News

Fire bugs believed responsible for two large blazes

AS THE smoke clears across NSW, police are hunting arsonists responsible for major fires which forced evacuations of towns and destroyed livestock.

While harsh conditions have been blamed for the recent bushfire crisis, a handful of fire bugs are believed to be responsible for two large grass fires - one at Cessnock and another near Dubbo - and several blazes in Sydney's west.

The Cessnock fire, which broke out when a car was torched in bushland, burnt out thousands of hectares and left authorities with no choice but to evacuate the town and surrounding areas.

At least six teenagers have already been charged over a spate of Sydney fires.

Community outrage followed the bail release of three boys from Parramatta, accused of igniting fires in known trouble spots on the worst fire danger day in the state's history.

In Yass, where a 100,000ha fire devastated farms and destroyed thousands of sheep, local mayor Rowena Abby called for arsonists to be punished by being forced to help with the clean-up, including putting to death injured animals

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell promised to come down harder on arsonists and backed Ms Abbey's calls.

He has since referred the suggestion to NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith who is currently reviewing major bail reforms.

Detectives from Strike Force Tronto are investigating the role arsonists may have played in at least 20 NSW fires.
Several people have been ordered to front court for lighting a fire on a total fire ban day, an offence which carries fines of up to $2,200.

The only major fire which continues to burn in NSW is near Coonabarabran in the state's North West.

Firefighters have managed to save the town but 53 properties, 113 buildings, thousands of livestock and farm machinery have been destroyed.

The fire has burnt out 55,000ha and back burning is continuing around the region.

Light rain helped to control the fire on the weekend and heavier falls were expected to bring more relief Monday evening.

Topics:  arson, bushfire, fire



Emotional farewell for AWLQ volunteers and staff

AWLQ CEO Denise Bradley farewells a long-serving volunteer at the West Ipswich facility on Friday.

The AWLQ has left the building. So what's next?

Federal Minister won't support JBS workers

Federal Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash

Federal Minister leaves JBS questions unanswered

Check out the Top of Town's newest store

TOP CHOICE: Julie Clark, owner of a new shop at the Top of Town, Baby Body Abode, with her dog Beau who greets the customers at the door.

Julie Clark is head over heels with Ipswich

Local Partners

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Things to do around Ipswich this weekend

The Ipswich Orchid Society Garden Spectacular is this weekend.

Things to do around Ipswich

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E7: Manifest review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E6: Suckas Need Bodyguards review

Rosario Dawson and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E5: Just To Get A Rep review

Mahershala Ali, centre, in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets