Beach beckons as heat warning issued
Severe thunderstorms bringing the potential for large hailstones, heavy rainfall and damaging wind continue to pose a threat to the Newcastle region although a similar warning for Sydney has now been cancelled.
Areas that may be affected include Newcastle, Cessnock, Maitland, Glen Innes, Dorrigo and Walcha, the Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement.
A warning for severe thunderstorms remains in place for the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter and Northern Tablelands forecast districts, the bureau said.
Severe thunderstorms are no longer occurring in the metropolitan Sydney, Illawarra and Central Tablelands districts and the alert for those regions has been withdrawn.
Weatherzone: Sydney radar
Earlier bureau warnings covered the Sydney, Illawarra and the Southern Tablelands districts.
There are “good amounts of instability” right along eastern NSW, with low-level heat and high humidity, Rebecca Kamitakahara, a bureau forecaster, said.
“It’s definitely quite possible – particularly tomorrow – that we will see some thunderstorm activity in similar areas that we have seen today,” Ms Kamitakahara said. Down comes a frenzy of hail up north #illawarra#coalcoastpic.twitter杭州龙凤论坛m/w4Z7vYIdva— Ben Langford (@BenLang44) January 11, 2016
Similar conditions are likely to persist into Wednesday and Thursday, with a build-up of heat and humidity through the day.
The State Emergency Service advises that people in affected areas should take steps to move their cars under cover or away from trees.
Among other actions, they should also keep clear of fallen power lines and avoid using their phones during the storm.
Nick Kyrgios has backed Tennis ‘s plan to expand the Fast 4 event into a week-long tournament in Sydney, revealing his interest in competing if it was to become part of the calendar.
Kyrgios joined Lleyton Hewitt, Gael Monfils and Rafael Nadal in Sydney on Monday night for the revised format of the sport at Allphones Arena.
As revealed by Fairfax Media, the interest in the entertainment-packed concept has led to Tennis opening discussions with Channel Seven and Channel Nine about expanding the event.
There are plans in place to lure the top male and female players in the world for a nation-based team tournament being looked at for October or November, potentially as early as 2017.
Kyrgios, whose confidence and flair suits what is being described as the Twenty20 of tennis, admits he would like to be part of any expansion of the format.
“Yeah, definitely [be interested],” Kyrgios said.
“I really look forward to any sort of event like ITPL [International Tennis Premier League] or Fast 4. I think it’s really exciting. I think I speak for myself and Gael [Monfils] that we really look forward to any event like that coming up.”
The Sydney International has struggled to attract large crowds in recent years, languishing behind the Brisbane International and Hopman Cup.
However, the Fast 4 concept was played out in front of a soldout crowd of 12,000 people at the Sydney Entertainment Centre last year when Roger Federer took on Lleyton Hewitt, while 11,000 tickets were sold for the second instalment on Monday night.
Hewitt believes the initiative is huge for Sydney and hopes it can help increase participation in the sport.
“It’s fantastic,” Hewitt said. “It’s nice to make a stop here in Sydney and get the opportunity to play in front of a packed house. The Fast 4 format is really exciting, I think for the crowd as well. I think it’s big for tennis in this city. We want to get the next generation of young ns playing our great sport and wanting to see great players. It’s a big thing for our sport.
“I think it’s really good for local clubs within and exhibition matches as well just because the crowd knows how long it’s going to be. It’s very similar to T20 cricket in that way. It’s exciting, a lot of shot making, a lot of big serves – not so much from me … it’s really entertaining for the crowd and I think it could bring a lot of different people to watch our sport.”
Tennis has attracted the interest of major broadcast networks around the world with the idea, which could run after the WTA and ATP world tour finals in November, and also be extended to include top female players such as Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.
At present, the only arena with a roof that would guarantee play is Allphones Arena. However, with the state government proposing a 10,000-seat indoor stadium in the city, it is likely to shift to the new facility if the tournament gets the green light.
The introduction of the International Tennis Premier League in Asia and the Middle East in 2014, as well as the interest in the Hopman Cup this year, have proven how successful team-based tournaments are in attracting viewers as well as luring the top players in the world to play.
The barren land on Alison Road in Randwick where trees have been cut to make way for the light rail. Photo: Ben RushtonResidents of Sydney’s east woke up to a freshly bare Alison Road on Monday morning, after scores of trees were cut down over the weekend in preparation for the construction of a light rail line.
According to Randwick City Council, many of the iconic fig trees cut from Centennial Park were more than a hundred years old.
Randwick Greens councillor Murray Matson said residents remained “outraged” and “disappointed” that the trees were removed.
“The community has lost a lot,” Cr Matson said. ”There used to be a canopy effect where people used to walk along the bike track. Now it’s just open ground.
“It’s like a bare moonscape, with a river of woodchips going off into the horizon,” he said.
Cr Matson said two large Centennial Park trees remained in the construction zone on the corner of Darley Road and Alison Road; however, he was unsure if they would also be removed.
According to Cr Matson, the local council was not consulted when the state government changed plans for the light rail from the south to the north side of Alison Road, a move that necessitated the trees’ removal.
Up to 10 protesters chained themselves to the large fig trees for four hours last Thursday.
