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Latest NBN News

HUNTER FIREFIGHTERS IGNITE PAY DISPUTE

Newcastle firefighters haven’t ruled out taking industrial action following a meeting with union officials over a pay dispute. 140 officers rallied in Cooks Hill to vent their anger towards the state government after it rejected a four per cent pay increase demand. They say the average firefighter’s wage of $52,000 isn’t enough and should rise with inflation. The government has assured the public no stations will be shut.

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HUNTER’S BEST DROP

110 of the Hunter Valley’s wineries are pitted against each other this week at the region’s wine show. But to decide which bottles deserve a gold sticker, they have to undergo a rigorous tasting process.

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BIN KIDS SHOCK

A Hunter Valley community is in shock, following reports of three children sleeping inside a large recycling bin. DoCS caseworkers are working with police in a bid to locate the kids and find suitable accommodation for them. It’s prompted the Samaritans to call for more to be done, as the number of children living on the streets increases.

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LIGHTS OUT

“Don’t blame us” was the message from Country Energy today, after almost the entire far-north coast was plunged into darkness in the first blackout in several years. At eight o’clock on Monday night the lights went out from Lismore to Mullumbimby, out west to Kyogle and up the coast to Byron Bay. The power was returned to most households by 9.30, as emergency crews worked to fix the problem. Country Energy said an investigation had revealed the company was not responsible for the breakdown. While it is in charge of low-voltage distribution of electricity, the problem was in a high-voltage transmission line which is handled by outside contractors. “It’s not an issue that was in the control of country energy, however, we apologise very much to our customers for the inconvenience,” said Brian Glawson of Country Energy. “The network operators, …

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BODY FOUND

Police are investigating the death of a 36-year-old man in a Waratah share-house early this morning. Ambulance crews were called to the Tighe Street home about five. Forensic police visited the site, and a 37-year-old Waratah man is assisting police with their inquiries.

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WARNERVALE ONE STEP CLOSER TO SECURING BLUETONGUE BREWERY

The development of a $100-million brewery and visitor centre at Warnervale is one step closer, with the Environmental Assessment going on public exhibition. It found that despite the presence of a threatened grevillea species on the site, the Bluetongue brewery would be unlikely to impact on the long-term survival of the plant. It also found emissions, waste and the risk of contamination would be under guidelines set out by the Department of Environment and Climate Change. Once built, the brewery will produce up to 100 million litres of beer a year.

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WYONG HOME GOES UP IN FLAMES

There’s been another fire in Wyong, a day after a 53-year-old man was killed in blaze in a unit block in Warner Avenue. As investigations continue into how that fire started, it’s believed a group of young men could be to blame for the more recent blaze at a vacant house in North Street.

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NEAL DENIES REPORTS OF ILLEGAL LETTER

Member for Robertson Belinda Neal has denied reports that she sent a letter to a witness of the Iguanagate affair. It’s claimed the letter ordered a new apology from sacked Iguanas manager Jared Golla, who has accused Ms Neal of abusing her political power during a night out at the restaurant. An unnamed, former Central Coast judge has reportedly made an official complaint about the letter to police, saying it could constitute a breach of the Crimes Act, which would be punishable by imprisonment. But a statement from Ms Neal’s office denies any such letter exists, or that police are investigating the matter.

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