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Juventus remember injured Jets teenager

04/12/2018 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

NICE TOUCH: Josh Barresi with the shirt from Juventus. Picture: Simone De PeakJOSH Barresi’s horror Jets debut finally has a silver lining.

The midfielder suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in a friendly against Juventus during the Italian giants’ Australian visit three months ago.

Barresi, who joined the Jets from Western Sydney Wanderers this season, was collected in a challenge and twisted his knee.

He had reconstructive surgery eight weeks ago and has recently started the strength phase of his eight-month rehab program.

It was hardly the introduction the attacking midfielder had planned.

Nor was it the memory he hoped to take from playing a star-studded Juventus line-up.

At least now he has something to show for it.

As a gesture of goodwill, Juventus sent the 19-year-old an autographed playing shirt last week.

“It was definitely a bittersweet night,” Barresi said of the friendly at Kogarah Oval. “I got a bit of contact in a tackle and it was unlucky the way my foot was positioned.

“[Jets CEO] Robbie Middleby told me that Juventus had been in contact and asked how I was. I didn’t expect a signed shirt. It doesn’t make up for hurting my knee, but it was a nice gesture.”

Barresi is of Italian heritage and has been a Juventus supporter since he was a child.

“I will certainly be getting it framed and putting is somewhere special,” he said.

Barresi is out of a brace but will not return this season.

“Hopefully I will be back in training by May, but I won’t be involved this campaign,” he said. “There is a chance I could play for the youth team in the NPL next season, but that will be up to the coaching staff and physio.”

Virat Kohli insists Indians will cope with pacy Australian pitches

04/12/2018 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Acting India captain Virat Kohli says he and his teammates will cope with the extra pace and bounce that comes with returning to Australia – and facing Mitch Johnson for the first time in his home conditions.

Johnson, newly crowned as ICC Cricketer of the Year for a second time, bowled only 19 overs in the 2013 away series when Australia was pummeled by India, and missed all of India’s last visit in 2011-12 due to injury.

The only non-tailender Indian batsman to have faced Johnson in Tests in Australia is captain M.S. Dhoni, who will miss the first Test due to injury.

When India played in Australia in 2011-12, they had a total of five days’ match practice before the series and were thumped 4-0. This time they have only four days’ play across two matches, the first of which starts on Monday at Glenelg.

“It should be enough. We don’t have any choice, I guess,” Kohli said on Sunday, after India trained the morning after it arrived in Adelaide. “We’ve got to do whatever we can with those four days of practice games, and the sessions in between.

“I think coming to Australia and playing, it’s more about the mindset rather than getting used to the conditions, because pace and bounce is something which you can get used to. But unless you’re mentally there, there’s no point of any sort of practice.”

India’s opposition, the Cricket Australia XI, boasts only five players with Sheffield Shield experience, with wicketkeeper Ryan Carters accounting for about half of their combined 43 matches. The hosts’ pace depth was severely weakened by the withdrawal of Gurinder Sandhu due to NSW shield duties, with his uncapped state colleague Harry Conway replacing him.

While the CA XI boasts a left-arm paceman in Josh Lalor, he is incomparable to Johnson in terms of pace or bounce.

Kohli said India were “absolutely” capable of withstanding the threat posed by Johnson, who in the past year has dominated against both England and South Africa.

“He’s been bowling really well – everyone knows that. Credit to him for doing all that,” Kohli said. “We are equipped enough to tackle him on these pacy and bouncy wickets. I don’t see any good reason why we can’t come up and put up a good fight.

“It’s all about mentally being there. If you can visualise being in that battle and being on top, I think you’re going to be able to go out there and execute it. I think the guys in our team have the ability to do it … it’s all about being mentally present.”

Until Dhoni returns Kohli will be the only survivor from India’s batting order from their most recent visit to Australia, due to the retirements of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman and omissions of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. The 26-year-old was India’s best batsman in that series and said he would enter this series emboldened by that experience.

“There’s more pace and bounce, so the shot selection becomes very important. That’s what I saw last time – you need a lot more patience compared to back home. You’ve got to pick the right balls to hit in the right areas and figure out with the big fields what are your spots and strengths are – and the areas you should avoid early on with the new Kookaburra because it does quite a bit, especially on these tracks,” he said.

“I think Australia is a great place to bat on, once you get in. The morning session goes through [well for bowlers]. The guys need to realise that and play themselves in. Eventually I experienced that last time as well. It’s a beautiful place to play cricket as a batsman, it’s a lovely place to be when you’re 30 or 40 and the ball gets a bit old.”

On Kohli’s previous visit he was fined for an obscene finger gesture, which he made in response to crowd taunting. On that issue, he said he was “certainly expecting it again”.

“I had quite a bit of it last time, but I loved it. Once you perform in those conditions, the people love you here and they love a good fight,” he said.”We’re here to play aggressive cricket, play the brand of cricket that Australia plays. They can expect a lot of fightbacks on the the bat and there’s going to be more aggression this time around with the whole squad.”

A suggestion from Peter Siddle that Kohli would be daunted leading his country in Tests for the first time was rebuffed with a wry smile.

“Well that’s for me to know and for me to experience, to go out there and know how it is. I’ve played against him, he [Siddle] is quite a competitive guy, so I’m not surprised there’s already some banter starting from that end.

“But I don’t mind all that. I’m here to experience this new stage, this new area for me, captaining in the Test format, and I’m pretty confident of the ability the guys have. It’s up to me how I handle them, how I handle different situations,” he said.

