Statement on Ocean Bath cleanliness

The summer cleaning schedule at Newcastle Ocean Baths and Merewether Ocean Baths, and the cleaning hours for staff at the baths, have not been reduced.

During the past month, a number of factors have contributed to the cleanliness of Newcastle Ocean Baths. The recent wet weather has impacted ocean water quality, which in turn impacts the water quality of the baths.

The already larger summer visitor numbers at Newcastle Ocean Baths increased this week due to shark sightings, which forced the closure of Nobbys and Newcastle Beaches for two consecutive days.

Newcastle Ocean Baths and Merewether Ocean Baths have also been the target of antisocial behaviour including vandalism to the facilities and rubbish and objects thrown into the pool.

Cleaning crews conducted a routine weekly clean at Newcastle Ocean Baths today to ensure that the baths are in the best condition possible ahead of the forecasted high temperatures and low-high tides both today and Thursday.

While City of Newcastle schedules weekly cleaning of Newcastle Ocean Baths and Merewether Ocean Baths, the ability to clean the pool is highly dependent on surf conditions, tidal heights and the weather. The onsite pumps can assist in controlling cleanliness, however they can only operate during mid to high tides and as such are unfortunately not always able to be used.

Additionally, water quality is heavily influenced by the naturally occurring water quality of the ocean and the debris present. During summer, warmer water accelerates algae growth resulting in a build-up on the walls. Although this results in the appearance of an unclean pool, regular testing indicates that the water quality is acceptable for public swimming.

City of Newcastle will continue to investigate and trial options to increase water quality lifecycles, while attempting to minimise pool cleaning shutdowns of the Ocean Baths to achieve a balance between availability and cleanliness.

Man charged after two women allegedly stabbed – Muswellbrook

A man will face court today after allegedly stabbing two women in the Hunter Valley overnight.

Officers from Hunter Valley Police District were called to a home on the Pacific Way at Muswellbrook about 7pm (Tuesday 12 January 2021), and found a 27-year-old man in the front yard allegedly armed with a pair of scissors, carrying a baby.

Officers repeatedly directed the man to release the child; however, he allegedly refused.

As the man briefly put the 11-month-old girl on the ground, police deployed a Taser to affect his arrest.

A 30-year-old Macksville woman was airlifted to John Hunter Hospital, while a 28-year-old Muswellbrook woman was taken to Muswellbrook Hospital for treatment.

Five children aged between 11-months and seven were at the home at the time but were not physically injured.

The Macksville man was taken to Muswellbrook Police Station where he has been charged with two counts of wound person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He was refused bail to face Muswellbrook Local Court today (Wednesday 13 January 2021).

Police will allege in court the man stabbed a 30-year-old woman several times to the abdomen and right eye, before stabbing a 28-year-old woman to the upper arm and face.

Full program unveiled one month out from inaugural New Annual festival

An intimate art gallery performance by a renowned Australian musician, an augmented reality experience celebrating indigenous culture and a discussion on women in leadership with Australia’s first female Prime Minister feature in the second program announcement for City of Newcastle’s inaugural arts festival, New Annual.

With one month until the 10-day event kicks off on February 12, tickets have gone on sale and the full program has been revealed, with more than 50 events set to showcase over 100 visual and performing artists.

Australian singer songwriter and lead singer of much-loved band Something For Kate, Paul Dempsey, will perform at Newcastle Art Gallery.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said New Annual provided an opportunity for locals and visitors to discover new work, new perspectives and new performance spaces across the city.

“New Annual represents Newcastle’s time to shine – through our local artists, through our city’s creative spaces and most importantly, through rich and engaging stories,” Cr Nelmes said.

“Supporting and delivering cultural and community programs, events and live music is key to progressing our vision of Newcastle as a smart, liveable and sustainable global city.

“The festival will feature local and visiting artists sharing music, dance, contemporary performance and visual art, showcasing our community’s journey of self-expression, resilience and recovery, and highlighting Newcastle’s identity as a creative hub with a vibrant cultural heritage.”

Highlights of the program include an event presented by Newcastle Writers Festival, which will see former Prime Minister Julia Gillard discuss her latest book and the lessons that can be learned from women leaders.

