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Rugby league at risk due to ‘soft kids’

28/07/2018 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

LONE RIDER: Group 4 boss Mick Schmiedel is known for calling it how he sees it, and has done so again – taking ‘lazy’ parents and ‘soft’ kids to task.Plain-talking Group 4 president Mick Schmiedel has bemoaned the dramatic drop in junior league players graduating to the senior ranks in the region –and has laid the blame on “lazy” parents and “soft” children.
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With the league heartland in danger of becoming awasteland in the under-16 and under-18 ranks, the former long-standing player, who is aveteran administrator and coach, said parentsneeded to get “off the couch” and get their kids involved in league.

“I put the blame, and they won’t like this, squarely at mums and dads,” he said.

“I think a lot of mums and dads have just got too lazy now to take their kids to training or go down to the footy to watch.


— Mick Schmiedel (@Mickysch68) June 13, 2017

“They’drather sit at home or … God knows what they’re doing.”

Schmiedel, who coaches Collegian Warriors’ first grade and under-13 sides, also unloaded of kids –telling them to harden up.

He said years ago if a player“got a spray”from the coach he“took it on the chin”.

“Now (it’s), ‘I’m not copping that. I’m going to another sport. I don’t deserve that’,” he said.

CONCERN: Leading league figures say the lack of junior players entering the senior ranks is hurting the region’s premier competition, First Division.

“Well, you probably did deserve it. You’ve been a little sh**at training, you weren’t doing what you were told, deal with it … And that’s the problem we’ve got.

“Personally, I think we’ve become such a cotton wool society that we’ve got to be so careful of people’s feelings that we don’t want to upset them.

“Hang on. Little Johnny has been a sh**of a kid, so I told him to pull his head in or he’s doing laps. Andhe goes home crying because the coach was nasty.”

Schmiedelsaid the situation was so dire there were only three under-16 sides and four under-18 sides this season.

“So that tells you there’s not a lot (of players) coming through,” he said. “I think there’s only four (under) 15 sides at the moment.”

He added: “The thing with sport in general is we’re competing in a market that everyone wants, and you’ve got rugby union and you’ve got AFL going strong and soccer going strong, basketball’s strong.

“So we’re all trying to dip into the same player pool … which makes it difficult.”

Northern Daily Leader

The politics at play in our changing city

28/07/2018 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

AT THE height of its influence, Renew Newcastle’s founder Marcus Westbury was fond of retelling an old joke.
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Newcastle, it seemed, was always on the verge of something. A large-scale development was just around the corner. Three to five years away.

The joke, of course, was that most of the action never really seemed to eventuate, and in the meantime it wasorganisations like Renew fostering small-scale development that helped beginNewcastle’s revitalisation.

That word –revitalisation –has since been adopted by the NSW governmentas its catch-cry in Newcastle.

Indeed it’s no longer UrbanGrowth or the Hunter Development Corporation guiding state investment in the city, it’s Revitalising Newcastle, an amalgam of various state government departments.

The state government, through Revitalising Newcastle, claims credit for bringing that elusive large-scale development to the city.

The narrative is that it has beenthe government’s half-a-billion dollar investment in Newcastle, mostly spent on the 2.7 kilometrelight rail project, that has helped bring activity into the city.

A springboard launchingthe $1.6 billion in development busily changing Newcastle’s skyline.

But if the NSW government wants to bask in our success, it must also accept the heat when things aren’t as positive.

Yet in recent excursions into the city’s politics, two Berejiklian government ministers have failed in this regard.

First it was theTransport Minister Andrew Constance, who attempted to shift attention fromhis own delay incominggood on a promise to produce a business case for the light rail extension with anattack on the Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.

And now it’s the Arts Minister Don Harwin, who raised hope for funding to expandthe Newcastle Art Gallery, and now – having failed to deliver any money –is putting theblame on the council.

Say what you will about the council –and it is not without blame, because it has had years to come up with fundsfor theexpansion –but the light rail business case and the gallery extension are exampleswhere the state government has prioritised massive spending in Sydney above more modest projects in Newcastle.

Nothing like a looming election to bring out the blame shifting and party politics.

