Police appeal following ram raid – Hunter region

Police are appealing for the public’s help following a ram raid in the state’s Hunter region this morning.
About 4.10am (Saturday 31 August 2019), a manager attended a general store on Wollombi Road, Broke, after a security alarm was activated, and saw that the glass front doors had been smashed.
Officers from Hunter Valley Police District were notified who attended and commenced inquiries.
A small amount of cigarettes and lighters were allegedly stolen.
Anyone who may have been driving through the area at the time and have captured dashcam footage is urged to come forward.

Labor is in climate chaos. Where's Albo?

The ALP is melting down over climate policy, and Anthony Albanese is missing in action.
“The Government’s climate policy is shockingly weak, and rather than showing leadership, Labor looks like they’re about to join them. At a time when we need to be declaring a climate emergency, WA Labor is declaring climate surrender,” said Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale.
“WA Labor’s decision to dump the emissions targets that Labor just took to the federal election and replace them with the Coalition’s shockingly weak targets follows Queensland Labor’s support for Adani and full throated attack on climate protesters. Anthony Albanese’s inability to reign them in shows just how adrift the Labor Party has become and why the Greens are now the real opposition.
“Labor has changed their climate policy half a dozen times in recent years and with every change its got weaker. With big donations from the coal, oil and gas lobby continuing to flow, Albo out to lunch and the ALP adrift at sea, it’s only the Greens who are prepared to take the fight up to this rotten government.
“Where is Albo, and when is he going to tell us what Labor’s climate policy is?”
“It looks like Labor and the Liberals are now on a unity ticket in backing Tony Abbott’s measly emissions targets, which are not consistent with global warming staying below two degrees,” said Greens Climate Change Spokesperson Adam Bandt MP.
“The Greens are fighting the Liberals’ climate denialism, but it looks like Labor won’t be with us.
“Anthony Albanese needs to get his colleagues on the same page, override the WA Labor party and help the Greens fight for emissions cuts consistent with the Paris ‘two degree’ goals, because otherwise we’re on track for climate disaster and Labor’s climate credibility is shot.

Code Red for Reef on Morrison’s watch

The Morrison Government will be responsible for the death of the Great Barrier Reef unless it takes urgent action on climate change, the Greens say.

“Today’s report is a Code Red on the survival of the Great Barrier Reef,” Greens Environment spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“Today’s report confirms that things are getting much worse for the Great Barrier Reef under the Morrison government. We must have immediate and comprehensive climate action if we are to save it.

“The future of the Reef, the 64,000 jobs that depend on it, and its value as a World Heritage Area are all in peril because of the fossil-fuel loving Coalition.

“It’s not the Greens saying this, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has again clearly said climate change is the biggest threat to the Reef and without national and global action, it won’t be ‘Great’ for much longer.

“Meanwhile, Matt Canavan is in India courting coal barons and putting the future of the Reef and the climate in further danger.

“If the PM and the Environment Minister insist on keeping their heads in the sand on climate change they’ll be to blame for the death of the Great Barrier Reef. Time to stop shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.”

Greens Oceans spokesperson and chair of the Senate Inquiry into the $444m grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said: “It’s official, the Great Barrier Reef, the planet’s biggest living organism, has been admitted to the emergency ward.”

“No amount of cosmetic surgery will save it from its inevitable total decline. The life support it needs is urgent and requires drastic climate action.

“Collectively, the world needs to reduce emissions. As custodian of this natural wonder, Australia must lead from the front and it isn’t doing that.”

Biloela family must be allowed to stay

The Biloela family must be allowed to stay in Australia, Greens Immigration and Citizenship spokesperson Nick McKim says.
“Trying to deport a family, including Australian born children, in the dead of night is emblematic of this government’s heartlessness,” Senator McKim said.
“Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and David Coleman must listen to the community and allow Priya, Nades and their children to stay in Australia.”
“With the stroke of a ministerial pen they could be released from detention and allowed to get on with their lives.”
“This is their home. They are beloved members of the Biloela community.”
“The advocates and community who have tirelessly rallied behind this family have done a fantastic job.”

