Explosions, fire at construction site in Circular Quay

It appeared the fire was on the scaffolding of the building.  Photo: Supplied

It appeared the fire was on the scaffolding of the building.  Photo: Supplied

Thirteen people were treated for respiratory problems as dozens of fire fighters battled a major demolition site fire that sent plumes of smoke into the sky over Circular Quay.

Workers and commuters heard multiple explosions as the old Gold Fields House building went up in flames at the corner of Pitt Street and Alfred Street shortly before 9am on Tuesday.

'Taxi operators are struggling': Dr Peter Boxall

Making his case: Dubbo Taxi Co-op chairman Greg Collin addresses a packed room at the IPART hearing into taxi fares and licensing.

Making his case: Dubbo Taxi Co-op chairman Greg Collin addresses a packed room at the IPART hearing into taxi fares and licensing.

ORANGE taxi drivers have walked away from an Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) hearing feeling a little better about their future. 

IPART hosted the forum on proposed taxi reforms in Dubbo on Tuesday, with more than 30 operators and drivers from across the region commenting on a draft proposal to increase the number of taxi licences in regional areas and freeze fares for most major centres. 

Taxi industry rallies against IPART report into licences and fares

Making his case: Dubbo taxi operator Greg Collin told IPART drivers will walk away if extra licences are made available. Photo: MARK RAYNER

Making his case: Dubbo taxi operator Greg Collin told IPART drivers will walk away if extra licences are made available. Photo: MARK RAYNER

Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) chairman Peter Boxall has said there are likely to be changes to proposed taxi reforms based on feedback at a western NSW meeting on Tuesday.

Operators and drivers from across the region attended the IPART hearing at Dubbo where they had the opportunity to comment on a draft proposal to increase the number of taxi licences in regional areas and freeze fares for most major centres. 

Date Night

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What could be more romantic than a wine and cheese evening at Heide's Heart Garden with that special someone or a new squeeze?

You can’t have heart without art, as those clever foxes at Heide Museum of Modern Art know. The museum is organising a date night in its romantic Heart Garden for couples or those looking to meet someone special.

Drivers fear it will be the death knell for taxis

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TAXI services have shut down across regional NSW and in a blow for customers, more are likely to follow suit if new taxi licences are released by the State Government in country areas.

That's the position of the NSW Taxi Council which says new licenses won't mean better service it will simply force out long-time reliable operators with strong connections to the local community.

NSW Taxi Council says IPART proposal would the closure of regional taxi services

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Taxi operators will be forced out of business if new licences are released in regional areas, the peak body for the state’s cabbies has said.

A draft recommendation by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) found there wasn’t enough competition in some country towns and proposed releasing a “small” number of extra licences.

The good and bad of opening your home to guests

Our Strata Community, Our Choice spokesman Stephen Goddard.

Our Strata Community, Our Choice spokesman Stephen Goddard.

NEIGHBOURS

FED-UP strata and community groups are demanding the government stops the “delaying tactics” in cracking down on the “divisive” Airbnb industry.

“Short-term letting is growing at an incredible rate, but apartment owners are in limbo about our rights,” Our Strata Community, Our Choice spokesman Stephen Goddard said. “(We) are bracing for another new year party-house season with zero protection.”

ANSTO’s Dharawal mural recognises indigenous heritage at Lucas Heights

Recognising heritage: (left to right) Dharawal Elder, Les Bursill; Endeavour Sports High School art teacher, Rick O'Brien; Endeavour Sports High students Darcey Moran and Ella Robinson; Bruce Cowell, Deputy Chair, Sutherland Shire Council Aboriginal Advisory Committee deputy chair Bruce Cowell; Councilor Tom Croucher; ANSTO CEO Adi Paterson at the Dharawal Mural.

Recognising heritage: (left to right) Dharawal Elder, Les Bursill; Endeavour Sports High School art teacher, Rick O'Brien; Endeavour Sports High students Darcey Moran and Ella Robinson; Bruce Cowell, Deputy Chair, Sutherland Shire Council Aboriginal Advisory Committee deputy chair Bruce Cowell; Councilor Tom Croucher; ANSTO CEO Adi Paterson at the Dharawal Mural.

The campus of the Australian Nuclear Science Technology Organisation (ANSTO) at Lucas Heights is surrounding by bushland that is home to significant Indigenous sites of the Dharawal people.

To recognise traditional owners of the land upon which the Lucas Height campus is located, ANSTO commissioned the Dharawal Mural which has been created by the students of Endeavour Sports High School.

Airbnb divides Central Coast tourism operators over questions of fairness

Owners Corporation Network’s Stephen Goddard. Picture: John Feder

Owners Corporation Network’s Stephen Goddard. Picture: John Feder

FED-UP tourism operators and strata chiefs are calling for an immediate crackdown on the “near-lawless” world of Airbnb as the online accommodation booking platform booms on the Central Coast.

On the eve of the region’s peak holiday season, the Express­ Advocate can reveal Airbnb — which has an estimated global worth of $42 billion — is growing at a faster rate on the Coast than in Sydney.

ANSTO partners with Sweden’s Quintus on nuclear waste treatment

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The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is partnering with Swedish company Quintus Technologies in deploying new technology for the treatment of waste from nuclear medicine production at the nuclear agency.

ANSTO says the Australian “first–of-a-kind technology” will be based in the soon-to-be-built Synroc radioactive waste treatment facility (SyMo), which is part of the $168 million ANSTO Nuclear Medicine (ANM) project.

HSC 2017: 78,000 NSW high school students receive their marks

Mac Middleton said the first thing he did when he got his HSC results was go and find his twin brother, Geordie. 

Mac Middleton said the first thing he did when he got his HSC results was go and find his twin brother, Geordie. 

Twin brothers celebrate HSC results

Mac Middleton said the first thing he did after he checked his HSC results this morning was go and find his twin brother, Geordie.

"He did the HSC too so I congratulated him because he did quite well and we're both very happy," Mac, 18, from Redlands school said.

Workplace stress affects 73 per cent of employees

Stress at work is common, with 73 per cent of workers suffering from it.

Stress at work is common, with 73 per cent of workers suffering from it.

Most Australian workers are stressed at work and many believe their employers had the responsibility to combat the issue, in an emerging trend driven by millennials.

A new workplace survey has revealed 73 per cent of workers are stressed about work and stressed workers are 2½ times more likely to look for a new job in the next year than those who are not stressed.

The heartbreaking consequences of doctors not listening to pregnant women.

Cassie, her daughter, Dex and his dad Ryan. (Image supplied.)

Cassie, her daughter, Dex and his dad Ryan. (Image supplied.)

Content note: This post contains stories of stillbirth and may be triggering for some readers.

Cassie Thistleton had been having an uneventful pregnancy.

It was October 2012 and this was the Queenslander’s second child, so she knew what to expect. Her first two trimesters had been great, as far as pregnancies go.

'It is important for families to understand what went wrong': Researcher calls for national guidelines to investigate stillbirths after study finds most are 'unexplained'

Dr Hanna Reinebrant (pictured) from UQ's Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth is calling on the Australian Government to establish national guidelines for investigating stillbirths

Dr Hanna Reinebrant (pictured) from UQ's Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth is calling on the Australian Government to establish national guidelines for investigating stillbirths

Every year in Australia, thousands of parents suffer the loss of a stillborn baby. Yet, most are given no answers as to why their baby has died. 

Mater Research Institute-University of Queensland researchers undertook a global review of stillbirth reporting and classification, hoping to find ways to improve procedures.