ANZAC MEMORIAL UNVEILED BY THE DUKE OF SUSSEX

Sydney’s Anzac Memorial Centenary extension has been unveiled by His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex.

The reopening of the Anzac Memorial by The Duke of Sussex celebrates the completion of the Centenary project, honouring NSW’s military legacy.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the $40 million upgrade, funded by the NSW and Federal Governments, was the centrepiece of the State’s Centenary of Anzac commemorations, marking the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I.

“It is fitting the memorial is reopened today by the Duke of Sussex who is in Sydney for the Invictus Games, highlighting the significant role sport has played in the rehabilitation of veterans,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The Opening Ceremony for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 is being held tonight at the Opera House, attended by Ms Berejiklian and Games competitors.

NSW Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliott said the memorial, first opened in 1934, was an enduring legacy acknowledging more than a century of service.

“The Centenary Extension ensures the public have a place of contemplation, remembrance, education and reflection. The project realises the vision of the original architect, Bruce Dellit, with the completion of the water cascade to the south,” Mr Elliott said.

A walkway through the cascade allows memorial visitors to enter the new Hall of Service, exhibition galleries and education facilities, providing a contemporary understanding of the history and impact of conflict.

The Hall of Service, featuring a moving artwork by Fiona Hall, pays tribute to those across NSW who served in the Great War with 1,701 locations acknowledged. The ongoing service and sacrifice over more than a century is also commemorated with 100 sites of significance to NSW military history recorded in a ring on the floor.

The Anzac Memorial Centenary Extension officially opens to the public on Remembrance Day.

NSW GOVERNMENT DELIVERS APOLOGY TO SURVIVORS OF INSTITUTIONAL CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has delivered an apology to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse on behalf of the NSW Government at an official ceremony at the Sydney Opera House this morning.

The apology paid tribute to survivors, and thanked those who bravely shared their experiences through the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“On behalf of the Government and people of NSW, to every survivor, I apologise deeply and unreservedly – for the pain they have suffered, and for the failure of governments and institutions to protect them when they needed it most,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“It is my responsibility to ensure that we act today where governments and institutions too often failed in the past – beginning with the adoption and implementation of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

“We will use every authority of Government to create meaningful, enduring change in the institutions and organisations of our society.”

Attorney General Mark Speakman said today’s apology recognises the widespread impact of child sexual abuse revealed by the Royal Commission.

“The NSW Government has responded with comprehensive reforms to the civil and criminal law, helping victims and survivors obtain access to justice and improving child safety, as well as being the first state or territory to legislate for redress,” Mr Speakman said.

Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward said the NSW Government was taking action to prevent child sexual abuse and to provide greater access to services and support for survivors.

“We are ensuring non-government and government organisations are supported to promote child safety, better prevent and respond to child sexual abuse and improve treatment and support for survivors of abuse,” Ms Goward said.

The NSW Government encourages survivors of child sexual or physical assault to access confidential counselling that is available through the Victims Support Scheme on 1800 633 063.

Support can also be reached by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Survivors & Mates Support Network Helpline on 1800 472 676 and the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111.

LANDMARK CHILD PROTECTION REFORM TO ENSURE CHILDREN NO LONGER LANGUISH IN CARE

The NSW Government will introduce a landmark child protection Bill into parliament this week to streamline court processes for guardianship and open adoption to ensure a permanent home for every child within two years.

Amendments to the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act and the Adoption Act will also give parents and extended family members an opportunity to resolve child protection risks and avoid the removal of children from their families.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said short-term court orders will mean children no longer spend years moving between homes in the out-of-home care system.

“We want all children to know that they have a loving and safe home for life,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“When it is no longer safe for a child to stay at home, we want them to have a permanent home as quickly as possible through guardianship or open adoption. These reforms will help speed up that process.”

The reforms follow a wide-ranging public consultation process led by the discussion paper, Shaping A Better Child Protection System, released in October 2017.

Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward said the landmark reforms pave the way for family networks to support parents struggling to care for their children.

“For the first time ever, we will legislate for families to be offered alternatives such as Family Group Conferencing, giving parents and extended family the opportunity to address child protection risks so that their children can stay safely at home,” Ms Goward said.

“We are also looking to make guardianship easier for families with parents that know they can no longer care for their children and want to ensure their children have safety and security with a loving member of their family.”

 

Prime Minister, deliver on your promise to remove discrimination against LGBTIQ+ students this week: Greens

The Australian Greens are calling on Prime Minister Morrison to deliver on his promise during the Wentworth by-election to remove the ability of religious schools to discriminate against LGBTIQ+ students.

“When the heat was on during Wentworth, the Prime Minister promised a bill would be passed by the end of this week removing discrimination in religious schools,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens LGBTIQ+ spokesperson.

“Where is the bill? Or did the Prime Minister lie to the people of Wentworth?”

“There is one day of parliament left, so he better hurry. Time is ticking, Prime Minister.”

“The Greens have a bill that is already being debated in the Senate. If the Prime Minister doesn’t deliver on his promise to pass a government bill this week, the Greens will do the job for him when the Senate next sits.”

