Matildas role models emblazoned across city

The City of Newcastle and McDonald Jones Stadium have teamed up to promote the Matildas national women’s soccer team across the city ahead of their match with Chile next month.

Twelve banners bearing images of the players were unveiled today by Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Emily van Egmond, the team’s Newcastle-raised vice-captain, to help raise the profiles of our national stars and promote the 13 November fixture.

Inside-1.jpgEmily van Egmond and the Lord Mayor with the flag bearing Emily’s image.

Images of the footballers, who at seventh in the world rankings fare much better than our men’s national team, will be emblazoned across city on the 1.2m x 50cm banners or flags.

“From today action shots of them will fly in prime positions along Turton Rd at the entrance to McDonald Jones Stadium, Merewether St next to the City’s Newcastle Museum and in Break Block Park at Honeysuckle until just after the match,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“These banners will serve as a beacon to young local girls that they too can make the big time and is yet another example of how Newcastle is getting behind women’s sport.

“I’m thrilled to welcome the Matildas back to Australia’s hottest sporting city because Novocastrians are still talking about last year’s win against Brazil when Sam Kerr celebrated a goal with a back-flip.

Natalie-Van-Egmond.JPG“Newcastle is now hailed for hosting both national and international sporting events including the Asian Cup Football tournament, The Newcastle 500 Supercars, and most recently the A-League Grand Final, plus rugby and rugby league Test Matches.”

Newcastle was selected by Football Federation Australia after a bid put together by Venues NSW with financial support from City.

“Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said the Matildas are one of our greatest success stories in terms of record-breaking home game crowds and international achievements.

“Novocastrians love their sport and no team is more inspirational than the mighty Matildas,” Mr Ayres said.

“These fantastic banners will serve as a beacon to young local girls that they too can make the big time and is yet another example of how Newcastle is getting behind women’s sport.”

The night time Test will be the second of a two-match series, following the first in Penrith on Saturday 10 November.

After wowing Novocastrian football fans with a 3-2 win over Brazil almost 12 months ago, the Westfield Matildas will take on their sister World Cup qualifiers from South America on Tuesday 13 November.

Sam Kerr, the most popular current footballer among Aussie fans, including players of both sexes from the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-league, will return with the team.

Matildas-5.JPGThe two-time Football Media Association International Player of the Year and 2018 Young Australian of the Year bagged a brace and set up a third goal in the comeback win over Brazil in September 2017 to clean sweep the two-match series.

Hunter residents will also get to see Newcastle-raised van Egmond turn out in the midfield.

Van Egmond’s father, Gary, a former Socceroo and Jets coach, is the team’s assistant coach

City of Newcastle actively promotes Women’s Sport and is a proud sponsoring partner of the Newcastle Jets Westfield W-League team

Newcastle: Let me entertain you

A Supercars drivers’ signing session with a cruise down Beaumont Street, an early Christmas on Darby Street and Disney the Pixar Cars Truck Tour in Civic Park will spread the excitement of this year’s Newcastle 500.

Residents are invited to enjoy four days of festivities across the inner city as Newcastle again proudly hosts its biggest event of the year, the Supercars Newcastle 500 series finale.


Seven exciting activities have been planned across six locations as part of the “Entertain Newcastle” festival.

The festival aims to stretch the high-octane atmosphere beyond the race precinct, activating Cooks Hill, Hamilton, Hunter Street Mall and Civic Park.

Entertain Newcastle is for all residents and visitors to the city, not just race-goers, and will appeal to foodies, families, and funsters.

The festival starts Thursday 22 November with all 26 Supercars drivers visiting Hamilton and continues to Sunday 25 November with a family fun zone featuring Disney Pixar Cars Mack The Transporter in Civic Park.

“I want everyone to come into the city to be part of these great events and enjoy the atmosphere as we proudly host tens of thousands of visitors to our region,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We want everyone to share in the fun of the event through these activations and for businesses across the city to benefit from the Newcastle 500.

“Last year’s event served as an unprecedented advertisement for the city and this year’s will showcase a newly revitalised city centre.”

