CCTV released after boat stolen near Port Stephens

Police have released CCTV footage as inquiries continue into the stealing of boat near Port Stephens earlier this month.

Just before 11am on Thursday 18 June 2020, a white Trailcraft vessel was stolen from outside a home on Bagnalls Beach Road, Corlette.

Officers from the Marine Area Command were notified and commenced an investigation.

As part of their inquiries, officers have released CCTV of a white vehicle travelling on Salamander Way, Corlette, in an appeal to locate the driver.

Investigators believe the male driver could assist with their inquiries.

The vehicle has been described as a white Nissan Navara utility 2010-2012 model, with a black bull bar, and black and yellow NSW numberplates.

Boat owners are also advised to ensure their vessels are properly secured to reduce the risk of theft. Other safety tips include:

  • Security devices installed on boats should be resistant to water, salt and humidity.
  • Install locks on your vessels. Marine dealers carry special exterior hatch locks. When fastened with a quality padlock, one of these improves security.
  • To enhance window security, locksmiths carry a variety of special, small locks and fasteners, which can be used to increase the security of other types of windows. For sliding windows, place a length of doweling in the track to prevent the window from being forced open.
  • If your boat is kept in the water, use a marina with full time security and/or good lighting.
  • If you are leaving your boat for long periods of time, ensure that someone else is able to check your boat on a regular basis.

Greens welcome last minute Community TV licence extension

The Greens have welcomed the last minute extension to the free-to-air broadcast licences for Community TV stations Channel 44 in Adelaide and Channel 31 in Melbourne.

Greens Spokesperson for Communications Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

“Waiting until the night before Community TV switches off forever to grant an extension to their broadcast licences was a cruel move by the Morrison Government, however this last minute reprieve is welcome.

“Greens Leader and Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt and I have been working with the stations in our home cities of Adelaide and Melbourne to lobby the Minister for Communications for months now.

“CTV jobs and volunteer positions were on the line. The Minister continues to claim switching to a YouTube channel is the answer, knowing full well as the portfolio holder for communications that many CTV viewers don’t even have internet access or digital literacy.

“Every year for six years now CTV has had to fight to use the spectrum despite there being no plans to use it for any other purpose and there being no cost to the government for extending the licences.

“Given the significant concessions the Federal Government has offered to commercial broadcasters, including spectrum fee relief and a suspension of the local content rules, it was only fair that community, not-for-profit broadcasters at least given an extension of their licence.

“CTV is an invaluable service for multicultural communities, journalists, screen and media practitioners and students as well as many volunteers. It would’ve been a terrible loss, especially in this midst of a global pandemic.”

Arts industry loses four times as many jobs as construction, receives a third of the support

ABS stats released today show the arts and recreation industry has lost four times as many payroll jobs as the construction industry but has received a third of the support, highlighting just how inadequate the Morrison Government’s arts and entertainment industry package is, the Greens say.

Greens Spokesperson for the Arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

“The construction industry is receiving a package worth three times as much as the arts and entertainment industry despite only losing 5.3 per cent of payroll jobs compared to 24% per cent.

“These figures show how badly wrong the government has its priorities. If they are intent of saving jobs lost due to COVID19, these numbers need to be turned around, urgently.

“The government’s HomeBuilder scheme is uncapped, showing the Prime Minister is happy to give unlimited funds to an industry that is relatively unscathed in comparison to arts and entertainment.

“The Government should uncap the arts and entertainment grants package immediately. The arts and entertainment industry needs a proper commitment and real support from the Morrison Government.

“The Morrison Government is kidding itself if it thinks it has done its job when it comes to helping the arts and entertainment industry recover. The $250million arts and entertainment package announced last week should only be considered a down payment to an industry that has been amongst the hardest hit.

“The Senate Committee Inquiry into Covid19 has heard directly from the sector today that many artists and organisations will continue to miss out. The Government’s arts package has failed to deliver the support needed and the Prime Minister’s show last week is getting poor reviews.”

Governments Continue To Fail Public Schools

Australian Greens spokesperson for Education, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has said analysis released today shows once again that federal and state governments have monumentally failed to adequately fund public schools.

Data published in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age has shown that, over the last decade, public funding has continued to flow heavily to private schools.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Well-funded public education should be the backbone of our education system, but public schools are getting a raw deal.

“For years, private schools have been the beneficiaries of state and federal public funding programs that have systematically neglected public schools. While 99% of private schools are funded above the national standard, 99% of public schools have absolutely no pathway to the level of funding they need over the next decade.

“With the Commonwealth’s $1.2 billion so-called ‘Choice and Affordability’ fund for private schools due to start dishing out cash in July, it’s way past time for a complete rethink of school funding across the country.

“The sad reality is that over the last decade, both Labor and Liberal governments have never wasted an opportunity to hand out public funds to private schools and entrench educational inequality,” she said.

City’s libraries reopening in July

City of Newcastle libraries at Mayfield and New Lambton will reopen in July following the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions.

Mayfield and New Lambton branches are scheduled to welcome members and visitors back on site from July 1 and 6 respectively. Operating hours will also be extended at the Newcastle and Wallsend branches.