Map Newcastle’s iconic street art online

Where can you take a seat in the Lord Mayor’s chair, fight off a giant tyrannosaurus rex and have your mugshot taken as Newcastle’s ‘most wanted’ – all in the same day?

Only in Newcastle.

Our city’s iconic street art, including Trevor Dickinson’s Instagram-ready photo murals at Newcastle Museum, provide visitors and Novocastrians alike with fun, interactive experiences.

But few know exactly where all these amazing artworks live – and that’s where the ‘Pin the City’ project comes in.

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It’s a new, interactive online mapping tool that uses people power to pin the locations of their favourite works to a virtual map and create conversation around it.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the Pin the City project was part of Council’s aim to showcase the city’s most prized public assets – our people and their talents – to the world.

“Public art is an important part of the city’s changing landscape,” the Lord Mayor said.

“It tells a story, brings life to our streets and creates a thriving, inclusive and happy community where people are able to express themselves and their creative licenses.”

“So the next time you’re posing in front of a life-size painting or passing a brightly emblazoned mural or mosaic, make sure you stop, snap and send it to the Pin the City board for the whole world to see.”

Once you upload an image of an artwork and it’s live, a pin will appear showing users where it lives, and you will have made a great contribution to the city’s ever-evolving art scene.

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Thanks to your efforts and those of others, users can then not only locate the work and see it for themselves but also leave comments and start an online discussion.

The information that is added and verified by City of Newcastle staff will ensure that future generations will know who the artist was and when the work was commissioned.

For more information or to make a start on the mapping process, head online to https://newcastle.mysocialpinpoint.com/art-mapping#/ and being pinning your personal favourites to the board.

Council update: Tuesday 23 October 2018

Following is a summary of the Ordinary Council meeting for Tuesday 23 October 2018. NB: it is not a full record of resolutions.

Lord Mayoral Minute – Recognition of Jill Emberson
Council recognised Jill Emberson, ABC Newcastle broadcaster, for her contribution to raising awareness of ovarian cancer in our community.

Lord Mayoral Minute – Smart parking app success 
Council noted the success of the Easy Park pay by phone application with over 5,000 unique user downloads since March 2018 and will look to incentivise increased usage of the app in future.

Executive monthly performance report

The report was received.

Adoption of 2017/18 annual financial statements

Council received and adopted the annual financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2018.

Tabling of Pecuniary Interest Returns – Annual Report

Council noted the tabling of the report.

Internal reporting – Public Interest Disclosures Policy

The policy was adopted.

Draft Section 6.03 Wickham of Newcastle Development Control Plan 2012

Council resolved to adopt draft Section 6.03 Wickham for inclusion into the DCP.

Supercars 2017 Impact Assessment Report
Council received the report.

City Marketing and Engagement Policy

The 2018-2021 City Marketing and Engagement Strategy was adopted.

Planning Agreement – 5 Hall Street, Maryville

Council endorsed the Planning Agreement and authorised the CEO to execute the agreement. The approved plans include a protection zone to ensure the existing mangroves are retained and protected.

Stevenson Park Concept Landscape Masterplan

Council resolved to place the Stevenson Park Masterplan on public exhibition for 21 days and to receive a further report back to Council following the public exhibition.

Notices of Motion (NOM)

Verge gardens

A NOM was supported noting the approach adopted by a number of major Australian local authorities allowing residents to establish verge gardens, and to develop a draft Verge Garden Policy for Council’s consideration.

Skate bowl on South Newcastle Beach

An amended NOM was supported commiting to a review and finalisation of the coastal engineering report to ensure the proposed skate bowl does not negatively impact on the beach and coastline, and to engage in broader community consultation on the project.

Works program financial details

An amended NOM was supported for the City to provide a quarterly update of the 2019/20 works program to Council and the community via its website.

NSW LABOR WILL SLASH RED TAPE FOR FIREFIGHTER COMPENSATION

NSW Labor will slash red tape for firefighters seeking compensation following a cancer diagnosis, to put an end to them having to go to excessive lengths to prove a direct cause of the disease.

Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp today joined his colleague Member for Charlestown, Jodie Harrison and Fire Brigades Union Sub Branch Secretary, Jason Morgan at Cooks Hill Fire Station to discuss this pressing issue.

NSW is one of the last states to introduce appropriate legislation to eliminate red tape for firefighters seeking compensation following a Commonwealth Bill which was passed in 2011.

The legislation is being strongly supported by the Fire Brigade Employees Union and the Rural Fire Services Association who have been campaigning on the importance of presumptive cancer legislation for firefighters and volunteer firefighters being enacted in NSW.

Numerous studies have conclusively proven that firefighters are at much greater risk of developing certain cancers as a result of being exposed to hazardous substances due to the nature of their job.

A firefighter diagnosed with one or more of the 12 listed cancers would automatically have their disease presumed to be caused by occupational hazards while firefighting, if they meet the minimum service period according to the table below.

The Bill forms part of NSW Labor’s 2019 Emergency Services Plan.

