Monthly Archives: December 2018

Dec
12
  • Jeff McCloy says he still has ‘unfinished business’ on Newcastle City Council

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    WOULD HE RUN AGAIN: Former lord mayor Jeff McCloy says that he’s asked if he’d run for mayor ‘almost every day’, and while it might be unlikely, he hasn’t ruled out a return. Picture: Cole BennettsWOULD Jeff McCloy ever return to local politics?
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    Well, the answer’s complicated.

    Mr McCloy, the larger-than-life personality who dramatically won, and then lost, the city’s lord mayoralty between 2012 and 2014, has remained a highly visible figure in Newcastle’s political scene since he resigned in the heat ofthe Independent Commission Against Corruption’s inquiry into political donations made before the 2011 state election.

    From interventions about the controversial light rail route, to challenging the ICAC in the High Court of , Mr McCloy has lost none of his famously forthright nature.

    But since the conclusion of ICAC’sOperation Spicer investigation, which found Mr McCloy“acted with the intention”of evading laws about thedisclosure of political donations and the ban on donations from property developers, the question being asked in some circles is:would he ever run again?

    The man himselfsays that he’s onlyan outside chance of putting his hand up in September,but don’t rule him outcompletely.

    “Look when I walk down the street in Newcastle or I’m in the company of certain people, or really just anywhere in the community I almost get asked every day,” Mr McCloy told theNewcastle Herald.

    “It’s difficult. I don’t think so, but it’s still this thought that crosses my mind every now and again because there is just so much unfinished business.

    “I’ll leave it there, for now, I think.”

    Watch this space, then.

    If he was ever tempted back onto the public stage though, the well-resourced independent who managed to match the Labor machine at the 2012 electionwould pose a formidable challenge to the established parties.

    The Liberal Party is still undecided about who their candidate might be, and the city’s current Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, has weathered a tough few months of negative publicity over her council expenses.

    Mr McCloy declined to offer a commentary on the council’s direction since his resignation –saying he would “keep those thoughts private” –but did offer what appeared to be aveiled swipe at Cr Nelmes, saying that he “ran into staff from time to time” but that it was “best not to repeat things”.

    Mr McCloy resigned in 2014 after he admitted to giving donations to three Liberal Party candidates who became MPs in the lead up to the 2012 election, famously telling the inquiry that at times he felt “like a walking ATM”.

    Mr McCloy has previouslytried to overturn the ban on developers donating to politicians in the High Court, and unsuccessfully challenged the ICAC’s conduct in the Supreme Court.

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Dec
12
  • OpinionThe Post Office: our crumbling monument to inertia

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    OUTDOOR PERCH: Even the pigeons are fed up with the city’s ‘imploding urinal’.G’DAY whingers.
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    It’s early May and the cold winds of change are blowing through the future jewel-in-the-Asia-Pacific. Gav the NBN weatherman said last Wednesday that it is time to pull out the door sausage and cover up the cracks. I typed “door sausage” straight into the Google machine. I now await the imminent arrival ofA Current Affair and the NSW police.

    I wish the cold winds of change would blow on the Newcastle Post Office. The government’s parliamentary secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald has provided a $150 000 heritage grant that will go towards “stabilising” the building. Will the gift from NSW taxpayers be repaid if and when its owners – the Awabakal Land Council – manage to flog it off? This whole caper looks more and more like torturous demolition by neglect. A landmark building is now little more than a gaping sore – an imploding urinal that stands as a crumbling monument to inertia, very bad decisions and ongoing buck passing.

    The ALC was put into administration last October after investigations into its governance and financial administration revealed significant problems. ALC boss at the time Richard Green was talking up big overseas investors backing post office redevelopment. Sounded promising. Nothing eventuated.

    Information about the type and scope of allegations against anyone in the ALC have not been revealed nor discussed openly by the government, the opposition or the ALC. It’s certain there was plenty of internal bickering – but that’s par for the course for many organisations – from footy clubs to the UN.Attempts to get a copy of the investigator’s report – under NSW Freedom of Information laws – to then Minister Leslie Williams that resulted in the appointment of an administrator to run the ALC have been refused. Attempts to get a copy of the ALC’s response to the allegations were also refused. The NSW agency responsible, the Department of Education, argued that it is not in the public interest for either report to be made public. An appeal to the Information Commissioner against the agency’s decision to not release the documents resulted in the Commissioner making “no recommendation”.

    One of the reasons given for the refusal to release the reports is that matters relating to alleged fraud, corruption, mismanagement or misappropriation at the ALC may be potentially investigated by the NSW police, ICAC and/or the NSW Ombudsman. Release of the documents could have a prejudicial effect on investigation. Fair enough, but once a decision is made to either charge or not charge persons, that reason for not releasing the documents will dissipate. Prudent document redaction can sort out defamation potentialities if no charges are laid. Remove the door sausage.

    There is no obligation for the ALC to answer inquiries from the media and they have long chosen to engage with the media on their own terms. Media calls and inquiries go unanswered and unreturned. That is their right. Equally, there is no obligation for the media to act as an ALC cheer squad and cover their “announcements” that are self-congratulatory or promise pie-in-the-sky schemes.But given the future of the city’s most iconic building lies chiefly with the ALC, surely the people of Newcastle have some right to know if, when and what sort of shenanigans may have been going on in that organisation.

    Should we hold our collective breath or back the post office’s bulldozing? It’s been 15 bloody years and there’s no end in sight.

    Cold winds indeed.

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Dec
12
  • Robert Dillon: Sporting Declaration

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    UNCERTAINTY: Newcastle Knights skipper Trent Hodkinson is set to play in reserve grade this weekend after being dropped by coach Nathan Brown. Picture: Getty Images AFTER Newcastle’s round-one loss to the Titans on the Gold Coast last season, Sporting Declaration stopped at Jupiters Casino for a beer and a bite to eat.
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    Pretty much the first person I bumped into was Tyrone Roberts, who was out with his new scrumbase partner, Ashley Taylor.

    I’m not sure if they were having a gamblebut what can be said without doubt, with the benefit of hindsight, is the Titans have backed a winner, albeit by default.

    Roberts and Taylor might never have paired up at the Gold Coast, other than for exceptional circumstances.

    In 2015, Gold Coast thought they had signed Daly Cherry-Evans, only for the former Test half to renege on the deal at the 11thhour to re-sign with Manly.

    In the meantime, the Titans lost five-eighth Aidan Sezer, who agreed to join Canberra.

    That left Gold Coast with one half for 2016, rookie Kane Elgey, and as the season progressed, alternative options were few and far between.

    In August they took a punt on 20-year-old Taylor, who was yet to play an NRL game for Brisbane. A week or so later they signed Roberts, whose two-year-deal was partially subsidised by a $200,000 payout from Newcastle.

    The reason Roberts was available was because, even though he had a year to run on his contract, the Knights had recruited Canterbury and NSW Origin halfback Trent Hodkinson to replace him.

    At the time, signing Hodkinson appeared a wise strategic move. But less than halfway into his three-season deal, the club captain is facing an uncertain future after being dumped to reserve grade by coach Nathan Brown.

    Rewind two years and the Knights could surely never have imagined such a scenario unfolding.

    Hodkinson was considered the best halfback in the state and a player capable of alleviating the pressure building onKnights coach Rick Stone.

    Stone’s halves that season were to be Roberts and Jarrod Mullen, but the latter broke a bone in his foot in round 10 and did not play again that season.

    In his absence, Roberts struggled with the responsibility of taking over as primary playmaker. As the losses mounted, Newcastle reached the conclusion that they needed a more consistent andreliable No.7.

    The two on the market were James Maloney and Hodkinson. Maloney eventually switched from the Roosters to Cronulla, helping them win a premiership in his first season.

    Hodkinson joined the Knights, collecting a wooden spoon straight up.

    The planthat he would form a complementary partnership with Mullen remains sadly unfulfilled.

    In theory theyappeared ideally matched.

    Hodkinson is a right-foot kicker, Mullen left-footed. Hodkinson is an organiser, Mullen’s strength was his running game.

    The Knights were happy to invest more than $3 million in the pair over three years, believing they would provide the stability and organisation around which they could build a successful team.