“I love leading the side, I love being captain, I love putting my first foot forward and putting in my [views] throughout the game. I don’t see any issues on why I can’t be up to the challenge. As long as the team backs me and puts in the performances we want, I think I’m going to look good at the end of the day.”

Kohli said little about the potential for Michael Clarke to miss the start of the series, on the basis he was unsure about the severity of the Australia captain’s hamstring injury.

CA XI (from): Ashton Turner (c – WA), Ryan Carters (NSW), Harry Conway (NSW), Alex Gregory (SA), Sam Grimwade (Vic), Seb Gotch (Vic), Josh Lalor (NSW), David Moody (WA), Jonte Pattison (NSW), Matt Short (Vic), Kelvin Smith (SA), Nick Stevens (Qld).INDIA (from): Virat Kohli (c), Varun Aaron, Ravi Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Naman Ojha, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Karn Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Umesh Yadav.

Bathurst man dies in tragic accident at Chifley Dam

04/12/2018 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

TRAGEDY: Chifley Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Andrew Spliet has urged people to be safe on the water. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 112314cops1aA 36-YEAR-OLD Bathurst man died in a tragic accident at Chifley Dam on Saturday night while trying to save the life of his five-year-old daughter.

The pair were kayaking when their vessel overturned and they both fell into the water, and while the man managed to save his daughter, he failed to resurface.

Paramedic Inspector Rhys Dive, who attended the tragic search, said the man was at the dam along with his family and friends when the “horrible” tragedy occurred.

“[The kayak] upturned and they both ended up in the water and he managed to lift his child onto the boat,” attending paramedic Inspector Dive said. “The first thing he did was save his little girl.”

Inspector Dive was among emergency services personnel called to the scene at 7.14pm to join the frantic search.

“There were already people searching on kayaks and fishing boats and swimming when we arrived,” he said.

Chifley Local Area Command police and Bathurst State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers began a search of the water and the man’s body was discovered just before 9pm.

Police yesterday confirmed the man and his young daughter were not wearing life jackets at the time of the accident.

Inspector Dive has remembered the husband and father of three as a dedicated community member who regularly volunteered with the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church’s Rapid Relief Team.

“We know him, that church group is part of the group that come and feed us at emergencies,” he said.

Plymouth Brethren Christian Church spokesperson John Wells said the deceased man had been a member of the church’s Rapid Relief Team for a number of years.

The team is made up of church members who volunteer their time to provide catering to emergency service personnel during times of crisis.

Chifley Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Andrew Spliet said the man and his daughter were paddling in water that was 3.5 to four metres deep when the incident occurred.

Despite the flat water, and innocuous nature of kayaking, Inspector Spliet said people should still be aware of the risks in deep water, especially if they are not strong swimmers or are with children.

State Emergency Service Central West region controller Craig Ronan said people need to be adequately prepared when undertaking any water-based activities.

“Anybody going on a boat should have a PFD [personal floatation device] on and children and adults should have one for their own safety,” he said.

The cause of the man’s death has not yet been determined, and Inspector Dive said he did not want to speculate, but he said while the upper water level of the dam is quite warm, it is very cold lower down.

Police will now prepare a brief for the coroner.

Source:Western Advocate, Bathurst

Toxic Truth: No escaping dust for neighbours of moonscape

07/08/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

CONSTANT CAR WASHER: Boolaroo resident Stephen Griffen at the old Pasminco site. Picture: Phil HearneToxic Truth: More stories
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​STEPHEN Griffen’s car is the only monitor needed to show how much dust is blowing off the former Pasminco site into the surrounding streets.

A heavy layer of pollution quickly gathers on the ungaraged vehicle within hours of it being washed every second day.

‘‘I’m not a whinger, but it’s quite evident to everyone around here that dust is a big problem,’’ Mr Griffen, whose First Street home overlooks the 191hectare moonscape, said.

‘‘They have got water trucks over there to wet it down sometimes but they don’t go off the main roads.’’

In addition to the dust, there is the noise, which usually starts about 6am.

‘‘There’s four or five trucks over there at the moment but sometimes they have up to a dozen.’’

Several First, Second and Third street residents told the Newcastle Herald they had made numerous complaints to the Environment Protection Authority hotline about dust blowing off the site. Despite that, EPA records show only five complaints had been received about the issue in the past two years.

An Environment Protection Authority spokeswoman said monitoring data provided by Pasminco showed the levels of lead dust blowing from the site had significantly decreased over the past decade.

Despite the official assurances, Macquarie University environmental scientist Mark Taylor said he was not convinced the site would be completely safe.

‘‘There will always be questions over previously contaminated sites,’’ Professor Taylor said.

‘‘If I had a choice I wouldn’t live there. If I didn’t have children I might have a slightly different view on it.’’

Although the EPA is still the site’s overall regulator, areas where remediation has been completed have been moved to Lake Macquarie Council’s control.

The spokeswoman said the EPA had previously shut down work on the site when there had been a high risk of dust blowing from the site.

‘‘Pasminco has an active revegetation program for much of the site, to help limit dust generation,’’ she said.

Revegetation of the main containment cell is scheduled to commence early in the new year.

It was revealed in July that the EPA considered fining the smelter’s administrator, Ferrier Hodgson, over misreporting heavy metal contamination at the site.

