Monthly archive for ‘ August, 2019 ’

Short Takes: Thursday, December 8, 2016

20th August 2019 | Closed

I THINK that very soon the only people using the CBD will be those who live or work there.With shrinking parking opportunities and poor public transport from the suburbs, the CBD looks less attractive every day. Many of the largest employers have moved west or out of the city altogether.

I can be at Kotara or Charlestown in 10 to 15 minutes where there are major department stores and ample free parking. I see the CBD’s future as an expensive residential area that has become irrelevant to the rest of the city. Makes me wonder if the ethereal light rail will even be necessary.

Ruth Burrell,MerewetherTO Peter Newey (Short Takes,3/12), I thought that by the number oflettersyou write thatyou were an expert on all topics. But alas, no – otherwise if you had read a paper or listened to the radio you should have known the V8s were leaving Olympic Park at Homebush because the government is redeveloping the entire precinct. Let’s all enjoy the cars when they come to the city and reap in the multiple benefits they will bring.

Rick Johnson, Mount HuttonFOUR-wheel drivers have broken down fences to access North Stockton Beach, near the pre-school, in a residential area. Obviously not content to use the legal areas from Birubi Beach down to Lavis Lane. I have just taken a photo of one, set up on the beach, off Mitchell Street, looking very comfortable.

I have the registration number. Port Stephens council obviously doesn’t care about that area.

The dangers to the beach and vegetation, not to mention children playing on the sand, don’t seem to be an issue. Free camping of course.

Helen Perry, North LambtonTHE Wallabies seem to be on the wrong side of every 55/45decision.

Peter Hay, IslingtonSORRY Newcastle Jets,it is just too hard to keep supporting you. Too many disappointments. Until you get players who can actually form a competitive team, I will just have to find another team.

Daryll Hadfield,RedheadNEWCASTLE JetsNil – is that their new name?

Bill Slicer, Tighes HillTHE POLLSWould you pay a premium price for parking if it guaranteed you a space at the front door?

Yes 24%, No 76%Is Merewether beach the Hunter’s most “authentically Australian”?

Yes 51%, No 49%Could Newcastle’s Supercars track live up to the “Monaco of the southern hemisphere” hype?

Yes 72%, No 28%What should be built on the latest Honeysuckle site to hit the market?

Shop-top residential 25%, Commercial 23%, Other 22%, Hotel 20%, Retail 10%

Newcastle District Cricket Association: Belmont bowler Jace Lawson reaches 500 first grade wickets

20th August 2019 | Closed

MILESTONE: Belmont paceman Jace Lawson chalked up his 500th first grade wicket for Belmont on Saturday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.It has taken almost two decades and a countless number of overs, but Belmont paceman Jace Lawson has become the 12th player to reach 500 first grade wickets in the Newcastle district competition.

The 34-year-old left-armer clocked up the significant milestone on Saturday with his first victim of the second innings en route to an outright victory for the league leaders away against Waratah-Mayfield.

“I was more relieved than anything because I didn’t get a breakthrough in the first innings,” Lawson said.

“But it’s been a lot of bowling [over the years] and I’m feeling it.I was bowling at least 25 to 30 overs a game there for quite a long time. That doesn’t happen these days, but now I’m sorer from 10 overs compared to back then.”

But the seasoned campaigner has pushed through the pain, most recently an unidentified right-knee injury, to continue on Belmont’s frontline.

Management is paramount and he will sit out their upcoming round nine fixture at home against third-placed Toronto in order to be fully fit for next weekend’s one-day decider.

It will be Lawson’s first Tom Locker Cup final, playing against University at No.1 Sportsground on December 18, after missing his club’s last appearance in 2003-2004 when overseas.

“Finals have been pretty rare,” Lawson said. “I can’t wait.”

Lawson also has the chance to add a premiership to his lone prize from 2008-2009 and the forklift driver from Macquarie Hills can’t recall a better start to a summer, with the Cahill Oval lads dropping only one game and sitting nine points clear on top of the ladder.