    If only.

    As it panned out, Hodkinson and Mullenplayed only 14 games together, for one win.

    Stone did not even get to coach his star recruit. He was sacked before Hodkinson hadarrived.

    After an injury-plagued 2016, Mullen tested positive to a banned steroid and is now awaiting a suspension that is expected to end his career.

    And whether Hodkinson appears again in Newcastle’s top team is a matter of conjecture.

    The master plan Newcastle officials hatched two years ago has unravalled spectacularly. Yet to suggest that they should have shown more foresight seems, to me, a tad harsh.

    On reflection, it always seemed strange that Canterbury –a club famed for its solidarity –had not foughtharder to retain their NSW Origin halfback.

    Yet the notion that he arrived in Newcastle with a bung knee, which has since worsened, is not evidenced by his career record.

    In the three seasons before he joined the Knights, Hodkinson played in 20, 25 and 19 games for the Bulldogs –the latter cut short by a dislocated wrist –and six Origins.

    Before he was dropped last week, he had played in 30 of a possible 31 games for Newcastle –more than any of his teammates.

    That does not suggest a player who is a lame duck.

    Moreover, if his on-field performances have come under scrutiny, perhaps it could be noted that in the six seasons before he joined Newcastle, only once did Hodkinson’s teams not make the finals.

    It’s a far tougher proposition playing for –statistically at least –the worst team ofthe NRL era.

    All of which must remind Roberts that being off-loaded by Newcastle was the luckiest break of his career.

    He hasplayed in 29 of the Titans’33games since the start of last season, including the qualifying-final loss to Brisbane.

    This season he’s shown his versatility by playing in the halves, off the bench, hooker and fullback.

    The 25-year-old is heading into the best years of his career, and the Titans are reportedly keen to re-sign him.

    If he had his time over, I doubt he would change a thing. Somehow it’s hard to imagine the Knights expressing similar sentiments.

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Dec
12
  • Civic Green officially opened at Old Strokers Pool Hall site on King Street

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    From bikie clubhouse to boutique apartments Life Property Group managing director Bill Ryder, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and managing director of PRDnationwide Newcastle Mark Kentwell at the official opening on Friday. Picture: Marina Neil
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    The building when it was used as the Strokers Pool Hall.

    The Rebels bikie clubhouse is dismantled by police in February 2014. Picture: Darren Pateman

    The Rebels bikie clubhouse is dismantled by police in February 2014. Picture: Darren Pateman

    The Rebels bikie clubhouse is dismantled by police in February 2014. Picture: Darren Pateman

    The Rebels bikie clubhouse is dismantled by police in February 2014. Picture: Darren Pateman

    The Rebels bikie clubhouse is dismantled by police in February 2014. Picture: Darren Pateman

    The Rebels bikie clubhouse is dismantled by police in February 2014. Picture: Darren Pateman

    The Rebels bikie clubhouse is dismantled by police in February 2014. Picture: Darren Pateman

    The Rebels bikie clubhouse is dismantled by police in February 2014. Picture: Darren Pateman

    The new Civic Green apartments. Picture: Marina Neil

    The official opening of the Civic Green apartments on King Street. Claudio Minns and Bill Ryder from Life Property Group are pictured with Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes. Picture: Marina Neil

    Bill Ryder from Life Property Group at the official opening of the Civic Green apartments on Friday. Picture: Marina Neil

    Inside the Civic Green apartments.

    Inside the new ‘Civic Green’ apartments.

    Inside the new ‘Civic Green’ apartments.

    Inside the new ‘Civic Green’ apartments.

    Inside the new ‘Civic Green’ apartments.

    TweetFacebookOfficial opening of Civic Green apartments at old Strokers Pool Hall and bikie clubhouse. pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/ST42MFg8dy

    — Carrie Fellner (@carriefellner) April 28, 2017

    A large number of parking spaces for bicycles and scooters have been provided, but only six car parking spaces.

    That appeared to be no obstacle tobuyers, who quickly snapped up all 32 apartments off the plan.

    “So we wereexpecting there to be a strong tilt of investors but there’sactually ended up being more owner-occupiers,” Mr Kentwell said.

