Teenage armed robber arrested by Geelong detectives

Source: State of Victoria Police

Saturday, 15 August 2020 02:46

Geelong Crime Investigation Unit detectives have charged a 13-year-old boy following an armed robbery in North Geelong on Friday 14 August.

The incident took place on Coxon Parade when a taxi driver was confronted by the boy, allegedly armed with an imitation firearm, demanding that he hand over his takings around 4.30pm.

After he was given an amount of cash the teenager ran off down the driveway of some neighbouring units.

The teenager was arrested a short time later and has been charged with armed robbery.

He has been remanded in custody to appear at a children’s court at a later date.

Creina O’Grady

Media Officer


Commemorative Address – Australian War Memorial, ACT

Source: Prime Minister of Australia

PRIME MINISTER: Today, in suburbs and towns across this land, the last of a great generation are remembering a different time.

A time when the joy of their youth was denied and forced to give way to the responsibility of nation, of adulthood.

A time of sacrifice and struggle.

Of ration books, blackouts, heartfelt farewells on shipping docks.

Penciled notes from battlefields, tear soaked telegrams.

And of a great victory that changed the course of human history.

During the Second World War, one million Australians wore our uniform and made the silent promise to give their lives for their country, if need be. Their tomorrows for our today.

The names of almost 40,000 Australians upon whom that sacrifice was called are inscribed here in their home at the Australian War Memorial. They are among 102,000 Australians who have given their lives for Australia in so many theatres.

This memorial, located on Ngunnawal land and in direct line of sight of the Parliament, is Australia’s most sacred place.

Here I am joined by three incredible Australians – themselves once part of a generation of young men and women who pledged their service to our country.

To defeat Hitler and the evils of Nazism.

To stop the aggression and conquest of militaristic Japan.

To defend our sovereignty, freedom and our way of life.

And to defend an attack on Australia.

Derek Holyoake, Lance Cooke, Les Cook thank you. Thank you. And thank you for joining us today.  We were also going to be joined today by Terri Lessels but she is unwell and is watching from home. 

Terri was part of the Australian Army Medical Women’s Service, we just heard of. She nursed men in traction, cared for emaciated Prisoners of War and tended to burn victims. Difficult work.

Derek was 16 when he joined the Navy. He pretended to be 17. He was on the HMAS Hobart when it was hit by a torpedo. 

Lance was a flight mechanic. He kept our Beaufighters in the air. He checked every spark plug to keep our pilots and navigators safe. And as he said “They were my mates”.

And Les, like Derek, tried to enlist at 16 – except the enlisting officer told him to “try the scouts!” 

Les wasn’t perturbed. He returned at 17 and his Dad signed up too. 

Why did Les join up? He put it simply…”it was the thing to do… you didn’t give it a second thought”

There was another reason too, he said: “to stop the bully”.

No truer words have been spoken.

For that’s what happened. That’s what they did.

A country of seven million Australians united and became one in a mighty national effort to defend human civilisation from the bullies who sought to destroy it.

Derek, Lance and Les – there you were.

Boys who helped free a world. And be great men.

You marched. You sailed. You flew in planes like the KittyHawk ‘’Polly’ behind me.

You peered through binoculars and pored over maps.

You washed the mud off your rifles in rivers and swotted mosquitos in jungles.

You said prayers on ships as the bodies of dead friends were committed to the deep.

You battled sun storms, snow-storms and torrential rain, while carrying the heavy load of your packs. 

This generation, you did all this with your nation behind you and always in your mind.

Everyone played their part. 

Living up to the call of the then Prime Minister Curtin who said ‘no one else can do your share’. True then. True today.

Australia wasn’t alone. We stood with our allies and our friends.

This was a global fight – all understood that if tyranny was not confronted together, eventually it would be confronted alone.

True then, true today.

Today we remember those we stood with.

The airmen of Bomber Command, Fighter Command and Coastal Command – the Brits, the Canadians, the South Africans, the Poles,  the Czechs, the Kiwis, the French and our many  other allies.

The Russians who withstood and turned back the Nazi war machine.

The Indians who stood alongside us in Tobruk, in Singapore and elsewhere.

The villagers and local people in Thailand, in Burma, in Borneo, and even Japan who defied the authorities and smuggled food to our PoWs.

The local Chinese communities in Singapore, Malaya and elsewhere who showed their own kindnesses.

