Ute engulfed by flames drifts across busy intersection


Emergency services were called to the intersection of Marion Street and Wren Street in Condell Park around 1pm when the 2011 Mazda ute, billowing with smoke, was spotted drifting across the road.

The driver of the vehicle told 9News he turned on the air conditioning when smoke started pouring out making it difficult for him to breathe.

Despite pulling the handbrake, the vehicle slowly rolled toward a home, thankfully stopping at the driveway where fire services were able to extinguish the blaze.

No one was injured during the incident.

“It was scary but everyone is safe so that’s the main thing,” a witness told 9News.

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Missing Sydney woman’s remains found on NSW South Coast


Analysis using DNA from Ms Caddick’s toothbrush matched the foot, found within a shoe at Bournda National Park near Tathra, on Sunday.

One of the teenagers picked up the shoe around 2pm, discovering human remains inside when he turned it upside down to throw it out.

Melissa Caddick disappeared last November. (NSW Police Force)

Officers identified the shoe as being the same to a pair Ms Caddick was wearing during raids on her home prior to her disappearance.

Footage of the raids innocuously included her feet – which would later prove valuable in matching the shoe to Ms Caddick.

Offshore drift modelling found that a body which entered the water near Ms Caddick’s home in Dover Heights in Sydney may have drifted to the South Coast over time.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Willing said the foot was in a state of decomposition after being in the water for “some time”.

“It remains a mystery as to when and how she came into the water,” he said.

The remains of Melissa Caddick has been found on the NSW South Coast. (Photo: James Brickwood) (James Brickwood)

The family was “very distressed” after being told of the discovery last night.

Flowers have been left outside the front gate of Ms Caddick’s home in Dover Heights.

Ms Caddick, 49, disappeared on November 12 last year after leaving her home for what her husband believed was a morning run at 5.30am.

She and her family lived in affluent Dover Heights in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

It appears Melissa Caddick's remains drifted south from Sydney to the Far South Coast of NSW.
It appears Melissa Caddick’s remains drifted south from Sydney to the Far South Coast of NSW. (Nine)

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) raided her home as part of an ASIC investigation the day before she disappeared.

A bunch of flowers left outside Melissa Caddick's home in Dover Heights.
A bunch of flowers left outside Melissa Caddick’s home in Dover Heights. (Nine)

Further investigations have found neither Ms Caddick nor her business held a current AFS licence, required under Australian law to provide financial services.

Instead of investing funds from investors, Ms Caddick allegedly transferred money from the business into her personal accounts.

The investigation into Ms Caddick’s alleged Ponzi scheme is continuing despite her being presumed dead.

“ASIC’s priority is to seek the return of funds to investors in the most efficient way possible,” an ASIC spokesperson said.

“ASIC will continue to work with the receivers and provisional liquidators to prepare for the Federal Court hearing listed on 7 and 8 April.

“ASIC’s considers the hearing should go ahead as a priority to seek return of funds to investors.”

What we know about Melissa Caddick

  • Suspected of stealing “tens of millions” from investors
  • Spent hundreds of thousands on designer label clothes and ski trips
  • AFP raided Dover Heights home as part of ASIC investigation
  • Ms Caddick disappeared on November 12, soon after raid
  • Left home without wallet or keys, had made zero contact with anyone since
  • Remains found on NSW South Coast beach on February 21
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Restrictions ease across NSW; vaccine rollout ‘running smoothly’


“It is going like clockwork and the vast majority of people who need to get vaccinated … it is happening at a very good rate,” Ms Berejiklian told 2GB’s Ben Fordham.

In the first four days of the rollout, NSW vaccinated more than 7500 people, she said.

New South Wales Police officer Lachlan Pritchard receives the Pfizer vaccine at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Vaccination Hub in Sydney.
New South Wales Police officer Lachlan Pritchard receives the Pfizer vaccine at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital vaccination hub in Sydney. (AP)

“If we want to have a COVID-normal existence, the vast majority of us are going to have to get vaccinated,” she said.

Ms Berejiklian will be getting the AstraZeneca vaccine “to show that it is as good as the Pfizer one”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (centre) visits the CSL vaccine manufacturing facility in Melbourne. Pharmaceutical company CSL is manufacturing Australia’s Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines. (Getty)

“Most of us will be getting the AstraZeneca one,” she said.

“I don’t want people to lose confidence in the process because something went horribly wrong in Queensland.”

