Road rage footage shows western Sydney highway brawl


A group of men were caught on camera throwing punches at each other in the morning traffic in western Sydney.

A timestamp and coordinates in a video posted online shows the brawl happened on Old Windsor Road in Glenwood, NSW on Tuesday morning.

The 7.43am punch-up was the culmination of a dispute that began a kilometre earlier and prompted the drivers to try to “run each other off the road”, according to the driver who shared the footage.

“Windsor Rd this morning (13th April 21) coming home from work,” the person said according to the Facebook group Dashcam Owners Australia, where the road rage footage was posted.

“The rage started about a km behind. Red Honda nearly clipped me going past as they were trying to run each other off the road.”

The video shows the Honda and a ute zigzag through traffic, appearing to chase each other.

At one point, the ute makes a sudden stop and a person in the passenger seat opens the door as if attempting to get out of the car.

But the Honda keeps driving until both cars come to a stop at a red light.

As soon as the cars are at a standstill, a person rushes out of the driver’s seat of the Honda and lunges at the ute. While the person in the ute’s passenger side is trying to open the door, another person walks around from the driver’s side and confronts the Honda driver.

He appears to try to calm the man down, but the Honda driver still manages to get in fisticuffs with the ute passenger.

Ignoring the lights that have turned green and the traffic flowing around them, the men continue to brawl until a trio jumps out of a passing truck to break up the fight.



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Hero tradie saves man from burning home on his way to work


A tradie is being praised for his heroism after he saved a man from burning home on his way to work.

After climbing into the burning house and pulling a man to safety, Hayssam ‘Sam’ Sabsabi jumped right back into his ute and headed on to the housing site where he was working.

Mr Sabsabi was on his way to the carpentry job on Monday when he noticed the house fire in the western Sydney suburb of Carramar.

He pulled over at the house, believed to be a home to adults with disabilities, and noticed people inside were trapped.

“I asked a lady what was happening and they said the people inside could not unlock the front door, they didn’t have the keys,” Mr Sabsabi told the Daily Mail. After using his tools to remove a flyscreen, he climbed inside and saw an elderly man asleep, despite thick smoke and “very scary” levels of heat.

“I think he was disabled because he could not walk. I lifted him up and took him outside,” he said.

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Mr Sabsabi said after helping one man from the building he realised no emergency crews had arrived, and climbed back inside.

“I went into the hallway and I could hear a voice from the back of the house calling, ‘I’m here, I’m here’,” he said.

“But I could not, I could not (get to him) — it was too dark, too hot and smelled very, very bad.

“I tried twice to go in there but I could not.”

The tradie said he stayed in the burning house for a total of “10 to 15 minutes”.

As emergency crews arrived at the scene, Mr Sabsabi said he climbed out of the burning building and explained what had happened.

The man was dragged from the building was assisted by paramedics, but sadly died at the scene yesterday. He is believed to be in his 40s, NCA NewsWire reported.

Mr Sabsabi then returned to his ute and headed to work at a construction site nearby.

“My wife told me today the other person died, so I feel very sad,” he said. “But I tried to help someone and I am pleased I helped one man.”



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Byron Shire council threatens to fine woman for painting her Mullumbimby home lilac


A woman living in a hippy town in northern NSW is campaigning to save her home after the local council threatened to fine her thousands for painting it lilac.

Nicole Haberecht, a Mullumbimby local, has been ordered to repaint her home, and told she risks being fined $3000, after she had it painted recently, The Echo reports.

“Please show your support so I can live in peace without the harassment from Byron Shire Council,” Ms Haberecht wrote in a Change.org petition to “Save The Purplicious House”.

Hundreds have signed the petition, with one local woman calling the move by council “bureaucracy gone completely bonkers”.

“I just wanted a beautiful home that lifts everybody’s spirit bringing joy to the community,” Ms Haberecht said.

She said she won’t be paying the fine, because she “can’t afford to”.

