Buy now, pay later schemes are on the radar of lenders

A RECENT loan for a car or an engagement ring could set people back from securing home ownership that same year. While personal loans and credit cards may provide the means to fund certain items, they can come back to haunt borrowers when they apply for a mortgage. Wagga experts advise that an applicant's level of debt will affect the size of their home loan mortgage that is offered to them and can even hinder their chances of being offered one entirely. Mortgage broker Brad Bland, at Wagga's Ma

Chance for bushfire bunkers to become first choice

Timothy Wilson first came up with the idea of creating a transportable fire bunker three years ago and soon it could come into fruition. Mr Wilson along with his wife and three other friends, including Brent Bowen, have seen the devastation from this bushfire season that has displaced thousands of people from their homes. The team, comprising of engineers, emergency personnel and marketing, are hoping these bunkers could protect communities and its residents in the event of a future bushfire. "W

Fiona prepares to handover the reins and take on a new challenge

Fiona Ziff might be known to many people as the owner of a hipster cafe that is nestled among homes in Central. Or to others, as a passionate North Wagga resident who has been advocating for an equivalent flood levee as the other side of the bridge. But now, Ms Ziff is ready to handover the reins of her popular cafe in a bid to run for Wagga City Council. "I'm not a developer, a wealthy person ... I'm just an ordinary person who cares for the community," she said. "I feel like I can add some val

City's Harris Scarfe will continue trading as others prepare to close

Wagga's Harris Scarfe will not be among the 21 stores across the country that are preparing to close in the coming weeks. The national department store was placed into receivership on December 11, following the appointment of voluntary administrators the same day. Employees were told by the receivers yesterday that 44 stores would remain in the portfolio, which will be offered for sale. More than 1300 jobs will remain, while about 88 full-time, 128 part-time and 224 casual positions across the 2

Wagga evacuation centre transitions to assistance point

THE Equex Centre will continue to operate as it transitions from an evacuation point into an assistance centre. The assistance point will have slightly reduced hours for the next three days and there will no longer be hot meals, but tea and coffee will be provided as well as staff on-hand to assist people. The centre will now be operating from 9am to 5pm and further information on the centre's operation beyond Friday will be available as soon as possible. People attending the centre were mistake

How hazardous is this smoke we're breathing in?

FACE masks are flying off the shelves as smoke continues to blanket the city due to the ongoing bushfire crisis. But, what does this hazardous air quality actually mean for people's health? For most people, smoke causes mild symptoms like sore eyes, runny nose and an irritated throat. However, people with conditions like asthma, emphysema and angina are at greater risk because the smoke can trigger their symptoms. The NSW government's Air Quality Index rating states that anything at or above 200

Motorists urged to turn their lights on as smoke hinders visibility

Authorities are urging motorists to take care on country roads as thick smoke drifts across the region creating hazardous conditions. According to the Air Quality Index, Wagga has reached 311 while Albury records a reading of 461. Towns along the Olympic Highway, such as Henty and The Rock, are producing poorer air quality than Wagga. Hume City Council road safety officer Kim Schultz said driving in smoke is high risk and drivers need to ensure their headlights are turned on. Ms Schultz said all

La Porchetta closes its doors after more than a decade

AN Italian restaurant chain has permanently closed on the city's main street after more than a decade. La Porchetta, on Baylis Street, ceased its dine-in service on January 2 and three days later, on Sunday January 5, the takeaway trade also shut-up-shop. "La Porchetta Wagga closed on January 5 and won't be reopening," a spokesperson confirmed. "We want to thank the people of Wagga Wagga for their patronage over more than a decade." The owners were contacted for comment, but did not respond to r

Police investigate car fire opposite Jubilee Park

LOCAL emergency services responded to a fire closer to home last night. NSW Fire and Rescue Turvey Park Fire Station received a call at 12.30am on Monday morning over reports a car was alight on Red Hill Road, opposite Jubilee Park. One crew arrived at the scene and leading firefighter Ron Baroni said it took 30 minutes to extinguish. Wagga Police have been contacted for comment and are investigating the incident, which is believed to have been involved in crime. The fire station also reported a

Out-of-control Dunns Road fire grows to 296,930 hectares

The Dunns Road fire that is burning on multiple fronts is at Advice level this morning, as conditions have eased. The fire is still out of control and has grown to 296,930 hectares, with most main roads in the area remaining closed. Since January 2, the Dunns Road fire has grown by more than 170,000 hectares. According to the Rural Fire Service Fires Near Me, fire has passed through Batlow, Talbingo and surrounding areas, however there still may be active fire and unburnt areas. Sunday saw thick

