Newcastle dust storm unlikely to reach 2009 levels: Bureau of Meteorology

DUSTY COLOUR: The haze over Newcastle was visible on the horizon by 11.30am on Thursday. Picture: Matt CarrA DUSTY, gusty day in the Hunter is unlikely to hit the eerie red heights of the 2009 dust storm, meteorologists advise.
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The horizon took on a new hue around mid-morning on Thursday as a dust cloud that has floated in from the state’s west made its mark in the Hunter.

By 11am on Thursday, a grimy haze had arrived over Newcastle harbour following a clear start to the day.

The early hours were a far cry from the 2009 storm that blew through the city, although conditions similar to that red mist had hit other parts of the state this week.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Anita Pyne said the Hunter was unlikely to see a storm on the “apocalyptic scale” of 2009 this week.

“I reckon by the end of the day most of it will have movd off east into the ocean,” Ms Pyne said.

“It’s not shaping up anywhere near that magnitude, it’s more of just a red haze.”

Ms Pyne said the dustwas driven by a cold front picking up dust from the state’s parched west and pushing it towards the coast, losing intensity as it travelled.

“That [cold front] just lifted all the dust and it’s been slowly marching eastward in a big line,” she said.

The low air quality and strong gusts are expected to stick around into Friday despite expectations the haze will pass.

Areas around White Cliffs were covered in a blanket of dust during the storm earlier this week, with the White Cliffs Hotel posting a video of the event which has already been viewed more than 75,000 times.

The dust storm as seen from the White Cliffs Hotels in White Cliffs, about 250 kilometres north-east of Broken Hill on Tuesday afternoon.Picture: WHITE CLIFFS HOTEL on Facebook

Meanwhile, the NSW Rural Fire Service said the strong winds forecast for the region will increase the fire danger ratings across the state.

A total fire ban is in place for the Hunter on Thursday.

Strong winds are forecast for #NSW this week. Fire dangers are set to increase particularly on Thursday and Friday when wide areas of Very High Fire danger is likely. Check the fire danger in your area: https://t苏州夜场招聘/oTrzctQ6fh#NSWRFSpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/t7Dz5YnB4a

— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) November 20, 2018

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Brutal Vic ex-wife killer appeal rejected

A Melbourne man jailed for three decades for the stabbing murder of his ex-wife, in what a judge labelled “family violence of the most extreme kind”, has had his conviction upheld.
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Fernando Paulino, 56, stabbed his former wife of 23 years, Teresa Mancuso, at least 16 times in the chest, abdomen and back in the garage of her elderly mother’s home at Reservoir in 2013.

Sentencing judge Kevin Bell found the murder had been driven by the jealousy, hatred and rage of a man determined to punish Ms Mancuso for the new life she had chosen without him.

Court of Appeal justices Phillip Priest, David Beach and Stephen Kaye on Wednesday found there had been errors and irregularities in how the prosecution closed its case against Paulino at a trial last year.

On those grounds they agreed to grant Paulino leave to appeal his conviction, but went on to reject his efforts.

They said in the face of strong, “if not overpowering”, evidence against Paulino’s planned and premeditated murder of Ms Mancuso, those errors and irregularities would not have changed the outcome of the trial.

They said Paulino had been obsessive about Ms Mancuso after their separation, following and stalking her, fixating on extra-marital affairs he believed she had and telling her and others that he would kill her.

“The ferocity of the attack on Teresa had bespoken some underlying emotional pathology on the part of the killer, such as some deep-seated and searing hatred of her by the killer,” they said in a joint judgment.

Justice Bell said in sentencing Paulino last year that Ms Mancusa was courageous and despite her former husband’s attempts to exercise coercive control over her, post-separation life was “active, growing and free”.

“Once again the court and community have to confront the ugly reality that there are men who would kill their wives or other intimate partners because they think they can, regardless of the consequences for family and friends,” he said.

Ms Mancuso’s relatives, including sons Daniel and Luke, had been “absolutely traumatised” by her death, he noted.

Paulino was last year sentenced to a minimum 25 years in prison before he’s eligible for parole.

