Drug charges for man not complying with health act – Sydney CBD

A man has been charged with drug supply offences during proactive police patrols in Ultimo yesterday.

About 5pm (Wednesday 8 April 2020), officers attached to Sydney City Police Area Command spoke to a man on Macarthur Street.

The man was not able to give a reasonable excuse for being there, and upon searching the man, police allegedly located 65.2 grams of Methamphetamine, 12.9 grams of Ketamine and 8.4 grams of MDMA allegedly found inside his backpack.

The drugs have a potential estimated street value of more than $50,000.

Police also allege the man was in possession of drug manufacturing equipment, drug paraphernalia and over $4,000 cash.

The 40-year-old man was arrested and taken to Day Street Police Station.

He was charged with three counts of supply prohibited drug (indictable quantity), deal with the proceeds of crime, goods in personal custody suspected being stolen, possess house breaking implements, and fail to comply with a public health order.

The Camperdown man was refused bail to appear at Central Local Court today (Thursday 9 April 2020).

Four men infringed for breaching health order – Casula

Four men have been infringed for not complying with health act in Sydney’s south-west overnight.

About 3am (Thursday 9 April 2020), officers from Liverpool Police Area Command were called to Brigalow Avenue, Casula, following reports of suspicious activity.

A Nissan Skyline was found parked, occupied by four men.

When asked about their reason for being together and away from their residence, they were not able to provide a reasonable excuse.

During a subsequent search, officers allegedly located cocaine in the vehicle. It was seized and will undergo forensic examination.

The four men – two aged 21, a 19-year-old, and a 22-year-old – were each issued with a $1000 PIN.

Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

Strike Force Bast conduct inquiries on-board the Ruby Princess

Detectives have conducted inquiries on board the Ruby Princess as part of an ongoing investigation into the docking and disembarking of the vessel last month.

Earlier this week, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller announced the commencement of a criminal investigation into the communications, actions, and other circumstances that led to the docking and disembarking of the vessel at Sydney Harbour on Thursday 19 March 2020.

Specialist detectives are conducting the investigation under Strike Force Bast.

About 7pm yesterday (Wednesday 8 April 2020), strike force detectives boarded the vessel to conduct inquiries, which included speaking with crew members, as well as gathering and seizing the voyage data recorder (black box) and other items of interest to the investigation.

Anyone who has information relevant to the investigation, including details of symptoms, illness, or medical advice during the voyage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

The community is reminded that their information is treated in strict confidence.

Breakdown of latest Public Health Act charges and Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs)

Police have charged one man under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW) and issued eight COVID-19 related Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) since the last update.

Charges:

  • About 1pm (Wednesday 8 April 2020), officers attached to Inner West Police Area Command spoke to a 58-year-old man on King Street, Newtown in a current alcohol-free zone. He was allegedly consuming alcohol and speaking to another man. Further inquiries revealed the man had received a PIN for not complying with a noticed direction the day before (Tuesday 7 April 2020). He was issued with a second PIN for failing to comply with COVID-19 restrictions and directed to move on. Police returned to the location about 6.25pm and the 58-year-old was observed allegedly urinating in public. He was arrested and taken to Newtown Police Station and charged with fail to comply with section 7/8/9 under the Public Health Act, and offensive behaviour. He was granted conditional bail to appear at Newtown Local Court on Thursday 25 June 2020.

PINs include:

