Friday, 26 August 2016

Stockton Boat Harbour to Stay in Public Hands

BY GARY-JON LYSAGHT

Newcastle commercial fisherman have breathed a sigh of relief after Roads and Maritime Services agreed to refurbish the Stockton boat harbour.

The announcement follows concerns the centre would be privatised by the State Government, or even closed.

The centre is in a rather battered condition, with repair costs expected to soar into the millions.

Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp has agreement to keep the harbour in public hands is a real win for local fishers.

“In light of the contamination issues at Williamtown as well as the licensing changes that are really detrimental to fishers, it’s great news,” he said.

Tim Crakanthorp
“You’ve got professional fishermen and recreational fishermen that use that boat harbour.  It will stay open now as opposed to closing or being privatised.”

Even though RMS has agreed to keep the site open and public, it will be a long time before the centre is at its former glory, with large-scale renovation on the way.

“There are lots of temporary walkways around it, there are real work and safety issues as well as the need for significant dredging,” Crakanthorp said.

“It’ll need quite a few million dollars to fix this harbour and it’s good to see the Government’s finally going to stump up.”

“I hope that now the Government has seen sense in letting the Stockton fishers keep their harbour, they will take another look at the commercial fishing reforms.  These fishers have suffered through enough.”

Man Faces Sentencing Today 15 Years On From Fatal Karuah Smash

BY IAN CROUCH

 A disqualified driver high on drugs who caused a fatal crash at Karuah 15 years ago has pleaded guilty in Newcastle District Court.

Michael Collins will be sentenced today over the horrific 2001 head-on crash on the Pacific Highway which claimed the life of 26-year-old British woman Arabella Stuart and left three others seriously injured.

He fled the country to Turkey following the crash and was only arrested last year.

Members of Ms Stuart's family traveled from the UK for yesterday's sentence hearing and read emotional victim impact statements to the court.

The Fatal Crash Scene in January 2001. Picture Courtesy theherald.com.au

Alleged Newcastle Tyre Slasher Caught

BY IAN CROUCH

 Police believe they've caught the serial tyre slasher who's been wreaking havoc around Newcastle's  inner suburbs in recent months.

Police have received 138 reports of tyres being slashed around the Mayfield and Tighes Hill areas since May this year.

Officers executed a search warrant at a Mayfield home yesterday, arresting a 44-year-old woman.

Says she's been charged with 8 counts of malicious damage and 3 counts of drug possession and refused bail to face Newcastle Local Court today.

A motive for the alleged attacks has not been revealed.

Police released this CCTV Image recently of a women they believed could assist with inquiries

Thursday, 25 August 2016

State Government Plan to sell Myuna Bay Sport Centre Surfaces

BY GARY-JON LYSAGHT

A recent report has suggested that the State Government have begun plans to privatise recreational sports centres across the State, including Myuna Bay and Point Wolstoncroft on the shores of Lake Macquarie.

A report in The Newcastle Herald has suggested that up to eight of the 11 recreational sports centres across New South Wales will be up for lease.

Myuna Bay could be up for sale [Image Source: NSW Government].
The report says doing so would provide “the most favourable long-term return to government”.
Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper has expressed concern over the plans, calling the sell-off of land by the Government is “enormous”.

“The amount of property of the people of NSW that can be lost in one generation, if you like, of government has been quite enormous,” he told 2NUR FM’s Todd Sergeant.

“This is part of the NSW estate that has been built up over a long period of time and there’s so much of it being lost in such a short period of time.”

The privatisation plan is the latest in a string of sell offs by the State Government in an effort to fund major projects like the Newcastle light rail and Sydney’s West Connex.

But Greg Piper says the Government still has a few questions to answer as to why the sale would be a good thing.
Stuart Ayres

“Why would we do it?  I’d image that they will say there might be better value in it for the people,” he said.

“They’ll claim that perhaps the private sector can do it better, I’m not convinced th
at that’s the case.
“I’m sure that people who’ve worked in the system and those thousands of people who have benefited over the years would probably have a different opinion.”


The Government are yet to confirm the plan, with Piper confirming Sport Minister Stuart Ayres’ office have agreed to brief him.

BREAKING! Police Investigate After Man Shot At Muswellbrook

BY IAN CROUCH

 Hunter Valley police are investigating after a man was shot at Muswellbrook last night.

Officers were called to reports of shots being fired in Anzac Parade at about 10.30pm, arriving to find damage to a house and car in the street.

Just before 4.00am today, a 25-yeart-old man was found with gunshot wounds to his back and arm in Brook Street, Muswellbrook.

He was treated by Ambulance Paramedics before being taken to the John Hunter Hospital, where he remains in a stable condition.

Police say he is refusing to assist with their inquiries.

Police are urging anyone with information about either incident to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Sydney Man To Stand Trial Over Fatal Williamtown Crash

BY IAN CROUCH

 A Sydney man charged over a crash at Williamtown last year which claimed the life of his 7-year-old nephew has been ordered to stand trial.

It's alleged Robert Shashati was under the influence of drugs when he lost control of his 4-wheel drive on Medowie Road and crashed into a ditch on January 21 2015.

Shashati's 7-year-old nephew was one of 4 boys in the car at the time of the crash.

Newcastle Local Court heard the 37-year-old was angry because they were running late to go quad-bike riding, so allegedly decided to speed on the wrong side of the road to overtake traffic.

The Crash Scene Photo Courtesy theherald.com.au





Search Continues For Suspected Adamstown Firebug

BY IAN CROUCH

 Newcastle police have released CCTV images of a man wanted over a suspicious house fire at Adamstown last month.

Emergency services were called to a home on Bryant Street just before midnight on Thursday July 28 following reports of a fire.

No one was home at the time and the fire was quickly extinguished causing only minor damage.

Police want to speak to man depicted in CCTV images who they believe can help with their investigation.

He's described as being Caucasian with a medium build, brown hair and brown facial hair and aged in his 40's or 50's. He's shown wearing a green beanie, dark coloured jumper and cargo pants.


The Man Police Would Like To Speak To