Australian News

Red-belly black snake found at Maroubra beach, Sydney

Locals were shocked to discover one of Australia’s most venomous snakes making its way along a widely-used beach path in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs recently.

Spotted by a local and posted to the Maroubra Community Facebook page, beachgoers were warned to keep their eyes peeled on the walkway at Maroubra Beach, where the red-bellied black snake was photographed.

Locals were stunned by the find, and also urged dog-walkers to take care.

“She’s a biggy,” one person wrote.

“Yeah, not walking past there again,” a third local wrote.

RELATED: Venomous red-bellied black snake found hiding in garage

The sighting prompted South Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club to remind residents that they need to be careful of local wildlife.

“Just another reminder after one of our ‘red belly black snake’ neighbours was spotted very recently roaming around the coastal walkway just to the north of the club!” the South Maroubra Surf Club posted on Friday.
“Advice is stay out of bushes and vegetation in dune areas and watch your step on pathways!”

The medium-sized species has distinguishing black scales on its body and red scales underneath.

It is known to be a shy snake that only strikes when under extreme pressure or interference.

The venom from a red-bellied black snake bite can cause tissue damage and nausea but deaths are rare.

Even so, never approach the animals and always proceed with caution.

This time last year, snake catcher Tony Harrison told 9 News that Sydney’s cool, wet conditions are a dream for snakes.

“When you get a bit of rain, you can expect to see a red-bellied snake as they are frog-eaters,” he said. “It’s their favourite food.”

RELATED: Red-bellied snake found behind toaster

In the case of a bite, Mr Harrison advised to treat it as worst case scenario.

“Don’t drive yourself, call an ambulance straight away and give yourself first aid,” he said.

“If you do see a snake do not try and catch it yourself — that’s how people get themselves bitten.

“Snakes can get anywhere. You imagine a spot — I can guarantee I’ve found them there; cars, bikes, shoes … if they feel threatened, they will hide somewhere dark.”

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Australian News

St Kilda beach, Federation Square packed

Hundreds of people packed St Kilda beach and Federation Square in Melbourne on Thursday night to celebrate the new year, despite the coronavirus’s return to Victoria.

The scenes formed a stark contrast with the muted celebrations in Sydney, where harbourside locations that are usually brimming with people on New Year’s Eve were practically deserted.

Under Victoria’s COVIDSafe Summer rules, up to 100 people can meet outdoors in a public place, though they must continue to practise social distancing.

Face masks are mandatory indoors and on public transport, and “strongly recommended” outdoors when you cannot keep 1.5 metres apart from others.

The state recorded five new cases of the virus yesterday, having broken its streak of 61 days without any locally acquired infections earlier in the week. There are currently more than 70 close contacts of confirmed cases in isolation.

Acting Premier Jacinta Allan announced Victoria would be closing its border to all of New South Wales from 11:59pm on January 1, sparking a rush of people trying to make it back across the border before the deadline.

“This is not an easy choice. Closing borders, putting in place restrictions, is never an easy choice to make,” Ms Allan said.

“This has been a difficult year, with many difficult decisions to make.

“Unfortunately, the virus doesn’t expire at midnight tonight, and we have to remain vigilance.”

When the clock struck midnight, signalling the end of 2020, most of the revellers at St Kilda beach were in close proximity to one another, with hardly anyone wearing a mask.

The scene at Federation Square was more restrained,

New Year’s Eve looked very different in Sydney, where the fireworks were spectacular as always, but the throngs of people were missing.

Earlier in the week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian tightened the state’s coronavirus restrictions, limiting household gatherings across Greater Sydney to a maximum of five people and outdoor gatherings to 30 people.

“We don’t want to create any super-spreading events on New Year’s Eve, which then ruins it for everybody across the state moving forward,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“On New Year’s Eve, we don’t want any crowds on the foreshore around Sydney whatsoever.

“Had circumstances been different, we may have acted differently. But we don’t want New Year’s Eve to be a situation where undetected cases – i.e. people who may be in the very early stages of the disease and not know they’ve got it, not know they’re infectious – unintentionally give it to those closest to them.

“Our preferred advice is that people just stay home.”

Most Sydneysiders followed that advice.

Uniformed police officers could be seen in Circular Quay throughout the evening, following through on the warning from Assistant Commissioner Michael Willing earlier in the day that “large numbers” of cops would appear at licensed venues to check their compliance with the restrictions.

“We’ll be checking licensed premises, we’ll be doorknocking when necessary,” he said.

