14 new jet skis unveiled as new Marine Enforcement Team announced

As summer approaches, a new police jet ski squadron will be out in force to prioritise and improve marine safety across the state’s waterways.

The NSW Police Marine Area Commander, Superintendent Mark Hutchings, was joined today (Thursday 8 November 2018) by Minister for Police Troy Grant, and NSW Maritime Services, to unveil 14 new jet skis which will be used by the new Marine Enforcement Team (MET).

The MET is a dedicated mobile response unit that will be deployed to reduce marine-related crime and ensure safer waterways across NSW.

The team will be comprised of officers from the Marine Area Command and will be primarily located within the Sydney Metropolitan area, as well as Newcastle and Port Stephens, during the boating season.

The MET will also have capabilities to deploy into waterways across the state when required.

Marine Area Commander Superintendent Mark Hutchings said the Marine Enforcement Team is an additional resource that will allow officers to focus on proactive policing.

“With summer only a few weeks away, and the hot weather already here, these new jet skis will boost the capability of officers to target those that commit dangerous or anti-social activity on our waterways,” said Supt Hutchings.

“The Marine Enforcement Team is a specialist unit within the Marine Area Command and will be conducting regular, planned and high-visibility police operations throughout the warmer months.

“Police will be on the water throughout the season to enforce maritime laws, conduct random breath and drug tests, carry out safety checks on vessels, check boat licences, and ensure any other jet ski riders enjoy the sport safely,” Supt Hutchings said.

Minister for Police Troy Grant said people should be able to head out on NSW waterways and enjoy their day without hoons and trouble makers causing problems; that is why the NSW Government has invested more than $140,000 in 14 new jet skis for the Marine Area Command.

“With Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year around the corner, the jet ski squad will be launching major enforcement and crowd control operations during the busiest period on our waterways,” said Mr Grant.

“The versatility of the jet ski team will also greatly enhance the Marine Area Command’s ability to rapidly respond and deploy to incidents on the water and contain anti-social and dangerous behaviour.”

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the additional funding would allow Police to continue their proactive approach to targeting anti-social behaviour on our waterways.

“The number of jet ski registrations continues to grow at around 10 per cent per year which represents the fastest growing segment of the industry,” Mrs Pavey said.

“While the vast majority of riders use their craft in a responsible manner, personal watercraft continue to be over represented in serious injuries and complaints as a result of dangerous use and anti-social behaviour.”

Executive Director of Maritime Services Angus Mitchell said additional jet skis would help complement Roads and Maritime Boating Safety Officers with patrolling NSW waterways.

“In the last two years it has been a whole government approach when it comes to improving waterway safety. This has included co-location in many areas, joint patrols, sharing of assets and sharing of intelligence.”

Throughout the warmer months, police will be focusing on safe and responsible boating, and monitoring any reckless or dangerous behaviour taking place on or near the water.

The NSW Police Force will continue to work with a variety of agencies including Transport for NSW throughout the summer months to develop and implement strategies that will reduce risk to the community.

Tourists to pour into NSW wine regions

NSW winemakers will have tourists knocking down their cellar doors thanks to a $2 million marketing campaign.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the Commonwealth and state governments had both invested $1 million each to back the NSW wine industry.

“Good food and wine is meant to be shared, and that’s exactly what this will do,” Minister Littleproud said.

“New South Wales winemakers are among the world’s best and the world should know about it.

“We’re backing NSW winemakers so they can host more foreign tourists in their top-notch wine regions.

“The NSW Wine Industry Association will put the money into marketing around the world to get the word out.

“Visitors from China and the United States are at the top of our list. We want them to know we’ve thrown the cellar doors open for them.

“It’s not just the wineries that benefit – tourists also visit local attractions and spend money in the surrounding towns boosting regional economies.

“NSW wine shouldn’t be kept secret – let’s get the word out and the tourists in!”

The $5 million International Wine Tourism State Grants provide state wine associations with funding for international wine tourism research, planning and implementation activities and is part of the Coalition Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

Wine Australia Export Report highlights for the 12 months ending 30 June 2018:

  • The highest export growth in 15 years: wine exports grew by 20% to $2.76 billion
  • Record export volume: 10% growth to 852 million litres, or 95 million 9 litre cases
  • The average value of exported wine increased by 9% to $3.24/litre
  • Average value of bottled wine increased 19% to $2.2 billion. Volume increased 8% to 376 million litres.​

Man bitten by shark – Ballina

A man has been injured after being bitten by a shark on the NSW North Coast.

About 6.45am (Wednesday 7 November 2018), a 43-year-old local man was surfing at Shelley Beach, Ballina, when he was bitten on the left calf by a shark.