The state today recorded 40 days of zero community transmission with four cases diagnosed in hotel quarantine.

Gladys Berejiklian announces restrictions set to ease in NSW
Gladys Berejiklian says she is looking forward to getting the locally-made AstraZeneca vaccine. (Kate Geraghty/ AP)

The changes will allow for more people to be permitted inside households, while weddings will look a little more normal with dancing back on the schedule.

From midnight, the restrictions officially eased.

Up to 50 guests can now be welcomed into home and private gatherings.

A maximum of 30 people can take to the dancefloor at any one time at weddings.

Gym classes can now welcome 50 people, and patrons will also be able to stand up while having a drink at outdoor venues.

People having a drink on the roof top bar of the Glenmore in the Rocks. Patrons will soon be allowed to stand up and drink at venues. (Edwina Pickles / SMH)

And from next month, that rule is expected to be relaxed even further.

“From March 17 if everything goes well, in three weeks’ time, you will be able to stand up and have a drink indoors as well as outdoors,” Ms Berejiklian said on Wednesday.

But the easing of the rules has come with a strict warning from health authorities.

Ms Berejiklian said the situation was “very volatile”, warning the freedoms could be wound back at any time.

“We have to be as vigilant as ever,” she said.

“We have to make sure we do not become complacent, that we stick to the COVID restrictions and rules to make sure that all of us stay protected.”

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said venues must continue to use the QR code system, while no-one should be permitted into households if they were feeling unwell.

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“While we are putting an incredible protections at our borders, and rolling out vaccine to our border workers and quarantine workers is the highest priority, the risk of an event where we get that transmission is still ever present,” she said.

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Man charged with attempted murder following hotel attack


A man has been charged with attempted murder after he allegedly bashed a young woman with a sledgehammer in a five-star Sydney hotel.

Matthew Donaldson was found hiding in bushland in the Blue Mountains yesterday after allegedly bludgeoning a 25-year-old woman at the Primus Hotel in Sydney on Tuesday night.

Police allege the woman was left unconscious and covered in blood. She remains in an “extremely serious but stable condition” in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Matthew Donaldson has been arrested over an alleged hammer attack in the Sydney CBD. (9News)
Acting Superintendent Paul Dunstan provides an update on the arrest of Matthew Donaldson, 41, accused of bashing a woman with a sledgehammer inside the Primus Hotel. (9News)

“It’s going to be a very, very long road to recovery for that lady,” Acting Superintendent Paul Dunstan said.

The 41-year-old was charged with five offences this afternoon, including attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and possessing a loaded firearm.

Police allege the man was in possession of the gun during the attack.

Officers said he led police to the weapon today.

The pistol police allegedly found in Matthew Donaldson’s backpack. (NSW Police Force)

“This morning he accompanied us on a search and in the company of police led us to a backpack containing a loaded firearm, pistol, which police allege he had during the offence at Pitt Street,” Mr Dunstan said.

Mr Donaldson was found 500 metres from Lapstone train station in lower Blue Mountains after police and sniffer dogs battled “horrible” conditions to locate him.

Police also raided a Kingswood property yesterday and allegedly seized knives, ammunition and other weapons.

Mr Donaldson was refused bail and will appear in court tomorrow.

Police searching for man responsible for Sydney hotel assault. Last need at Lapstone station in the Blue Mountains. (9News)

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Residents in a fast-growing south-western Sydney town are waiting for a fire station


The absence of a fire station in Oran Park is leaving residents exposed to more “developed” and “dangerous” incidents, the firefighters’ union says.

The NSW Government announced funding for a Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) station for the growing south-western Sydney suburb in 2015. The project was scheduled to be completed in 2018 but it is still expected to take another two years.

Land was purchased for the station, FRNSW confirmed, however the site has remained vacant for almost six years.

The site of the proposed Oran Park Fire and Rescue NSW station.
Land was purchased for the proposed Oran Park fire station, FRNSW confirmed, however the site has remained vacant for almost six years. (Emily Bennett)

Emergency Services Minister David Elliott told 9News said the construction of the fire station “will commence imminently”.

“We expect it to be finished within the next two years,” Mr Elliott said.

NSW Opposition Leader Jodi McKay called on the state government to allocate “money in the budget” for the fire station.

“(It was) announced in 2015, then in 2018,” Ms McKay said.

“Now we’ve put pressure on the government, they’re saying it’s another two years.

