Man charged with high-range PCA after being reported for dangerous driving during Australia Day Operation

Police have charged a man with high range PCA in Port Stephens after a member of the public reported him for dangerous driving before confiscating his keys when he pulled over, during the Australian Day road-safety operation.

Between 12.01am last Friday (22 January 2021) and 11.59pm last night (Tuesday 26 January 2021), officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command with assistance from Police Area Commands and Police Districts conducted Operation Australia 2021 across NSW.

About 6.50am on Sunday (24 January 2021), police received reports from a motorist that the driver of a Nissan Navara was driving dangerously on the Pacific Highway near Heatherbrae, Port Stephens.

Police have been told the man, aged 44, drove onto a median strip and hit a small tree before pulling over on Six Mile Creek Road, Eagleton, where the motorist – a 46-year-old man, also stopped and took the driver’s keys away.

Officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police Area Command arrived a short time later and breath tested the man, who allegedly returned a positive result.

The man was arrested and taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station, where a subsequent breath analysis returned an alleged positive reading of 0.186.

The man was issued a Court Attendance Notice for drive with high range PCA; and is due to appear in Raymond Terrace Local Court on Monday 22 February 2021.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty, said it’s encouraging to see motorists concerned for the safety of others by reporting dangerous driving to police.

“As part of our Four Ds campaign, we’ve been urging all road users to report drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving, when safe to do so,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Hegarty.

“In this instance, the actions of the motorist have helped keep the community safe during the Operation Australia Day 2021 period.”

During the operation, motorists faced double demerit points for speeding, mobile phone, motorcycle helmet and seatbelt offences.

Police conducted more than 96,000 breath tests, with more than 300 drivers charged with drink driving.

In addition to the drink-driving charges, 386 people returned positive results for drug-driving. More than 9200 people were fined for other traffic offences, including not wearing a seatbelt and speeding.

“While the poor behaviour of some drivers is disappointing, we’re overall encouraged by the behaviour of the vast majority of drivers over operation,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Hegarty.

“Sadly, three people lost their lives on NSW roads over this period. We continue to work hard in improving road safety for all road users across our state,” said Mr Hegarty.

Other incidents of note include:

• A man disqualified from driving until 2078 will reappear in court today after allegedly being caught driving dangerously and possessing drugs in Sydney. About 5.20pm on Saturday (23 January 2021), officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were conducting a stationary random breath and drug test on Pitt Street, Chippendale, when they attempted to stop the driver of a Holden Commodore. Police will allege the driver, a 47-year-old man, swapped seats with his front seat passenger, a 36-year-old woman, causing the car to swerve into oncoming traffic. Officers stopped the car and arrested the pair before searching the vehicle and locating a clear vial believed to contain gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB). Further checks revealed the man was disqualified from driving until 2078. The pair was taken to Surry Hills Police Station. He was charged with drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous, and possess prohibited drug. He was refused bail and appeared at Parramatta Bail Court, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at Central Local Court today (Wednesday 27 January 2021). The woman was fined for not complying with P1/P2 high performance vehicle restriction, driver not wear seatbelt, and not comply with P2 licence conditions not display P-Plates.

• About 7.10am yesterday (Tuesday 26 January 2021), Traffic and Highway Patrol officers were conducting stationary random breath testing on Hogbin Drive, Coffs Harbour, when they stopped a Hyundai and spoke with the driver, a 15-year-old boy. He allegedly returned a positive breath test before being taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station, where a subsequent breath analysis returned a reading of 0.054. The boy was charged with low-range drink driving, and driving without licence.

• Officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were conducting stationary speed enforcement duties on the north on the M1, Yallah, when they detected a Mitsubishi Lancer allegedly travelling about 185km/h in an 80km/h signposted area, about 2.10am on Sunday (24 January 2021). Police attempted to stop the vehicle; however, the driver allegedly failed to stop, and a pursuit was initiated. The driver continued towards Picton before road spikes were deployed and the car stopped a short time later on Maldon Bridge Road. The driver, a 34-year-old woman, was arrested and taken to Camden Police Station, where she was charged with police pursuit – not stop – drive at speed, licence expired less than two years before – prior offence, and class exceed speed (more than 45 km/h). She was granted conditional bail to appear in Wollongong Local Court on Thursday 4 February 2021. Inquiries continue.