“This has been a very difficult time for me,” Ms Haberecht said. “I feel quite harassed because there are so many heavily coloured dwellings all around Mullumbimby.

“What negative impact am I having?”

She said she hadn’t met “one person who doesn’t like it”, adding the lilac paint job had cost her $10,000.

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“People stop me in the street and chat and remark how much they love it, and how it makes everyone feel happy.”

She said neighbours had been visiting her at home and offering their support over the council issues.

The lilac home sits in a heritage conservation area of Mullumbimby, where the NSW and local government work to ensure heritage values in the area aren’t lost by development. This can include external changes to homes, including paint colours.

After having the home painted, Ms Haberecht was given an order to repaint it by the Byron Shire Council — who said under the colour doesn’t comply with Non-Indigenous Heritage provisions of DCP 2014.

Byron Shire Mayor likes the lilac home

However, the Mayor of Byron Shire, Cr. Simon Richardson said he stands with the homeowner. He made his thoughts known commenting on a news story on Facebook.

“I support the owner,” Mr Richardson said. “I’m sick of those believing heritage means painting something in dreadful colours because they did it 100 years ago – the most beautiful heritage building in Mullum is the light pink one – thank goodness the heritage police didn’t hold sway on that.”

Since launching her petition, the Mullumbimby woman has received more than 200 signatures offering support.

“Her house and garden looks gorgeous as it is. Bureaucracy gone completely bonkers to fine and force her to change the colour,” Jocelyn Benner said.

“It is a nice house and a good colour. The Byron Council should leave Nicole alone and focus on fixing pot holes,” Chris Banaud wrote.

“What a ludicrous rule! And surely BSC could be spending their scarce resources on something constructive for a change,” Gordon Haynes said.

“Tell Council where to shove it!”



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Cat stolen from outside Dulwich Hill, Sydney home: Video


CCTV captured the moment a stranger walked into the front yard of a home in Sydney’s Inner West before calmly walking off with the family’s beloved 10-year-old cat.

Jessica Stevens posted footage of the brazen theft on Facebook, asking for help finding her family’s cat Fostok.

A neighbour had been feeding Fostok while Ms Stevens and her family were away for Easter but alarm bells were raised when the neighbour said they hadn’t seen the cat in two days.

Ms Stevens checked the camera installed at the front of the Dulwich Hill house and to her horror saw the 10-year-old cat her family have had since he was a kitten being carried away by a stranger.

The video, taken on April 6, shows a man wearing a backpack spotting the cat as he walked along the sidewalk.

The man then walks up the footpath to towards the home and lets Fostok sniff his hand before calmly picking up the cat and walking off.

Ms Stevens has begged anyone with information about who the man is or where Fostok might be to come forward.

“Our neighbour was feeding him because we were away and later told us she hadn’t seen him for the last two days. We checked the cameras and this is the footage,” Ms Stevens wrote on Facebook.

“He has been missing since Tuesday. All we want is him back! If anyone recognises this person please let me know!”

Ms Stevens’ cousin Jason Abrahim, who lives across the road from where the cat was stolen, said Fostok was “like family” to him and begged for his safe return.

Mr Abrahim told the Daily Mail he would forgive the man who stole Fostok if he returned the cat safely.

“I don’t know what this guy’s mental state is. In a way I feel sorry for him, maybe he’s lonely,” the 28-year-old told the publication.

“We just want our cat back. He just needs to give me a call or an email and I’ll pick it up and say, ‘I forgive you.’”

The incident has been reported to the police and footage of the theft has been shared across multiple community Facebook groups, prompting many shocked reactions.

“Hope he his home safe and sound with you all soon! Have shared to a few local community and pet groups that I’m in,” one person said.

“What the hell OMG my heart was tightening up as I watched this! Poor thing would be so confused I hope he’s OK,” another wrote.

One person added, “I am hoping it is a genuine mistake and your baby is home soon.”



