Monthly Archives:February 2019

Drivers warned: Pay attention to fatal five ( admin posted on February 21st, 2019 )

Surviving the fatal five… Police are out to stop distracted drivers, particularly those using mobile phones. Wynnum Traffic Branch s Constable Scott Knijff is one of many police who will be enforcing the rules this Christmas. Photo by Chris McCormackDRIVER inattention has become the latest addition to bad behaviour on our roads, joining drink-driving, speed, seatbelts and fatigue as the major causes of accidents on the state’s roads.

Police added distraction to the list, upgrading the Fatal Four to the Fatal Five, at the launch of this year’s Christmas road safety campaign.

While using mobile phones when behind the wheel is a major cause of distraction, driver inattention covers actions including changing the radio station, putting on make up and eating breakfast.

In Wynnum District, which spans Wynnum to Redland Bay and the bay islands, police have fined 593 motorists for using a mobile phone while driving.

During November, police fined 41 drivers who were caught either talking on a mobile phone, texting or checking social media sites while driving.

Wynnum District Superintendent Jim Keogh said drivers were constantly lulled into a false sense of security believing they were capable of using a mobile phone, eating or doing any other distracting task while driving.

“(Drivers can be confident) because they haven’t had an accident in quite a number of years,” he said.

“What they don’t realise is that once they are in a volatile situation leading up to an accident the circumstances are unforgiving.

“It’s very hard to regain control of your car once you’ve lost control. That’s what happens.”

Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the Fatal Five message was clear.

“Everyone would be happy if there were zero (road deaths) and police would be happy if they didn’t have to write another ticket out,” he said.

“The fact is, out of all of the deaths on our roads, a lot of those deaths could have been avoidable.”

Mr Dempsey said a fatal accident also affects the lives of police, firemen and paramedics who attend the crash.

“It really affects everyone from emergency services to the community,” he said.

“If people want to be free-spirited or walk on the wild-side they can go and climb a mountain or go fishing out in the bay.

“There’s lots of other ways you can seek thrills, and not put your life or other lives at risk.”

Mr Dempsey said 96,000 Queensland drivers in the past three years had been fined for driving distracted.

“(Using phones while driving) is almost becoming addictive,” he said.

“No phone call or Tweet is worth a life or an injury. People should simply put their phone away in a vehicle. Whatever they may have to do on a phone, it’s not worth the pain and suffering.”

The state-wide Christmas road safety campaign runs from December 12 to February 4.

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Anxious wait is over ( admin posted on February 21st, 2019 )

THE wait is over for more than 82,000 students who received their Victorian Certificate of Education subject results from 7am yesterday.

Gippsland Grammar dux for 2012 is MatisseValette, from Maffra.Matisse obtained an ATAR score of 99.25, with4 scores over 40, including a 47 in French, whichMatisse obtained in 2011.

Executive principal Mike Clapper said thisyear’s results were another strong performance

for the school.

The school’s mean Australian Tertiary Admission Rank score was 78.5, wellup with the average over the past 10 years, whilethe median was 81.65.24 per cent of studentsobtained an ATAR score of over 90 putting themin the top 10 per cent of the state.

With an ATAR score of 94.65, Rebecca Copper was Sale College’sdux.

The dux at CatholicCollege Sale was Ashleigh Whitehill with an ATAR of 97.35.

The dux at Maffra Secondary College wasPatrick Elliott with97.5.

Education Minister Martin Dixon said it was an exciting time for students and their families who could now celebrate their achievements after a challenging year.

“Congratulations to all the students who have received their results today – whether they are getting single subjects scores or graduating with their VCE – they should be very proud of what they have accomplished,” Mr Dixon said.

“Completing the VCE requires dedication and sacrifice, and students should now take the time to relax and reflect on this huge achievement.

“VCE is a collective effort and I’d also like to thank the parents, teachers and school staff who have guided, encouraged and supported students throughout their journey.”

Mr Dixon said it was important for students to seek advice if their results were not what they expected.

Students have until noon on December 24 to change their university and TAFE course preferences.

VCE and VCAL results will arrive in the mail from today.

Students have been able to access their results via the internet or by SMS if they pre-registered.

Eligible students could also access their ATAR via the internet and SMS from 7am yesterday.

Students with questions can phone the Post Results and ATAR Service on 9651 4640 or 1800 653 080 from 9am to 5pm today and tomorrow.

For more in the release of VCE results read Tuesday’s Gippsland Times.

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Community rallies around family left homeless after house fire  ( admin posted on February 21st, 2019 )

THE SMALL community of Colly Blue near Spring Ridge has rallied around a family of five who have lost everything in a house fire.