• At 11.30am yesterday (Tuesday 26 January 2021), officers from St George Police Area Command were called to the intersection of Princes Highway and Baxter Avenue, Kogarah, after reports of a single-vehicle crash. Police have been told a man was driving a Mazda sedan south on the Princes Highway when the car mounted the kerb and crashed into a no stopping/clearway sign. While officers were speaking to the man, they allegedly noticed an opened cask of wine inside a black bag. The man was subjected to a roadside breath test which allegedly returned a positive reading, before being taken to Kogarah Police Station, where a further breath analysis returned an alleged reading of 0.264. He was charged with drive with high range PCA and his licence was suspended. He was granted conditional bail to appear in Sutherland Local Court on Tuesday 16 February 2021.

Motorcyclist dies near Cessnock

A motorcyclist has died after a single-vehicle crash in the Hunter Valley this morning.

Shortly after 4am (Wednesday 27 January 2021), emergency services were called to the intersection of Wollombi Road and Kendall Street, Bellbird, about 6km south-west of Cessnock, after reports a motorcycle had hit with a barrier.

The rider, a man believed to be aged in his 30s, was ejected from the bike and located a short distance away.

Officers from Hunter Valley Police District commenced CPR prior to the arrival of NSW Ambulance paramedics, however he died at the scene.

The man is yet to be formally identified.

A crime scene has been established and an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash has commenced.

A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.


Four Corrective Services NSW officers with a combined work history of 100 years were recognised today for their exceptional service in the Australia Day Honours.

Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections Anthony Roberts said the officers from Cessnock, Silverwater and Windsor earned the prestigious Australian Corrections Medal.

“We are honoured to have such esteemed individuals working for CSNSW and these officers should be very proud to be receiving this national recognition,” Mr Roberts said.

“The medal acknowledges these exemplary officers who have shown leadership and commitment to dedicating their working life to community safety and reducing reoffending.”

CSNSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the officers deserved the highest recognition for developing initiatives in correctional centres, which have helped staff and inmates.

“The medal holds special significance because staff are nominated by their peers, so they are true role models,” Mr Severin said.

“We come together today to acknowledge the wonderful efforts that Kieren, David, Vesna and Shaun bring to CSNSW and extend to them our deepest congratulations for shining a light on the positive work our staff do every day in managing offenders.”

The officers will be invested with their medals at NSW Government House later this year.

Kieren Shea ACM, Regional Support Manager Northern Region, Offender Services and Programs

Mr Shea commenced his service with CSNSW in 1985. He served in the correctional officer role in various centres, and in 2001 was appointed Manager of Offender Services, Programs and Employment at St Heliers Correctional Centre, in Muswellbrook.

At St Heliers he initiated work-release opportunities for minimum-security inmates, in the areas of local council, mining, building and abattoirs. His actions led to skills acquisition and future employment opportunities for many inmates.

In 2014, he was promoted to Regional Support Manager for the North Region where he is responsible for program and service delivery to inmates at nine correctional centres, and program delivery to offenders in 21 Community Corrections offices. He is also responsible for 111 staff.

As Regional Support Manager he supports the direct implementation and review of services and programs.
He was also influential in introducing the trial ‘Peer Support Program’ at St Heliers with CSNSW partner Red Cross.

His assistance to a diverse population of offenders with complex needs has contributed significantly to their rehabilitation and reducing reoffending.

“I am sincerely surprised and grateful to have been nominated,” Mr Shea said.

“Like most of my colleagues, we don’t do this role for the recognition, but because we truly believe that what we do on a daily basis contributes to the greater good.

