Appeal to locate teen missing from Kurri Kurri

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a teenage boy missing from the states Hunter Region.

Ayden Jack, aged 13, was last seen at a home on Lang Street, Kurri Kurri, about 5.30pm on Tuesday 28 November 2023.

When he was unable to be located, officers attached to Hunter Valley Police District were notified and commenced inquiries into his whereabouts.

Family and police hold concerns for Ayden’s welfare due to his age.

He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 180cm tall, of medium build, with brown hair and brown eyes.

He was last seen wearing grey shorts, and a red, white and blue Fila puffer jacket.

He may be on a pushbike and is known to frequent the Kurri Kurri, Weston and Cessnock areas.

Anyone with information into Ayden’s whereabouts is urged to contact Cessnock Police Station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Search continues for missing swimmer – Stockton Beach

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a man missing from a beach in Newcastle area.

Officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District have been told a 20-year-old man was with friends when he entered surf at Stockton Beach about 2.45pm on Sunday (26 November 2023).

When he was unable to be located, multiple agencies including Port Stephens-Hunter Police District, Marine Area Command, NSW Ambulance, and NSW Surf Life Savers were notified and a search was initiated.

The search has continued involving local police, Westpac helicopter, local surf live savers, water police, NSW Ambulance paramedics, and Polair.

It’s believed he is from the Granville area.

Today’s search will involve regular patrols of the shoreline by local police and a sea search by Newcastle Water Police.

Can you spot a scam? Learn how to stay protected this holiday season

The NSW Government is urging people to be alert to cybercriminals targeting busy online shoppers ahead of Christmas, with more than $126.5 million lost to scams across the state in 2023.

The number of scams reported in 2023 has already surpassed last year’s figure, with more than 257,000 reports about scams nationwide and 77,000 in NSW alone.

As the holiday season nears and people start shopping for loved ones, consumers should be wary of ‘impersonation scams’, the focus of this year’s Scams Awareness Week.

Impersonation scams are when perpetrators seek to trick victims into thinking they are from well-known businesses or organisations such as the police, government or banks, with some even pretending to be a friend or family member to access personal information.

Urgent requests for personal details or money, an apparently legitimate business asking for different bank details from previous payments, and messages threatening immediate arrest or deportation are all examples of impersonation scams.

People are reminded to be cautious when opening emails and text messages. If you are unsure if the message is legitimate, contact the sending organisation using details listed on the organisation’s website or another public platform.

Other steps include not opening or downloading any attachments or apps, as these can install malicious software on to a computer or phone, as well as keeping an eye out for slight variations in Caller or Sender IDs like dots, special characters, or numbers.

ID Support NSW provides support for people and businesses impacted by ID breaches. If personal information or government credentials have been compromised, ID Support NSW can be contacted on 1800 001 040 for support.

To mark Scams Awareness Week, which runs from Monday, 27 November to Friday, 1 December 2023, ID Support NSW will be running a series of online events focused on the different types of impersonation scams.

For more information about ID Support NSW’s Scams Awareness Week events visit ID Support NSW.

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Jihad Dib said:

“Whether it is a message from a family member asking for money or a delivery company sending a text about a parcel, not everyone you are dealing with is who they say they are. As people shop online ahead of Christmas, we want you to be wary of what could be opportunistic scams.”

“Scams Awareness Week 2023 shines a light on these impersonations and tells you how to detect them.”

“With the sheer volume of messages many people receive on a daily basis, it is important to recognise the signs of an impersonation scam and how to keep your identity protected.”

“The team at ID Support NSW is helping raise awareness of these scams through online events this week and other resources available on their website, as well as supporting victims to reclaim their identity.”  

ID Support NSW Director James Blakely said:

“We know cyber criminals don’t take holidays, so we are encouraging everyone to stay vigilant this festive season and look out for suspicious emails, text messages or phone calls.”

“Avoid clicking directly on links, particularly from unsolicited texts and emails, and make sure to buy from trusted sellers whose information can be verified.”

“Education is essential when staying protected from scams, that’s why ID Support NSW has a wide range of resources and online events available to keep people informed.”


“The Senate has rightly forced Senator Hanson to withdraw her unacceptable racist comments and held her to account for once.

“This should send a strong message to Senator Hanson that she cannot continue to make this parliament an unsafe workplace for people like me day in, day out.

“Senator Hanson’s racist bile is extremely damaging and also unleashes vile hate and abuse from bigots. It must be nipped in the bud.

“If Parliament is to be a safe workplace, then it needs to set a standard that any form of bigotry and racism are unacceptable. Racist hatred should never be tolerated in any workplace, let alone one that is supposed to lead the way in standards of behaviour.

“People who look like me have all been told to ‘go back to where they come from’ at one point or another, and it is harmful and unacceptable every single time. I’ve copped it more times than I can count, and so have many others in the community. Enough is enough!

