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.”

Officers assaulted; wanted teenager charged – Weston

Two officers were allegedly assaulted after arresting a teenager who was wanted on an outstanding warrant in the Hunter region overnight.

About 12.45am (Tuesday 23 October 2018), police from Hunter Valley Police District attended a home on Fourth Street, Weston, after reports a teenager wanted on an outstanding warrant was at the property.

On arrival, they found a 16-year-old boy inside, who attempted to flee.

It’s alleged two senior constables stopped him and as they attempted to arrest him, a struggle ensued.

Neighbouring residents intervened, and it’s alleged both officers were assaulted – one was struck several times in the head and body.

As police attempted to restrain the teenager, he was tasered and OC spray was deployed.

It’s further alleged residents continued to intervene and one of the senior constables drew his taser until additional police arrived at the scene.

The boy was taken to Cessnock Police Station and charged with the outstanding warrant, resist officer in execution of duty, assault police officer in execution of duty cause aggravated bodily harm, possess prohibited drug, and possession of equipment for administering prohibited drugs.

He was refused bail to appear at a children’s court today (Tuesday 23 October 2018), where he was refused bail again to reappear at the same court on Tuesday 13 November 2018.

Man charged with multiple offences following alleged assault – Newcastle City

A man has been charged with a number of offences including assault after police were called to a hotel in Wickham yesterday.

About 7.35pm (Monday 22 October 2018), officers from Newcastle City were called to a hotel on Maitland Road following reports of an assault.

On arrival officers were told a 47-year-old man allegedly threatened a female staff member after he was asked to leave due to his level of intoxication.

It’s alleged the man punched a male patron before throwing a schooner glass towards him causing it to smash on the ground.

The patron suffered minor injuries – not from the glass – and didn’t require medical treatment.

Police arrested the man and during a search officers allegedly located a large amount of money and a billiard ball wrapped within a sock.

The man was taken to Newcastle Police Station where he was charged with intimidation, common assault, goods in custody suspected of being stolen or unlawfully obtained and custody of an offensive implement in a public place.

He was refused bail and will appear in Newcastle Local Court today (Tuesday 23 October 2018).

Adam Bandt Says the Government’s plan to bring down Energy prices is a con

Greens climate change and energy spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today slammed the government’s latest attempt at an energy plan, saying the price ‘safety net’ was a con and the coal slush-fund an irresponsible use of public money that will make global warming worse.

“This price ‘safety net’ move is an absolute con,” said Mr Bandt.

“When you read the fine print, the so-called ‘cap’ won’t apply to 80-90% of customers.

“And the CEO of Energy Australia has even threatened to put up the prices of the 80-90% of customers to make up for their lost profits if the government forces the power bills of 10-20% of customers down.

“The government’s so-called safety net has holes so big that most people will fall through them.

“The government’s energy plan is also to pay polluters to keep on polluting through a coal-slush fund.

“While the Greens want to make the polluters pay, the Liberals want to pay the polluters to keep on polluting.

“The government’s latest appalling move is to strip money from schools and hospitals and give it to coal-fired power stations.

“It’s like taking money from the health budget and giving it to an asbestos business.

“Scientists are telling us to shut down one coal-fired power station per year between now and 2030 but instead the Liberals want to build more.

“If the government takes public money and gives it to coal, they’re toast. They won’t survive the next election and I’ll be glad to see the back of them.”

Greens say Corrupting Influence of the Gun Lobby Out to Water Down Gun Control Laws

Australian Greens Spokesperson for Gun Control, Senator Mehreen Faruqi and Greens spokesperson for Democracy, Senator Larissa Waters, have reacted to today’s reports that the gun lobby is trying to weaken Australia’s gun laws and that pro-gun groups have used Ministerial Advisory Panels to lobby against greater gun controls.

Australian Greens Spokesperson for Gun Control, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, said:

“Federal and State Governments have dropped the ball on gun control. No Australian State or Territory has fully complied with the National Firearms Agreement which is absolutely appalling. We need to rekindle the kind of political courage we saw after the Port Arthur Massacre and push back against any move to weaken our gun laws.

“We should be tightening restrictions on guns, not entertaining militaristic fantasies or the weapons industry which simply want to sell more guns.

“The scourge of gun violence in the United States is directly related to the power and money the gun lobby has there. We don’t need a corporate lobby pushing to roll back our gun laws,” she concluded.

Greens spokesperson for Democracy Senator Larissa Waters said:

“A major overhaul of political donation laws in this country is long overdue, but any watering down of gun laws puts public safety at immediate risk making it even more important for the corrupting influence of the gun lobby to be eliminated from our democracy urgently.

“Firearm interest groups have donated at least $500,000 to political parties including the LNP, Labor and The Katter Party. How can Australians have any faith that these political parties are acting in their best interests on gun laws rather than the interests of their donors and their corporate profits?

“If we have any hope of restoring trust in our democracy we need to ban donations from vested interests and end the revolving door between lobbyists and politicians and we cannot allow the power wielded by weapons manufacturers over political parties to go unchecked.”

NSW Waratahs latest major sporting team coming to Newcastle

City of Newcastle has secured the NSW Waratahs first ever official Super Rugby match at McDonald Jones Stadium in March next year.

The announcement breaks new ground for both the 2014 Super Rugby champions and City of Newcastle, with Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes confirming next year’s fixture would be the first time the State team has taken a home game to a destination outside of Sydney.

Waratahs-Inside.jpg

NSW Waratahs Assistant Coach Chris Whitaker and CEO Andrew Hore with Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes at McDonald Jones Stadium

“This is a major coup for Newcastle so to be standing here at McDonald Jones Stadium today to welcome this foundation State team to our city is just incredible,” the Lord Mayor said after the City secured the NSW Waratahs’ historic game as part of a joint bid with Venues NSW.

“We’re proud to be the inaugural beneficiaries of the NSW Waratahs’ first foray outside of Sydney, particularly for a competition which has now achieved true international status with the addition of Japanese and Argentinean teams.”
kids-with-Harry.JPG
The NSW Waratahs have played pre-season matches outside of Sydney, but the 29 March fixture against the Japan Sunwolves will be the first home game ever staged outside of the harbour city during the regular season.

“Securing the NSW Waratahs is just the latest major sporting team or event Newcastle has secured over the past year,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We’ve just had the Australian netball team play a test against England. The Matildas game vs Chile is early next month, and of course final preparations are under way for November’s Supercars race. Next month we will learn if Newcastle will be the 2021 host city for the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

“Our ability to continually attract some of the country’s best live sporting and entertainment events shows just how committed we are to making our city the best it can possibly be.

“We look forward to working with the NSW Waratahs, Venues NSW and McDonald Jones Stadium to host this event next year in the hope that it will become a permanent fixture from 2020 onwards.”

NSW Waratahs prop Harry Johnson-Holmes at McDonald Jones Stadium