Daily Archives: December 26, 2015

Victoria bushfire destroys 116 homes


More than 100 homes have been lost in an out-of-control fire still burning on Victoria’s surf coast.

Firefighters have conducted an extensive search of Wye River and Separation Creek on Saturday, where all of the homes were lost.

Country Fire Authority deputy incident controller Mark Gunning said 116 houses have been destroyed in the 2200-hectare Jamieson Track blaze.

“That will probably be the final number, as we’ve just completed an extensive search,” Mr Gunning told AAP on Saturday.

On Friday, authorities feared the intense blaze would also raze homes in Kennett River and possibly reach Victoria’s major tourist spot, Lorne.However, the fire stopped just 500 metres short of Kennett River.

Residents and holidaymakers were told it was safe to return to Lorne shortly after 9am on Saturday after spending most of Friday evening evacuating the area.Although the CFA has downgraded the fire warning to a watch and act in Lorne, Mr Gunning said the fire was still out-of-control and people needed to remain vigilant.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said the blaze was intense though not large, and had been pushed along by strong winds.It could continue burning until January or February because a dousing of rain on Saturday was unlikely to do much in the long term once the state began to dry out.

The Victorian and Commonwealth governments confirmed on Saturday households hit by the fires would be abe to apply for up to $!300 in immediate natural disaster relief, and $32,500 in re-establishment payments.

Premier Daniel Andrews praised the effort of emergency services who had been battling the blaze, as well as people who had opened up their homes.’

This is one of those times when the very worst of circumstances brings out the very best in our state,’ he said.The road to Lorne is open, but it will be closed south for days.

The Insurance Council of Australia on Saturday declared the bushfires a catastrophe, estimating initial insurance losses of $25 million.


A very Newcastle Christmas


Not even Santa could compete with the staff at John Hunter Hospital’s maternity unit on Christmas morning.

Eight freshly minted Christmas babies had been delivered by 10am, an unofficial Christmas record.

They included Elijah Clarke, who arrived at 2.47am.

“It’s a wonderful Christmas present,” his mother Jodi Clarke said.

“At the same time I’d rather be home with my four other children.”

The hectic delivery schedule was all in a day’s work for the staff of ward K2 and elsewhere in the hospital.

“It’s a fun day to be work; everyone is happy and we eat a lot,” midwife Jess Geary said.

“It’s nice to see the families come in to see their new babies.”

The spirit of Christmas was also alive and well at Newcastle police station where about a dozen officers turned up for work.

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“My family is away this year so working on Christmas day isn’t so bad,” senior constable Adam Burgess said.

“It’s usually a bit more relaxed, but we will see if it picks up this afternoon.”

Down at Nobbys Beach three English backpackers – Sarah Riley, 22, Megan Hudson, 22 and Charlotte Warrior, 22 were enjoying their first Christmas down under.

“It’s quite nice, but it’s kind of bizarre that this (going to the beach) is a Christmas tradition in Australia,” Ms Riley said.

“When it started to rain earlier I thought oh no, this is like Christmas at home. Now the sun is out it’s lovely,” Ms Hudson said.

Christmas church services were also well attended, About 600 people attended midnight mass at Newcastle Christ Church Cathedral.

“The mood has been really happy,” cathedral verger Robert Gummow said.

“It’s always great to see the people who come at Christmas and Easter. They are only here for those two occasions but they keep coming back.”


Ομογενής της Μελβούρνης θα διεκδικήσει μυθικές…αποζημιώσεις

Ο γνωστός ομογενής εστιάτορας της Μελβούρνης, Νίκος Ζαμπέλης, θα έχει πολλά πάρε-δώσε με τη Δικαιοσύνη το 2016.

Η πρώτη δικαστική του «διαμάχη» είναι με το Crown από το οποίο ο κ. Ζαμπέλης είχε στο παρελθόν διεκδικήσει αποζημίωση, την οποία και πρωτόδικα είχε κερδίσει από το διαιτητικό δικαστήριο της Βικτώριας Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Τότε το VCAT είχε αποφασίσει το Crown να πληρώσει στον κ. Ζαμπέλη το ποσό του $1,5 εκατ. καθώς αθέτησε προφορική του δέσμευση προς τον κ. Ζαμπέλη για ανανέωση των ενοικιαστηρίων των δυο εστιατορίων που είχε ο ομογενής στις εγκαταστάσεις του καζίνο. Ο κ. Ζαμπέλης ήταν ιδιοκτήτης των εστιατορίων Cafe Greco και Waterfront στο καζίνο.