Documents lodged with the EPA earlier this year showed lead contamination levels exceeded recommended standards by 6400 times but it has since been revealed the reported levels were incorrect.

EPA hotline 131 555

Toxic truth: Archive

Do you know more? Want to share your story? [email protected]上海龙凤论坛m.au

Financial security Knights club’s top priority

07/08/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

HOOKING IN: Knights chairman Brian McGuigan shares a laugh with Kurt Gidley and Tariq Sims. Picture: Jonathan CarrollTHE Knights remain one of the NRL’s financially strongest clubs, according to new directors, despite losing money since the league took control from Nathan Tinkler five months ago.
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Under the chairmanship of renowned Hunter Valley vigneron Brian McGuigan, the new board of Katie Brassil, Eileen Doyle, Mark Fitzgibbon, Philip Gardner, John Quayle and Peter Shear met for the first time at Mayfield on Monday to plan the club’s future.

Brassil is Centennial Coal’s general manager of external affairs, Doyle chairs the Hunter Valley Research Foundation, Fitzgibbon is the chief executive of nib, Gardner is the Wests Group chief executive, Quayle is the NSW Venues chairman and former chief executive of the NSW Rugby League and Australian Rugby League, and Shear, a former Lloyds Banking Group executive, is an NRL adviser appointed by the league.

The NRL has agreed to underwrite the Knights for the next three years but McGuigan said the club would become self-sufficient ‘‘as soon as practicable’’.

‘‘We don’t know that yet, because we don’t know who we’ve got as sponsors and what funding that will give to us, but as soon as we have a plan you guys will know about it, and the community will know about it,’’ McGuigan said. ‘‘But we’ve got a responsibility of breaking square as quickly as we can, and that’s what we intend to do.’’

When the NRL, Tinkler’s Hunter Sports Group and the Knights Members Club signed off on a settlement in June, the new Knights entity had $5.1million in start-up funds.


That nest egg has since been reduced, though Shear would not divulge to what extent.

‘‘The club’s financial position is strong but the club has been making losses,’’ Shear said.

‘‘But for us it’s about the future and we’re on a strong platform and we’re very focused as a board to continue to build financial stability.

‘‘The club’s made some losses in the last couple of months, but it’s still one of the most financially strong clubs in the league at the moment.’’

Quayle, who along with Shear, Knights chief executive Matt Gidley and other NRL officials helped oversee the post-Tinkler transition, said the new regime had already reduced operating costs by $3million.

‘‘Like any business, you can only spend what you make, and the first stage for us is getting that right and getting that structure in place to make sure the long-term viability of the Knights is secure,’’ Quayle said.

‘‘You can’t do that over one year. You have to do that over a period of time. If we get that right, first up, the rest flows.

‘‘No longer can a team just survive from year to year. It’s fine for people to say that in sport you can win a premiership in one year, but it’s no use doing that and going broke.’’

Gardner said the Knights had been ‘‘chasing their tails’’ financially since inception.

‘‘This time around, they’re not going to be doing that, and you’ve got an independent board in place. For the first time, the shareholder is not running the club,’’ Gardner said.

‘‘You’ve got an independent board that are going to be set up to run the club properly, they’re going to be answerable to the shareholder, and if they don’t perform, the shareholder will fire them. That’s never been the case before.’’

Gardner said the Knights would run a ‘‘leaner, more efficient administration’’ than the one that existed under HSG management, and the new board had moved on from the win now, pay later attitude that influenced the decisions of some directors in the past.

‘‘They put the blazer on and they’re prepared to sell the next 10 years of the business down the river to win this year. That’s not the structure going forward of this board, and it won’t be the structure going forward under any future ownership,’’ he said.

‘‘You’ll have a very different commercial outcome, I think, and a very different governance structure, and it’s going to be very transparent.

‘‘Because you’ve got an independent board, they’ll be transparent not just back to their shareholders but to the community and to the media, because the media is very important in ensuring that everyone is kept honest and honourable in what they’re doing.

‘‘So I think you’ll see a very different organisation both from a governance structure, and transparency to the community, than we’ve seen at the Knights over the last 20 years.’’

LSD dealer fails to sway appeal

07/08/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

A PORT Stephens man found guilty of supplying a large commercial quantity of LSD has failed to have his nine-year jail term reduced on appeal.
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Stephen John Finch, 49, said he was the victim of a bitter drug dealer who left thousands of tablets of the hallucinogen in his Pindimar home the day before a police raid in September 2010.

A jury convicted Finch in February 2013 after being shown a video of the police raid and hearing from officers who said Finch ran from the front of the home to the rear after police announced their arrival.

Police found sheets of perforated cardboard containing LSD as well as methylamphetamine and amphetamines throughout the house.

He was sentenced to a maximum nine-year jail term with a non-parole period of six years.

Finch appealed against the severity of his sentence in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Monday, claiming the sentence was ‘‘manifestly excessive’’ and sentencing Judge Peter Berman erred in failing to take into account mitigating factors.

But Justice Robert Hulme dismissed the appeal, ruling the initial sentence was adequate.

‘‘I am not persuaded that the sentencing judge erred by overlooking some of the matter that rendered the offences less serious or by failing to have regard to relevant mitigating subjective factors in the assessment of sentence,’’ Justice Hume said.

‘‘The circumstances could be described as truly exceptional if the offender was an innocent where matters of prohibited drugs are concerned. But that is not a description to which the applicant could aspire.

