Southern Highlands - 949 Power FM

'The Pledge' gathers support

taxis 1

Kiama MP Gareth Ward is the first Member of Parliament in NSW to sign a pledge to support the struggling taxi industry.

And Highlands MP's Nathaniel Smith and Wendy Tuckerman are expected to follow suit.

Operators are opposing a proposed two licence cap, which would see the Government buy back just two licenses for $90,000.

22 years ago Southern Highlands Taxis Managing Director Laurie Stewart paid $1.5 million dollars for 17 licences.

Mr. Stewart said its good to see politicians are now starting to get on board.

"The whole thing was absurd,

"The document which is called the 'pledge' is now being signed by all members of Parliament and they're only too willing to sign it,"Mr. Stewart said.

Image: Southern Highlands Taxis

taxi pledge january 24

Image: Office of Gareth Ward 

A new type of festival to celebrate the Highlands' best food and wine


The Southern Highlands Food and Wine Festival that was planned for later this month has been cancelled amid continued uncertainty about whether all people are able to attend major cultural events.

But in its place a different sort of festival will be held at the Moss Vale Showground at the end of February.

Katrina Hill-Cooper from the Southern Highlands Food and Wine Association said the February event was all about re-setting after the difficulties of the past couple of years, and making a fresh start.


It will also celebrate the best food and wine the Southern Highlands has to offer.

"What we wanted to do was to do something post-COVID to try and get everybody, sort of, back on track, something a little bit exciting," Ms Hill-Cooper said.

"It's the last weekend of summer, it's just before uni goes back in March, so we wanted a food and wine catch up event."

Ms Hill-Cooper said the event on the weekend of February 26 and 27 would have a different feel to the region's usual food and wine festival.

"It will have new experiences, there'll be a focus on food and locally produced providores and restaurant experiences and purchasing tickets and going to the providores of your choice - it's quite a different format," she explained.


Association president Jean-Marie Simart said the food and wine festival was "an ideal way to start 2022".

“Already considered a must-do annual pilgrimage for food and wine disciples, the festival has been re-imagined with a wonderful new layout to make it more enjoyable than ever to engage with our growers, winemakers, chefs, distillers and brewers."

He said the new format in the wide open spaces and fresh air of Moss Vale Showgrounds would offer a backdrop of rolling green hills, giving a real sense of why so many growers were passionate about farming in the Southern Highlands.


The alfresco experience will include an avenue of restaurants, picnic grounds, brewers’ garden and produce marketplace, as well as free, live entertainment and Olssons Salt Sessions chef workshops.

Images: Destination NSW, Southern Highlands Food and Wine Association

Abandoned Moss Vale home damaged in fire


An abandoned house in Moss Vale has been severely damaged by fire on Thursday afternoon.

Fire and Rescue units from Moss Vale and Bowral attended the fire at the end of Lytton Road, and arrived just after 2pm to find the home well alight.

Moss Vale Fire and Rescue Captain Ian Thorpe said the roof collapsed as fire fighters worked to extinguish the blaze.

The scene has since been handed over to police for investigation into the fire's cause.

Image: Graeme Day

Andrew's stepping out to help those who can't walk


How far would you go to help someone?

For Mittagong's Andrew Mevissen, the answer is 100 kilometres, all by foot as he steps out this weekend to raise money to help people with cerebral palsy as part of Steptember.

On Saturday he's walking from Mittagong to Goodman's Ford, then on Sunday to Paddy's River via Berrima and Canyonleigh for a total of 100km, with 2000 pushups and 1000 squats thrown in for fun.

He said the walk was all about challenging himself, at the same time as helping people who needed assistance.

"I've got a passion for helping people who can't walk, and that's the people with cerebral palsy, and it's part of Steptember to raise money for people with cerebral palsy," he said.


"They've raised about $10 million so far and I've contributed about $2000 of that."

Andrew hopes to raise more, and all the money he collects will be used to buy mobility aids for people with cerebral palsy.

Andrew said he had always been a fan of walking, but had never tackled any distance close to 100 km.

"It's not a massive effort that I'm doing but it's my personal challenge and it's important to me and it's a great feat for me to do physically, but also empotionally by being able to help others as well," he said.

You can add to Andrew's fundraising tally via the Steptember website.

Images: Andrew Mevissen

Art gallery now open to the public

art gallery

The new Southern Highlands Art Gallery is now open to the public.

A small gathering took place yesterday which was attended by representatives of the Aboriginal community, local artists and the media.

The project has been in the making for some 25 years and has been made possible thanks to the fundraising efforts of Ben Quilty, the community and government grants.

Mr. Quilty said the gallery will be open seven days a week.

"Entry is free to public and everyone is welcome,"he said.

The gallery is situated at the old dairy in Retford Park.

Image: Angela Walsh

Barrengarry breakthrough offers new travel hope


There has been a breakthrough for people needing to travel between Kangaroo Valley and the Southern Highlands.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward said buses were being provided from next week to help people get past the road blockages that resulted from recent heavy rain and landslides.

"Today I met with the Minister for Roads and I'm really pleased to announce that we'll be having a commuter bus service for residents of Kangaroo Valley to get top medical appointments and to work in the Southern Highlands," Mr Ward said.

"This will be similar to the bus service that operates for school students at present."

That service has a bus taking passengers to the edge of a landslip site and requiring them to walk for a short distance to where they are picked up by a second bus.

And there is further potential good news for people wanting to travel between the Southern Highlands and Kangaroo Valley, amid hopes the road over Barrengarry Mountain will be able to open to escorted vehicles within two months.

However Kiama MP Gareth Ward said much would depend on the heavy rain the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted for May.

"We're anticipating that within six to eight weeks we'll be in a position to do that," he said.

"Obviously, all this is subject to rain events and weather events, and how well we're able to manage those wet weather events alongside doing this essential work.

"What's driving everything at the moment is safety - unless something's safe we won't open it," Mr Ward said.

Image: 2ST newsroom

Barrengarry Mountain to re - open

barrengarry june 30 2022

The wait will soon be over for motorists trying to get to the Shoalhaven or Highlands via Barrengarry Mountain.

The section of Moss Vale Road is set to re - open at 5 tomorrow arvo, in time for school holiday traffic.

The road will open to two lanes at this section with two lengths of single lane access open under traffic control while restoration work continues.

A reduced speed limit of 40 km/h will be in place where work is continuing and the remainder of the road will open with the normal speed limit of 60.

Repair work has included more than 2,500 tonnes of rock fill, around 100 square metres of reinforcing mesh and concrete, and more than 50 soil nails.

Planning work to restore full access on Cambewarra Mountain is continuing.

Image: Gareth Ward via Facebook

Berrima Gaol to be sold

berrima gaol october 18

The NSW Government has put the old Berrima Gaol on the market.

The facility opened in 1839 and has since had a number of uses including being a German prisoner camp during World War I,

It has also been used as a training centre and a male minimum-security prison that was later converted to house women.

The property features two historic cottages, a tennis court, industrial shed and commercial kitchen,

In addition to the gaol’s 60 cells there's a watch tower, guard offices and commercial space.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said the gaol was retired last year as it was no longer fit-for purpose and surplus to Corrective Services’ requirements.

“This is a rare opportunity to express an interest in a 1.9-hectare site that’s rich in history, stories and heritage charm in the heart of the bustling township of Berrima,”she said.

The Expression of Interest Campaign is being managed by Colliers.

Image: Denisbin/Flickr



Berrima now Australia's top small tourism town

berrima top tourism towns may 10 2021

Another accolade for the small village of Berrima.

After being named NSW'S Top Tourism Town in the category of 5000 residents or less, the village has gone onto win Australia’s Top small Tourism Town award.

Australian Tourism Awards Chair, Daniel Gschwind said the awards are celebrating towns throughout Australia that demonstrate outstanding commitment to encouraging tourism and increasing visitation to their destination.

"As we get closer to all interstate borders re-opening and enjoy a renewed focus on domestic tourism, these awards put the spotlight on our tourism communities and the amazing experiences that can be had throughout Australia,” Mr Gschwind said.

The town of Mudgee took out the Top Tourism Town award.

Image: Destination Southern Highlands

Best qualifying performance for Mineef

Lachlan Mineef March 23 2022

Southern Highlands racing car driver Lachlan Mineef finished 10th overall in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia at Philip Island over the weekend.

That included his best qualifying performance with an eighth-place position and his first appearance in Q2.

He's currently 16th in the championship with five rounds to go.

Lachlan believes with a bit of luck he can make it into the top 10.

"It's really important that we keep some consistent results and keep finishing races, that's really important,

"We had a DNF in Tasmania, we're we scored no points,"Lachlan said.

Image: Lachlan Mineef

Best wedding venues announced

exeter hall july 11 2022

A number of Southern Highlands businesses recently took out awards at the 2022 Wedding Industry Awards for the Illawarra & Southern Highlands.

For the full list see below:

Wedding Venue – Community Hall
Winner – Exeter Village Hall

Wedding Venue – Boutique Hotel
Winner – Robertson Public House
Highly Commended – The Robertson Hotel

Wedding Venue – Garden
Winner - The Secret Garden NSW

Wedding Venue – Historic
Winner - Somerley House
Highly Commended - Montrose House

Wedding Venue – Winery
Winner – Bendooley Estate
Highly Commended – Centennial Vineyards

Image: Exeter Village Hall via Facebook

Big accolade for Robertson potato

robertson potato july 6 2022

The Big Potato at Robertson has been named Australia's ' worst big thing ' ( Australia's sh***st big thing ) by a comedy social media site.

The monument was built in 1977 by Jim and Greg Mauger.

It now belongs to Heather and Neil Tait who own the land it was built on.