“I have been fortunate to have worked with some amazing people throughout my career and could not have achieved what I have without the support of these colleagues and my team members.  To be recognised for my career and achievements is humbling.”

David Harrower ACM, Senior Correctional Officer, Cessnock Correctional Centre

Mr Harrower has served CSNSW for more than 30 years and is currently a Senior Correctional Officer at the Cessnock Correctional Centre.

During his career he initiated and introduced a range of programs to assist inmates with their education and rehabilitation, and provide a service to the community.  These programs included the Indigenous Weather Knowledge Program with the Bureau of Meteorology to conduct a detailed record from the Ngemba people, traditional owners of the land in the Brewarrina region.

While working at the Reception and Induction Centre at Long Bay, he was instrumental in having inmates participate in the South Sydney Touch Football Competition.

At Long Bay he introduced and facilitated the Young Offenders Program, which saw inmates mentoring young offenders in their transition to the main inmate population.

At Tomago Periodic Detention Centre in 1997, he introduced a range of programs to assist with inmate rehabilitation. Inmates maintained the grounds at St Peters Old Burial Ground at East Maitland, and others with appropriate building qualifications constructed a storage facility for the Caves Beach Surf Club.

He motivates inmates into employment roles within the Cessnock centre and actively promotes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, sport and education programs.

“When I was first told that I had been nominated I was embarrassed given that I have worked with so many amazing individuals over the years, who I believed would have been more deserving of this medal,” Mr Harrower said.

“They are now long retired but I wish the Australian Corrections Medal was around when they were working with me, as it really is such an honour to be receiving it.”

Vesna Mijatovic ACM, Senior Correctional Officer, Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre, Silverwater

Ms Mijatovic joined CSNSW in 1997 at the Long Bay Complex.  She later transferred to the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre (MRRC) and became a senior correctional officer.  She acted as Assistant Superintendent at the centre for three years.

As the MRRC Movement Coordinator, she manages new arrivals at the centre, by identifying their immediate needs and assessing any risks.  She ensures offenders undergo the assessment process prior to being placed in the centre.  The role requires dedication and attention to detail to ensure offenders are managed safely and effectively.

Additionally, she performs the role of a supervisor in the accommodation units, where she manages the day-to-day needs of offenders and the continuing security of the units.

She also conducts inmate classification, case management interviews and assessments, identifying each individual’s requirements to progress through the system, including programs and work opportunities.

“The role is challenging and different every day but I’m just grateful to be able to do a job that I enjoy,” Ms Mijatovic said.

“As a female officer working in a male-dominated area, I hope to encourage younger females to try this career, which has been rewarding for me.

“It can be daunting when you first start particularly for young female officers but I’ve always wanted to share my advice and assist my colleagues when I can.”

Shaun Danby ACM, Corrective Services Industries Operations Manager, Francis Greenway Correctional Complex, Berkshire Park

Mr Danby began his career with the NSW Government at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney in 1996, then Juvenile Justice in 2001 and six years later joined CSNSW as an overseer.

He later worked as a senior project officer at the Francis Greenway Correctional Complex, Windsor, and business unit manager for Statewide Infrastructure Supply.

Since 2017 he has been the Corrective Services Industries Operations Manager, leading a team of trade-qualified overseers on construction, emergency and urgent building and maintenance works throughout CSNSW.

He maximises inmate participation on all projects, providing training, programs and real life work to inmates, which ultimately leads to assisting their rehabilitation.

He develops inmates through managing, coaching, instructing and encouraging them to improve their work skills, enhances their post-release employment prospects, and contributes productively to the community.

The program provides significant savings to the taxpayer and his hands on approach whilst mentoring and training inmates has been highly successful in achieving positive outcomes for CSNSW and inmates.

“I am surrounded by a great group of people and I believe that I owe my success to my team,” Mr Danby said.

“I feel like I am just doing my job so you can imagine my surprise to discover that my peers had nominated me. It’s an honour I don’t take lightly.”