LM-with-UON-robotics-staff-inside.jpgThe Lord Mayor with Alexander Biddulph (L) and Taylor Young from UON’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computing.

Executive Manager Newcastle Now Richard Christian said the business association was excited to be partnering with the City to make the most of the world-class event.

“We are pleased that this year we’ll have a number of exciting events that will encourage Novocastrians and visitors to eat, shop, and explore their city,” he said.

Hamilton Chamber President Nathan Errington said the business community was thrilled to host the Hamilton Supercars Start-Up.

“Last year, many visitors to the city enjoyed the convenience and diversity on offer at Hamilton,” he said.  “We are now thrilled to offer our suburb as a place to get the event started.”

The line-up for the Entertain Newcastle festival includes:

Thursday 22 November 2018 

Hamilton Super Start-Up

From 4.30pm: Head to Gregson Park, Hamilton to take part in a signing session with your favourite Newcastle 500 Supercars drivers, then watch them cruise down Beaumont Street and enjoy everything this eat street has to offer.

Friday 23 November 2018 – Darby Street Turns It On

From 5pm: Embrace the festive season when the Christmas lights come on early and enjoy a night of live music, great food and late night trading.

Saturday 24 November 2018 – Newcastle 500 Concert

International megastars Simple Minds headline alongside Australian rock legends Birds of Tokyo at No 1 Sportsground.  Make the easy 2km walk through the City to eat, drink, and enjoy everything Newcastle has to offer before finishing off your night with some amazing live entertainment.

Sunday 25 November 2018 – Super Sunday Session

Finish off a big the weekend in Newcastle’s City East pubs and restaurants with a range of Sunday Session Super deals.

Additional events Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 

Newy Super Breakfast

From 7.00am: fuel up each day with a delicious breakfast prepared by local cafes in Market and Hunter Streets.

Newcastle Innovation Showcase

From 8am: check out the latest electric vehicles, prototype race cars, a race simulator, and a dynamic game of robotic soccer.  See an Augmented Reality art exhibition and don’t miss the chance to learn more about what City of Newcastle’s Smart City team are doing to help create a smarter and more innovative Newcastle. On Saturday, there will be Sprung Stilt walking and juggling from 10.00am to 1.00pm.

Newcastle Now Family Fun Zone

From 8am – 4pm: Fun is centre stage at Civic Park as the Disney Pixar Cars Truck Tour rolls in. Strike a victory pose on the Champions podium.

National apology to screen at City Hall

The City of Newcastle will screen the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse on Monday week and invites the public to attend this significant event for our nation.

The apology by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, in the House of Representatives will be screened in the Banquet Room of City Hall at 11am on Monday 22 October.

The sombre event will acknowledge and apologise for the appalling abuse endured by vulnerable children, by the very people that were supposed to care for them, leaving immeasurable and lasting damage.

“City of Newcastle recognises the significance of this National Apology and will screen the Prime Minister’s address at City Hall,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“The National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse will mark an important milestone in addressing an abhorrent chapter in our nation’s history.

“Importantly, the National Apology will recognise the bravery of those who survived child sexual abuse, and those who fought to expose it.”

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said the local screening of the National Apology was a specific request from survivors who took part in face-to-face Apology consultations in Newcastle.

“Survivors in Newcastle made it clear they wanted the option to attend a local Apology event where they could be in a supportive environment with friends and family,” Ms Claydon.

“The National Apology will provide an historic opportunity for the Parliament of Australia to acknowledge the wrongs of the past, and, on behalf of the nation, say sorry.”

The National Apology Information Line – 1800 604 604 – enables survivors and their supporters to seek further information about all aspects of the Apology and the arrangements for its delivery.

Members of the public are invited to attend the screening in the Banquet Room of City Hall from 10.30am on Monday 22 October. Entry is from Christie Street.

City proud to play host to Newcastle 500 gig

The City of Newcastle has welcomed the announcement of Simple Minds as the headline act for the Newcastle 500 concert.

The Glasgow rockers responsible for hits like Don’t You (forget about me) and Alive and Kicking will be joined by Australian rock legends Birds of Tokyo at the Saturday night 24 November gig.

