Appeal to locate wanted man – Lake Macquarie

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a man wanted in the Lake Macquarie area.

Bailey Wallis-Ahearn, aged 22, is wanted on a number of outstanding arrest warrants.

Officers from State Crime Command’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad have conducted numerous inquiries into his whereabouts but have been unable to locate him.

He is known to frequent Toronto and the surrounding areas of Lake Macquarie.

He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 165cm to 175cm tall, of thin build, with brown hair possibly with a beard and moustache.

If sighted, members of the public are urged to contact local police immediately, otherwise information about his whereabouts can be provided to Crime Stoppers.

Appeal following jewellery store robbery in East Maitland – Strike Force Malwood

Police are appealing for public assistance following a jewellery store robbery in the state’s Hunter Region last month.

Just before 9.30am on Wednesday 6 July 2022, officers attached to Port Stephens-Hunter Police District were called to a shopping centre on Molly Morgan Drive, East Maitland, following reports of a robbery at a jewellery store.

On arrival, police were told a male approached the store and used a Toolpro multi tool emergency hammer to smash the glass of a jewellery cabinet, before fleeing the scene with three items worth approximately $107,000. 

A crime scene was established, and initial inquiries were conducted by local police, before detectives attached to the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad took carriage of the matter under Strike Force Malwood.

As the investigation continues, detectives have released CCTV and an image of a male who may be able to assist with their inquiries.

He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 167cm tall, wearing a black hooded jumper, black tracksuit pants, black balaclava, black gloves and white coloured Nike TN’s.

It is believed he was travelling on a red coloured trail bike with “#51” sticker on the left side of the bike.

Labor’s Stage 3 Tax Cuts give richest 1% as much as the bottom 65%

New independent research from the Parliamentary Budget Office shows that Labor’s Stage 3 Tax cuts will give Australia’s richest 1% as much as the bottom 65% of taxpayers in its first year.

Amid a cost of living crisis, the data confirms that the Stage 3 tax cuts will effectively dismantle Australia’s progressive taxation system, and overwhelmingly favour the nation’s richest people.

Women will get around 50c for every dollar a man receives, further increasing gender inequality, and a huge proportion of the $243.5bn will go to people in the top tax bracket. 

Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens said:
“Labor’s Stage 3 tax cuts for billionaires and the wealthy will turbocharge inequality and widen the gender pay gap. 
“This week’s Jobs Summit must reconsider the Stage 3 tax cuts for the wealthy, or everyday workers will fall further behind.
“In their first year, these tax cuts will give the top 1% of income earners as much as the bottom 65% combined. 
“Labor’s Stage 3 tax cuts cost a fortune, and the wealthiest 20% get close to 80% of the money.
“Labor’s Jobs Summit and the October Budget must deliver cost of living relief for everyday people now, axing the tax cuts for billionaires and funding dental into Medicare, free childcare and affordable housing instead.”

Other major takeaways from the PBO costing released today include:

  • The cost of the tax cuts has blown out to $243.5 billion
  • $188 billion or 77% of the benefit of these tax cuts will go to the wealthiest 20% of the population (and over the coming Budget estimates period, the inequality is even worse, with the top 20% getting 80% of the money)  
  • $160bn will go to men, with just $80bn to go to women

Newsflash to Minister Rishworth: There’s room in the budget to raise the rate of Jobseeker

Australian Greens spokesperson for social services, Senator Janet Rice, has scoffed at Minister Rishworth’s assertion this morning that there is simply no room in the October budget to lift income support.

Senator Rice said:

“Poverty is a political choice.

“This ‘would that it were’ pretence of having no room in the budget to raise Jobseeker because of the former government, but that otherwise Labor would love to help struggling Australians, is as absurd as it is hypocritical.

“Labor can find plenty of room in the budget to give billions in welfare to people like Clive Palmer, but nothing for Jobseekers.

“Here’s an idea: instead of handing out over $243 billion in Stage 3 tax cuts for the rich, raise the rate of income support payments for people living in poverty. 

