Resource Recovery Centre diverts over 3,100 tonnes of waste in first year

In the first year of operation the Resource Recovery Centre (RRC) at Summerhill Waste Management Centre has recycled the weight equivalent of 74 semi-trailers of waste destined for landfill, whilst generating income for the City.

Opened in September 2019, the $6 million RRC provides over 2,000 square metres of undercover sorting area.

The site enables staff to sort recoverable items such as metals, cardboard, soft plastics, clean wood and electrical goods from loads of mixed waste, where previously this material would have been disposed of directly to landfill.

Prior to construction of the RRC, the Small Vehicle Recovery Centre was only able to accept 10-12,000 tonnes of waste per annum, due to size and equipment restrictions, and only 3% of this was able to be recycled.

Since commencing operations, City of Newcastle has recovered and diverted 3,100 tonnes of recyclables from landfill, which is a substantial increase to 16% materials recycled.

So far, this initiative has saved over $450,000 in waste levy fees to the Environment Protection Authority by recovering items for recycling, rather than disposal to landfill and has generated in excess of $250,000 income from sale of those resources.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said there has been a significant financial benefit for the City.

“The Resource Recovery Centre is a real win for ratepayers. The initial build was partly funded by the NSW Government and the fully operational facility now pays for itself, with the savings from waste levy fees and revenue from the sale of goods outweighing the operational costs to run the facility.

“It’s an ongoing investment for the City of Newcastle. As the City develops is strategic vision for Summerhill, the model for this facility represents a blueprint for future facilities to be developed on the site focusing on diverting additional waste from landfill.”

Manager Waste Services Troy Uren said the venture benefits both the environment and the community.

“Not only are we keeping recyclable material out of landfill, the City is contributing to a circular economy by selling waste materials to be repurposed and delivering positive economic, environmental and social outcomes for the Newcastle community.

“Newcastle residents have embraced the RRC, where they can bring sorted materials for free to be recycled. Scrap metal, cardboard, soft plastic and e-waste can all be dropped off at no cost, as well as problem household waste such as paint, gas bottles and batteries.

“We’re continuing our commitment to the environment by constructing an organics recycling facility, due to start processing our garden waste on site in 2022, with an aim to incorporate food waste by 2026 and divert 900,000 tonnes of food and green waste from landfill over 25 years.”

Missing teens located – Lake Macquarie

Two teens reported missing from the Lake Macquarie area have been located safe and well.

Officers attached to Lake Macquarie Police District commenced inquiries into the whereabouts of the teenagers, both aged 14, after they were reported missing last week.

Following extensive inquiries, the 14-year-old missing from Charlestown was located in Berowra yesterday (Saturday 19 September 2020) and the second teenager, missing from Whitebridge, was located in Belmont early this morning (Sunday 20 September 2020).

The two incidents were not related.

Police wish to thank members of the public and the media.

Woman charged after alleged assault – Port Macquarie

A woman will face court today charged over an alleged aggravated assault on the mid north coast on Friday.

About 11.30am (Friday 18 September 2020), police were told a 28-year-old woman attended a home on Bangoran Place, Port Macquarie, and allegedly pushed a 42-year-old woman against a wall.

The older woman was also allegedly asked to hand over her phone and threatened with a knife, causing a small laceration to her neck.

Her dress was then torn off her body before the younger woman left empty handed and police were alerted.

Officers attached to Mid North Coast Police District attended and commenced an investigation into the incident.

Following inquiries, about 3.40pm yesterday (Saturday 19 September 2020), police arrested the 28-year-old woman on Braemer Drive, Port Macquarie.

She was taken to Port Macquarie Police Station and charged with aggravated assault with intent to rob.

She was refused bail to appear in Port Macquarie Local Court today (Sunday 20 September 2020).

Inquiries continue.

Re-appeal after fatal collision between truck and cyclist – Newcastle

Police are re-appealing for information after the death of a cyclist in a collision with a truck in Newcastle last year.

About 9.20am on Wednesday 20 March 2019, emergency services were called to the intersection of King and Perkins streets, Newcastle East, after a cyclist and a truck collided.

Police were told the truck was turning left from King Street into Perkins Street, when the collision occurred.

The cyclist, a 56-year-old woman, was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics; however, she died at the scene.

The truck driver was uninjured and taken to the Mater Hospital for mandatory testing.

Officers from Newcastle City Police District attended and commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash

As inquiries continue, investigators would like to speak to witnesses who have not yet spoken to police. In particular, a female pedestrian who was crossing the King Street pedestrian crossing immediately prior to the collision to contact Police.

Police are also appealing for anyone who may have seen the cyclist or truck prior to the collision, witnessed the collision or has dash cam footage, to contact Newcastle Police on (02) 4929 0999.