Heather said it's a proud moment for local residents.

"It's about potatoes, and that's what Robertson is about, and we're very, very fortunate to have that marvellous big potato in our town,

"There'll be busloads from all over the world, pulling up to look at it,

"There already was, but there'll be even be more, now covid has finished,"Ms. Tait said.

Image: Sht Towns of Australia via Facebook

Big award for Artemis Wines


Artemis Wines in Mittagong has been recognised in the largest officially recognised wine competition in the world.

The winery's 2019 'Close Vine' Pinot Noir received the AWC GOLD medal for 2021.

This wine is hand picked with half the yield of conventional vineyards, and expresses intense notes of cherry, mushroom, herbs & forest notes.

The tannins are soft and lingering with red fruits and spice and premium French oak.

More than 1600 producers from 44 countries took part in the awards.

Image: Artemis Wines

Big thumbs up for Alpaca youth camp

alpaca youth camp feb 2 2022

A number of youngsters from the Southern Highlands attended the Australian Alpaca Association’s NSW Youth Camp held at Cambewarra over the weekend.

The camp provides young people between 12 and 18 a pathway into farm life and animal management.

Janie Forrest from Coolaroo Alpacas in Berrima said she'd like to see more get involved.

"I would like to see the growth of these youth camps around the place,

"I see them as very important for children to understand country life and appreciate the beauty of fresh air and natural living,"Ms. Forrest said.

The weekend concluded with a competition, in which teams of participants completed a course testing some of the skills learnt.

The challenge served as an introduction to the Young Farmers Challenge conducted at the Sydney Royal Show and multiple agricultural shows throughout the state.

Image: Australian Alpaca Association

Bridge club loan knocked back

card game

Wingecarribee Council's Interim Administrator has knocked back a request from the Southern Highlands Bridge Club for a loan of $470,000.

The club is leasing land at the David Woods playing fields and wanted to use the money to construct their own clubhouse and carpark.

Viv May spoke about the matter at this week's council meeting.

"Some people might not like me saying this, but in my view this is alienation of very valuable public community open space,

"It's unfortunate that I inherited the lease and the problem, it's one of those legacy issues,"Mr. May said.

Image: Blickpixel/Pixabay

Brigadoon postponed again

brigadoon feb 15 2022

Mother nature has played her hand again , with another Southern Highlands tourism drawcard being postponed.

The Brigadoon highland gathering won't go ahead this weekend.

According to Brigadoon's president Peter Rocca - even a hardy 'Scot' couldn't enjoy a highland fling in the current conditions.

"I had a meeting this morning with council and walked over an inch of water on the ground,

"There is no way of getting the stallholders and competitors in and no where to put the spectators,"Mr. Rocca said.

Organisers are hoping to hold the event on August 6 instead.

Image: Brigadoon

Brigadoon postponed for fourth time in a row


The organisers of the Bundanoon Highland Gathering can't seem to take a trick at the moment.

The 43rd edition has been postponed for the fourth time in a row after council inspectors ruled the oval should remain closed.

More than 500 millimetres of rain fell in the village a few weeks ago and further rain is forecast this week.

Publicity Officer Allistair Saunders said they've been left with no other option.

"The ground hasn't had the chance to dry out and recover,

"From our perspective we have a duty of care to visitors, that they can enjoy the day, without slipping over in the mud,

"It's a decision that we didn't want, but unfortunately one we will live with,"Mr. Saunders said.

Image: Newsroom

Buses back in operation

berrima buses march 8 2022

Berrima Buslines will be back in action today.

The only service that won't be operating is the one from Moss Vale to Kangaroo Valley and Nowra, due to closures along Moss Vale Road at Barrengary and Cambewarra.

Regional Operations Manager Chris Moule said it's one of the worst weather events he's seen in the shire.

"I've lived here all my life and it hasn't been as severe as this,

"We've seen roads closed, that probably haven't been closed before,"Mr. Moule said.

Drivers will have to take diversions if there are fallen trees or flooding.

Image: Berrima Buslines

Bushfire victim contributing towards biodiversity research

kasey bio project

A Wingello resident who's house burnt down in the Morton bushfire is trying to find out more about the the impact of bushfires on our environment.

Casey Kirchhoff who's also a PhD candidate at the UNSW Centre for Ecosystem Science is helping organise the Big Bushfire BioBlitz starting on February 25.

She said it's all about recording as many species as possible.

"All someone has to do is if they're keen to contribute biodiversity research is set up a project on the platform under our umbrella and they're good to go,

"I know huge areas of the Morton National Park and up in the north of the Southern Highlands were affected, so I'd love to see some observations coming in from the Highlands

For further details click here.

Image: Dean Martin Great Southern Bioblitz

Busiest season on record

snake december 16 2021

It's official!

The last three and a bit months have been the busiest on record for Southern Highlands snake catcher Ray McGibbon.

Since September he's had to relocate almost 250 snakes including Red Bellies, Highlands Copperheads, Tigers and Eastern Browns.

The Browns tend to be found around Marulan and Goulburn.

Ray said he tries not to move snakes too far away.

"As part of our licence, we've got a 20 kilometre radius that we use to re locate, But I try to re locate them within two to five kilometres,

"They won't come back but I'll try to put them in a suitable environment where they've got plenty of water and food,"Ray said.

Image: Reptile Rescue Relocations


Calling all artists and galleries

art june 6 2022

Wingecarribee Council is aiming to make this year's Southern Highlands Art Studio Trail bigger and better.

The event was last held back in 2020.

There were 37 studios involved then and close to 12,000 studio visitors over the two week period.

Coordinator of Community Development Cath Brennan said the local arts community has been through some difficult times during the pandemic.

"We're really hoping they can see this as an opportunity to be part of something, where they're supported,

"It's also an opportunity for them to improve their income,"Ms. Brennan said.

And to register your interest click here

Image: Loren Javier/Flickr

Calls for footpath between New Berrima & Berrima

Berima Petition may 16 2022

A local resident has put a petition together aimed at getting a path built between New Berrima and Berrima.

There is a bush track which can be difficult to access in wet weather.

The only other route is down Taylor Avenue which is also used by cars and trucks.

Andrew Cupitt said there are so many fantastic facilities in Berrima that residents would love to be able to use.

"The park in Berrima is probably one of the best in the Southern Highlands,

"There's no point in getting in the car with the family and dog and driving two minutes down the road,

"A lot of people would like to use the park and then go and get some lunch at one of the nearby shops,"Mr. Cupitt said.

To sign the petition click here

Image: Andrew Cupitt

Car and caravan crash at Sutton Forest

caravan crash sutton forest

A car towing a caravan at Sutton Forest has crashed.

The incident took place on the Hume Highway near the Belanglo State Forest just after 4pm.

All southbound lanes are currently closed and vehicles are slowly passing the crash site using the breakdown lane.

No reports of injuries at this point.

Image: Live Traffic

Change a chook's life and find a feathered friend


Anyone looking for a feathered friend has a chance to change a chook's life on Saturday when a Rescued Chicken Adoption Day is held by Let The Ladies Go organisation in Mitttagong and Goulburn.

The charity re-homes chickens and gives them a life away from breeding and continuous egg-laying.

The chickens up for adoption are 18 months old - an age at which they are usually sent for slaughter.

Let The Ladies Go is a charity that has rescued and re-homed about 50,000 chickens over the years, putting them up for adoption.

Founder Tania Daykin said chickens were intelligent and curious creatures that deserved better than the battery cages and endless, unnatural egg production.

To free a new feathered friend you need to register via the group's Facebook page.

Image: Alexas Fotos / Pexels

Chieftain of the Day at Brigadoon

Simon Abney Hastings

Organisers of Brigadoon have announced the Chieftain of the Day.

Simon Abney-Hastings is an Australian Earl who is the current holder of one of the oldest Scottish noble titles, Earl of Loudoun.

The Earl is the permanent Patron of the Melbourne Highland Games and Celtic Festival and holds a number of other patronages including:

* Hereditary Governor / Patron - Repton School Collage, Derbyshire
* President – The Board of Governors, St Andrew’s First Aid Australia
* Patron - Ashby de le Zouch Museum
* Patron - Friends of Loudoun Kirk, Galston, Scotland
* Patron - Australian Monarchist League - Victoria Branch
* Patron - Clan Campbell Society of Australia
* Patron - Barnet 1471 Battlefields Society UK
* Patron - Australia Day Council - Victoria. Australia
* Protector - Order of St Thomas of Acre, Order of St Thomas of Acre
* Kentucky Colonel 2022 - Highest Honour Commonwealth of Kentucky USA 
* Esteemed friend of Loudoun Museum, Leesburg, Loudoun Country, Virginia USA

Image: Brigadoon

Children's Services starts Wollondilly Cultural Precinct development


Construction has begun on a new children’s services building funded by Wollondilly Council and the Federal and State Governments.

It is the first step in development of the Wollondilly Cultural Precinct development, including a refurbished Shire Hall, a performing arts centre, government services building, village green and a new library.

The State and Federal Governments have each committed $814,784 to the new fit for purpose children’s services building, with Wollondilly Shire Council contributing a further $1,268,470.

Federal Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said the new children’s services facility would provide high quality childcare services, and play a role in the broader Picton town centre revitalisation.

NSW Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres said the children’s services building was a significant step in the overall delivery plan.

"This building will see the relocation of council’s existing 30-place before- and after-school care and  vacation care services,” he said.

"The building also has capacity to accommodate a future 30-place preschool in a contemporary and functional facility.”

Wollondilly Council CEO, Ben Taylor, said the start of construction showed the Wollondilly Cultural Precinct was becoming a reality.