Εντούτοις, το Crown άσκησε έφεση στη συγκεκριμένη απόφαση και από δικαστήριο σε δικαστήριο τελικά η υπόθεση θα οδηγηθεί εντός του 2016 στο Ανώτατο Δικαστήριο της χώρας το οποίο θα αποφασίσει τελεσίδικα το αν τελικά το Crown θα αποζημιώσει τον εστιάτορα.

Η δεύτερη δικαστική του «διαμάχη» αφορά αγωγή που κατέθεσε η Εφορία στο Επαρχιακό Δικαστήριο της Βικτώριας, σύμφωνα με την οποία ο κ. Ζαμπέλης κατηγορείται για τη μη πληρωμή φόρου ύψους άνω των $420.000.

Όπως προκύπτει από τα σχετικά δικαστικά έγγραφα, η Εφορία πρεσβεύει ότι οι απλήρωτοι φόροι είναι από το 2009 και ενώ ο κ. Ζαμπέλης πούλησε το μπαρ Silk Road στη Μελβούρνη έναντι $3 εκατ. το 2013 δεν φρόντισε να αποπληρώσει τους φόρους του.

Πυγή:Νέος Κόσμος


Πύρινη κόλαση στην Αυστραλία: Μαίνονται πυρκαγιές από τις 19 Δεκεμβρίου

Τουλάχιστον 116 σπίτια καταστράφηκαν από τις πυρκαγιές στη νοτιοανατολική επαρχία Βικτόρια της Αυστραλίας, δήλωσε ο Κρεγκ Λάπσλεϊ, ανώτερος αξιωματικός της Πυροσβεστικής Υπηρεσίας και επικεφαλής των υπηρεσιών αντιμετώπισης εκτάκτων καταστάσεων της επαρχίας.

Τουλάχιστον «116 σπίτια καταστράφηκαν, θα υπάρχουν σίγουρα κι άλλα που έχουν υποστεί ζημιές», τόνισε ο Λάπσλεϊ, σύμφωνα με το τηλεοπτικό δίκτυο Sky News Australia.

Σύμφωνα με τον ίδιο αξιωματικό της πυροσβεστικής, θα δοθούν περισσότερες πληροφορίες για τις ζημιές που προκάλεσε η πυρκαγιά στο Τζέιμισον Τρακ μέσα στις επόμενες 24 ώρες.

Από τις Αρχές έχουν εκδοθεί επείγουσες προειδοποιήσεις προς τους πολίτες να απομακρυνθούν από πολλές παραθαλάσσιες περιοχές στη Βικτόρια, καθώς δυνάμεις της αυστραλιανής πυροσβεστικής συνεχίζουν να δίνουν μάχη με τις φλόγες.

Σύμφωνα με τον Λάπσλεϊ, η πυρκαγιά προκλήθηκε από κεραυνό την 19η Δεκεμβρίου. Σύμφωνα με όσα είπε ο ίδιος στο Σκάι Νιους, οι πυρκαγιές υπάρχει κίνδυνος να συνεχίσουν να καίνε δασικές εκτάσεις ακόμη και μέχρι τον Φεβρουάριο.

Αξιωματούχοι λένε ότι οι καιρικές συνθήκες, ειδικά οι ισχυροί άνεμοι, δυσχεραίνουν τις επιχειρήσεις κατάσβεσης, καθώς δεν επιτρέπουν τη ρίψη νερού από μέρους πυροσβεστικών αεροσκαφών.

«Αναμφίβολα θα έχουμε έναν θερμό Ιανουάριο με ισχυρούς ανέμους», είπε ο Λάπσλεϊ, προειδοποιώντας ότι υπάρχει κίνδυνος επέκτασης των μετώπων των πυρκαγιών που έχουν ήδη κάψει 20 τετραγωνικά χιλιόμετρα.