‘‘He admitted to having been a regular user of drugs. The judge referred to the police having found written records of past drug transactions, albeit they involved [according to the applicant] small quantities of cannabis.

‘‘The judge considered that the applicant had sought to minimise the level of his past drug dealing.

‘‘Notwithstanding that the applicant had quite a compelling subjective case to mitigate the level of punishment to be imposed, I am not persuaded that the sentence of eight years for the LSD offence and the overall sentence of nine years for the two offences is manifestly excessive,’’ Justice Hume said.

Finch will be eligible for parole in November 2018.

Proliferation of city boutique bars continues

07/08/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Bar Petite, one of a host of new small bars to open in the CBD in recent years.THE wave of new bars seeking to open in Newcastle is continuing with two more applications lodged with the city council.
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The latest two, planned for Market Street and Hunter Street, are among four applications lodged in the past fortnight and come on top of dozens of new liquor licences issued to city cafes, restaurants and new bars over the past year.

A bar to be known as Shisha Lounge is proposed for 227 Hunter Street, complete with a rooftop terrace, which would operate until midnight Monday to Saturday and until 10pm on Sundays.

The bar is proposed for the historic ANZ Bank building on the corner of Hunter and Brown streets.

Owned by the Jacoub family, the building’s roof offers views of the harbour and Nobbys headland.

According to the application, the 730-square-metre Shisha Lounge would be ‘‘a positive attraction and revitalisation of the whole area’’.

The second new application is for the ground floor of 2 Market Street, opposite the city’s current post office, and is owned by Jordan Mizrahi.

Le Passe Temps, one of a host of new small bars to open in the CBD in recent years.

Under the plan, the former sandwich shop and vacant commercial space would be converted into a bar and outdoor cafe. Its proposed operating hours are the same as Shisha Lounge.

A statement of environmental effects lodged with the application says the bar ‘‘will assist to reactivate Market Street in the evenings … and play a role in the redevelopment of Hunter Street and the East End overall’’.

Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the proliferation of new and smaller bars was diversifying the city’s night-time economy.

‘‘They’re reactivating parts of the city and decentralising the big booze barns into smaller boutique bars which are mostly run by locals,’’ she said.

Two weeks ago, the Herald revealed plans for two new bars on Hunter Street, including one on the site of the old Star Hotel.

They come in addition to the dozens of new bars which have opened throughout the city centre in recent years including Reserve Wine Bar, Bar Petite, Le Passe Temps, Red Baron’s Berlin Bar, Coal and Cedar, The Laneway, The Edwards, The Terrace Bar, The Landing and The Grain Store

Jenny’s Place, a refuge for women escaping violence, helps them start again

07/08/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

HELPING HANDS: Out Reach co-ordinator Pam Morris and team leader Rosemary Pillay. Picture: Marina Neil►The terror in our homes
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►These women should be alive today

►Successful man, wife hid abuse from the world

►Opinion: Male violence glossed over

►Editorial:Never an excuse for violence

THEY flee, with their young children, in the middle of the night.

Often, in fear for their lives, they are desperate, and they are empty-handed.

If they are lucky, they make their way to a safe place – if there are no friends or family, they may land at a women’s refuge, like Newcastle’s Jenny’s Place.

And from there, thanks to the generosity of the community, they will not go away empty-handed.

They will be armed with care packages, known as Jenny’s Gift, filled with practical self-care, kitchen, bedroom and other essential items to help them slowly re-build their lives.

‘‘Most of them come with nothing, literally,’’ says Jenny’s Place team leader Rosemary Pillay.

‘‘Just the clothes on their backs. Our funding is limited, so we have a safe place, and we are one of the only refuges that provide food, but these packs contain the basic things that we can’t provide.’’

‘‘Sometimes they contain toiletries, nappies, and sunblock. We also do kitchen packs with a few food items, and maybe a toaster, and bedroom packs with basics like linen.’’

Hundreds of women have received a Jenny’s Gift pack since it was launched six months ago, Ms Pillay said.

Jenny’s Place has been running for 37 years. The associated outreach service has been running for six years.

It helps women transition from emergency and crisis accommodation into full-time living arrangements, as well as helping some women stay safe in their own homes, and visiting families at risk.

‘‘I feel privileged to see these women go from being low and fearful in unfamiliar surroundings to taking charge of their own home, in control of their own environment, with their children with them, it’s just awesome,’’ says outreach service co-ordinator, Pam Morris.

The service is working on developing relationships with real estate agents to help give their clients a better chance of finding a private rental.

That is particularly difficult for those who have been blacklisted due to an abusive partner’s behaviours or failure to pay for rent or damaged property, and for those who have no rental references to due their former reliance on an abusive partner. In the meantime, the service continues to struggle for adequate funding.

The outreach service is run on donations alone, and the turn-away rate from the refuge remains high.

In 2013/14, 336 women were turned away, and 367 children – a 30 per cent increase on the previous financial year.

Donations can be made via the Newcastle Domestic Violence Resource Centre on 49278529, or online at Give Now (http://www.givenow上海龙凤论坛m.au/jennysplace).

UrbanGrowth agency examines rail land potential

07/07/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

STATE-owned development agency UrbanGrowth has admitted it is looking into a ‘‘number of uses’’ for the city’s rail corridor land and ways of ‘‘activating’’ the area around the existing Newcastle railway station through redevelopment.