“The government needs to stop dragging the chain on Parliamentary behaviour codes and implement the codes and the consequences for breaching these without delay.”

Hilary Charlesworth re-election to the International Court of Justice

The Australian Government congratulates the Honourable Judge Hilary Charlesworth on her re-election to the International Court of Justice.

The election took place at the United Nations headquarters in New York overnight (9 November 2023, EST) to fill vacancies that will arise in February 2024.

Judge Charlesworth has served as a member of the International Court of Justice since 2021 and is a world-leading jurist, as well as the first Australian woman to serve as a Judge of the Court in its 78-year history.

The International Court of Justice plays a critical role in upholding international law and the rules-based order.

The Australian Government is confident that Judge Charlesworth will continue to draw on her exceptional expertise and act in accordance with the highest standards of independence and integrity.

These qualities are integral to the International Court of Justice in its mission to support the peaceful resolution of disputes between States.

The Australian Government sincerely thanks the outgoing judges for their service to the Court and wishes them well for the remainder of their terms.

More information about the Court can be found on the International Court of Justice website.

Two teens charged as part of Operation Regional Mongoose – Tamworth and Newcastle

Two teenagers have been charged with numerous property offences as part of Operation Regional Mongoose.

About 3.00am today (Friday, 10 November), two 14-year-old boys were captured on CCTV allegedly attempting to break into a home at Oxley Vale, near Tamworth.

A short time later the pair allegedly broke into another property, stealing a car and other personal items.

About 4:30am, the stolen white Hyundai i30 was captured on CCTV outside Tamworth Police Station. A review of footage allegedly showed one of the teens damaging two parked police vehicles.

About 8.50am, the stolen car was located at Jesmond Shopping Village, near Newcastle.

Just after 10.30am, officers located the two teenagers at the shopping centre and they were arrested and taken to Waratah Police Station.

One 14-year-old was charged with breach of bail, enter enclosed land with intent, drive conveyance without consent and aggravated break, enter and steal in company.

The second 14-year-old was charged with enter enclosed land with intent, be carried in conveyance without consent, aggravated break, enter and steal in company and malicious damage (two counts)

Both boys were refused bail to appear in a Childrens Court today.

$5.25 million available for surf club upgrades

With summer only a few weeks away, NSW Surf Life Saving Clubs can apply for up to $5.25 million for new and improved facilities following the opening of the NSW Government’s Surf Club Facility Program.

This program has also just been boosted with an additional $5 million in funding in the 2023-2024 NSW State Budget, with a total of $16 million allocated to the program over 4 years.

Clubs can receive grants up to $1 million for the upgrade, restoration or construction of these critical surf life saving facilities.

The program not only keeps Surf Life Saving Clubs modern and accessible but also helps surf life savers better protect beachgoers.

The program features 3 categories with Category 1 closing on Monday 11 December 2023 and Categories 2 and 3 closing on Wednesday 31 January 2024.

For further information and to apply visit the Office of Sportlaunch website.

Minister for Sport Steve Kamper said:

“NSW Surf Life Saving Clubs deliver a world-class service, protecting swimmers in the water and keeping people safe at the beach.

“That’s why we have increased funding for this program, to ensure our Surf Life Saving Clubs are modern, inclusive and accessible, enabling people from all sections of the community to participate.”

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said:

“Rain, hail or shine, surf lifesavers never waver in their commitment to protecting the community and the NSW Government will continue to support them in the incredible work they do.

“With more people enjoying our beautiful beaches during the warmer months, we are investing in these facility upgrades to support our dedicated lifesaving volunteers.”

President of Surf Life Saving NSW Peter Agnew said:

“We are pleased to see the NSW Government acknowledge and support the amazing contribution made by our volunteer lifesavers and surf clubs in NSW.

“Our lifesavers and Nippers deserve safe, secure facilities in which to train and store vital rescue equipment, as well as somewhere accessible which welcomes the community in to be part of our great and iconic movement.”


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has visited the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency to recognise the courage, skill and dedication of emergency management personnel and to discuss further cooperation on disaster resilience and management.

With over 100 years of mateship, Australia and the United States have a proud history of helping each other in times of need, including when faced with natural disasters.

Most recently, the United States provided significant firefighting support to Australia during the Black Summer bushfires, and Australia provided a large firefighting air tanker to Idaho to assist in firefighting across six states.

In May, Australia’s National Emergency Management agreed strengthened arrangements with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. These arrangements will increase collaboration to improve our emergency response, including through formal sharing of best practice, employee exchanges and other mutually beneficial programs across the full spectrum of natural disasters.

This complements the Climate, Critical Minerals, and Clean Energy Transformation Compact, which will see Australia and the United States collaborate to address domestic and regional climate risks, including increasingly frequent extreme weather events.