"Congratulations to the Mayor and councillors, who I’m sure are delighted to see construction begin on the children’s services building, and are looking forward to seeing the project take shape over the next 12 months,” Mr Taylor said.

"This is a great investment for our community, with the delivery of a practical space for families who live or work in the Shire."

The children’s services building project is expected to be finished in mid-2022.

Image: Wollondilly Shire Council.

Christmas comes to Bundanoon

bundanoon christmas tree

The Christmas spirit is well and truly alive in Bundanoon.

Wingecarribee Council has installed a large eight metre Christmas tree opposite the Primula Cafe and bus shelter, which is a very first for the village.

Bundanoon Community Association President Andy Carnahan said the village is also holding a get together next month to welcome the festive season.

"Just very casual in the hall on Saturday December 11, starting with a kids movie,

There'll be pre -dinner drinks for the early birds and hopefully a bit of music on the street,''Mr. Carnahan said.

Image: Andy Carnahan

Community pleads to be consulted on Berrima Gaol's future


The Berrima community is pleading with the State Government to be consulted before any decisions are made about the future of the old Berrima Gaol.

Berrima Residents Association secretary Eric Savage said there was an opportunity for the community and government to get together to decide the 182-year-old gaol's future, in a way that would benefit the entire Southern Highlands.

"It could be used for the benefit of all the Berrima community and the Southern Highlands, and in fact be an important economic and tourist attraction for the whole of the state," he said.

He said the setting was ideal for a social or cultural institution, or even as a focal point for the region's tourism.

One of the association's members suggested the gaol could be used as an outpost for Carriageworks in Sydney, and Mr Savage said that would be an ideal use for the iconic buildings.

"The attraction of Carriageworks doing it would be that the site could be used for rotating exhibitions, and Carriageworks has a wonderful farmers' market, and we think that with the wonderful food and wine that the Highlands has, it would be a terrific place to showcase what is available," Mr Savage said.


While that was just one of the possible options for the historic site, Mr Savage said the most important thing was the government listen to the community.

"We think it's important that the government seriously engage with, not only us in Berrima, but more widely with the council and the food and wine association and other people to look at all sorts of creative opportunities that the gaol could be used for," he said.

The community push to be consulted on the gaol's future comes after the State Government reportedly engaged real estate agents to deal with the site, and more recently discussed re-using several former gaol sites across NSW, including Berrima.

Mr Savage insisted the gaol's closure presented a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create an exciting legacy for the people of NSW that was respectful of its past and of lasting benefit to the community into the future. 

"Berrima Gaol is an iconic building that is listed on the NSW Heritage Inventory as an item of state significance," Mr Savage said.

"During its 182-year history it has many stories to tell."

images: supplied








Core logic figures for Southern Highlands

auction gavel

Figures from Core Logic show property prices across the Southern Highlands have increased about 33 per cent over the past 12 months.

That's an average price increase of $289,000 over the entire year.

Head of Research Tim Lawless said that doesn't include the accumulative increase since the covid pandemic started back in March last year.

"We have seen values rising through most of the pandemic, which means the overall value increase is much more than just the annual hike,

"We have seen housing values increase in the Southern Highlands by 42.2 per cent since March 2020,"Mr. Lawless said.

Image: Marco Verch Profession/Flickr



Damaging winds forecast

BOM march 9 2022

A severe weather warning is in place across the Southern Highlands for damaging winds.

Locations which may be affected include Bowral, Gosford, Sydney, Parramatta, Wollongong,  Nowra, Batemans Bay, and Moruya Heads.

The State Emergency Service has the following advice:

* Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
* Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall.
* Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill.
* Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

Image: Bureau of Meteorology

Double demerits now in force

police car 3

Double demerits are now in force for the Queens Birthday long weekend.

Police will be targeting a number of offences including speed, drink and drug driving aswell as mobile phone and seatbelt offences.

Officer in Charge at Southern Highlands Police Station Jason Horn said people will also need to take extra care on the roads, given the weather conditions.

"The cold weather that we're getting is bringing in the odd shower of rain and some sleet in the higher parts,

"There's always the potential of black ice which is not visible,

"People need to be conscious of driving to the road conditions,"Inspector Horn said.

Image: NSW Police

Dwelling values down for first time in two years

core logic august 2 2022

Southern Highlands dwellings saw their first decline in more than two years last month.

Figures from Core Logic show prices were down 2.5 per cent.

In the Shoalhaven prices they came off 3.4 per cent, which is the third consecutive month of decline.

But Head of Research Eliza Owen said the losses have to be put into perspective.

"Regional home values have seen extremely strong uplifts and in many cases bigger than what we've seen in the capital cities,

''This of course applies to very desirable regional lifestyle areas, like the Southern Highlands

"Over the pandemic prices have risen 55 per cent,"Ms. Owen said.

Image: Sean Geoghegan/Flickr 

Dwelling values on the rise

house for sale jan 28 2022

Figures from Core Logic show dwelling values in the Southern Highlands were up 34.3 per cent for the 12 months up to December.

The accumulative increase since the pandemic began in March 2020 is 45.3 per cent.

Head of Research Eliza Owen said there's a number of reasons for this.

"The Southern Highlands market really epitomizes the kind of housing market that's been so desirable through the pandemic period,

"It's a reasonable commuting distance from Sydney, and offers beautiful tree change which is popular with retirees,"Ms. Owen said.

Image: Merio/Pixabay

Escape bags for victims of domestic violence

escape bags

A new initiative has been developed across the Southern Highlands to help victims fleeing domestic and family violence.

Escabags has teamed up with GIVIT to provide free tote bags filled with the necessities that a victim of abuse and their children may need when initially escaping a dangerous or abusive situation.

That includes SIM cards, toiletries, nappies and vouchers.

Kirsty Bender from GIVIT said they already have a number of businesses on board.

"There are more than ten stockists in the Southern Highlands, including community centres, pharmacies, hairdressers and cafes,"she said.

For further details click here 

Image: Escabags Facebook



Fallen tree at Sutton Forest

fallen tree may 30 2022

One of two northbound lanes of the Hume Highway at Sutton Forest are closed due to a fallen tree.

The incident has taken place near Hanging Rock Road.

Work crews are currently on scene.

Motorists are being asked to exercise caution.

Image: Live Traffic

Fatal crash at Sutton Forest

police feb 15 2022

A man has been killed, and two others injured after a single crash at Sutton Forest.

Just after 1pm on Saturday, emergency services were called to the Hume Highway.

Officers from the Hume Police District rushed to the scene and were told a car veered onto the median strip before hitting a tree.

A male passenger died at the scene.

The male driver and another male passenger were taken to Campbelltown Hospital in a stable condition.

A crime scene was established and will be examined by the Crash Investigation Unit.

All northbound lanes of the Hume Highway were closed at Sutton Forest.

Image: Peter Andrea

Feedback sought about Pie Time

pie time graeme day

Destination Southern Highlands has sent out a pie time survey to industry stakeholders.

Staff are hoping to go over feedback on how the industry faired aswell as any statistics for the month of June.

This year's event featured 30 days and 100's of ways to enjoy pies.

That included the very popular Pie Trail.

To complete the survey click here

Image: Newsroom

Financial statements show deficits

wingecarribee council june 15 2021

For the first time, in a long time, Wingecarribee Council has recorded financial losses.

The 2020/21 annual financial statements show a deficit of more than $700,000 and the General Fund also reported a deficit of $4.3 million.

Below are a number of factors which havelead to this:

* Cattle put through at the Southern Regional Livestock Exchange down due to COVID ($446k)

* Tulip Time revenue down due to COVID ($400k)

* Unplanned terminations & redundancies ($893k)

* Refunding fees received from Welcome Centre ($121k)

* Independent Reviews and Audits ($115k)

* Workers compensation insurance premium increases (by $500k to $1.9 mill).

Image: Wingecarribee Council 


Flagraising ceremony celebrates Bowral's indigenous history


The Wingecarribee Reconciliation Group has raised the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags on Bowral's Gibbergunyah Reserve to acknowledge Gundungurra land.

It was part of a gathering that included a welcome to country and smoking ceremony by Aunty Trish Lovett, as participants painted themselves with white ochre, formed a circle and danced in the smoke.

The event had a strong focus on paying proper respects to elders past, present and emerging.

Event organiser Kim Leevers spoke about the last few years of droughts, fires, pandemics and floods, and how they had highlighted fault-lines in our communities and the issues affecting First Nations people.


“The First Nations peoples should be the first at the table, not getting the crumbs,” she said.

The gathering also discussed two of the 250 massacres of Aboriginal people that form a painful part of Australia's history.

Another aim of the gathering was to conduct a mirror flash from the Southern Highlands to the Blue Mountains, but sadly it was a complete whiteout with heavy low cloud cover.

Participants couldn't even see Mount Jellore, 9 kilometres away, let alone the Blue Mountains over 80 kilometres away.

Images: Wingecarribee Reconciliation Group

Flu strain hitting people for six

vince roche 3 november 25 2021

Highlands GP's are continuing to report a big increase in the number of people seeking treatment for the flu.

In fact some patients who caught covid are telling doctors they felt worse with the flu.

And not only that, the symptoms lasted longer.

Chair of the Southern Highlands Division of General Practice Dr. Vince Roche said unfortunately for some it can be fatal.

"I've had a few residents in nursing homes with it and it's really knocked them for six,

"In fact I know of one elderly gentleman who had a lot of comorbidities and he died of a non covid respiratory infection,"Dr. Roche said.

Image: Southern Medical Centre

Funding pledge for botanic gardens

botanic gardens may 17 2022

The election promises keep coming.

Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones was in the Highlands today to announced that an Albanese elected Government will commit $500,000 towards an education centre at the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens.

Mr. Jones also presented certificates of appreciation to several volunteers to mark National Volunteer Week.

He said the funding needs to be stepped up so they can get an education centre which can double as a site for holding functions.

"Most importantly it's about educating people about the wonder of the gardens and all the flora which is on display,"Mr. Jones said.

Image: Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens via Facebook

Gallery opening delayed

southern highlands art gallery

The official opening of the new Southern Highlands Art Gallery in the old dairy at Retford Park has been pushed back.

It was meant to be happening tomorrow, but the lockdown has got in the way of those plans.

Gallery Director Megan Monte said they're being guided by the advice from NSW Health.

"We're ready and waiting to welcome everyone to Ngununggula,''she said.

Ngununggula means 'belonging' in the traditional language of the Gundungurra People.

Image credit: Southern Highlands Regional Art Gallery

Get on board for Seniors Festival in Wingecarribee


The 2022 NSW Seniors Festival is being held at the end of March, and Wingecarribee Council is looking for community groups, businesses and organisations that want to be involved.

Each year council coordinates a program of events focusing on keeping seniors healthy, active and social, including community and council-led events.

This year’s theme is Reconnect and council is looking for community-led activities that help connect all community members.

Council’s Director Corporate Strategy and Resourcing, Carmel Foster, explained the importance of the festival for the shire’s seniors.

"It provides an opportunity for seniors to develop new skills, meet people with similar interests and find out how they can get involved with other events throughout the year," she said.

She explained reconnecting could take a range of formats.

“Whether it’s an in-person, virtual, or hybrid event, we want to hear from people and organisations interested in participating.”

Expressions of interest must be received by 4 pm on Friday, November 19.

To apply, visit or contact Wingecarribee Shire Council on 4868 0888.

Wingecarribee Shire’s 2022 Seniors Festival program of events is expected to launch early next year.

Image: Kampus Production/Pexels

Girl missing from Bundanoon


UPDATE: Grace has been found safe and well

Police are seeking information about a girl who's gone missing from the Southern Highlands.

Grace Webster, aged 15, was last seen at her home in Bundanoon on Thursday May 26.

She was reported missing to Police on Saturday June 4.

Officers from Sydney City Police Area Command have commenced an investigation into her whereabouts.

It's believed Grace was at Town Hall Railway Station and in Kippax Street, Surry Hills, on Monday June 6.

Police are concerned about her welfare given her age.

Grace is described as Caucasian appearance, medium build, long dark hair.

It's not known what she's wearing.

Grace is known to visit the Sydney CBD, Marrickville and South Coast.

Anyone with information regarding Grace’s whereabouts is being asked to contact Sydney City Police on (02) 9265 6499 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Image: NSW Police

Great anticipation for Brigadoon

brigadoon feb 15 2022

Preparations are in full swing for Brigadoon taking place in April.

There'll be the usual attractions including the street parade, Scottish Country and Highland dancing and the Celtic Warriors.

At this stage around 20 clans have indicated they'll be attending and the stallholders are still coming in.

Vice President Alaistair Saunders said the previous cancellations due to covid have been incredibly frustrating.

"I think there are people like me who've suffered withdrawal symptoms, with no Brigadoon,

"It should be a big day and people want to celebrate,"Mr. Saunders said.

Image: Alaistair Saunders

Green caffeen to be launched

green cafeen

A new swap and go reusable coffee cup system is being launched across the Southern Highlands.

Green Caffeen has partnered with Wingecarribee Council and 18 local cafes with the aim of reducing the number of single use coffee cups that end up at landfill.

Director Martin Brooks said it's simple for coffee drinkers to register.

"To be part of it you've just got to got to download the green caffeine app like you do from any other app store,"he said.

For further details about Green Caffeen click here

Image: Green Caffeen

Greens celebrate federal success

greens june 20

The Southern Highlands Branch of the Greens are heralding their party's success at the Federal Election.

The Greens now have 12 Senators and the Government will need their support to pass legislation.

In addition to this the party won four seats in the House of Representatives.

Branch Treasurer Kim Leevers says they're growing their local membership aswell.

"I think this is indicative of the fact that people are looking for change and they're hopeful of a better type of politics,

"And a future that's better for everyone,"Mr. Leevers said.

Image: Southern Highlands Greens

Greens leader calls it a day

Maree byrne july 18 2022

Southern Highlands Greens member Maree Byrne has decided to step down as convenor.

She's been a member since 2004 and has held many executive roles including treasurer and campaign manager.

Ms. Byrne also spent seven years serving on Wingecarribee Council’s Environment and Sustainability Committee and has been a candidate for the state seat of Goulburn and council.

She said Heather Champion will be taking over the role of Convenor.

"I think Heather has sort of been my understudy over the past year or two,

"I'd like to think I've planted a seed for her to follow in my footsteps,"Ms. Byrne said.

Image: Geoff and Maree Byrne

Growing frustration for builders


If you're sick of the wet weather, then spare a thought for local builders.

Not only have they had to contend with the rain, there's the Christmas break coming up, a shortage of building supplies and a lack of qualified tradespeople.

That's on top of the challenges faced during covid.

GJ Gardener Homes Manager David O'Brien said a lack of planning staff at Wingecarribee Council is also incredibly frustrating.

"There just isn't the man power to keep up with the demand at the moment,

"We've communicated with our clients about all of these issues and the majority of them are very understanding,"Mr. O'Brien said.

Image: GJ Gardner Homes Moss Vale

Heart of the nation app saving lives

bdcu heart innitiative

The BDCU Alliance Bank is getting behind the work of Heart of the Nation which was founded by the original Wiggle Greg Page after his life was saved by a defiblerator.

Staff visited local businesses that have already joined the program to raise awareness, and also encourage others come on board.

Head of Marketing Communications and Community Matt Sewell said the devices have the potential to save plenty of lives.

"You can download the app and if someone is suffering an emergency, you press find the nearest AED,"he said.

The project is an initiative of BDCU, both its banking business BDCU Alliance Bank and its new business and social support venture The Collective Impact.

Image: BDCU Alliance Bank

Help for woman and children fleeing domestic violence


Each year across Australia, nearly 10,000 women and children seeking safety are turned away because there isn’t a bed.

For many women and children, this means homelessness – couch surfing, sleeping in the car, on the street or returning to the perpetrator.

Senator Jenny McAllister, Shadow Assistant Minister for Communities and the Prevention of Family Violence
and Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips have announced the Albanese Labor Government will establish the Housing Australia Future Fund to build 30,000 social and affordable homes across the country.


This includes 4,000 homes for women and children fleeing violence and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness, plus an additional $100 million for crisis accommodation.

Senator Jenny McAllister said, "We also know that an extra pair of hands can make an enormous difference.

"The services we talk to say that an extra person working on staff can help between 80 and 100 additional women and children each yearshe," she said.

The Senator said, "That’s why Labor will invest in 500 new workers across Australia to support people who are facing violence."


Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips said "Here on the South Coast and Southern Highlands, Labor will provide $1.5 million for additional crisis accommodation.

"We expect this will help as many as 135 women and children to find refuge. We will also fund 13 workers to help 1,040 women and support them during the hardest time of their lives," she said.

Ms Phillips said, "Survivors of violence are strong, and they deserve our help to rebuild their lives.

"Over the past decade, the Liberal National government has failed to take this task seriously," she said.

Senator  McAllister said, "Labor will tackle the scourge of domestic violence with ambition and urgency.

Images: Newsroom 



High praise for Highlands wine entries


The quality of wines submitted for the annual Australian Highlands Wine Show has been praised by the judges.

A total of 33 wine producers from right across Australia entered 126 wines in the awards that were judged this week at the Loch in Berrima.

And head judge Toni Patterson said the quality was exceptional.

"It's always a pleasure to judge at this show, because wine from the highlands, from the higher altitude vineyards of Australia, have a beautiful quality about them and seeing all the pristine fruit characters just makes it an absolute pleasure to judge," she said.

Ms Patterson said there were many highlights in the wines that were put to the test .

Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet varieties all offered outstanding quality, but she said a couple of varieties stood out above all the rest.

"There's really beautiful, beautiful pristine Riesling that we see in the competition with beautiful floral, aromatic citrus characters, so that was a highlight, Pinot Noir another highlight, absolutely," Ms Patterson said.

Some of the wines entered in the show will end up with gold, silver and bronze medals, when the winners are announced in December.

Image: Southern Highlands Food and Wine

Highlands ceramic artists rise from the ashes for open weekend


The Black Summer bushfires came at the worst possible time for Steve Harrison.

Just before the fire destroyed his Balmoral Village studio, he was one of three ceramic artists given the Willoughby Bequest from Sydney's Powerhouse Museum, but he hasn't been able to make the work for the museum's collection.

"I'd love to make those pots and earn that money, so I'm keen to get back into it," he said.

"I was going to make a series of porcelain bowls, but that may change now seeing that I've lost all the porcelain clay that I'd dug and prepared - it all got lost in the fire so it's a bit up in the air now exactly what I'm going to do.

"I'll have to renegotiate with the curator - what I can do and what they'd like," Mr Harrison said.

His porcelain clay was just one of the things lost on the fire, which also destroyed works worth tens of thousands of dollars.

But not all Mr Harrison's work was destroyed.

"Just before the fire I was told there was a collector who wanted to purchase quite a large body of my work," he said.

That resulted in pieces being taken into the house so they could be measured, photographed and catalogued for the collector, and the house survived the fire.

"I had all the best pieces in the house when the fire came, so I lost all my other work but I had just those few pieces in the house."