‘‘We will be undertaking some work to understand what those opportunities may be and actually then provide advice back to government,’’ UrbanGrowth’s head of wholesale Peter Anderson told a parliamentary inquiry on Monday.

But he stressed the government was yet to make a decision on the future of the land while that work was being done – with only a month before it is scheduled to close the line to truncate the heavy rail.

UrbanGrowth, which is in charge of the overall city renewal project, has also denied it was seeking to smooth the way for the East end redevelopment it is carrying out in partnership with the GPT Group, by using its influence within government to ensure building heights for its site were increased through changes to city planning controls that were enacted following a swift public exhibition period.

‘‘At no time have we requested a shorter exhibition period of the Department of Planning,’’ Mr Anderson said.

However, an internal document written by an outgoing senior UrbanGrowth staffer noted it and the GPT Group had agreed to accelerate their project.

‘‘The timeline to submit the masterplan [development application] is presently end March 2014,’’ the document, dated February 13, says.

‘‘The latter is placed in jeopardy the longer the re-exhibition of required changes to the proposed LEP. We are not able/willing to submit a DA that is not conforming to the planning framework.’’

The document continues: ‘‘GPT are aware that the end of February target may not be achieved due to delays within the [Department of Planning]. They are relying on UrbanGrowth’s relationship with the [department] to manage this risk on the project’s behalf … The delay in LEP re-exhibition is a risk to the project.’’

Department of Planning infrastructure director Brendan O’Brien told the inquiry the bulk of the changes to planning controls had already been exhibited for four months from late 2012.

But he acknowledged increased heights for the East end site had only been exhibited for 16 days in March this year.

Liberal MP Greg Pearce said the process seemed ‘‘unusual’’ and queried whether it was a ‘‘good look’’ given the government, through UrbanGrowth, owned two-thirds of the site.

Mr O’Brien replied the changes exhibited weren’t complex and ‘‘I think on the matter of height, people form a view very, very quickly for or against [it]’’.

As was first revealed by the Herald, Mr Anderson confirmed UrbanGrowth was analysing plans for the Newcastle railway station buildings.

‘‘How about the corridor itself? Are you looking at redeveloping the railway corridor when the trains are finally stopped?’’ inquiry chairman Fred Nile asked.

‘‘We will do the analysis work on the corridor and… then report back to government what the options are,’’ Mr Anderson said.

Department of Planning and Environment secretary Carolyn McNally was also quizzed on when she learned Hunter Development Corporation general manager Bob Hawes owned stakes in properties at Wickham, where the government will build a new transport interchange.

Ms McNally, who was given her position in late July, said she was advised some time in the past three months, but the arrangement would have been endorsed by former department director general Sam Haddad when Mr Hawes was employed.

The inquiry’s interim report is expected before Christmas.

THE last of three hearings scheduled as part of an inquiry into Newcastle planning decisions has ended without appearances from any key ministers and certain senior bureaucrats involved, or Newcastle City Council’s boss.

Transport and Hunter Minister Gladys Berejiklian and Roads Minister Duncan Gay were asked to give evidence but both declined, according to the committee.

Transport for NSW bureaucrats did not appear either.

Ms Berejiklian said: ‘‘A response was provided to the inquiry from the NSW government including the relevant transport information.’’

Planning Minister Pru Goward was not asked to give evidence.

Council general manager Ken Gouldthorp was listed to give evidence on Monday afternoon by teleconference but instead provided the inquiry with a two-page letter.

He said teleconferencing would be ‘‘an unfair and less satisfactory substitute’’ to making an appearance before the committee.

He also said he had taken a trip overseas from November 3 to 21, which was ‘‘approved, booked and paid for months in advance’’ and hence could not attend an inquiry hearing in Newcastle on November 7.

Budget turns on final sitting fortnight

07/07/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Optimistic: Tony Abbott is said to be in a positive frame of mind as the Government enters a crucial period. Photo: Alex EllinghausenJoe Hockey and Tony Abbott are hoping a re-alignment of crossbench numbers and a worsening revenue picture might lead to a more cooperative parliament entering the final sitting fortnight of 2014. As the Treasurer prepares to unveil his crucial Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook snapshot of the budget and economy in mid-December, the government is struggling with very poor public support, and a record of legislative failure on key aspects of its budget plan.

The Abbott government has entered its final parliamentary sitting fortnight of the year hoping a re-alignment in the Senate and a worsening revenue picture might lead to a late breakthrough in the deadlocked legislature.

But hope is not being confused with belief despite billions of dollars of budget savings being stalled amid pale revenue from soft economic growth, weak company tax and capital gains receipts, and tumbling iron ore prices.

A tough day at the hands of a rejuvenated opposition, and fears of defeat in the Victorian state election this weekend, had the coalition backbench looking sullen and morally defeated on Monday.

Labor focused question after question on Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s election-eve commitment that there would be no cuts to the ABC or SBS, among a raft of similar pledges involving health, education, and pensions.

“Did the Prime Minister say on the night before the election, September 6, 2013, on SBS television, did he actually say, “No cuts to the ABC or SBS.”? Labor’s Bill Shorten asked, again and again.

“I never said there would be special treatment for the ABC,” Mr Abbott responded to derision from the opposition and near silence on his own side as MPs attended to mail or stared at mobile screens.

“Everyone knew there was going to be an efficiency dividend applied across government and effectively what we are doing to the ABC is applying an efficiency dividend to it.”

