Australian Pilots not at higher risk of melanoma than other Australians

Recently, ARPANSA co-authored a new study which found that modern airline pilots registered in Australia, appear not to be at higher risk of developing invasive melanoma than the rest of the population.

The study, led by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, has been published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

This study is significant because it is a change from previous findings that focused on pilots in the northern hemisphere.

For decades, previous research showed much higher risks of melanoma in European and North American pilots, compared to the general population.

The Australian study was also conducted in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). QIMR Berghofer researcher and lead author, Associate Professor Catherine Olsen, said this study examined health information from more than 20,000 Australian licensed pilots.

‘We looked at de-identified medical records from 2011 to 2016 held by the CASA, and found pilots in this country were not at a higher risk of developing invasive melanoma than the general population,’ Associate Professor Olsen said.

‘These new findings may reflect that conditions on airliner flights have changed,’ added Dr. Rick Tinker, co-author of the study and Director of Assessment and Advice at ARPANSA.

‘Factors such as levels of short-wave solar ultraviolet radiation, which are the kind associated with melanoma, are mostly extremely low on today’s airliner flight decks.’

‘Other reasons why melanoma risk for pilots may have lowered, may be because pilots these days have different lifestyles and work practices. For example, they are expected to fly more and therefore have less layovers, especially in sunny destinations.’

Researchers hope this study will be built on further, using contemporary data gathered from around the world, in order to confirm whether commercial pilots in other countries are also no longer at increased melanoma risk.

The study was funded by the Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine.

For more details on the study, visit QIMR Berghofer.

Search continues for man after escaping police custody – Singleton

Police are stepping up their search to locate a man wanted on outstanding warrants after escaping from police custody in the Hunter Valley.

About 2.30pm yesterday (Wednesday 22 May 2019), a search operation involving officers from Hunter Valley Police District and PolAir commenced in Singleton, after Jay Bill Mason, aged 26, escaped from police custody at Singleton Police Station.

Today (Thursday 23 May 2019), search efforts continued with Hunter Valley officers conducting an extensive search of Singleton and the surrounding areas.

Police believe he may still be in the Singleton area.

Mr Mason is currently wanted on outstanding warrants for breach of parole order and revocation of intensive correction order.

He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, 195cm-200cm tall, with a thin build, short brown hair, shaved on top and longer at the back, with a ‘Jim Beam’ tattoo on his back, an ‘RIP’ tattoo on his arm, a full sleeve tattoo on his left arm, and tattoos on his chest.

He was last seen shirtless, wearing navy blue shorts with a floral print, and white ankle socks.

If sighted, the public is urged not to approach him but to contact Police immediately.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

Missing person appeal – Kew

Police are appealing for information to help locate a missing man in the Lake Macquarie region.

Jonathon Peter Wynn, aged 32, was last seen about 8.30pm yesterday (Wednesday 23 May 2019) in the Toronto foreshore area.

Mr Wynn has not been in contact with family and police have concerns for his welfare.

He is described as being 182cm tall, muscular build, with brown hair and was last seen wearing a black t-shirt and shorts.

At the time of going missing, he was on foot.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact police immediately.

NEW CUTTING-EDGE FACILITIES FOR PENRITH STUDENTS

Students and staff at Penrith Public School now have access to a new state-of-the-art building, thanks to a $10 million investment from the NSW Government.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell today officially unveiled the new two storey building, as the NSW Government continues its record $6.5 billion rollout of 190 new and upgraded schools.

“The upgrade at Penrith Public School has delivered 12 cutting-edge classrooms, to give students the best possible learning environment to thrive in,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This is yet another example of what our record investment in new and upgraded schools is delivering for students and teachers right across the State.”

Ms Mitchell said Penrith Public School is one of 22 new and upgraded public schools that have opened in 2019.

“Seventeen new and upgraded schools opened their doors to students in time for Term 1 and we have delivered another five in time for Term 2,” Ms Mitchell said.

“The NSW Government will continue to get on with the job of delivering for schools across the State, so every child has access to world-class facilities.”