“We’ll be out and patrolling public areas to ensure people abide by the current health orders.”

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Local News - Victoria

Police find cache of explosives at Dromana beach

Nearby houses were evacuated and the Nepean Highway through the town was closed to traffic for five hours.


Other residents were warned to stay inside and open doors and windows to reduce the risk of glass shattering during the controlled blasts which sent sand and debris 25 metres in the air.

Experts from the Department of Labor and Industry and police lined up the containers of gelignite along the beach and detonated them at intervals of between 10 and 15 minutes.

Police said the gelignite, which was “sweating”, had been buried in the sand for about two years. Locals said the site was in an area popular with beachgoers.

According to a Yarra Valley quarry operator, a blast of 10 kilograms of explosives could lift 2000 tonnes of material, depending how it was buried. Had it exploded, he said, it would have blown apart the boatsheds.

And he said that the gelignite could have exploded spontaneously if it had become wet enough.

The gelignite was discovered after police raided a house in Graham Street, Dromana, yesterday morning.

During the raid, they said, they found electric detonators in glass jars throughout the house and in the yard.

They interviewed several people at the house and later spoke to a man in a car at Reservoir. The man was taken back to Dromana to help police in their investigations.


Police later called in Department of Labor explosives experts and a sniffer dog. They went to Dromana beach where they found five plastic containers of gelignite in various locations.

Last night, a Dromana man, Glenn Michael Daly, 31, was charged with one count of burglary, one count of theft, and one of possessing explosives.

He was remanded by Mr Collins, JP, to appear In Frankton Magistrate’s Court on 5 January.

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Local News - Victoria

Damaging winds on the way as cool change spoils Melbourne’s beach weather

When the cool change reached Mortlake in the state’s west earlier on Sunday afternoon, the temperature dropped from 28 degrees to 18 degrees in just 40 minutes. The swiftness of the change is expected to be similar across Melbourne at 4pm.

“There’s a cold front just pushing in across the Bass Strait and southern Victoria, and with warm temperatures ahead of it and cold temperatures behind, it’s going to change pretty sharply,” Mr Stuart said.

“The winds will flick around to the south-west, so it will be quite a fresh change as it comes through, and then give it a couple of hours and some showers will come … The showers will clear out pretty early on Monday morning.”

The temperature at Olympic Park in Melbourne hit a top of 31.1 degrees just after 2pm.

The heat of the day and potential for strong winds across Victoria caused the Country Fire Authority to declare Sunday a total fire ban day for the Mallee, Wimmera, Northern Country and North Central regions of the state. Holidaymakers were put on notice about the danger of campfires.

Swan Hill and Mildura sat at just over 39 degrees just before 2pm.

“The change will get up there [to the north-west] eventually,” Mr Stuart said, “But it won’t be til the overnight period. It will stay quite warm until then.”

Robinvale residents were given a “watch and act” warning as firefighters battled an out of control blaze in Victoria’s far north-west, about 90 kilometres south-east of Mildura.

The grassfire near the Robinvale Rifle Range was travelling towards the Murray River at 12.40pm on Sunday.

Much of Victoria was rated as having a moderate chance of occurrences of epidemic thunderstorm asthma on Sunday.

The Melbourne Pollen Count is encouraging caution for asthma and hay fever sufferers across Melbourne and in the South West, Central, North Central, North East, East Gippsland, and West and South Gippsland regions of the state.

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Australian News

Police crack down on Byron Bay illegal beach parties

About 200 backpackers have allegedly gathered at an illegal beach party in Byron Bay, just hours after health authorities warned mass gatherings could easily become “superspreader events”.

Furious locals took to social media to show images of trash, including empty bottles of alcohol and dumped eskies and bins scattered across Belongil Beach on Sunday morning.

The images were accompanied with a post saying the disgusting mess was the “remains of a backpacker beach party” from Boxing Day.

“I know it was a backpackers party because I was tasked to find a lost phone,” Ivan Saric wrote.

“There were smouldering logs from the fire and broken glass throughout the sand. The sand had so much buried trash that I was stepping on buried bottles, cans and trash of every description. This is bloody disgusting.”

Mr Saric alleged about 200 people had attended the gathering.

“The fire would have been visible from most beaches in the bay,” he said.

“The beach needs patrolling to stop this c**p, maybe locals that live nearby can report to the police.”

The Tweed and Byron Police District also said officers had been called to break up about 300 people at Belongil Beach in the early hours on Sunday.

