Top stories from 2009.
Top stories from 2009. APN

Northern NSW 2009 'Year in Review'

FROM devastating acts of disaster and tragedy to tales of inspiration and success, 2009 was a big year for news in northern New South Wales.  Here are some of the top stories from the year that was:

Flooding on the North Coast

Floods inundated the North Coast in 2009, with the Coffs Coast hit in April and again in November, while the Clarence Valley and Northern Rivers experienced flood events in May.

The floods created more than just geographical division in northern NSW, with Coffs Harbour flood victims denied government assistance, while Northern Rivers and Clarence locals received handouts.

16-year-old poses nude for magazine

Kingscliff 16-year-old Ella Rose Corby made a controversial start to her modelling career by posing nude for the cover of surfing magazine Stab with only strategically placed limbs barely covering her modesty.

Death of Jai Morcom

The northern NSW community of Mullumbimby was rocked in August by the death of Jai Morcom, a 14-year-old boy who suffered serious head injuries during a fight he was allegedly watching at the high school.

Jai's death galvanised the community, with almost the entire student body of Mullumbimby High walking out on August 31 in silent protest against schoolyard bullying.

World Rally Championship

The Australian leg of the World Rally Championships came to northern NSW in September, with five-time world champion Sebastien Loeb claiming victory after 35 competitive stages around the Northern Rivers region.

But the real battle went on before Loeb even arrived, with Tweed Shire Greens Party councillor Katie Milne unsuccessfully attempting to block the rally from being held in the Tweed and Kyogle Shires due to environmental concerns.

Dust storm

The North Coast saw red in September when an orange dust storm from south of Sydney swept across the state.

Stan Walker wins Idol

Former Byron Bay High School student Stan Walker was crowned the 2009 Australian Idol in front of a record crowd at the Sydney Opera House in November. 

Bushfires ravage northern NSW

Residents of Brooms Head had a night of terror in October when a bushfire encroached on the coastal village within metres of homes.

Splendour leaves NSW

Iconic Byron Bay music festival Splendour in the Grass, which attracts thousands of visitors to NSW every year, will be held in Woodford, Qld, in 2010, after a court ruled the festival could not use a 660 acre site at Yelgun.

What do you think was the top news story for northern New South Wales in 2009?  Leave your comments below.

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