Homemade spikes scattered on running trail near Toronto

Police are appealing for information and are urging the public to take extra care after homemade spikes were found scattered across a running trail in Lake Macquarie yesterday.

Officers from Lake Macquarie Police District were called to Alexanders Trail in Lake Macquarie State Conservation Park at Bolton Point, near Toronto, about 12.40pm (Monday 20 January 2020), when a runner found the devices.

Officers have been told the man was running the trail about 11.40am when he noticed a pile of leaves piled in the middle of the track.

Hidden in the leaves the man found wine corks with nails protruding from them, similar to historic weapons known as ‘caltrops’.

The man continued along the trail and found a further two piles hiding more spikes.

Officers from Lake Macquarie Police District were notified a short time later and attended the location.

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the items has commenced and police are urging anyone who may have information or noticed suspicious activity in the area to contact Toronto Police Station on (02) 4088 1099 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Inquiries continue.


Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp has welcomed today’s announcement that 36 social and affordable housing units will constructed at Mayfield, as Newcastle’s social housing waitlist continues to grow.

Updated data from Family and Communities Services (FACS) shows that there are now 1216 people waiting for social housing in the Newcastle Allocation Zone, up from 1190 people last year.

Additionally, the wait time for a studio or 1 bedroom property has now increased to 5-10 years, up from 2-5 years.

Mr Crakanthorp said that while it was excellent to see new social and affordable housing come to the city, the FACS data shows that there is much more to be done.

“I am pleased that the Minister has heard my calls for more social and affordable housing in Newcastle, however there is still a long way to go,” he said.

“It was only in September that I stood with the Shadow Minister and a couple sleeping in their car demanding that more be done to address homelessness in Newcastle, and my office stills hears from people facing insecure or inadequate housing on an almost daily basis.

“With more people joining the waitlist I fear this will only increase.

“Everyone has a right to safe and secure housing, so we need the construction of new properties to keep up with demand.”

Today’s announcement follows the Labor Opposition exposing that the Liberal-National Government has sold 352 land parcels and social housing properties, for $333 million, in the last financial year. The Land and Housing Corporation plans to sell over 1000 social housing properties by the end of 2022/23.

Appeal after kangaroos deliberately injured – Hunter region

Police are appealing for public assistance after three kangaroos were believed to have been deliberately injured in the state’s Hunter region yesterday.

About 8am (Sunday 19 January 2020), officers from Hunter Valley Police District were called to the Wollombi Park in Muswellbrook, after a bushwalker located three kangaroos seriously injured in scrubland.

Initial inquiries suggest two kangaroos may have been deliberately run over by a vehicle while a third kangaroo, which was found deceased, had suffered a wound to the chest.

Police established a crime scene and commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

As investigations continue, any witnesses or anyone with dashcam vision in the area at the time is urged to come forward.

Community invited to farewell Jill Emberson at memorial service

City of Newcastle is inviting community to attend a public memorial service for Jill Emberson on Thursday 23 January at Newcastle City Hall.

The 10am service will celebrate the life of the prominent journalist, Pink Meets Teal founder and 2019 Newcastle Citizen of the Year, who passed in December after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

Jill was a fearless campaigner for ovarian cancer research and awareness and played a pivotal role in the Federal Government’s landmark $20 million research funding announcement in 2019.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said that while Jill’s life was cut short, her impact on this world and in the lives of others was immense and inspiring.

“Jill touched the lives of countless people in our community as a family member, friend, through her work as a journalist and as a tenacious campaigner for ovarian cancer research.

“It’s fitting that Jill’s life is celebrated by the community and that everyone has the opportunity to pay tribute to the wonderful contribution she made to our city.

“Jill was an exemplary Citizen of the Year for Newcastle. She was incredibly generous with her time, despite knowing her cancer was terminal. I was in awe of her willingness to work with the city and her determination to make a difference, every moment she could.

“We hope the public memorial will see the community come to together to celebrate Jill’s life, her achievements and her incredible legacy.”

At Jill’s request, memorial donations can be made to the Hunter Medical Research Institute: https://hmri.org.au/jill

Magic of theatre celebrated on big screen at Civic Playhouse

City of Newcastle is bringing the magic of cinema back to the city centre with the Civic Playhouse screening a selection of the most acclaimed productions from London’s National Theatre.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said locals can watch incredible international performances in all their theatrical glory thanks to an initiative known as National Theatre Live which broadcasts performances from London’s National Theatre.

