Police investigate armed robbery – Newcastle City

Police have commenced an investigation following the armed robbery of a bottle shop in Shortland yesterday.
Just after 6pm (Monday 15 October 2018), a 55-year-old woman was working at a bottle shop on Sandgate Road when a motorcycle pulled in.
The rider of the bike entered the store while his pillion passenger stayed with the bike.
A customer left the shop and the rider – still wearing his full-face helmet – removed a shortened double-barrel shotgun from his backpack and threatened the employee while demanding money from the register.
The employee complied with his demands and handed over a sum of cash.
The man left the store and was seen getting onto the back of the motorbike now being ridden by his accomplice.
The alarm was raised and officers from Newcastle City Police District attended and commenced inquiries.
Police have been told the armed man was wearing a black helmet, black jacket with blue jeans and a black backpack.
His accomplice was wearing a multi coloured Motocross style helmet with blue rimmed goggles with grey track pants and a grey hoodie.
Investigators would also like to speak with the customer who left the store just prior to the robbery.

Couple threatened with firearm during aggravated break, enter and steal – Swansea

Police are seeking information after a couple were threatened with a firearm during an aggravated break, enter and steal at Swansea overnight.
About 12.30am (Monday 15 October 2018), three men forced their way into a house in Tomlin Place.
The men, one armed with a firearm, entered a bedroom and threatened a 26-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman.
They stole cash, jewellery and a wallet before running from the house into a car believed to be a white-coloured Volkswagen Jetta.
No one was injured during the incident.
One of the men is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 185cm tall with a thin build.
The three men were wearing dark clothing and had their faces covered.

Intent to murder charge over Central Coast stabbing

A man is due in Wyong court today charged over the alleged stabbing of another man at the Central Coast yesterday.
Emergency services were called to a construction site at Colongra, near Lake Munmorah, after a 33-year-old man sustained stab wounds in his neck and chest, and cuts to both hands after allegedly being attacked about 2.40pm (Sunday 14 October 2018).
He was treated at the scene before being taken to John Hunter Hospital where he is undergoing surgery. Police have been told he is in a stable condition.
Shortly after 4pm, a 32-year-old man was arrested at a service station on the M1 at Warnervale by officers attached to Traffic & Highway Patrol Command.
The man, who is from North Gosford, was taken to Wyong Police Station where he was charged with wound with intent to murder.
He was refused bail overnight and will appear in Wyong Local Court later today (Monday 15 October 2018).
Police believe the men are known to each other.

Greens put fresh roadblock in way of Adani

Today a Greens motion passed the Senate demanding that the Government stop Adani’s pipeline application from being assessed until the federal investigation into their environmental breaches is concluded.
“It would be outrageous for Adani to continue seeking a fresh environmental approval when they’re being investigated for breaching the last one,” said Mining and Resources spokesperson for the Australian Greens, former environmental lawyer Senator Larissa Waters.
“You wouldn’t give an arsonist a fresh box of matches – so why should Adani get a fresh environmental approval when they’ve ignored the conditions of their last one.
“The very least we can expect of this useless government is to apply environmental laws equally to their big business donors.
“Adani’s application for a pipeline for 12.5 billion litres of water to wash their dirty coal is a slap in the face of drought-stricken farmers, whom the Prime Minister claims to be concerned about.
“The Environment Minister has now been sent a clear message by the Senate – stop giving Adani free passes when they’ve shown they can’t be trusted.
“The Environment Minister needs to remember she’s not a mining industry lawyer anymore, no matter how generous the mining companies are to donating to her political party.
“Of course, given the IPCC report this week it’s clear the world’s climate can’t take any new coal, and the Greens will continue to work to stop Adani and instead to transition to clean, job-rich renewable energy.”
Senator Waters’ motion today:  That the Senate—

  • a. notes that:
    • i. Adani Mining, as part of the Adani Group, is currently being investigated by the Department of the Environment and Energy for potential breach of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) Carmichael Mine approval conditions, for alleged unlawful clearing of vegetation and sinking of groundwater dewatering bores, and
    • ii. Adani Infrastructure, as part of the Adani Group, has applied for EPBC Act approval for a pipeline to bring water to the mine site for washing of the coal; and
  • b. calls on the Minister for the Environment, or her delegate, to not make a decision on the pipeline application until the results of the investigation and subsequent decision on whether to take enforcement action into the alleged mine site breaches has

If Scott Morrison works in good faith with Greens and Labor, we could end legal discrimination against LGBT teachers this week: Greens

Greens LGBTIQ+ spokesperson Senator Janet Rice today said that if Prime Minister Scott Morrison works in good faith with the Greens and Labor, the Parliament could end exemptions this week to Federal anti-discrimination laws that currently allow religious schools to fire LGBT+ teachers and staff because of who they are.
“For years the Greens have fought to remove exemptions to our laws that allow religious schools to expel students and fire teachers and staff members simply because of who they are,” Senator Rice said.
“I am pleased that following pressure from the community and the Greens, Labor today announced that they support the Greens’ position.
“Scott Morrison and the Liberals must now listen to the public and commit to working with the Greens and Labor to change our laws to not only stop students being expelled because of who they are, but to stop LGBT+ teachers and staff members from being sacked because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or gender diverse.
“If Scott Morrison works in good faith with the Greens and Labor, we could end these outdated exemptions by the end of this week.
“Our laws should protect LGBTIQ+ Australians from discrimination, not enshrine the right to discriminate against them.”
The Greens took removing exemptions from federal anti-discrimination law for religious organisations to the 2016 Federal Election.

