Friday, 17 November 2017

Smart City looking Towards a Smart Future


It seems the Federal Government has recognised just how smart the city of Newcastle really is.

Newcastle City Council is today welcoming $5 million from the government under their Smart Cities and Suburbs program to put towards council's Smart Move Newcastle, part of Council's Smart City vision to boost the use of digital technology throughout the city in vehicles and infrastructure.

Assistant Minister for Cities Angus Taylor and
Newcastle Council Interim CEO Angus Taylor.
Council is more than matching the government's amount together with their partners putting $10 million towards the project as well.

Assistant Minister for Cities Angus Taylor was in Newcastle today to announce the funding and says Newcastle has the potential to lead the rest of the world.

"We'll be pioneering technology here for Australia and that are leading not just Australia but the world. This is a great opportunity not just to make Newcastle a better place to live and work but also give Newcastle the chance to really be a pioneer Australia wide and globally in these sorts of technologies," said Minister Taylor.

The funding will go towards supporting a range of initiatives including:
- An electric vehicle hub
- Autonomous vehicle trials
- Bus stops with technology to provide real-time information such as when the next bus is due
- Roads with real-time traffic analysis to give emergency vehicles green lights and alert commuters of traffic jams
- Sensors in buildings to monitor and manage energy use
- Cameras in smart light poles to analyse cloud coverage and estimate solar energy production

Council Interim CEO Jeremy Bath said the digital solutions will better the city in terms of infrastructure, transport and everything in between.

"Newcastle is a city that has always prided itself on its innovation and the Federal Government is joining with council and a number of companies from around Australia and indeed across the world showing they have the faith and the belief in Newcastle," said Jeremy.

"We really welcome the funding and welcome the interest from the Federal Government, Angus you can come back anytime with the chequebook!" said Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald.

Emergency Services Ready for Thousands at Newcastle 500


The V8 Supercars will be roaring into Newcastle in less than a week, and local emergency services will be out in force.

Supercars Australia says they've worked closely with both local and state emergency services to ensure every measure is put in place to deliver a safe and enjoyable weekend in the city.

There will be a strong police presence both inside the precinct and on the outskirts of the city.

"We're making sure from a policing aspect this is a family friendly event so we will be targeting any anti-social behaviour and those who over-indulge in alcohol so be warned. But primarily one of the key messages is about traffic and we will have a very very strong traffic contingent up from Sydney and combined with our local traffic and highway patrol officers," said NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell.

Police say they're satisfied they can manage both traffic and crowds heading into the city and are urging everyone to take public transport if they can.

"It's very very important that you give yourself ample time. It will be congested, we know that but police will be out in force so I would strongly suggest if you have the opportunity of travelling on public transport I would do so," said Assistant Commissioner Mitchell.

"One of the key aspects is about people walking to the event and making sure they can flow quite well to this precinct," said Assistant Commissioner Mitchell.

Supercars Australia has set up a dedicated medical centre and personnel for East End residents which will be on the corner of Telford and Stevenson Place and open from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November between 7am and 7pm.

"Supercars Australia has been working with local and state emergency agencies, both police, fire and ambulance to make we sure we have a comprehensive emergency service and safety plan for the event," said event organiser Kurt Sakzewski.

We want to make sure that everyone who is involved in this event whether they're a competitor, a spectator, resident inside the circuit and also those in the surrounding areas to make it a safe and enjoyable weekend."

In addition, there will be police, fire and ambulance services located inside the track precinct during the event.

"So in the case of an emergency as per usual if someone needs urgent assistance, if they can call triple zero and in most circumstances the response time will quite likely be faster than what they normally have because we've already got those services located inside the circuit," said Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell.

Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell, Event Manager Kurt Sakzewski,
Superintendent Greg Windeatt & Inspector Luke Wiseman from NSW Ambulance.

Reinstate Cardiff Station on New Express Train.


The new morning express train beginning November 26 will cut out approximately 26 minutes off the journey to Sydney but isn't stopping at Cardiff Station.

Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison, along with Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery, has this week launched a Notice of Motion by calling to add Cardiff Station as a stop on this new fast train.