    Most were embracing bicycles, public transport and walking as an alternative to commutingby car, he said.

    “Not every building is going to be able to offer car parking…[but] all aroundthe world the dense cities that people love to visit are constrained withparking,” he said.

    Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the council was pleased that the private sector appeared to be behind thepush fora liveable and walkable city with cycleways and active transport links.

    “They’ve already made that investment and that investment is being opened today. I think that’s a really good sign,” she said.

    “It’s great the developers have acknowledged how good Newcastle City Council hasbeen to work with. I have to pay tribute to our building and development staff…we’ve kept the numbers thesame and we’ve seen a huge influx of DAs.”

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Dec
12
  • WPL: South Wallsend out for redemption in rematch against Merewether

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    South Wallsend captain Laura Byrnes described the Wolves’ opening round performance in the Herald Women’s Premier League as “a shaky start” and was looking forward to showing how far they had come since the 6-0 loss to Merewether when they host the unbeaten leaders on Sunday.
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    South Wallsend skipper Laura Byrnes.

    “We had a lot of new players and we were a little bit overwhelmed,” Byrnes said.

    But the former n schoolgirl, who is a Merewether junior,believes it will be a much tighter contest this weekend.

    South Wallsend have shown improvement in every outing since and produced their best performance of the season in their last hit-out. They went down1-0 to defending champions Warners Bay but Byrnes said “we showed a lot of character”.

    Their biggest enemy so far this season has been the weather. The Wolves have played just four of their matches as the competition heads into round eight.

    “It’s been disappointing that we haven’t been able to get any momentum,” Byrnes said.

    “I feel like that first game was a bit of a write-off. We’ll still be aware of it and will definitely respect Merewether but we are looking forward to it.

    “It will be a good indication of how far we have come since that first round.”

    South Wallsend will be without midfielder Erin Wilson, who is sidelined with an ankle injury, but coach Gary Wilson said former W-League player Stacey Day “is getting closer to a starting spot”.

    Merewether travel to Walker Fields after disposing of Adamstown 6-0 in a rescheduled match on Wednesday night in a performancecoach Cassie Koppen described as “probably the best I have seen us play since I have been coaching at Merewether”.

    Unitedwill be missinggoalkeeper Alison Logue, Grace Macintyre, Rebekah Stuart and Sarah Halvorsen through unavailability.

    Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis wants to see tighter defence when they play Rosebud at Adamstown Oval on Saturday.

    Adamstown coach Ben Herron is calling for “consistency”, describing his side’s performances so far as “Jeckyll and Hyde”.

    Mid North Coast and Thornton will both be desperate for points when they meet at Thornton Park in the other match on Sunday.

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Dec
12
  • A tale of two halves

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    UNCERTAINTY: Newcastle Knights skipper Trent Hodkinson is set to play in reserve grade this weekend after being dropped by coach Nathan Brown. Picture: Getty Images AFTER Newcastle’s round-one loss to the Titans on the Gold Coast last season, Sporting Declaration stopped at Jupiters Casino for a beer and a bite to eat.
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    Pretty much the first person I bumped into was Tyrone Roberts, who was out with his new scrumbase partner, Ashley Taylor.

    I’m not sure if they were having a gamblebut what can be said without doubt, with the benefit of hindsight, is the Titans have backed a winner, albeit by default.

    Roberts and Taylor might never have paired up at the Gold Coast, other than for exceptional circumstances.

    In 2015, Gold Coast thought they had signed Daly Cherry-Evans, only for the former Test half to renege on the deal at the 11thhour to re-sign with Manly.

    In the meantime, the Titans lost five-eighth Aidan Sezer, who agreed to join Canberra.

    That left Gold Coast with one half for 2016, rookie Kane Elgey, and as the season progressed, alternative options were few and far between.

    In August they took a punt on 20-year-old Taylor, who was yet to play an NRL game for Brisbane. A week or so later they signed Roberts, whose two-year-deal was partially subsidised by a $200,000 payout from Newcastle.

    The reason Roberts was available was because, even though he had a year to run on his contract, the Knights had recruited Canterbury and NSW Origin halfback Trent Hodkinson to replace him.

