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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Construction of the Collaroy South Narrabeen seawall begins, but residents’ funding questions remain


Ten beachfront property owners in Sydney’s north said they have had to stump up $280,000 each to fund a $25 million seawall that will protect their houses from collapsing into the ocean.

The state government and council are together tipping in 20 per cent of the costs for the construction of a wall stretching from Collaroy to South Narrabeen after heavy surf and powerful storms put them at risk of being washed away.

Now there’s an additional $300,000 in engineering and legal fees, which resident Bob Orth thinks someone else should pay.

Collaroy-South Narrabeen seawall under construction.
The construction of a seawall stretching from Collaroy to South Narrabeen in northern Sydney is underway. (9News)

Mr Orth’s beachfront property at Collaroy was almost washed away in the 2016 storms.

However he said footing the additional costs would not be easy for residents.

In fact, some residents have had to dip into their superannuation.

“It’s not a rich list here, it’s a lot of different family people who have had to come up with $300,000,” Mr Orth told 9News.

“At the moment the contribution from state [government] and council is only based on construction, which is once you physically start building the wall. Prior to that, there’s a lot of costs [such as engineer and legal fees].

Collaroy homes hit by brutal king tides (AAP)
Collaroy homes were almost consumed by huge king tides in 2016.
Residents were evacuated and temporary retaining walls to stabilise properties.

“We believe at the very least that cost should be taken into account in the contribution of the state and the council.”

Mr Orth argued the wall was not just being build to protect the multi-million dollar homes, which made it unfair for residents to have to fork out so much for it.

He said the wall will also protect the streets behind the beachfront strip, including Pittwater Road.

“If this wasn’t built, come a couple of storms like we had in June 2016, there won’t be Pittwater Road, there won’t be sewage, there won’t be telephone lines, data cables, all the services… let alone a road.”

He said there’s a considerable benefit to other locals for the 1.3 kilometre barrier to be built on beachfront residents land.

Coastal erosion at Collaroy on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. (Getty)

“It’s private land this wall is built on but it’s going to have a big public benefit,” he said.

Despite the cost, Mr Orth said the erection of the wall is a “great relief”, with the area at constant risk when wild weather whipped up.

“It’s taken a long time but we’re really pleased with it and the progress we’ve made.”

The damaged multimillion-dollar beachfront properties were left teetering on the eroded coastline since violent storms lashed the coast in 2016.

Sea foam caused by wild weekend of storms in Sydney

Collaroy-South Narrabeen seawall under construction.
The first section of the 1.3 kilometre barrier is being built to stop coastal properties from toppling into the sea. (9News)
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Residents were forced into emergency accommodation while damage was assessed, with sandbags used to stabilise the area.

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Private Sydney boy’s school Waverley College bans students from wearing mullets


It’s one of the world’s most recognisable and ridiculed haircuts, but now the mullet is fast becoming rejected by schools.

Waverley College in Sydney is the latest educational institution to rule the ‘do often described as “business at the front and party at the back” inappropriate for its campus.

“A lot of people are getting it,” Kim Van Heel from Ziggy’s Barber Salon said of the mullet.

The mullet hairstyle has been banned at a Sydney private school. (9News)

“I doesn’t matter if you’re old, young, every one is seeing it as normal now.”

The popular barber shop saw requests for mullets grow throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone started realising they can grow their hair out,” Ms Van Heel said.

“When you’re working from home there is less pressure.

Waverley College has told its students to avoid the do. (9News)

“Then they realised you can go shorter on the sides but still have fun at the back like Billy Ray Cyrus said.”

The haircut was known as an 80s and 90s staple with rock stars like David Bowie, John Farnham joining the country star Cyrus in leading the craze.

Australia’s footballers also caught mullet mania.

Mullets are becoming more popular – again. (9News)

Now, three decades on, the hairdo has infiltrated the once stuffy world of professional golf.

“It’s become a good luck charm,” Australian golfer and world number 27 Cameron Smith said recently showing off his longer locks.

“It needs a bit of a trim at the front.

“I’d really like to go full business at the front and party at the back.”

