Daily News Roundup

September 10, 2019

Tuesday,  September 10 

While all fire eyes were fixed on the devastation continuing to unfold on the Gold Coast hinterland and northern NSW yesterday a sudden new fire threat burst out on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The fire was still burning out of control today with up to 10 houses at Peregian Beach so far damaged and one destroyed.

Police said they were speaking to a number of teenagers over the fire, one of 68 still burning across the state, including at Lower Beechmont and O’Reilly

Residents at Peregian Beach, Marcus Beach and Peregian Breeze Estate are being told to leave immediately and for anyone outside the zone to avoid travelling to the area.

Peregian Springs is now at a “watch and act” level and residents being told to prepare to leave.

A 737 jet tanker was expected to fly over the Peregian fire this morning to drop 15,000 litres of fire retardant on the blaze.

A “watch and act” warning is also in place for residents at Weyba, Castaways Beach, Sunrise Beach, Sunshine Beach and Noosa Springs.

The Red Cross set up several evacuation centres overnight, including at Noosa Leisure Centre, with centre coordinator Judith Brady saying the facility housed more than 200 people during the height of the firestorm.

Noosa Local Disaster Co-ordinator Carl Billingham said the fire remained out-of-control and crews were working fast to contain it.

“I believe we’ve got three fire water bombing helicopters coming in to try and douse the fire where possible and we’ve got over 70 tenders in attendance of the fire,” he said.

Sunshine Coast acting mayor Tim Dwyer said the situation was still “very, very tricky”, but residents appear to be heeding the warnings.

“The glow of the flames in the sky last night, the smell of the fire, the look of the angst on the people, the frustration, the uncertainty, you could see it written all over their places. Really trying times,” he said.

The Bureau of Meterology’s Jonty Hall said conditions remained dangerous despite the dry south-westerly winds dropping slightly.

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Extreme summers in Australia are forcing some cricket associations to change playing conditions to deal with the heat, the ABC reports.

“At 42 [degrees Celsius] we all pack up and have the day off,” said Peter Kelly, Secretary of the Red Cliffs Cricket Association in the north-east corner of Victoria, according to a report by ABC national sports reporter David Mark..

Mark wrote that Mr Kelly said his association was bringing in new rules in response to last summer’s extreme temperatures and the changing climate they are experiencing.

“We cracked the record last January, when we were looking for a cool change to be under 40C and we went for three consecutive days over 46C,” Mr Kelly said.

“Never had anything like that.

“Couple of hot days was it, and now we’re getting weeks of it.”

Mark reported that the disruptions at Australian clubs came as a new report, Hit for Six, was released today at Lords in England about the impact of climate change and extreme heat on cricket.

The co-author, Dominic Goggins, said the report was pertinent for Australia, given that eight of the 10 warmest years recorded in Australia had occurred since 2005.

“There definitely do need to be firm policies on when it is deemed to be too unsafe to play cricket at the highest level,” he said.

From this season, the Red Cliffs Association is looking to play shorter games, have longer drinks breaks and be prepared to call games off if the temperature passes 42C.

Extreme heat is now being seen in the same light as cricket’s eternal nemesis: rain.

“A lot of the times we’re actually referring back to what the rules are for rain, because we haven’t had these extreme heats before,” Mr Kelly told Mark.

“They might [once have been] one day for the summer, but now they’re consecutive days really from the end of December through to the second week in February — it’s quite on the cards to be having 40C now.

“We want to play cricket, we love to play cricket and just that opportunity needs to be taken with some common sense,” Mr Kelly said.

The Hit for Six report identifies Cricket Australia’s heat policy as best practice in the area, parallel with Tennis Australia’s heat policy.

“The whole of the cricket authority world needs to wake up to this problem,” Mr Goggins said.

On Monday morning, Australian cricketer Beth Mooney was forced to retire hurt from a one-day international against the West indies in Antigua because of heat stress.

Last year, England captain Joe Root retired hurt and was hospitalised during the Sydney Ashes Test as temperatures hit 43C. A “feels like” monitor at the ground showed a reading of 57C in the middle.

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Four South Korean crew members have been pulled through a hole in the hull of a capsized cargo ship a day after it rolled off the US east coast.

US Coast Guard Captain John Reed told a live streamed news conference the condition of the men was “relatively good” after spending  34 or 35 hours in the conditions they were in.

Salvage crews made contact with the missing crew members on Monday morning and drilled a hole through the ship’s hull to deliver food and water to them, Captain Reed said.

Helicopters rescued 20 crew members from the 200m Golden Ray on Sunday after it became disabled, began listing and eventually fell helplessly on its side in St Simons Sound, near Brunswick, Georgia, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The ship had previously called at the Port of Brunswick, Georgia, and was headed to Baltimore, according to the Vessel Finder website.

The carrier was built in 2017 and was sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands, it said.

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Britain’s uncertain future continues with Parliament suspended for five weeks after a night of drama in which MPs again rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attempts to force a snap election, news agencies report.

More than two-thirds of the Parliament, or 434 MPs, were needed to back the motion calling a general election, but that figure was well short after 

Labour and other opposition parties abstained from voting.

It was the sixth major defeat for the Prime Minister in just his fifth day in the House of Commons.

MPs will now go home and Parliament suspended, or prorogued, until October 14 — just two weeks before the October 31 Brexit deadline.

Earlier in the day new legislation that will force Mr Johnson to head to Brussels to seek a Brexit delay until January 2020, unless a deal or no-deal Brexit is approved by MPs by October 19, was passed into law.

Last Friday Mr Johnson said he would rather die in a ditch than head back to Brussels to seek an extension.

The suspension of Parliament will stop MPs from passing new laws in opposition to Mr Johnson’s Brexit stance, and some MPs trying to stop a no-deal Brexit have branded it a “coup”.

It is being challenged in court by opponents who say it is anti-democratic and illegal.

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