Η κίνηση αντιμετώπισε προβλήματα στην περιοχή και τμήματα του αυτοκινητοδρόμου Great Ocean παραμένουν κλειστά. Κλειστά είναι πολλά μονοπάτια στο εθνικό πάρκο Great Otway, όπου υπάρχουν επίσης μέτωπα.

Η Βικτόρια είναι μια από τις πιο τουριστικές περιοχές της Αυστραλίας.

Μέχρι σήμερα, παρά το εύρος και την κλίμακα των πυρκαγιών, δεν έχουν αναφερθεί ανθρώπινα θύματα.

Ο πρωθυπουργός της τοπικής κυβέρνησης της επαρχίας της Βικτόριας, Ντάνιελ Άντριους, υποσχέθηκε ότι θα χορηγηθεί βοήθημα σε όσους έχασαν τα σπίτια τους από τις πυρκαγιές. Πολλά από τα σπίτια που καταστράφηκαν ήταν εξοχικές κατοικίες.


Boxing Day sales could hit $2.5 billion

XXX on December 18, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.

XXX on December 18, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.

Thousands of eager Aussie bargain hunters are expected to line up well before dawn to snare prime position ahead of the Boxing Day sales frenzy, with punters set to splurge up to $2.5 billion.

Major department stores have set up secure zones outside their city stores ahead of Saturday’s sales, with Myer and David Jones to throw open their doors at 5am and other retailers around 7am.

During the overall post-Christmas sales period, from December 26 to January 15, the Retail Council predicts almost $21 billion will be spent nationwide.

“Positive consumer confidence, coupled with record low interest rates and falling unemployment will go towards making this year’s Boxing Day and annual summer clearance sale period stronger than last year,” Retail Council chief executive Anna McPhee said.

“Stronger growth in retail activity will support the retail sector in contributing more than 4.5 per cent to GDP this year.

“The Australian Retailers Association is slightly more modest in its spending projections, but is still tipping that Australians will pour a massive $17 billion into retail coffers over the next three weeks.

Sales activity is expected to be firmer across all states compared to last year, with NSW and Victorian shoppers leading the way by forking out $954 million and $747 million respectively on Boxing Day.

All stores across NSW will be able to open on Boxing Day for the first time, as opposed to former laws permitting only stores in the CBD and tourist precincts to trade.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said the relaxation of NSW’s trading laws could see Boxing Day sales soar well past expectations.

“It’s really an unknown quantity because shoppers and traders right across NSW have never had this opportunity,” Mr Zimmerman said.And with some stores opening from 5am on Saturday, keen shoppers are expected to queue outside popular stores to cash in on hefty discounts.

Customers are most likely to buy clothing, homewares and electronics on Boxing Day, according to the Retail Council’s survey.Mr Zimmerman expects women’s shoes, men’s corporate wear and “seasonal products” such as fans and air conditioners to fly off the shelves.

Online sales are estimated to reach $2.7 billion, or 16 per cent of total spending, over the entire sale period.


Police detail the worst offenders on NSW roads


Five people have died on NSW roads since Operation Arrive Alive kicked in on December 18, as police catch high-range drink driving offenders taking dangerous risks over the holiday period.

Over the last seven days police have attended 709 major crashes and issued 6,817 speeding fines.

On Friday afternoon police released the details of some of the worst offenders.

A Wagga Wagga man has been charged after he allegedly returned a breath test more than five times the legal limit on Christmas Eve.

Traffic and Highway Patrol officers stopped the 56-year-old man on Red Hill Road on Thursday afternoon after he was detected allegedly travelling at 96km/h in a 70km/h zone.

The man returned a positive roadside test and was arrested. He was taken to Wagga Wagga Police Station where he returned a breath analysis reading of 0.256.

The man was issued with a future court attendance notice for high range drink driving, as well as a ticket for speeding. His driver’s licence was suspended on the spot.

At 6.22pm on Thursday a 16-year-old from Cootamundra was detected riding an 85cc unregistered trail motorcycle on Renehan Street, Cootamundra, without a motorcycle helmet.

