13.2 C
Byron Shire
June 20, 2024

Escapee returned but unions worried over WA hiring freeze

Latest News

Murwillumbah Hospital celebrates 120 years

A community campaign for a hospital in Murwillumbah led, in 1899, to two committees and a Board of Trustees being formed, and the selection of a 15-acre site. The hospital itself opened in May 1904.

Other News

Youth Activities Centre holds Friend Raiser, June 20Youth Activities Centre holds Friend Raiser, June 20

Live music, a flea market, food, an art sale and a non-alcoholic bar will all be part of a free event, to be held at Byron’s Youth Activities Centre (YAC), on Thursday, June 20, from 4pm to 8pm.

Winter cricket for over-45s gets underway with some big hitting

The inaugural Far North Coast over-45s winter cricket league got off to a great start with over 400 runs...

Mullum phone tower

In response to Paul Taylor re: the Mullum phone tower.  Paul, perhaps you might gain more understanding of ‘belligerent mobs’...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: PFAS-ed Off

Whenever a cloudy day hits Mullumbimby we all know it’s only a matter of time before someone’s on a community Facebook group warning people about chemtrails. I’ve sat in a Meet the Candidates and heard an audience member ask an MP what they are going to do about chemtrails and watched them squirm.

Young runner qualifies for regional championships

Year four student at Goonengerry Public School Thea Ramsay has qualified for the North Coast Regional Cross Country Championships...

Police alert for missing 16-year-old

Police are asking the public for help finding missing Northern Rivers teenager Oskar Michel Massey.

Bernd Neumann, also known as Brett Faulkner, who is a prisoner at the minimum security Wooroloo Prison Farm in Wooroloo, Western Australia. Photo WA Police
Bernd Neumann, also known as Brett Faulkner, who is a prisoner at the minimum security Wooroloo Prison Farm in Wooroloo, Western Australia. Photo WA Police

A former drug dealer turned escapee has been returned to WA to face trial but unions say a public service hiring freeze has impacted on already overstretched prison staff in that state.

Former fugitive Bernd Neumann is scheduled to appear in a Perth court charged with escaping lawful custody.

Neumann was serving a 15-year jail term for drug trafficking offences when police allege he took a dog for a walk and strolled away during a prisoners’ soccer match in the Perth suburb of Wilson on February 8 last year.

The 60-year-old was arrested in Reedy Creek in Queensland on October 8.

Neumann was flown back to Perth earlier this month and is scheduled to make his second appearance in the Perth Magistrates Court later on Tuesday.

Hiring freeze

The WA Prison Officers’ Union says a public service hiring freeze in the state could have further serious consequences for the prison system,.

The WA government announced a six-month freeze on public sector recruitment, except for teachers and police, as part of a $1.3 billion savings package in its mid-year review on Monday.

Union secretary John Welch says the freeze has come out of the club with no chance to discuss potential effects on prisons.

‘WA’s prisons are already overflowing, and the prisoner population is increasing at an alarming rate,’ he said in a statement.

‘As it stands, we believe we are significantly understaffed, and we understand the department was intending to run more training courses early next year.’

The review showed the state government heading for a massive $3.1 billion budget deficit this year, compared with a $2.7 billion deficit forecast in the May budget.

Treasurer Mike Nahan and Premier Colin Barnett blamed the ballooning deficit forecast on a plummeting iron ore price, ‘sluggish’ economy and the state’s ‘outrageous’ share of the national GST revenue pie.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Iron Gates L&EC appeal hearing comes to an end:  decision reserved – Part I

The long-standing, controversial Iron Gates case came to an end in the Land & Environment Court (L&EC) last Friday after a two-week Hearing commencing at Evans Head on 3 June and finishing in the Court in Sydney on 14 June. 

Supporting women’s mental health in Ballina

Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and one in five women compared to one in eight men suffer from mental ill health or disorder.

Lismore’s Freedom of Entry Parade

Lismore is set to host a Freedom of Entry Parade by the 41st Battalion, a time-honoured tradition dating back to medieval times

Inequity underpins solar-battery rebates

Over 3.2 million Australian households now have solar systems, and NSW leads, with a million systems (rooftop, heated pool or hot water).