Fatal single-vehicle crash at North Rothbury

A driver has died after a single-vehicle crash in the state’s Hunter region today.

About 2.20am (Sunday 5 July 2020), emergency services were called to Wine Country Drive, North Rothbury, following reports a car had caught fire after leaving the road and hitting a tree.

The driver and sole occupant died at the scene, however they have not been formally identified.

Officers from Hunter Valley Police District along with Fire and Rescue NSW attended scene and commenced investigations.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.

Winter sport returns across the city

Winter sports return today after City of Newcastle staff worked with sporting associations, clubs and neighbouring councils to support the resumption of competition and ensure a safe and consistent approach.

Around 140 sportsgrounds are hosting players in adherence to each sporting association’s COVID-19 safety plan.

Maryland Fletcher FC come back to two vastly improved fields at Kurraka Reserve, thanks to new turf and a $160,000 irrigation and drainage upgrade delivered by the City with the help of a $100,000 Federal sporting grant.

Regeneration of the two playing surfaces also included relevelling, top dressing and over sowing with ryegrass.

Maryland-Fltecher-FC-Kurraka-Reserve-inside.jpgFederal member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon with Maryland Fletcher FC President Dave Carter and City of Newcastle Councillor Matthew Byrne on Kurraka Reserve’s new playing surface.

“We are delighted to welcome all sports back from this weekend and especially happy for the young Maryland-Fletcher players returning to a picture-perfect playing surface,” City of Newcastle Councillor Matthew Byrne said.

“The new drainage system will prevent Kurraka becoming waterlogged in winter while the irrigation system will dramatically improve the turf quality and playability for both soccer and cricket year-round.

“The past summer’s drought and water restrictions, which turned many sporting grounds into dust bowls around the country, underline the importance of efficient irrigation systems.

“Better grounds encourage greater participation while minimising labour and maintenance costs, and the City’s parks and recreation staff do a fantastic job maintaining and upgrading fields.”

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Maryland Fletcher FC President Dave Carter said the club’s youngsters were eager to play on the newly improved fields.

“The result of the upgrade is a vastly improved and sustainable playing surface that’s going to save us hundreds of volunteer hours and ongoing maintenance costs every year,” Carter said.

“It’s been a great example of what can be achieved with cross-government and local community cooperation. We’re grateful for Council for managing the installation and the support of our Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon MP in obtaining a Federal grant.”

Where sporting activities involve more than 20 participants, organisers must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan. The City will continue to liaise with clubs to ensure they meet requirements.

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Newcastle back in business and ready to host events

Newcastle is ready to accommodate an influx of new event bookings as the City reopens the doors for functions at its key venues.

Function rooms located within City Hall and the Fort Scratchley Function Centre are now available for hire, with COVIDSafe plans in place to ensure the safety of attendees.

The guidelines will be determined by the one person per four square metre rule and allow seated functions and events only.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the reopening of venues was a positive step as the city recovers from COVID-19 restrictions.

“The City of Newcastle has a well earnt reputation for delivering first-class events, from small scale local functions all the way though to international events.

“While business tourism, family celebrations and community events had to be put on hold in recent months in the interests of public health and safety, we can now welcome people back into our wonderful function spaces within City Hall and Fort Scratchley.

“Allowing bookings for functions and events at these venues will also have a positive flow-on effect for local businesses such as caterers, accommodation providers, event organisers and florists, who rely heavily on the events industry to survive, while traders in surrounding precincts such as Darby Street will also benefit from increased visitation to the city.

“The past week has seen the phones running hot from people wanting to book the City’s venues.”

A comprehensive COVID-19 Safety Plan has been developed for all City of Newcastle venues to protect the health of the community and staff, including enhanced hygiene measures and distancing measures.

Pop-up cycleway for Honeysuckle Drive

City of Newcastle has partnered with Transport for NSW to create a temporary cycleway along Honeysuckle Drive to improve connectivity between Steel Street and Worth Place while major construction projects are completed in the area.

The cycleway will be delivered as part of Transport for NSW’s roadside public spaces trial to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Site-of-new-cycleway-inside.jpgSite of new cycleway.

“As development continues along the harbour, the 150m cycleway will provide a vital connection between the existing off-road shared paths east of Steel Street along the Foreshore,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“The temporary separated bi-directional cycleway will replace kerbside parking on the northern side of Honeysuckle Drive to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe from traffic, and provide space for people to maintain physical distancing.

“A reduced speed limit of 30km/hr will also be trialled from Hannell Street along Honeysuckle Drive, Wharf Road and Shortland Esplanade to the Watt Street intersection to further improve pedestrian and cyclist safety along this popular route.”