After a year of exceptional challenges for our frontline agencies, 20 Police and Emergency Services personnel and volunteers have received awards today as part of the 2021 Australia Day Honours for their commitment and dedication to protecting the people of NSW.

The Australian Police Medal was awarded to eight members of the NSW Police Force, the Australian Fire Service Medal was awarded to seven volunteers from the NSW Rural Fire Service and three Fire and Rescue NSW firefighters, while two members of the NSW State Emergency Service and NSW Volunteer Rescue Association received the Emergency Services Medal.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott congratulated the men and women who have been honoured for their service.

“Over the past year we have seen exceptional heroism from our Police and Emergency Services who were on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic and the catastrophic bush fires,” Mr Elliott said.

“This is an opportunity to recognise those who have put their lives on the line to protect the community – and this honour is a reflection of our gratitude and thanks for their professionalism and selflessness.

“These recipients exemplify the resilience and mateship that are integral to our community.

“On behalf of the people of NSW, I’d like to thank our police officers, emergency services personnel and volunteers for their ongoing service, and reinforce the Government’s commitment to providing our frontline agencies with the resources they need to keep our communities safe.”

Australian Police Medal
Detective Superintendent Jonathan Andrew Beard, NSW Police Force
Inspector Gary John Coffey, NSW Police Force
Sergeant Lisa Marie Green, NSW Police Force
Chief Inspector Joseph Anthony McNulty, NSW Police Force
Sergeant Brett Raymond Samuel, NSW Police Force
Detective Superintendent Paul Andrew Smith, NSW Police Force
Chief Inspector Peter Francis Volf, NSW Police Force
Sergeant Scott David Weber, NSW Police Force

Australian Fire Services Medal
Group Captain Darren Breust, NSW Rural Fire Service
Inspector/Firefighter Guy Roland Duckworth, NSW Rural Fire Service
Group Captain Glen Vincent Howe, NSW Rural Fire Service
Captain Thomas John Marshall, NSW Rural Fire Service
Group Captain Kenneth Arthur Pullen, NSW Rural Fire Service
Captain Dennis Andrew Stannard, NSW Rural Fire Service
Captain Alice Joyce Strutt, NSW Rural Fire Service
Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell, Fire and Rescue NSW
Superintendent Norman Buckley, Fire and Rescue NSW
Captain John Dun, Fire and Rescue NSW

Emergency Services Medal
Matthew Chifley, NSW State Emergency Service
Glenn Hinton, NSW Volunteer Rescue Association

You can find a full list of the Australia Day Honours List here.


Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor congratulates the 2021 Australian of the Year recipients, acknowledging their inspiring achievements and contribution to society.

For only the second time in the history of the awards, women have won all four Australian of the Year categories.

“These women have shown remarkable bravery in breaking down barriers to drive positive change and it’s fantastic that their achievements have now been recognized nationally.” Mrs Taylor said.

“These awards shine a light on the enormous efforts of women to make our communities a better place, whether it be in the city, regional or rural areas.”

Local Hero Rosemary Kariuki, of Oran Park in Sydney’s southwest, has worked tirelessly to help migrants fleeing domestic violence as well as helping migrant women to make social connections in their new home.

Australian of the Year Grace Tame, of Tasmania, is a sexual abuse survivor who has advocated for legal reform and raised public awareness about the impact of violence against women and girls.

Senior Australian of the Year Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM, of the Northern Territory, is an artist, activist, writer and public speaker who has devoted her energy to bridging the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal culture.

Young Australian of the Year Isobel Marshall, of South Australia, has used her business skills for social change by improving access to female hygiene products and improving education for women and girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda.

“Women are often quiet achievers, giving so much of themselves and asking for so little in return so it is wonderful to see these four women recognised for their significant contribution,” Mrs Taylor added.

“I congratulate the winners, finalists and nominees in the Australian of the Year Awards and thank them for their dedication to improving society and changing lives.”

