Breaking news | March 5

Koala overpopulation in Cape Otway was leading to starvation and disease. Photo: Martin Str/Pixabay/Creative Commons
Koala overpopulation in Cape Otway was leading to starvation and disease. Photo: Martin Str/Pixabay/Creative Commons

Almost 700 koalas killed in secret cull


Almost 700 Koalas have been killed in Victoria due to overpopulation resulting in starvation and spread of disease.

The secret culling of 686 koalas took place between late 2013 to mid 2014. The campaign was kept from the public to avoid any backlash from green groups and the community.

Wildlife officials announced the koalas had been put down by lethal injection, and the reason for this was due to overpopulation in the area, resulting in starvation and disease. It came to a point where the mother koalas were abandoning their young, gum trees were stripped bare of their leaves, and the death rate was at such an incredibly fast speed that there were dead koalas at the base of trees.

Although there were 686 koalas put down, any healthy female koalas captured were treated with fertility control to try and maintain a sustainable population in the future.

The sustainable number of koalas is only one per hectare, whereas in 2013 there were as many as 23 per hectare crammed in the woodlands of Cape Otway. There are still around 8000 koalas inhabiting the Cape Otway woodlands.

Koala expert Dr. Desley Whisson said the cull was needed, and Sydney University senior lecturer Matthew Crowther agreed that this was the most humane action.


Woman sues herself


A woman from Utah is in the process of suing herself for negligent driving and the manslaughter of her husband.

The couple was driving through the Nevada desert on 27 December 2011 when Barbara Bagley hit a bush and lost control of the vehicle. The 4×4 flipped over and seriously injured her husband, Bradley Vom Baur. He died 10 days after the accident.

The 55-year old widow has recently been granted permission to arrange a case against herself, seeking compensations to cover all medical and funeral expenses along with compensation for the pain endured by her husband. Ms Bagley will have to give evidence against herself as a negligent driver before the case will be endorsed.

Reid Tateoka, the lawyer acting on behalf of Ms Bagley, said she had been forced to sue herself to receive money from her insurers, though she won’t profit personally even if she wins the case. Lawyers are unsupportive of the case and aim to have it dismissed.


Reverse vending machines launched in NSW


New South Wales Premiere Mike Baird has officially launched a container deposit scheme that is likely to generate $65 million a year for charities, schools and sporting groups.

The Premiere announced the roll out of 800 reverse vending machines across NSW in 2017, allowing residents to be rewarded for collecting and returning bottles and cans. The design of the NSW scheme will be finalised in 2016, after a community and industry consultation. The scheme was welcomed by The Boomerang Alliance which has been campaigning for container deposits in NSW for more than a decade.

15,000 bottles and cans are littered or landfilled in Australia every minute, with the reward of a 10 cent fund, it is a fact that a ‘cash for container’ scheme will reduce litter and increase recycling rates to an estimated 80–95%. With the scheme already launched in their state, South Australia has proven the campaign to be successful, doubling their recycling rate. After the instalment of the reverse vending machines, communities all around Australia will have a significant impact on the increase of recycling, the reduce of waste, the protection of wildlife and the environment from plastic pollution.


Black Sabbath legend begs Widodo for lives of Bali Two


Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has asked the president of Indonesia to stop the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

President Joko Widodo is known to be a fan of heavy metal music. The guitarist wrote a letter to Widodo that pleaded with him to reconsider his decision to execute the Australian drug smugglers.

Tony Iommi is not the first heavy metal musician who has attempted to change his mind. Napalm Death frontman Mark Greenway has also written a letter to the Indonesian president.


Ambo “super stations” to cut emergency waiting times


Preparation for the first of the five “super stations” to be built over the next five years has commenced with the demolition of buildings and residential properties along Rocky Point Road in Kogarah.

The Kogarah super stations construction will start in coming months and is to be followed by the construction of more stations in Bankstown, Blacktown, Liverpool and Penrith. This project will be the first major ambulance station to be built in Sydney in almost 20 years.

The NSW government has committed $150 million to build new stations with state of the art facilities that aim to help paramedics reach emergencies more rapidly.

Commissioner Ray Green said: ‘‘It will ensure we get the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right time, in the right way, every time.”


Man charged with assault and robbery, Wollongong


A man has been charged for the attempted sexual assault and aggravated robbery of a young woman in Fairy Meadow last month.

At about 1:30am on Tuesday 24 February a 20-year-old woman left a hotel and was walking towards Elliots Road when she was approached from behind by a man wielding a knife who pulled her to an isolated area.

The man then threatened to sexually assault the woman while punching her numerous times and stealing her belongings before escaping the scene.

Police from Wollongong police station were called to the crime scene where an investigation commenced.

At about 6:45am yesterday police executed a search warrant at Fairy Meadow where they seized numerous items. At about 9:30am officers arrested the 49 year-old man.

He was taken to Wollongong Police Station and charged with assault with intent to have sexual intercourse and aggravated robbery.

He will appear at Port Kembla Local Court today


Man U defeats Newcastle U at St James


Manchester United has defeated Newcastle United in the dying minutes of their game at St James Park yesterday thanks to a late goal by Ashley Young in the 89th minute.

Both teams came into the match after winning recent games and were playing well. Manchester United’s David De Gea and Newcastle’s Tim Kurl were playing to their best form from both sides of the pitch. Defender Jonny Evans and Newcastle United’s striker Papiss Cisse both appeared to be spitting at each other at the end of the first half, though neither was penalised. Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez played his first game in 17 months after beating testicular cancer.

In the 89th minute Wayne Rooney did a poor back pass and Kurl’s clearance was weak, which allowed Young to capitalise gaining a 1-0 lead.

Newcastle United’s manager was angry due to bad defence. Manchester United’s manager Louis van Gaal applauded his team, especially David De Gea. “I think we dominated for 90 minutes,” van Gaal said.


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