Issue: 38, 527

Five highlights in your travel week23 June

28/07/2018 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

The top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge … climbers greeted by live music.Twilight climbs on all weekends in July and August will see four local musical artists serenade climbers at the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
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After a bucket-list journey ascending the iconic bridge to a vantage point 134 metres above the harbour, climbers will be greeted by a series of musicians, comprised of three duos and one singer-songwriter, waiting at the top with acoustic instruments safely attached and in hand.

There they will perform for each group as they climb the final stairs to the summit, in the genres of art folk, soulful reggae and Americana-inspired folk music.

This musical experience is included in the standard price of the ticket.

Phone (02) 8274 7777 or visit www.bridgeclimb南京夜网

Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel … pampering mothers-to-be.

Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel has launched a new babymoon package, offering a special pampering experience for mums-to-be.

Defined as a romantic getaway or planned period of calm for expectant parents, the babymoon allows a restful getaway before baby arrives.

The Emporium’s package includes a 24-hour movie package, ice-cream and popcorn, a mum-and-bub gift pack including a signature plush zebra toy, valet parking, late checkout and a 10 per cent discount voucher at the Cheeky Bambino family concept store in the Emporium precinct.

The babymoon package is priced at $150 on top of whatever room rate is chosen.

Phone 1300 833 611 or visit www.emporiumhotels南京夜网.au

Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport … special opening rate.

The Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport is offering a special introductory rate special of $159 per night in a studio king room for when it opens on July 19.

The rate is valid for stays to September 29 and includes 1GB of internet access daily, a welcome drink voucher and room upgrade, subject to availability.

The 136-room, nine-storey hotel is located close to T2 and T3 terminals and features 24-hour service, express check-out and internet kiosk.

The restaurant and bar will serve a provincial menu, featuring the regional NSW beef and sustainably sourced local seafood, served with local draught beer, wines and hand-crafted cocktails.

Phone 131 517 or visit www.mantra南京夜网.au

Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel … a great base for Darwin’s popular winter events.

Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel in the heart of Darwin is offering early-bird and longer-stay deals with up to 15 per cent off standard rates.

Darwin plays host to a wide range of sporting and cultural events during winter, including the Royal Darwin Show (21-23 July), Darwin Fringe Festival (July 11–23), Darwin Cup Carnival (July 8–August 7) and this year’s Darwin Festival (August 4–21), an 18-day calendar of activities featuring local and touring artists, outdoor concerts, workshops, theatre, dance music, comedy and cabaret, film and visual arts.

Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel is located in the city centre, close to Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, Darwin waterfront and Darwin Casino, and within walking distance of Darwin Mall and popular night spots.

The property offers serviced apartments, ranging from studios to three bedrooms. All apartments feature separate living and dining areas, fully equipped kitchen, private laundry facilities and balcony, plus complimentary high-speed wi-fi.

Phone 1800 004 321 or visit www.metrohotels南京夜网.au

Fingal Beach … people line up to make giant humpback.

Each year in Port Stephens, hundreds of people gather on the beach to make the shape of a giant humpback and celebrate the whale-watching season.

The creation of the mammoth mammal will take place at noon on Saturday, July 15, as the finale of the region’s winter Naturefest celebrations. The event will be held on Fingal Bay Beach with free registration available from 10am.

This year visitors can also take advantage of a special winter accommodation deal offered by Marty’s at Little Beach.

Groups of up to four people can stay at Marty’s at Little Beach — 10 minutes from Fingal Bay — in a two-bedroom apartment for $200 per night on the weekend, based on a minimum two-night stay.

Larger family apartments, suitable for up to six people, are available for $250 per night.

Phone bookings will secure a further discount on accommodation.

Nestled between the sheltered stretches of sand at Shoal Bay Beach and Little Beach, Marty’s offers studios and self-contained apartments with balconies, a heated swimming pool, free wi-fi and Foxtel, and an undercover poolside barbecue.

Phone 02 4984 9100 or visit www.martys.net.au. For general regional inquiries visit www.portstephens.org.au

Fitzgibbon brews up a motion on craft beer

29/06/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon (centre) with Ironbark Hill Brewhouse owners Andrew and Peter Drayton at the microbrewery’s grand opening on April 28.Hunter MPJoel Fitzgibbon has lodged a motion in parliament calling on the government to better support craft brewers.
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Mr Fitzgibbon lodged theprivate members’ motion with Labor colleague Anthony Albanese, whichurged the Federal Government to ensure policy settings encouraged craft brewing and for state and local governments to tailor planning and development controls to enablegrowth in the sector.