Woman charged with domestic violence, assaulting officers – Bradbury

A woman has been charged with domestic violence and assaulting police officers, following an incident in Sydney’s south-west yesterday.

About 5pm (Monday 25 January 2021), a woman allegedly drove her vehicle into another car at a shopping centre in Bradbury, causing extensive damage.

The woman then left her vehicle and removed the windscreen wipers from the other car, allegedly using them to assault the other driver, a woman who is known to her.

The woman then assaulted a man, also known to her, who was a passenger in the other car.

Responding to calls, officers attached to Campbelltown City Police Area Command attended the scene a short time later. The woman allegedly struck out at the officers, who eventually apprehended her.

The 49-year-old woman was arrested and taken to Campbelltown Police Station, where she was charged with predatory driving, common assault (DV), armed with intent commit indictable offence, and assault police officer in execution of duty whilst occasioning actual bodily harm.

The Rosemeadow woman was refused bail and will appear at Parramatta Local Court today (Tuesday 26 January 2021).

No police officers were injured.

Australia continues to set record vaccination rates

Australian families have clearly demonstrated that we are a vaccination nation, with childhood immunisation rates reaching record levels in December 2020.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, parents followed expert health advice and continued to take their children to receive their shots, pushing five-year old vaccination rates beyond the aspirational target of 95 per cent coverage.

Australia’s immunisation rates are world leading. In fact the December Quarter of 2020 took Australia’s coverage rate for five year old children to 95.09 per cent which exceeds the estimated World Health Organisation international average immunisation coverage rate of 86 per cent.

Reaching our target of 95% supports herd immunity to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.

These figures show Australians have both the capacity and the will to lead the world in taking up COVID-19 vaccines, as they recognise how important vaccination is, and how it protects and saves lives.

It also shows the faith that Australians have in our independent medical regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, to provide expert advice and ensure the safety and efficacy of all vaccines provided to the community.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at five-years old have the highest rates of immunisation in the country at 97.25 per cent. This is an incredible result and shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families are taking their children to have their shots on time and keeping up to date with the recommended vaccination schedule.

The Australian Government invests more than $400 million each year in the National Immunisation Program.

The national immunisation coverage rate for all one-year olds has grown to 94.85 per cent and among two-year olds is 92.55 per cent.

While not as high as the five-year old rate, the results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander two-year olds and one-year olds continue to climb, reaching 91.43 per cent and 93.79 per cent respectively.

The importance of vaccination is not lost on Australians, the vast majority of families ensure their children are fully immunised against a range of dangerous, but preventable diseases.

Immunisation providers have maintained their routine immunisation services throughout the pandemic and are ensuring on-time vaccination according to the recommended schedules.

Australia’s seasonal influenza vaccination program continues to provide increasing numbers of vaccines to Australians of all ages, in 2020 the Therapeutic Goods Administration released more than 17.6 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccines for the Australian market – this includes those for the National Immunisation Program and the private market.

  September 2020 December 2020
General one-year-old 94.72 94.85
General two-year-old 92.36 92.55
General five-year-old 94.90 95.09
Indigenous one-year-old 93.46 93.79
Indigenous two-year-old 91.16 91.43
Indigenous five-year-old 97.03 97.25

GPs’ key role in COVID-19 vaccination rollout

General practices will play a key role in the Australian Government’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, in what will be one of the greatest logistical exercises, public health or otherwise, in Australian history.

Providing access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for everyone in Australia is a key priority for our Government.

General practices will help deliver the vaccine initially to priority groups, starting with people over 70, adults with underlying medical conditions and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in phase 1b. Three more phases will follow until the whole country has been offered the vaccine.

The Government will also work closely with Primary Health Networks to determine general practice distribution points for the vaccine. Over time, there will be more than 1,000 distribution points across Australia.

Applications open 9am tomorrow, at

Australian GPs have considerable experience administering vaccines, with the Australian Government’s highly successful childhood immunisation program and the influenza vaccines both exceeding expectations with record engagement. General practices are key players in Australia having one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.

