergency for most of the night and eventually they said she had some cysts and not to worry about them.”

After seven months of severe pain and vomiting, Jesse was taken to Sydney, where they realised she was bleeding in her fallopian tubes, a complication from her condition.

“That’s our experience with Canberra Hospital — I take her in, she doesn’t get seen, they diagnose the wrong thing,” she said.

She said it was understandable that they could fail to fully understand what was causing some of Jesse’s symptoms, given the severity and complexity of her condition, but that she was disappointed in the waiting times.

Ms Prince said she had hoped that Jesse would be able to receive the injections she currently gets at Westmead every 10 weeks locally instead, but claimed the Canberra Hospital had said it was not possible.

“It’s very hard to change care from one hospital to another hospital, unless you change everything over,” she said.

“And Canberra doesn’t have the paediatric specialists that she needs, and so they won’t do the injections here because they want us to change all the care over to here, but it’s just not possible.”

Jesse holds a black and white photo of a baby with a lot of tubes connected to her.
Jesse holds a photo of herself as a baby, when she was diagnosed with OEIS Complex.(Supplied)

Coronavirus has created additional pressure for the family, who now opt to make the trips to Sydney in a single day to avoid any stops.

Jesse’s immunocompromised state means the virus poses a significant risk.

With another child who is on the autism spectrum, the trips to Sydney are taxing on the family of five, and they must take time off work to ensure Jesse gets the care she needs interstate.

“It would be much easier to just pop into the hospital and get it done and come home than to have to travel to Sydney just for an injection … and then she’s in pain from the injection — it’s quite invasive.”

Canberra families under ‘immense pressure’

Vicki Dunne
Canberra Liberals MLA Vicki Dunne said there had been a breakdown in the health system.(ABC News: Penny Travers)

The Canberra Liberals spokeswoman for health, Vicki Dunne, said more needed to be done to make changes within Canberra’s children’s health services.

A question on notice from Ms Dunne to the ACT Government revealed more than 1,000 children were waiting up to 606 days for appointments with ear, nose and throat doctors, while nearly 4,000 children were currently waiting for an initial health appointment.

The average wait time for children in the least urgent category was as many as 1,200 days for a urology appointment, more than 870 days for gastroenterology and 149 days for paediatric surgery.

Dermatology had the longest wait times, with some under 16-year-olds going nearly 1,500 days before seeing a specialist.

“Young children waiting more than four years in some instances for a health appointment is evidence of a system in breakdown,” Ms Dunne said.

She said paediatricians were under “immense pressure”.

“This is having a big impact on their mental and physical health and there is growing concern that this could have a detrimental impact on patient outcomes,” she said.

“We need to future-proof our health system to ensure all Canberrans can access the health services they need when they need it.”

Healthcare system strained by COVID-19, ACT Government says

Rachel looks serious while addressing the media in a grey pantsuit.
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said they were working to resolve the problem of long wait times.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith acknowledged the wait times for some paediatric services were “concerning”.

“The ACT Government is committed to providing all Canberrans with access to timely and appropriate healthcare,” she said.

She said the COVID-19 pandemic had caused additional strain on the ACT’s healthcare system.

“Prior to COVID-19, Canberra Health Services was conducting more than 10,000 outpatient appointments a month,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“In response to COVID-19, Canberra Health Services reduced or suspended some outpatient services to ensure capacity across our health system and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“The impact of these changes has had an impact on wait times.”

The Government has announced a $30 million commitment to deliver more elective surgeries and outpatient appointments to meet increased demand, which Ms Stephen-Smith said would include children and young people.

Ms Dunne said the coronavirus outbreak was not the only factor at play.

“Blown out wait lists in the public health system is an issue that long predates COVID-19,” she said.

“For years, the Labor Government has abdicated its responsibilities when it comes to future-proofing our health system.”



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Brisbane’s Jam Pantry cafe shuts for deep cleaning as woman tests positive for COVID-19 after travelling to Japan via Sydney


A Brisbane cafe has closed for deep cleaning after a woman, who was unknowingly infected with coronavirus, dined there on Sunday — a new Queensland case that has sparked urgent contact tracing.

Queensland Health published a Public Health Alert last night, after the woman tested positive after returning to Japan, on a flight from Brisbane via Sydney.

They said the woman had arrived in Australia in mid-July, and quarantined in Sydney for two weeks, during which she tested negative.

She then travelled to Brisbane and dined at The Jam Pantry café at Greenslopes, in Brisbane’s inner south, on Sunday between 9:45am and 11:00am. 

The next day, she flew from Brisbane to Sydney on Virgin flight VA962 and then on to Japan.

Queensland Health said the woman was not showing any symptoms but tested positive for the virus after arriving in Japan.

The Jam Pantry cafe in Greenslopes is closing temporarily amid the COVID-19 scare.(Facebook: Jam Pantry)

They said it was not clear where she contracted the virus but all those who may have been in contact with the woman should be tested if they develop any symptoms.

Several people who have been in close contact with the woman have been placed in quarantine.

Cafe closed for cleaning

Owner of Jam Pantry Victor Chan said it was a huge shock to hear there had been a positive case in his café.

He said Queensland Health had given him the all-clear to keep his café open but he decided to close for several days so the premises could be disinfected and his staff tested.

He said it would be another stress on the business but he was determined to keep going and remain light-hearted.

“This time, we’ve really become famous overnight,” he said.

“We are all in this together in these crazy times.

“We can’t change things, it just happens, we can only try our best, and once we go through this, we can go through anything.