Fans of iconic Australian singer songwriter and lead singer of much-loved band Something For Kate, Paul Dempsey, will get to see him like never before during an up-close-and-personal performance at Newcastle Art Gallery, while a range of Indigenous cultural items at Newcastle Museum will be enhanced via an augmented reality experience incorporating music, narration, animation and storytelling.

A range of Indigenous cultural items at Newcastle Museum will be enhanced via an augmented reality experience when Wylaa Buuranliyn and Veara present Nourishing Waters.

Newcastle’s iconic Hazy Cosmic Jive recording studio will provide a musical showcase of homegrown talent, while various street art activations will bring key outdoor locations to life. An open artist studio trail featuring some of Newcastle’s most dynamic independent art spaces will also offer a hands-on insight into the creative processes of a visual artist.

These events complement major commissions from local artists and companies revealed during the first program announcement in October last year. Feature performances from Curious Legends and Catapult Choreographic Hub and pop-up venues and installations in Civic Park and Wheeler Place will showcase the best of Newcastle’s creative arts, while visiting artists like Feras Shaheen and Omega Ensemble will deliver a range of compelling works.

Cr Nelmes said New Annual has an eclectic and ambitious program designed to inspire, delight and encourage contemplation as it explores both light-hearted and more serious themes.

“New Annual is the catalyst for Newcastle’s cultural events sector to take centre stage alongside leading national events,” Cr Nelmes said.

“It will shine a spotlight on Newcastle’s reputation as a creative city where ambitious and accessible contemporary art and culture grow and thrive within a prosperous, diverse and resilient community.

“Over time the festival will grow to become a significant generator of cultural tourism, using arts and culture to share the city’s stories with the world.”

New Annual’s program has been designed with the flexibility to operate as a COVID-19 Safe event depending on Public Health Orders. To find out more visit

Appeal to find girl missing from Newcastle

Police are appealing for public assistance to find a girl reported missing from Newcastle.

Hailey Price, aged 13, was last seen leaving a home on Bellevue Street, Newcastle on the morning of Wednesday 23 December 2020, but has not been seen since.

Hailey is described as being of Caucasian appearance, with long brown hair, brown eyes, about 160cm tall, with a slim build.

After extensive inquiries by officers from Newcastle City Police District Hailey has not been located and due to her age police have concerns for her welfare.

Anyone who has information about Hailey’s whereabouts, is urged to contact Newcastle City Police (02) 4929 0999 or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.


Appeal to find missing man – Lake Macquarie

Police are appealing for public information to find a man missing from the Lake Macquarie region.

Brett Constable, aged 47, from Orange, was last seen at a home on Oakland Street, Glendale, about 1am on Tuesday (5 January 2021).

Officers from Lake Macquarie Police District were notified of his disappearance later that morning and commenced inquiries into his whereabouts.

Police and family have concerns for Brett’s welfare.

He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 186cm tall, of solid build, with short brown, curly hair, and a grey beard. He has a skull and rose tattoo on his left chest.

Police are urging anyone with information about Brett’s whereabouts to call Lake Macquarie Police District or Crime Stoppers.

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 information via NSW Police social media pages.

Man charged after 1kg of cocaine located – Heatherbrae

A man will appear in court today charged over the alleged commercial supply of prohibited drugs near Newcastle.

In October 2020, Strike Force Megig was established by the Hunter Regional Enforcement Squad (RES) to investigate the supply of illicit drugs in the Newcastle and Hunter regions.

Following inquiries, Hunter RES – assisted by Northern Operational Support Group officers (Operation Utah) and officers attached to Port Stephens-Hunter Police District – arrested a 29-year-old man at a caravan park on the Pacific Highway, Heatherbrae, about 7.30pm yesterday (Tuesday 5 January 2021).

Officers executed a search warrant at a cabin in the park, where they allegedly located more than 1kg of cocaine, drug paraphernalia and mobile phones.

The estimated potential street value of the cocaine is $450,000.

The man, from Palmview in Queensland, was taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station where he was charged with supply large commercial quantity prohibited drug and possess prohibited drug.

