Under the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government the total number of social housing homes has increased by 11,480 since Labor’s time in power, according to the Australian Productivity Commission and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward today toured a new development in Westmead, which will provide 67 new units to people currently on the social housing waiting list and others in need of affordable housing.
A number of properties on the site are being managed by St George Community Housing under the NSW Government’s $1.1 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund, which will provide 3400 additional homes across NSW for vulnerable families.
“The Labor Government reduced the total number of social housing dwellings by more than 600 a year in its last term in office. Since then, the number of social housing homes has increased by more than 1600 a year,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The Labor Government sold off social housing without a comprehensive strategy to re-invest the funds into new, fit-for-purpose housing. Our Future Directions social housing program will continue to increase the number of homes, build better communities and improve the quality of social housing in NSW.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is embarking on the biggest social housing construction program in Australia, building almost 27,000 social and affordable homes over ten years.”
Ms Goward said the proceeds of the Millers Point sales has already added new social housing properties in locations such as Penrith, Blacktown, Parramatta, Ryde, Canada Bay, Lane Cove, Bankstown and Sutherland, with hundreds more under construction.
“Each sale has resulted in almost five new and fit-for-purpose homes being built, which helps many of our most vulnerable families on the social housing waiting list find safe and secure housing,” Ms Goward said.
“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring the most vulnerable people in our community have a place to live and are supported to break the cycle of disadvantage.”

Greens Protest Australia's Richest Greyhound Race Citing Animal Cruelty

Australian Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, will speak at a protest tomorrow afternoon outside the Wentworth Park, to protest the ‘Million Dollar Chase’ and the $500,000 in taxpayer funds for the event. Senator Faruqi is one of the leading voices against the cruel greyhound racing industry.
When: Saturday, 20th October at 5pm
Where: Millard Reserve 38 Wentworth Park Rd, Glebe, Opposite Wentworth Park.
More Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1089839827846195/
Senator Faruqi said: “Two years after the Liberals banned greyhound racing, we are now witnessing a race where they are shamelessly throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money at.
“This is such a slap in the face of the community who has been fighting hard to end the cruelty. It is a slap in the face of those incredible, kind and compassionate greyhound rescuers who take in and look after these beautiful animals who have been mistreated so badly.
“It is nothing other than complete arrogance from a government so completely out of touch and an opposition who do not care about animals, and they don’t care about the people they represent. The only thing they care about is their donors and their powerful pals—the gambling industry, big business and media shock jocks.
“They don’t care that trainers continually engage in cruel training practices. In just a three months period, 26 trainers were charged, including for drugging of greyhounds, arsenic, unauthorised export of greyhounds, extreme animal cruelty and live baiting. Imagine how many are happening that aren’t caught,” she concluded.

Greens say it will be A vote for change at the Wentworth by-election

The Wentworth by-election has become a referendum on climate change and refugees and is a unique opportunity to send a message to the Liberals who don’t deserve to govern.
Our Greens candidate has run a great campaign. It’s important to turn out tomorrow and to vote for our excellent Greens candidate, Dom WY Kanak, if you want action on climate change and refugees.
After that I urge voters to take note of Kerryn’s progressive views on refugees and climate change which are a welcome change from both the major parties.
With the Government at risk of losing this seat and Labor running dead, people can vote Green and choose Kerryn over yet another Liberal backbencher.