The staged reopening of libraries has been designed to comply with current capacity limits and prioritise the health and safety of staff and the community through a COVID-safe operating model.

The reopening of the City’s remaining libraries (Adamstown, Beresfield, Hamilton and Stockton) is currently being considered in terms of their ability to safely operate given the continuing COVID-19 restrictions. Lambton Library is currently undergoing a refresh and will reopen once works are completed.

“The community has responded positively to the reopening of our City and Wallsend branches and we appreciate people’s patience as our team works through our COVID-19 safe plan to reopen additional sites,” Manager Libraries and Learning Suzie Gately said.

“We are taking considered measures to ensure we meet Public Health Order requirements, which includes changes to our service delivery and preparing our spaces with additional safeguards.

“The next stage of service resumption will see operating hours extended and two additional branches reopened, allowing us to offer on-site access to the public across a wider service area including our Local History service at the City branch.

“We are also expanding our ‘Library Express’ model to include access to study spaces and technology, and increasing visitation time to one hour from the current limit of 30 minutes.

“We will continue to offer our home library service for the most vulnerable and marginalised in our community along with continuing the Call and Collect service to all members who may not want to come in and browse, and that will help maximise the turnover of members at each site.

“While we are looking forward to welcoming our members back into our various branches, we also expect that many will continue to make the most of our expanded online library services, which offer a convenient and contactless means of accessing a wide range of e-books, audio titles, digital magazines and newspapers, as well as music and movie-streaming platforms.”

More than 6,000 members have visited the Newcastle and Wallsend libraries since they were reopened on 15 June.

Enhanced hygiene and cleaning procedures have been put in place at all library service points, including 24-hour quarantining of all books returned via the external chutes.

For full details of the revised library opening times, visit www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Library/Home.

2020 VISION FOR CYBER SECURITY

The NSW Government has announced the development of a comprehensive, sector-wide cyber security strategy and is calling for industry submissions to help shape its final outcome.

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said it was important to include industry experts and business in the development process to ensure the government continued to encourage growth within the State’s cyber security industry.

“The 2020 NSW Cyber Security Strategy will ensure the NSW Government continues to provide secure, trusted and resilient services in an ever-changing and developing environment,” Mr Dominello said.

“The new strategy will be delivered through an integrated approach to prevent and respond to cyber security threats and safeguard our information, assets, services, businesses and citizens.”

Mr Dominello said in a post COVID-19 environment it is important the NSW Government maximises the State’s existing capabilities and develops the local cyber security industry into a globally competitive, innovative ecosystem that drives economic growth.

“The 2020 NSW Cyber Security Strategy will address the cyber workforce and skills gaps that are vital in attracting business investment and creating innovation jobs,” Mr Dominello said.

“It will support innovation and growth of the NSW cyber industry and cement NSW as the leading state for cyber security in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Cyber security will be a vital part of the technology community at Tech Central which will be a home for tech giants, new and innovative start-ups and leading talent all in one place.”

In June, the NSW Government announced a record $240 million cyber security investment, as well as the establishment of a Cyber Security Vulnerability Management Centre in Bathurst, operated by Cyber Security NSW.

The 2020 NSW Cyber Security Strategy will replace the existing NSW Cyber Security Strategy and the NSW Cyber Industry Development Strategy, combining both into one overarching cyber security strategy and further information in relation to how to be involved will be released shortly.

Industry partners and cyber security experts can express an interest in providing a submission to the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy by emailing cyberstrategynsw@customerservice.nsw.gov.au

AMAZON BACKS SYDNEY FOR HIGH-TECH EXPANSION

Amazon is developing a new advanced storage and distribution centre near the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, creating 1,500 jobs in addition to 700 jobs during its construction, while contributing to economic recovery after COVID-19.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Amazon’s commitment reflected the NSW Government’s focus on innovation and technology to create jobs.

“This important commitment by one of the world’s leading multinationals highlights Western Sydney’s growing stature as a strong investment destination,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The construction and operation of this centre will deliver far-reaching benefits for the people and businesses of NSW, including more than 2,000 jobs at time when we need them most.”

With the ability to operate 24/7, the almost 200,000 square metre facility is expected to be the largest ‘fulfilment centre’ built in Australia. It will also be its most advanced, incorporating the company’s latest robotics systems, the first time these will have been deployed in the Southern Hemisphere.

Located at Kemps Creek, the site gives access to the new, Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird-Walton) Airport which is due to begin operating in 2026, connecting more Australian exporters with global e-commerce opportunities.

The Centre will complement the various advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defence industries developing around the nearby Aerotropolis.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said Amazon’s decision was a vote of confidence in the NSW economy.

“It supports our strategy to foster new sources of growth through Innovation Precincts including the Western Sydney Aerotropolis,” Mr Ayres said.

“The project will contribute to local workforce development and provide skilled employment in areas like robotics, logistics and supply chain.

“It will also help build our local e-commerce sector, giving small and medium-sized businesses access to Amazon’s packing, shipping, customer service and returns capabilities, along with easier access to millions of customers across Australia and the world.