“I mean, that’s not good enough”.

Fire Brigade Employees' Union state secretary Leighton Drury.
Fire Brigade Employees’ Union state secretary Leighton Drury says the south-western Sydney firefighting network is being “stretched that much thinner” because Oran Park doesn’t have a local fire station. (9News)

FRNSW and Mr Elliott’s office said firefighting services provided to Oran Park by neighbouring brigades were “sufficient”.

“Fire and Rescue NSW utilises a network of resources across the region to protect lives and property,” the spokesman said.

“The area is currently serviced by Narellan station, which is seven kilometres away, and Camden station, which is 10 kilometres away.

“Both stations are also supported by three NSW Rural Fire Service brigades in the area.”

The absence of a fire station in Oran Park is leaving residents exposed to more “developed” and “dangerous” incidents, the firefighters’ union says. (Emily Bennett)

Fire Brigade Employees’ Union state secretary Leighton Drury said St Andrews’ FRNSW station brigade has also provided fire protection for Oran Park.

Mr Drury said the brigade took about 17 minutes to get to Oran Park, due to the distance they were required to travel, which was “outside of what’s acceptable by Fire and Rescue”.

The NSW Government announced funding for a Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) station for the growing south-western Sydney suburb of Oran Park in 2015. The project was scheduled to be completed in 2018. (Emily Bennett)

“Generally if we’re not getting there within 10 minutes, it obviously decreases the chances of survivability within house fires,” he said.

“Obviously it’s quite stressful because you know that what you’re getting to is going to be a lot more dangerous, or at least certainly a lot more developed or involved, than what it could be.

“And you’re obviously stretching that network across south-western Sydney that much thinner.”

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Of the 173 incidents in Oran Park between 2015 and 2020, it took firefighters more than 10 minutes to arrive in 65 per cent of cases, according to FRNSW data.

The acceptable standard set by FRNSW is eight minutes.

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ASIC investigation into Melissa Caddick’s alleged Ponzi scheme to continue


But the Australian Securities and Investment Commission said its investigation into her alleged crimes is continuing.

The body of Melissa Caddick has been found on the NSW South Coast. (Photo: James Brickwood) (James Brickwood)

“ASIC’s priority is to seek the return of funds to investors in the most efficient way possible,” the statement read.

“ASIC will continue to work with the receivers and provisional liquidators to prepare for the Federal Court hearing listed on 7 and 8 April.

“ASIC’s considers the hearing should go ahead as a priority to seek return of funds to investors.”

A human foot in a shoe was found by campers on the shoreline at Bournda National Park near Tathra on Sunday.

Analysis using DNA from Ms Caddick’s toothbrush matched the foot.

Melissa Caddick (NSW Police Force)

Offshore drift modelling found that a body which entered the water near Ms Caddick’s home in Dover Heights in Sydney may have drifted to the South Coast over time.

Ms Caddick, 49, disappeared on November 12 last year after leaving her home for what her husband believed was a morning run at 5.30am.

She and her family lived in affluent Dover Heights in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

She had been under investigation for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme, using millions from investors to make lavish personal purchases.

A bunch of flowers left outside Melissa Caddick's home in Dover Heights.
A bunch of flowers left outside Melissa Caddick’s home in Dover Heights. (Nine)

Her purchases included expensive holidays to the US ski resort town of Aspen, as well as couture gowns, designer clothes, shoes and handbags, and jewellery.

Her five-bedroom home was bought in 2014 for $6.2 million.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) raided her home as part of an ASIC investigation the day before she disappeared.

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Further investigations have found neither Ms Caddick nor her business held a current AFS licence, required under Australian law to provide financial services.

It appears Melissa Caddick's remains drifted south from Sydney to the Far South Coast of NSW.
It appears Melissa Caddick’s remains drifted south from Sydney to the Far South Coast of NSW. (Nine)

Instead of investing funds from investors, Ms Caddick allegedly transferred money from the business into her personal accounts.

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When is it and public holiday dates explained


Easter is approaching, with Australia set for a more normal celebration this year amid low coronavirus cases and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Easter Sunday Solemn mass live was streamed due to coronavirus last year. (Edwina Pickles)

But the Easter Show in Sydney will return this year, with church services and family gatherings also allowed, depending on state-by-state limits on numbers.

Easter is in April this year, with Easter Sunday falling on Sunday, April 4. Good Friday is April 2 followed by Easter Saturday on April 3.