The protesters left peacefully after police claimed they were trespassing.
Transport for NSW said about 35 trees had been removed from Alison Road, and a further four from Anzac Parade. A spokeswoman said at least two trees would be planted for every small tree felled, four for every medium-sized one, and eight for every significant tree.
She rejected suggestions the council was not consulted.
“The proposed alignment was changed after further consultation was carried out with the community and stakeholders. The planning modification was released in 2014 and was then put out for public feedback from stakeholders, including Randwick City Council,” she said
The Department of Planning approved the modifications in February last year.
Transport for NSW said it “thoroughly investigated” the possibility of constructing the light rail line on the south side of Alison Road but deemed it unfeasible.
The $2.1 billion tram line will link Circular Quay to the eastern suburbs via Anzac Parade, and includes stops near Moore Park and the Randwick Racecourse.
Satudarah outlaw motorcycle club members riding in their colours in Sydney. Photo: FacebookAn international bikie gang known for its extreme violence has tried to get a foothold in by recruiting members for its Sydney chapter via Facebook, NSW Police say.
But the head of the NSW Gangs Squad, Detective Superintendent Deb Wallace, said the arrest of four senior members of the Satudarah outlaw motorcycle club had stopped the club before it could establish a true presence in .
Police became aware of attempts by the club, which originated in the Netherlands in 1990, to set up in NSW and South last February.
The club is known in Europe for its extreme violence, drugs, extortion and weapons trafficking and has since spread to other parts of Europe and south-east Asia.
It now claims to have more than 40 chapters worldwide.
Ms Wallace said police had been closely monitoring Satudarah’s attempts to recruit members for the newly formed Sydney chapter online.
The club pitched itself to potential members as “‘s first truley [sic] multicultural motorcycle club”.
“It appears that they were attempting to recruit members via Facebook,” she said. “Our concern was that they were going to reach out to disenfranchised members of other outlaw clubs.”
In the past week, the NSW Gangs Squad arrested four members of the club’s Sydney chapter, charging them with a range of offences including assault, possessing and supplying prohibited drugs, carrying weapons and consorting.
Among those arrested were the gang’s 30-year-old alleged chapter president. The bikie clubhouse, which was at the back of a residential premises in Bankstown, has been shut down.
Ms Wallace said the Sydney chapter consisted of 10 members at most and the arrests would see it dismantled.
Attempts to establish Satudarah in other parts of NSW and have been unsuccessful, she said.
Police had feared that, as Satudarah sought to establish itself in Sydney, its members would clash with other more established bikie gangs for territory and to gain notoriety.
Satudarah is known to have had violent brawls with the Hells Angels in the Netherlands.
“We never saw any issues develop between Satudarah and any other club because I don’t think they were on anyone’s radar,” Ms Wallace said.
The club was established in Moordrecht, in south Holland in 1990, with its original members consisting of immigrants or children of immigrations from the Dutch possession Moluccas, which now forms part of Indonesia.
The name Satudarah originates from “satu darah”, which is Indonesian for “one blood”.
Unlike other outlaw motorcycle gangs around the world Satudarah allows members from any ethnic or religious background. Other bikie gangs, such as the Hells Angels, will only allow “white males” to join.
Ms Wallace said police were confident they had stopped the gang from establishing itself in NSW and police would continue to monitor the situation.
Following NSW police’s announcement the club had been shutdown the Satudarah MC Sydney Facebook page posted: “Good morning BLACK & YELLOW world”.
Bondi Beach’s Icebergs – one place to chill out in coming days. Photo: Chris Lane Sydney’s beaches are likely to get busier in the next few days. Photo: Michele Mossop
Heatwave conditions are forecast for most of the state in coming days, with NSW Health advising people to limit physical activities and spend time in air-conditioned buildings.
Temperatures in Sydney reached 31.6 degrees on Monday and as high as 38 degrees in western suburbs. The city should climb to a top of 36 degrees on Tuesday with 39 forecast for Penrith and Richmond.
Wednesday should ease back a notch before Thursday, when the mercury is forecast to reach 41 degrees in the west and a top of 34 degrees in the city – or about eight degrees above average for January.
“Temperatures are set to rise and potentially be quite uncomfortable away from the sea breezes,” Guy Dixon, a meteorologist with Weatherzone, said.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a heatwave alert for most of NSW for the three days from Tuesday, including extreme conditions for the state’s north-east:
NSW Health said people should stay hydrated and avoid alcohol or sugary drinks. They should also try to keep out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day.
“Everyone needs to take care in hot weather but some people are at higher risk of heat illness, especially if they are older, live alone or are socially isolated,” NSW Health said in a statement.
The hottest temperatures in the state may come on Wednesday, when areas in the north-west such as Bourke can expect the mercury to climb to 45 degrees, according to the bureau.
A series of weak low-pressure troughs moving across are drawing heat from the inland and these will converge on Wednesday, Mr Dixon said.
The heat, though, may come to a sharp end for much of southern and south-eastern NSW on Thursday as a strong southerly buster moves in.
“The buster has the potential to drop temperatures significantly,” Mr Dixon said, adding that some places should cool by as much as 15-20 degrees with isolated showers and thunderstorms accompanying the change.
Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.