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Second rare blood clotting case detected Australia


Australia’s drug regulator has given Pfizer vaccines the green light to be stored at freezer temperatures.

The development will make storage and distribution of the COVID-19 jabs more flexible, with Australia doubling its order to 40 million doses.

A second case of rare blood clotting has also been detected in a woman aged in her 40s, after health advise was updated last week to no longer recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged under 50.

Previously, Pfizer’s world-first messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine needed to be kept at -70C.

This was achieved using “sophisticated eskies” containing dry ice that lasts for 14 days.

But Therapeutic Goods Administration deputy secretary Professor John Skerritt said it had approved for the Pfizer vaccine to be stored for up to two weeks in normal freezer temperatures.

“It doesn’t mean you can spend its whole time in Australia, it still requires that ultra cold storage,” Prof Skerritt said.

“But it does mean a shipment could be made from Sydney to Broken Hill, or other places like that, at normal freezer temperatures.

“We also approved shorter periods of time but acceptable periods of time at refrigerator temperatures.

“The good news is we have more flexibility than we thought we had in how it can be stored and transported.”

A second case of rare blood clotting in a person who has received the AstraZeneca vaccine has been detected in Australia.

Health experts are investigating the case involving a woman aged in her 40s, who was vaccinated in Western Australia.

Prof Skerritt said the woman was in a stable condition.

“We have a second case of this syndrome that we call thrombosis clotting, a short and low level of platelets that is unusual,” Prof Skerritt said.

“That means that two from 700,000, one in 350,000.

“Your chances of winning Lotto a much higher.”

Australia has also recorded its 910th COVID-19 related death, the first since October last year.

An 80-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 on day five of hotel quarantine in Queensland was transferred to the Prince Charles Hospital on March 25 for treatment but died this month.

“Each life lost is a reminder of the global challenge,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

More than 1.2 million vaccines have now been administered across Australia.

Mr Hunt revealed on Monday the Commonwealth would not buy the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the national rollout because it was the same type of vaccine as the AstraZeneca.

Australia is also awaiting trials of the Novavax vaccine – which it has a supply agreement for – with data expected to be available in June.

“Subject to clinical trials and regulatory approval they are looking at a third-quarter commencement in Australia,” Mr Hunt said.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Opposition leader Anthony Albanese attacked Scott Morrison for going on Facebook to talk about the vaccines after telling Australians not to get their advice from the platform.

“Scott Morrison had one job, which was to get the rollout of the vaccine right, and it is a shambles,” Mr Albanese said.

“Now he is saying that they won’t even have a timeline or a target for when people will be vaccinated.

“The fact that there’s no timeline being given by Scott Morrison just shows an absolute failure when it comes to delivery.”

Concerns have been raised about that Australia’s vaccine setback will affect the reopening of the international border.

But Mr Hunt said this was an issue he’d been discussing with Health Department secretary Brendan Murphy.

“Vaccination alone is no guarantee that you can open up,” Mr Hunt said.

“If the whole country was vaccinated, you couldn’t just open the borders, we still have to look at a series of different factors.”



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Coldest temperatures of 2021 in Sydney, Melbourne; Chill here to stay.


Sydney shivered through its coldest start to the day for seven months this morning; Melbourne for six months.

In some places it’s only going to get chillier as double cold fronts barrel through during the middle of the week. But even where the mercury is set to rise, meteorologists are clear on one thing: the hot days are almost certainly done; we’re solidly into autumnal weather conditions now.

Melbourne sunk to 7.8C at dawn this morning, with an apparent temperature of 5C. It hasn’t been that chilly since last October.

Sydney’s 10.3C, which felt more like 5.5C at around 7am was the Harbour City’s coldest start since September last year.

Hobart dipped below 7C this morning. Cold, but not as cold as Sunday’s 5.6C in the capital. Nonetheless, for Tasmania it’s the iciest week of the year so far.

“It’s only autumn but it sure feels like winter,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s Hobart office on Monday.