    At the time, signing Hodkinson appeared a wise strategic move. But less than halfway into his three-season deal, the club captain is facing an uncertain future after being dumped to reserve grade by coach Nathan Brown.

    Rewind two years and the Knights could surely never have imagined such a scenario unfolding.

    Hodkinson was considered the best halfback in the state and a player capable of alleviating the pressure building onKnights coach Rick Stone.

    Stone’s halves that season were to be Roberts and Jarrod Mullen, but the latter broke a bone in his foot in round 10 and did not play again that season.

    In his absence, Roberts struggled with the responsibility of taking over as primary playmaker. As the losses mounted, Newcastle reached the conclusion that they needed a more consistent andreliable No.7.

    The two on the market were James Maloney and Hodkinson. Maloney eventually switched from the Roosters to Cronulla, helping them win a premiership in his first season.

    Hodkinson joined the Knights, collecting a wooden spoon straight up.

    The planthat he would form a complementary partnership with Mullen remains sadly unfulfilled.

    In theory theyappeared ideally matched.

    Hodkinson is a right-foot kicker, Mullen left-footed. Hodkinson is an organiser, Mullen’s strength was his running game.

    The Knights were happy to invest more than $3 million in the pair over three years, believing they would provide the stability and organisation around which they could build a successful team.

    If only.

    As it panned out, Hodkinson and Mullenplayed only 14 games together, for one win.

    Stone did not even get to coach his star recruit. He was sacked before Hodkinson hadarrived.

    After an injury-plagued 2016, Mullen tested positive to a banned steroid and is now awaiting a suspension that is expected to end his career.

    And whether Hodkinson appears again in Newcastle’s top team is a matter of conjecture.

    The master plan Newcastle officials hatched two years ago has unravalled spectacularly. Yet to suggest that they should have shown more foresight seems, to me, a tad harsh.

    On reflection, it always seemed strange that Canterbury –a club famed for its solidarity –had not foughtharder to retain their NSW Origin halfback.

    Yet the notion that he arrived in Newcastle with a bung knee, which has since worsened, is not evidenced by his career record.

    In the three seasons before he joined the Knights, Hodkinson played in 20, 25 and 19 games for the Bulldogs –the latter cut short by a dislocated wrist –and six Origins.

    Before he was dropped last week, he had played in 30 of a possible 31 games for Newcastle –more than any of his teammates.

    That does not suggest a player who is a lame duck.

    Moreover, if his on-field performances have come under scrutiny, perhaps it could be noted that in the six seasons before he joined Newcastle, only once did Hodkinson’s teams not make the finals.

    It’s a far tougher proposition playing for –statistically at least –the worst team ofthe NRL era.

    All of which must remind Roberts that being off-loaded by Newcastle was the luckiest break of his career.

    He had played in 29 of the Titans’33games since the start of last season, including the qualifying-final loss to Brisbane.

    This season he’s shown his versatility by playing in the halves, off the bench, hooker and fullback.

    The 25-year-old is heading into the best years of his career, and the Titans are reportedly keen to re-sign him.

    If he had his time over, I doubt he would change a thing. Somehow it’s hard to imagine the Knights expressing similar sentiments.

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Dec
12
  • Former Lake Wendouree player sues club over ‘Silly Sunday’ egg throwing incident

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    Joel Quarrell, inset.A former Lake Wendouree footballer is taking legal action against his old club after a team official threw an egg at him and struck his eyeduring an end-of-season pub celebration.
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    Joel Quarrell, 23, recently filed a writ in the County Court against the Lakers and a former team official after the boozy prank left him with a loss of vision in one eye.

    According to court documents, Mr Quarrell was attending the”Silly Sunday” celebrations with teammates at the Shamrock Hotel in Dunnstown, after the club’s season had wrapped up in September 2015.

    At some point during the event, Mr Quarrellclaims a club official threw an egg at him, striking him in the left eye.

    Former player sues club over egg throwing incident TweetFacebook The damage to Joel Quarrell’s eye.Mr Quarrell’s statement of claim saidthe injuries caused by the egg included a”massivemacrohyphaema, secondary glaucoma and uveitis”.