“Was it you?” Labor MPs taunted, as Mr Abbott’s own words about political trust were quoted back to him.

As Treasurer Joe Hockey prepares to unveil his crucial Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook snapshot of the budget and economy in mid-December, the government is struggling with low public support, and a record of legislative failure on key aspects of its budget plan.

While Julia Gillard’s minority government lacked legitimacy and relied on the support of two country independents for its majority, the Abbott government’s thumping lower house margin has not given it the parliamentary authority such dominance would suggest.

Instead, it finds itself beholden to a clutch of conservative populists and has proved unable or unwilling to navigate legislation through or hold it back until success if possible.

One senior MP insisted the Prime Minister was in a positive frame of mind, while counselling against panic.

According to the government, just seven of its bills have been “negatived” (successfully voted against) by the opposition and cross benches in calendar 2014 including a bill to scrap the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (twice) and another to scrap the Climate Change Authority.

Also rejected was the Clean Energy (Income Tax Rates) bill, the Fair Work (registered organisations) bill and a series of social security bills – the latter of which have been re-structured and then re-committed in a different form to secure $2.7 billion in savings.

According to the opposition however, a total of 23 government bills (albeit counted differently) have been repudiated in the Senate this year.

The government had proposed restoring a balanced budget in four years deleting the deficit by 2017-18 but that is looking increasingly unlikely with key savings measures yet to be legislated – causing the loss of months and potentially years of savings – and the weakening revenue situation.

However, the break-up of the 4-vote Palmer United Party bloc, after Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie made her separation official on Monday, and other manoeuvrings, offers some faint hope of progress.

For example, Liberal Democratic Party senator, David Leyonhjelm has begun constructing a majority to strike a compromise on the Renewable Energy Target.

He hopes to offer the government progress on its plan to trim the RET’s impact, by removing the penalties on companies for failing to purchase sufficient green energy.

It is one of a range of possible issue-by-issue groupings that may become possible if the government drops an all-or-nothing mentality in favour of compromise and the pursuit of partial success.

Wayne Carey puts spotlight on forwards as the AFL considers crackdown on illegal blocks

07/07/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

AFL great Wayne Carey says forwards – and not just defenders – should be under scrutiny after the AFL revealed it was considering a crackdown on illegal blocks and screens in marking contests.

AFL operations chief Mark Evans said on Monday the laws of the game committee had identified two areas for review during the post-season.

“One is holding the ball and giving us a better understanding around prior opportunity, in particular, and illegal disposal. The second main theme that has come up is blocking in marking contests. We will talk to the umpires across that in summer and see where we get to,” Evans said.

“I think it’s become so well done by defensive groups that it is reasonably discreet. We just want to have a look at it. I am not sure that we will be able to get them all but, certainly, [we will] be able to pick up on more of those blatant ones.”

In the laws of the game DVD issued to clubs last season, players were reminded that “where the umpire deems there is an unreasonable or excessive (unduly) push, bump, block or hold that prevents an opposition player from contesting the ball, a free kick shall be awarded against that player”.

There was also an example of a block former Tiger Jake King put on Jeremy Howe behind a pack to stop the Melbourne high flyer from launching into a marking contest.

Carey said the umpires faced a difficult task managing any crackdown.

“I think the one that needs [monitoring], in terms of blocking, is when a guy is running to mark the ball, which is what we want to see, and the defender just stands and blocks the run of the player and takes his eye off the ball. It could be four, five, 10 metres off the ball,” he said.

“But those types of blocks, it’s going to be hard [to monitor] – it happens across the ground all the time.”

While Evans spoke of “defensive groups”, Carey felt it was forwards who were now more interested in blocking for a teammate.

“There shouldn’t be tunnel vision and just saying this is what defenders are doing as a group because I think what defenders do better than ever is guard space and guard an area,” he said.

“They are not overly interested in blocking all the time any more. Where forwards are getting smarter, and certainly more team orientated, are at getting over and blocking for someone – a [Jarryd] Roughead will go and block for [Jack] Gunston. They almost take it in turns.

“The one you want to see paid is where they really take their eye off the ball. They have got their back to the play and they just run in and bump a defender, or the defender bumps the forward.”

Evans said his operations department was continuing to work on a clearer definition of holding the ball, an issue which frustrated coaches had raised through the season.

Asked on Radio Sport National what his definition was, Evans said: “It is a fairly loose definition, which says that the player has had a reasonable chance to dispose of the ball.

“In umpiring terms, without being absolute on it, it is sort of about four steps – about two seconds with the ball in open space but … there is something about the player’s intent with the ball.

“Sometimes you can look as if you are about to try and burst through a pack. He has no intent to get rid of the ball. He may only take two steps and it just feels like that should be holding the ball. I think that gives us some direction.”

Blake Windredwins Newcastle District Golf Championships

07/07/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

ACTION: Blake Windred in January this year. Picture: Peter StoopLAST year Blake Windred became the youngest winner of the WE Alexander Open at 15.

The records kept coming on Sunday for the Charlestown 16-year-old when he became what is believed to be the youngest winner of the Newcastle District Golf Championships.

In the 27-hole event at Waratah, Windred carded four-under-par 102 to defeat Toronto’s Justin Ely by a stroke.

After shooting five-under 66 for the opening 18 holes, Windred should have a closed out a comfortable victory, but a bogey and a double bogey on his final two holes gave Ely a sniff.

