Meeting called to discuss transportation of nuclear waste

A public meeting was held last Tuesday to discuss the possibility of transporting nuclear waste through the Illawarra region. Representatives from The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), members of the South Coast Labour Council and local MPs attended the event. I spoke to the Secretary of the South Coast Labour Council, Arthur Rorris about the items raised at the meeting and whether Port Kembla is the definite destination for the nuclear waste.

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Clean up Australia day a success for Wollongong

Clean up Australia day beings thousands of Aussies out each year to help pick up the trash cluttering our beaches and park leands. The Illawarra had its own success on Sunday when 1100 people turned out to help clean up more than 30 sites from Helensburgh to Dapto.

 

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 Environment Education Coordinator for Wollongong City Council, Mike McKeon, says plastic bottles, glass and cigarette butts make up the majority of the trash collected. 30% of the garbage collected is recyclable. The council is still consolidating and sorting garbage but so far the Illawarra’s collection count is up to 12 tonne.

 

 

Australians have long been conscious of the need for a clean environment, especially in an age where global warming is already showig its effects, but more needs to be done do help reduce waste. Taking simple steps

such as using reusable coffee cups or photocopying double sided can help in reducing the amount of trash filling our landfills.

 

 

In agreement with Mr McKeon, The Clean Up Australia group says cigarette butts and tobacco related products are Australia’s biggest litter issue. Almost 50% of the trash collected from urban areas is cigarette butts.

 

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Two United Diver Clean up Australia Day participants emerge from the harbour

 

Waterways are a primary focus of the Clean Up Australia Day, an estimated 7 billion tonnes of rubbish enters the world’s oceans each year, Wollongong harbour was no different. On Sunday the University diving club and United Divers scoured the Harbour floor picking up rubbish.

 

Des Peros of United Divers says everything from plastic to fishing robs can be found under the water. Marine debris is not only a pollution problem is also kills up to 1million sea birds a year along with thousands of other types of marine life.

 

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The United Divers team on Sunday after cleaning up the Harbour

 

Listen to the report…[Audio http://www.musicwebtown.com/wales/254825%5D

Jobs in the Illawarra lost in hard times

Almost 300 jobs in the Illawarra have been axed with Pacific Brands’ closing down the Bonds factory in Unanderra and King Gee in Bellabmbi. The Bellambi factory is set to close in July while Bonds will stay open until Feruary 2010. Nationwide 1850 people will be made unemployed when the work is moved overseas.
Pacific brands also manufactures Holeproff. Dunlop, Stussy, Mossimo, Berlei and Hard Yakka. This decision is another hit to the region with the loss of 100 jobs from the closure of Keelong detention centre on Friday.

Wollongong Hawks dreams are still alive.

Australian Health Management (AHM) have revived the dreams of the captain of the Wollongong Hawks Matt Campbell and the team to play in the next NBL season. Applications close on Friday for submission for next season and while the finnacial backing from AHM will help they still have a long way to go. A website http://www.savethehawks.com/ has been set up for the community and businesses to make donations along with a facebook page. The Wollongong hawks is the last of the Wollongong sporting teams after the demise of The Steelers Rugby League team and the Wollongong Wolves. Wollongong Hawks have played in all 31 NBL seasons since their beginning in 1979.

The Illawarra comes together to help the Bushfire victims

Australia mourned for the victims of the Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria which has killed at least 210 people. Fires have ravaged through parts of the state for the past three weeks but many have said the day of mourning has come too soon after the wide spread devastation. Ten police officers from the region were deployed along with another 150 from the state to help relieve Victorian firefighters. Various emergency volunteers also joined the team from the Illawarra to help out those in the devastated areas including 21 firefighters from the Illawarra, Macarthur, Wollondilly and Sutherland areas. But it’s not only the emergency services in the region who have selflessly volunteered. Businesses and individuals in the Illawarra have come together to support the Victorian Bushfire Appeal with numerous events organised to raise money for those in need. Club Captain of Thirroul Surf Life Saving Club Lachlan Pritchard organised a bucket drive to send funds to the vitcims of the fires. I spoke to Lachlan last week to discuss his motivation for organising the drive and how the local community got involved.

Interview with Club Captain of Thirroul Surf Life Saving Club Lachlan Pritchard

Other events which will be held in the region include

– Friday March 6, Upstairs at the North Wollongong Pub with every person’s $10 entry fee going to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

Are sharks a danger on our beaches?

Numerous shark attacks in the region have heightened fear around the creatures lurking in the ocean. I spoke to the General Manager of the Bendigo Bank Aerial Patrol Harry Mitchell who monitors Illawarra and South Coast beaches about the increased media attention on sharks and whether there has been an increase in shark sightings this summer.

Interview with General Manager of the Bendigo Bank Aerial Patrol Harry Mitchell
http://www.musicwebtown.com/mjaros/252331

Picton Rd receives funding one day too late

Picton Road has claimed a fourteenth life just a day before the State Government’s $12 million dollar safety upgrade. The 54 year old man from Raby in south western Sydney was riding a motorcycle when he was struck by a people mover. The notorious stretch of road has caused 152 crashes and killed nine people since 2004. The latest fatality came only six days after the state funding was announced. The projects which will be taken as part of the funding will begin early this year.