There were also 300 people gathered at another party at Main Beach.

Under the current restrictions, outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than 100 people in a public place including beaches and parks.

NSW Police said they had seen an increase in large public gatherings requiring “significant clean-up efforts”.

Police moved on large crowds gathered at Apex Park on Thursday and Friday, and were again called to the National Park area at Tyagarah about midnight on Saturday – where another illegal party had been organised.

Tweed/Byron Police District Commander Superintendent David Roptell warned police would be focusing on illegal parties over New Year’s.

“This year’s Christmas and New Year’s celebrations must be conducted in a COVID-safe environment,” he said.

“In saying that, we have a very clear message to those choosing to come to Byron over the Christmas and New Year period – this year is very different, there will be no large gatherings, no dance parties in the park. Social distancing is the new normal, and we all have to do our bit to stop the spread.”

It comes after NSW Police were called to Bronte Beach in Sydney‘s eastern suburbs to break up large crowds gathered at a Christmas Day party.

There were scores of revellers in Santa hats who appeared to be giving little consideration to social distancing.

It prompted a stern warning from NSW health authorities that these type of gatherings were not encouraged over Christmas and New Years over fears they could turn into “superspreader events”.

“It is absolutely appalling to see what was clearly a group of people, a large gathering of people who didn‘t give a damn about the rest of Sydney,” NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Saturday.

“Let me tell you, that event, I am hoping, will not become a superspreader event. But there’s every chance that it could be.

“Obviously in the earlier stages of the pandemic we had some challenges with backpackers who clearly wanted to party in the eastern suburbs. It cannot go on.”

Gladys Berejiklian will address the media later on Sunday morning with the state’s latest coronavirus case numbers.

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Australian News

Byron Bay party with ‘200+ people’ who trashed beach angers locals

Byron Bay locals are furious this morning after waking up to find their prized beach trashed by backpackers in a crazy party with more than 200 attendees.

Angry residents shared photos of the rubbish scattered across the sand in Belongil Beach, the main strip of beach in Byron Bay along the northern NSW coast.

Tweed/Byron police were kept very busy last night from shutting down multiple illegal parties, with no more than 100 people allowed at outdoor gatherings because of COVID-19 restrictions.

It comes after Sydney siders were caught throwing a massive party in the eastern suburbs’ Bronte Beach on Christmas Day.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard called the Sydney event “appalling” and a 25-year-old man was arrested and charged for ignoring police officers.

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus coverage here

RELATED: ‘Appalling’: Beach party covidiots slammed

Although Australia’s backpacker community largely went home after news of the coronavirus pandemic broke, locals believe backpackers are to blame for the wild party that happened on Saturday night, December 26.

“This was the remains of a back packer beach party at Belongil Beach yesterday,” a local posted to a community Facebook page.

“I know it was a backpackers party bc (because) I was tasked to find a lost phone.

“There were smouldering logs from the fire & broken glass throughout the sand.

“The sand had so much buried trash that I was stepping on buried bottles, cans & trash of every description. This is bloody disgusting.”

Another local said “Apparently there was 200+ people.

“Everyone should be able to grab a rubbish bag and do their part, bunch of lazy ass pigs. So disrespectful. No wonder locals are mad.”

Tweed/Byron Police estimate that number to be higher, after shutting down the Belongil Beach party where they said 300 people had gathered.

It wasn’t the only illegal party happening last night.

Police said they broke up a gathering at the National Park area at Tyagarah around midnight and they also crashed a gathering at Main Beach where another 300 people were partying.

Early this morning, police attended Apex Park after a large number of people gathered.

“Police moved on the group and ensured the alcohol they were consuming was tipped out,” officers said in a statement.

During the many parties, police seized music equipment and issued 73 parking infringements.

Police are now urging visitors and locals alike “to celebrate responsibly” and reminded everyone that public places are “alcohol-free zone(s)”.

Tweed/Byron Police District Commander, Superintendent David Roptell, is appealing for those involved to respect the environment and be mindful of the amount of rubbish left behind.

“It’s not fair for council workers and locals to have to clean the significant mess that is being left after each of these gatherings. I urge those who are intent on meeting in parks and beaches to not only do so safely but be respectful to the environment and those around you by cleaning up after yourself,” Supt Roptell said.

Locals said a bonfire on the beach was so large that it “would have been visible from most beaches in the bay”.

Now residents are calling for their beach to be patrolled by police to stop it from happening again.