General practices are the core of our health system and those involved in supporting the vaccine rollout will include GPs and primary health care nurses, as well as their support staff, including practice managers, receptionists, cleaners, and IT support.

The vaccine rollout in Commonwealth-funded GP-led Respiratory Clinics and Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Services will be administered through separate processes. They are not required to complete an expression of interest to take part in the rollout.

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is a new frontier. It will bring new challenges, and I am very confident that our health care workforce is well placed for this immense task.

An expression of interest for pharmacies will be released next week.

Iconic AIS celebrates 40 years progressing sport

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has marked a key milestone, celebrating its 40th anniversary this week.

Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck said the AIS remains a lynchpin in Australia’s sporting success and its enhanced focus on athlete wellbeing, athlete pathways, coach development, innovation and collaboration all remain legacies of the AIS today.

“The AIS revolutionised Australian sport 40 years ago and today it remains an important and iconic symbol of Australia’s commitment to sport and the power of sport to inspire and unite our communities,” Minister Colbeck said.

“We celebrate this milestone with the AIS and pay tribute to those who have positively contributed to building Australian sport capability over many years.”

Some of the biggest names in Australian sport are among the 8,858 athletes who have been AIS scholarship holders over its successful history.

“In an Olympic and Paralympic year, we also acknowledge the integral role the AIS is playing to support our athletes in their preparation for the Tokyo Olympics,” Minister Colbeck said.

The AIS was launched by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser in Canberra on 26 January 1981, comprising approximately 150 scholarship athletes across eight different sports to become Australia’s first and only official sporting institute.

AIS CEO Peter Conde said it has evolved to help lead the National Institute Network to positively influence more Australian athletes than ever before.

“As we should expect, the AIS does things differently now. Races aren’t won by standing still. But the intent of the AIS remains the same – to help Australian athletes realise their full potential in both sport and life.

“The AIS directly invests more than $145 million a year into 38 high performance sporting organisations and their athletes, including $14 million a year in athlete grants across Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games sports.

We have progressed the support for Paralympics athletes, with funding up 40 per cent in the past eight years,” he said.

“We are partnering with sports to develop emerging athletes and coaching pathways. We are at the forefront of innovation, including research into athlete health and performance. We are exploring new frontiers like artificial intelligence and data analysis.

“We naturally strive to win and we care about athletes. Our approach to athlete mental health, wellbeing and community engagement has been crucial, especially in terms of supporting athletes through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Minister Colbeck said the next decade is exciting for Australian sport.

“There is a lot to look forward to. Australia will host the women’s world cup of basketball and football, we’ve invested in a bid for the 2027 Rugby World Cup and, in the next two years, we are considering a bid for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The leadership of the AIS will continue to be pivotal.”

New Zealand Travel Arrangements

On 24 January 2021, the New Zealand Government announced a case of COVID-19 detected in the community. This morning, New Zealand authorities advised that the case detected is a variant of concern. The case and subsequent exposure to the community are still under investigation.

As a result, the Australian Government, based on advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), has suspended green zone travel arrangements with New Zealand for a minimum of 72 hours whilst more is learnt about the transmission. This change comes into effect immediately (as of 1400 AEDT, 25 January 2021).

The decision has been taken out of an abundance of caution to reduce the risk of this variant, which has been shown to spread more readily between individuals, entering the Australian community.

All green safe travel zone passengers from New Zealand currently en route to Australia, or with planned travel to Australia in the next 72 hours will be required to enter mandatory hotel quarantine for up to 14 days on arrival or take other action based on the requirements of the relevant State and Territory Governments.

It is recommended all passengers from New Zealand with a green safe travel zone flight scheduled in the next 72 hours, reconsider their need to travel.

The Federal Government has advised all State and Territory governments and the New Zealand Government of these changes.

Anyone who has arrived into Australia on a flight from New Zealand on or since January 14 is asked to isolate and arrange to get tested, and to remain in isolation until you have received a negative test.