  • A woman has received a PIN after ignoring a warning issued to her 20 minutes earlier for gathering in a group of more than two. About 4.40pm(Thursday 9 April 2020), officers attached to Police Transport Command spoke to five people congregating on The Crescent, Fairfield. The group was given cautions for failing to comply with a ministerial direction and asked to move on. About 5pm, police approached another group of four people a short distance away. Among that group was an 18-year-old woman who had received a caution 20 minutes prior. Police issued her a PIN and directed that the group separate and return to their homes.
  • Just before 10pm (Thursday 9 April 2020), a motorcyclist was stopped by police on Oxford Street, Gateshead. Officers spoke with the 36-year-old man, who allegedly provided multiple conflicting reasons for not being home before stating he was on his way to help a friend fix a bike. The officers deemed his reasons for travel as non-essential and issued the man with a $1000 PIN.
  • About 10pm on Tuesday (7 April 2020), officers from South Coast Police District attempted to pull over a vehicle on Eucalyptus Avenue, Worrigee, when the car stopped in a driveway and the 35-year-old male driver attempted to flee. He was stopped and spoken to along with his 26-year-old female passenger. Checks of the man’s licence revealed he was disqualified from driving until March 2021. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, police located suspected prohibited drugs and drug paraphernalia, which was seized for further examination. The man was given a court attendance notice for drive while disqualified and both he and his female passenger received $1000 PINs for failing to comply with the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW).
  • At 10.50pm on Tuesday (7 April 2020), officers from South Coast Police District were conducting a proactive patrol at Sanctuary Point when they observed a 20-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy approaching a home on Idlewild Avenue. After officers spoke with the pair and advised them they were in breach of a ministerial direction, the man ran away. During a subsequent search of the teen, police allegedly located and seized MDMA. While this was occurring, the man returned to the street and refused to go home. The teen was taken home and dealt with under the Young Offenders Act, while the man was issued with $1000 PIN.
  • Two teenagers have been issued PINs following an investigation into an alleged negligent driving incident in the state’s central west. About midnight on Saturday (4 April 2020), a Holden Commodore came to rest near flood waters on the Kidman Highway, Cobar. The driver waved down a Toyota Hilux for assistance; however, the driver of the Hilux allegedly circled around the Commodore several times, flooding it with more water. Later that morning, police found the Hilux bogged in mud off Bourke Road, Cobar, with five people inside. Two of the occupants ran, and officers from Central North Police District spoke with three remaining teenagers. A 16-year-old girl was returned to her Cobar home and issued with a formal warning for failing to comply with a ministerial direction. Two 17-year-old boys were taken to Cobar Police Station, where the driver was issued with penalty infringement notices for negligent driving, P1 driver under 25-years drive between 11pm & 5am with passenger under 21-years, and fail to comply with noticed direction section 7/8/9 under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW). His passenger was also given a $1000 PIN for his failure to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

Since 17 March 2020, police have issued 12 Court Attendance Notices, and 151 PINs for breaches of the Public Health Act.

Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

Greens to move to protect arts, entertainment and event industry in Senate

With workers in the arts, entertainment and event industry largely left out of the JobKeeper program despite being one of the hardest hit by the Coronavirus crisis, the Greens will move an amendment to the legislation when it comes before the Senate today to plug these gaps and call for a tailored package for the sector.

“Australia’s arts, creative and entertainment sector has been smashed by COVID-19, with events cancelled, productions closed and projects shut down,” Greens Spokesperson for the Arts and Tourism Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“The Government and Opposition should back the Greens amendment to ensure today’s $130 billion package does not exclude these crucial workers and Australian businesses.

“Leaving our arts and entrainment industry workers out in the cold is not good enough and will have long-term ramifications for Australia’s cultural fabric and international relations and exports.

“The Federal Government has shown a complete lack of understanding about work structures in the arts, entertainment and events industries, which is now to the detriment of hundreds of thousands of workers. Many workers have already lost their entire year’s income with projects shut down.

“The Greens, and industry groups, the union and artists, freelancers and crews have tried to explain the many ways businesses and workers in the sector are excluded by the arbitrary rules in the JobKeeper Program but the government still hasn’t budged.

“It is the nature of the arts, entertainment and events industry and the hospitality and tourism industries that workers are often transient and engaged on short-term contracts, from production to production, festival to festival.

“Even workers on some of Australia’s longest running and most loved TV shows like Neighbours and Wentworth are unable to receive the JobKeeper payment, highlighting that the intent of the Program to keep workers connected with their employers is not being achieved.

“It is unfair to penalise people who work very hard and contribute so much to our economy simply because of their work structure, and this huge flaw should be fixed today.

“The Greens amendment also calls for a tailored package for the arts, entertainment and creatives industry to provide adequate support immediately and to assist recovery after the crisis.

“The Australia Council Four Year Funding for Organisations announcement last week was another big blow for our arts sector at a time when they are already suffering. The funding the Government has cut to Australia Council over many years should be restored and increased to expand access for individuals and organisations to access grants, which will be crucial for recovery of this $112billion sector.