Minister for Western Sydney and Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres has welcomed the significant upgrade at Penrith Public School.

“Penrith Public School is now the perfect example of Penrith heritage and new Penrith coming together,” Mr Ayres said.

The NSW Government’s record investment in new and upgraded schools is on top of the $1.3 billion to wipe the school maintenance to zero and the $500 million Cool Classrooms Fund to provide new air conditioning units.

SYDNEY METRO TO OPEN IN THREE WEEKS

Australia’s biggest public transport project, the North West Metro, will open to customers on Sunday 26 May, delivering a turn up and go rail service from Rouse Hill to Chatswood.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance today confirmed the opening date of the new Metro line, which is now undergoing final commissioning.

“This is an exciting time for the future of public transport. Thousands of commuters will have access to world class metro rail,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We have delivered the North West Metro on time and more than $1 billion under budget.

“This project is the result of hard work, discipline and focus. I want to thank all those involved in delivering this important project.”

Mr Constance said the Metro North West Line includes 13 stations between Tallawong and Chatswood and 4000 commuter car parking spaces.

“The new generation of driverless trains have now completed more than 180,000 kilometres of testing and final commissioning is underway,” Mr Constance said.

“Sydney Metro is Australia’s first fully accessible railway which will deliver fast, safe and reliable travel.

“The Metro line is currently being extended from Chatswood to Bankstown and by 2024 Sydney will have 31 metro stations and a 66 kilometre standalone metro railway.”

At full operation, trains will run every four minutes in each direction at peak times on the Metro North West Line, with the ability to run up to every two minutes in the future.

BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE COMING SOON TO A SCHOOL NEAR YOU

Before and after school care for all children at public primary schools is on track for 2021, with consultation to begin with principals and school communities next month.

Parents will also be able to register their interest in a before or after school care service where they might not have one or theirs is full via Service NSW from July 1.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said implementing the key election commitment was a major focus for the NSW Government.

“We are getting on with the job of delivering this important initiative to ensure working families have greater access to more affordable, convenient and flexible child care services,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“No matter where you live or what your circumstances are, parents should have access to quality and affordable out of school hours care for their children”.

Ms Mitchell said consultation on the $120 million investment would begin in Term 2.

“We will work closely with our schools, P&Cs, principals and parents – as well as the before and after school care sector – to develop flexible and creative solutions that offer parents support and choice, as well as ensuring schools have the equipment and resourcing they need to deliver these wonderful services,” Ms Mitchell said.

Schools in metropolitan and major regional centres will be required to open their playgrounds, halls or classrooms for before and after school care and school holiday care from 7am to 6pm.

At smaller or remote schools where an on-site service is not feasible, transport will be offered to get students to and from offsite providers or other schools.

“We need to use our wonderful school resources better. It is not acceptable that there are waiting lists for before and after school care, while our school grounds are under-utilised,” Ms Mitchell said.

A new specialist team in the Department of Education is being created to coordinate services and manage leases to relieve this burden from principals.

The NSW Government will also reduce the cost of before and after school care by up to $225 per child per year, through a capped rental subsidy of up to $15,000 for providers who run services on NSW Government school grounds.

The $120 million strategy, over four years, includes $50 million to help schools buy new equipment and expand their facilities; $40 million to provide rental subsidies to service providers at public primary schools if they can demonstrate savings have been passed on to families; and $20 million to help schools where a standalone service may not be viable, including smaller schools and rural and remote communities.

There is also funding for a team of specialists to help coordinate services and resources to make it easier to setup and maintain a service and to take the hassle out of managing contracts with providers for principals; as well as funding to help parents and carers search for and access places online via Service NSW.

THIRD TERM TO DELIVER FOR ALL ACROSS NSW

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro have outlined the newly elected Government’s priorities ahead of the first Cabinet meeting today.

“I’m looking forward to delivering great opportunities and quality of life for all citizens across NSW no matter where they live or what their circumstances are,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“A strong economy is fundamental. We need to ensure that NSW continues to be an attractive location to invest, which will in turn enhance capacity to develop new industries and drive jobs growth.