And how can we ever forget, as I constantly relay to Prime Minister Marape of Papua New Guinea, the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels of New Guinea, the wonderful Solomon Islanders, and all of our Pacific Island family and friends.

The Dutch, the Kiwis, and the ally who led the fight to free the Pacific, our great friend the United States of America. 

Today we call to mind all who stood with us – and all we stand with.

The names, the places, the battles are part of our national story.

The Rats of Tobruk.

The HMAS Sydney.

Sir Roden Cutler, the campaign for Syria where Gunner Leslie Smith was also, my Grandfather.

Vivian Bullwinkel and the nurses of Banka Island.

Weary Dunlop and the Thai-Burma Railway.

Teddy Sheean and the HMAS Armidale.

The Aussie Rules flying ace Bluey Truscott and the defence of Milne Bay.

The stretcher bearer ‘Bull’ Allen and the wounded he carried to safety up Mount Tambu.

Nancy Wake, ‘the White Mouse’ who outwitted the Gestapo. 

Mebai Warusam, Awati Mau and the Torres Strait Islander Light Infantry Battalion.

The sailors of the Coral Sea, Midway, the Bismarck Sea and Guadalcanal.

The battles and campaigns: mainland Greece and Crete, El Alamein, Rabaul, Timor, Ambon, and Singapore – and so many more places where Australian blood was shed. 

All of which was part of one great national effort.

So Ben Chifley declared 75 years ago; Fellow citizens, the War is over.

On that day Australians spilled into the streets.

Laughter, dancing, and thanksgiving.

Joy overflowed our nation.

Derek was in Adelaide that day. He said everyone went mad with joy. Everyone was kissed: the police were kissed, the horses were kissed. He said everyone got kissed but him.

And from that victory, the most remarkable thing happened.

From the ruins of war, sworn enemies became our devoted friends. 

As I think of the peace that emerged – I think of Darwin today.

The walk from war to peace to friendship has taken many steps.

Small and big they have all mattered.

About fifteen years after the end of the war, a Japanese salvage company was given the contract to salvage the wreckages that lay in Darwin Harbour.

Amongst the metal salvaged was bronze from the Australian merchant vessel Zealandia.

The Zealandia had been sunk in February 1942.

After the salvage crew returned to Japan, they melted the bronze and made it into 77 Christian crosses.

The crosses were then given to a church in Darwin as a gift, that had been built on what was the site of a United States military headquarters. 

That headquarters had suffered a direct hit during a wartime bombing raid.

The crosses reflected the answer to a question asked in the gospels. How many times must I forgive? The answer: seventy seven times.

From war came peace.

From peace came rebuilding.

From rebuilding came reflection.

From reflection, forgiveness.

And eventually friendship.

One of the most moving experiences I’ve had as Prime Minister was to lay a wreath with my friend, and Australia’s friend, Prime Minister Abe of Japan at the Cenotaph in Darwin. A complete journey.

The Prime Minister of Australia and the Prime Minister of Japan standing side by side honouring Australia’s fallen in Darwin. Now true partners.

So Derek, Lance, and Les – and the veterans like Terri who are watching elsewhere that is the world you fought for, that is the world you created.

Now in your sunset we honour you.

We honour your generation, in my view Australia’s greatest, and we say: thank you.

You won a war, you secured the peace, and along with so many more, saved civilisation.

Your deeds will never be forgotten.

And we pledge this day to always be a country as good and always to be as courageous as you. 

Courage, mateship, endurance, sacrifice.

May God bless you and may God bless Australia.

Drug lab found at Netley

Source: South Australia Police

Police are investigating after a drug lab was discovered at Netley yesterday.

Just before 5.30pm on Friday 14 August, police attended a home at Ansett Avenue following a call to check on the welfare of the occupant.

When patrols arrived, they found the front door of the home open. Officers entered but could not locate anyone inside.

Upon searching the home, officers located chemicals and glassware in one of the rooms believed to be a clan lab.

Detectives from Drug and Organised Crime Task Force are processing the scene today.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information on the sale, supply, manufacture or distribution of illicit drugs is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. You can remain anonymous.

Death – Cullen Bay

Source: Northern Territory Police

A 56-year-old man has died at Cullen Bay after a fishing incident on Friday 14 August 2020.