The date of Easter is calculated from the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring equinox in March, so sometimes falls in March and sometimes is in April.

A woman dressed as the Easter bunny last year in Sydney. (Kate Geraghty)

However some churches, such as the Greek church, celebrate Easter on a different day.

When are Easter public holidays 2021?

The Easter Monday public holiday is on Monday, April 5.

Good Friday is a public holiday across all states and territories.

Easter Sunday at Coogee last year. (Edwina Pickles)

However, the huge crowds and packed attractions will be scaled down with caps on the number of people who can attend each day.

The show is on from April 1 to April 12.

Taylah Cluss tries out lasange on a stick at the Royal Easter Show. (Fairfax Media)

“You can feel safe when you come to the grounds… all the attractions will be there, all the animals, all the showbags,” CEO of the Royal Agriculture Society Brock Gilmour said.

The show will have an app with a traffic light system to monitor the number of people at events and exhibits.

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The timeline of her alleged frauds and disappearance


And the discovery of her foot on a beach on the NSW South Coast on Sunday has raised as many questions as answers.

But Ms Caddick’s story started well before her disappearance, and has not ended now her remains have been found.

The body of Melissa Caddick has been found on the NSW South Coast. (James Brickwood)

The timeline of Melissa Caddick’s story

May 6, 2009: Court documents indicate the first of Melissa Caddick’s “suspected contraventions” is on this date. That year she sets up her own financial firm, but without the necessary financial services licence to do so.

Over the next 11 years she collects tens of millions from clients, who all believe they are investing.

2013: Ms Caddick marries Anthony Koletti, a hairdresser she met at a salon in Bondi Junction.

2014: Ms Caddick pays $6.2 million for a five-bedroom home in Dover Heights.

Melissa Caddick is suspected of stealing millions from her clients for personal use. (NSW Police Force)
August 13, 2020: According to the Sydney Morning Herald, one of Ms Caddick’s investors strikes up a conversation with another patient in a dentist’s waiting room. The patient tells her Ms Caddick has been using her financial services licence.

The investor later reports Ms Caddick to the Australian Securities Investment Commission.

November 10, 2020: ASIC freezes Ms Caddick’s bank accounts and properties, preventing her from leaving the country.

November 11, 2020: Officers from ASIC raid Ms Caddick’s home in Dover Heights. The raid takes up most of the day. Officers leave with couture gowns, designer clothes, shoes and jewellery. It is the last day Ms Caddick is seen alive.

November 12, 2020: Ms Caddick’s son hears the front door of their home close at 5.30am. He assumes it is Ms Caddick going for a morning run. Her family notes she has left behind her mobile phone, wallet and keys. She misses the 4pm deadline to surrender her passport and any plane tickets to police.

November 13, 2020: Ms Caddick is reported missing to police by her husband, 30 hours after her disappearance.

February 26, 2021: Police reveal DNA analysis has found the foot is Ms Caddick’s.

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Man to be airlifted to hospital after being impaled during crash


A Toyota Prado that was towing a caravan, and a ute collided at about 4.35pm today on Castlereagh Road in Agnes Banks, near Penrith.

The 24-year-old driver of the ute, from Hobartville, suffered critical injuries and has been airlifted to Westmead Hospital for treatment.

The driver of the Prado, a man aged 79 from Cobbitty, has been taken to hospital for mandatory tests. He was not injured.

The NSW Police crash investigation unit has been called to the scene and will conduct a full investigation.

Officers are asking any witnesses or those who may have dashcam footage to contact the Nepean Police Area Command or the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit.

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Man arrested over alleged hammer attack at Sydney hotel


A man has been arrested over an alleged hammer attack in a Sydney CBD hotel.

Police will allege Matthew Donaldson, 41, bashed a woman with a sledgehammer inside the Primus Hotel on Tuesday night.

The alleged victim, 26, was found unconscious and covered in blood before being rushed to hospital in a critical condition.

Matthew Donaldson has been arrested over an alleged hammer attack in the Sydney CBD. (9News)

Following a search of bushland in the Blue Mountains region after a tip-off, Mr Donaldson was arrested just before 5pm today.

He has been taken to Penrith police station.

The woman remains in hospital in a serious condition.

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During the search for the suspect, police raided a Kingswood property yesterday and allegedly seized knives, ammunition and other weapons.

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