Mr Fitzgibbon said craft beer brewers were disadvantaged by an unfair excise tax system. Beer in a 50-litre or greater keg ischarged one level of excise. If it is in a smaller container (most commonly used for craft beer batches), brewers are paying up to 40 per cent more excise than bigger competitors.

With a number of craft brewers in the Hunter, Mr Fitzgibbon said growth in the sector wasa great opportunity to diversify tourism.

He said the burgeoning craft beer scene in the Hunter hadalready provided a boost to the local economy, but would be better supported by a fairer tax rate for producers.

“It is not just about the tax, of course. This is a job-creating proposition,” Mr Fitzgibbon said in his parliamentary speech lastMonday night.

“In my own region in Hunter wine country, we are enjoying new economic diversity. They once just came to sample wine at the cellar door. Then we opened restaurants, so they came for our restaurants as well. Then we moved on to concerts, weddings and balloon rides. Increasingly and very quickly, we are now moving on to beer tasting. That is the sort of diversity you want in any region to cushion you against the shocks.

“Once it would have been sacrilegious to have beers, a brewery and a pub, if you like, in the heart of the Hunter wine country. It is making an enormous difference.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Tasmanian neurologist leaving state after ‘cries for help ignored’

29/06/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Tasmania’s North and North-West will lose its only full-time neurologist, with Dr Kurien Koshy saying his cries for help were ignored by the state government.
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Dr Koshy has resigned after being stationed at the Launceston General Hospitalfor more than six years.

However, Health Minister Michael Ferguson said he was unaware of any complaints being made by the outgoing doctor.

Dr Koshy said he felt his workload had beenincreasing, particularly in the past six months.

“[But] there have been no efforts from the organisation itself to provide any further help,” he said.

“Ifelt that I should be looking at other options and fortunately I was able to obtain another position in Melbourne where I’m moving up to.”

Dr Koshy said discussions to increase services had been ongoing since he took up the post at Launceston.

“Mainly for increased space in the hospital to expand the services, efforts to recruit more staff –neurologists, specialists, requests to provide a full-time registrar for neurology services so thatphone consults and things for the North-West can be dealt with more effectively.

“If there would have been more efforts to expand the services, yes, I would have considered staying on.”

Mr Ferguson said he asked the THS to encourage Dr Koshy to stay.

“The LGH Director of Medicine Dr Alasdair MacDonald did this and I was subsequently advised that he isrelocating for career advancement reasons in his area of interest,” he said.

“I am incredibly disappointed Dr Koshy has made these comments to the media after choosing to leave Tasmania, instead of raising them directly with either myself, my office or senior THS staff so that we could have considered what more we could do in the interests of our patients.

“Rather than reduce service provision, locum cover will provide care in the interim so that patients are not left in the lurch.”

Dr Koshy said he hadn’t received any clear responses when he asked what would happen with ongoing care for outpatients he had been dealing with.

“I’m unsure of what sort of alternatives they’ve got in place.

“I’m hoping they’ll get some services from the south of the state.”

Dr Koshy is moving to Melbourne in August, but may do fly-in clinics.

The Examiner

Law and order in a time of miner offences

29/06/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Law and order in a time of miner offences Historian Alan McLean traces the history of the Rushworth Court House in his latest book.
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But no. According to historian Alan McLean, there was suchthing as “unauthorised dancing” when the Rushworth Court House was in its heyday.

“Law and order in the district was plainly under serious attack from the forces of evil,” he said.

It has been about 30 years since the doors of the historic building closed for the last time.

But there was great need for legal services in the townwhen the court house was constructed, in 1877.

Rushworth and the surrounding area was home to thousands of diggers, lured by the promise of striking it rich.

Within six months of the discovery of gold in 1853, the Supreme Court convicted two people of crimes at Moora and Rushworth.

They were subsequently hanged at Melbourne Gaol.

“In 1857, three men went down for ‘highway robbery’ near Rushworth’s Criterion Hotel,” Mr McLean said.