The man had been fishing with family and friends on Darwin Harbour when he was struck in his chest by a large fish which launched itself into the boat.

The group immediately made its way to Cullen Bay where they were met by police and paramedics who administered CPR. Sadly the man the man passed away.

This appears to be a freak incident which is hugely distressing for the people in the boat and other family and friends of the man.

Police ask that their privacy be respected and as such will not be providing further comment.

Working with Council to improve local recreation infrastructure

Source: State of Tasmania Government

15 August 2020

Michael Ferguson, Minister for State Growth

Robby Walsh, Waratah-Wynyard Mayor

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is contributing $300,000 to Waratah-Wynyard Council to improve walking tracks at the Waratah Falls and revitalise the Waratah Rail Bridge as a tourism experience.

Both projects are seen as community priorities, identified in the Waratah Community Plan being progressed by the Waratah Community Board.

State Growth Minister Michael Ferguson said the Government has been working with the Council to progress community projects.

“The improvement of the Waratah Falls walking tracks and a viewing experience/interpretation alongside the Waratah Rail Bridge was put forward,” Mr Ferguson said.

“We look forward to seeing visitors and tourists alike enjoying these experiences.”

Waratah-Wynyard Mayor Robby Walsh said the walking track project would benefit the community for decades to come and is the start of a staged program of improvements for the Waratah Falls area.

“The Waratah Falls are iconic and there are very few places where the waterfall is in the middle of town. Much can be done to maximise the tourism and economic benefit of the falls and we thank the state government for their support for both of these projects,” Cr Walsh said.

“Securing this funding has been achieved through the Waratah community identifying priorities and the Community Board undertaking the critical work to keep these matters progressing.”

The announcement follows notification by TasWater that the expression of interest process to identify a new owner for the Waratah Dam has been unsuccessful, leading to likely decommissioning of the dam.

The Government worked in conjunction with Waratah-Wynyard Council and TasWater to find a solution that would allow a new owner to take over the dam, but despite all three parties working together collaboratively, a financially viable outcome could not be achieved.

“Clearly the community will be disappointed with the outcome of the Waratah dam expression of interest process, however we hope that both the Council’s and Government’s contribution to these new priority projects will offset some of those feelings,” Cr Walsh said.

75th anniversary of VP Day

Source: State of Tasmania Government

15 August 2020

Guy Barnett, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

The 75th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific Day and the end of World War 2 was marked today with a commemorative service and wreath laying ceremony at 11am at Tasmania’s Government House.

It was my honour to acknowledge Tasmania’s World War 2 veterans and commemorate VP Day when the Imperial Japanese Army unconditionally surrendered to the Allies and the Second World War ended on August 15, 1945.

Tasmania was not immune from the effects of the War. Enemy mines were found near the entrance to the Derwent River and a ship was sunk in Bass Strait, temporarily closing this important sea link. A Japanese seaplane also flew a reconnaissance mission over Hobart.

During 1945, Australian forces were more heavily committed overseas than at any other time during the conflict. World War 2 was of particular significance for this state with 30,000 Tasmanians serving from from a population of just 250,000.

It is also estimated that nearly 16,000 people, including 5000 women, worked in factories and on the land to support the war effort and supply the armed forces with vegetables, dairy and meat products.

Over one million Australians served in World War 2 – 27,073 were killed in action or died, 23,477 were wounded and 30,560 taken prisoner of war.

The Australian Government’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs is acknowledging the significance of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, with a Commemorative Medallion and Certificate of Commemoration.

The medallion and certificate are available to every living veteran of the Second World War. While Australia can never repay the debt we owe almost one million Australians who served, this medallion and certificate are a small but meaningful way we can thank living veterans of the largest global conflict of the 20th century.

Applications can be made by visiting the DVA website here or for those without access to the internet, by phone on (02) 6191 8217.

Australia delivers humanitarian supplies to Beirut

Source: Australian Government – Minister of Defence

Joint media release:

  • The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister
  • Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women


Australia is delivering urgently needed humanitarian supplies to Beirut to help the people of Lebanon recover from the devastating impacts of the Beirut port explosion on 4 August 2020.

Two teenagers arrested following series of fires in Kerang

Source: State of Victoria Police

Friday, 14 August 2020 21:30

Two teenage boys have been arrested following a series of three fires in Kerang overnight.