He brought himself to shore and was given first aid by his friends. The man then attended Ballina Hospital for treatment.

The injury is not life threatening.

Officers from Richmond Police District attended the beach and liaised with Surf Life Saving NSW. Jet skis and a drone have been deployed to survey the area.

Shelley Beach and surrounding beaches have been closed for 24 hours.

Officers seized the surf board and are liaising with Department of Primary Industries to identify the species.

Beachgoers are urged to follow safety advice, by visiting the Department of Primary Industry’s website www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/sharks and the SharkSmart app.

Statement from Senator Hanson-Young regarding NSW police officer guilty plea

“In July, in the midst of the public debate regarding comments made by Senator Leyonhjelm about me, a NSW police officer called my office and made a vile threat towards my daughter,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“Vile threats such as these are unacceptable on every level. I am thankful that the police found the person responsible and he has been charged and pleaded guilty in court.

“This matter is deeply distressing for me, my family, and my staff. Everybody has the right to feel safe in their homes, their workplaces and their community.

“Since this was made public I have received widespread support from decent people in our community. I am sincerely grateful to those who have kindly reached out.”

Man charged over alleged sexual abuse of young relative

A man has been charged over alleged sexual and indecent assaults of a girl in Sydney’s greater west.

Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad commenced an investigation last week after receiving reports a 15-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted by a male relative.

Following inquiries, detectives executed a crime scene warrant at a home at Richmond just before 1pm yesterday (Monday 5 November 2018).

A 20-year-old man was arrested at the home and taken to Windsor Police Station.

He was charged with three counts of have sexual intercourse with a child, three counts of aggravated indecent assault, and aggravated sexual assault.

Police will allege in court the man sexually and indecently assaulted the girl on a number of occasions over a seven-year period.

The man, who is related to the girl, has been refused bail to appear at Penrith Local Court today (Tuesday 6 November 2018).

The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad is comprised of detectives who are specially trained to investigate matters against children and adults, including sexual assault, serious physical abuse, and extreme cases of neglect.

Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or exploitation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au

Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. People should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Man charged with indecency and intimidation offences – Tyagarah

A man will appear in court later this month after being charged over indecency and intimidation offences near Tweed Heads at the weekend.

About 11.35am on Saturday 3 November 2018, a 30-year-old woman was jogging east along Grays Lane at Tyagarah when she noticed a white utility parked on the side of the dirt road.

The woman told police that the male driver looked at her intently, which made her feel uncomfortable, and she crossed to other side of the road in an effort to keep some distance between them.

As she continued her run the woman saw that the utility drove past her and stopped a short distance ahead. The man alighted from the utility and walked towards her grinning.

As the woman continued her run to the beach the utility slowly followed her and then passed her. The woman continued towards the beach hoping that there would be other people in the area.

As she entered the carpark the woman saw that the man was now standing outside the utility and was naked.

When the woman walked past the man, he looked at her and performed an indecent act.

The woman continued to the beach, but could not find anyone to assist her. When she returned to the carpark the man again performed an indecent act.

The woman ran for some distance to her home and told her partner. They attended the car park and located the white utility which they photographed. Police were contacted and details of the vehicle were provided to police.

Officers from Tweed Byron Police District were travelling to Tyagarah Beach about 1.25pm when they observed the utility travelling along Grays Lane.

The officers spoke to a 33-year-old man who was driving the utility and arrested him.

The man was conveyed to Byron Bay Police Station and later charged with commit act of indecency and intimidation.

He has been granted strict conditional bail to appear at Byron Bay Local Court on Thursday 22 November 2018.

Police will continue to work closely with other stakeholders including NPWS, Byron Shire Council and the Byron Safe Beaches Committee to keep the area safe.

Big night for GIANTS, Swifts at Netball NSW State Dinner

It was a stellar night for both GIANTS Netball and the NSW Swifts at the 2018 Netball NSW State Dinner with GIANTS attacker Jo Harten named the best player in the state, while former Swifts Megan Anderson and Mo’onia Gerrard were inducted into the organisation’s Hall of Fame.

The State Dinner, which this year took place at Rooty Hill RSL, celebrates the best players, coaches, officials and volunteers in the New South Wales netball community.

Harten picked up the Marilyn Melhuish OAM Medal, given to the best player from the combined rosters of Netball NSW’s two professional franchises; the NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball.

It capped off a stellar 2018 for the England international which also saw her claim a Commonwealth Games gold medal in April, and the GAINTS’ MVP, Members’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player Awards in August.

Harten’s award was one of eight categories on the night which celebrated another fantastic year for netball across NSW.