“The Moora hotels, the Wanalta hotel and severalhotels at Whroo also had their share of unwanted action”.

He said more than one publican was fined for operating an ‘unlicensed billiard table’.

“In 1898,a well-known and notorious Rushworth woman was accused of‘pilfering and behaving in a way not conducive to the morality of the township’,” Mr McLean said.

“She went to Bendigo gaol, found guilty of being a‘disorderly prostitute’.”

Combing through the news of the era, he found records of “brawling Chinamen fighting farmers, horse thieves, aggressive foul-mouthed drunks, passive drunks, cadgers, owners of sly-grog shanties, swagmen carrying more than their own goods (usually in a bottle), owners of destructive wandering goats and pigs, carriers who neglected to put their name on their cart, a man found at night in Wigg’s brewery, and a mother of 14 who failed to send her eldest child to school on the specified number of days”.

On some occasions, it was the wording of the news reports that enchanted the historian.

“The [court house] welcomed ‘an able-bodied specimen of the loafing fraternity’. Another defendant challenged the nasal senses, being ‘as shy of water as he was of work’,” Mr McLean said.

In other instances, Mr McLean found himself fascinated by the characters about whom the reporters wrote.

“In 1887, after 18 years as a Justice of the Peace, Wolton Wigg, a local brewer, was called into the dock –not to his preferred seat on the bench,” he said.

“Found in a boat with a gun and a bag of dead game birds, he strangely pleaded not guilty[of shooting ducks out of season]”.

The court was unconvinced, and the “good J.P” was convicted and fined.

“His career on the bench continued, but his days hearing poaching charges were over,” Mr McLean said.

One defendant who never faced court was a well-respected bank manager, Lowson Salmon, who disappeared one night in 1860 with the bank’s cash, “never to be seen again”.

Mr McLean decided there was a story to be told about the misadventures of the day.

He has compiled a book,Order in the Court, based on his research.

The publication is available from the Stanhope newsagent and from Rushworth Gift and Variety.

Bendigo Advertiser

‘All we can do is watch’: Huge jump in humpback whale numbers

29/06/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

‘All we can do is watch’: Huge jump in humpback whale numbers Photo by @jodie_lowe88 taken at Port Macquarie and shared on Instagram.
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Whales frolicking off the Illawarra coast. Photo: Emily Parisi

Whale spotted off Kiama. Photo: Emily Parisi

Whales spotted off Shellharbour. Photo: Emily Parisi

Carly Elphick spotted this whale at Coalcliff.

Photo by Judith Conning taken earlier this month off Forster.

Scientific surveys since the 1980s have shown a surprising increase in humpback numbers. Photo: Jonas Liebschner/Whale Watching Sydney

Photo by @jodie_lowe88 taken at Port Macquarie.

A humpback whale puts on a show for crowds off the heads of Sydney. Photo: whalewatchingsydney南京夜网.au

Sunday is the annual national humpback migration census day conducted by marine mammal rescue group ORCCA and hundreds of volunteers. Photo: whalewatchingsydney南京夜网.au

Photo by ORRCA, the organisers of Sunday’s community whale census.

Photo by Shane Chalker Photography.

Multiple pods of humpback whales swam past Mystery Bay on the South Coast on Saturday morning with up to10 individuals in one pod alone.

Multiple pods of humpback whales swam past Mystery Bay on the South Coast on Saturday morning with up to10 individuals in one pod alone.

Multiple pods of humpback whales swam past Mystery Bay on the South Coast on Saturday morning with up to10 individuals in one pod alone.

TweetFacebookHumpback boom”In the early1980s, they’d think it was a big day if they saw six or seven whales” in a 10-hour day of watching, he said. “These days, the average number is about 150 whales and some days up to 200.”

Professor Noad estimates more than 30,000 humpbacks alone will migrate northwards up the coast this year, roughly matching peak historical numbers.

The 10-11 per cent annual increase, though, means the population is doubling about every seven years. That raises concerns about whether the animals will have a “soft landing or a relatively nasty oscillation”, he said.

For reasons yet unclear, southern right numbers are growing only about half as fast. Antarctic blue whales – the largest creatures that have every lived – may not be increasing at all even with curbs on whaling.

“We’ve driven [blue whales] down to such low numbers that they are having trouble finding mates – that’s one possibility,” Professor Noad said.