Museum solar roof wins Climate Council award

City of Newcastle has taken out top honours for its work on the climate change frontline, at the inaugural Cities Power Partner Summit Awards.
The City took home the Cities Power Partnership Energy Efficiency Achievement award for the Newcastle Museum Energy Upgrade Project, which upgraded lighting in several sections of the building to maximise energy efficiency, saving thousands on power bills, in addition to a installing a 100kW solar panel.
The awards, held Thursday 18 October in Kiama NSW as part of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership National Summit, recognised the unsung work of climate heroes in local governments across the country, who are quietly transforming Australia’s energy landscape.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the city was thrilled to be recognised as energy efficiency leaders within Australia.
“This project is one that continues to build on our long track record of acting to reduce electricity consumption and carbon emissions,” the Lord Mayor said. “We have undertaken energy-efficiency upgrades at social, cultural and recreational facilities that Newcastle residents use every day, as well as council operational buildings.
“Newcastle Museum, as a key cultural facility and tourist attraction, was a prime site for an energy efficient upgrade, which is helping the council save money on electricity bills, reducing ongoing operational costs for this heritage site. We’re also undertaking significant street lighting upgrades for energy savings powering towards council’s goal to have 30% of its electricity generated from low-carbon sources by 2020.”
Alix Pearce, director of the Cities Power Partnership, Australia’s largest local government climate alliance, said that the range of climate solutions coming out of Australia’s councils was staggering.
“The local climate solutions on display at these awards are tangible proof that Australian communities are rising up to meet the challenges of climate change,” she said.
“From supporting local schools to save thousands on their power bills through solar energy through to developing Australia’s largest floating solar farm, Cities Power Partnership councils are leading the way with practical local climate solutions.”
“These local heroes are stepping up and getting the job done, in the face of continuing Federal climate inaction. It’s time to celebrate these quiet achievers, who are working at the climate frontline and helping their communities to drive down local greenhouse gas pollution.”
The Cities Power Partnership Awards celebrated outstanding work from local governments in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and community advocacy, as well as individual climate champion awards.
Renewable Energy Achievement Award
Winner: Solar my School – Three Council Program from Randwick, Waverley & Woollahra Councils (New South Wales)
Energy Efficiency Achievement
Winner: Newcastle Museum Energy upgrade – City of Newcastle (New South Wales)
Sustainable Transport Achievement Award
Winner: Transition to Zero Emissions Vehicles Action Plan 2018-21 – ACT Government
Community Engagement Achievement Award
Winner: Floating solar farm – Lismore City Council (New South Wales)
Knowledge Sharing Award
Winner: South East NSW Councils buddy group (New South Wales)
CPP Ambassador Award
Winner: Clr Ken Keith, Mayor, Parkes Shire Council (New South Wales)
The Cities Power Partnership is a free national program created by the Climate Council that
celebrates and accelerates the pollution reduction and clean energy successes of Australia in
towns and cities.

Maiden Supercars event a huge economic win

A $30 million windfall generated by the inaugural Newcastle 500 flowed through Newcastle’s local economy last year, according to an independent research centre’s analysis of mobile phone data, banking records and business transactions.
The Hunter Research Foundation Centre (HRFC) found the maiden race strengthened the city’s capacity to host major events and generated an estimated $30.1 million in gross revenue.
The analysis does not include the direct economic benefit or flow-on effects in neighbouring areas including Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie, Maitland and Cessnock.
Councillors will consider the HRFC report, Newcastle 500 Supercars Event Economic and Non-economic Impact Assessment, commissioned by City of Newcastle, on Tuesday night.
Economic benefits in it include:
• $8.94 million in direct expenditure by visitors
• $9.71 million in the flow-on effects
• $4.97 million in direct local expenditure by Supercars
• $6.5 million in flow-on effects of Supercars Australia’s local spending
“This report confirms what many Novocastrians already knew – the inaugural Newcastle 500 was an outright economic success for the city, with $30 million in direct and indirect economic benefits,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
Aerial-inside.jpg“Almost 83,000 visitors to the City enjoyed themselves in Newcastle East and Cooks Hill over the three days, accounting together with local attendees for the 192,000 figures previously reported.
“What’s new in this report is the banking data that shows Supercars fans spent up big, with the research demonstrating how the money flowed through the city.”
Visitor outlays were calculated based on transaction data from nine Australian banks.
As most visitors paid for their accommodation costs well in advance of the three-day event, this spend was not included in the report analysis. With it included, the direct visitor expenditure for overnight stays would be considerably higher than the $191 identified in the report.
Costs associated with Council’s multi-million dollar East End civil works program were also excluded on the basis that these scheduled works were brought forward several years to enable the Newcastle 500 to be staged in 2017.
The direct economic injection to local contractors and suppliers amounted to $4.97 million, with an additional $6.5 million in flow-on effects, while the study found 22 out of the 31 food and beverage outlets at the event were from the Newcastle local government area.
“While this research means we can now quantify the economic boost for the city, the advertising benefits from the phenomenal media coverage with regard to long-term tourism are harder to quantify, even though the value of coverage is estimated at $1million,” the Lord Mayor added.
“Mainstream media, the report notes, recorded an audience of 8,641,042 people and social media posts reached 630,000 users, so the race also brings with it enormous potential for tourism growth at a time when the city has never looked so good.
“We wanted to host the event to give the city an economic boost, promote it to the world and celebrate Novocastrian pride and I believe this report provides an emphatic endorsement of that decision.”
HRFC included as part of its analysis the results of a business impact survey commissioned by the Newcastle East Residents Group, which drew 243 responses from businesses inside and outside the event precinct. A range of people were interviewed as part of the study including opponents of the race and members of community groups.
The report identified a range of other benefits for the city, including:
• Familiarising local businesses with operating methods for large events
• 15,000 hours of local labour used by the event’s caterers
• 1,932 local workers allocated tickets
• 744 volunteers gained experience and promoted Newcastle
The total cost of the report including purchase of Telstra and major bank data was $156,000.


