SBS Radio Bulletin Updates – October 9, 2013

Colin Long from the NSW Service Station Association says fuel supplies in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria are expected to return to normal next week.

In the meantime service stations have urged motorists to remain patient with patchy petrol supplies while a safety audit is carried out on trucks owned by Victorian-based company, Cootes Transport.

More than 80 vehicles, including 73 in Victoria, have been grounded after one tanker crashed on Sydney’s northern beaches and killed two motorists last week.

VicRoads says six vehicles previously grounded have been cleared for operation.

The Philippines is to ban the use of heavy-weighted fishing nets in an attempt to reduce their negative impact on marine life.

The heavy-weighted fishing nets, also known as “Danish seine” nets, drag along the ocean floor and damage seabed communities and coral reefs.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources says the move comes after numerous complaints from small fishermen and coastal communities.

The ban will come into effect from March next year and will affect almost 800 fishing boats.

A bacterial epidemic has hit a flood-ravaged region in the Philippines, killing six people and overwhelming local hospitals.

More than 130 people have been infected with leptospirosis in and around the northern city of Olongapo after water became contaminated with rat urine.

The bacterial infection is also known as Weil’s disease in its most serious form and can eventually lead to kidney failure.

While the deadly flash floods which impacted the area last month have subsided, the disease can breed in the human body for up to a month before flu-like symptoms appear.

Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will be hardest hit by petrol shortages while a Victoria-based transport company’s tankers are grounded or forced to undergo repairs.

Authorities have grounded or forced more than one hundred Cootes Transport fuel tankers to undergo repairs, including 79 trucks in Victoria and 23 in New South Wales.

Melbourne fuel supplies will be under the most stress as the company’s largest hub is in Victoria, followed by parts of Queensland and especially Brisbane.

Cootes is being investigated after one of its tankers crashed in Sydney last week, killing two people.

Service stations are urging the public not to panic buy petrol, following reports that some petrol stations are selling double the usual amount of fuel.

A new national report has revealed almost all people with type one diabetes and 60 percent of those with type two diabetes will develop a form of diabetic eye disease, which can lead to blindness.

The report, which provides an overview of the impact of diabetic eye disease, indicates many of the 1 million Australians diagnosed with diabetes will experience blindness or vision loss within 20 years of their diagnosis.

It says diabetes is the nation’s fastest-growing chronic disease, with the number of people with type one diabetes increasing by roughly three percent every year.

Sufferers are 25 times more likely to become blind, while seventy-five percent of blindness and vision loss in Australia is preventable.

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Brianna Piazza

Journalist and travel writer.

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