“From celebrating the 50th hosting of our State and State Age Championships to GIANTS Netball Head Coach Julie Fitzgerald overseeing her 300th elite game – and Briony Akle her first at the helm of the NSW Swifts – it has been a year of memorable achievements,” Louise Sullivan, President of Netball NSW, said.

“There has never been a better time to be involved in netball. Our participation numbers at the grassroots level continue to flourish and memberships for both the NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball saw big increases in 2018.

“Over 1 million people tuned in to watch this year’s Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final, highlighting just how engrained the sport has become in the Australian sporting psyche, and around NSW our local courts are jam-packed on weekends as young and old come together and serve their communities collectively and commercially.

“As we head towards our 90th year in 2019 we have never been in better health, however, it is vital that we keep evolving and learning to ensure we remain at the forefront of what is a very competitive sports market in NSW.”

It was also a big night for Swifts legends Anderson and Gerrard who both took their places in the Netball NSW Hall of Fame.
Starting her netball career as a junior in Woy Woy, Anderson was the first player to debut for the Australian Diamonds in the 21st Century when she did so on their tour of South Africa in 2000.

She represented NSW at underage levels before going on to win four Premierships with the Sydney Swifts in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy Era. After retiring from playing she was part of the coaching team which led the Swifts (then called the NSW Swifts) to back-to-back ANZ Championship Grand Finals, and continued in this role after the arrival of Suncorp Super Netball in 2017.

Gerrard, a three-time Premiership winner with the Sydney Swifts and two-time World Cup winner with the Australian Diamonds, also came through the NSW underage setup before shining at elite level.

Of Tongan descent, and never one to forget her roots, Gerrard has done amazing work in the community since retiring with the Australia Post ONE Netball Program, Netball NSW’s Oceania Cup and Mo’onia’s Cup in conjunction with Tonga Netball. In 2016 she received an Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to netball and the community.

And, after celebrating 50 years of competition, both the Netball NSW State & State Age Championships were inducted into the Netball NSW Hall of Fame under the Heritage Category. Introduced in 2016, the Heritage category pays tribute to artefacts and events which have significant historical value to the organisation.

“From humble beginnings, the State and State Age Championships have become iconic events on the NSW sporting calendar,” Sullivan added.

“These events attract players in their thousands, and supporters in tens of thousands, so not only do they bring people together in the healthy environment of sport, they also bring a significant economic boost to the areas that host them.

“And having reached our 50th year for both events in 2018, it is a fitting time to reflect on what has been achieved and look ahead to what we hope will be another half century of growth and prosperity.”

2018 Netball NSW Award Recipients

Anne Clark BEM Service Awards: Tracey Connolly (Campbelltown District Netball Association), Lyn Hahn (Camden & District Netball Association), Elizabeth Konza (Blue Mountains Netball Association), Maureen Nation (Young & District Netball Association), Catherine Walls (Grafton Netball Association)

Marilyn Melhuish OAM Medal – SSN Player of the Year: Jo Harten (GIANTS Netball)

Marj Groves AM Scholarship: Latika Tombs (Manly Warringah Netball Association)

Nance Kenny OAM Medal – Premier League Player of the Year: Amy Wild (Central Coast Heart)

Lynn Quinn OAM Bench Official Award: Margot Paterson (Northern Suburbs Netball Association)

Neita Matthews OAM Umpires Award: Jessica Clay (Ku-ring-gai Netball Association)

Margaret Corbett OAM Coaches Award: Amber Cross (Wyong Netball Association)

Judy Dunbar Media Awards: Matthew Findlay, Central Western Daily (Community Media Excellence), Brittany Carter, ABC Grandstand (Best Feature), Richard Dobson, News Ltd (Best Photograph), Sydney Morning Herald (Best Overall Media Coverage).

2018 Hall of Fame Inductions: Megan Anderson, Mo’onia Gerrard OAM

Heritage Hall of Fame Inductions: Netball NSW State Championships, Netball NSW State Age Championships

CONSUMERS AND SMALL BUSINESSES WIN BIG WITH BETTER BUSINESS REFORMS

Consumers and small business owners around the State will save more than half a billion dollars over 10 years thanks to the NSW Coalition’s sweeping Better Business Reforms.

The package of reforms, which passed Parliament this week, includes significant red tape reductions for small businesses and better transparency measures for consumers.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said it’s the biggest shakeup of NSW consumer law in more than three decades.

“We’ll be saving consumers at least $150 million over 10 years by giving them greater transparency to help them make more informed decisions. This will save our NSW families precious time and hard-earned money.

“The NSW Coalition is determined to help small business owners compete for a stronger, better future. This suite of common sense red tape reductions will save small business owners at least $495 million over 10 years.”

