5 May, 2015. 17:06

ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

REPORTERS FROM CHANNEL 9 have allegedly been forced to wear protective vests and helmets when reporting on stories from parts of Western Sydney.

After witnessing the appalling conditions in Mt Druitt, producers from Australia’s most watched news service have said “enough is enough”.

While journalists covering conflicts for the network have always been encouraged to wear “bulletproof vests”, they’ve never been made mandatory – until network executives saw the trailer for Streets Of Sydney, an upcoming Australian documentary series.

The kevlar-vests are now compulsory for all network staff reporting from contested battlegrounds abroad and areas of “crime-riddled” Western Sydney.

Can you guess what region this is?

Posted by Streets of Sydney on Thursday, 18 June 2015


However, Nine has hit back at claims that forcing their reporters to wear bulletproof vests while on location in Mt Druitt is “unnecessary” and “sensationalist”.

“The safety of our reporters will always be paramount to anything else,” says Derryn Candle, Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs.

Michael Usher says he wouldn't be able to report in Western Sydney if it weren't for local translators
Michael Usher says he wouldn’t be able to report in Western Sydney if it weren’t for local translators

“Michael Usher was the first Western journalist to visit Plumpton McDonalds. We didn’t take any chances then and we won’t be taking any risk now,”

“I’ve had freelance cameramen and producers – who’ve been to the worst places on Earth, refuse to get off the M7 at Richmond Road. It’s not safe.” he said.

However, former Prime Minister Paul Keating has lambasted these claims.

“I grew up out west and I refute the claims made by Mr Candle. I found the region to be a safe, family-friendly environment,”

“Maybe some suburbs are a bit dicey, but don’t think it’s all gunshots ice pipes. There is some great Vietnamese food out that way”

“I really enjoyed my time with the working class, that was before I discovered my love for french grandfather clocks and linen suits,”

Despite the upset from Mr Keating and a range of other former Westies, including the Waugh Brothers, Delta Goodrem and most of the NRL – Channel Nine have refused to change their position.

“I mean it’s just common bloody sense,” said Mr Candle.

“Mr Keating talks about the Western Suburbs as some sort of magical socialist melting pot. He obviously didn’t hang around long enough to witness this crystal meth plague!”

The “poverty-porn” series, Streets Of Sydney premieres on September 30th. Visit their webpage here and look at their trailer below.


Meet Toolio Runamuckas. A charismatic, hard working, Western Suburbs man who loves a slap and a ciggie. Who doesn’t? #SOS #WesternSuburbs

Posted by Streets of Sydney on Thursday, 23 July 2015


  1. It is not as bad as you ridiculous people make out and the Mc Donalds in the photo isn’t even at Plumpton so your reporting is off you can’t even name a suburb properly. The rules are simple you don’t like it out here don’t come out here, if you are constantly going to put us down you are certainly not welcome. There are good and bad where ever you go and you can’t see that than you are not doing your job well enough and being to judgmental, go and report on the drug dealers, drug addicts, drunk drivers, pedofiles in the suburbs that you think are decent and see what you find, stop interviewing wanna be’s who talk absolute crap just like you report

  2. Oh please…..mt druitt is as safe as goin to the city……do you wear bullet proof vests in the city esp after the lindt cafe saga…i bet not…just a publicity stunt by a bunch of clowns

  3. Seriously? I live just off richmond rd, I’ve been to plumpton maccas long after midnight, where is all this crap they go on about? So some new doco wants to paint western sydney a certain way. Wow who cares. Sydney itself is by far more dangerous than out here. At least here i can walk around at night without being followed or threatened by idiots who then turn ariund and piss on the sidewalk. Grow up you moronic idiots! Open your eyes and grow a pair

  4. easily solved,stay the hell out of the west then. bloody snobs. they look like they are reporting from Baghdad . The city is far worse then the suburbs.

  5. Here here Nicole I agree with eveything you have said and I am honestly sick and tired of this area being put down all the time. How about Mr Candle get from behind the desk and visit the area himself instead of listening to bs. I have lived in this area for 46 years, I could have moved anywhere but I stayed in the area. There is crime in every area does not matter where you live.So how about you stop bashing Mt.Druitt. After Struggle Street aired you all have this persona that is what the people from Mt. Druitt are like. Well my husband and I worked for what we have. I own my house, 2V8s, I want for nothing, I don’t do drugs unless prescibed by a doctor, I drink alcohol on the odd occasion, I have brought up 3 wonderful children. Not everyone in this area is bad, we ain’t all criminals. There are hard working families that live in this area and all the media do is put the area down. And yes if your going to pubilise a picture of Plumpton McDonalds maybe you should be at that store baecause that is not Plumpton McDonalds

  6. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…….. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Anything to make a dollar, they just described and showed something so common everywhere. Where the fuck do these reporters live? Under a rock? WOW the ignorance is off the charts.