Shark mythResearchers are more confident about another issue of public concern – the apparently unfounded fear that rising whale numbers are bringing more sharks to places such as the northern NSW coast.

A spike in shark bites there prompted the state government to introduce sharks net last summer. These have now been removed to avoid snagging whales.

“There’s no evidence at all that whales coming up the coast increase the shark risk to people,” Professor Noad said.

A study for WA Fisheries last year came to a similar conclusion.

The research did, though, find dead whales can be a shark magnet. One beached whale near Albany in 2010 lured sharks to the area for as long as 17 days afterwards.

While people should be careful, the predator feeding on a dead whale “is a happy shark” that would be unlikely to hunt alternative food, Professor Noad said. “It’s the shark risk, not shark numbers, you need to worry about.”

New hazardIf the population growth rates continue – and there is no sign humpbacks are going hungry because of krill shortages – governments had better start planning for the risk of more whale collisions with boats.

“There’s a real navigational hazard and safety issue … that’s coming to a head very rapidly,” he said. “I just wonder how long our love affair with whales will go on for if people start losing their lives running into humpbacks.”

Professor Noad doubts, however, that anybody will advocate resuming whaling. Still it could be time to consider improving safety especially for recreational vessels such as yachts that whales may not detect and avoid.

“We’ve got no control over really what happens with humpbacks,” he said. “All we can do is watch.”

Euthanasia survey hints at support from doctors, nurses and division

29/06/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Most NSW doctors and nurses support a controversial medical euthanasia bill headed for Parliament, according to research that could prompt new debateabout the medical fraternity’s willingness to accept changes to assisted suicide laws.
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A bill, to allow patients to apply for medically assisted euthanasia in specific circumstances when older than 25 (an age when informed consent is deemed reached), will be introduced to the NSW upper house in August for a conscience vote.

Dr Anne Jaumees, an anaesthetist based in western Sydney. A poll of doctors and nurses into what they think about euthanasia has just been conducted. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

About 60 per cent of doctors support the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill and fewer than 30 per cent oppose it, according to a surveyby market research company Ekas emailed to a database of 4000 NSW doctors it deemed “opinion leaders” and returned by about 500.

A smaller sample of about 100 nurses had support running at 80 per cent in favour of the law reform and opposition at fewer than 10 per cent.

A crowd-funding campaign forAnnie Gabrielides,a motor neurone disease suffererwho has progressively lost her ability to speak and is a euthanasia advocate, paid for the research.

“I’mconsistently hearing from doctors and medical expertsexpressing their sincere support of my campaign, but they’re reluctant to speak out,” she said.

The results suggest the medical profession and its famously powerful unions, not just Parliament, will be divided when debate on the bill kicks off.

The Australian Medical Association, which opposes changes to euthanasia law, warnedthe research could overstate doctors’ support.

“It is likely that doctors with more strongly held opinions are responding to these surveys so caution must be used,” AMA NSW president Brad Frankum said.

A national AMA poll of 4000 doctors last year found 50 per cent of doctors believed medical professionals should not be involved in assisted suicide, a spokesman emphasised.

But only slightly less than four in ten said they should, according to a news report.Combined with 12 per cent who neither agreed nor disagreed that left physicians close to evenly splitin some respects.

And anAustralian Doctorpoll of about 370 medicoslast year found about 65 per cent of doctors supported a change to the law on physician-assisted suicide ifstrict conditions, such as patients nearing the end of their lives and suffering “intolerable pain”, some of which are mirrored in the NSW proposal, were met. About half told the journal they would be willing to help perform aprocedure.

NSW Nurses and Midwives Association general secretary Brett Holmes said: “The vast majority of nurses support change that enables medically assisted dying. Nurses know patients often choose more drastic means [to medically ending their life] in fear they cannot choose later.”

A parliamentary report cited polls from the ’90s that found nurses’ support for euthanasia reform reached as high as about 75 per cent.

A dozen polls in the past decade hadfound between 75 to 80 per cent of Australians backed medically assisted euthanasia.

Western Sydney anaesthetistAnneJaumeesdoes too after working in palliative care for 15 years: “All their lives they want dignity and patients want that up until the end, too.”