“The beach needs patrolling to stop this crap, maybe locals that live nearby can report to the police,” said one person on social media.

Others called for the perpetrators to be kicked out of the country.

“Disgusting. Strip the visa of the poeple (sic) responsible for those trash or at least make an example out of a few so the others won’t do it again …”

Byron Bay is a popular vacation spot and is home to many Aussie celebrities including Chris Hemsworth and wife Elsa Pataky, and earlier this year Zac Efron was spotted staying there

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Australian News

Queensland bobsleigh athletes swap beach for ice chutes to conquer 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Racing down an ice chute in a bobsleigh at 130 to 140 kilometres per hour is not for the faint-hearted.

It is hard on the body, and on the hip pocket, but determined Australian bobsleigh athletes are taking their place on the world stage.

But its pull remains strong on athletes like Joe Williamson.

“There’s nothing that compares.”

From Switzerland to Queensland

Bobsleigh is a winter sport invented by the Swiss in the late 1860s in which teams make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sled.

Williamson was born and raised in coastal Queensland, where winter temperatures rarely get below 10 degrees Celsius, and there is no snow.

But that has not stopped him becoming a bobsleigh brakeman, part of a team representing Australia at the World Championships in Europe in the new year, and chasing a berth at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

A white bobsleigh racing down the track riding right up one of the banked corners
The sport involves teams competing down narrow, twisting iced tracks in a gravity-powered sled.(Supplied: Manuel Steinbach)

Born in Bundaberg, and now living on the Sunshine Coast, Williamson fell into the winter sport three years ago.

“I was track sprinting and beach sprinting, and I was just running some gift races in Victoria,” he said.

“I had a gentleman who used to be a push athlete for Australia approach me and say, ‘Hey look — you’re big, you’re quick, and you could have some potential to do this [bobsleigh racing], do you want to have a crack?’

“But it is a thing … and about six weeks later I was booking flights to Norway and getting in a sled.”

On Boxing Day, while most Aussies are sitting in front of the fan watching the cricket on TV, having a barbeque by the pool or heading to the beach, Williamson will be travelling to a wintery Germany for pre-competition training on the ice with Sydney pilot Evan O’Hanlon.

Queensland athletes on the world stage

Williamson and O’Hanlon have a quota spot at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships in Altenberg, Germany, in February.

Cairns bobsleigh pilot Breeana Walker is one of Australia’s best sliding sports athletes and she will be competing in Germany too.

Racer running behind a bobsleigh ready to jump in and race down the icy track
Breeana Walker wins gold at the IBSF Monobob World Series in Innsbruck, Austria.(Supplied)

This month Walker became the first Australian to win a World Cup gold medal in sliding sports, when she took out the monobob race, a solo bobsleigh event for women that will be part of the Winter Olympics for the first time at Beijing in 2022.

“This year we have found an incredible coach and upgraded equipment, all at a substantial expense for a team that is primarily self-funded.”

‘We are severely underfunded’

It is more than 30 years since Australia first competed in an Olympic bobsleigh event at Calgary in 1988, but the sport remains severely underfunded.

“A typical season for a two-person team will cost between $60,000 to $80,000, and that’s without purchasing high-end equipment,” Bobsleigh and Skeleton Australia chief executive, Hayden Smith, said.

“That budget would be ideal for two people, or a three-person team, and we’ve got a third of that to spread across 30 [skeleton and bobsleigh] people.

Smith said their four-man team to the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018 received only $15,000 funding.

“We would have spent north of $100,000 that season as a group of four guys, easily,” he said.

“Everyone was maxing out their credit cards and spending their savings to do it.”

Man leant over pushing sled mounted with weights, he is wearing black active wear with his cap backwards.
When Joe Williamson is not on the ice, he trains with a weighted sled on the track in Brisbane.(Supplied: Joe Williamson)

The cost of bobsleighs is a major issue, meaning Australian athletes compete on older sleds while other countries have the latest equipment, making it harder to compete.

As Joe Williamson prepares to fly out for a stint on the ice, covering the costs of the sport he loves is front of mind.

“We need to be there for close to five months really, to get the run volume in, and get the pilot’s eye.”

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Australian News

List of venues on alert, Avalon, Palm Beach, Mona Vale

Dozens of venues are on high alert and train passengers have been urged to monitor symptoms as Sydney’s northern beaches cluster continues to grow.

There were 17 confirmed cases of the virus by midnight Thursday, with that figure expected to grow as beachside residents flock to testing sites.