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Newcastle business park brewery listens to its customers

Ready to serve: Malt ‘n Hops Brewhaus bar and sales manager Cameron McDonald.Beer. For the people, by the people. That is the M.O. of the Hunter Valley’s latest brewing enterprise – Malt ‘n Hops Brewhaus – located just off the M1 in the Freeway Business Park, Beresfield.
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“When we started, we would brew three or four different versions of a particular beer style, like a pale ale or an IPA or something, and then put them through the taps and ask for feedback on the beers from our mates and customers,” says Lucas Cattell, operations manager atMalt ‘n Hops. “Pretty much every beer we now make has been picked for taste by our customers.”

It’s a fairly novel approach to brewing – letting the people decide.

“We can have our own opinions on what we like, as beer drinkers, but it might not align with what our customers want,” Cattell says. “We get a lot of tradies coming in for a drink after they knock off, and most of those blokes don’t enjoy the hoppy styles of beer. We want to make a beer for them to enjoy.”

Malt ‘n Hops Brewhaus is the latest in a cavalcade of small start-up breweriesthat are making waves in the Hunter. The team is Cattell, bar and sales manager Cameron McDonald, and brewer Craig Upton.

Upton got his brewing start at the nano-sized River Port Brewery in Morpeth alongside Dave Allen, but has since graduated to the role of head brewer at Malt ‘n Hops after completing a Certificate III in micro brewing.

“I used to do a bit of home brewing before getting the opportunity to work with Dave at River Port, and now I’ve progressed onto here,” Upton says.

“It’s going to be a challenge, brewing on a bigger system, but the principles are the same; you’re still mashing for an hour, boiling for an hour, that sort of thing, It’s just on a larger scale.”

The brand new system includes a 2000-litrebrew house and 2000-litrefermentation and conditioning tanks. The system is able to produce up to 22,000 litres of beerper week.

The plan is to sell the Malt ‘n Hops beers through bottle shops and pubs around the region, plus online, and, of course, direct from the tank to the glass to anyone who visits the brewery’s tap room.

“We have around 11beers on tap at any one time, including eight from our core range, plus a few experimental or trail brews we’ll be doing from time to time,”Cattell says.

“I’ve been working on a strawberry blonde ale, which came about off the back of the needle in the strawberries thing,” Upton says. “I wanted to do something to support the farmers, so we bought a whole heap of strawberries, cut them up and mashed them and put them into a blonde ale, which will be great for summer.”

Malt ‘n Hops Brewhaus beers are available on tap in the Brewhaus tap room and in bottles, and soon in cans as well.

Beer for the people, by the people. Prost!

Malt ‘n Hops Brewhaus, Unit 10/26 Balook Dr,Beresfield. Open daily noon-8pm. 0444 537 490

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Cadre Coffee suits the mood of Harris Farm Markets in Newcastle

Cadre Coffee: Barista Laura Roberts on the job. Picture: Simone De PeakCadre Coffee, Harris Farm Markets, 227 Darby St, Cooks Hill. Daily 6am-5:30pm.
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It is a place where anybody in search of sustenance can consummate their love of all things delicious.

The new Harris Farm Markets in Cooks Hill have lovingly devoted separate sections of their floor space to layers of the healthy eating pyramid.

Meat. Grains. Fish. Nuts. Cheese.

Over near the milk bar, where single herd cows milk is tap poured into vintage glass bottles, all you need to do for a freshly baked loaf of sourdough to appear from the ceiling is pull on a rope and wait for a rattle.

All of it looks irresistible and feels like we’ve all been spoilt – as though all of our passionate pursuits of the gourmet have suddenly been recognised and then converted into convenience.

These markets have arrived with their own in-house team of parking attendants who never seem to go home.

Halfway along the driveway entrance, just before you encounter these helpful aides, you will find a slightly more familiar form of assistance.Good coffee and a little courtyard to sip it in.

Other corners of this market might smell like a Parisian cheesemaker or look like a bakery from a Dickens novel, but we are still only shopping for groceries in good old Newcastle.

The more that things change and develop in this town, the more we are rewarded with espresso bars in which to escape from the pace of it.