Pioneering civic leader to be immortalised in bronze

A bronze statue paying homage to Australia’s first female Lord Mayor will take pride of place in front of the former Civic Station in the heart of Newcastle as part of ongoing revitalisation works.
The late Joy Cummings OAM will become one of the only women in NSW to be immortalised in bronze, and the first person in Newcastle to be bestowed the honour.
Joy Cummings’ daughter-in-law Julie Cummings and daughters Helen Cummings, Kathryn Connell and Margaret Badger with Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes (centre) gather around the plinth at the former Civic Station where the statue of Joy Cummings will be installed.
The statue is currently being developed by Mudgee sculptor Margot Stephens, who was selected by the City of Newcastle following a call to the artistic community to design a statue of the former Lord Mayor.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the statue was a fitting piece of public art for Newcastle’s civic heart.
“I’m proud to announce that City of Newcastle will immortalise the progressive and transformational leader Joy Cummings OAM through the city’s first true-to-scale, bronze statue,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Joy was a trailblazer for women in leadership and inspired Novocastrians through her community spirit and love for our great city and our people.
“It’s fitting that Joy’s pioneering legacy will be able to be showcased in such an amazing and enduring way.”
Sculptor Margot Stephens with her as-yet unfinished statue of Joy Cummings.Speaking on behalf of the family, daughter Margaret Badger echoed the Lord Mayor’s sentiments and said if Joy were alive today, she’d be proud of the City that Newcastle has become.
“I think she’ll enjoy looking over what’s happening throughout the City,” Margaret said.
“This statue captures everything about her, her smile, the determined line between her brows, her outward reaching hand and the other hand close to her heart. It’s very symbolic of all that she was, an outward looking, proud, caring person.
“We’ll always be proud of mum’s achievements. It’s easy to forget today that Newcastle was a heavy industry town, a BHP town. We had the state dockyard and abattoirs, we were quite an industrious place, but mum still had a passion for greening projects and parks.
“She was also very big on heritage, liked the concept of light rail, and would be very supportive of any activity that brought people to live and work in the City.”
She also said Joy would have been proud to be looking back over to the Civic Theatre, which she helped save for live performances.
Margot Stephens said she was honoured to be selected to create the sculpture.
“Being selected to create the final piece has been an incredible privilege,” she said. “To work on the portrait of such an intelligent, courageous and determined woman has been inspirational.”
The latest tribute to Joy Cummings will be delivered to the forecourt of the new ‘Museum Place’ by the end of the year.
Joy served as Lord Mayor between 1974 and 1984 and was aged 79 when she died in July 2003.


A man has been charged with multiple sexual assault offences following a five-month investigation.
In March 2019, detectives from Newcastle City Police District commenced an investigation following reports of alleged sexual and indecent assaults occurring between 2008 and 2014.
Following extensive inquiries, on Tuesday 27 August 2019 a 32-year-old man was arrested on Darby Street, Cooks Hill and taken to Newcastle Police Station.
He was charged with 10 offences, including:
· Indecent assault (x2)
· Incite person 16 years and over to commit indecent act
· Aggravated sexual assault (x4)
· Common assault (x3)
He was refused bail to face Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday 28 August 2019, where he was refused bail again to face the same court on Thursday 24 October 2019.
Investigations are continuing.

“Fish Armageddon” plan weak without water

If the NSW Government was serious about preventing “Fish Armageddon” this summer, it would secure water supply for native fish so they don’t need rescuing in the first place, Greens water spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“The NSW Government’s refusal to accept the findings of the Natural Resources Commission is outrageous. The findings show over-allocation of water in favour of up-stream corporate irrigators pushed the river system into severe drought three years earlier than it would have, leading to the fish kills in the Menindee Lakes and Darling River.
“They’ve had more than six months since those devastating fish kills to stop over extraction and lift the freeze on buying back environmental water so native fish can get the water they need to survive.
“Instead, they plan to rescue dying fish from the river when the heat sets in and the water stops flowing, which does nothing to prevent future fish kills.
“It’s time the NSW Government stopped working in favour of big corporate irrigators and started acting in the best interests of family farmers, river communities, the environment and native fish.
“Water must be returned to the River and we must have a Royal Commission to fix the management of the Murray Darling Basin before it is too late.”

History repeating: Morrison Govt again trying to hide truth on Great Barrier Reef

The Federal Government must accept the science pointing to the need for drastic emissions reduction to protect the Great Barrier Reef and actually take the necessary action instead of wasting time trying to influence UNESCO’s climate change policy, the Greens say.