He was refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court today (Wednesday 6 January 2021).

Alleged precursor chemicals located inside vehicle at Newcastle

Two men will face court today following a vehicle stop in Newcastle yesterday.

About 11.45am (Tuesday 5 January 2021), officers from Newcastle City Police District were patrolling the Wallsend area when they stopped a Subaru Forrester on Cowper Street and spoke with two men – aged 26 and 30.

Both men were arrested in relation to traffic offences and outstanding arrest warrants.

Police conducted a search of the vehicle during which officers located precursors consistent with the alleged manufacture of prohibited drugs, along with drug paraphernalia, methylamphetamine and GBL.

NSW Fire and & Rescue HAZMAT crews were called to render the scene safe, with officers attached to the State Crime Command Drug and Firearms Squad’s Chemical Operations Team deployed to process the scene.

The alleged driver – a 30-year-old Jesmond man – was charged with drive motor vehicle during disqualification period.

A 26-year-old Raymond Terrace man was charged with four outstanding warrants for numerous property, drug, weapon and breach of bail offences.

Both men were refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court today (Wednesday 6 January 2021).

Investigations into the items located during the vehicle search are ongoing.

Wanted Parramatta pair now believed to be in Hunter region

Police are re-appealing for public assistance as inquiries continue to locate a man and woman who are wanted on outstanding warrants.

Elika Asasi, aged 27, is wanted after she escaped from Corrective Services NSW custody at Westmead Hospital on Wednesday 9 December.

Elika is described as being of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern appearance, about 165cm tall, of medium build, with brown hair.

Christopher Szenczy, aged 31, is wanted on an outstanding warrant for drug and property related offences and was seen driving away from Westmead Hospital in a vehicle with Elika.

Christopher is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 170cm tall, of solid build, with short brown hair.

Detectives are now working with officers from the Port Stephens-Hunter Police District, as police have received information that the man and woman may have travelled to the Hunter region.

Police are warning members of the public not to approach the pair, but to instead call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Inquiries continue.

Driver sought after crashing into house – Cessnock

Police are appealing for information and searching for a driver who fled the scene of a crash in the Hunter Region overnight.

About 9.30pm (Wednesday 6 January 2021), officers from Hunter Valley Police District attended Chapman Street and found a dark grey Holden Statesman crashed into a house.

Police have been told the car was travelling on High Street when it struck a Ford Fiesta, mounted the kerb, before hitting the house, causing significant damage.

The driver fled the scene prior to the arrival of officers.

A crime scene was established and inquiries to locate the driver have commenced.

The residents of the home were uninjured.

Wanted Parramatta pair located and charged – Raymond Terrace

Police have located and charged a man and woman wanted on outstanding warrants in the Hunter Region yesterday.

Following a public appeal for assistance and extensive inquiries into the location of the woman who escaped from Corrective Services NSW custody last month, and a wanted man, officers attached to Port Stephens-Hunter Police District were alerted to the possible location of the pair about 4.45pm yesterday (Wednesday 6 January 2021).

With assistance from the Proactive Crime Team, police attended a home on Richardson Road, Raymond Terrace, where they arrested a 27-year-old woman and 31-year-old man allegedly hiding in a bedroom.

Police located a knife and two sets of car keys allegedly within the man’s backpack.

The man and woman were taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station where they were charged with various offences.

The woman was charged with shoplifting, drive conveyance taken without consent of owner, use class A vehicle with unauthorised number plate affixed, drive unlicensed, and goods in personal custody suspected being stolen (motor vehicle).

The man was charged with shoplifting, drive conveyance taken without consent of owner, use class A vehicle with unauthorised number plate affixed, two counts of drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, possess or use a prohibited weapon without permit, and goods in personal custody suspected being stolen (motor vehicle).

They were both refused bail to appear in Newcastle Local Court today (Thursday 7 January 2021).

Police will allege the woman, a female inmate, escaped from Westmead Hospital at around 10.40am, Wednesday 9 December 2020, with the man – who was wanted on an outstanding warrant for drug and property related offences.

Police will further allege the pair committed various stealing offences, including two cars and alcohol from a bottle shop.