“It’s the best start I can remember to a season I’veplayed in,” he said.

“Normally we get to Christmas and we’re in a spot to have a crack at the semis. But now we control it. It’s up to us where we finish, rather than relying on other teams.”

Part of Belmont’ssuccesshas been three tons scored by skipper Mark Littlewood.

Part of it has beennew recruits like Greg Hunt and Jesse Major.

But part of it has remained Lawson consistently playing his role in the team with 15 wickets at an average of 13.33.

He now has 503 wickets, starting with 4-20 on debut against Wallsend as a teenager in the late 1990s and peaking with a career best 58 scalps in 2014-2015.

It puts him within reach of Jack Bull (509) but a long way from record holder Ken Hill (1128). The only other current player ahead of Lawson is Hamilton-Wickham’sSam Webber (536).Belmont’s previous highestwas David Wrixon (380). Lawson’s best figures are 8-43.

Statistics are courtesy of Wallsend scorer Jack Brown.

Renew Newcastle moves beyond its inner-city turf and shifts its focus to surrounding suburbs.

20th August 2019 | Closed

New territory: Renew Newcastle general manager Christopher Saunders in Newcastle West. Picture: Penelope GreenIF you ownan empty retail building in Hamiltonand surrounds and you like Renew Newcastle’s record of spacereactivation, call them.

General manager Christopher Saunders has made the appeal to building ownersas Renew spreads its tentacles as opportunities in its traditional stomping ground of inner-city Newcastle dry up.

Renew is, he says, “excited” by the purchase of the Hunter Street mall precinct by Sydney-based hotelier and developer Iris Capital, whose CEO Sam Arnaout has described himself as a“real believer” in Newcastle.

“There’s a new buyer and lease of life coming in, it’s what we’ve always supported and we’d like to work with the new owner,” he said.

Mr Saunders says Renew’s five-year effort to reactivate the inner-city byplacing about 80 artists, cultural projects and community groups in disused buildings until they become commercially viable or were redeveloped had boosted the mall’s valueand decreased crime there.

“What Renew offers is the opportunity to bring life and vibrancy back into the street, which will lure other commercial entrepreneurs, which is what has happened in the Mall and is evidenced by the fact we don’t have any more buildings [to reactivate] there,” he said.

As such, Renew has quietly been making inroads into other suburbs: in Hamilton, it has leased out the top floor of the Clock Tower to eight photographers who are using both office space and a converted studio.

In recent days, it has placed educator, singer-songwriter and teacher “Lu Quade” (Luke Wade) into a building on Maitland Road,Islington, owned by someone whose own artistic endeavours were intially supported by Renew in an exhibition at The Emporium (the former David Jones building).

Mr Saunders says Renew would “love to access” 14 empty shops in Beaumont Street, where business owners say there has been a marked increase in crime since the truncation of the city’s rail line.

“We’d love to access them,” he says.“You could say crime has increased there, but I’d argue that itinerants are more likely to be victims of crime. The [truncation] has impacted on businesses but this is change, and we need to work as a community.”

Renew is keen to work with Hamilton building owners to help them activate their retail space, adding value to their property and deterring crime.

“In the time that Renew has been in Newcastle there’s been a 25.6 per cent reduction each year in property crime,” Mr Saunders says.“We’ll keep your building safe and bring a potential long-term tenant that might lead to a commercial outcome.”


Letters to the Editor: Thursday, December 8, 2016

20th August 2019 | Closed

STANDARDS SLIPPING: Reader Leonard Buckland says a loss of local control has eroded the quality of service from his family’s home care provider.

THERE is a festering problem in our care services, and it worries me because I have seen it develop over this past year.I am very concerned about what I have seen and experienced, particularly with the marvellous home care workers. I am not qualified to comment on behalf of these hard-working people, but have become aware of reasons why they are experiencing considerable stress in carrying out their duties.