“The Greens are also calling for the establishment of a Content Creator Fund to set aside a grant fund of $50 million each year for the production of local content. This fund will support high quality local content, our creative industry and, importantly, allow Australians to keep telling their own stories. This goes hand-in-hand with the call for local content requirements for broadcast, radio, subscription and streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Stan, Apple and Spotify to finally level the playing field.

“The Morrison Government has neglected the arts, entertainment and creative industry for far too long and these support initiatives were needed long before Coronavirus hit, but now they are more important than ever or there might not be an industry left on the other side of this crisis.”

 

The amendment in the name of Senator Hanson-Young

But the Senate is of the opinion that:

1. The arts, entertainment, creative and events industries, and hospitality and tourism industries have been severely hit by this crisis and are not getting adequate support from this Package, and the Senate calls on the Treasurer to ensure the following categories of businesses and workers are able to access the JobKeeper Program:

a) Casual workers who have not been with the same employer for 12 months;

b) Freelance performers, content creators, and crew who are engaged as direct employees on short-term contracts on a project by project basis but are not registered as a business;

c) Businesses that do not have a consistent stream of linear revenue across the year, such as those working on screen and stage productions, festivals and events, and therefore the revenue test is not applicable and should instead be for a comparable period not month;

d) Entities that are established as dedicated Special Purpose Vehicles which is common in the arts, entertainment and events sectors for individual projects, and are unlikely to meet the various tests and requirements therefore excluding many workers.

2. The arts, entertainment and creatives industry needs a tailored package to provide adequate support immediately and to assist recovery after the crisis, and this should include:

a) restoring and increasing Australia Council funding to expand access for individuals and organisations to access grants;

b) establish a Content Creator Fund to set aside a grant fund of $50 million each year for the production of local content. This fund will support high quality local content, our creative industry and, importantly, allow Australians to keep telling their own stories;

c) local content requirements for broadcast, radio, subscription and streaming services, like Netflix, Amazon, Stan, Apple and Spotify.

Greens to back international students in the Senate

Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Education spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi said the Greens would back 565,000 international students by today introducing amendments to make temporary visa holders eligible for the JobKeeper scheme.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Over the last two weeks, I have received hundreds of messages from international students who have lost their jobs and now face an incredibly uncertain future.

“The government has refused to listen to the thousands of international students who have been forced into poverty by this crisis, many of whom are now struggling to pay for food and rent.

“The Greens will move for temporary visa holders including international students to be made eligible for the JobKeeper wage subsidy today. We call on the Opposition and crossbench members to support this effort to ensure international students are not left destitute.

“We also continue to call for international student access to income support, including the Coronavirus Supplement, and Rent Assistance.

“Platitudes by the government are not going to help international students at this time of need. They need concrete help and financial support to get through this crisis.

“Many international students can no longer rely on family support from their home country, as the pandemic has shut down entire economies and ways of earning a living.

“In other countries like New Zealand and Canada, we’ve seen governments step up to support overseas students during the pandemic. There is no reason why Australia cannot do the same.

“For many years, Australia has benefited enormously from our international student population. Now, as they face an increasingly desperate situation, we must ensure they are supported and taken care of,” she said.

Government Must Extract Housing From The Too-Hard Basket

Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Housing spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has said that the National Cabinet has manifestly failed to provide any leadership or direction on national housing policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Housing must be put back on the agenda for a national response.

Senator Faruqi said:

“After weeks of promising more information and direction, the National Cabinet has completely dropped the ball on housing. It must be put back on the agenda and dealt with urgently.

“It smacks of gross incompetence to put housing in the too-hard basket by dismissing it as a state or territory issue. Our response to COVID-19 requires a coordinated national effort.

“It’s revealing that while the National Cabinet has acted so quickly on commercial tenancies, vulnerable people who rent their homes have no clarity on whether their landlord will be allowed to increase their rent next month or evict them as soon as the pandemic is over.

“I urge the National Cabinet to support rental and mortgage holidays, an increase to rent assistance, and boost funding for crisis housing.

“Unemployment is increasing dramatically and the Coronavirus Supplement and JobKeeper payments are not due to land in bank accounts for weeks. People urgently need clarity and the assurance that they will have their home to live in during these trying times,” she said.