This year’s event will be staged at No.1 Sportsground, offering local businesses a chance to capitalise on throngs of people.

“We’re excited that this year’s Newcastle 500 concert will be held at our premiere regional-level sporting facility,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“With many concert goers making their way from the Supercars precinct to No.1, there’s a real opportunity for businesses along the route to benefit.

“Activating the city over the Newcastle 500 event weekend is a priority, and having the concert located at No.1 will promote dining and shopping in Cooks Hill and at Marketown.

“As a city with a growing reputation for hosting major events, this concert location provides us with an opportunity to showcase another beautiful part of our city to visitors and locals alike.”

The Saturday night concert is free with any same day event ticket.

Beresfield local centre reaches first milestone

A large-scale renewal project to support the Beresfield community by revitalising the local centre has reached the half-way point.

The work requires the complete reconstruction of infrastructure above and below ground, with a large component of the work on utilities beneath the surface now complete.

The Lord Mayor met with local businesses and City of Newcastle works crew to mark the milestone last week.

Bero-crew-inside.jpgThe Lord Mayor with the City of Newcastle crew delivering the Beresfield local centre project.

“The majority of businesses have been great to work with, understand the time frames required for this work and have been very supportive of the project and our work crews, who began in March and are expected to be finished in March 2019,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The project has now reached the half-way point and remains on schedule. It’s wonderful to see our suburban renewal project at Beresfield taking shape – we have had very positive feedback on the City’s works crews from the local community and businesses.

“Our construction manager and the civil construction team work tirelessly to accommodate the needs of residents and business owners and have formed great relationships with many locals who regularly stop by for an update.”

James-Henry-real-estatse-staff-and-LM-inside.jpgStaff from James Henry Real Estate with the Lord Mayor.

A project page on our website contains current information about the project and upcoming works –

The fly-through video in the above link shows the future streets of Beresfield, including smart lighting and Wi-Fi as the first of City Of Newcastle’s local centre upgrades takes shape.

Businesses and residents can take a virtual trip along the streets to see how they’ll look after completion of the $2.4million project.

The video showcases changes to Addison Street, Lawson Avenue and Beresford Avenue.

“It’s exciting to see this virtual view of how Beresfield local centre will look when this significant project is completed,” added the Lord Mayor.

“You immediately notice the smart poles, which will provide smart lighting and access to Wi-Fi, making Beresfield the first local centre in Newcastle to have smart poles installed.

“You also can clearly see the renewed road surface, wider pedestrian pathways, more public spaces in Beresford Ave, and new street trees, seating, bike racks and bins, with many of these above-ground upgrades being delivered right now.”

Befor the revitalisation project began, a public domain plan was developed involving community consultation to identify issues and possible solutions to ensure the community’s priorities were addressed.

The renewal project includes:

  • A 40km/hr zone and pedestrian friendly street design
  • Road and pedestrian lighting upgrade
  • Lighting to the railway station
  • Drainage renewal
  • Water sensitive urban design with a rain garden
  • New site appropriate street trees
  • New public space in Beresford Avenue
  • New seating, bike racks and bins
  • New kerb, gutter and footpath
  • Renewed road pavement
  • Retention of on street parking
  • Free WiFi.

City registers new record for building approvals

Another record year has been registered on Newcastle’s development front with the total value of building approvals topping $1.2 billion.

City of Newcastle (CN) approved $1.02 billion in development applications in the 12 months to July this year, with another $94.8 million in complying development certificates* issued by both CN and private certifiers.

Projects worth another $98 million, including two mixed-use Honeysuckle developments, were approved by the State Government to see the yearly total top $1.2 billion.

“The results for the 2017/18 financial year are a fantastic outcome with Newcastle continuing to attract strong development and investment activity,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“Our enduring building boom is clear to see on the CBD’s skyline as clouds gather elsewhere around the country, while other indicators and new efficiencies we’re introducing point towards a sustained period of growth.

“Following a successful trial of development applications by email, we hope to make this a permanent convenience for builders and developers in the very near future.”

Other projects in the local pipeline, such as the Store’s transformation into mixed-use towers, promise to keep the annual total buoyant despite a national downturn in the residential market.