“It was great to be back playing tournaments in Newcastle,” Windred said.

“Over the last couple of months, I’ve been around Australia playing big tournaments and it feels good to play with the boys I know.”

Windred will be back at Waratah this weekend to defend his WE Alexander Open crown.

Windred was also crowned junior champion over Tanilba Bay’s Carter Nepia (114) and Waratah’s Terry Blomfield (112) won the seniors by a shot from Hawks Nest’s Warren Gorton.

■ Jake Higginbottom has backed himself to retain his Asian Golf Tour card in the final three tournaments of the season, freeing up a tilt at the Australian Open on Thursday.

Last week, the Charlestown touring professional missed the Australian Masters to play the Manila Masters in the Philippines.

In Manila, Higginbottom earned $8280 after finishing 33rd at 284 (72-69-68-75), four under par.

That lifted the 21-year-old eight places to 74th on the order of merit. The top 60 retain their card.

As a member at The Australian, Higginbottom was desperate to play in the Australian Open.

However, it could prove a gamble as Higginbottom is unable to contest the King’s Cup in Thailand.

That leaves him with the Indonesian Open (December 4-7), Thailand Golf Championship (December 11-14) and Dubai Open (December 18-21) to climb 14 spots in the Asian Tour’s order of merit.

■ Fresh from his exit at the US web杭州龙凤论坛m Tour qualifying school, Belmont’s Corey Hale will make his Australian Open debut on Thursday.

The left-hander bombed out in the second stage of the Q-School when he finished 57th in Kingswood, Texas, on November 14.

Due to earning his card for the OneAsia Tour this season, Hale will be one of seven Hunter professionals in the $1.25 million Open at The Australian in Sydney.

The others will be Australian Masters runner-up James Nitties, Nathan Green, Aaron Townsend, Callan O’Reilly, Leigh McKechnie and Jake Higginbottom.

“The Australian Golf Club is one of my favourite places and it’s been redesigned and it’s actually the first time I’ve played the new layout, but I certainly like the facility and the place,” Hale said.

■ Matt Kirkwood is not feeling any pressure as he eyes a fourth Charlestown Club Championship in five years on Saturday.

After three rounds of two-over 74, 75 and 71, the 24-year-old leads by 10 shots at four-over 220, from Matt McNamara (230) and Michael Wade (235).

A successful final round would follow victories for Kirkwood in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Last year he finished third behind Blake Windred and runner-up Brayden Petersen.

Windred and Petersen were unavailable for this year’s club championships due to Golf NSW commitments.

DVD REVIEWS: Deliver Us From Evil, Transformers Age of Extinction, The Newsroom Season 2, The Normal Heart, Sex Tape

07/07/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Eric Bana stars as Ralph Sarchie in Screen Gems’ Deliver Us from Evil. SuppliedUniversal Sony, 118 minutes

THIS flick will clear the room of the scaredy-cats in a hurry. Eric Bana stepped into the lead role as New York police sergeant Ralph Sarchie when Mark Wahlberg bowed out.

And Bana does horror proud.

Sarchie’s story was told in a book, Beware The Night, but the movie line heads into an original plot with Sarchie teaming up with a priest, Mendoza (played by Edgar Ramirez) as they seek to exorcise a demon from a former soldier who became possessed while serving in Iraq. Directed by Scott Derrickson and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, it is full of darkness and tough guys.

And yes, it will scare the hell out of you.

Critics didn’t like it, but the public did, with the film grossing more than $87 million at the box office.

Rating: ★★★★

– Jim Kellar

Paramount, 157 minutes

SOMETHING strange has happened to blockbuster director Michael Bay since the 1990s, when he made his name with Bad Boys and Armageddon, overblown action movies that still played by the rules of genre.

By comparison, the Transformers films resemble out-of-control art school projects – crass without being remotely watchable, as if mocking the very notion of entertainment.

Transformers: Age of Extinction improves on its predecessors, mostly because it doesn’t feature the charisma-free Shia LaBoeuf as lead human.

His shoes are filled by Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager, a can-do “garage inventor” with a passing resemblance to Harrison Ford in The Mosquito Coast, a somewhat creepy obsession with the virtue of his leggy teenage daughter (Nicola Peltz), and a passion for discarded machinery that leads him to rescue Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), noble leader of the Autobot race.

Otherwise this is the same Transformers movie as all the others. There are sunsets, explosions and screechy vocal performances; calendar-art landscapes gleaming like Norman Rockwell on steroids; low-angle shots of buff bodies, flesh or metal; and tasteless evocations of September 11 leading up to a gleeful smash-everything climax.

Despite appearances, Bay is no fool: while the Transformers films are zeroes when it comes to suspense, characterisation or humour, last year’s true-crime satire Pain and Gain showed he can manage all three when he wants to. With his background in advertising and music videos, he’s closer than he seems to more obviously conceptual directors such as Michel Gondry or Jonathan Glazer: like them, he’s not primarily interested in telling a story, but in putting across an idea.

So what is this idea exactly?

Hard to say, but one of the more striking slow-motion shots shows a couple of giant Transformers spinning in mid-air while tossing human characters from hand to hand.

In plot terms these are the good guys, but visually they seem to represent those impersonal social entities – corporations, governments – that tower over the puny individual.

It’s no accident the film’s two human villains are a ruthless CIA “black ops” chief (Kelsey Grammer), and a more redeemable robotics entrepreneur (Stanley Tucci).