“NSW consumers will benefit too from a more efficient delivery and supply chain,” Mr Ayres said.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the construction of the Fulfilment Centre came at a time when it was vital to boost jobs as the NSW economy recovers from the COVID-19 shutdown.

“Creating jobs and boosting business is the most important thing we can do right now, and this project means work for hundreds of people both during construction and when it opens,” Mr Perrottet said.

“It’s been a very tough year so far but that won’t stop NSW from growing stronger, and the Fulfilment Centre is another snapshot of just how important the Western Sydney Aerotropolis will become for our state.”

The Fulfilment Centre located in the Oakdale West Industrial Estate will aim to be delivering packages to NSW residents and beyond by Christmas 2021.

FUTURE TRANSPORT LINKS CONFIRMED IN THE WESTERN PARKLAND CITY

The NSW Government has today confirmed the final corridors which will support the delivery of the proposed Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project, South West Rail Link Extension and Western Sydney Freight Line.

Preserving vital corridors for three new transport links will pave the way for a significant boost to connectivity in the region, helping bring growth and jobs to Western Sydney.

The North South Rail Line Corridor will support the delivery of both Stage 1 and future stages of Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport and run from St Marys, with a tunnel to Orchard Hills, through to the new Western Sydney Airport, Aerotropolis and Macarthur, with a tunnel from Oran Park.

The South West Rail Link Extension Corridor will run from the Aerotropolis through Kelvin Park and Rossmore to join the suburban rail network at Leppington.

The Western Sydney Freight Line Corridor will run from the future Outer Sydney Orbital at Luddenham through to the M7 at Horsley Park, where it will join a future section through Wetherill Park, which will link to the Southern Sydney Freight Line at Leightonfield, which connects to Port Botany.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the alignments will bring certainty to the Western Sydney community and help drive investment around the new Airport and broader Aerotropolis.

“Preserving these corridors for future passenger and freight transport links supports the development of the Western Parkland City, while planning for the needs of growing communities and industries to accommodate commuters, workers and businesses who all rely on different types of transport modes,” Mr Constance said.

“Transport will play a huge role in shaping the way our communities move around in years to come, and we want to get this vision right, which is why we have spoken to the community at great length before finalising these future transport links.”

Today’s announcement also follows the Government’s recent funding boost for Stage 1 of Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport, which will support about 14,000 jobs during construction.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the finalised transport links will form the backbone of strategic development in the Western Parkland City.

“These future transport links will offer better connectivity for residents, and provide certainty to drive investment in new employment hubs near the new Western Sydney Airport and broader Aerotropolis,” Mr Stokes said.

All submissions received during community consultation were considered and adjustments were made to the final corridor alignments to minimise impacts to nearby residents.

Each of the corridors will provide different benefits, including connections to the new airport and Aerotropolis, and support for future employments hubs, enhancing freight distribution across the emerging Western Parkland City, and freeing up capacity on other lines to allow for more passenger services.

Property owners have been notified and further details are being provided to them.

Teenager charged over alleged break and enters – Hunter region

A teenage boy has been charged following several alleged aggravated break and enter offences in the Hunter.

In June 2020, officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police Proactive Crime Team commenced Operation Golding to investigate and respond to an increase in property-related crime in Maitland, Rutherford and Aberglasslyn.

Following extensive inquiries, police attended a home in Aberglasslyn and arrested a 15-year-old boy about 12.30pm yesterday (Monday 29 June 2020).

Police will allege the teenager was involved in three separate break and enter offences:

  • On Thursday 16 April 2020, a business on High Street, Maitland, was allegedly broken into, where more than $16,000 worth of mountain bikes were stolen and extensive damage was caused to the shopfront.
  • On Thursday 30 April 2020, a school on Weblands Street, Rutherford, was allegedly broken into and several iPads were stolen.
  • On Monday 22 June 2020, a fast food restaurant on Arthur Street, Rutherford, was allegedly broken into, where a sum of cash was taken and the store suffered significant damage.

The teenage boy was taken to Maitland Police Station and charged with three counts of aggravated break and enter in company with intent to steal.

He was granted strict conditional bail to appear at a children’s court on Friday 17 July 2020.

Investigations under Operation Golding are continuing, with further arrests anticipated.

Man stabbed in home invasion – Port Stephens- Hunter

Police are appealing for information after two men were stabbed during a home invasion at Hawks Nest overnight.

About 10.30pm (Monday 30 June 2020), a 78-year-old man opened the door of his home on Booner Street and was confronted by three unknown men.

The group pushed past the man, assaulting him and stabbing him in the abdomen.

Police have been told the group went upstairs and began assaulting a 53-year-old man.

While attempting to flee, the man was stabbed in the back.

He continued to run from the attackers and was stabbed a further seven times to the back and neck.

The men stole a purse and car keys from a 40-year-old woman, before fleeing the scene on foot.

Emergency services were called, and the younger man was treated by NSW Ambulance Paramedics before being flown to John Hunter Hospital, in a stable condition.

The older man was driven to John Hunter Hospital suffering a stab wound and head injuries. He is in a stable condition.

Officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District attended and established a crime scene.

Investigations are continuing.