The list of venues with confirmed cases is growing, with major supermarkets, banks and a chemist now among them.

Those who have visited the following locations have been urged to get tested immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result:

Woolworths Mona Vale, 25/29 Park St, Mona Vale, December 13, 12-12.30pm

Aldi Mona Vale, 13 Bungan St, Mona Vale, December 13, 12.45-1.30pm

Avalon Beach SLSC, December 13, 14 and 15, 9-9.30am

Palm Beach Rockpool, LOT 1 Rock Bath Rd, Palm Beach, December 14, 9.30-10:30am

Woolworths Avalon, 74 Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon Beach, December 14 5-5.30pm

Chemist Warehouse, 4/74 Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon Beach, December 14 5.20‑5.25pm

Commonwealth Bank, 47 Avalon Parade, Avalon Beach, December 15, 12-12.15pm

Mitre 10, 49 Avalon Parade, Avalon Beach, December 15, 12-12.20pm

Roof Racks World, 13/87 Reserve Rd, Artarmon, December 15, 2-2:30pm

HongFa BBQ Restaurant, Dee Why, December 15, 4.30-4.45pm

Dee Why Fruit Market, 33 Oaks Avenue, Dee Why, December 15, 4.45-4.55pm

North Avalon Cellars, 4/3 N Avalon Rd, Avalon Beach, December 15, 6-6.05pm

Careel Bay Dog Park and Hitchcock Park, Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon, December 16, 7‑7:30am

Palm Beach Pool, LOT 1 Rock Bath Rd, Palm Beach, December 16, 8-9am

Brot and Wurst, 1442 Pittwater Rd, North Narrabeen, December 16, 2-2:05pm

Avalon Beach Post Shop, 45 Avalon Parade, AvalonBeach, December 16, 3.30-3.50pm

A confirmed case also travelled on the train network on December 14. NSW Health said passengers are considered casual contacts and should get a test and isolate until they get a negative result.

Roseville to Redfern, 6.50-7.40am

Redfern to Milsons Point, 11.20-11.45am

Milsons Point to Roseville, 3.15-3.40pm

Three RSL clubs are also on high alert including one in the city’s west.

The health department said people who visited the venues are considered close contacts and need to get a test and isolate for 14 days.

These include:

Avalon RSL Club, December 11, all day until close

Penrith RSL Club, December 13, 1-6pm

Kirribilli Club, December 14, 12-3pm

Contact tracers are racing to determine the source of the infection, with early reports suggesting one of the RSL clubs may be the key.

On Thursday NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said it was “critical” to locate everyone that visited the Avalon RSL Club on December 11.

“Our working hypothesis is that someone at that RSL club was potentially the source of infection for a number of subsequent cases,” she said.

“So, it is critical that we identify any individuals that may be positive there.”

The news comes as it was revealed one positive case played the drums in a band who performed all around Sydney, spreading possible sites of infection across the city.

Several other sites were also listed earlier on Thursday. Anyone at the venues below must get tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.

Hungry Ghost Cafe, 20 Avalon Parade, Avalon – Sunday, December 13, 9.30-11am and Tuesday, December 15, 9.30-11am

Sneaky Grind Cafe, 3/48 Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach, December 14, 9.30-11am Barramee

Thai Massage and Spa, 4/42-44 Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach, December 14, 2-3.30pm

Bangkok Sidewalk Restaurant, 1/21-23 Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach, December 14, 7-8pm

Avalon Bowlo (bowling club), 4 Bowling Green Lane Avalon Beach, December 13, 5-7pm (not 3-5pm as previously reported) and Tuesday, December 15, 3-5pm

Palm Beach female change rooms, December 13, 9-9.15am

Coast Palm Beach Cafe, Barren Joey Road, Palm Beach, December 13, 10‑11am

There are also a number of spots where visitors at certain times have been advised to get tested and then self-isolate until a negative result is received. These include:

Bing Lee, Gateway, 1 Mona Vale Road, Mona Vale, December 14, 4.30‑4.45pm

Woolworths Avalon Beach, 74 Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach, December 13, 12-5pm, and Tuesday, December 15, 12-12.30pm

Oliver’s Pie, Careel Shopping Village, 1 Careel Head Rd, Avalon Beach, December 14, 9-9.15am

New pop-up testing clinics have been made available, along with a drive-through version at Avalon Bowling Club.

Meanwhile states have announced a series of changes to travel that could see some forced to quarantine over Christmas at their own expense.