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Thieves steal money from a charity box at Sydney fish and chip shop



The owners of a Sydney business who had money stolen from their charity box aren't letting their community's generosity go to waste.The team at Zag Seafoods in Merrylands and their customers put money in the shop's charity box, only to have it stolen from the counter by a passing couple.Money was stolen from a charity box at a Sydney seafood store. (9News)The donations were intended to go to a local branch of the Rotary Club.Click or tap on the banner to find out how to download the 9News app for breaking and localised news alerts. (9News)The owners of the family-run business say they'll chip in to make up for the loss.

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Missing Sydney woman used Commonwealth Bank letterheads on fake documents


The ongoing investigation into missing businesswoman Melissa Caddick’s financial records has uncovered more allegedly fraudulent documents and falsified transactions.

Ms Caddick disappeared from her home in Dover Heights, in Sydney’s affluent eastern suburbs on November 12 last year and has not been seen or heard from since.

She is suspected of allegedly stealing “tens of millions” of dollars from potentially hundreds of investment clients.

Melissa Caddick has not been seen since November 12. (NSW Police)

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

In December last year Bruce Gleeson and Daniel Soire Jones Partners were appointed by the Federal Court of Australia as provisional liquidators of her wealth management company, Maliver Pty Ltd.

Mr Gleeson, Principal at the firm said since then “we have been forensically reconstructing the financial affairs of Melissa Caddick” and her company.

“This has involved reviewing thousands of documents, interviewing and corresponding with various individuals including family members, a former employer, former employees and notably many investor creditors,” he said today.

Melissa Caddick (NSW Police Force)

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 businesswoman also created false documents using a Commonwealth Bank or CommSec letterhead – documents which the bank has confirmed used fake reference or account numbers.

The review also found Ms Caddick’s self-managed super fund was full of fake portfolio statements, contract notes and bank statements so as to inflate the value of assets.

Money was transferred between her company and personal bank accounts, making liquidating her company and redistributing assets to people who are owed money more complex.

Never before seen video of missing Sydney millionaire Melissa Caddick during ASIC raid was aired on 60 Minutes. (Nine)

“…a majority of assets which Maliver Pty Ltd has an interest in are held in the name of Ms Caddick,” Mr Gleeson said.

“There are also assets which are held directly in Ms Caddick’s name. Importantly, at this stage, our appointment as receivers to Ms Caddick’s property does not authorise us to sell her assets.”

Mr Gleeson said there would be a number of difficulties in returning the value of assets to investors who were ripped off by Ms Caddick’s operation.

“Currently, our primary role as Receivers has been to investigate and file our report and also secure the assets of Ms Caddick,” Mr Gleeson added.

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“There are many complex legal issues in determining ownership of assets and just as importantly how best to proceed to enable the expeditious realisation of assets in both administrations and maximise the return to creditors, particularly the Investor Creditors who have been significantly emotionally and financially impacted.”

He described the situation as “unusual” and urged anyone aware of any assets, or believed to be owed money to come forward.

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State easing restrictions from Friday February 26; 50 people allowed in a house, 30 on a wedding dancefloor


New South Wales will ease coronavirus restrictions this week, increasing the number of people allowed at a house and bringing wedding dancefloors back.
Today marks 38 days of no community transmission in NSW, extending the state’s longest run of zero local cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

From midnight on Friday, people in NSW will be able to have 50 guests at a private gathering.

“Make sure no-one comes into your house with symptoms who has not been tested and told they can leave their house,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“Make sure there is good ventilation, good distancing.

“Please be careful if you are taking up this opportunity.”

A maximum of 30 people will be allowed on the dancefloor at any one time at weddings.

People will also be able to stand up while having a drink at outdoor venues.

“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.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged anyone taking up the chance to have 50 people over to do so safely. (Kate Geraghty)

Despite the easing of restrictions in NSW in coming days, health authorities have urged people to enjoy their freedom safely.

“NSW is in a very good position but we know that is very volatile,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We have to be as vigilant as ever.

“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 urged everyone to remain diligent with the use of the QR code system.

“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.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the easing of restrictions was welcome news for businesses hit hard during the lockdown period.

“I think we are on track to be dealing well with not just the health response but the economy being open and providing people the freedom to live their lives,” he said.

Ms Berejiklian said the government would look at relaxing restrictions further once a greater number of people working in the hotel quarantine system have been vaccinated.

“What we are trying to do is reduce the risk of superspreader event,” she said.

“We didn’t have community transmission before the Northern Beaches cluster either but it snuck out of the hotel quarantine system and that’s our biggest risk.