Concerns held for teen missing from Charlestown

Police are appealing for the public’s help to find a teenage boy who has been missing from his Lake Macquarie home since Tuesday.

14-year-old Cooper Hazlewood was noticed missing about 1.00pm on Tuesday 15 September 2020.

Officers from Lake Macquarie Police District and Cooper’s family have concerns for his welfare as this behaviour is considered out of character.

Cooper is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 140-145cm tall, thin build, light brown hair and green eyes.

Cooper is known as a user of the bus network in the Lake Macquarie area and is known to frequent the shops at Whitebridge and Hudson Park in Kotara.

Police are appealing for anyone with information about Cooper’s whereabouts, or who may have seen him since Tuesday, to contact Lake Macquarie Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

Appeal to locate missing teen – Lake Macquarie

Police are appealing for public assistance to find a teenage boy missing from the Lake Macquarie area.

Chase Scorey, aged 14, was last seen leaving a home on Buller Street, Charlestown, just after 8.15am today (Friday 18 September 2020).

When he failed to return home, officers from Lake Macquarie Police District were notified and have commenced inquiries to locate him.

Police and family have concerns for Chase’s welfare due to his age.

Chase is described as being Caucasian appearance, about 170cm tall, of thin build and with brown hair.

He was last seen wearing a dark coloured hooded jumper with a thick grey stripe across the chest and arms, and blue dual tone boardshorts. He is believed to be wearing a grey helmet while riding a black mountain bike and carrying a grey and white backpack.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

$630,000 boost for Newcastle Museum and Art Gallery

Local stories will take centre stage at Newcastle Museum thanks to a multiyear funding allocation from the NSW Government that will allow it to expand its program of self-curated exhibitions.

The museum will receive $135,000 each year for three years under the Create NSW Local Government Authorities (LGA) Arts and Cultural Programs funding, after being recognised by the assessment panel for its excellence in programming and strategy.

Newcastle Art Gallery has also received a welcome boost from the NSW Government after being granted $75,000 a year for three years in recognition of the Gallery’s ambitious programming and development of major exhibitions.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes welcomed the funding from the NSW Government and said it was testament to the quality of exhibitions, collections and programming produced by both the Museum and Art Gallery.

“Newcastle Museum and Newcastle Art Gallery are vibrant, award-winning cultural attractions, which play an important role in interpreting and preserving our city’s fascinating history and providing a time capsule of Australian art dating back to the earliest days of Newcastle,” Cr Nelmes said.

“Their respective collections and exhibitions also add to the rich diversity of experiences that help attract visitors to our city.”

Newcastle Museum Director Julie Baird said the grant will allow them to undertake several new self-curated exhibitions, while also delivering programming under the three yearly themes of Seeing Differently, Neighbours and Fluidity.

“Our vast collection, which includes more than 12,500 objects and stories, allows visitors to gain a sense of Newcastle’s unique identity by exploring the city’s past, present and future, while our exciting annual program of self-curated and touring exhibitions are on the cutting edge of contemporary museum practice,” Ms Baird said.

“The Museum and History Artform Advisory Board, which assessed our funding application, supports projects based on the program’s vision, quality and engagement with the community and I’m proud to say that Newcastle Museum was the only local government museum to receive the full three years of funding.

“This grant will allow Newcastle Museum to undertake some new, free-of-charge self-curated exhibitions such as 1X4, an innovative social history exhibition, designed to tour through regional NSW, that challenges visitors to see things through different perspectives.”

Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton said the funding will allow the Gallery to host an ambitious mix of exhibitions and events engaging local, national and international artists and practitioners.

“The three-year funding commitment recognises the Gallery’s continuing commitment to developing and delivering nationally significant exhibitions, events and programs for our city and community,” Ms Morton said.

“It also reflects our continued commitment to local and indigenous artists, including our landmark exhibition WARWAR: The Art of Torres Strait, which showcases the evolution and strength of Torres Strait Islander tradition and society through arts practitioners from the 19th Century through to today.

“The Visual Arts Advisory Board receives the highest amount of applications across the Arts Minister’s 10 Arts Advisory Boards. As first-time applicants in an extremely competitive field, the Gallery has not only been successful in securing multiyear funding, but also achieved an increase in annual funding compared to previous years.”

New Emergency Operations Centre opened ahead of bushfire season

City of Newcastle has unveiled its new local emergency operations centre (LEOC) to representatives from Police, State Emergency Services and Fire and Rescue ahead of the official start of bushfire season on 1 October.

The new LEOC at the City Administration Centre, 12 Stewart Avenue, replaces the 30-year-old facility at Tighes Hill, which no longer complies with modern standards, nor is it compatible with partnering emergency services’ technologies. This meant a temporary response centre had to be established at Newcastle Library during the 2019 catastrophic bush fire event.