Although their location may not appear to offer a respite from the crowds and the market hustle around them, a flavoursome escape is exactly what Cadre coffee is delivering to this location.

This coffee is locally roasted and traceable to the farm that it grew from. Better than that, it is a delicate, lightly roasted delight.

The seasonal blend roasted exclusively for Cadre combines Guatemalan and Colombian varietals, each of which can be attributed to the family members that cultivated them.

This genuine dedication to traceability reflects a philosophy that Cadre owners Shane Brunt and Graham Sincock apply to all of their sourcing purchases,to ensure that the farmers they deal with are treated ethically throughout the coffee production season.

Of course, there are always other, more sensory benefits associated with these sources.

A flat white ($4) tingles with sweet and fruity notes that offer a welcome contrast to darker or even some milder roasts around town. It might be served up amidst a whole bouquet of scents from the surrounding market place, but the aroma of this blend still stands out from the madding crowds.

The Cadre coffee brand may only be a few months young, but their association with the local Floozy Roasters ensures that their house blend and single origin coffees are certifiably premium grade.

Pomegranates, apples and blackberries may all be arriving in separate pallets inside, but in a Kenyan single origin from Kiringaya you can savour all three of these fruits in the one shot of espresso.

Irresistible and just too convenient.

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Docker Michael Apeness retires at just 23

Michael Apeness has decided to end his frustrating injury-plagued AFL career at the Dockers.Fremantle big man Michael Apeness has announced his retirement at the age of just 23 following five injury-plagued years at the club.
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Apeness notched just 12 games with the Dockers after being taken in the 2013 national draft, including five games this year.

He was plagued by knee injuries throughout his career, and his 2018 campaign was prematurely ended by a severe hamstring tear.

The 200cm forward or ruckman signed a one-year contract extension just before his hamstring injury, but was taken off the club’s primary list a few months later.

Fremantle had committed to re-selecting Apeness in the upcoming rookie draft, but those plans were scuttled by his decision to retire.

“Retiring is not a decision I’m taking lightly and I thank the Fremantle Football Club for their support in this process,” Apeness said.

“It’s been a long journey, considering all of the injuries I’ve had, and I thank my teammates, coaches and the Fremantle fans for their support throughout my career.”

As a result of Apeness’ retirement, Fremantle will look to bring in five new players through the AFL Draft period on Thursday and Friday, with four through the national draft and one through the rookie draft.

The club has also committed to taking Ethan Hughes and Ryan Nyhuis at the rookie draft.

“We were very sad when Michael came to us to tell about his intentions to retire, it was a really difficult decision for him but we respect that decision,” new football operations manager Peter Bell said.

“He clearly has had a lot of injuries to deal with over his five years at the football club. He’s been a wonderful servant for Fremantle who didn’t get a lot of luck.

“Michael decided that he wanted to retire and although that was very sad and we wish him all the best, it does mean it allows us to select another player in Friday’s rookie draft.”

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McQueen had blood on his clothes: witness

A man who allegedly made multiple confessions to fatally bashing Queensland teenager Annette Mason was seen with blood on his jeans around the time of her murder but a witness can’t recall if it was the same night.
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A second inquest into the 1989 death of the 15-year-old has been told repeatedly this week that person-of-interest Allan McQueen disclosed to those close to him that he was behind Annette’s death.

An acquaintance of McQueen, who can’t be named for legal reasons, also testified on Wednesday that McQueen had turned up at a residence after midnight one night with three other men to use the washing machine.

“(He) said, ‘we’ve been in a fight and we’re going to wash out our clothes’. I had a quick look and I seen Allan McQueen there,” the witness told Brisbane Coroners Court.

The group was drunk and McQueen had blood on his jeans.

“Blood, near where he put his hands in his pockets,” the witness said.

The witness couldn’t remember if it was the same weekend Ms Mason was murdered but said it was about that time.

A large contingent of Ms Mason’s family tearfully endured the testimony. Outside court, their lawyer Leanne McDonald said they wanted to “face-off ” with McQueen who is a prime suspect in the 29-year-old murder case.

“We are only three days into a three week trial and already you can see that this is a very complex case with a lot of different players involved,” she said in a statement.