The bill is the product of cross-party collaboration and will only allow for applications frompatients expected to die within the coming year and experiencing extreme pain, suffering or incapacitation.

Safeguards proposed included allowing relatives to challenge applications in the Supreme Court,assessmentsby independent doctors and being subject to a 48-hour cooling-off period.

But Maria Cigolionisaid, while proponents arguedthe bill came laden with safeguards, it required no review of what palliative care patients had first sought before applying to end their lives or for alternatives to be suggested.

Overseas safeguards had been loosened so euthanasia could be applied forby people also suffering from psychosocial problems, Dr Cigolioni said.

“Instead of spending money on euthanasia reforms, we should be investing in psychosocial support programs to address suffering.”

“People [will hasten the solution of death] when so many other things need to be looked at as the potential cause of that suffering,” she said. “Once you change a criminal law [to allow] people to be killed, then [its conditions] can be extended beyond just being terminally ill, [and expand to include] the disabled and the aged and children, as it has in the Netherlands and Belgium.”

The state budget last week announced a $100 million increase in funding for palliative care, something experts said would bring levels of NSW services into line with other states.

AMA policy recognises a divergence in doctors’ views on euthanasia but it states doctors should not be involved in dispensing treatment that shortens a patient’s life.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Briggs slots first winnerphotos

28/05/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

ON POINT: Macquarie’s Randall Briggs. Picture: Marina NeilRandall Briggs may not be able to slot them at training but he stepped up when it counted on Sunday with a field goal to win the game 13-12 for Macquarie over Lakes.
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With eight minutes remaining Briggs broke the deadlock from 30 metres out and put the Scorpions ahead for the first time in the round nineencounter, much to the delight of the home crowd at Peacock Field.

The second-rower, who had shifted to five-eighth in the closing stages to cover injuries, produced the winning play normally assigned to his older brother Scott, who returned from a one-match suspension in reserve grade.

It was a new kind of experience for Briggs.

Briggs slots first winner | photos TweetFacebookClose but no cigar for @mac_scorps and they trail @lakesunitedrlfc 12-6 after 58 minutes @[email protected]南京夜网/4KV5w4sCYK

— Josh Callinan (@joshuacallinan) June 25, 2017

Macquarie trailed 6-0 and 12-6 throughout the afternoon courtesy of tries in either half to Lakes pair Lee McClintock and Jamie Ghoulmieh.

But it was another Briggs, younger sibling Isaac, who helped equalise with determined four pointers at opposite ends.

This fighting spirit, despite constant mistakes and a depleted bench, shone through according to Scorpions coach Adam Bettridge.

“We completed at 22 per cent in the first half, which was one of the worst performances I’ve seen from a side I’ve coached,” he said.

“But you look at the positive, their will to win this side is outstanding.

“We ended up with no subs on the bench and a lot of people gave us stick during the week aboutGal[injured captain Blake Gallen] not playing. Their effort was there today, but their football brain just didn’t follow.”

Lakes coach Dean Noonan said he was pleased with the showing despite the result.

“It’s not that often you’re on a losing team but you’re still reasonably happy with the performance,” Noonan said. “I was today.”

Elsewhere in Newcastle Rugby League andit was Central that accounted for Kurri Kurri 18-8 in a tight tussle at St John Oval on Sunday.

LADDER:Western Suburbs 16, Macquarie, Central Newcastle 12, South Newcastle, Lakes 8, Cessnock 6, Kurri Kurri, Maitland 4

Take me to the river

28/05/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

In February Maitland Council threw an extra $10,000 into city’s new year celebrations to include LornA plan that couldplace the Hunter River at the forefront of regionaltourism and community activities may soon go on exhibition for public comment.
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Maitland City Council will vote on Tuesday night to exhibit the Queens Wharf and Lorn Riverbank plans of management and masterplans which flag a second wharf for Morpeth and a community plaza for Lorn.

An objective in council’s +10 Community Strategic Plan was to improve recreational access to the Hunter River and its banks from council-owned land.

After considering a study into access to the Hunter and Paterson rivers, council voted to prepare a plan of management and masterplan for two reserves at Queens Wharf and Lorn Riverbank.