    MrQuarrelltold Fairfax Media that he had lost vision in his lefteye and had undergone severalsurgeriesto try and fix the damageand reduce the pain he felt “on a daily basis”.

    “It was a silly prank that has had serious consequences on my eyesight, hence my life,” he said.

    “I’ve also had hospital and other medical bills and had to take a lot of time off work. I need to be continually monitored by the specialist for any deterioration in my left eye.”

    The Shamrock Hotel in Dunnstown, where the Silly Sunday event took place. Photo: Google Maps.

    As well as compensation of hismedical expenses, Mr Quarrell is seeking damages to help with aloss of income and reduced earning capacity sincethe injury.

    “I can’t help but think could easily have been avoided had the person who threw the egg at me thought twice about doing it in the firstplace,” MrQuarrellsaid.

    The club had been negligent, Mr Quarrell claimed in his lawsuit, because they had failed to ensure the Silly Sunday celebrations were conducted safely and failed to ensure the team official didnot throw an egg at him.

    They had also failed to instruct the team official not to throw theegg and failed to warn Mr Quarrell anegg would be thrown, the writ said.

    Joel Quarrell being tackled while playing for Dunnstown in 2014. Photo: Justin Whitelock.

    Lake Wendouree Football Club president David Clifton said it wasan unfortunate incident and wished Mr Quarrellall the best withhis recovery.

    “It’s difficult for us to comment given the legal proceedings but we remain supportive of Joel and his family,” he said.

    Maurice Blackburn public safety lawyer Dimi Ioannousaid the law firm’s medical advice showed that Mr Quarrell wouldnever recover his lost vision.

    “This is a classic example of a prank that has gone terribly wrong at a footy club’s end of season celebrations when alcohol is involved,” she said.

    “Hopefully this case will act as a warning to others about what can go wrong and the impact it can have on someone’s life, so no one else falls victim to something like this.”

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Dec
12
  • ReviewDon’t Dress for Dinner

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    Theatre ReviewsDon’t Dress for DinnerMaitland Repertory Theatre, at its theatreEnds May 13MARC Camoletti’s French comedy, adapted into English by Robin Hawdon, shows how universal sexual shenanigans can be. A husband, Bernard, who has his Paris girlfriend coming to stay for a weekend while his wife is away, tries to hide the relationship when the wife, Jacqueline, cancels her event. She does this after learning that her boyfriend, Robert, a longtime mate of hubby, is also booked in for the weekend. To add to the confusion, the cordon bleu chef, Suzette, hired to cook the celebratory dinner feast, and the Paris model, Suzanne, are both known as Suzie. And Suzette’s husband, George, increases the to-ing and fro-ing when he arrives unexpectedly.
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    Director Christopher Briggs has the action moving at a fast pace in an elegant living room, and the actions and reactions are well-handled by the cast: Zac Smith as Bernard, Chloe Peters as Jacqueline, Alex Simpson as Robert, Milly Lambert as Suzanne, Ashlyn Horder as Suzette, and Brendon Harris as George.

    Horder’s Suzette keeps the laughs coming when she repeatedly puts hands out for money to cover up things Bernard and Robert don’t want disclosed, saying at one point with a broad smile that “It’s very nice to be popular”. Lambert’s Suzanne adeptly faces the challenge of having to pretend she is the cook by putting an apron over her elegant dress. Two of those trying to get together in the house without being discovered find themselves getting a literally icy response as ice cubes are dropped on them. And Harris’s George, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, says that it is good to see a game of “happy families”.

    The elaborate set, supposedly a stylish country residence created by rebuilding and joining facilities such as a piggery and cow shed to house guest bedrooms, generates many brisk jokes, particularly, as this being a farcical comedy, there is much hurrying through their doors, as well as up and down the staircase.

    Seussical KIDSHunter Drama, at the Civic PlayhouseEnded SundayThe large cast of eight-to-14-year-olds did an excellent job of bringing out the colourful natures of the characters in this 40-minute adaptation of a musical with many Dr Seuss characters. The story focuses on Horton the Elephant and his efforts to save a community of minute figures known as the Whos, with creatures such as the Cat in the Hat making regular appearances. Director James Tolhurst and his team ensured that the performers and audience had a good time.