It proved fortunate, as the saved pieces were bought during the first year after the fire when Mr Harrison and partner and fellow ceramic artist Janine King were going through the difficult task of cleaning up what remained after the blaze.


"During that first year the Art Gallery of NSW purchased 12 pieces of my work for their permanent collection in Sydney - that was another honour which I was really pleased about," Mr Harrison said.

It was also during that time that Mr Harrison received encouragement, support and even financial donations from people all over the world - including some he had not heard of before.

Despite the heartbreak of the fire and the difficult, two-year process to rebuild and get back to creating, Mr Harrison said there was never any thought of giving up.

"I love making my ceramic work so there was no chance of giving up, it was more a case of 'How can we get back into this quickly'," he said.

The time off also meant lots of experimentation with new rocks and substances found close to home, particularly when health restrictions meant they could not travel more than five kilometres from their residence.

"We're just beginning so we're making a lot of experiments with the local rocks that occur around here to make our glazes out of local stones. So I go fossicking and there's a bit of a basalt extrusion at Hilltop, which is just up the road from us," Mr Harrison said.

"I collected the basalt from Hilltop and brought it home and ground it up and crushed it to a powder and made it into glazes. It's nice to use local material to make the glazes.

"There's still more work required. It takes a long time to develop the chemistry for glazes, to test them and perfect them."


The results of Mr Harrison and Ms King's work will be on display over the weekend when they open their  Loopline Pottery to the public as part of the 9th annual Australian Ceramics Open Studios.

Also open on both days will be Meg Patey Ceramics in Colo Vale, with both studios open 10am to 4pm each day.

Mr Harrison said the display on the weekend would not be extensive.

"We'll have a range of just very simple things - bowls and cups and mugs and platters. We've only been back at work for a month and we're working as quickly as we can."

Images: Meg Patey Ceramics


Highlands cricketer makes national side


Southern Highlands cricketer Peter Jensen has been selected for the Australian over 60's team which will be competing in the World Cup on the Sunshine Coast in September.

Peter has also been appointed Vice Captain in acknowledgement of his leadership skills.

11 sides from around the world are taking part in the tournament.

This is the third time Peter has made the national side.

Image: David Wells

Highlands dry gin is fit for a Queen

joadja gin

A dry gin made at the Joadja distillery has been chosen as a gift to the Queen for the Platinum Jubilee

A couple of years ago the Governor of NSW, Margaret Beazley commissioned the distillery to undertake the project.

It has since been personally delivered to Her Majesty by the NSW Agent-General in London.

Owner Valero Jimenez said the product is distilled from 10 Australian botanicals.

"I do my botanicals separately, some other distillers may do a combination in one hit,

"Five of them are from NSW including mount pepper, lemon myrtle, mountain pepper, strawberry Gum, cinnamon myrtle and anise Myrtle,"Mr. Jimenez said.

Image: Joadja Distillery


Highlands local takes out pie eating competition

pie time judging underway

A good crowd was on hand for Sunday's pie eating competition at Samuel Gees in Balaclava.

First place was taken out local Joe Woods who scoffed down four mince pies in the time of two minutes and nine seconds.

That's not bad, considering the next best time was four minutes and 16 seconds.

Shop Manager Tanya Pickner said the competition was well received.

"We're looking forward to holding another one and attracting more locals and visitors,

"We might even have a chilli pie next time,"Tanya said.

Huw's next big adventure

huw kingston may 26 2022

Bundanoon adventurer Huw Kingston has another adventure in the pipeline.

Alpine Odyssey will see him skiing the length of the Australian Alps, a journey of over 600 kilometres and 50 days in July.

That will include skiing at each of the 12 snow resorts in the alpine country.

In the process he'll be trying to raise $50,000 for Save the Children's Our Yarning project.

Mr. Kingston said he still gets a thrill with being out in the great outdoors.

"Absolutely, I'm approaching my seventh decade now, but I still get such a thrill in camping out on the top of the mountains somewhere, or around the snow,

"I still love being out there,"Mr. Kingston said.

To donate towards his fundraising campaign click here

Image: Huw Kingston via Facebook

Industrial action could affect train commuters

bowral train station october 19 2021

Train commuters heading up towards Sydney are being asked to check the real time app before they head off today.

That's because the Rail Tram and Bus union is carrying out further industrial action.

Sydney trains will run to a reduced timetable and some will be cancelled.

NSW Train Link CEO Dale Merrick said there could be issues with connecting services.

"For the Southern Highlands our customers will see regular diesel services up into Macarthur and Campbeltown,

"However the connection to the suburban network will look a little different,''Mr. Merrick said.

Image: Denisbin/Flickr

Julia Zemiro to host koala karaoke in the Southern Highlands

TOD TV Julia Zemiro's Home Delivery - Julia Zemiro

Koalas have started singing from tree tops throughout the Southern Highlands, serenading each other at the start of their breeding season.

To help mark the occasion Wingecarribee Council is hosting a world-first koala karaoke party later this month, when it will report the results of microphones in trees that last year recorded 10-thousand hours of koalas singing.

Although council's environment officer Margot Law said singing might not be the best term for what the koalas did.

"Singing probably gives them a little bit too much credit," she said.

"It's more grunting or bellowing, sounding like a tree pig. that would probably be the best description of their singing ability.

"And it's a sound that the males make to either attract females or scare off other males during the breeding season," Ms Law said.

“Eligible bachelor koalas will announce their availability to potential partners and warn off competition by bellowing or singing from treetops.”


While the koalas use their voices for a biological purpose, they also help the Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project tocalculate annual koala population trends and compare the results to climate and land use data.

“We have microphones listening for koalas all over the Wingecarribee Shire, from Kangaloon to Wombeyan Caves and Balmoral to Wingello,” Ms Law explained.

Hosting the koala karaoke Zoom party on September 28th is Rockwiz host and Bowral local Julia Zemiro who knows a thing or two about music, albeit usually produced by individuals slightly less fluffy than koalas.

“We’re absolutely thrilled Julia has agreed to join us to help spread the message about koala conservation,” Ms Law said.

Joining Julia will be koala experts from Wingecarribee Shire Council and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Ms Law said the evening promised to be  “an informative, slightly wacky but massive fun night in.”

"We'll go through the results of our monitoring survey, and then Julia Zemiro is going to be interviewing us on the Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project and what's going on with koalas in our area, and then we're going to round out the night with a karaoke party where we're all going to sing a few songs together, and we might mix a few koala bellows into those songs as well."

Anyone wanting to join the free online fun must book via

images: supplied

Kevin the calf rescued by Highlands SES crews


A day and a half old calf called Kevin can thank his lucky stars for the skill and determination of  Wingecarribee and Moss Vale SES units.


Kevin had slipped down a steep embankment into a creek shortly after he was born and Southern Highlands SES crews were called in the rescue him from his predicament.


Although a bit cold and tired, the little bloke was reunited with his mum in a warm sunny paddock, none the worse for wear.

Images; Wingecarribee SES











Labor's plan to tackle scammers

stephen jones profile shot

Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones says the Government must to do more to protect people from being scammed.

The issue is costing Australians $33 billion dollars a year and Labor is promising to set up an anti scam centre that acts in real time and which also hold banks, telecommunication companies and social media platforms to account.

Mr. Jones said older people are particularly at risk.

"I know the Southern Highlands has been a hot spot for scammers and they generally like to attack more vulnerable communities and people they think have got a bit of money,

"What we know is that someone who has been scammed once, will very likely get scammed again,"Mr. Jones said.

Image: Office of Stephen Jones

Major COVID rule changes for NSW schools


Despite hundreds of schools across NSW including a handful in the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands having confirmed COVID cases in recent weeks and kids under 12 not eligible for vaccination, from Monday schools will no longer close if there's a positive case and close contacts won't have to isolate.

The NSW Government said from November 29, students who are close contacts of a positive case will be required to get a PCR test as soon as possible after being notified of exposure.

If the PCR test is negative, the student may return to school immediately, so long as they provide negative Rapid Antigen Home Test (RAHT) results for the next seven consecutive days.

In line with community settings, schools will no longer need to close while contact tracing occurs due to successful cohorting of year groups on school sites.

The only exception would be if there are multiple cases at a school or complex settings in place.

NSW Health has also advised that schools do not need to close for deep environmental cleans as the enhanced cleaning in place at schools is sufficient.


Mask rules remain the same, meaning they are required for all staff and high school students, and are recommended for primary school students.

From Monday, restrictions on music will also been lifted, with instruments that rely on breath and singing and chanting allowed outdoors, within cohorts, and in line with other COVID-safe school settings.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said students already in isolation can return to school from Monday under the new approach.

"I'm delighted we can reduce the disruption for students and families, while still maintaining the safety measures for students and staff on school sites," Mitchell said.

The government said the changes were made following recent Doherty Institute and NSW Health advice.

Images: NSW Department of Education Facebook and pixabay / educadormarcossv

Man wanted on outstanding warrant

russell willis

Southern Highlands Police are seeking information about a man wanted on an outstanding warrant for revoking parole.

Russell Willis, aged 38, is described as being of Caucasian appearance, between 165cm to 170cm tall, with a thin build and brown hair, he's also unshaven.

He's known to visit the Southern Highlands, Albion Park, Wollongong, Campbelltown and Tumbarumba areas.

Anyone who sees Willis or knows of his whereabouts is being asked to contact Southern Highlands Police Station on (02) 4869 7899 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Image: Hume Police District via Facebook

More bushfire vegetation removal funding

wingello burning

Wingecarribee Council has secured a $4.59 million dollar funding grant from the Environment Protection Authority to clear thousands of tonnes of bushfire damaged trees.