In the first incident local police saw two boys running down a street in the vicinity of a shed fire as they were heading to the Lilac Avenue scene just before midnight.

The shed and a car were destroyed by fire and the adjoining property found to be burgled.

Emergency services were then called to Wellington Street following reports two terrace houses appeared to be alight about 4am.

Swan Hill police patrolling the area at the time came across the two boys in a nearby street.

The pair ran off from police before they were arrested after a short foot pursuit.

The 14 and 19-year-old boys are currently assisting police with their enquiries.

Police are also investigating whether the duo were also involved in a burglary at a disposals store in Victoria Street this morning.

No one was injured and each of the three fire damaged properties were unoccupied at the time.

Anyone with information or any witnesses are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or log onto www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

Sergeant Julie-Anne Newman

Media Officer


Contract Awarded for Upgrade of Cessnock Road at Testers Hollow

Source: New South Wales Transport

The Cessnock Road upgrade at Testers Hollow is drawing nearer with the contract to build the project awarded to Daracon Contractors Pty Ltd this week.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $17 million project would stimulate the Hunter region’s economy.

“Cessnock Road is an important regional transport route and upgrading it will deliver social and economic benefits,” Mr McCormack said.

“This is yet another example of the Australian Government continuing to roll out our $100 billion nationwide infrastructure pipeline, supporting jobs and communities at a time when it’s needed the most.”

New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the Australian and NSW governments had invested in the upgrade to reduce the impact of flooding and improve connectivity.

“We are pleased to be partnering with the Australian Government to deliver this important upgrade for the Hunter,” Mr Toole said.

“Every time it floods there is a risk that this road is inaccessible, which creates a lot of frustration and delays, not to mention a safety issue. This upgrade will ensure all road users including freight vehicles can keep moving.”

Senator for New South Wales Hollie Hughes said the awarding of the building contract is a major step forward for the project.

“Raising the height of Cessnock Road at Testers Hollow will help reduce the frequency, duration and impact of flood events along Cessnock Road,” Senator Hughes said.

“This improvement will improve connectivity between the Maitland area, Hunter Expressway and broader community during flooding.”

New South Wales Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Catherine Cusack said motorists would soon see major benefits materialise from the project.

“The upgrade involves building a new two-lane road at a level about 1.5 metres higher than the existing road to keep this stretch high and dry even during heavy rainfall,” Ms Cusack said.

“Construction is expected to begin later this year and the new length of road is expected to be open to traffic in two years, weather permitting.”

The Australian Government has committed $15 million to the project on top of the $2 million committed by the NSW Government.

For further information on the project, visit https://nswroads.work/TestersHollow

Work Continues to Provide Bushfire Resilience along Major Regional Highways

Source: New South Wales Transport

Work to improve bushfire resilience along some of the State’s major regional highways is underway as the 2020/21 bushfire season approaches.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said teams were removing high risk trees that had the potential to fall on sections of the Princes Highway on the South Coast and the Gwydir Highway in the north of the state as part of the NSW Government’s bushfire resilience program.

“We know how important it is to be prepared ahead of the upcoming bushfire season after the devastation of last summer’s bushfires,” Mr Barilaro said.

“When trees fall across the road during a bushfire, entire communities can be cut off from emergency services or from travelling to safety and this is why we are putting preventative measures in place to identify and remove trees which pose a risk.

“This builds on the NSW Government’s $64 million recovery effort to restore the NSW road network which saw thousands of burnt trees cleared following the most recent devastating bushfire season.”

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said removing high risk trees will improve evacuation routes and get people and freight moving quickly after a bushfire.

“This is about ensuring people can evacuate quickly in the event of an emergency – and that supplies and support can move in quickly to support affected communities,” Mr Toole said.

“We’ve had our teams and assessors out identifying trees over the last two weeks that might impact the road network if they were to fall. In areas where wildlife needs to be removed, affected fauna will be relocated to the surrounding area. Cultural impacts have also been taken into account, with Aboriginal heritage respected and carefully assessed as part of this process.”

Mr Toole said Transport for NSW teams had also been replacing burnt culverts with new pipes that are more capable of withstanding bushfire impacts.

Work to remove vulnerable trees along the Princes Highway from Nowra to Ulladulla and Cobargo to Eden, as well as along the Gwydir Highway between Grafton and Glen Innes, commenced this week.

The work is expected to be complete by late September, weather permitting.