Quotes attributable to Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp

“Firefighters regularly put their lives on the line to protect our communities from harm. It’s our duty to ensure we afford them the appropriate protections in return.”

“This legislation is intended to protect and assist firefighters during the tumultuous times which follow the diagnosis of cancer. NSW Labor is committed to providing our firefighters with the reassurance that they will be looked after. That is why this legislation is vitally important.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Charlestown Jodie Harrison

“It is a fact that exposure to hazardous chemicals causes cancer.”

“This Bill will make it easier for firefighters to access the compensation they deserve if they are diagnosed with cancer.”

“I, along with my Labor colleagues, stand in solidarity with the Fire Brigade Employees Union to fight for peace of mind for our firefighters.”

LABOR TO RESTORE INVESTMENT IN NEWCASTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Newcastle’s public schools will benefit from a massive $14 billion investment in school funding promised by Federal Labor today.

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said the funding would repair the damage done by cuts to Newcastle schools levied under the Turnbull Government.

“The Federal Government abandoned signed contracts with the New South Wales Government. This resulted in $14.5 million worth of cuts to Newcastle schools – or an average of $350,000 per school over 2017 and 2018,” Ms Claydon said.

“These cuts have meant fewer teachers, less individual attention and less support to help kids achieve their potential.

“Labor’s record investment is equivalent to hiring 13,000 extra teachers or 23,000 more teachers’ aides across the country.”

Ms Claydon said that two-thirds of students in Australia attend public schools.

“Public schools have borne the burden of the vast majority of the Government’s ideological cuts, despite the fact they educate the majority of our disadvantaged kids,” Ms Claydon said.

“All kids deserve a great education regardless of their background or their family’s finances.”

Ms Claydon said that investment in education is one of the best ways of driving future prosperity.

“Education is transformative – for individual kids, for communities and for the wider society,” Ms Claydon said.

“While the Government is focusing on backing in tax breaks that disproportionately benefit wealthy investors, Labor is investing in the future through our children.”

NEWCASTLE-HUNTER BANK VICTIMS ENCOURAGED TO TELL THEIR STORIES

Victims of immoral or illegal conduct by financial services institutions are invited to tell their stories at a banking roundtable in Newcastle on Friday.

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said she called the roundtable to shine a light on how the misconduct of banks and big finance is affecting people in the Newcastle-Hunter region.

“I’m aware of a number of shocking cases of misconduct that have had dire impacts on people and their families in our community,” Ms Claydon said.

“The roundtable will bring together banking victims and representatives from community organisations who see the impacts of banking misconduct in their work every day.”

Ms Claydon said she expected stories from the roundtable would help support the case for the Banking Royal Commission to visit regional communities like Newcastle.

“The Banking Royal Commission is doing great work bringing shocking evidence of appalling misconduct to light – from fees for no service, to predatory lending, contempt for regulators and straight-up breaches of the law,” Ms Claydon said.

“But the Commission has only been able to hear evidence from 27 victims, despite receiving over 9,000 submissions. This isn’t good enough. Australians right across the country deserve their chance to be heard.”

Ms Claydon said Morrison Government had repeatedly tried to block or diminish the scope of the Banking Royal Commission.

“Scott Morrison never wanted this Royal Commission. He ran a protection racket for the big banks for 600 days and voted against it 26 times. He called it a ‘populist whinge’ and a ‘reckless distraction’. And then he spent his last year as Treasurer trying to reward the big banks with a $17 billion tax cut.

“Labor called for this Royal Commission, Labor fought for this Royal Commission, Labor will allow victims to have their say, and Labor will work day and night to protect Australian businesses and consumers from this appalling misconduct.”

LABOR REINTRODUCES HIGH SPEED RAIL LEGISLATION

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has seconded Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese’s push to again get high speed rail off the ground.

Ms Claydon said Newcastle was one of the cities that stood to benefit the most from an east coast high speed rail connection.

“High speed rail has the potential to be an absolute game changer for Newcastle,” Ms Claydon said.

“It will revolutionise travel, create a wealth of jobs and turbocharge the local economy.”

Ms Claydon said it is the fifth time Labor has introduced the Bill to the Parliament because the Government refused to schedule previous bills for debate.

“This Bill would re-establish the High Speed Rail Authority so it can get on with the critical work of planning and securing the land for the rail corridor before it’s built out by urban sprawl,” Ms Claydon said.

“A study done by the former Labor Government showed that high speed rail would return $2.50 for every $1 invested, but we need to get moving on it quickly.”

Ms Claydon said the Abbott Government scrapped the High Speed Rail Planning Authority when it came to power, and no progress has been made under Malcolm Turnbull or Scott Morrison.

“To date, the Liberals have shown a staggering lack of vision about Australia’s future infrastructure needs,” Ms Claydon said.

“The Government says it supports high speed rail but blocks any actual opportunity for progress, but this legislation offers a chance to turn things around.

“We need to heed Infrastructure Australia’s warning about moving fast or we’ll add hundreds of millions to the cost of securing the corridor.

“The Government is on notice. It’s time they stepped up to put the national interest above their own internal chaos.”