But for South Australia, it’s fire not frost which is the risk. A total fire ban is in place for the Lower Eyre and York peninsulas.

Dry air lingering in the wake of the fronts that swept through on the weekend combined with wind and warmer weather is building ahead of a coming cold front.

“It’s not that hot for South Australia, but it’s exceptionally dry with strong winds leading to severe to extreme fire danger,” said Sky News Weather meteorologist Rob Sharpe.

Adelaide is set to settle into a rut of 21C maximums this week with possible light showers until Thursday and then again from Sunday. The mercury will drop in the early mornings from 14C on Wednesday to just 9C on Saturday.

Double cold fronts to hit south

A pair of cold fronts are set to hit the southern state in quick succession this week. One on Wednesday and another barrelling through on Thursday.

Get set for that to deliver highs of around 20C in Melbourne for the coming days drop to 16C by Friday. That would be one of the coldest days of the year so far, although not as cold as Sunday’s maximum of 14.5C.

There will be some showers in Melbourne on Thursday as the fronts go through. Damaging winds could bee seen through central Victoria on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hobart will dip from maximums of 19C up until Wednesday to 15C on Thursday with showers. It will then recover to 19C for the weekend. A low of just 7C will be felt on Friday morning.

It could be gusty, particularly on the west coast as the fronts pass through. A severe weather warning is in place for much of Tasmania, including Hobart, with winds of 60-790 km/h and 100 km/h gusts expected from Tuesday evening and into Wednesday.

Some snow is possible on higher ground in Tasmania – as well as Victoria and New South Wales – but the lack of moisture means there won’t be a huge amount of the white stuff.

Calm in Canberra with mostly sunny days all week and highs of 19-20C. Mornings will be cold, however, with 5C for the rest of the week but then down to 1C on Sunday morning.

After a brief rally to almost 30C on Wednesday, Sydney will slip to a high of 23C on Friday with some rain and then 22C on Saturday. Minimums will be around the mid-teens.

Rain, some heavy, could be a feature on Friday and Saturday for the Hunter and mid north coast.

Bucking the trend, Brisbane is getting warmer – from 26C on Wednesday to 30C on Friday – then falling again into the mid-twenties for the weekend. Mostly sunny with minimums in the mid-teens.

Northern Queensland is likely to be soggier with tropical moisture passing through and a vigorous low heading from the Pacific to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Cairns could see showers all week with highs in the low thirties.

Sunny in Darwin with maximums of 33C and lows on 24C. A possible shower on Friday.

After Cyclone Seroja, things are calming down in Western Australia. Perth will see a sunny week topping out at 28C on Sunday but cooler mornings around the 12C mark.



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Teen missing for one week


A 13-year-old girl has been missing for one week, with NSW police calling on the public to help find her.

Susannah Brown, whose nickname is Susie, was last seen on Hunter Street in Parramatta last Tuesday just after 9am.

Police have searched for her since her disappearance was reported and say they have “concerns for her welfare” because of her age.

Susie is from Canberra in the ACT but could be around the Parramatta or North Shore areas, according to authorities.

She is of caucasian appearance, about 150cm tall and has a slim build with black shoulder length hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or go online.



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Aerial maps and time lapses from flooding experts show scale of disaster


A series of eerie images from flood mapping experts show the shocking scale of the disastrous NSW floods, which destroyed thousands of homes and forced residents to flee their properties.

More than $400 million in damage has been caused to properties in the state and at least 33,000 insurance claims have been made, according to technology company FloodMapp.

The company provides real-time projections of how such a disaster might unfold, via aerial mapping.

The entire coast was drenched by more than 200mm of rain with some areas soaked in up to 400mm, while flooding stretched more than 600km from Sydney to the Northern Rivers and even into southern Queensland when the storm took hold in late March.

Speaking to NCA NewsWire, CEO and founder of FloodMapp Juliette Murphy said the floods covered 532kmsq during a seven day period.