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Police alleged the motorcycle was unregistered and/or uninsured, and the rider only held a Learner permit.

The teenager was issued $2,549 worth of fines.

NSW Police statistics 18 to 25th December:
•Speed infringements: 6817
•Breath tests: 291,896
•Drink driving charges: 408
•Major crashes: 709
•Fatalities: 5
About 1pm on Thursday police stopped a 24-year-old male driver travelling at 108 km/h in a 50km/h zone along Burley Griffin Way in Ardlethan. He was issued a speeding fine and his license was suspended.

Shortly after midnight on Christmas Day a 42-year-old Campsie man returned a positive reading when he was stopped for a random breath test on Barrenjoey Road, Newport.

He was taken to Mona Vale Police Station where he allegedly returned a breath analysis reading of 0.139.

His licence was confiscated and suspended and he will appear at Manly Local Court on January 20.

A 20-year-old P-plater from Greystanes was caught allegedly travelling 116 km/h in a 70 km/h zone on the Cumberland Highway in Merrylands West in the early hours of Christmas morning.

The man was fined and his licence suspended.

Police found an electric cattle prod, a large knife, cannabis and methylamphetamine in the back of a ute after stopping the vehicle and its 48-year-old male driver in west Albury about 8.40am on Thursday.

The man, who was not wearing a seatbelt, returned a positive roadside drug test and was arrested.

He was charged with being a suspended driver, possessing a knife and possession of a prohibited weapon.

A 38-year-old Albury woman, who was in the passenger seat, was charged with two counts of possessing a prohibited drug.

Both were granted conditional bail to appear at Albury Local Court on January 19.

A 62-year-old woman blew a blood alcohol level of 0.125 after she was stopped in North Wollongong, breath-tested and taken to Wollongong Police Station just after 10pm on Christmas Eve.

She was issued a field court attendance notice for the offence of mid-range blood alcohol level. Her licence was suspended.

At 8am yesterday, a 20-year-old red P-plater was detected at Tenterfield allegedly travelling at 167km/h in a 100km/h zone.

The man from Inverell was issued with a speeding fine and immediately had his licence suspended for six months. His number plates were also seized for three months.

Operation Arrive Alive, a six-week state-wide high-visibility Traffic and Highway Patrol operation will be in effect until January 26.

Double-demerit points will be issued for speeding, mobile phone use, and seat belt and helmet use until Sunday 3 January.

They will again be in place from January 22 to January 26.


English Premier League: Leicester’s success no surprise, says Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp


London Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp is full of admiration for Leicester City’s style of soccer which has propelled the Midlands club to the top of the Premier League.

Leicester lead Arsenal by two points at Christmas after a breathtaking opening half of the season which has seen them top the scoring charts with 37 goals in 17 games.

“They play nearly perfect counter-attacking football, very quick,” Klopp said.

“I have big respect for (Leicester manager) Claudio (Ranieri) and the whole squad of Leicester.”

Ranieri visited Borussia Dortmund’s training ground last season when Klopp was still in charge, and the two managers clearly share a similar philosophy.

“It’s always interesting to talk to people like him and that’s what we did,” Klopp said.

“There’s big respect from both sides. He will always stay successful in his managerial career.”

Leicester have benefited from having no European distractions this season, and a relatively light injury list, although Klopp says the Foxes are deservedly leading the title race.

“I’m not surprised (about their progress),” he said. “That’s how football works, you need to use and take your chances. That’s what they do.

“They don’t need too many chances to score goals. They have two obvious strong strikers with perfect runs, no injuries, can go all week and they have a long week to train and recover.

“It’s really deserved and I’m not surprised anymore, nobody is. It’s no coincidence, it’s really hard work.

“They deserve the run they are in. It’s good defending and nearly perfect counter-attacking football, it’s really quick and high quality.”

Jamie Farad (15) and Riyad Mahrez (13) have combined to score 75.7 per cent of Leicester’s league goals this season, with Algerian Mahrez was twice on target in last week’s 3-2 victory against Liverpool’s Merseyside neighbours Everton.