Greens Say Senate must work together to clear the air on ABC interference

The cloud that hangs over the independence of the ABC has come no closer to being cleared following the release of the Government’s departmental review today.
“The Department report raises more question than answers about the issues plaguing the ABC. This review is a white-wash that attempts to save the Morrison Government from any scrutiny for the part it has played in the ABC’s leadership turmoil,” Greens media spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Today’s departmental review does not address the issues surrounding political interference between the Government, the ABC board and its leadership last month. This is not simply a tit for tat between the former Chair and Managing Director and must be investigated further.
“Without a Senate Inquiry into the political interference at the ABC,  there is a cloud over our beloved public broadcaster’s future independence.
“The ABC staff, and the Australian people, deserve better than this blatant political interference. For the future of a strong public broadcaster, we need to get this right and the Senate needs to work together.”

Governments must do more to end harmful LGBT+ conversion attempts: Greens

Following the release of the report into LGBT+ conversion attempts by La Trobe University, the Human Rights Law Centre and Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria, Greens LGBTIQ+ spokesperson Senator Janet Rice said governments must do more to stop these harmful practices.
“Gay and trans conversion practices are grounded in homophobia and transphobia. Conversion practices still exist in many forms across the country and are often insidiously hidden or dressed up as ‘mentoring’ or ‘counselling’,” Senator Rice said.
“These conversion practices are deeply harmful to LGBT+ people. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer young people already suffer worse mental health than their heterosexual and cisgender peers.
“LGBT+ people don’t need to change, society needs to change. No LGBT+ person should be made to feel shame or fear on account of their sexual or gender identity.
“Governments must do more to end these insidious and harmful practices and provide proper mental health and support services to LGBT+ people and survivors of these conversion attempts.
“The Greens have always stood alongside LGBT+ people in the fight for equality and against discrimination. We will look closely at this report’s recommendations to see what more we can do to support survivors of conversion attempts and put an end to these harmful practices.”

Greens call on Labor party: It’s not too late to defeat the TPP

The Australian Greens are calling on the Labor Party to dump its support of the dodgy TPP ahead of the debate in the Senate today.
“The dodgy TPP deal was designed by corporations, for corporations. It is baffling to Australian workers,  and the broader community, that the Labor Party has abandoned its base, and unions, to give this toxic trade deal the green light,” Greens trade spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Labor has an opportunity to say no to the TPP enabling legislation and back withdrawing from the agreement. Labor is trying to walk both sides of the street on the TPP. We can only address the TPP’s failures of ISDS provisions and weak labour market testing before the deal is ratified. It is not too late for Labor to do the right thing.
“It would be a gross affront to our sovereignty to allow a piece of legislation that gives corporations the right to sue us for, among other things, strengthening environmental law or developing sound policy to arrest climate change in the wake of the UN’s harrowing report.
“The Greens will fight to stop the TPP.  We will use the powers of the Senate to expose just how bad a deal this is and force Labor to decide between Australian sovereignty or rolling over for the Morrison Government.”

NSW Labor pledges $1 billion fund to upgrade train stations

Today, NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley announced a $1 billion fund to upgrade train stations, including providing lift access and commuter carparks.
Right now, stations in need of upgrades have been ignored under the Berejiklian Government.
In 2013, a list of 100 priority projects was created. Since then, only five have had lifts installed.
Yet, in June, the Innovation and Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean was caught on video confessing to constituents that “skullduggery and manoeuvring” led to Hawkesbury River Station being bumped as many as 150 places up the priority list.
Our announcement comes as new documents have revealed that 14 of the top 30 stations in need of a disability upgrade have been deferred by the Liberal Government.
We understand that public transport should be accessible to all NSW residents.
That’s why Labor will commit $1 billion to complete these vital upgrades and allow access for all train commuters.


A Shorten Labor Government will invest $300 million in the Suburban Rail Loop – getting the project going faster and creating jobs sooner.
Labor’s investment will support the development of a business case and get the planning work done quicker, enabling the construction to commence in 2022. The project will provide a major boost to the economy, creating 20,000 jobs in the construction phase alone and employing 2000 apprentices.
This is the sort of vision Melbourne needs – to keep up with the demands of Australia’s fastest growing capital city, investment in world-class, modern transport network is critical.
Melbourne is a great place to live and work. But between now and 2046, the city’s population is projected to grow to 7.3 million residents. Without proper planning and investment in the city’s roads and public transport infrastructure, the annual cost of traffic congestion will more than triple to $9 billion by 2030.
Labor understands how important it is to invest in decent public transport that will take the pressure off our cities, ease traffic congestion, and connect the suburbs and the regions – bringing jobs and apprenticeships along the way.
On completion, the Suburban Rail Loop will comprise of a 90 kilometre rail line through Melbourne’s northern and eastern suburbs via the airport, linking all of the city’s major train lines. It will connect the suburbs directly to major employment hubs, universities, TAFE and hospitals outside the city, making it much easier for Victorians to get around for work and recreation.
Labor’s investment will help finalise exact station locations, route alignments, rolling stock and staging, and get construction underway faster.
Expected to be used by 400,000 passengers a day, the project will take pressure off existing lines, as well as an estimated 200,000 cars off the city’s road network. Fewer cars on the road mean less congestion and shorter travel times.
Federal Labor’s investment follows expert analysis showing the project will slash travel times across the city. When complete, commuters will be able to travel from Box Hill to the airport in 25 minutes and to Monash Clayton in around 15 minutes. Travel from Broadmeadows to Deakin Burwood will be less than 25 minutes – connecting Victorians to education and work opportunities quicker and easier.
This commitment to the Suburban Rail Loop builds on Labor’s strong track record of delivering job-creating infrastructure that eases congestion for Victorians, and will match the funding commitment announced by the Andrews Labor Government in August this year.
Labor has made hard budget decisions to ensure our priorities are fully paid for – we will make multinationals pay their fair share and close unsustainable tax loopholes, because we want to build the cities and society that will give the next generation a better deal.