I have had experience with the NSW service for over 20 years, firstly when my wife suffered a stroke and I cared for her with their assistance from time to time for 18 years. In recent years it is myself, with assistance in the mornings.

I had never had a complaint about the service in all the years whileit was administered by an office in Cardiff. Early this year, the service was taken over and it isan entirely different story with the change of administration. I have had a number of complaints, even writinglettersto the general manager in their Melbourne office.I have never had the courtesy of the acknowledgement of my communication and that’s not just one occasion.

I can’t help butnotice some of the people coming from the service don’t seem to be those bright happy souls any more that I have known in the past.

The privatisation with the change in administration of NSW home care has fiercely eroded the quality of this service.I would now call it home service because the care seems to have been lost by the new owners in the transmission to its administration.

Now with the Christmas and New Year festivities fast approaching, I would urge people to pause for a moment and think about all these people that continue through all the times of festivities carrying out their duties in all the health, caring and disability services regardless of what day of the year it is.

Leonard Buckland,BooragulIt’s all about imageOUR civic leaders appearto have accepted the claims of V8 Supercars that the event planned for Newcastlewill inject more than$50 million into our economy, create many jobs and entice people from all over the world to visit our wonderful, vibrant city.

These claims have not only failed to be substantiated, I believe they are quite the reverse. We know from the Auditor General’s reports into races in Canberra and Homebush, for instance, that the economic rewards of these races fell far short of the mark.

Even James Warburton, the CEO of V8 Supercars, conceded that “the Olympic Park has its limitations around what we can and can’t build in terms of grandstands and various other things we could do”. Imagine what they are planning to do here, in our heritage precinct.

But whether the event is a ‘success’ or not doesn’t matter. It will be hailed a success no matter what, just as all the promoters of mega car races in other cities have done. This is because the economic benefits to the city are not the point.

What matters to our civic leaders is that they are associated with a winner.It is the winning image that matters,not whether it is a real win for the city.So they don’t have to ask whether taxpayer dollars are being well spent, compared sayto a permanent racing facility that could be built in Newcastle.

All their dealings with the race promoters are being kept secret so no one will know anyway.

What we have been sold is a marketing ploy, with Newcastle promoting itself alongside speed, car fumes, insufferable noise and alcohol – with scant regard for the permanent changes made to our beautiful heritage conservation area, and the welfare of residents within the circuit who have never been party to any of these decisions but who will have to bare the brunt of these decisions for 10 stressful weeks every year.

Christine Everingham, Newcastle EastWater affrontI HAVEjust heard of the extensive development that is to occur on the block 151-155 Brighton Avenue, Toronto. We have recently purchased a property that we plan to retire to in The Brighton, 149 Brighton Avenue.

We were attracted to the beautiful park and the village atmosphere Toronto offers. The waterfront along this stretch of Lake Macquarie is beautiful. Having grown up in the area it was always our dream to retire and enjoy the lake.

I am greatly saddened that the council could consider this size and style of development appropriate for this site. I believe it contravenes council regulations but it goes much further than that. It is a very unattractive building that is of such a size that itcannot be anything other than a dominating feature.

People walk along the waterfront and down to the park and it culminates not in a transition area of leafy houses or passive development. It is a huge monolith of housing development style concrete and glass.

Not only does it set a worrying precedent of greed over need, it also gives the future of Toronto a new unappealing semi-commercial intensive character. I think the whole council and every councillorneeds to ask themselves–“Is this what I want to be remembered for?” Please think very carefully before approving this development.

Kate Sommerville,GlenifferMore pain for PortAS if residents of Port Stephens haven’t been punished enough by Defence and government neglect with the poisons being pumped out of Williamtown RAAF Base, in afew months they will be hit by the extreme noise levels from the bucket of bolts that other nations have rejected – the F-35, so-called strike fighter.

That’s if if they can ever get one to fly. It’sa bigger lemon than the Leyland P76 car.