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Dec
12
  • Bins, parks and Glendale interchange in Lake Macquarie plans

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    KEY SUPPORT: (from centre, r-l) federal Labor frontbenchers Joel Fitzgibbon and Anthony Albanese, Charlestown state MP Jodie Harrison, and federal Shortland MP Pat Conroy inspect the construction site of the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange last year. Picture: Jonathan CarrollLAKE Macquarie residents will havea greater share of their garbagecollected fortnightly, andtheir council will spend $20 million on parks and intensifyits lobbying forthe Glendale interchange.
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    Those plans, including one to expand the Lake’s three-bin collection system,appeared indraft form this weekas the council released its operational, fees and worksplans for the next financial year.

    Households that have since 2011 been using a green garden waste bin, collected fortnightly, will be directedto add their food waste to the same green bin.

    The council will collect the green bin weeklyand the rest of the garbagefortnightly.

    Mayor Kay Fraser said Lake Macquarie residents were “extremely good at recycling”and would adjustto the new kerbside regime.

    “People will still have a weekly collection service. Every week, they’ll still put out two bins,” Cr Fraser said.

    “In most people’s normal weekly rubbish bins, there’s hardly anything in them.”

    Liberal councillor Jason Pauling said the roll-out of the changes was “light on detail”and would be met with confusion.

    DAWN OF AN ERA: Lake Macquarie council will start phase two of its three-bin waste collection this year.

    “Lots of people still don’t know they’re going to lose their weekly waste bin,” Cr Pauling said.

    “Our green, Landcare and social activist groups are aware. Your general public, I’m not so sure.”

    The council’s $111 million capital works spend is bolsteredby developer contributionsand includes $20 million forparks, includingthe new Cameron Park recreation area and upgrades to Speers Point Park.

    It also shapes as a key year for theLake Macquarie Transport Interchange, as the council lobbies the state and federal governments for$13 million each towardsits second stage.

    The council has been buoyed by its dealings with the Hunter’s senior state Liberal, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald, and by public praise for the interchange fromthe state Property Council.

    Building the Pennant Street Bridge is crucial to the next stage of the interchange, and a top council priority.

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Dec
12
  • Newcastle Airport was ready for anything when an engine failed on a routine flight

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    Engine’s failure a case for review Miss: Newcastle Airport.
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    Waiting: Passengers at Newcastle Airport waiting for a flight.

    Comfort: Newcastle Airport passengers in December waiting for pre-Christmas flights.

    TweetFacebook Plane trip ends after engine failsNewcastle Airport was a welcome sight for passengers after an engine failed during a flightA PELICAN Airlines plane that had been in storage for nearly a decade was forced to turn around minutes out of Newcastle Airport after an engine failed only days after it returned to service.

    The n Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released a report on the December 14 flight from Newcastle to Dubbo that ended with airport emergency services on standby but no injuries to two crew and six passengers on the stricken plane.

    The regular service left Newcastle Airport at 7.30am but after reaching cruising altitude a gauge on the right engine indicated a temperature problem.

    After attempts to rectify the problem failed the plane’s crew notified Newcastle Airport and requested clearance to return. They shut down the right engine after the captain advised the airport controller the plane had a light load and there would be “no issues operating on one engine”.

    “The captain briefed the passengers through the aircraft’s public address (PA) system about the precautionary engine shut down and instructed them to familiarise themselves with the passenger safety card,” the ATSB report said.

    During an investigation into the engine failure the ATSB was told the aircraft had been in storage in from 2007 to March 2016.

    Between March and early December, 2016 the aircraft underwent “major maintenance” at an aircraft maintenance facility, including the right engine which was serviced at an engine overhaul facility andhad been “preserved during its time of inactivity”.

    “The aircraft was released to service 11 days (about 26 flight hours) prior to the incident occurring,” the ATSB found.

    The investigation found the engine’s fuel control unitwas at fault. A bearing had failed and “many small fragments were found to be interfering” with the fuel control unit’s normal operation.

    The captain told the ATSB the incident “did not appear like an emergency”. Passengers were not questioned.

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