Amid sustained strong development locally, the City continues to balance infrastructure renewal with revitalisation projects to meet the higher service expectations that accompany the growth.

The 2018/19 budget features a record $100 million civil works program focused on addressing the city’s infrastructure backlog but also supports the clear strategy to create a smart, liveable and sustainable global city.

“Our budget includes a works program for 2018/19 that strikes a balance between essential asset renewal and new and upgraded services to the community,” the Lord Mayor added.

“It includes more than $23.5 million on roads and footpaths, $13 million to renew buildings, structures and places and $8.2 million to implement our Smart City Strategy.”

* Complying development is a fast-track approval process for straightforward residential, commercial and industrial development. If the application meets specific criteria, it can be determined by a council or accredited certifier.

Representation of ‘the bridging & rebuilding of cultures’ wins Kilgour Prize People’s Choice

Artist Lori Pensini’s depiction of her cousins, Tyler and Georgia, tells a broader story of race relations in early Australia and was painted following her Western Australian family’s “recent discovery of indigenous lineage”.

The intimate and loving portrait of the girls in matching striped dresses has been voted the People’s Choice in Newcastle Art Gallery’s KILGOUR PRIZE 2018 exhibition.

Lori-Pensini-with-artwork-inside.jpgPensini with the her work Pride and Prejudice  2018 oil on canvas 101 x 121 cm, the People’s Choice in the 2018 Kilgour Prize.
The ‘social & political prejudices of the colonial era’ – acknowledges the artist’s statement – saw her ancestors conceal two sons’ marriages to local Noongar women, denying latter generations all knowledge of the unions that ultimately spawned Pensini’s contrasting subjects.

Pensini-Lori_prideandprejudice-inside.jpgLori PENSINI Pride and Prejudice  2018 oil on canvas 101 x 121 cm

Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton hailed the public’s decision, the skill Pensini employed to convey intimacy, and context and broader social narrative of the work.

“I’m not surprised that visitors have responded so favourably to this work,” Morton said.

“It becomes apparent when viewing this intimate portrait that the artist has a strong connection to the subjects, and her deft skill in rendering their striped dresses further unifies the strong bond between the cousins.”

One in 10 of voters in the People’s Choice award selected Pensini’s painting and a number of them proffered positive critiques, including:

  • ‘Conveys such an enormous history so simply in its subjects’
  • ‘I loved the women’s faces. A feeling of contentment and love between each other. Beautiful piece of art that assume two persons seem one.’
  • ‘To me this painting conveys a serenity between two people. Clearly these girls share a lot of caring, peace and understanding. Reminds me bit of aspects of the film Picnic At Hanging Rock.  Thank you.’

Pensini, 48, receives $5,000 from the bequest of local artist Jack Noel Kilgour.

The major figurative and portrait art competition he left behind for Newcastle Art Gallery in 1987 is now one of Australia’s most renowned.

The official annual prize, hosted by the Gallery, offers aspiring artists a level and lucrative playing field – as paintings are judged without attribution – before the winner is awarded $50,000.

Sydney artist Natasha Walsh’s intimate and delicate self-portrait Within the Studio (self-portrait) 2017 earned this year’s prize.

She followed up the success with the 2018 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship and 2018 Mosman Art Prize.

The KILGOUR PRIZE 2018 exhibition will remain on display at the Gallery until 21 October.

2018 FINALISTS (complete list)

Geoffrey Breen
Filippa Buttitta
Rachel Coad
James Drinkwater
Sarah Gosling
Jeannine Grey
David Griggs
Craig Handley
Jacqueline Hennessy
Cliff Hosking
Peter Lankas
Fiona Lowry
Marie Mansfield
Steve May
Fiona McMonagle
Rachel Milne
Alice Palmer
Amanda Penrose Hart
Lori Pensini
Rodney Pople
Glen Preece
Jordan Richardson
Michael Simms
Anthony Slater
Peter Smeeth
Loribelle Spirovski
Susan Sutton
Mark Tweedie
Natasha Walsh
Anthony Williams

Ton of businesses take up City’s financial help

City of Newcastle is reminding small businesses in the CBD of more than $400,000 still on offer as part of its rates relief scheme for those impacted by the light rail construction.

