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Towns shiver through first cold blast

TWO doonas or three. That is the big question.

“It's been chilly with icy-cold winds. Everyone is talking about it,” said long-time Tyalgum local Josie Flett yesterday, as the hinterland village shivered in the first cold blast of winter.

“I was talking to somebody and said it's definitely two-doona weather. He said: 'No, it's three-doona weather'.

“The winds have been icy cold. They tell me they are from Antarctica coming up the coast then hit the mountain range.”

Despite the low temperatures, which hit just 1C around Tyalgum and parts of the Tweed Valley, Ms Flett said Tyalgum had so far avoided frosts due to the biting winds which had kept the cool air from settling overnight.

She did, however, have a helpful tip for home gardeners once the frosts hit.

“I've found to protect young plants, I put old beach umbrellas beside them, and later in the day I take them off so they get the benefit of the sun,” she said.

Most Tweed locals it seems were prepared for the onset of winter.

One of the proprietors of Murwillumbah's Retravision store Roz Hession said the shop sold only two heaters yesterday morning.

“I think people have already stocked up on heaters and electric blankets,” she said.

“It's just an ongoing thing around this time of the year.

At Springbrook in the mountains behind the Gold Coast, the icy temperatures froze taps.

Unlike Tyalgum, some parts of Springbrook reported frost.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, a cold snap has struck Australia's southern states and territories, with sub-zero temperatures and snow hitting Victoria, Canberra, New South Wales and Tasmania.

In Victoria, snow fell on Melbourne's Dandenong Ranges and in the state's centre.

Snow covered the small town of Kinglake - just four months after bushfires swept through the area - with the snow-covered ground creating a stark contrast to the burnt trees.

Heavy snowfalls south of Can- berra over the Snowy Mountains and cut power and closed roads. Heavy snow between Bathurst and Lithgow forced the closure of the Great Western Highway.

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