The infections are NSW’s first cases of community transmission since December 3.

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Local News - Victoria

Shark warning issued after whale carcass washed up on Fairhaven beach

Life Saving Victoria has warned swimmers and surfers of an increase in shark activity in the area, and to be more vigilant than usual.

At least one shark was seen around 8.30am on Tuesday, according to Emergency Management Victoria.

“Please exercise caution and only swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags,” a Life Saving Victoria spokesperson said.

No new shark sightings had been confirmed as of Wednesday morning, but the beach between Fairhaven and Moggs Creek will remain closed until at least the end of the day.

The whale is being dissected on the beach and transferred by dump trucks to a local landfill. The odour from the whale is expected to dissipate as it’s removed from the beach.

The dead whale washed up on Fairhaven beach in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The dead whale washed up on Fairhaven beach in the early hours of Tuesday morning.Credit:Paul Greene

“We ask the community to keep their distance, as heavy machinery will be on the beach during the operation and beach access will be restricted at times,” said incident controller Barry James.

Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism general manager Liz Price said the Environment Department was working to remove the carcass as soon as possible and it was not expected to have an effect on tourists.

“The region, like most parts of the country, relies heavily on visitors and we are hoping for a busy summer peak,” Ms Price said.

“It is probably a timely reminder as we head into summer peak to encourage visitors to swim at patrolled beaches and stay informed of the conditions.”

The dead whale had been seen drifting in Surf Coast waters for several days.

The dead whale had been seen drifting in Surf Coast waters for several days.Credit:Jonn Stewart

Museums Victoria senior curator of vertebrate palaeontology Erich Fitzgerald said beachings gave researchers an opportunity to gain insights into a creature they rarely saw close up.

“Despite the tragic circumstances – especially in live strandings – one thing that’s important to note is that wash-ups are rare and important opportunities for scientists, given [whales] are sentinels of oceanic health,” Dr Fitzgerald said.

“I suspect that if this partly decomposed whale is on a beach that’s heavily accessible, then steps might be taken to remove it so there’s minimal impact on tourism and use by the locals.”

A shark warning was issued after the carcass washed up on Fairhaven beach.

A shark warning was issued after the carcass washed up on Fairhaven beach.Credit:Paul Greene

Fairhaven local Howard Hughes said he had watched the dead whale drift along the coast over the past couple of days.

“He was out at Fairhaven, around half a kilometre out, [on Monday] night as the sun was setting. It’s a pinky colour because he has been sunburnt,” Mr Hughes said.

“The day before he was off Anglesea and Point Roadknight, so he has been drifting for a while.”

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Families and tourists flock to Gold coast beach foam

Thick blankets of sea foam have covered a popular Queensland beach drawing some curious locals and tourists into the water.

The unusual weather phenomenon has been spotted in recent days as the east coast is battered by heavy rain, strong winds and wild surf.

This morning waves of foam were washed across Currumbin Beach in the Gold Coast, with families and children spotted playing in the thick substance.

RELATED: Rare weather phenomenon covers Queensland beach as storm front hits

RELATED: NSW, Queensland weather: Evacuation warning as heavy rainfall smashes coast

The foam covered the beach all around the Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club and blanketed a rockpool area near the club.

“It’s incredible — once every few years we get this,” an amateur photographer told 9 News.

“I photograph a lot of the ocean so it’s a pretty spectacular occurrence.”

It was also seen at Tugun on the Gold Coast as strong waves surged into shore, and at First Bay in Coolum, completely covering the usually tidy beach.

It’s believed the worst of the wild weather has now passed for Queensland however king tides and dangerous surf continue to present a risk.

Today a minor to moderate flood warning continues for parts of north east NSW including along the Tweed River, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

In parts of SE Qld, accumulated rainfall totals for the past four days are edging close to the one metre mark — including Upper Springbrook, which has copped 953mm, and Lower Springbrook, with 733mm. Burringa was also drenched with 552mm and Terania Creek had 578mm.

“Major coastal erosion is ongoing is northeast NSW and southeast Qld as spring tides combine with large waves in excess of eight metres and gale force winds eat away at sand from beaches,” the BOM warned on Monday.

The warning said current high tides have exceeded previous highs from 2020 by “up to 30cm in some locations”.

The SES Qld said they’d already taken 1400 calls for assistance since 6pm on Saturday night. “Our volunteers are working as quickly as they can but these tasks can be complex and time-consuming,” the SES said in a statement.

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