“We are in a cost of living crisis and people can’t even afford the basics to get by. Minister Rishworth is choosing to make life harder and more stressful for people on income support.

“Labor is about to host the Jobs Summit, yet they’re ignoring people on starvation-payments and have no plan to help people on Jobseeker cover the costs associated with looking for a job.

“There’s no daylight between Labor and the Coalition when it comes to the millions of Australians living in poverty. 

“Parliament must respond to the cost of living impacts for people on starvation wages and income support. The Greens are fighting for a livable income guarantee that would raise payments to $88 a day, above the poverty line.”

Greens lay the boot into weakening worker protections

Greens Leader Adam Bandt has expressed deep reservations about any weakening of the Better Off Overall Test, in light of demands by the Business Council of Australia.

Excerpts from Greens Leader Adam Bandt’s address to a pre-Jobs Summit event hosted by law firm Kingston Reid on Wednesday 31 August:

“With the Liberals sitting this one out, whatever deal is reached at the Summit needs the Greens support or it won’t pass the Parliament. The Greens hold the balance of power, and we stand ready to amend whatever comes across our desk so it lifts wages, improves rights at work, and reduces cost of living.

“The Greens are also very worried about recent calls to weaken the ‘better off overall test’, because this will lead to workers being worse off.

“The test protects workers, especially young and casual workers, from getting even less than the already low award minimum wages and conditions.

“Major supermarkets and fast food chains stole hundreds of millions of dollars from workers through agreements that left these workers worse off.

“These dodgy agreements saw already low-paid workers receive less than the award, and now the big corporations want to make this rip-off legal.

“It is deeply distressing to see even the Labor government now open to changing the Fair Work Act to endorse this illegal behaviour.

“The Greens cannot back the Summit striking deals that leave young and low paid workers worse off.

“The Greens want the Summit to agree on three fundamental areas of reform. 

  1. Take back some of the power of big corporations, and give it to everyday people. This starts by rebuilding union membership, removing the restrictions on bargaining and axing the unfair restrictions on industrial action. As we rebalance the relationship between work and care, we must also give people greater control over their own working hours and arrangements; 
  2. Government must lift wages. The floor of our wage system has rotted. We need to increase wages from the bottom up, and start re-regulating the wages of the lowest paid and women-dominated professions by requiring their wages grow faster than inflation. And we need to lift income support to $88 a day;
  3. Government must reduce the costs of essentials. Make childcare free, put dental and mental health into Medicare, cap rents and build affordable homes, all funded by axing the Stage 3 tax cuts for billionaires and the very wealthy.”

Barbara Pocock to fight for SA women at Jobs Summit

Senator for South Australia and Employment spokesperson Barbara Pocock will be attending the Jobs and Skills summit alongside Greens Party Leader Adam Bandt. Barbara is a labour market expert and Emeritus Professor and is currently chairing the Senate’s first Select Committee inquiry on Work and Care.

Senator Pocock will argue at the summit workers need both a pay rise, and practical help with the cost of childcare, health and housing – things that are all essential to participation in work. Savings from reversing the Stage 3 tax cuts can be used to fund this, rather than boosting the income of the very wealthy and fueling further inequality. 

Senator Barbara Pocock said:

“I am attending the Jobs Summit, alongside Adam Bandt, to advocate for improving the lives of workers. 

“I will be bringing practical pathways forward to improve employment outcomes for women to the Jobs and Skills summit.

“We need immediate relief on the cost of living crisis. Instead of tax cuts to Australia’s richest 1%, the government should fund free childcare, get dental into Medicare and build affordable housing, giving households real cost living relief immediately.

“The Greens will be exercising our review power in the Senate.

“On top of the 60 extra days it takes women to earn the same average wage as men, women do twice as much unpaid work and care. It’s time to fix the pay gap AND ease the pressure on working carers.

“South Australian workers need an improvement of minimum wages, implementation of fairer industry wage bargaining and a plan to ensure women get a fair share of future jobs in a low carbon economy.