Council was one of 15 regional councils to receive funding and the focus will be on the Shire’s bushfire-impacted villages including Balmoral, Bundanoon, Exeter, Wingello, Penrose and the Wombeyan Caves area.

Director of Communities and Place, Geoff King said the grant would help the Shire’s bushfire impacted communities continue to move forward.

“A massive amount of green waste was generated right across our Shire,

“The ongoing clean-up will continue to take years and while much has already been done, this funding will go a long way to clearing thousands more burnt trees,”Mr. King said.

Image: Wingello Village Store

More funding for Picton to Colo Vale rail line project

picton to colo vale line

A further $9.1 million dollars has been made available from the State Government for the 32 kilometre Picton to Colo Vale Rail Line project.

The funding will enable the line to have a 23 tonne axel loading giving it the ability to take any steam train from the Thirlmere Rail Museum.

Our Member for Wollondilly Nathaniel Smith was able to secure the funding from the State Government's $3 Billion Infrastructure and Job Acceleration Fund.

He said it will provide a big boost for tourism in the region.

"Once we get the line to Colo Vale, we'll look at other funding possibilities to get it to Mittagong.

"The Rail Museum at Thirlmere has the largest collection of heritage trains in Australia," Mr Smith said.

Image: Office of Nathaniel Smith 

More industrial action

mittagong train station october 28

More interruptions are possible for train commuters on the Southern Highlands line today due to further industrial action.

Trains will run at a reduced frequency on some lines in the network to minimise the impact of the planned disruption.

Services will also be restricted to travelling no faster than 60 kilometres per hour.

Commuters are being asked to check the transport NSW website before they travel.

For further details Click here.

Moss Vale firefighter is putting his hose down

moss vale firefighter july 15 2022

Deano at Fire and Rescue NSW Moss Vale is retiring today after 38 years of service.

Over that time he's had stints in Canberra, Victoria and other parts of NSW.

Deano said he has so many fond memories.

"I've made so many friends with people at Fire and Rescue, the Rural Fire Service and other rescue personnel,

Just sitting back and thinking about it,

It's all a bit overwhelming,"Deano said.

Image: Fire and Rescue NSW Moss Vale


Moss Vale junior's golden moment

ray stone march 27 2022

Ray Stone has enjoyed the best and possibly worst moments of his NRL career, scoring Parramatta's golden-point match-winning try against Melbourne but hurting his knee in the process.

The unheralded lock became the Eels unlikely new hero, scoring twice at AAMI Park to help secure a 28-24 victory but was taken for scans following the match with fears it could be season over.

The golden point try came two minutes into extra time when Stone pounced on an attempted field goal by Mitch Moses that hit the upright.

The haul doubled the 24-year-old's career tally from five seasons.

Stone immediately clutched at his knee after diving untouched across the line and while he managed to walk off the field he was too upset post-game to front the media.

The Eels said he would be sent for scans in Melbourne before travelling back to Sydney.

Coach Brad Arthur was unaware of the seriousness of Stone's injury at the media conference and said the popular player deserved some luck.

'It's always good when a little bit of luck goes to one of our players that you can rely on," Arthur said.

"Stoney is one of those guys, he works hard, he is sometimes in and out of the team but he never complains, he just gets on with his job."

The injury blow dampened the celebrations for Parramatta, who again proved a thorn in the Storm's side.

They beat the Storm twice last season, their round 24 victory ending Melbourne's chance to set a record 20 successive NRL wins, and now serving up the Storm's first loss of the year.

Playing in the centres, Stone's other try came in the 70th minute to break a 18-18 deadlock when he attempted to catch a Moses bomb that bobbled off a Storm player and back into his hands.

Melbourne took momentum into golden point when Brandon Smith and Cameron Munster combined to put Ryan Papenhuyzen away in the 75th minute, with the fullback converting to make it 24-24.

The home side had two early tries disallowed however Smith, who made an early return from a broken hand made no mistake in the 11th minute.

The Eels responded with a try in the 18th minute through fullback Clint Gutherson after a Dylan Brown break.

The Parramatta five-eighth then sent a long ball to Waqa Blake and the winger steamrolled Papenhuyzen, sending the lightweight fullback flying back into the in-goal.

Nick Meaney, who was a late replacement for injured Storm winger Xavier Coates, crossed on either side of halftime to put the home side up by six.

But again the Eels hit back, with Moses putting up a bomb for centre Tom Opacic and the halfback squared up the ledger with his conversion.

The heavyweights continued to go toe to toe before Moses and Stone stood up to again leave the Storm shattered.

Coach Craig Bellamy said while they had had disrupted preparation, losing first-choice hooker Harry Grant to COVID, they were too inconsistent.

"We did some real good things and then we did some things that weren't so good," the Storm coach said.

"I think they scored three tries off kicks and we knew that was coming and practised for it... whoever won it was going to have a bit of luck go their way and whoever lost it, bad luck, so it is what it is."

© AAP 2022

Image: Parramatta Eels via Facebook

MOU signed to continue mentoring program

Raise program june 17 2022

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between three local community groups to continue rolling out a youth mentoring program at Bowral and Moss Vale High schools.

The program called ' Raise ' involves mentors offering one to one support to young people.

Southern Highlands Foundation Chair Shelley Boyce said they're already seeing fantastic results.

"The young people who are in the program maybe disengaged at school or may just need someone in their life that they can talk to,"she said.

Raise was founded in 2008, and is is a not-for-profit organisation.

It delivers mentoring programs in six states and 184 high schools across Australia.

Image: Raise Media


National volunteer week

rural fire service february 17 2022

As part of National Volunteer Week, the Southern Highlands Rural Fire Service is acknowledging the tremendous contribution that their volunteers make in the community.

There are 42 brigades in the Wingecarribee and Wollondilly local government areas with between 1700 and 1800 volunteers.

Inspector David Stimson says there are a couple of ways that people can get involved.

"I think the best idea is to go onto the NSW Rural Fire Service website or contact your local brigade,

"Go and see them and discuss whether there's a role that's suitable for them,"Mr. Stimson said.

For further details click here

Image: NSW Rural Fire Service

New vehicle for highlands racing car driver

lachlan mineef july 25 2022

Southern Highlands racing car driver Lachlan Mineef will be putting his new Audi Audi RS3 GTR to the test in the final three rounds of the TCR series.

There wasn't much more his team could do to improve the performance of his ageing Volkswagon.

Lachlan said he's excited about the change.

"The Audi is a race winning car in Australia,

"It won the championship for last year and it's won multiple races this year,

"We've got a brand new car that will offer better performance,"Lachlan said.

Image: Lachlan Mineef Motorsport via Facebook

No new COVID cases in Southern Highlands


There were no COVID cases in the Southern Highlands, none in Kiama and only one in the Shoalhaven reported in today's figures.

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District recorded 46 new COVID-19 cases for the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

Of those, 28 are from Wollongong local government area including eight linked to known cases, 17 are from  Shellharbour including  five linked to known cases, and one from the Shoalhaven.

The source of the Shoalhaven case is still being investigated.

NSW state budget unveiled

state parliament june 21 2022

The NSW Government has unveiled the state budget and $8.5 million dollars has been allocated for the $55 million dollar stage two development at Bowral Hospital.

$6.6 million dollars will be spent on the Bowral Water Treatment plant.

The shire is also expected to get a share of blackspot funding for local roads.

Wollondilly MP Nathaniel Smith said $150 dollar back to school vouchers will be made available to parents for every school aged child across the state.

"They're going to be a big help for families who are getting kids back to school,

"A lot of money is also being invested in childcare, pre - school and the announcement of starting school one year earlier in 2030,"Mr. Smith said.

The budget also includes giving first home buyers the choice of paying up front stamp duty or an annual land tax, something which Wollondilly MP Nathaniel Smith wants to look at more closely.

"I want to go through the details of that a little more,

"We need to give every opportunity for young people to try and get into the market,

"There's massive demand for people trying to move into the area,"Mr. Smith said.

In Wendy Tuckerman's seat of Goulburn, $4.8 million dollars has been allocated for the Wombeyan Caves Tourism project.

Image: Michael Coghlan/Flickr

Open garden & plant fair a big success

botanic gardens may 10 2022

More than $90,000 has been raised from the Southern Botanic Gardens Autumn Open Garden and Plant Fair.

That's up eight per cent on the previous year.

A total of 3,000 visitors came through the gardens, with about 70 per cent coming from outside the district.

$13,500 came through Dine & discover vouchers.

152 volunteers helped man the gardens and plant fair.

Image: Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens via Facebook

Orienteers to converge on Southern Highlands

orienteering nsw

Around 300 orienteers and their families will be visiting the Southern Highlands just after Christmas.

They'll be taking part in a five day carnival at locations including Mount Alexandra Reserve, the Belanglo State Forest and the Penrose State Forest.

Orienteering NSW President Robyn Pallas said it will be great to get their maps out again after the covid layoff.

"It starts on December 27 and runs through to December 31 and each day there's a different location,

"It was meant to take place in the Southern Highlands last year, but covid restrictions forced us to postpone the event,"Ms. Pallas said.

Participants will range from eight years of age right through to 80.

Image: Orienteering NSW

Paintback recovers over 36 million kilograms of unwanted paint


Australians have returned over 36 million kilograms of unwanted paint and packaging to the National Paint Recovery scheme since it was established six years ago.

Across the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands more than 254 thousand kilograms of unwanted paint has been collected.

The successful Paintback scheme receives unwanted oil and water based paint and paint packaging at over 165 permanent Australian collection sites and ensures it is disposed of safely or repurposed for other industrial uses.


The packaging and liquid are separated with the containers being recycled, subject to contamination.

The solvent paint can then be converted into an alternative fuel source replacing coal. 