To date more than 102 applications have been received, with Council paying out more than $37,000 in rate relief.

To be eligible for rate relief, a CBD business needs the property owner to have paid their first quarterly rates, which were due at the end of August this year.

Rebates have been returned to 95 applicants in the first 10 weeks of the program, which is open for the duration of the 2018/19 financial year.

Eligible properties are entitled to financial assistance amounting to half the special rate historically passed onto business improvement association Newcastle Now, which in turn used the funds to promote the CBD.

“Council took this decision to provide direct rate relief to those businesses suffering from the disruption that the construction of light rail has brought about,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“We understand that for many small businesses their bottom line has been impacted, and this rate relief was a way Council could play a role in minimising the impact of light rail. Once it became clear that the State Government wasn’t going to provide rent relief, it was important that City of Newcastle looked for a way of supporting these businesses that didn’t come at the expense of our existing $100 million works program.

“There are hundreds of local small businesses that are yet to apply for rate relief. Clearly many are unaware that the funding exists or that they only need pay their first quarterly rates notice to be eligible. The process of application is straight forward, and businesses can apply at any time throughout the current financial year.”

The helping hand was extended in July following the Lord Mayor’ successful amendment to Council’s 2018-19 budget.

Financial assistance is available:

  • to the tenant(s) of the property, or


  • to the property owner – providing the property is solely owner occupied and no part is leased out

Property owners are eligible for the relief after paying their first quarterly rates instalment for 2018/19.

They should complete an application form together with details of tenants (with their signature) where applicable.

If more than one tenant occupies the property, a separate form is required for each tenant.

Council will then provide half of the amount they would have paid for the 2018/19 City Centre Special Rate in to the bank account nominated on the application form.

Both property owner and tenant(s) will be notified by email once Council makes the financial assistance payment is made.

Newcastle City Council says Re-use and recycle with GST

Novocastrians can declutter their homes and offload unwanted items by signing up for this month’s Garage Sale Trail (GST) to help promote environmental sustainability.

The free national weekend of garage sales on 20-21 October is a popular way for people to connect with neighbours, find new homes for superfluous items and hunt for second-hand treasures while helping divert waste from landfill.


Members of Upcycle Newcastle, who have registered for Garage Sale Trail (left to right) are: Samantha Wells, Cathy Stuart and Melanie McKinnon. 


Sellers can host a sale as a household, street or community group to make money individually or fundraise for a cause.

“City of Newcastle is proud to support Garage Sale Trail and the positive impacts it enables in communities right across Australia,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“It’s a simple, fun way for everyone to re-use, reduce waste and minimise their impact on the environment while also getting to know their neighbours and others in the community.

“I encourage everyone to get involved, clear out some clutter and maybe even make a few dollars in the process.”

Last year, nearly 3,000 Newcastle buyers scooped up pre-loved items from around 89 Newcastle households and groups who opened up their garages or held stalls.

More than 15,000 sales were held in neighbourhoods across the country with over 1.6 million treasures changing hands.

It’s easy to find the best treasure in our region over the GST weekend. Just search online for sales by postcode or suburb or, if you’re on the hunt for something specific, search by item or category.

Register your garage sale online or have a look at registered sales in Newcastle.

If you’re hosting a sale and plan to dispose of unsold items, pre-book a bulk waste pick-up or Summerhill Waste Management Centre voucher to minimise wait time.

To use these services, complete a waste request form on our website or phone 4974 2000 weekdays during business hours.

Escapee located – Muswellbrook

A man who escaped custody from a minimum-security correctional facility in Muswellbrook has been arrested and charged.

The 41-year-old man allegedly escaped the facility in Muswellbrook, about 6am on Wednesday 10 October 2018.

Following a wide scale search, about 7am today (Thursday 11 October 2018), police attended a carpark on Byng Street, Orange, and arrested the 41-year-old man without incident.

He was taken to Orange Police Station and charged with inmate escape/attempt to escape from lawful custody.

He was refused bail to appear at Orange Local Court today (Thursday 11 October 2018).