Skip navigation

Latest Headlines

CANBERRA, April 28 AAP - Taxpayers will subsidise nannies for the first time in a limited trial costing $246 million.
Families earning less than $250,000 a year can apply to be part of a two-year program, which will be especially aimed at helping those in rural and regional areas.
However, nannies won't be forced to get childcare qualifications to be eligible for subsidies.
Shift workers such as nurses, police officers and other emergency services personnel often had trouble finding child care that suited their circumstances, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday.
The same was true for those in regional areas and people with special needs children.
"Increasingly nannies are being used by families to make sure they can meet their workforce commitments," Mr Morrison said in a statement.
"Parents doing shift work or working irregular hours need the reassurance that their children are safe and happy in their home while they work to support their family, as do those families in rural or remote locations or those with other accessibility issues."
About 10,000 children will be covered by the trial.
The government is using the trial, to be funded in the coming budget, to see whether it's viable to offer subsidies to everyone using in-home care.
Only nannies employed through government-approved services will attract the subsidy.
They must have a working with children check and first aid training.
But unlike workers in childcare centres, they won't be required to have minimum early childhood care qualifications and the National Quality Framework won't apply.
The government won't pay more to families who do employ someone with specific qualifications.
The trial will run during 2016 and 2017.

CANBERRA, April 28 AAP - Australia and France will share more intelligence and strengthen joint counter-terrorism efforts in the face of the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and French President Francois Hollande agreed at their meeting in Paris on Monday (local time) to enhance the two countries' co-operation on global security, terrorism and stopping citizens from joining extremist groups in the Middle East.
They also decided to set up an exchange program for counter-terrorism police.

Seven NSW Police officers are physically assaulted every day, with those on the beat claiming they feel like “second¬-class citizens’’ because offenders continue to escape punishment. 
Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research figures reveal that 2516 police officers were assaulted on duty last year — which equates to 6.8 every day.
The data also shows 6528 incidents of resisting or hindering an officer on duty, up 6403 on the previous year. Read more>>
SYDNEY, April 24 AAP - Coal seam gas explorer Metgasco has successfully challenged the suspension of its drilling licence by the NSW government.
The company's licence to drill the Rosella well near Lismore in northern NSW was suspended by Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts in May 2014, on the grounds the company hadn't properly consulted the community about its exploration.
But the Supreme Court on Friday ruled the minister's actions were not made according to law.
Notice of the suspension "came as a bolt from the blue to Metgasco", Justice Richard Button ruled, and procedural fairness was not implemented.
Justice Button also noted the public controversy leading up to the minister's decision to suspend the licence, and said his ruling related only to the legal processes followed, and not the "desirability" of Metgasco's activities in the northern rivers region.
The government has been ordered to pay Metgasco's legal costs.
Metgasco said it was reviewing the court's decision before issuing a detailed response.
Its shares were up 2.1 cents, or 37.5 per cent, at 7.7 cents at 1245 AEST.

SYDNEY, April 24 AAP - The NSW government has extended the contract of Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione for up to two years.
Premier Mike Baird said he was delighted Mr Scipione, who was expected to retire in September, had agreed to stay on.
"I'm sure the community and the NSW Police Force will welcome this extension, which will facilitate the transition to a new commissioner," he said in a statement.

The introduction of Newcastle-style liquor laws to Sydney’s city centre late-night venues has led to a ‘‘dramatic’’ and ‘‘spectacular’’ reduction in assaults by as much as 40 per cent, a new analysis shows. Read more>>

SYDNEY, April 16 AAP - The ice scourge is the biggest problem on the crime front with new statistics showing a record number of amphetamine-related arrests in NSW over the past two years.
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) report on NSW Recorded Crime Statistics, released on Thursday, shows that the statewide trend for stealing related crimes went down in the two years to December 2014.
Four-year trends suggest NSW residents' chances of being robbed, attacked or losing a car to theft all went down.
"In fact in the case of robbery with a firearm, you're as safe as records go back," BOCSAR director Don Weatherburn said.
The only major robbery offence trending up was stealing from a dwelling, which rose 3.2 per cent.
But domestic-related assaults rose over that four-year period and both the BOCSAR boss and the NSW Police Commissioner warn that assaults and robberies in the state could increase if drug crime, which is surging, isn't curbed.
A record 7,058 people were arrested for possessing or using amphetamines in 2014, which represents a jump of 36.3 per cent compared with 2013 figures.
"The big problem on the crime front is methamphetamine," Dr Weatherburn said.
"We've got record numbers of arrests for amphetamine possession, record numbers of arrests for dealing and trafficking in amphetamine and record numbers of amphetamine seizures at the customs barrier.
"It's amazing that none of this has pushed up assaults and robbery - but if current trends continue, we certainly can't rule that possibility out."
Amphetamine is not the only drug type causing concern.
Crimes involving possession or use of cocaine, narcotics and cannabis all rose over the same period - by as much as 31.2 per cent in the case of cocaine.

Sydney's lockout laws have greatly reduced violent assaults in the CBD and Kings Cross but drug possession and trafficking has increased sharply across NSW, a major crime report has found.
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research report also showed most major crimes including robbery and theft had decreased for the 24 months to December 2014. Read more>>

Police officers who pursued a speeding teenage motorcyclist were not responsible for the crash which caused his death, a Coroner has found today. Read more>>

Four years ago while raising money for Lymphoma Australia by riding from Sydney to Canberra, Senior Constable Craig Tonks thought about starting a similar charity ride for the families of fallen officers. 
“I sat on the idea for a while until the death of Bryson Anderson, who worked at the Hawkesbury Command, which is next to The Hills, an area where I had attended many jobs,” said Sen-Constable Tonks from North Shore LAC. “Policing is a unique occupation. We choose the job we do, however, our families don’t. Read more>>