“The most important priority to us is the health and safety of our staff and patrons.”

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said yesterday that six close contacts of the woman had been alerted.

“These people have been tested and are now in quarantine,” she said.

“While we are still determining where the virus may have been acquired, we are working with Japanese authorities to gather necessary information.”

All passengers of the Virgin flight are being asked to monitor their health and get tested immediately if they develop symptoms.



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Woman in SA quarantine hotel tests positive for coronavirus after travelling from India


South Australian authorities will start testing medi-hotel security guards for coronavirus after another person in hotel quarantine was confirmed to have the disease.

The woman, who arrived in Adelaide from India on August 4, tested positive for COVID-19 while at the Pullman medi-hotel in the city.

South Australian Deputy Chief Medical Officer Mike Cusack said she was the partner of a man who was announced as positive for the virus yesterday.

Like him, the woman in her 30s tested negative on her first day in quarantine and then positive on day 12.

The couple’s children have both returned negative tests, as did everyone else on their flight, Dr Cusack said.

The woman’s case brings the total number of positive cases in South Australia to 462.

There are currently eight active coronavirus cases in SA.

SA Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr Mike Cusack.(ABC News)

Dr Cusack said the testing of security guards and other “frontline staff” at the hotel from today was “purely a precaution” and there was no reason to expect any positive results.

He said it replicated a system already in place for testing aged care workers, health care workers and truck drivers.

“As we’ve had a few positive cases in recent days in our hotel quarantine, we want to ensure that we aren’t missing any undetected cases at all, so we’re going to commence an active surveillance program in the hotel and amongst security staff from today,” Dr Cusack said.

He expected about 80 to 100 hotel and security staff to be tested each day, but it was not because of suspicions of some already catching the disease.

The decision coincides with an inquiry in Victoria looking into failures of that state’s hotel quarantine program.

The inquiry heard the scheme was put together in 48 hours as travellers returned to Australia at the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, an online test to become a COVID-Safe marshal has gone online.

From August 21, businesses such as licensed premises, cafes, restaurants, shopping centres and gyms will have to have COVID-Safe marshals to ensure people are social distancing and maintaining hygiene.

International student scheme defended

Government ministers today joined SA Health in defending a decision to allow 300 international students to enter South Australia, amid accusations of double standards from members of Victorian border communities and Adelaide residents with family stuck overseas.

South Australia will become the first state in the country to welcome flight arrivals of international students as part of a trial, announced on Sunday.

The Opposition has questioned the plan, saying international students should not be prioritised at a time when some South Australians are stranded overseas and struggling to get home.

But Employment Minister David Pisoni rejected that claim, saying that “no-one’s being prioritised — the priority is health”.

“We are working in a balanced way to enable that we can look after the health of the people of South Australia and also ensure that there are jobs for those that are fit and healthy and want to work and can’t work,” he said.



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ACT Health ‘strongly advises’ against Canberrans travelling to Sydney, but stops short of issuing a travel ban


Canberrans have been asked not to travel to greater Sydney and urged to reassess their travel in regional New South Wales.

While an official ban is not in place, ACT Health today updated their travel advice for greater Sydney.

“ACT residents are strongly advised not to travel to greater Sydney at this time,” they said.

“Travel to greater Sydney should only be done for absolutely essential reasons.

“We are asking Canberrans to continue exercising the good judgement they have shown during the pandemic thus far and to respect this advice.”

ACT Health also asked Canberrans considering travel to regional NSW “to be aware of the COVID-19 situation in the area you are travelling in, and reassess your need to travel to areas with known cases”.

There have been 21 new cases of COVID-19 in NSW reported in the last 24 hours.

Today’s ACT Health advice stopped well short of Queensland’s decision to close their borders to anyone from greater Sydney from Saturday August 1.

“The reality of this virus is that we all must remain vigilant, and the situation in Victoria shows just how contagious and just how formidable this virus is,” ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.

“What’s happening across the border in NSW is, of course, the more direct concern to the ACT.

“Our goal is to guard against the spreading of the virus, while keeping our economy open.”

ACT Health also “strongly advised” Canberrans not to travel to Victoria — listed as a hotspot — and said travel there should only occur for “absolutely essential reasons”.

Victoria recorded eight more deaths and 627 new coronavirus cases overnight.

Any ACT resident returning from Victoria still needs to notify ACT Health and self-isolate for 14 days after leaving Victoria.

Self-isolation is also still required for people returning to Canberra from Victoria or from Fairfield, Campbelltown or Liverpool in NSW.

No change to COVID-19 restrictions

Mr Barr also advised that the ACT would remain at stage 2.2 of the coronavirus recovery plan.

“At the end of a week that has seen a relatively small, but daily increase in confirmed cases across NSW, we are not yet in a position to definitively signal a further easing of restrictions in the ACT from next Friday,” he said.

“Our local situation is positive. But we cannot overlook the broader environment.

“We’re going to continue to monitor the situation in NSW across the weekend, and early in the new week.

“It’s very, very unlikely that we will be moving to larger group gatherings in the near future, as had been previously envisioned in stage three.”

The roadmap reveals what will be allowed under all stages of lifted restrictions.
Canberra’s restrictions will remain at stage 2.2 for some time longer.(Supplied: ACT Government)

In the ACT, there is still only one known active case of COVID-19, with over 50,000 negative tests returned since the pandemic began.

Mr Barr said that “our best and most effective measures” in beating coronavirus are still physical distancing, proper hygiene and COVID-19 testing, “and we’ve got to keep on doing them”.



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