Water is separated from acrylic paint with the by-product used in a variety of industrial applications significantly reducing landfill and the reclaimed water is used by other industries which reduces the reliance on mains water.

In the Shoalhaven alone, Paintback has collected 165 thousand 868 kilograms from the  permanent sites and special one off events.

Paintback has collected 88 thousand 354 kilograms from the Wingecarribee Resource recovery Centre and special one off events.

This significantly reduces landfill and ensures the unwanted paint doesn’t end up in our waterways.

You can dispose of your unwanted paint at these permanent sites:

Huskisson Recycling & Waste Depot- 235 Huskisson Rd, Huskisson.

Ulladulla Recycling & Waste Depot - Pirralea Rd, Ulladulla.

Shoalhaven CRC West Nowra - 120 Flatrock Road, Mundamia

Wingecarribee Resource Recovery Centre - 177 Berrima Road, Moss Vale.

Images: Paintback Australia 



Parents and students confronted by protestors over Frensham School's bush cabin plans


Parents and students have been confronted by placard waving locals, protesting against Frensham school's controversial plan to build eight Eco Cabins and a multi-purpose hall, plus  attendant services, in school bushland known as the Lower Holt.

249 trees to be felled for the project which environmentalists says will destroy native habitat endangering resident wombats and platypus habitats.


Residents say it is is justified to confront the parents and students.

Over 2500 people have signed a petition calling for this planned  building development to be moved to already cleared land on the school's property. 

Protestor Sarah Cains said "The school has refused requests from local residents to discuss their opposition to the development".


Jenny Simons is the grand mother of a former students and said, “I value the  environmental education my grand-daughter received at Frensham but I fear this will be  denied to future students.

"It is shocking to think that they might be witnessing the  destruction of the school’s precious bushland," she said.

Resident Maree Tynan said "Schools in particular, need to show their students that they are standing up for sustainable  practices and protection of our fast-disappearing environmental assets”. 

Ex Frensham student, Rowena Parry said, "The plan saddens and disappoints me. Please Frensham, reconsider and take a stance to be defenders, not destroyers, of our  precious and lovely natural world”.

Frensham has taken Wingecarribee Shire Council to the Land and Environment Court in  order to try to gain permission to fell 249 trees and build their bush cabins.

That hearing is scheduled for a date in March next year.

Images: Sarah Cains




























Photographic book about black summer bushfires

photo voice october 29 2021

A new photographic book about the Black Summer bushfires is being launched at the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens on Sunday.

"Photo Voice'' is all about renewal and resilience, with proceeds going back to locals who are still affected by the disaster.

Chair of the Southern Highlands Foundation Shelley Boyce said there are some amazing pictures.

"They were taken mostly by people who were there, including firefighters,

"Some of them are extraordinary photographs,''Ms. Boyce said.

The launch starts at 11:30am for a midday start.

Due to covid restrictions you need Click here to register.

Image: Bodhi Todd

Pie tastings at local bank branches

bdcu pie drive june 10 2022

The BDCU Alliance Bank is getting behind the Southern Highlands Meals and Wheels Pie Drive.

The Moss Vale and Bowral branches will be hosting a pie tasting on Wednesday June 15 between 10:30 and 11:30am.

Locals can then place an order with Meals on Wheels.

The Bank's Head of Communications Matt Sewell said funds raised will be going towards a great cause.

"We want to help their operation so that they can keep providing affordable meals for those in the community who need it,

"No one is immune to the current situation with prices,"Mr. Sewell said.

Image: BDCU Alliance Bank

Pie Time back in 2022


The very successful Pie Time will be going ahead next month.

The festival is now in its sixth year and Destination Southern Highlands is once again putting on 30 days of mouth-watering pie themed events, tours and activities.

Plenty of the old favourites will be back including the Pie trail which will feature 40 pie outlets.

Also the Great Southern Highlands Pie Drive, for holiday makers who have a bit more time on their hands.

Image: Destination Southern Highlands

Pie time underway

pie time graeme day

Pie Time is now officially underway across the Southern Highlands.

The entire month of June will feature 30 days of pie themed events.

More than 30 bakeries are listed on the Pie Trail and Chloe from the Robertson Pie Shop said it's a great opportunity to attract more visitors to the region.

"There are so many amazing pie establishments and bakeries across the Southern Highlands,

"It's a perfect way to get the tourists to taste a local produced in a pie format,"Chloe said.

And Meals On Wheels Southern Highlands will once again be holding its Pie drive.

The organisation will be taking orders right up until June 22.

These will be delivered seven days later.

Funds raised will be going towards the organisation's financially disadvantaged fund.

Image: Destination Southern Highlands

Police investigating illegal trespassing

southern highlands police station

The Hume Police District is asking residents in the Tallong area ( east of Marulan ) to be on the lookout for trespassers and illegal hunters.

Rural Crime Investigators are currently investigating reports of people trespassing, spotlighting and shooting on private property without permission on Caoura Road.

They're working closely with landholders to try and identify the culprits.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact Goulburn Police on 4824 0799 or alternatively Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Police pursuit passes through the Highlands

hume highway chase

An alleged carjacking and pursuit which started in Victoria and passed through the Southern Highlands has resulted in a man being charged with alleged drug, driving and weapon offences.

Just after 3am on Saturday, a man was picked up by a ride sharing service on Inglis Avenue, Seaford, in Victoria.

Police have been told about 15 minutes into the trip, the 30 year old asked the driver to stop,

He then allegedly produced a handgun and threatened the driver, before demanding he leave the car.

The driver complied and the man drove from the scene, leaving the ride share driver on the roadside.

Victoria Police contacted NSW Police after receiving information the man may have crossed the NSW border.

Following inquiries, NSW Police detected the vehicle – a black Audi sedan – travelling north on the Hume Motorway near Pheasants Nest later that morning.

PolAir tracked the vehicle as it travelled along the Hume Motorway, onto Narellan Road, and through suburbs including Spring Farm, Narellan and Bringelly.

About 12pm (Saturday 21 November 2021), operatives from the Tactical Operations Unit intercepted the vehicle at the intersection of Cowpasture Road and Camden Valley Way, Leppington, and the man was arrested.

During a subsequent search of the man and vehicle, officers from Camden Police Area Command located a knife, a resealable bag containing a substance believed to be methylamphetamine, and counterfeit cash.

The items and vehicle were seized for forensic examination.

The man was taken to Narellan Police Station where he was charged with 11 offences including:

* drive manner dangerous,

* drive under the influence of drugs,

* take and drive conveyance without consent,

* fail to pay (x 2)

* drive whilst suspended,

* custody of knife,

* possess prohibited drug,

* enter inclosed lands without consent,

* goods in custody, and

* possess counterfeit money.

To view the arrest and pursuit click here

The Victorian man, from Cranbourne, was refused police bail and appeared at Parramatta Local Court on Sunday (20 November 2021), where he was formally refused bail and will reappear at Liverpool Local Court tomorrow (Tuesday 23 November 2021).

Image: NSW Police


Power outages in the Highlands

endeavour january 6 2022

Around 1100 homes and businesses are without power across the Southern Highlands, due to that overnight storm.

That includes Bowral, Burradoo, Hill Top and Mittagong.

Endeavour Energy Community Relations Manager Jacqueline Crompton said they're trying to get to the bottom of the problem.

"We do have crews already on scene at Burradoo,

"Customers can expect to have power restored gradually throughout the morning,"Ms. Crompton said.

Image: Endeavour Energy


Property market update for May

property prices june 1 2022

It appears talk of higher interest rates is having some impact on property price growth in the Southern Highlands.

Figures from Core logic show prices rose just 0.3 per cent for the month of May.

That compares to previous months where prices were rising between two and three per cent month on month.

However Head of Research Tim Lawless said it has to be put in context.

"Across the Southern Highlands, we've seen housing values up about 26 per cent over the past 12 months,

"That's around 29 per cent if you include the Shoalhaven aswell

"We have seen extreme growth over the past 12 to 24 months,"Mr. Lawless said.

Image: Jernej Ferman/Flickr

Property prices up again for April

housing may 2 2022

Housing prices across the Southern Highlands continue to buck Sydney's downward trend, where prices have had a third consecutive month-on-month decline, down 0.2 per cent.

In comparison figures from Core Logic show prices in the Wingecarribee grew 1.6 per cent in April.

However Head of Research at Core Logic Tim Lawless said interest rate hikes, will usually have a negative impact on housing demand.

"That means some prospective borrowers will find it harder to get a loan,

"For people with an existing loan they'll have to start dedicating more of their income to serving their debt,"

Since the pandemic began, there's been cumulative increase in house prices across the Southern Highlands of around 56 per cent.

Image: pxsphere

Quilty to address mid week economy

ben quilty november 23 2021

A number of guest speakers will be making an appearance at the Moss Vale and Rural Chamber of Commerce's next gathering at the Bowral Rugby Club on December 1.

That includes Wingecarribee Council's General Manager Lisa Miscamble and Southern Highlands Art Gallery Founder Ben Quilty.

Chamber Spokesperson Brigid Kennedy said they want to talk about how the new gallery can interact with local business.

"It's imperative that we all work together and we want to look at ways of improving the mid week economy,"she said.

For further details about the event click here


Rain forces wombats to seek refuge elsewhere

wombats may 26 2022

Wildlife carers are noticing an increase in the amount of roadkill in the Southern Highlands.

The continual rain is flooding out wombat burrows, forcing the animals to try and find refuge elsewhere

Volunteers have been using pumps to try and drain out the burrows.

John Creighton from Wombat Care Bundanoon is asking motorists to try and take extra care.