“Cinema and theatre have a long and proud history in Newcastle’s CBD and we’re pleased to combine the two for the enjoyment of our community after the closure of the Tower Cinemas.

“A trial season at the Civic Playhouse has proven to be a massive hit and the City is now planning to continue this movie experience until Easter, and potentially beyond.”

While the new offering has been exceptionally popular with patrons of all walks of life, for those who can cast their memories back to before the mid-1970s, they know cinema viewing at the Civic Theatre was in fact a regular and much-loved pastime in Newcastle.

The Civic Theatre opened in 1929, and although designed as a live theatre, it was immediately leased as a cinema. Forty-five-years ago City of Newcastle decided to move towards more live productions and phased out cinema operations completely.

“The films have been really well received with lots of positive feedback from patrons who are eager for them to continue,” Civic Theatre Manager Leonie Wallace said.

“We have screened internationally acclaimed theatre shows like Arthur Miller’s All My Sons starring Sally Field and Bill Pullman and Shakespeare’s King Lear portrayed by Ian McKellen as well as the French comedy Slack Bay and foreign language film The Square.

“We’ve seen many of our patrons make repeat bookings. Our next step is to establish a pattern of regular screenings and to explore the possibility of programming children’s films during the school holidays.

“People love the fact we are revisiting something that historically occurred in the Civic Theatre. We have older Novocastrians who remember the past screenings fondly and are thrilled that the Playhouse is being used for movies.”

The initiative is part of the Civic’s Beyond the Stage program of cultural offerings beyond the traditional uses of the City’s jewels, Civic Theatre and City Hall. This has included the Civic Beats events at Civic Digest and lunchtime concerts at City Hall.

The Civic Theatre, City Hall, Playhouse and Wheeler Place are owned by the City of Newcastle for the people of Newcastle. They form a key destination where everyone is welcome and new connections and lifelong memories are formed.

For more information about the program of films and how to book tickets, visit https://civictheatrenewcastle.com.au/Whats-On/All-Shows/Civic-Cinema-in-the-Playhouse

Man dies in crash – Hunter Region

A man has died in a single vehicle crash north of Raymond Terrace in the state’s Hunter Region.

About 1.50pm (Friday 17 January 2020), a Holden vehicle towing a box trailer was travelling north along The Buckets Way, at Twelve Mile Creek, when it left the roadway and crashed into a tree.

The driver and sole occupant, a 32-year-old man, was trapped in the vehicle.

NSW Ambulance paramedics attempted to revive the driver, but he died at the scene.

Officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District attended the scene and commenced an investigation.

A report will be prepared for the Coroner.

Police are appealing for any witnesses or motorists who were in the area at the time and may have dam footage to contact Raymond Terrace Police Station on 02 4983 7599.

Charges laid after 2019 public place shooting near Cessnock

Police have charged a man and a woman in relation to a public place shooting in the Hunter Valley in August last year.

About 7.30pm on Sunday 25 August 2019, a 23-year-old man was at a property on Cessnock Road, Neath, when he heard a loud bang.

The man saw a nearby Holden Commodore had smashed windows and what appeared to be bullet holes.

Officers from Hunter Valley Police District attended and established a crime scene.

Following inquiries, officers attended Macquarie Road in Cardiff yesterday (Thursday 16 January 2020) where they arrested a 21-year-old woman.

She was taken to Toronto Police Station and charged with fire firearm manner likely injure persons/property and possess shortened firearm without authority.

The woman was refused bail to appear at Toronto Local Court today (Friday 17 January 2020).

At 6pm today (Friday 17 January 2020), a second person was arrested in relation to the incident.

The man, aged 24, attended Cessnock Police Station where he was charged with supply prohibited firearm to unauthorised person, fire firearm in manner likely to injure person or property (joint criminal enterprise), possess shortened firearm and conceal a strictly indictable offence.

He was refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court tomorrow (Satuday 18 January 2020).

Splash of events for Australia Day

Newcastle will be teeming with green and gold and ringing with the Haka this Australia Day as City of Newcastle hosts and supports a range of fun events and activities around the harbour, beaches and inner city.

Local triathletes and elite international visitors will race alongside Paralympian Lauren Parker from 7am as she defends her 2019 Oceania Paratriathlon title*, an Olympic trial event, before a field of hardy swimmers takes on Stockton Surf Lifesaving Club’s cross-harbour challenge mid-morning.