Ms McDonald praised the “bravery” of the witnesses, who had been forced through fear to hold onto secrets in a close-knit community for many decades.

Earlier, another witness whose identity has also been suppressed recalled McQueen had tried to get Ms Mason into Rumours nightclub in Toowoomba the night she died.

Because she was underage, however, McQueen wasn’t able to get her past the bouncers.

The witness told the inquest McQueen and his friends went inside and partied the night away without Ms Mason but she was spotted later by one of their friends walking in the street.

Annette’s bloodied body was later discovered in her bed.

“We all felt for the poor family. It was horrible. It’s the worst thing I can remember in Toowoomba in the time I was there,” the witness said.

At least five witnesses including police have already told the inquest McQueen subsequently made a series of admissions regarding Annette’s abuse and her death.

A previous inquest into Annette’s death found insufficient evidence to pin down her killer.

The inquest continues.

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Star Power: Who is Newcastle’s No.1 national sporting team

HUNTER’S BEST: The Newcastle Northstars celebrate after a win. Picture: Jonathan CarrollSIX-TIME n Ice Hockey League champions the Newcastle Northstars have been ranked in the top 25 sporting teams in and New Zealand, beating Hunter flagships the Knights and Jets.
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Super Rugby powerhouse, the Crusaders, were No.1 after a statistical analysis of 74,426 sporting matches between 222 teams in 14 national leagues (men and women) over 25 years.

The Northstars finished in 19thspot, ahead of iconic clubs Manly Warringah (NRL) and Hawthorn (AFL).

The Knights were the next best performed team from the Hunter followed by the Jets and Hunter Hurricanes water polo teams.All featured outside the top 25, but exactly where they finished in the 122 teams whoqualified has not been released.

“It is absolutely amazing,” Northstars general manager Gary Dore said. “I can’t believe we are up there with those great sporting organisations. It’s a reward for the many people who have contributed to making theNorthstarsa success over the years.We are very humbled and honoured.”

Gain Line Analytics in conjunction withPlatinum Capital, conducted the study in whichteams were judged on setcriteria. To qualify, teams had to be competing in a current national league, which ruled out the defunct Hunter Pirates and Newcastle Falconsandclubs from the old national soccer league.

Premierships and win-loss records formed the base of the criteria. Bigger and longer established competitions like the NRL and AFL were given greater bearing. Teams were rewarded for longevity and any sanctions, including salary cap breaches, were taken into account.

“There is continuous debate in the pubs, clubs and lounge rooms as to whether great historic teams could have survived in today’s competitionsor about which football code is best,” Gain Line director and former Wallaby Ben Darwin said.

“Australasia’s Best Sporting Team has been designed to bring an analytical approach to answering some of these questions, and in doing so aims to start a new conversation about greatness and rewarding success, as well as unearthing some hidden gems.”

National Rugby League clubs Brisbane Broncos (second), Melbourne Storm (eighth) and Sydney Roosters (10th) filled three of the top 10 places.

Geelong were the best-placed AFL club in third, followed by Sydney (11th). Teams from basketball, cricket and water polo also featured in the top 10.

Formedin 2002, the Northstars won the last of their six Goodall Cups in 2016. They have featured in 12 grand finals, won six minor premiership and only missed the playoffs twice.

Asked the secret to their success, Dore said: “It is just a lot of hard work.We built an an ice rink in 2000 and were talked intoentering a a team in the n Ice Hockey League in 2002. We felt there was a place for ice hockey in Newcastle.We made a mandate that we were going to be successful, promote hockey in Newcastle and give our people here an opportunity to play at the highest level.

“Once we realised the support we had, welooked at how we could make our program better. We startedlooking at opportunities to get coaches from overseas and then, of course, players from overseas, while still engaging our local talent.”

The Knights have won two premierships–1997 and2001–in the 25-year time framebut have also finished with the wooden spoonfour times and have notfeatured in the finals in five years.

It has been a similar rocks or diamonds scenario for the Jets. They won the A-League championship in 2008 and were grand finalists last year. However, they have also finished at the bottom of the ladder in three years.

TheCrusaders, as winners,received $25,000 for a chosen charity.