I challenge people to research detailson it, particularly the opinions of defence experts. It is the main reason we have a so-called budget emergency.​

Brian Crooks, SconeJust want the truthMARGARET Priest (‘Hypocrite Hillary’, Letters, 3/12) says Hillary Clinton is hypocritical because she supports a recount of votes in three states, after saying it was “horrifying”that Donald Trump suggested he might not accept the result of the election.

I disagree. Mrs Clinton is not refusing to accept the result, she is supporting the result being correctly arrived at. Maybe in a ‘post-truth’ world there is no longer such a thing as an accurate tally of votes, but let us at least accept that it might be possible.

Michael Jameson, New Lambton

Running light rail entirely in corridor a win-win

20th August 2019 | Closed

LOSE-LOSE: The author argues that running light rail down Hunter Street would adversely affect the university, business, traffic management and commuters.The increase of university student numbers in the city to 10000 is very welcome. However, the massive adverse impacts of trams in Hunter Street, as described by experts at Council Voice and in Cabinet Minute Document 71, as set out below, would remain, exacerbated by the additional numbers of students.

That the university may wish to build on the rail corridor, however, prompts serious consideration of a win-win solution; enabling Newcastle to have reasonable development, of reasonable height, in reasonable locations, without being saddled with the extremely adverse impacts of trams in Hunter Street.

The concept is for light rail to run, not in Hunter/Scott streets but in the rail corridor, underneath buildings. According to a professional engineering report from Transport Australia, Society of Engineers Australia, light rail could be implemented entirely in the rail corridor, much sooner than trams in Hunter Street and at significantly lower cost.

Council’s zoning power, which it still retains, is the key to whether Newcastle achieves this win-win solution of rail in the corridor or the lose-lose outcome of serious problems created by trams in Hunter Street. However, the current council rezoning resolution precludes implementation of light rail in the corridor. If rezoning proceeds without providing for light rail in the corridor, Newcastle will have lost forever the opportunity for the very best solution to those problems.

We strongly urge council to exercise its rezoning power by amending its submission to the rezoning process, to ensure that legislation and zoning instruments provide for rail transport to run entirely in the rail corridor to Newcastle Station, and for rail vehicles to be required to run underneath reasonable corridor development.The problems arising from trams in Hunter Street would be eliminated and the government would have higher capacity, faster, safer, partiallysegregated running of light rail on the corridor. Some of the adverse effects of running light rail in Hunter Street are:

space constraints eliminating the urban renewal initiatives proposed by council for Hunter Street such as cycling, trees, wider footpaths, outdoor dining and car parkingextreme traffic congestionproposed expansion to 10000 university students would soak up 100 per cent of proposed tram capacity.serious disruption to business in Hunter/Scott streets during relocation of underground services and constructionloss of street parkingan average street tram journey time of 17 minutes between Wickham and Pacific Park for which commuters will not accept, preferring to drive cars adding to traffic congestion and parking problemsadditional cost of about $100 million.These problems would adversely affect the university as a major user of Hunter Street, business, council’s traffic management, commuters and residents. All would benefit, if light rail were to run in the rail corridor. The evidence in favour of rail in the corridor is overwhelming and comes from transport experts, and even includes the government’s own transport experts.

We urge council, business organisations, the university, developers and government tosupportthat running light rail on the rail corridor, beneath buildings would be a better outcome, representing a win-win for all stakeholders compared with the lose-lose presently in front of us.

Alan Squire is convenor ofHunterTransport for Business Development

Awards for hard working stud staff

20th August 2019 | Closed

TWO Queensland racing industry participants, Ian Brady and Hayley Nichols, are among the six category winners of this year’s prestigious Godolphin Stud and Stable awards announced at Moonee Valley racecourse, Melbourne last Friday, December 2.
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Initiated by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation in 2005, the awards are now held in Britain, Ireland, the United States and Australia, which started the awards in 2015. They recognise and reward the hard work and dedication of stud and stable staff, acknowledging the huge contribution they make to the racing industry.