The fire is believed to have been started by Christmas lights on a tree which the Horne family had decorated the day before the fire completely destroyed their Premer Rd home on Sunday morning.

A neighbour was the first to raise the alarm at 2.45am Sunday after hearing a loud noise and seeing a ‘large orange glow’ outside his window.

Calling triple 000, he said he saw the family leaving the property in their vehicles with the timber house well alight behind them.

Brigades from nearby Yannergee, Premer and Spring Ridge arrived at the scene at 3am but the house could not be saved and only a stone chimney remains.

“The flames nearly 100ft in the air, there was no chance for the house.

In two hours it was totally destroyed,” the neighbour said.”They were left with just the clothes on their backs and on their washing line.

“The small locality of Colly Blue, 100 kilometres south of Tamworth near Spring Ridge has just six homes but the community has quickly rallied, with one farmer offering a home to the displaced family for as long as they require it.

Others have offered clothes and television sets to the family of five, including Roy and Lynn Horne, 14-year-old Deejay, 21-year-old Katy and 22-year-old Rebecca who is heavily pregnant.

“They have lost everything,” daughter Crystal Tooth said.

Mrs Tooth said she wanted to help her family in any way she could and hoped the community would assist them, in the spirit of giving that Christmas promoted.

“Anything would be a help,” she said.

“Being so close to Christmas, they’ve lost all their Christmas presents and all their belongings.

“The family had lived in the home for at least six years, since they moved from Werris Creek to the village of Colly Blue.

The fire is the second within a month for the village; just four weeks ago a bushfire ripped through the area, threatening homes and burning out an area of more than 35 hectares.

Neighbours reported the fire quickly consumed paddocks and scrub land between homes but was stopped just before the fence line of the Horne’s property.

“We nearly lost three or four houses that day.

It was very lucky that it got under control quickly or it could have turned out very differently,” a neighbour said.

Inspector Steve Hall from the Liverpool Range RFS zone said although investigations were continuing, the fire was believed to have been caused by lights on a Christmas tree.

“It’s very unfortunate, particularly at this time of year. It’s a timely reminder that residents need to very careful when decorating their homes and businesses.

“It’s very important to be careful not to overload power points or trees.”

Inspector Paul Johnson from Oxley Local Area Command said the residents were lucky to escape with their lives.

“The male resident was awoken by the smoke alarms, noticed a fire in the dining room and evacuated the family immediately,” Inspector Johnson said.

“Smoke alarms save lives.”

If you can help out the Horne family, contact Crystal on 0413 809126.

A house at Colly Blue has been completely destroyed in a weekend fire. Photo: Peter Lorimer

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‘Happiness ends’: Double trouble in Wodonga ( admin posted on February 21st, 2019 )

12:45PM: A SECONDARY blood alcohol test proved a man’s claim to have only had one beer correct.

But that was the extent of the good news for the Frankston man, 25.

He was pulled up by Wodonga police for doing a “fishtail” near Whitebox Rise shopping centre on Friday night.

A breath test found him to be over the limit before a second test a short time later came back with a zero reading.

“That’s where his happiness ended,” Sen-Constable Neil Hobbs said.

A licence check showed the man was a disqualified driver and had a prior conviction for driving while disqualified.

It earned him a $583 fine and his car — a blue Ford sedan — was impounded for 30 days.

He will appear in court at a later date to face charges for driving while disqualified, careless driving, improper use of a motor vehicle, emitting excessive noise and loss of traction.

The incident was followed by a crash involving a young woman in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The P-plater, 19, lost control of her white Holden sedan in Melrose Drive and crashed into the fence of a house just north of the Brockley Street roundabout.

Sen-Constable Hobbs said the woman was visibly shaken after the crash but escaped injury.

“Luckily no pedestrians were on that part of the footpath at the time,” he said.

“Witnesses stated speed was not a factor.

“Inexperience was partly the issue but the main factor was after recent hot water then a dump of rain, various oils within the road had come to the surface making driving quite slippery.

She was given a $211 fine for failing to have proper control of her car.

It was damaged badly and towed from the scene.

Sec-Constable Hobbs urged drivers to drive to the conditions and not the speed limit.

“Police are continuing to deliver the message that just because you’re driving at the legal speed limit, it doesn’t mean that speed is necessarily safe,” he said.

“This is a period of the year with a high volume of traffic on our roads and police don’t want to be delivering traumatic news to family and friends at all hours of the day and night.”

A P-plater, 19, lost control of her white Holden sedan in Melrose Drive and crashed into the fence of a house just north of the Brockley Street roundabout.

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