More priority primary care services across Victoria and New South Wales

The Victorian and New South Wales Governments today announced a major partnership to expand urgent care services across both states, in a move to further try and ease record demand on busy emergency departments following COVID-19.
Victoria and NSW will each establish 25 urgent care services in partnership with General Practitioners (GPs) bringing the total number of services across both states to 50.
The services will help ease pressure on emergency departments, give people faster care for urgent but non-critical conditions and free up critical resources for patients with more serious needs.
The GP-partnered services will be well equipped to handle conditions such as mild infections, fractures and burns.
Services will operate for extended hours and patients will not be charged for services provided by GPs. Patients without a Medicare card will also be able to access services, free of charge.
These new services will be commissioned in partnership with Primary Health Networks, with locations determined following consideration of population, community needs and emergency department demand.
As part of the package in Victoria, 10 centres will be established to partner with Frankston Hospital, Bendigo Hospital, Casey Hospital, Albury Wodonga Health, Austin Hospital, Alfred Hospital, Dandenong Hospital, Latrobe Regional Hospital, Werribee Mercy Hospital and Box Hill Hospital. Another 10 Victorian locations will be announced soon.
This builds on the Victorian Government’s recent $14.3 million investment to establish and run five new Priority Primary Care Centres (PPCCs) with the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Northern Hospital Epping, Sunshine Hospital, Monash Medical Centre Clayton and Grampians Health Ballarat. 
Victorian emergency departments are the busiest they have ever been, with presentations hitting a record 486,701 in the most recent quarter – an increase of 5.1 per cent from the previous quarter.
The Victorian Government is delivering a range of initiatives to establish more care outside the hospital system, including the expansion of the Virtual ED and Better at Home programs, as well as 30 state-funded GP respiratory clinics.
NSW has recently established partnerships with GPs and Primary Health Networks in Western Sydney, the Murrumbidgee, Northern Sydney and Western NSW which aim to reduce the number of people presenting to emergency departments by providing community based, patient centred, urgent care.
The locations of future urgent care services in NSW will be delivered where there is greatest need, based on the demands experienced by hospital emergency departments, including where services can be scaled up quickly.
NSW emergency departments see more than 3 million patient presentations each year. During the first quarter of 2022, there were 734,704 attendances at emergency departments, with hospitals throughout the state continuing to experience sustained, high demand for emergency care.
NSW has implemented a range of initiatives to ensure people can access the right care at the right time to improve their health outcomes, as well as free up our emergency departments for patients who require critical care.
These include a secondary triage program in partnership with residential aged care facilities and NSW Ambulance, expansion of virtual care and the statewide Planned Care for Better Health program, which aims to reduce hospital admission for patients with complex medical issues.

Newtown School of Arts to undergo $2 million upgrade

The historic Newtown School of Arts will be upgraded into a fit-for-purpose modern facility for the State’s next generation of creatives thanks to a $2 million investment through the NSW Government’s Creative Capital Program.

Minister for the Arts Ben Franklin said the funding will see a new 200-seat theatre, cabaret, and music venue; a 50-seat theatre for the development of new work; upgraded artist studios, incubator spaces and creative meeting rooms, and a new café.

“This investment from the NSW Government will help modernise the internal school space while creating secure employment opportunities for 900 artists,” Mr Franklin said.

“The upgraded facilities will allow the school to host spectacular productions and will provide a suitable space for our next generation of creatives to hone their craft and develop exciting new works for the community to enjoy.

“Cultural equity is at the heart of the NSW Government’s Creative Capital program, and thanks to the $72 million investment, more projects like this can realise their ambition of providing more people with access to world-class arts and culture.”

Director of the Newtown School of Arts Bruce Turner thanked the NSW Government for the funding saying the investment will ensure the school serves the arts community for years to come.

“An upgraded creative space enhances our ability to support new, emerging, and established Australian artists while delivering a positive economic impact for the local area,” Mr Turner said.

“This is a very significant investment from the NSW Government and we are very grateful for their support.”