“Jobs are fundamental. We will prioritise higher education and skills to ensure we have a workforce that is able to adapt to the needs of Australia and the world.

“We will also focus on tackling social issues to reduce disadvantage.”

Mr Barilaro said improving the quality of life for people across NSW, particularly in the regions, will be a major focus for the Government.

“We know many of our regional and rural communities are doing it tough. Providing water security and better connecting our communities will be key priorities,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We have an opportunity to unlock enormous economic potential with better connections between the regions and Sydney and, crucially, from region to region.”
The key policy priorities of the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government are:

  • A strong economy, quality jobs and job security for workers of today and tomorrow;
  • Highest quality education no matter where you live or what your circumstances may be;
  • Well-connected communities with quality local environments;
  • Making Government work better for you by putting the customer at the centre of everything we do; and,
  • Breaking the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage by fixing problems that have been in the too-hard basket for too long.


A strong economy, quality jobs and job security for workers of today and tomorrow: We will build the strongest economy in the region, providing the jobs and investment opportunities that will take NSW to the next level.

By diversifying our economy, we can deliver greater economic growth, and more and better jobs. Continued jobs growth and business investment is the key to the wages growth required to help individuals and families to get ahead. We have the capacity to be a global leader in areas such as fin-tech, med-tech, research and development, robotics and information technology. And we will continue to reduce taxes so businesses can grow and prosper.

Highest quality education no matter where you live or what your circumstances may be: We will prepare the most dynamic, qualified and skilled workforce in the world.

Higher education and skills standards will ensure a flexible workforce, able to adapt to the ever-changing external environment and access lifelong learning opportunities.  This will help take NSW to the next level and ensure capacity to develop new industries.  We will focus on the quality of life-long learning, whether it’s pre-school, school, vocational education or mature-aged re-training. And we will focus on areas where educational outcomes need improvement.

Well-connected communities with quality local environments: We will deliver the infrastructure that connects communities and improves opportunity and quality of life.
Our ambitious infrastructure pipeline must make all our cities and towns more liveable, whether country or city. Not just transport infrastructure, but social infrastructure like schools, hospitals, sporting and cultural institutions, parks and public space. We will deliver cleaner, greener urban environments and more secure water supplies for the bush. These infrastructure investments will be integrated completely with our regional growth strategy and will connect communities like never before.

Making Government work better for you by putting the customer at the centre of everything we do: We will provide world-class services for every citizen, no matter where they live or what their circumstances may be.
The newly established Customer Service Cluster will use technology and data to better integrate government services and massively improve the quality and level of services available.  In the same way we have revolutionised customer service through Service NSW – where citizens can now conduct more than 850 transactions in one place – we will now focus on how people interact with our schools, hospitals and social services so that each of these services are re-designed to work better for each citizen, and improve their lives at an individual level. And we will continue to reduce red tape, simplify processes and deliver measures to help people manage their cost of living.

Break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage by fixing problems that have been in the too-hard basket for too long: We will focus on social reform in areas that have been longstanding challenges.
With strong fundamentals now in place, we can focus on the most difficult problems that our community faces, including those which have driven intergenerational disadvantage. Already, we have begun work to reduce the rate of suicide, provide permanency for all children in out of home care, ensure social housing tenants have a pathway to independence, tackle indigenous disadvantage, and reduce rates of recidivism and the prison population. We are not here to avoid the toughest problems or simply to mark time – we are here to make a real and lasting difference.

Police appeal for help to locate missing man – Hunter Region

Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate a man missing in the Hunter Region.

Arthur Cox, aged 47, was last seen at his home on Ashwood Road, Owens Gap, about 7.30am on Monday 20 May 2019.

When he failed to return home yesterday (Tuesday 21 May 2019), family members notified officers from Hunter Valley Police District and commenced inquiries.

Police and family hold serious concerns for Arthur’s welfare as he has not been seen or heard from since.

Officers conducted an initial land search yesterday but suspended due to poor light.