“Council has identified the Hunter River as a significant asset and as such has embarked on a strategic plan to enhance the heritage and natural resource for the entire community to enjoy,” a report said.

Council undertook a studyin 2014 to identify potential sites for access to the Hunter River for recreational purposes including the launching of non-motorised vessels.

A report said Queens Wharf wasan important community asset with natural and heritage significance. “Queens Wharf is also a key recreational site in Maitlandproviding the only boat ramp into the Hunter River,” it stated.

The plans of management and masterplans were jointly funded by council and the Roads and Maritime Service.

Mara Consulting was engaged by council to develop the plans, a key component of the project was to engage stakeholders to gain feedback and input into the design process.

The meeting with stakeholders was carried out last year.

The draft plan suggests installing additional parking, a heritage display to promote the historical site, additional picnic tables, improving beach areas, a secondjetty and an extension of the existing jetty.

The 9.5 hectare Lorn site isvisually prominent from the Riverwalk adjacent to The Levee and will be even more so with the completionof the Riverlink building.

Plans for Lorn include an access road over the levee, exercise equipment, two amenities blocks, picnic tables, children’s play area, off leash dog area, paved pathway to the river, an open spacearea around a central plaza large enough to hostcommunity functions.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

‘Strange’: Woman rescued from under Essendon house could have been there for a week

28/05/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Neighbours fear a woman trapped under a derelict Essendon house may have been there for a week.
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A woman, aged in her 40s, was rescued from under the kitchen floorby emergency crews on Saturday evening after neighbours heard cries for help.

A woman was trapped under the kitchen floor in this Essendon home. Photo: Alexandra Laskie

One neighbour who went to investigate inside the vacant home called police afterhearing scratching under the floorboards.

Eight firefighters took two hours to cut a hole through the kitchen floor and rescue the woman.

Neighbours say the house has been vacant for years. Photo: Alexandra Laskie

Metropolitan Fire Brigade Commander Roger Chitty said the woman was “extremely dehydrated and incoherent”.

‘We weren’t able to make conversationwith her,” Commander Chittysaid.

“But she was very fortunate to be conscious and in the state she was in, considering how long she’d been under the house.”

A neighbour, Janis, said she saw a blondewoman picking fence palings off the rear boundary of the property, on the corner of Miller and Violet streets, a week ago.

The woman was taken to hospital suffering from exposure to cold. Photo: Alexandra Laskie

“Last Sunday, about midday, I saw this lady coming up the street looking in, and then she went down the laneway,” Janies told Fairfax Media.

“She pulled a couple [of fence palings]off, they were lying near that shed.I assumed she was trying to get in.”

“I was in my bedroom when I saw her. My partner came in and I said, “I don’t know what she’s doing”, and he said, “I reckon she’s a squatter”.

She described the woman as “quite well dressed”, wearing jeans, a red T-shirt, a blue vest and a handbag when they last saw her a week ago.

She said a firefighter told her the woman was wedged under the house like a cat.

Other neighbours said the house had been vacant for years.

One neighbour Cathysaid she hadnever seen a light on inside the dilapidated house.

“We’ve never seen anyone come or go.The curtains are never open, it’s really strange,” she said. “My kids call it the Halloween House – they’re terrified of it.”

Neighbours Rhys Thomas and RachelBovey, who moved into the neighbourhood six months ago, said they had never seen anyone on the property.

“We thought it was vacant, but these sorts of properties attract this kind of thing. This is one of the strangest things to happenanywhere I’ve ever lived.”

The house is the only derelict property on the well-kempt street, with paint peeling from itswalls and an overgrown garden.

Another neighbour, who is also believed to ownthe vacant property, declined to comment on the matter.

The rescued woman was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospitalsuffering from exposure.

Police say they don’t know why she was under the floor and are now investigating.

“The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are yet to be determined,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman said on Sunday.

The Age

Putting reputation – and boat – on the line

28/05/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Putting reputation – and boat – on the line Community: Des Maslen pulls rubbish from Throsby Creek during Clean Up Australia. He is running for mayor and as a councillor at Port Stephens.
Nanjing Night Net

Passionate: Des Maslen speaking at a community meeting after the Williamtown RAAF Base firefighting foam contamination scandal was made public.