Millions of small and medium–sized businesses across Australia will pay less tax five years sooner, with new laws fast-tracking tax relief for the sector passing Parliament today.
This is great news for the 3.3 million small and medium-sized businesses and the seven million Australians they employ.
This means businesses will keep more of their own money – that’s money they can invest back into their business, to create jobs, to boost their productivity and grow.
From 2021-22, a business with a turnover below $50 million will have a tax rate of just 25 per cent, five years earlier than planned. Similar timing changes will also apply to the roll out of the 16 per cent tax discount for unincorporated businesses.
For example, a small business such as a café that makes $100,000 profit will have an additional $1,500 in 2020-21 and $2,500 in 2021-22.
Fast-tracking tax relief is part of our plan for a stronger economy and will drive more investment, more jobs and higher wages and builds on the first stage of business tax relief that our Government delivered in May 2017.
Our plan to fast-track tax relief for Australian businesses is an important investment in the future economic growth of our nation.
The Coalition Government’s economic plan is delivering, the economy is growing at 3.4 per cent through the year, our AAA credit rating has been reaffirmed and more than a million jobs have been created, as promised.

LNP says a Record number of Australians are in work

The latest labour force figures show that the Coalition Government’s plan for a stronger economy is working.
The latest figures, released today by the ABS, show that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points over the month, to stand at 5.0 per cent in September – the lowest level since April 2012.
Seasonally adjusted employment now stands at a record high of 12,636,300, and is 280,900 higher than it was a year ago.
Full-time employment increased strongly, by 20,300 over the month, to stand at a record high of 8,654,400, and is now 217,500 higher than it was a year ago.
Encouragingly, female full-time employment is at a record high of 3,178,300.
“These figures show that the Coalition Government’s plan for a stronger economy is working,” the Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said.
“1,149,600 jobs have been created since the Coalition came to office in 2013, an increase of 10 per cent.
“In contrast to our approach, Bill Shorten and Labor want to hit Australians’ hip pockets with $200 billion worth of taxes on electricity, workers, housing, savings, investments and retirement.”