Overall winner of the Thoroughbred Excellence Award and the Dedication to Breeding Award was Tasmanian-based Jenny Watson, recognised for 40 years of commitment to the breeding industry in Australia. Currently foaling supervisor at Armidale Stud in northern Tasmania, Jenny also runs her own farm McLeay Thoroughbred Stud where she bred the dual Group 1 winner and 2014 Tasmanian yearling sale-topper Palentino. Jenny has also served for 15 years on the Tasmanian Bloodhorse Breeders board.

Ian Brady, stud manager, Wattle Brae Stud, Nobby, won the Dedication to Leadership category while Hayley Nichols, foreman, Schweida Racing, won the Dedication to Racing category. Their success follows the win by former Queensland jockey Amy Taylor, who won the Dedication to Thoroughbred Care and Welfare category at the inaugural awards last year.

Tom Reilly, CEO of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia – a joint sponsor of the Godolphin Awards – congratulated Watson and the other five winners on their achievements. “Thoroughbred Breeders Australia is proud to be a part of these awards which really do go a long way to recognising the largely unsung heroes of our industry,” he said.

The Thoroughbred Excellence Award carried a prize of $5000 with a further $2000 to be distributed among her workplace colleagues. Each category winner received a prize of $10,000 with a further $3000 to be shared among fellow staff at their employers’ workplace. Each runner-up received $1000.

Ian Brady

Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Award category winners are (from left): Gerry Ryan, stallion manager, Coolmore Stud, NSW (Horsemanship); Nikki Cook, Shory Park Horses, Victoria (Thoroughbred Care and Welfare); Ian Brady, stud manager, Wattle Brae Stud, Nobby, Queensland (Leadership); Jenny Watson, foaling supervisor, Armidale Stud, Tasmania (Overall winner and Breeding); Melanie Caban, office manager, Vinery Stud, NSW (Administration); and Hayley Nichols, stable foreman, Schweida Racing, Brisbane, Queensland (Racing). Picture: Dave Goudie

WINNER of the Godolphin Leadership category, Ian Brady isn’t the type of person who looks for accolades.

The work he does as stud manager at Wattle Brae Stud in Queensland is reward enough for a horseman who has occupied his current position for 19 years and built a life around it. Ian also plays an integral role in training other employees and overseas students who come to Wattle Brae to learn about Thoroughbred breeding from the ground up.

“Ian has taken it all in his stride,” says Wattle Brae principal Gary Turkington.

For Ian, the thoroughbred industry has already rewarded him with a job he loves, but he sees the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards as vital in encouraging younger people to enter the business and to stay in it.

“My association with racing began when I was 10-years-old and I’m now 44. Over the years I’ve been involved, the industry has introduced me to so many really good people. It’s been fantastic. But to have a global enterprise like Godolphin sponsor awards like these adds great incentive. It’s amazing. I can’t tell you how honoured and thrilled I am just to be nominated,” he said.

Hayley Nichols

THE relationship between trainer and foreman is among the closest and most important in racing. Among other things, it is a partnership that requires the utmost trust and devotion – qualities clearly possessed by Hayley Nichols, foreman to Brisbane trainer Kelly Schweida, who won the Godolphin Dedication to Racing category.

Schweida lists “extreme dedication and single-minded focus” among a long list of attributes displayed by Hayley. “Hayley is the first line of care for all our horses – she could have been nominated for almost every category of the awards,” Schweida said.

To Hayley, the nomination came as a surprise, but one she welcomes wholeheartedly. “Being a foreman or a strapper means you do your work day-after-day and don’t always expect much recognition outside your own stable. But these awards mean we are finally recognized. People will know about us and what we do. I take my hat off to Godolphin for acknowledging all the people who work so hard behind the scenes. It shows that they really care,” she said

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

WA’s new point-to-point speed cameras could prove pointless on South West journey

20th August 2019 | Closed

People have noticed there’s something not quite right about WA’s first point-to-point speed camera trial location.
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As broken byWAtodayin February, the cameras were installed in October along Forrest Highway -Perth’s gateway to the South West – intechnology that allows two cameras to track a driver’s average speedover a 26 kilometrestretch of road.

