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Get set for another congested Lawrence Hargrave Drive this long weekend

HEAVIER than normal traffic along Lawrence Hargrave Drive is expected this holiday long weekend with Transport for NSW warning motorists to plan ahead and police undertake Operation Australia Day.

The prediction of hot and sunny weather this weekend means roads may be busier than usual as people travel to the coast.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and be aware of changed traffic conditions in the area.

Transport for NSW encourages road users to consider visiting one of the other 17 patrolled beaches in the Wollongong area. More information about beach locations and patrol hours can be found on the Wollongong City Council webpage at wollongong.nsw.gov.au/explore/beaches.

Motorists are asked to plan ahead by checking live traffic before starting their journey and to consider using alternate routes if possible.

Real-time information for travellers and alternate route options at key points will be available via livetraffic.com and VMS message boards.

For the latest traffic updates download the Live Traffic NSW App, visit livetraffic.com or call 132 701.

Police meanwhile are calling on motorists to look out for each other this Australia Day after a series of fatal crashes this year.

Officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command with assistance from Police Area Commands and Police Districts will be conducting Operation Australia Day 2021 from today (Friday January 22) and Tuesday January 26.

Motorists face double demerit points during the period for speeding, mobile phone, motorcycle helmet and seatbelt offences.

Police are calling for motorists to take care and look after each other as well as pedestrians ahead of Australia Day.

“We’ve experienced a number of tragic fatalities already this year, this is a concern for police and the community, particularly for those who have lost a loved one” said Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty.

“Australia Day is about mateship, comradery, and looking out for each other. We want to see that on our roads,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Hegarty said.

“It’s been a tough 12 months for everyone and sometimes drivers can forget that in each and every vehicle is a loved one: a mate, a mother, a father, child or a sibling.”

“Police will be doing everything in their power to work with the community in ensuring that motorists and their families arrive at their destination safely and enjoy this upcoming Australia Day holiday,” he said.

Operation Australia Day 2021 will see officers patrolling roads across the state, with police targeting unsafe and dangerous driving.

“We’re asking all drivers to drive to the conditions, concentrate on the road and be aware of your fatigue levels. Don’t be tempted by distractions such as your mobile phone as this can all lead to tragic consequences and endanger lives,” said Assistant Commissioner Hegarty.

Meanwhile people are being warned to prepare for this weekend’s heatwave. 

The heatwave is forecast to move from southern Western Australia across much of south-eastern Australia over the coming days.  

Red Cross Head of Emergency Services, Andrew Coghlan said heatwaves are extremely dangerous

“They result in more deaths in Australia than floods, bushfires or cyclones,” Mr Coghlan said. 

“You need to be prepared – stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay alert for the signs of heatstroke.”  

Symptoms of heatstroke can include a change in consciousness, or being confused, appearing hot, red and flustered and in extreme cases, vomiting. 

Australian Red Cross’ free First Aid App can be used to guide people through the signs, symptoms and responses for heat-stroke and many other first aid emergencies. 

Australian Red Cross’ tips for coping with the heat: 

  • Drink regularly: even if you don’t feel thirsty. Water is the best option. Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and sugary or fizzy drinks as they make dehydration worse. 
  • Eat little and often: rather than large meals. Try to eat more cold food, particularly salads and fruit, which contain water. 
  • Stay indoors: in the coolest rooms of your house or in the shade during the hottest part of the day. 
  • Take cool showers and splash yourself with cold water several times a day, particularly your face and the back of your neck. A loose, cotton, damp cloth or scarf on the back of the neck can help you stay cool. 
  • Air flow: make sure there is sufficient air circulation, either from an air conditioner or by leaving a secured window or door open. 
  • Find the shade: if you must go out, stay in the shade. Wear a hat and light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes, preferably made of natural fibres. Wear sunglasses and apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 to exposed skin. If you will be outside for some time, take plenty of water with you. 

Look out for your neighbours: if you know someone who might be susceptible to heat stress, stop by and make sure they know what to do to stay cool. 

For more information on how to get prepared for emergencies large and small visit redcross.org.au/heatwave.  Red Cross’ first aid training courses are open for bookings. Book online at redcross.org.au/firstaid or call 1300 367 428. 


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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