While these characters attempt to exploit the Transformers, they’re unable to control the forces they unleash; perhaps Bay is telling us that he, too, is a tool of the system, doomed to whip up endless sound and fury to sell some lousy toys.

Rating: ★★

– Jake Wilson

PAY TV PREVIEWS 21 JULYMELINDA HOUSTON 03 9384 6295DRAMApic from ‘THE NEWSROOM’, airing july 22 2013 on showcase.

Warner Bros, 3 discs, 473 minutes total

I MUST make a disclaimer here first: I am a news junkie, have been most of my adult life. Through thick and thin. Oh, there was a period when I was out of the loop, living in Alaska, but I caught up when I got back to civilisation.

The Newsroom is a show that appeals directly to the tastebuds of news junkies. It’s fictional, but smells a lot like CNN, America’s first dedicated cable all-news TV network.

The contemporary plotlines provide a palate for understanding the motives behind the news – what the competition is running, how scoops come into play, how the staff deal with the constant pressure.

Jeff Daniels, as news anchor Will McAvoy, is outstanding in the lead role. He has the right amount of cool and ego to make you love him and hate him at the same time.

The supporting cast is up to the task of holding together the newsroom and backing McAvoy as the leader of the pack.

Emily Mortimer as MacKenzie McHale is the ultimate executive producer; powerful and instinctive. John Gallagher and Alison Pill as young producers Jim Harper and Maggie Jordan are complicated – good at their jobs, not so good at personal relationships.

The talent doesn’t end there: Olivia Munn is outstanding as Sloan Sabbith, the economics reporter who hungers for more fame; Sam Waterston as crusty news director Charlie Skinner; Thomas Sadoski is producer Don Keefer, the staff’s bellwether about what is quality news.

This second season is an intense exploration of what went wrong with a huge investigative story the network broke, alleging misdeeds by the US military in Pakistan rescuing captured American soldiers. There’s still plenty of personal smooze, perhaps too much for my liking. But it certainly gives every character personality and helps explain their behaviour.

The show’s third and final season has just gone to air in the US on HBO.

It is still worth following. Created by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing), it will be remembered for marking a particular period in American history. In this case, fiction tells a story that reality cannot package so easily.

Rating: ★★★★

– Jim Kellar

Warner Bros, 127 minutes

MODERN history is full of controversial events. But it makes for great movie fodder.

The reaction to the AIDS crisis will always be subject to revisionist history, particularly in America, where people tend to disagree on basic facts in regards to political matters all the time.

Dallas Buyers Club was a superb drama set at the time when AIDS was emerging as a major crisis. Matthew McConaughy deserved his Oscar for his role as Ron Woodroof, the rough-as-guts cowboy determined to help AIDS victims and himself by doing it his own way.

In The Normal Heart, we’ve got another non-traditional hero of the AIDS movement, Ned Weeks (played by Mark Ruffalo), a New York novelist who is deeply disturbed by the death of his friends, and eventually his own lover, at the hands of a disease that government authorities are trying desperately to ignore.

Weeks will tolerate none of the obfuscation going on around him, even from the AIDS movement, who he feels is way too patient and afraid.

This HBO production won Outstanding Television Movie at the Primetime Emmy Awards this year. The supporting cast is brilliant, including Julia Roberts, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina and Matt Bomer.

Rating: ★★★★

– Jim Kellar

Universal Sony Pictures, 94 minutes

IF the challenge of making a successful adult comedy lies in combining the right proportions of raunch and sentiment, then Sex Tape – directed by Jake Kasdan (Walk Hard) from a script by Kate Angelo, Nicholas Stoller and star Jason Segel – shows how that balancing act can go wrong.

Segel and Cameron Diaz play Jay and Annie, a bored married couple who shoot an intimate home movie then must race through the night to stop it going viral.

This is a premise that provides plenty of opportunity for high jinks – and while I can handle Segel’s hangdog goofiness only in small doses, both stars are undeniably pros.

Still, there are early indications that the film isn’t going to work. First, the title is off: there’s no tape here, just an MP4 file, and the details of how it finds its way onto iCloud are convoluted and never funny.

Second, we’re told that Jay and Annie spent their evening of passion working through every position to be found in a 1970s copy of The Joy of Sex. But how provocative, really, is the notion of amateur porn that proceeds literally by the book? For comic effect, Kasdan and his team might have been better to skip over the details and let the viewer’s imagination run wild.

This points to Sex Tape’s larger problem: for an outrageous farce, it plays things extremely safe. Kasdan may not be a puritan, but he’s too commercially cautious to risk pointed satire of either the porn industry or family values.

He even avoids assigning his protagonists any overly specific character traits. Jay works in the music industry, but we learn nothing about what the job means to him.

Still less persuasively, Annie is depicted as a “mommy blogger” who’s about to sign a deal with a multinational toy company, a career move we’re meant to see as positive even after her future boss Hank, played by Rob Lowe, proves thoroughly deranged.

And an interminable sequence set in Hank’s mansion, where Annie snorts coke while Jay is chased by a German shepherd, is one of the weakest excuses for a comic set piece in any recent film not starring Adam Sandler.

Rating: ★

– Jake Wilson

The winners of the Devil’s Knot DVDs are: L. Roach, of Windale; B. Anderson, of Lambton; K. Young, of Hillsborough; W. Schafer, of Kotara South; and C. Rodgers, of Fern Bay.