TweetFacebook A man, his boat and a defamation caseDoing it the Port Stephens Council wayIT took Port Stephens Council mayoral hopeful Des Maslen decades to fulfil his dream of owning a cruiser, and a single defamation case to have him putting the cruiser up for sale after only a year.

The case, launched against him after he re-posted a copy of a post related to the council, meant the cruiser had to go because “we needed the money” to defend the costly legal argument, Mr Maslen said.

“I’ve been wanting to get a cruiser since I was a little kid and I finally got one a bit over a year ago but that’s the way things go. It was an old one but it was mine. It wasn’t great but I did some work on it. I’ll get another one some day,” he said.

Mr Maslen heads the Labor ticket in one of three Port Stephens Council wards after deciding to stand for both the mayoral positionand as a councillor. Labor is running three candidates in each ward.

“We want to be completely open about running as a Labor team. We’re not hiding behind the ‘independent’ tag. The council needs to be changed,” he said.

Mr Maslen has strongly criticised the council and mayor Bruce MacKenzie for issues including the dumping of contaminated waste at Salt Ash Pony Club. The NSW Environment Protection Authority fined the council $45,000 in October for the “unlawful transport of waste and use of land as a waste facility”.

The dumping exercise is estimated to have cost the council more than $200,000.

Mr Maslen said the council lacked transparency in its decision-making and was being “ruled, not governed”.

“I’ve seen and been part of organisations that work well. I believe the role of mayor and councillors is to be the conduit between the community and the council organisation, working in the public interest,” he said.

“I think the current council represents a minority, and by that I mean they have a very small area they tap into for the decisions they make, and that knowledge base has to be broadened.

“I see a group of people who’ve been there for a long time and what this area needs is a good fresh start.”

Mr Maslen’s focus on local government flowed, in part, from community action following exposure of the Williamtown RAAF Base firefighting foam scandal. Mr Maslen owns property within the contamination zone.

He runs an environmental mooring business after years in the area, including attending school at Bob’s Farm and living at East Seaham, Raymond Terrace and Medowie.

Mr Maslen said his view of the world was informed by becoming a single parent 22 years ago and living in a Housing Commission home while working towards a future.

The pain of a popular postcode

28/05/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Other small towns in central Queensland are following Yaraka’s lead and asking for a unique postcode.The quest by Yarakafor its own postcodehas been taken up by othersmall towns in central Queensland.
Nanjing Night Net

Delegates at the Western Queensland Local Government Association conference heard recently that postal services in communities in the Central Highlands Regional Council area were being impacted by the current methodology used to allocate postcodes.

They are all communities that share the 4702 postcode, which is the code Yaraka residents had and objected to.

Central Highlands CEO, Scott Mason, said the interaction of locality names and postcodes can create confusion in regional and remote areas, adding that it leads to difficulties in identifying properties for post and parcel services, resulting in community frustration, delays and other service delivery inefficiencies.

“And these people want a sense of identity,” he said.“Surely the system can be flexible enough to accommodate them.”

The council gathering resolved to work to influence the realignment of locality and postcode areas in regional and remote areas to improve consistency, by way of a review they’d like to see undertaken by a relevant federal authority.

An Australia Post spokewoman said the organisation wasopen to reviewing postcodes from time to time, however will only effect a change where there are operational efficiencies to be gained in rerouting the mail.

“In evaluating changes to existing postcodes, Australia Post assesses aspects of the geographical area such as the volume of mail currently being delivered into a locality, delivery arrangements, and projected population growth,” she said.

“We also consider the impact on local communities.

“Postcodes are assigned solely to facilitate the efficient processing and delivery of mail, and correspond with the delivery centres from which mail is delivered.”

Yaraka sharesthe 4702 postcode with places such as Shoalwater and Gracemere, hundreds of kilometres away.

Federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, has campaigned strongly with Australia Post on behalf of the community at the “end of the line” for its own mailing identity,after being approached by the Longreach Regional Council and Yaraka community members soon after being elected.

The anomaly comes from the years when Yaraka was part of the railway line that extended west from Rockhampton, and received its mail from that source.

That’s long gone but Yaraka is still feeling the effect, including being recognised as a coastal postcode when insurance companies come to calculate insurance premiums for places affected by cyclones, despite being 700 km inland.

Queensland Country Life