$130 Billion Jobkeeper Payment Passes The Parliament

Today marked one of the most important days in the Parliament’s history with the passage of legislation to support the Morrison Government’s $130 billion JobKeeper Payment.

This unprecedented level of financial support will save millions of jobs and keep families together, businesses in business and preserve the productive capacity of the Australian economy.

The $1,500 per fortnight JobKeeper payment is the equivalent of about 70 per cent of the median wage and represents about 100 per cent of the median wage in some of the most heavily affected sectors, such as retail, hospitality and tourism.

It will be available to full-time and part-time workers, sole traders and casuals who have been with their employer for 12 months or more. Importantly, it will apply to the many Australians working in the not for profit sector.

Combined with the Government’s previous actions, this totals $320 billion or 16.4 per cent of GDP in economic support to Australian businesses, households and individuals affected by the Coronavirus puts Australia in the best possible position to bounce back stronger than ever.

Eligible businesses can apply for the payment online and are able to register their interest via ato.gov.au

AAA Credit Rating Reaffirmed By S&P

Australia’s AAA credit rating has been reaffirmed by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) in an expression of confidence in the Morrison Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and our record of prudent economic and fiscal management.

In its report, S&P notes that Australia’s “strong fiscal performance remains a credit strength” and that “while fiscal stimulus measures will soften the blow presented by the COVID-19 outbreak and weigh heavily on public finances in the immediate future, they won’t structurally weaken Australia’s fiscal position. This expected improvement is a key supporting factor of our ‘AAA’ rating.”

Today’s report confirms Australia as one of only 10 countries which has a AAA credit rating with all three major ratings agencies.

However S&P also recognised that “the COVID-19 outbreak has dealt Australia a severe economic and fiscal shock” and has put our AAA rating on a negative outlook which is defined as a one third probability of a downgrade over the next two years.

The Morrison Government has taken decisive action to protect Australians and the economy from the effects of the coronavirus, with Government support for the economy totalling $320 billion or 16.4 per cent of GDP.

This unprecedented level of support reflects the unprecedented moment that we find ourselves in.

S&P’s action today, in reaffirming our AAA rating, is a reminder of the importance of maintaining our commitment to medium term fiscal sustainability.

Our disciplined economic and budget management, which saw the Federal Budget return to balance for the first time in 11 years, meant the Budget as noted by S&P “was on track to achieve a surplus in fiscal 2021 before the COVID-19 outbreak”.

Our measures are temporary, targeted and proportionate to the challenge we face and will ensure Australia bounces back stronger on the other side, without undermining the structural integrity of the Budget which Australians have worked so hard to restore.

Securing the Essentials for Remote Communities

Ensuring a reliable supply of essential goods, groceries, pharmaceuticals and other critical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic is a high priority for the Australian Government.

The Australian Government is working in close collaboration with states and territories under the National Cabinet mechanism to coordinate responses in a range of sectors. Groceries and food security is one of the priority groups under this mechanism.

Today I will host a roundtable discussion with Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, the Hon Michael Gunner and representatives from the Arnhem Land Progress Association (ALPA), Islanders Board of Industry and Service (IBIS), Outback Stores, Coles, Woolworths and Metcash. This is part of my ongoing engagement with Ministers from all jurisdictions.

To support this work, the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) – has established a dedicated Food Security Working Group that is closely monitoring specific issues that are particular to regional and remote Australia.

Delivery of food and essential supplies is an exempt category from the travel restrictions to remote areas and so will continue as normal.

People can move within designated biosecurity areas, but if they leave and want to come back, they will need to isolate themselves for 14 days.

Travelling to other towns and cities could increase the chance of you and your family getting sick and so we are encouraging people to remain in their community.

The safest place for you and your family is in your own community.

There is no need for people in remote communities to stock-up or hoard supplies and we need the community’s help to resist the panic buying we’ve seen in urban areas.

I am aware of some community stores not receiving their full order and a limited number of stores having stock issues. This is something that all Australians are experiencing to some extent.

People can expect some pressure on stock levels for a couple of weeks, but we are doing everything we can to resolve those issues as they develop.

Communities can help:

  • We need community support to make sure we don’t run out of supplies.
  • Please don’t panic buy or stock up on groceries more than normal.
  • Deliveries will continue and there will be enough groceries for everyone if we each only buy what we need.