"I would say pretty much all the way from Exeter to Tallong,

"People can call Wires or Wildlife Rescue South Coast and we'll respond accordingly,"Mr. Creighton said.

Image: Wombat Care Bundanoon

Rare Cancers Australia celebrating 10 years

rare cancers australia june 21 2022

A special milestone for Bowral Based charity Rare Cancers Australia which will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sunday.

The birthday also coincides with the retirement of RCA co-founder and Bowral local, Kate Vines.

Her husband Richard said Kate has been the inspiration behind the organisation after being diagnosed with a rare thyroid cancer more than 30 years ago.

"Against all the odds she was given three months to live and suffice to say that the clinician got it wrong and she's still here.

"She was really the guiding light, when we set up the charity to makesure the kind of challenges she faced were mitigated by the organisation,"Mr. Vines said.

Image: RCA Co-founder Kate Vines

Recruitment companies targeting overseas trained GP's


The struggle to attract and retain enough doctors in the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands appears to be getting even harder.

The Rural Doctors Association of Australia claims medical recruitment companies have already started targeting our overseas trained GP's following the removal of special visa conditions.

Under the former rule it was condition of entry to Australia that the doctors had to spend up to 10 years in the bush before being allowed to settle in the city.


Association C-E-O Peta Rutherford said "Our communities have relied on these overseas trained doctors.

"About 40 per cent of the rural medical workforce are overseas trained doctors and without this policy in place , we are concerned it will drain doctors from the bush," Ms Rutherford said.

She said, "Doctors who are working out there  are being targeted by recruiters to come back into some outer metropolitan areas."

Images: Pixabay free images










Regional travel to resume at 80 per cent vaccination

food and wine festival june 30 2021

Travel from Sydney to regional parts of New South Wales will go ahead once the state reaches 80-percent covid vaccination.

That will likely be around the start of November and will mean the Southern Highlands Food and Wine Festival will go ahead.

It's scheduled to take place at the Moss Vale Showground on November 27 and 28.

However Food and Wine Association President Jean Marie Simart is still concerned about businesses being responsible for checking if people are fully vaccinated.

"I think there will be a lot of problems and I don't think businesses are properly equipped to deal with it," he said.

Image: Southern Highlands Food & Wine Festival

RFS called in to help with Verroa mite

David Stimson july 8 2022

Southern Highlands Rural Fire Service Inspector David Stimson has arrived back from Orange after assisting the NSW Department of Primary Industries with the current Varroa Mite disaster.

More than 15 million bees have been euthanised across 31 infected premises in NSW with authorities still confident they can contain the problem.

Inspector Stimson said they try to help out where they can.

"They were requesting assistance from the Rural Fire Service in the incident management team area,

"I was asked to go to Orange for six days and assist them along with six other colleagues,

"That was a great pleasure to be able to help them in their time of need,"Inspector Stimson said.

Image: David Stimson via Facebook

RFS members assisting in flood affected areas


The Southern Highlands Rural Service is providing a helping hand to flood affected areas across the state.

Yesterday afternoon a strike team with five tankers and a team leader was sent up to Liverpool.

And a couple of other volunteers are assisting further north in the Hunter Valley and around Lismore.

Inspector David Stimson said it's nice to be able to return the favour.

"The SES is the main response agency for floods and they rely on us to come and support them,

"We also rely on them during major fire events,"Inspector Stimson said.

Image: NSW Rural Fire Service



Road over Barrengarry Mountain set for limited reopening


The main road link between the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands should be restored next month after suffering extensive damage during heavy rain and landslips in March.

Transport for NSW said restricted access to Moss Vale Road over Barrengarry Mountain will be restored by the end of July, provided no further issues are discovered during the ongoing repair work.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward said he was "extremely pleased" to report the road's planned reopening.

"After having worked closely with Shoalhaven City Council, Transport for NSW and the local community, I am pleased that work is progressing and some access to Kangaroo Valley from the north-west is likely from the end of July, weather permitting," Mr Ward said.

He said there were still three major sites needing repair before access could be restored, with one including a 50-metre section where the road had completely slipped away.

More than 235 soil nails have been installed at the other two sites so far, however both sites require a lot of work to restore stability and make them suitable for traffic.

Mr Ward said work at each site had been slightly different but all involved specialist slope stabilisation contractors installing a variety of materials to strengthen the roadway.

A Transport for NSW spokesperson said crews at the site with the largest impact had dug their way down to the foundation, stabilising the face of the excavation with more than 50 soil nails, and more than 100 square metres of reinforcing mesh and concrete,.

“Work also started this week to bridge the foundation, placing more than 250 tonnes of rock fill so the road embankment can be rebuilt.” 

The spokesperson said initial field investigations, including geotechnical assessment and drilling, was completed in April.

“These investigations helped identify the extent of damage, the cause of the failure and informed the accelerated development of immediate repair options, while also collecting valuable data to inform long-term solutions,” the spokesperson said.

“Some delays were experienced early on as the ground conditions were not as expected and ongoing wet weather impacted access to the foundation, requiring crews to review and reassess their initial plan.

“While we are confident restricted access will be restored on Moss Vale Road at Barrengarry Mountain by the end of July, but are mindful further challenges could arise, particularly if we get another bout of bad weather.”

Transport for NSW will continue to keep the community informed on the progress of work on Barrengarry Mountain, including what the restricted access will be.

The shuttle bus services will remain in place until restricted access can be provided for road users.

All options for restricted access will be considered, including night closures while work continues, or single lane access under stop/slow traffic control if work permits.

"We haven't made that decision yet but everything we do is guided by safety," Mr Ward said.

"We obviously want to make sure the road is safe for everyone using it, but at this point we are confident, based on where we are at with the restoration, that we will be able to have limited traffic open by the end of July, subject to any further weather incidents that might cause grief for us as we go about trying to get this road reopened."

Image: Gareth Ward / Facebook

Rod Stewart cancels Southern Highlands tour date


Sir Rodney Stewart’s planned tour of Australia has been cancelled because of the surge in  COVID-19 case numbers.

The veteran British rocker was booked to perform at Bowral's Day on the Green at the Centennial Vineyards on the 27th of March.

The news was confirmed in a statement from tour organiser Live Nation.

Stewart said “My dear friends, once again I feel we’ve all been cheated by this evil disease, so it is with great regret that I announce my shows for 2022 have had to be canceled.".

“My thoughts are with all your families at this difficult time as we come out of the joyous and hopefully safe holiday season and I look forward to returning to Australia as soon as the health situation permits, he said.

It is the second time Rod Stewart has been forced to cancel a Southern Highlands concert because of COVID 19.

He had been scheduled to perform in October 2020.

Image; Rod Stewart Facebook




Severe weather warning in place

bom august 4 2022

A severe weather warning has been issued for parts of the Southern Highlands.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting damaging winds and heavy rainfall.

The conditions are being caused by a complex low pressure system moving across the Great Australian Bight

An associated trough and cold front are also causing vigorous northwesterly winds across southeast NSW.

The State Emergency Service has the following advice:

* Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
* Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall.
* Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill.
* Don't drive, ride or walk through flood water.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
* Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris       such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.
* After bushfires, heavy rain and the loss of foliage can make the ground soft and heavy, leading to a greater chance of         landslides.
* Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

Image: Bureau of Meteorology

SH Botanic Gardens coming to life

southern highlands botanic gardens October 26 2021

The Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens is holding its first event, post lockdown this Saturday between 9am and 3pm.

The Spring Plant and Produce sale will be the first proper fundraiser for the year, following the covid layoff.

Director Chris Webb said the gardens are looking spectacular.

"If anybody just wants a day out, come and have a look, because the gardens are in full swing for Spring,

"There's lots of things happening, we've just put in a new pathway network and we've planted another 42 trees,"Mr. Webb said.

Image: Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens

Showers and thunderstorms forecast for entire week

bowral flood 2 march 22

You might want to keep your umbrella handy, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting showers and storms for the entire week.

The conditions will settle slightly tomorrow, but another trough is expected on Thursday and Friday.

Forecaster Stephen Stefanak said rainfall amounts could be varied.

"We can expect a few millimetres each day for the remainder of the week, but there's the potential of storms bringing in 30 to 40 millimetres,"he said.

In the 24 hours to 9am last Thursday, Moss Vale recorded nine millimeres of rain and 21 millimetres the following day.


Single vehicle crash at Kangaloon

toll rescue december 8 2021

A woman aged in her 50's is recovering in hospital after a crash on Kangaloon Road.

The incident took place around 8:30 yesterday morning just west of the public school.

The woman rolled her vehicle and hit a tree.

She was trapped for a period of time before Emergency crews got her out.

The woman was airlifted to Liverpool hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Image: Toll Rescue Helicopter


Southern Highland exposure sites listed


A Bargo business has been added to the list of potential COVID-19 exposure sites after a person who visited for three successive days later tested positive for Coronavirus.

The person attended the Bargo BWS between 2.30 and 3pm on September 27, 28 and 29.

Anyone who was at the Railside Avenue business at those times needs to get tested immediately and self isolate until a negative result is achieved.

The same health advice applies to anyone who visited Woolworths Mittagong or Hayters Timber and Paving of Mittagong at the listed times.

The venues and times of concern are:


BWS Bargo, Railside Avenue, 2.30 - 3pm on Monday, September 27, 2.30 - 3pm on Tuesday, September 28, 2.30 - 3pm on Wednesday, September 29.

Khan's Supa IGA Bargo, 4.20 - 8.20pm on Monday, September 20.


Woolworths Mittagong, Highlands Marketplace, 8.45 - 9.45am on Wednesday, September 29.

Hayters Timber and Paving, Cavendish Street, all day on Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19.