“Once people in the quarantine system are vaccinated that reduces the risk of the virus getting out which is why timing is so critical for us.”

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Three-storey $48 million Bunnings coming to Frenchs Forest, Sydney


A sprawling multi-level Bunnings Warehouse spanning over 20,000 square metres is coming to Sydney.

The $48 million construction has been approved and will be built on the corner of Warringah Road and Allambie Road in Frenchs Forest, in the city’s north.

The three-storey store will be the first of its kind in NSW, and will have on-site parking for nearly 400 cars.

A new multi-level Bunnings Warehouse has been approved for Frenchs Forest in Sydney.
A new multi-level Bunnings Warehouse has been approved for Frenchs Forest in Sydney. (Supplied/Bunnings)

“The new store is expected to create over 130 team member jobs, as well as additional jobs throughout construction,” Bunnings Regional Operations Manager, Alan Harvey, said.

“While it is too early to confirm an opening date, we look forward to providing a wide range of home and lifestyle products to the Frenchs Forest community.”

It will span 20,000 square metres and have onsite parking for almost 400 customers.
It will span 20,000 square metres and have onsite parking for almost 400 customers. (Supplied/Bunnings)

Last week Wesfarmers, which owns Bunnings, posted a net profit of $1.39 billion for the second half of 2020.

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Flooding in M5 tunnel, driver warned of delays


Drivers were warned of delays in the tunnel near Keyeemagh with citybound traffic queued for over five kilometres to Bexley Road earlier this morning.

City bound traffic is now back to normal Live Traffic said.

More than 20mm of rain has been recorded at the Sydney airport in the last hour due to a low pressure system drenching parts of NSW and Queensland today.

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Police hunt armed and dangerous man accused of bludgeoning woman with hammer at 5-star Sydney hotel


An arrest warrant has been issued for an armed and dangerous man after a woman was attacked with a sledgehammer at a five-star hotel in Sydney.

Emergency services were called to the hotel on Pitt Street, in the CBD, about 11pm yesterday after reports a woman had been seriously assaulted.

Police said the victim, aged in her 30s, was bludgeoned with a hammer and was found in the Primus Hotel unconscious and covered in blood.

A woman seriously assaulted in a Pitt Street hotel, NSW police say. (9News)
Matthew Donaldson is wanted for attempted murder. Before allegedly attacking a woman with a hammer in a Sydney hotel room, he posted the photos on the right to his Facebook page.
Matthew Donaldson is wanted for attempted murder. Before allegedly attacking a woman with a hammer in a Sydney hotel room, he posted the photos on the right to his Facebook page. (Supplied)

“An unconscious female lying on the bed in the hotel, she had sustained serious injuries to her face and head, located inside the room is what police will describe as a small sledgehammer,” Acting Superintendent Paul Dunstan said today.

She was rushed to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown in a serious condition.

Officers are now hunting Matthew Donaldson who is wanted for attempted murder.

The 41-year-old allegedly posted photos to Facebook just before the assault showing an image of the room and the words “game over”.

The woman was taken to RPA Hospital in Camperdown in a serious but stable condition. (9News)

When asked in a comment “what game are you playing”? he replied: “life or death, I lost”.

Tactical police raided a Kingswood unit in the hope of finding him, but he remains at large.

Donaldson is described as being of Caucasian appearance, approximately 182cm tall, solid build, with light brown hair.

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It’s believed he may be in the Blue Mountains area and may be armed with a firearm.

The victim was stabilised by paramedics before being rushed to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown in a serious condition.

Police established a crime scene and said inquiries are ongoing.

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Man charged after woman killed by garbage truck in Sydney


A man has been charged after a woman was killed after being hit by a garbage truck in Sydney’s west.

Emergency services were called to Gurney Road in Chester Hill just after 8.30am today after reports a pedestrian had been injured.

A pedestrian has been killed in Sydney’s west. (Nine)

Paramedics attempted to revive the woman but she died at the scene.

She is yet to be formally identified.

The driver of the truck was taken to Bankstown Hospital for mandatory testing.

NSW Police said tonight that a 32-year-old man had been charged with dangerous driving occasioning death, negligent driving occasioning death, disobey no right-hand turn sign, and not give way to pedestrian.

He is set to face court on March 11.

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