Year in Review: October closes the book on heinous crime and events in full swing

VIEWERS saw a glimpse of life on the beaten track as the SBS documentary Struggle Street picked the region for its third series. It began airing on October 9 and followed the journeys of people across Wagga and the Riverina as they battle drought, crime, homelessness, rural isolation, a lack of health specialists and substance abuse. But Wagga's MP Joe McGirr came under fire for his blunt take on the series describing it, in NSW Parliament, as "washing my electorate's dirty laundry in public". D

Year in Review: February witnesses devastating lows in city's communities

FEBRUARY was not lacking in the news department, which saw juvenile detainees gaining access to the roof, forces putting a strain on small business and national companies questioning their future in Wagga. The Wagga Boat Club made the tough decision on February 21 to shut down its restaurant catering to combat financial woes caused by Lake Albert's environmental issues. Commodore Mick Henderson said the closure of the lake due to the blue-green algae and faecal bacteria problems struggled to kee

Firies certain they can respond to future high-rise emergencies

A firefighter has shelved concerns that emergency services would not be able to adequately respond to unfolding situations in the city's future high-rise apartments. Some residents have questioned, in Wagga City Council meetings, whether firefighters could respond to emergencies on high-leveled floors with the local equipment and resources available. This comes as news that the 14-storey Riverside Apartments in Sturt Street has secured at least half-a-dozen buyers. NSW Fire and Rescue Wagga zone

Retail worker fed up with crime, says 'we need to look out for each other'

ONE of the city's major shopping centres says they are doing "everything" they can to increase the safety of patrons. Security measures at the Marketplace have been scrutinised following the recent attacks on elderly women. On November 28, a 92-year-old woman was left shaken after her car was stolen by a juvenile in the underground Marketplace car park. Less than two weeks later, a 70-year-old woman was robbed at knifepoint during an early-morning attack in the same car park. Sarah Brunskill is

Residents frustrated as council halts subdivision proposal

Four residents have expressed frustration over Wagga City Council's land policy, which has stalled their subdivision proposal. Jim Simpson was born and bred in Gregadoo and his family has owned land there since 1902. Mr Simpson, along with three other people, including Malcolm Edgar, proposed a subdivision of a combined 1200 acres in 2013 that had the potential for about 3600 residential lots. Land at Gregadoo made it to the Wagga Spatial Plan, which sets out guidelines for the city's developmen

Central medical, dental centre proposes $738,000 face-lift

The Riverina Medical and Dental Aboriginal Corporation is seeking to transform its centre with a $738,000 makeover. The centre is currently located on 271-73 Edward Street and 67, 69 and 71 Docker Streets. The application proposes to alter and add to its medical and dental clinics, consolidate its two Edward Street facing properties and a new car parking hardstand. The commercial development application was lodged with Wagga City Council on December 16 and could see an expanded waiting room, as

Police ramp up arsonists surveillance as firebugs strike in Riverina

POLICE are out in force ramping up their monitoring of known arsonists as the threat of bushfires closer to home accelerates. Emergency services are investigating a number of deliberately lit blazes across the Tumut and Riverina areas. Riverina Police District are issuing a public appeal for anyone with information about recent acts of arson. Riverina Police District Inspector Stephen Radford said the role of the community in stopping these fires cannot be overstated. "Information provided to po

Wagga rates among the booziest cities in Australia

IF you thought it was OK to have two standard drinks a day, think again. The National Health and Medical Research Council has released its revised guidelines in 10 years on reducing health risks from drinking alcohol. Experts warn of alcohol consumption and its strengthening links to chronic illnesses, such as cancer, and recommends that people should not consume more than 10 standard drinks per week, equating to 1.4 drinks a day. But, new research by Victoria University's Mitchell Institute rev

More shoppers are 'easing back' on their spending this Christmas

IT SEEMS most residents are leaving their Christmas shopping until the last minute as the start of the city's main street was a ghost town this afternoon. Marketplace shopping centre attracted most of the buzz, but even shoppers said it was not as busy as this time last year. Tumut residents Liam Breed and Micaela Piper travel to Wagga for their big Christmas shop each year and found getting a car park was easy this afternoon. "It wasn't that bad ... I think it depends on what time we come and w

Work begins onsite for Estella's future school

Residents can finally get a glimpse of progress at the new Estella school that is earmarked to be completed by early 2021. Lawns have been mowed and a security fence has been installed around the perimeter of the site at 56 Estella Road, Charles Sturt University. An estimated $736,170 development application was lodged with Wagga City Council on December 2 for site establishment works for the future school that is expected to accommodate about 370 students. These works will include bulk earthwor
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