The LEOC’s technology and flexible design allow emergency services, including Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Police, Ambulance NSW and the NSW SES, to join with City of Newcastle and other agencies to coordinate responses to a range of incidents and natural disasters.

LEOC-1.jpgLord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes (centre) and Emergency Management Coordinator Leanne Bell (right) with emergency services personnel in the new Local Emergency Operations Centre.

Features include multiple 85 and 65-inch screens with live-stream capabilities; a 16-seat conferencing facility with wireless presentation and TV connectivity for news coverage, weather and traffic updates; 32-seat room and the ability to create breakaway spaces; as well as a commercial kitchen capable of providing meals in the event of a city-wide blackout.

The co-location of the LEOC on the sixth floor of the City Administration Centre ensures this comprehensive range of amenities and support facilities are readily available in a central location with access to backup power on site via two diesel-powered generators.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the new LEOC would allow emergency services improved connectivity, efficiency and personal comfort, which could prove crucial in a major incident.

“The way in which we respond to emergencies has significantly evolved with advancements in technology,” the Lord Mayor said.

“This new state-of-the-art facility launches our emergency response operations into the 21st Century, providing the best possible facilities and resources to support our emergency agencies on the ground assisting the community in times of disaster when they are counting on us to respond swiftly and efficiently.”

City of Newcastle is required to provide a Local Emergency Operations Control facility under the State Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989.

More than 250 cannabis plants seized; man charged – Singleton

A man has been charged after more than 250 cannabis plants were seized from a home at Singleton.

In recent months, officers from Hunter Valley Police District have been investigating the alleged cultivation of cannabis in the region.

Following inquiries, just before 5.30pm yesterday (Wednesday 16 September 2020), police executed a search warrant at a home on Dimmock Street at Hunterview.

During the search police located an alleged sophisticated hydroponic cannabis set-up, consisting of 258 cannabis plants.

Police remain at the property today (Thursday 17 September 2020) where they are processing and dismantling the set-up.

A 28-year-old man was arrested at the home and taken to Singleton Police Station where he was charged with:

– Knowingly take part- cultivate (large commercial quantity cannabis);

– Cultivate prohibited plant;

– Alter or add to electricity installation for metering; and

– Enhanced indoor cultivation plant for commercial purpose.

The Vietnamese National was bail refused to appear at Singleton Local Court today (Thursday 17 September 2020).

Movies on the big screen set to return to Newcastle CBD following closure of Tower Cinemas

The magic of cinema is set to return to the city centre with the Civic Theatre installing a 7.5-metre-wide movie screen in the iconic main auditorium.

Under two years since the closure of the Tower Cinemas on King Street, the return of films will re-activate the CBD, which has experienced major disruption due to COVID-19.


The new 7.5 metre x 4.4 metre screen combined with the Civic Theatre’s state of the art sound system and individually air-conditioned seats, will provide a cinematic experience like no other in the region.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said cinema and theatre have a long history in Newcastle’s CBD and City of Newcastle is pleased to offer both live performance and recent release cinema for the enjoyment of the community.

“After a period where COVID-19 has had such a devastating impact, it’s wonderful that through adding regular film screenings to our Civic Theatre program, we can take this positive step in our city’s journey towards recovery, and provide a boost to surrounding local businesses by attracting more people into the Civic precinct.”

The Civic Theatre opened in 1929, and although designed as a live theatre, it was leased as a cinema for the next 45 years.

Civic Theatre Manager Leonie Wallace said locals are thrilled to experience something contemporary but screened in a venue with such historical links.

“We trialled bringing film back to the Civic Theatre in January with a season screening of a selection of the most acclaimed productions from London’s National Theatre at the Civic Playhouse. It was so popular that film screenings in the Civic Theatre was the next obvious step,” Ms Wallace said.

“Our new program features a variety of films that appeal to people of all ages and tastes, such as recent release features, documentaries, theatre productions and children’s films during the school holidays.

“We’re also working on securing shows to return to the Civic Theatre stage with the venue’s audience capacity lifted to 500 people from next month, the maximum number allowed under the current Public Health Order.

“We have made changes to how the Civic Theatre operates to enable people to experience cinema and live performance safely with physical distancing requirements and hygiene measures met under our COVID Safe plan.”

The Civic Cinema initiative is part of the Civic’s Beyond the Stage program of cultural offerings outside of the traditional uses of the Civic Theatre and City Hall. So far, this has included the Civic Bar Beats – Friday evenings of live local music in our Theatre Bar, and lunchtime concerts at City Hall.

Tickets for Civic Cinema are now on sale through the Civic Theatre website.