“This looks a lot like history repeating itself when it comes to the in-danger listing of the Reef by the World Heritage Committee,” Greens Environment spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“Australia has form when it comes to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying UNESCO to influence its decision making on the Reef so it can push ahead with climate-destroying projects like Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

“If the Reef is to survive, the Morrison Government must accept climate change is the Reef’s greatest threat and they must stop stalling on meaningful action to drastically reduce emissions.”

Greens Oceans spokesperson and chair of the Senate Inquiry into the $444m grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said, “Australians are custodians of this international icon for the whole world”.

“We know climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. Yet our emissions have been rising under the Morrison Government, and we are pushing on with massive new coal mines that will export global warming to the world,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.

“Our role as both custodian of this treasure and coal-plugger is a shameful conflict of interest that this government has gone to great lengths to hide and spin their way out of.

“As chair of the Senate inquiry into the $444m grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, I discovered the main motivation for this grant was to avoid an ‘in danger listing’, to avoid telling the truth about the tenuous future for the reef, and for more spin and greenwash to hide this government’s shameful record on climate action.

“Scott Morrison shouldn’t be trying to hide the truth, which is as plain as daylight: the GBR is ‘in danger’ whichever way you look at it, and the actions of his government have played a role in the unfolding tragedy we are seeing on this massive ecosystem visible from space.”

Ward boundaries under review

Under the NSW Local Government Act 1993, the City of Newcastle is required to review the distribution of voters across its Local Government Area Wards, and residents are now invited to have their say on proposed changes prior to next year’s Council elections.
Currently, the City of Newcastle has four wards, which each elect three Councillors, plus a popularly elected Lord Mayor, resulting in 13 Councillors.
Under the Local Government Act 1993, the total number of electors in each ward must not vary by more than 10 per cent with another ward.
Significant population growth across Newcastle means several wards no longer meet this threshold.
Councillors voted on Tuesday to place the proposed ward boundary plan on public exhibition for a 42-day period, with a further report to be prepared for the council following the consultation period.
Acting CEO Ken Liddell said extensive planning has gone into the proposed changes.
“When the boundaries of the four wards were drawn up around 25 years ago, the City of Newcastle was a very different place,” he said.
“Since that time, and especially following the last Local Government Election in September 2017, a significant level of development has taken place across the LGA.
“This has led to variation in voter numbers between the wards, which must be amended before the NSW Electoral Commission’s deadline of December this year.
“The process of redistributing voters is not a simple one, with a range of factors that need to be considered including natural boundaries, suburb boundaries, Census districts and future growth projections.
“We are confident the proposed changes represent the best way forward to rectify this situation, and will also ensure this process does not have to be repeated in the short term.”
Under the proposed redistribution, several whole or part suburbs will be moved into different wards in order to comply with the ward variation requirement. These changes will only be relevant when voting in City of Newcastle local government elections.
The proposed ward boundary map is now on public exhibition. A Community Discussion Paper has been developed to help community members better understand the review and any impacts of the proposed changes.
Both documents can be found on the City of Newcastle website, with hard copies also available from the Council Administration Centre and the city’s network of libraries. Submissions close at midnight on Thursday 10 October 2019.

Police appeal following carjacking and collisions – Highfields

Police are appealing for public assistance following a carjacking near Newcastle yesterday.
About 5pm Thursday (29 August 2019), a man was driving his Mazda 3 sedan in a southerly direction on the Pacific Highway, Highfields, when another man entered the car via the passenger door.
It is alleged the man demanded the driver, aged 89, give him his keys before the driver entered a service station and parked the vehicle.
The man then allegedly forcibly removed the 89-year-old from the vehicle and grabbed the keys before driving away on the Pacific Highway at speed.
Shortly after, a Mazda 3 was observed being driven erratically along Lexington Parade, Kotara, outside a shopping centre.
The car allegedly collided with five vehicles between Lexington Parade and Park Avenue.
The Mazda 3 was again sighted driving down Howe Street, Lambton, before crashing into an unattended parked vehicle and a second car waiting at the traffic lights near the intersection of Hobart Street.
Following the collisions, the man fled from the Mazda 3 on foot across Lambton Park and was later observed running through properties on Karoola and Fitzroy roads.
The man is described as being of Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander appearance, aged in his 30s, with a solid build. He was last seen wearing a dark hooded jumper and a white baseball cap.
The owner of the vehicle was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics for minor injuries including an abrasion and bruising.
Officers attached to Lake Macquarie Police District attended and commenced an investigation.
Police are now appealing for anyone who may have dashcam vision or any further information about the whereabouts of the men to come forward.