An annual award for the best sports team in Australasia, based on a five-year period, will be presented starting in 2019.

Australasia’s Best Sporting Teams:1 Crusaders, Super Rugby(3.41),2 Brisbane Broncos, NRL (3.08),Geelong Cats, AFL (2.96),4 Fremantle Mariners, NWPL (2.88),NSWBreakers WNCL (2.82),6 Queensland,Sheffield Shield (2.71),7 Sydney University Lions, NWPL (2.61),8 Melbourne Storm, NRL (2.45),9 Perth Wildcats, NBL (2.36),10 Sydney Roosters, NRL (2.31),11 Sydney Swans, AFL (2.19),12 Sydney University Flames, WNBL (2.12),13 Adelaide Lightning,WNBL (1.96),14 Brumbies, Super Rugby (1.86),15 Fremantle Marlins, NWWPL (1.79),16 Melbourne United/Tigers,NBL (1.75),17 West Coast Eagles, AFL (1.72),18 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, NRL (1.69),19 Newcastle Northstars, AIHL (1.63),20 Brisbane Barracudas, NWWPL (1.58),21 Victoria, Sheffield Shield (1.56),22 NSW/Sydney Swifts, netball, (1.54),23 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, NRL (1.50),24 Hawthorn Hawks, AFL (1.44),25 Cronulla Sharks Water Polo Club, NWPL (1.40).

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Sharks great Rogers hits back at Gallen

Cronulla legend Mat Rogers applauds the club’s decision to release NFL hopeful Valentine Holmes.Sharks great Mat Rogers has lashed Paul Gallen for his “unbelievably stupid” outburst as the fallout continues from Cronulla’s decision to allow star fullback Valentine Holmes to chase his NFL dream.
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While Gallen has called on the NRL to consider life bans for players who break contracts to pursue another sport, Rogers on Wednesday applauded Cronulla chief executive Barry Russell for granting Holmes a release.

“I think Gal’s over-reacted,” Rogers told AAP after Cronulla’s co-captain accused Holmes of leaving the Sharks “in a big hole”.

“For someone who goes and cops money for fighting while he’s contracted, it’s unbelievable that he’d come out and say something so stupid.

“Oh mate, Gal, keep your mouth shut mate.”

Rogers acknowledged Gallen had the right to be disappointed, but felt it wasn’t panic stations yet for coach Shane Flanagan.

“Don’t forget they’ve got (Josh) Dugan there who’s been a pretty good fullback in his time, and (Matt) Moylan, as well as Josh Morris coming in,” Rogers said.

“So they can shift players around a little bit. I don’t think they’re in too bad a position, if they can stay healthy.”

Rogers believes it’s the timing of Holmes’ departure, three days before the try-scoring freak was due to report back for 2019 pre-season training, that will have hurt the Sharks most.

“It’s a bit disappointing the decision wasn’t made six months ago and they could have signed Benny Barba. I’m sure he would have come back in a heartbeat,” said the dual international.

After having his contract terminated by the Sharks following his cocaine-fuelled grand final celebrations two years ago, Barba has returned from a stint in the English Super League to take up a one-season deal in 2019 with North Queensland.

Before Holmes’ shock announcement he was heading to the US, the Cowboys had been confident of luring Townsville-born flyer back to his home town in 2020.

Should his American dream not materialise, Holmes could yet still wind up back at the Cowboys in a development that could also pave the way for Barba to return to the Sharks.

“Maybe they bide their time and wait for Benny at the end of next year. I know he’s got a great relationship with a lot of the players there (at Cronulla),” Rogers said.

“That’s probably the toughest situation, the timing, and probably where Gal’s frustrated and he’d be speaking – before he’s thinking – with too much emotion.

“But I’m all about the players first. For too long I’ve seen teammates get burnt.

“So good on Barry Russell for releasing him because they could have dug their heels in and made it difficult, but Cronulla’s never been like that.”