  7. seriously? … And how many reports of people being shot in Mt Druitt? …. Better save those vests for Campbelltown, Bankstown etc … That’s where people are being shot at, not around Mt Druitt … What Twats ! Always Mt Druitt the name to be spat on !!!! So over it what about all the crime that continuously goes on in the Campbelltown, Liverpool, Bankstown areas … All the big bikie crimes and stuff out that way… Seriously people need to give Mt Druitt a break !!!!!!!!!!

  8. This is pathetic mt druitt is not that bad a place when I was in high school I used to always sneak out and walk the streets in the middle of the night and I was never threatened or injured by anybody you people shouldn’t be making my druitt out to be a bad place because it isn’t get a life

  9. What a load of crap … I live in the druitt and im proud of this place …. you can walk the streets of mt druitt at night without looking over your shoulder….. try doing that in other parts of sydney.  redfern after dark bankstown after dark and other parts of sydney are a lot worse than here… so come on channel 9 get off your high horse and be realistic there is nothing wrong with mt druitt if you feel threatened get back in your car and phone the police for help ….. you were at whalan shops for hours and nothing happened except for inquisitive people and onlookers

  10. This ” show ” that you intend to air on the 9 network will do nothing more than show that you are only after “ratings and money ” … I have lived in Mt Druitt for over 45 years , raised 3 children with my wife , been married for nearly 30 years , work hard at an honest job … Yes I have seen drug problems come and go in Mt Druitt , unemployment problems from friends and family …. We here in Mt Druitt honestly just leed normal lives … But you deliberately search out people who have drug and alcohol problems and exploit them … WHY ???? … To feel superior? … To increase ratings ? … Profit ? … You do us no favours and cause more damage than good … While you continue to degrade and demean us , you are destroying the lives of the younger generation who are trying to get jobs … As soon as an employer learns or even thinks that they might come from the postcode ” 2770 ” … Yes … That’s our postcode … They are not getting the chances of a job … Because all you ever do is ” advertise ” that they are not worth the time and effort … In your ” reporters ” opinion and views …

  11. After the stigma attached to the show Struggle Street, do we really need this.
    The majority of Mt Druitt are hard working
    People, that would take the shirt of their backs to help their fellow mate.
    No, its no more dangerous then any where else in Australia.
    Ignorance of Arrogant people have made
    Mt Druitt look bad !

  12. What a crock of shit and why do the reporter have bullet proof vest? It is illegal for anyone to have these vest apart from Police and the military.

  13. Hmmm, of course they know body armour is a prohibited item in Australia,right? Did they have a chief commissioner of police written approval to wear their body armour in Australia? Bet they didn’t so they have committed a criminal offence.

  14. Hmmmm, Can understand the locals who are upset and DON’T believe the VIOLENT side of your neighbourhood BUT…….Don’t go screaming “SAVE US” once the trouble/problem that ISNT/HASN’T & WON’T be spoken about that this article is ACTUALLY about.
    Channel 9 (Christ ANY CHANNEL) nor politician etc will EVER say that the ‘Real Story’ relates to problems with MUSLIM’s/ISLAM in that ‘AND’ other areas of Sydney.
    Read between the lines people. Sydney along with areas north & West of Melbourne are ALL becoming “Danger/No Go Zones” due to the dense population of Muslim issues/violence.
    Call a spade a spade Channel 9 (& ALL media groups)……. OOPS….You can’t because you will be called RACIST (against a religion?????? What The?) IT’S NOT A RACE

    • I think its a good idea to keep you stuck up prune faces off our streets here in western Sydney. We all know where the real drug lords actually live in your snobby part of the woods. I can actually tell you I have lived in the inner city, northern suburbs and now western suburbs of Sydney and the most amount of crime experienced by my family and I was in the inner suburbs and northern suburbs. We’ve been broke into several times, cars stolen, been verbally abused and the list goes on all those so called affluent areas of Sydney. Crimes experienced out here in the West = 0. So, darling you don’t know what your talking about and I think your watching a little to much TV.

  15. I live in Western Sydney. I have no idea where all those meth labs and dangerous places are.
    I have an idea, why don’t all us Westies wear bullet proof vests and sound proof earphones in the Northern suburbs. For the simple reason we might be accidently identified as a Westie Meth Lab owner and have rocks and snobby word thrown at us.


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