Thosefound to have exceeded the 110 kilometre per hour limitwill be issued a fine.

But some drivers have questioned the position of the cameras since the trial was rolled out.

That’s becausethe 26-kilometre zone happens toincludethe only two roadhouses along a 130 kilometre stretch of roadbetweenBaldivisand Bunbury -making those who stop for a snack or to fill up their cars essentiallyimmunefrom getting a speeding ticket from the new cameras.

WA’s first point-to-point speed camera trial location may have hit a bump in the road. Photo: Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure SA

A Road Safety Commission spokeswoman said the committee responsible for picking the location of the cameras was aware the zone included the Gull Myalup Roadhouse heading north and Settlers Roadhouse heading south but the location was earmarked for safety reasons.

“The 26 kilometrestretch of road on Forrest Highway was chosen in response to a high number of road crashes that resulted in deaths and serious injuries,” she said.

“An assessment of traffic volume and speeds was conducted as part of the decision making process, which demonstrated sufficient traffic volume and continuous speed for the average speed camera system.

“A steering committee of senior government representatives including WA Police, Department of Transport, Main Road WA, Road Safety Commission endorsed the section of Forest Highway for the average speed cameras.”

The Commission said it doesnot compile data on the number of people who stop at the roadhouses within the zone but determined there was sufficient volumes of continuous traffic through the area to support the trial.

New legislation allowing police to infringe motorists who speedthrough the zone is not expected to be passed until after the March state election, with the cameras likely to be enforceable by July, 2017.

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

Planned outages for network

20th August 2019 | Closed

Residents may experience several power outages overthe next week as Essential Energycarriesout an intensive program of electricity network maintenance in theCowra, Youngand Grenfell areas during mid-December to improve the reliability of the local power supply.
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The mid-December maintenance will begin on Monday,December 12 and continue through until Saturday, December 17.

Regional manager Southern, Steven Ilitch, said crews would be working at various sites in the rurallocations of Woodstock, Bimbi, Caragabal, Greenethorpe, Quandialla, Bribbaree, Koorawatha andWeedallion.

MrIlitch said the maintenance was part of theirregularprogram of asset maintenance.

“Crews will complete a variety of tasks including replacing power poles, cross-arms, insulating devicesand upgrading electrical equipment to further strengthen the network,” hesaid.

“This work is part of Essential Energy’s regular program of asset maintenance and follows theidentification of potential network faults during our annual aerial and ground-based inspections.

“Crews will rectify any repairs required to ensure network integrity and mitigate bushfire risks.”

MrIlitch said thatextensive planning has been undertaken to minimise the inconvenience to customers including bringingin an additional 70 crew members from several regional depots to complete the work in the shortesttimeframe and with a minimum of power outages.

“Due to the scale of the project, several planned power outages will be necessary between December 12 andDecember 17, 2016 to allow crews to safely access the electricity network,” hesaid.

“All affected residents and businesses will be notified in advance to allow time to make alternativearrangements, however, work has been planned so that customers will only experience a single poweroutage as part of this project.”

Essential Energy has several handy tips to help customers prepare for planned power outages availableon its website at: essentialenergy南京夜网419论坛/outages,

Some of the tips are: toavoidopening thefridge or freezer while the power is off,protect sensitive electrical appliances, such as computers, by switching them off and unplugging them before the planned outage andswitching off stove hotplates, ovensand any other small appliances in case you’re not home when power is restored.

Due to the nature of this work, Essential Energy will require vehicle access to some rural propertiesthroughout the course of the project.

“We thank the community for its patience and understanding during these network improvement works,” MrIlitchsaid.

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