Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Warning after snow rescue
Police have reminded people headed to the snow to be careful on the slopes following two men being rescued in the Snowy Mountains.
Snow has been falling in the alpine regions and the state’s Central Tablelands as an icy blast passes through.
Two men, aged 20 and 33, left Thredbo to hike and camp on Rawsons Pass on Sunday, before summitting Mount Kosciuszko and returning to Thredbo the following day.
On their return, they became disoriented and took shelter at Seamans Hut.
The men were able to contact emergency services and were rescued on Tuesday.
Superintendent John Klepczarek said the incident was a timely reminder for people to remain vigilant and register their intentions with authorities.
“We’ve seen snow start to fall over the past week and we are susceptible to rapid changes in weather across the Snowy Mountains, so it’s really important that people follow necessary precautions and keep friends, family and authorities aware of their intentions,” he said.
Australian girls’ use of alcohol, phones increases during pandemic
The University of Sydney study — the first to examine the effect the pandemic has had on Australian teenagers — has found an unexpected increase in alcohol consumption among adolescent girls.
The health study, which examined data from about 1,000 young Australians, also reported an increase in the amount of excessive recreational screen time compared to pre-pandemic levels.
And it found girls were more likely to suffer from poor sleep.
The report authors say exercise patterns among the age group remain concerning, with 82 percent surveyed not getting an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise each day.
Matilda Center director Maree Teesson said the new study reinforced international research.
“The full extent of the impact of the pandemic on children and young people is being recognized internationally,” Professor Teesson said.
This study is the first to examine those impacts on Australian teens.
“We need a COVID recovery plan … that helps our young people get back on track for a healthier future.”
Koalas discovered in Kosciuszko National Park
Evidence of a koala population in Kosciuszko National Park has been revealed by surveys conducted by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Australian National University (ANU).
ANU koala expert David Lindenmayer said researchers believed the national park might host a significant koala population, although at low densities.
“These findings are important because of the area’s elevation, which we hope will make the populations more resilient to climate change,” he said.
NSW Environment Minister James Griffin said surveys conducted in November 2021 and February 2022 recorded male koalas at 14 sites within the park’s Byadbo Wilderness Area.
“This is good news because, until these recent surveys, there had only been 16 recorded sightings of koalas in Kosciuszko in more than 80 years,” Mr Griffin said.
“This exciting news provides hope that Kosciuszko National Park may be a refuge for this iconic species.”
Robert Hughes parole decision today
The State Parole Authority will today hand down its decision on whether former Hey Dad! actor Robert Hughes will be granted parole.
Hughes, 73, has been in custody for eight years after being convicted of 10 indecent assault charges relating to offenses committed in the 1980s.
He is serving the head sentence of 10 years and nine months. He first became eligible for parole in 2020.
The authority heard last week Hughes would be deported to the UK, where he intended to keep a “low profile” if released on parole.
Community Corrections has recommended against his release, pointing to Hughes’s continued denials of guilt.
But he is ineligible for sex-offender programs in custody because he is deemed at “low- or below-average” risk of reoffending.
His lawyers have argued Hughes would seek treatment on return to the UK, having renounced his Australian citizenship.
Hughes has twice been denied parole at previous hearings.
Police seek help identifying three men after kidnapping
Police are asking the public to help identify three people after a man was forced into a car at gunpoint, assaulted and held overnight while his BMW sedan, credit cards and phone were stolen.
At 7:30pm on April 10, a 27-year-old man was speaking with two men at Campsie before they produced weapons and he was forced into a car.
After stealing his belongings, the man was driven to Strathfield, where he escaped.
He suffered superficial injuries and since recovered.
The inquiries continue, police have released CCTV which may be able to assist with the investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers,
posted , updated