The scores are in and the results are official – The Hunter is home to five of Australia’s top restaurants, with the recently released national Good Food Guide awarding restaurants in Pokolbin, Mount View and Broke with hat-status.
Pokolbin was a standout, with Muse Restaurant receiving 2 hats, and Muse Kitchen and Restaurant Botanica achieving 1 hat respectively. Mount View’s Bistro Molines and Broke’s Margan Restaurant also received one hat.
The Guide of independent, anonymous reviews is written by a panel of trusted restaurant critics and recognises the best Australian restaurants nationally with ‘hats’, symbolised by a chef’s toque.
To secure a coveted spot in the Guide, restaurants in New South Wales and Victoria must score at least 14 out of 20, while all other states must score a minimum of 15.
To achieve a hat is a pinnacle of a chef’s career and a restaurant’s history, and the term ‘hatted’ has become embedded in the Australian lexicon.
More than 500 restaurants from across the country were reviewed for this year’s Guide, with 264 of these receiving hat status, ranging from one to three.
Only seven restaurants nationally achieved the top accolade of three hats, and they include Attica (VIC), Brae (VIC), Momofuku Seiobo (NSW), Minamishima (VIC), Quay (NSW), Restaurant Orana (SA) and Sixpenny (NSW).
The catalogue of influential Guide editors includes founding editors Claude Forell in Melbourne and Leo Schofield in Sydney – along with Terry Durack, Jill Dupleix and Matthew Evans – who have charted the growth of the restaurant industry in Australia, and helped to shape it.
It is this rich 39-year tradition that the 2019 Good Food Guide editor Myffy Rigby upholds, ensuring the Guide remains Australia’s pre-eminent restaurant bible.
“The second annual national Good Food Guide is a reflection of the thousands of voices that make Australia one of the most diverse and delicious places to eat in the world. The Guide is a celebration of the industry as a whole. Every one of the restaurants featured is a summation of all those moving parts. We recognise the hard work of all those Australian restaurants and everything they do to enrich the scene.”
The score breakdown for reviews and awarding of hats is:
14                    Good
1 hat               15 Very good
2 hats             16 Great
2 hats             17 Excellent
3 hats             18 Outstanding
3 hats             19 Incredible
3 hats             20 Perfection

Man charged by Strike Force Trawler over alleged online child exploitation

A man has been charged following an investigation by Strike Force Trawler detectives into the alleged online procurement of a child for sex.
In July 2018, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) began engaging online with a man from the Hunter region.
Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl and engaged in highly-sexualised conversations and made arrangements to meet with the child for sex.
Following extensive investigations, a 42-year-old man was arrested by strike force detectives in a shopping centre carpark at Salamander Bay, about 10am yesterday (Thursday 18 October 2018).
Shortly after the arrest, a search warrant was executed at a Tanilba Bay home, where investigators seized two laptops, and an electronic storage device.
The man was taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station and charged with use carriage service to procure person under 16 years for sex.
He was refused bail to appear at Raymond Terrace Local Court later today (Friday 19 October 2018).
Investigations are continuing.
Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing investigation by the CEIU into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children facilitated through the internet and related telecommunications devices.
Regular covert online investigations are conducted by the CEIU; and police in NSW work closely with their law-enforcement colleagues interstate and overseas.
Anyone with information about internet predators should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/
Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Man charged with murder following disappearance of Leisl Smith – Wallarah

A man has been arrested over the disappearance of Leisl Smith, who went missing from the Central Coast in 2012.
Leisl Smith, then aged 23, was last seen about 1pm on Sunday 19 August 2012, leaving her Wallarah home.
Concerned family members alerted police when she failed to return home and she could not be located or contacted.
Extensive searches were conducted for Leisl; however, police have been unable to locate her.
Strike Force Wehl – comprising detectives from Tuggerah Lakes Police District – was subsequently formed to investigate her disappearance.
Leisl’s car, a Honda Accord, was found abandoned at the Tuggerah Railway Station car park on Wednesday 26 September 2012.
Strike Force detectives spoke to a then 42-year-old man before searching two properties in Wallarah and Brookfield on Thursday 4 April 2013, seizing a number of items.
Further properties were searched bordering the Golden Highway at Merriwa, approximately 60km west of Scone, in the upper Hunter Valley.
The investigation has been ongoing since this time.
About 5.10pm (Thursday 18 October 2018), detectives from Tuggerah Lakes Police District
arrested a 48-year-old man on the Gwydir Highway, west of Inverell.
He was taken to Inverell Police Station where he was charged with murder.
He was refused bail and will appear in Inverell Local Court on Friday 19 October 2018.