Police commenced a search about 8am this morning, with assistance from officers from Hunter Valley Police District and PolAir.

Arthur is described as being of Caucasian appearance, between 175-180cms tall, with a solid build.

It’s believed he could be travelling in a grey 2011 dual cab tray back Holden Colorado with New South Wales registration number BZZ 44W.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact police immediately.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

Appeal to locate wanted man after escaping police custody – Singleton

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a man wanted on outstanding warrants after escaping from police custody in Singleton this afternoon.

About 2.30pm (Wednesday 22 May 2019), a search operation involving officers from Hunter Valley Police District and PolAir commenced in Singleton, after Jay Bill Mason, aged 26, escaped from police custody at Singleton Police Station.

Mr Mason is currently wanted on outstanding warrants for breach of parole order and revocation of intensive correction order.

He is known to frequent the Singleton Heights area.

He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, 195cm-200cm tall, with a thin build, short brown hair, shaved on top and longer at the back, with a ‘Jim Beam’ tattoo on his back, an ‘RIP’ tattoo on his arm, a full sleeve tattoo on his left arm, and tattoos on his chest.

He was last seen shirtless, wearing navy blue shorts with a floral print, and white ankle socks.

If sighted, the public is urged not to approach him but to contact Singleton Police Station or Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information about Jay Bill Mason’s whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

City says thanks to committed volunteers

City of Newcastle has praised the service of its volunteers at a special morning tea marking National Volunteers Week.

Around 80 of 350 city volunteers gathered at Newcastle Museum this morning to be thanked by Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and the City’s senior leaders for the countless hours they’ve dedicated over the past year.

Volunteers from all walks of life lend their skills, passion and time at various locations across the city including 23 Landcare sites, Libraries, the Museum, Gallery, Civic Playhouse and at major events like the Newcastle 500.

volunteersinside.jpgVolunteers joined Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes at today’s morning tea

“On the behalf of the city, I’d like to thank all of the volunteers for their selfless contributions to Newcastle,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“Today is about recognising every one of our volunteers equally and acknowledging the work that they do across the City, whether that’s at our variety of outdoor Landcare sites or at City-owned facilities, their dedicated service is highly valued by City of Newcastle and our community.”

Today’s morning tea ties in with National Volunteers Week, of which the theme this year is Making a World of Difference. Throughout the week, thousands of people will gather across the country to say thank you to the more than six million Australians who volunteer their time for their community.

In Newcastle alone, volunteers sit on multiple committees, help manage city parks, fields and halls, and act as city guides through the NewCrew program.
LMinside.jpgNewcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes addressed the congregation of 80 volunteers

Volunteersinside1.jpgMel Histon (speaking) from Got Your Back Sista, Karissa Lewis from Camp Quality and 2014 Citizen of the Year
Rick Prosser

Sixty NewCrew volunteers have helped attendees at 14 events, providing around 800 hours of their time as well assisting in the Newcastle Shop at Newcastle Museum since the team was formed in October 2018.

One of the biggest contributions they make to the City is their assistance at various Citizenship ceremonies throughout the year, which often draw some 200-300 people at each event.

NewCrew were among the volunteer groups thanked at today’s morning tea that included Museum, Landcare, Parks and Playhouse volunteers.

volunteersinside3.jpgMore than 80 volunteers attended today’s morning tea held at Newcastle Museum

Chris Marley, a Nobbys Beach Landcare volunteer, said he was humbled by today’s morning tea and pleased to be able to share the moment alongside other City volunteers.

He said hearing from a panel of local businessmen and women, comprising of Mel Histon from Got Your Back Sista, Karissa Lewis from Camp Quality, and 2014 Citizen of the Year and Soul Café Owner Rick Prosser, was particularly rewarding.

“It was great to hear from the panel members speaking about their passions and commitment to supporting the City’s volunteers who’ve come today from all over Newcastle to be here,” he said.

“The men and women in this room are truly the unsung heroes of our community doing great work to proudly service our City. It’s such a pleasure to be recognised for all the work we do, and I thank those that have helped make today’s morning tea possible.”