Prime Minister Albanese met with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said:

“I am pleased to visit the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency and meet with Administrator Criswell.

“Our communities are already experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change, from wildfires in Hawai’i to bushfires in Victoria and NSW.

“As our recent Climate Compact demonstrates, Australia is committed to addressing the domestic, regional and international challenges of a changing climate with our partners.”

Sanctions in response to Iran’s nuclear and missile programs

Australia has reimposed targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on 19 Iranian individuals and 57 entities for their role in Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

These sanctions were previously imposed under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231 and will now be listed under Australia’s autonomous sanctions framework. This is consistent with the approach taken by international partners.

In addition, a further three individuals and 11 entities were listed, due to their association with persons or entities sanctioned under UNSC Resolution 2231.

The Albanese Government is working deliberately and strategically to apply pressure on the Iranian regime for failing to uphold its international obligations, including its nuclear-related commitments.

Iran’s proliferation of ballistic and cruise missiles raises tensions in an already volatile region.

Iran must cease its escalatory actions in its nuclear program and recommit to full compliance with its nuclear-related commitments.

This includes reversing all steps away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency to completely verify Iran’s peaceful use of nuclear technology.

These sanctions demonstrate Australia’s commitment to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and determination to work with our international partners.

Rainbow of sand provides welcome sight off Stockton coastline

Stockton residents are celebrating the arrival of a 75-metre-long dredger spraying a rainbow of sand off the coastline, as it works to buffer the area from further coastal erosion.

The Danish vessel Trud R, named after the daughter of Norse god and protector Thor, arrived in Newcastle over the weekend to begin depositing an initial 100,000 cubic metres of amenity sand to help renourish Stockton Beach.

Minister for Regional NSW Tara Moriarty, Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley and Stockton SLSC Director of Life Saving Brendon Ryman celebrate the arrival of the dredger at Stockton.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes joined Minister for Regional NSW Tara Moriarty, Minister for Hunter Yasmin Catley, Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon MP and members of the Stockton Community Liaison Group today to watch the long-awaited process in action.

“The commencement of amenity sand nourishment represents a significant milestone for the Stockton community and City of Newcastle as we continue to work with the NSW Government to protect Stockton’s coastline,” Cr Nelmes said.

“From City of Newcastle’s development of the state’s first certified Coastal Management Program to the NSW Government’s commitment to delivering $21 million for mass sand nourishment, our work to protect the coastline has been a collaborative effort between the local community and three levels of government.”

Sand for amenity nourishment is being sourced from the outer channel of Newcastle Harbour, then strategically placed by rainbowing, a process that involves jetting a sand slurry from the dredger into the near shore zone at the southern end of Stockton Beach. The duration of the work is dependent on weather conditions.

City of Newcastle Project Manager Noor Timol, City of Newcastle Executive Director Planning & Environment Michelle Bisson, Stockton CLG Member Ron Boyd, Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Stockton CLG Member Simon Jones and City of Newcastle Executive Manager Environment & Sustainability Marnie Kikken.

City of Newcastle’s Executive Director Planning and Environment, Michelle Bisson, said the work that began today is the next step towards long-term mass sand nourishment.

“We’re pleased to see the beginning of amenity nourishment for Stockton, which will see 100,000 cubic metres of sand provide a buffer from further erosion,” Ms Bisson said.

“While this important work is undertaken, further investigation and planning into sourcing 2.4 million cubic metres of sand required for mass sand nourishment will be managed by the NSW Government.”

Chair of the Stockton Community Liaison Group, Barbara Whitcher, said the community is pleased the next stage of work for Stockton’s coastline has commenced.

“It’s great to see that, at long last, additional sand is going to be placed near the beach to help prevent further erosion at Stockton,” Ms Whitcher said.

“We’re grateful to the Federal Government and City of Newcastle for the funding provided for the first step towards long-term sand nourishment.”

Amenity sand nourishment at Stockton is being delivered by Department of Regional NSW and NSW Public Works and was made possible by a $6.2 million grant obtained by the NSW Government through the Coastal Estuarine Risk Mitigation Program, which includes $4.7 million from the Federal Government and $1.5 million from City of Newcastle.

The grant also funds the studies into viable sources of sand from the North Arm of the Hunter River and offshore sources, in addition to the environmental approvals needed for mass sand nourishment.

To further protect Stockton’s coastline until mass sand nourishment takes place, the construction of a buried protection structure at the southern end of the existing Mitchell Street seawall is underway.

The draft Extended Stockton Coastal Management Program, which includes an expanded list of management actions to support the long-term strategy of mass sand nourishment, is in the final phase of development ahead of public exhibition in 2024.

The draft Extended Stockton Coastal Management Program will broaden the geographical area covered by the program to include the northern end of Stockton Beach from Meredith Street to the Port Stephens Local Government Area boundary.