Friday, 25 May 2018

Family Of Belmont Paramedic Go Public About His Tragic Death


The family of a Belmont paramedic who took his own life last month is calling for answers from the NSW Ambulance Service.

It's emerged Tony Jenkins was already struggling with work-related stress and had documented numerous incidents to management about paramedics being sent to dangerous jobs without proper information or support - all to no avail.

Tony's family believe the tipping point came when he was summoned to a meeting with senior management on the day he died to discuss his alleged use of the powerful painkiller, Fentanyl, which they claim had been taken from Hunter ambulance stations.

He was then dropped off alone by a senior Ambulance officer and died a short time later.

Toxicology results showed the 54-year-old had no traces of Fentanyl in his system when he died.

There were no notes or recordings of his meeting with Ambulance management, raising questions as to what was said at the time.

Tony's daughter, Cidney told the ABC, he didn't receive the support he needed from management.

"I think after 28 years of helping everybody else, when it came down to it, he did ask for help and he didn't receive it and  he deserved to receive it," she said.

If you need to speak to someone, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Tony Jenkins Picture:

Four Arrested After Pursuit On Stockton Beach


Police have arrested four men after a wild pursuit on the Stockton sand dunes.

Officers spotted a Hyundai which they believed had been stolen on Dunbar Street on Thursday morning, but the car took off when they tried to pull it over.

The car was then driven onto Stockton Beach via Lavis Lane and the officers commandeered a quad bike, chasing the car for one-and-a-half kilometres along the sand before catching the men.

It's alleged one of the offenders spat in the face of one of the officers

The four, all aged in their 20's  are facing 12 charges including robbery and assault police - it's also alleged they were in possession of counterfeit cash.

Police Search For P-Plater Caught Red Handed Using Her Mobile At Callaghan


Police are appealing for help to identify a young p-plate driver seen on video footage using her mobile phone while behind the wheel.

The incident was captured as the woman was driving her red Holden Commodore along University Drive at Callaghan at about 2.50pm on Wednesday.

The young driver is seen chatting on the phone and then smiling, laughing and waving with mobile in hand to people in a car driving beside her.

The person who shot the video is heard telling the woman that there is a police car behind her before attending Waratah Police Station to hand over the footage and report the incident.

The video has since gone viral on social media.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Video Capture Of The Alleged Incident On University Drive

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Ceremony for Newcastle Volunteers


Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes has today thanked those volunteers who make our city a better place.

Around 100 volunteers gathered for morning tea this morning at Newcastle Museum to mark their thousands of hours worked.

350 special people have rolled up their sleeves to get involved in various projects across the city, with volunteers at Blackbutt Reserve and Landcare alone racking up 24,000 hours.

Thanks: the ceremony this morning. Image: NCC. 

Williamtown Residents Disappointed with Council's "window dressing" Rate Relief


Residents of Williamtown's red zone are disappointed with Port Stephens Council's proposed rate relief, with Fullerton Cove Residents Action Group President Lindsay Clout labelling the move a "window dressing exercise."

The relief would see rates reduced by up to 50% for residents of the red zone, with the cost balanced by a small increase for remaining ratepayers. The proposed changes have left some residents concerned Council is simply shifting the cost instead of fixing the problem.

Lindsay Clout says Council should be challenging the Department of Defence over the issue.

"Are they really trying to help us? If they were, they'd be standing beside us and demanding Defence clean up this contamination," said Lindsay Clout.

"That's what we want."

Council admits the move won't solve everything and says the rate reduction is a way for them to help at a local level, but residents aren't satisfied enough is being done.

"We're still being contaminated, people are sick, people can't move out because land prices have collapsed," said Lindsay Clout.

"And to think that a small percentage rate reduction is going to fix the problem (is) nonsense."

Williamtown residents aren't satisfied with proposed rate relief. Image: ABC.

Pressure mounts on convicted Archbishop to step down


Greens MP for Justice, David Shoebridge is addressing parliament today over what he's labelled the shocking response of the Catholic Church over a Newcastle Court's conviction of a senior clergyman.

Adelaide Archbishop, Philip Wilson was on Tuesday found guilty of concealing the abuse of four boys in the Hunter during the 1970s by late paedophile priest James Fletcher.

Abuse survivor advocates have slammed statements from Archbishop Wilson and the Church which announced his step down from duties but not a relinquishment of his title.

They believe the Church's prayers for those who "shared their stories" during the trial, displays no regret or remorse for Wilson's actions.

David Shoebridge is calling on state parliament to admit the Church has not only failed victims historically but is failing survivors now in 2018.

"I can't imagine any other workplace or organisation that would see one of their senior leaders convicted of the crime of concealing child sex offences and continue to have a position of authority," Mr Shoebridge said.

"Of course there should be a defrocking process started," he said, "it shouldn't have just started at the time of the conviction, the Church should've had the measures in place for as soon as a conviction was announced."

Mr Shoebridge believes it's not good enough for parliament to adopt some of the recommendations of the December report of the Royal Commission, but rather, reform is needed across the criminal justice system to ensure religious institutions cannot access mitigation such as the Ellis defence.

The Ellis defence stems from a 2007 case in the NSW Court of Appeal which saw abuse survivor John Ellis lose his case to access compensation from the Church, as trustees were held not to be liable for the crimes of individuals operating in the organisation.

Pressure is now mounting on Philip Wilson to stand down from the Archbishophood, which, in a statement, he promised to do "if it becomes necessary or appropriate."

Philip Wilson leaves Newcastle Local Court. Image: ABC. 

Newstart Recipients Feeling the Pinch


Hunter area officer for the Salvation Army, Mark Everitt says that Newcastle is much like the rest of the country when it comes to Newstart recipients.

That is to say, after accommodation costs, Novocastrians on a Newstart allowance live on just $17 a day.

"We've got good prosperity, we've got success at a lot of places," Mark says. "But it doesn't take much to find the people who are still struggling, even with all the support we've got people are just doing it hard."

In a damning data report released yesterday by the Salvation Army, it was shown that the Newstart allowance program does extremely little to relieve low-income earners of financial hardship.

90 percent of the 1,267 respondents to the survey were living under the poverty line ($426.80 per week) and 84 percent were paying more than half their income on housing. Furthermore, 73 percent of respondents could not raise $500 in a week in the event of an emergency.

The original Newstart program was designed to help people suffering a period of unemployment or to assist workers not making enough to support themselves and their families. The current Newstart allowance for a single adult is $545.80 per fortnight.

It has been this way since 1994, with no adjustment for inflation. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, if inflation were taken into account, Newstart recipients would be on $976.73 per fortnight.

The Salvation Army is urging the government to review the Newstart program so that low-income earners are not left in the dust. This, however, seems unlikely as the Turnbull government refused to raise the Newstart allowance just two weeks ago.

Mark Everitt says the best way to raise up to or above the poverty line is to find a job but that is an incomplete solution for some Australians. "Finding employment is obviously going to be a good thing," says Mr Everitt. "But I guess we'll never have 100% employment unless something drastic happens to how we structure our society."

The Salvation Army does what it can to compensate for the Newstart program's shortfalls but the report released yesterday shows that the problem is bigger than people can handle.

Source: The New Daily