Figures show 80 more commuters use Cardiff Station per hour compared to Broadmeadow Station, but despite these findings, Cardiff has been left out of the fast train service.

Jodie Harrison says the fast train will be a wonderful service, but Cardiff Station should be included.

"Cardiff Station is one of the busiest stations in the Hunter used by people who commute to Sydney for work and it's not being included as a stop for the new express train to Sydney.

"That express train will be a great service, it will reduce travel time by 26 minutes as against the current service, but Cardiff station really needs to be included so that the people can use that station don't lose out."

She also states commuters who regularly use Cardiff must swap trains in order to catch the Fast Train.

"I wrote to the Minister of Transport and the Parliamentary Secretary wrote back who said that instead of catching the 5:03am new express service from the Newcastle Interchange, that people who want to use Cardiff Station can instead get on the 4:53am service and change to the 5:03am service at Morriest or Wyong stations.

"We all know that people don't like changing modes of transport, they don't like changing trains and it will mean that people currently using Cardiff station for that service will miss out."

Cardiff Train Station
Credit- Leah Jay

Funding for Ideas to Reduce Hunter Crime


In a bid to stamp down crime across the Hunter region, the State Government is now looking to local community groups for possible solutions.

The Community Safety Fund is driving this collaborative approach to local crime, with grants of up to $250, 000 up for grabs for those with innovative ideas.

Councils, businesses and not-for-profit groups can apply for the grants online at and submit ideas about improving safety and reducing crime in their local area.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald says he'd like to see local organisations get involved with this initiative and apply for a grant.

"I'd really urge people, particularly neighbourhood-watch type groups but anybody that is involved in their community, to look at these things and my suggestion would be strongly to talk to your local area command because whatever ideas are put up, really [have] a lot better chance at success if the local police are behind it."

While crime rates across the region may actually be going down, Scot MacDonald says numerous problem areas still exist.

"By and large, our stats are going down...but having said that, there is no doubt when I'm out there in the community there are "hot-spots" where there's anti-social behaviour. I've been around different areas where people have expressed their concerns over this, well now I'm saying to those people get some of your community together, look at this and see if you can put up a good idea."

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald

Police Investigate Windale Road Rage Incident


Lake Macquarie Police want speak to the person who videoed a group of people bashing a man at Windale in front of a group of onlookers.

About half a dozen people including young children, are seen kicking the middle-aged man in the head while he was lying in the middle of the road.

The man then gets up and walks back to his car.

2NUR-FM News understands the incident happened late on Tuesday afternoon near the intersection of Merrigum Street and South Street after the driver failed to negotiate the corner and crashed into a fence.

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

Newcastle Men Face A Life Sentence Over Massive Cocaine Haul


Three Newcastle men accused of trying to import 700 kilograms of cocaine from Tahiti to Australia are facing the prospect of life behind bars.

Musicians Craig Lemke and Kent Jackson along with another man, Dennis Bath are facing drug importation charges over the $245 million haul which was found on a yacht intercepted near Toronto on Wednesday.

It's been revealed Lemke, who allegedly sailed the catamaran from Tahiti, had no idea he was being tracked all the way.

Australian Border Force Acting Assistant Commissioner, James Watson says authorities are always on the lookout for drug smugglers.

"It doesn't matter whether it's one gram or a hundred kilograms or 700 kilograms. Our officers are absolutely determined to work with all of our partners, both onshore and offshore, to detect and disrupt these kind of importations from occurring," he said.

Dennis Bath Was Allegedly On Board The Catamaran When It Was Intercepted On Lake Macquarie

Man Arrested After Pursuit At Rutherford


A pursuit has ended with the arrest of a man at Rutherford.

Patrolling police attempted to stop a Ford Falcon for a Random Breath Test on the New England Highway at 1.50am on Friday, but the driver sped off.

The officers gave chase, with the Falcon allegedly clocked at 120 kilometres per hour in an 80 zone.

The pursuit ended about 10 minutes later when the car pulled into a driveway.

A man in his 40's was arrested - he's expected to be charged with Skyes Law (failing to Stop) and disqualified driving.