A Trans-Tasman Youth Touch Football Test series will see Kiwi sides take on our country’s best in a City-backed tournament at No.2 Sportsground while parkour, skateboarding, inflatables and a temporary waterpark make a big splash with the kids on the Foreshore.

“City of Newcastle has teamed up with several partners to put on a raft of events and activities on Australia Day,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“Starting with the paratriathlon and featuring the cross-harbour swim and touch football Tests between Australia and New Zealand, plus a range of fun family-friendly events on the Foreshore, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

“The City has supported the touch football Tests with $20,000 as they will attract thousands of extra visitors and boost the local hospitality industry to the tune of $1.7million over three days. The event will also generate some good-hearted parochial excitement on our national day, so no pressure whatsoever on the Aussie teams.”


Event details

Citizenship Ceremony – 270 new Australians will take their pledge of allegiance in a citizenship ceremony at Civic Theatre from 9am Sunday 26 January.

Fun in the City – Live Entertainment, food trucks, parkour & skateboard workshops, inflatables and more at Queens Wharf and Foreshore Park from 10am – 2pm Sunday 26 January.

Newcastle Harbour Swim – Roll the arms over for the 24th edition of Stockton Surf Life Saving Club’s Australia Day Harbour Swim in either the 700m single crossing from Stockton to Queens Wharf (10am) or 1,400m double crossing from Queens Wharf (11am) Sunday 26 January.

Oceania Championships for Paratriathlon – an Olympic selection event for elite paratriathletes and also a long, mid and short-format triathlon for the general public and corporate teams. 750m swim in Newcastle Harbour, 20km cycle leg around Nobbys, Newcastle Beach and Foreshore and 5km run around Horseshoe Beach and Pit Lane from 7am to 9.30am Sunday 26 January.

Youth Trans-Tasman Test Series – Best of Three Touch Football Test Match series for six youth divisions – 18 matches of elite international standard touch football at No.2 Sportsground from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 January.

Newcastle Waterworld Central – small format water park hosted by Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation on corner of Scott and Watt Streets until 27 January.

Fort Scratchley Canons Firing 11am, 1pm & 3pm (seven guns at 1pm). Catch re-enactments, vehicle displays and the first discharge in almost 100 years of an historic 80-pound gun following a two-year restoration project by the Fort Scratchley Historical Society.

* Wharf Rd East of Watt St, Nobbys Rd north of Stevenson Place, and Shortland Esp to Zaara St will all be closed from 5.30am to 9.30 am for the Para-triathlon.

Teens charged after stabbing – Newcastle

Two teens have been charged after a man was stabbed at Broadmeadow yesterday.

About 4pm (Thursday 16 January 2020), emergency services were called to a laneway between Teralba and Brunker roads following a fight between four males.

Police were told that a 67-year-old man and a 17-year-old youth began arguing before two other youths, also aged 17, arrived on scene.

As the older man was walking away, he was allegedly stabbed in the back.

The three youths fled the scene.

Officers attached to Newcastle City Police District established a crime scene and arrested one teen when he returned to the laneway.

He was taken to Newcastle Police Station where he has been charged with reckless wounding in company.

A second teen was arrested at his home on Park Street in Merewether and has also been charged with reckless wounding in company.

Both were granted bail to appear in a children’s court on Monday 3 February 2020.

Police continue to make inquiries to locate a third teen.

The injured man was taken to John Hunter Hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

Man charged over numerous thefts in the Hunter

A man will face court today charged over an alleged armed robbery and multiple stealing offences in the Hunter region.

About midday on Sunday 5 January 2020, a man entered a service station on Mulbring Street, Stanford Merthyr, and allegedly threatened an attendant with a knife before demanding cash and cigarettes.

The attendant refused before the man allegedly fled the scene with a number of other items from the store and without paying for petrol.

Officers from Hunter Valley Police District attended and commenced an investigation.

Following inquiries, on Tuesday 14 January 2020 officers attached to Hunter Valley Police District attended a park in Kurri Kurri for a concern for welfare and arrested a 42-year-old man.

He was taken to Cessnock Police Station before being transported to Maitland Hospital for assessment.

Yesterday (Wednesday 15 January 2020), the man was released and taken to Maitland Police Station, where he was charged with one count of armed robbery, five counts of larceny and three counts of drive whilst disqualified.

Police will allege the 42-year-old was involved in numerous stealing offences in Pelaw Main, Neath, Cessnock, and Weston between June 2019 and January 2020.

The man was refused bail to face Maitland Local Court today (Thursday 16 January 2020).