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Dwayne Eric Welsh pleads guilty to firing shotgun during police pursuit at Belmont North

BY his own admission, Dwayne Eric Welsh was “f—ed up on ice” when he fired a shotgun out of the passenger sidewindow of a stolen car during a wild police pursuit at Belmont North in April.
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“Just, we couldn’t get away and I was, yeah, I was in a f—ed up state,”Welsh told police after his arrest. “Uh, I didn’t want to go to jail. I didn’t want to get caught, so I let a shotgungo in the air.”

Welsh, 37, of Woodberry, appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday via audio visual link from Goulburn Correctional Centre where he pleaded guilty todischarging afirearm with intent to resist arrest, aggravated break and enter and stealing a motor vehicle.

He will be sentenced in Newcastle District Court next year.Welsh had stolen the red Holden Commodore from outside a unit at Kurri Kurri the night before the pursuit through Belmont North on April 19 this year.

At 3.30am, a police officer saw the red Commodore and a white Commodore driving along the Pacific Highway before both vehicles slammed on their brakes and turned left in Dalrymple Street before veering into Old Belmont Road.

The police officer followed and attempted to pull over the red Commodore but it sped away, heading back out onto the Pacific Highway and launching over the median strip.

The police officer stuck with the car and gave chase as the red Commodore reached speeds of between 100km/h and 120km/h in the approach to Violet Town Road.It was then that Welsh, seated in the passenger seat of the red Commodore, pointed a shotgun out the window and discharged the gun straight into the air.

Welsh later told police he did not aim the gun at the police vehicle and his intention was to put a stop to the pursuit.

And it had the desired effect; the police officer terminated the chase and the Commodore driver got away.

The car was later found burnt out at Glendale.

Meanwhile, Welsh, who was described as”sweating and off his guts”, went to a home at Speers Point where he hid in the roof.

He later jumped from a car at Edgeworth and ran into bushland. He was found the next day stumbling around and wearing only boxer shorts. When he was arrested, Welsh admitted to firing the shotgun and said he was significantly drug affected at the time.

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Internal probe on alleged molester’s call

A man accused of sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl at Sydney dance school while on parole was interviewed by police just weeks prior about an offensive phone call – but no action was taken.
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The 54-year-old remains under guard in hospital following last week’s attack at Kogarah, in which he also allegedly stabbed a man who confronted him.

He has now been linked to calls made to a woman at a southern Sydney business in late October.

Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy on Wednesday admitted that police identified and interviewed the alleged offender about the call but there was “no action” taken – despite knowing he was on parole.

Police have now launched an internal investigation to see why it was not reported.

Asked whether the attack could have been prevented, Mr Loy told reporters in Sydney: “Nobody can predict the future or the future actions of any person.”

Investigators are now appealing for anyone else who may have been contacted by the man to come forward.

His parole, which began in September 2017 after a jail term for a violent sexual assault in 2012, was revoked within hours of his arrest.

“He is a danger to the public and that’s why he’s under corrective services guard in hospital,” the deputy commissioner said.

My Loy has personally contacted the parents of the child to tell them of the situation.

“They are very brave. They want to get their lives back in order.”

Police Minister Troy Grant has urged the deputy commissioner to complete the investigation as soon as possible.

“The initial indications are that police could have done more, and if that is the case, I’ll expect swift action to be taken,” Mr Grant said in a statement.

NSW Corrections Minister David Elliott on Wednesday said he was “horrified” that the man had been granted parole.

He also took aim at the state’s parole board.

“The mere fact that I have taken parole board decisions to the Supreme Court in the past is good evidence to suggest that I’m not comfortable with a lot of parole board decisions,” he told reporters.

Opposition leader Michael Daley in question time called on Mr Elliott to divulge a preliminary report into to the circumstances behind the incident, which he described as “an appalling failure”.

Mr Elliott confirmed he had received a preliminary briefing, but refused to outline what it contained because it could prejudice a looming trial.

“That would put this investigation into some question, it would certainly put into question any potential court proceedings that are coming,” Mr Elliott told parliament.

“I cannot believe the man that professes to be the alternate premier in this state is actually asking me to provide information, put it into the public domain, which would put a criminal investigation into question.”

Mr Elliott accused the opposition of politicising the attack.

“Right now there is a seven-year-old girl who has gone through the most traumatic of experiences,” Mr Elliot told parliament.

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