The key reforms to help small businesses thrive include:

  • Extending the durations of more than 70 licenses, which will save more than 410,000 licence holders $216 million over 10 years;
  • Introducing specialised licenses for motor vehicle dealers and repairers, saving them $175 million over 10 years and helping regional businesses keep their doors open; and
  • Making 13 types of home building licenses ongoing, meaning tradies will only have to notify Fair Trading every 5 years to confirm they want to maintain their licence.

The key reforms to empower consumers include:

  • Making businesses clearly tell consumers up front about the potential effects of terms and conditions which could prejudice their interests;
  • Giving consumers the right to report dodgy or dangerous products to Fair Trading, despite non-disclosure agreements; and
  • Making brokers and product comparison businesses come clean on the kickbacks and commissions they receive.

In May, Mr Kean asked more than 100 business groups, academics, think tanks and members of Parliament for ideas to remove red tape and make it easier to start and stay in business.

The Better Business Reforms for small business and consumers are the culmination of this consultation process.

PATIENTS MOVE TO NORTHERN BEACHES HOSPITAL

Almost 150 patients will move to the new Northern Beaches Hospital from Manly and Mona Vale hospitals in a carefully executed convoy over the next two days.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard greeted patients as they arrived and congratulated the 100-strong team of staff and volunteers for a smooth, safe transfer.

“This is a momentous occasion for the people of the Northern Beaches who now have a world-class public hospital right on their doorstep under the $600 million Northern Beaches Health Services redevelopment,” Mr Hazzard said.

“When they were in Government, Labor promised redevelopments at Tamworth, Dubbo, Parkes, Forbes, Bega, Wagga Wagga and the Northern Beaches.

“Not one of those hospitals was redeveloped under Labor. Not one. So I am extremely proud that the NSW Liberals & Nationals have yet again, delivered what we promised.”

Mr Hazzard said about 74 patients will transfer from Manly Hospital to the new ninestorey facility today, and another 74 will be transferred from Mona Vale Hospital tomorrow.

The first transfers began at 9.30am with patients from mental health, surgical and intensive care, as well as new mums and babies, moved at four-minute intervals by ambulance or patient transport vehicle, depending on their clinical condition.

The patients will be transferred in a series of carefully timed ambulance departures to ensure patient safety and continuity of care.

“Since January, nurses and other staff have been practicing the transfer of patients, with safety and comfort the number one priority,” Mr Hazzard said.

“I want to thank all those involved from Healthscope, the Northern Sydney Local Health District, NSW Ambulance, HealthShare NSW Patient Transport Service, Transport for NSW and Police. It has been a wonderful team effort.”   The 488-bed hospital will be officially opened next month.

NSW LAUNCHES FIRST POPULATION REVIEW

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has appointed an expert panel to develop a population policy for NSW.

“It is increasingly frustrating that as the largest and most successful State in Australia, NSW doesn’t have a seat at the table at a national level when it comes to policies impacting population,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“As a daughter of proud migrants, I have and always will advocate for a NSW that is open and welcoming to new migrants.

“But it is becoming increasingly clear that the current high rates of population growth are putting even more pressure on our infrastructure. NSW’s economic success is attracting a far greater share of total immigrant numbers than it has in the past.

“Since the Liberals & Nationals came to office, NSW has been catching up on the backlog. It is now time for us to take stock and get ahead.”

The Premier renewed her call for net overseas migration levels to return to more sustainable Howard-era rates when NSW net overseas migration was steady at around 45,000 a year, until a proper population policy is put in place.

Since then, the average net overseas migration to NSW has increased to around 73,000 and over the last two years it has ballooned to almost 100,000.

“We are in the midst of an unprecedented infrastructure boom in NSW with more than $87 billion being invested in new roads, transport, schools and hospitals over the next four years alone,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“But it is clear that despite that record infrastructure pipeline, Sydney and NSW are still playing catch up. This review will allow NSW to take a strategic approach to planning around population.”

The members of the expert panel, which will provide advice to the Premier within two months, are:

  • Jim Betts, CEO, Infrastructure NSW;
  • Peter Shergold, Chancellor, University of Western Sydney, former Secretary, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, NSW Refugee Resettlement Co-Ordinator; and
  • Carolyn McNally, Secretary, Department of Planning and Environment.

The Panel will consider:

  • The current rate of population growth and infrastructure pipeline;
  • How long is needed for infrastructure to catch up with population growth rates;
  • NSW’s role at upcoming discussions with the Commonwealth regarding population; and will
  • Recommend next steps for more detailed work on the issue of population.

Ms Berejiklian wrote to former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this year seeking his support for a special COAG dedicated to the issue of population growth and planning.

The Premier then wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this month to welcome the Federal Government’s announcement that it would work with the States regarding the issue of population and renewed her request for a COAG meeting in 2019 on the issue.