“Our models show in the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment alone, over 9,400 properties have been impacted,” she said.

She explained FloodMapp provides modelling that not only determines whether a property has been damaged but to what extent.

The company specialises in rapid real-time flood forecasting and flood inundation mapping so homes and businesses can prepare for potentially life-threatening conditions and avoid financial loss.

Time-lapse footage from FloodMapp shows just how swollen the Hawkesbury River became during the peak of the floods, which virtually swallowed Windsor and North Richmond in Sydney’s far west.

Aerial images were also able to capture the extent of the flooding, which matched FloodMapp’s real-time projections.

The shocking maps show fields and properties along the Hawkesbury River completely underwater. There are also images taken from Cooma in the state’s north and from Logan in southern Queensland, both inundated with water.

Earlier, eerie pictures taken from a helicopter revealed the sheer devastation the floods have had on families across NSW, including those in western Sydney.

What began as a heavy rain quickly spiralled into one of the state’s worst flooding events in decades, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning the event would be the worst in the area since November 1961.

Windsor, in Sydney’s northwest, was one of the worst-hit areas of the city.

Aerial shots taken in the region paint a shocking picture of destruction, with homes submerged and roads and bridges under water.

A bridge designed to be “floodproof” went almost completely under water as residents in Windsor waited anxiously to see what would be left of their town when the waters finally receded.

Two men were killed in the disaster, one in NSW and one in Queensland. Both were found in cars that had been caught in floodwaters.



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Lakeside Long Lunch returns in 2021 with food and wine festival at Penrith


What started as an idea between a bunch of mates to help out their local community has become even more important this year.

Launched in 2019, Lakeside Long Lunch is the brainchild of a group of Penrith friends who wanted to support local businesses.

But when the coronavirus pandemic derailed their plans to hold the festival in Sydney’s west again last year, they were on a mission to bring it back again in 2021.

“Sydneysiders deserve some fun,” said the event’s co-founder James Crowe.

“It’s been a tough 12 months but now that events are back on, what better way to celebrate than over a wine (or beer!) at Lakeside.

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“We can’t thank the community enough for rallying around us, it’s meant we can have more than 50 local businesses supported.

“Lakeside is really a bunch of mates from Penrith coming together to create something for the community and support local business.”

The food and wine festival is being held on April 24 at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.

The first year saw 4500 people attend and this year they’ve amped things up with 7500 tickets and Thirsty Merc and Sneaky Sound System among the artists playing for the crowds.

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Mr Crowe said they were on their way to doubling the number of attendees this year.

“We’ve been set free, and we can dance again,” he said.

“The dance floor is back at Lakeside and it’s a great thing for all. Finally, people can let their hair down, take their shoes off and enjoy live music in the open air.”

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More than 50 local vendors will provide a variety of food and beverages – with tickets ranging from entry-level to VIP packages with inclusions like premium champagne, pole position seating and priority bar access.

The event will run from 11am to 6pm, and tickets are available here.



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Australian Border Force sting uncovers 23 restaurant workers underpaid $800K


A group operating nine restaurants across Australia has been fined for underpaying 23 workers $800,000 and banned from sponsoring foreign workers for two years.

The China Chilli Holding Group that operates Sichuan cuisine restaurants in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide was fined $131,400 for the breach, following an investigation by the Australian Border Force (ABF).

The group was found to have underpaid 23 workers $799,575 between July 2019 and November 2020.

The ABF said the group provided evidence that it had corrected the underpayments.

ABF acting commander of enforcement operations in the eastern region, Garry Low, said all Australian workers had the right to be paid properly, including holders of sponsored visas.

“Sponsored workers must be paid at least the salary approved by the Department of Home Affairs at the time of nomination,” Commander Low said.

He said where underpayment or other noncompliance was found, sponsors would be required to repay wages owed to employees.

“They also face harsh fines, cancellation of sponsorship agreements and being barred from making further applications to sponsor workers,” Commander Low said.



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