Further details on the Creative Capital program are available on the Create NSW website at

Western Sydney Startup Hub takes shape

Jump on board as Spacecubed launches the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs at the new Western Sydney Startup Hub (WSSH).
Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Alister Henskens said Spacecubed will operate the 1,500 square metres of affordable co-working space, as part of the revitalised Parramatta North Heritage Precinct, due to its reputation for empowering positive change in the community.
“Technology and innovation are at the heart of attracting significant global investment in NSW, helping to create the jobs of the future for our next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs in Western Sydney,” Mr Henskens said.
“Spacecubed offers the best and most diverse services for WSSH, ensuring a bright and competitive future for Western Sydney’s innovation and technology sectors.
“Continuing on our commitment from this year’s NSW Budget to support more women in the workforce, Spacecubed will host a regular SheCodes program developed to upskill our future female coders.
“The hub will help grow and showcase innovation opportunities through the Westmead Health and Innovation District ecosystem, generate even more new jobs in Western Sydney and secure a brighter future for NSW.”
With $300,000 in funding from the NSW Government for its fit-out, Spacecubed will become the hub’s first operational business when it opens in October.
As part of the operator agreement, Spacecubed has committed to:

  • A minimum 70 per cent of desks for startups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) at affordable rates;
  • Running an annual incubator program;
  • Offering a minimum of 20 scholarships per year for social impact startups, and free/discounted spaces for program participants; and
  • Offering all WSSH members free access to Spacecubed programs, and discounted rates for booking events and meeting spaces.

In December 2021, the NSW Government announced $53.8 million of additional funding for the restoration and activation of the Parramatta North Heritage Precinct.
Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said the WSSH will have an important part to play, fusing the precinct’s rich cultural history with new innovation and technology opportunities.
“This innovative space will encourage job creation, more visitors and a vibrant atmosphere to the revitalised Parramatta North Heritage Precinct,” Mr Roberts said.
Member for Parramatta Dr Geoff Lee said Western Sydney and the Parramatta North Heritage Precinct, with its new-age facilities and collaborating spaces, continues to be a breeding ground for up and coming innovators and entrepreneurs.
“We look forward to Spacecubed paving the way and providing a platform for those innovators and entrepreneurs looking for an edge in Western Sydney,” Dr Lee said.
“The WSSH provides a platform for talented individuals to meet like-minded organisations, joining forces and as a result, delivering new and improved outcomes for the people of NSW.”
Spacecubed CEO Brodie McCulloch said the hub will cement Western Sydney as a premier destination for innovation and technology on the global stage.
“The innovation and technology sector is rapidly growing in Sydney and we’re privileged to play a key role in its expansion,” Mr McCulloch said.
“With the continued support of the NSW Government, we will do all that we can to drive Western Sydney as a competitive place for business investment and forward thinking innovators.”
For more information, visit: Western Sydney Startup Hub | NSW Government.

New youth voices advise on future of children and young people

A group of impressive and inspiring young people from across the state have been appointed to the 2022-23 Youth Advisory Council that will advise the NSW Government on matters impacting children and young people. 
Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said 12 newly appointment members of the Youth Advisory Council will work together to provide advice to NSW Government during their one-year term.
“We know that young people know what’s best for them and by actively listening and responding to young people, we ensure we are creating policies and services that truly reflect their needs,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said. 
“I congratulate the 12 members of the Council on their appointments and I look forward to working closely with them to ensure the NSW Government is best supporting our children and young people to achieve the best start in life.”
Following an extensive recruitment process that saw more than 500 young people aged 12 to 24 apply, the Youth Advisory Council will have the opportunity to influence decisions that will create positive outcomes for their peers.
“Being part of the NSW Youth Advisory Council gives young advocates an opportunity to effect real change. I congratulate the members and look forward to seeing their work over the next 12 months,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.
Throughout their one-year term, the Youth Advisory Council will be supported in their work by the Advocate for Children and Young People Ms Zoë Robinson.
“The NSW Youth Advisory Council is one of the most valuable ways that NSW Government engages with and creates space for young people to be involved in solutions that will deliver real outcomes for all young people in NSW,” Ms Robinson said.
“By listening and acting on what we are hearing from young people, we create a better NSW for all of us,” Ms Robinson added.
More information about the Youth Advisory Council is available online.