SATURDAYFrench Film Festival Saturday and Sunday, Tower CinemasNewcastle. Saturday: My Life as a Zucchini;Belle and Sebastian 3;BPM (Beats Per Minute); French market. Sunday: Ava; Two is a Family; afternoon tea.
World’s Biggest Car Boot Sale 8am to 2pm, Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Broadmeadow.
Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 10am to 2pm, at your local participating Fire and Rescue NSW fire station. Hop on a fire truck and chat with firefighters to learn more about what they do every day. Go tofire.nsw.gov.au for details.
HIA Building & Renovation Show 10am to 4pm, 17 Murray Dwyer Circuit, Mayfield West. Demonstrations; children’s entertainment; food trucks; live music; expert advice. Entry is free.
Kids Cartooning Workshops 10am and 1pm, Westfield Kotara, level 2 near Playworld. Book through Ticketbooth.Meet fun characters and design your own heroes; all materials provided.
Heritage Festival 10am to 3pm, King Street, Raymond Terrace.Old-fashioned activities and games for all ages;parades; competitions; dancing; marching bands; live music; food and market stalls.
2018 Hunter Valley Wine & Food FestivalA two-month celebration of the best the Hunter Valley has to offer. Go towinecountry南京夜网.aufor the program of events.
Native Plant Sale 9.30am to 2pm, Hunter Wetalnds Centre, Shortland. The Australian Plants Society NSW –Newcastle’sannual plant sale. All native tube stock just $4.
Mum Time Royal Wedding Fundraiser7.15pmto 10.30pm, Event Cinemas Kotara. Watch the royalwedding and support the important work of Jenny’s Place in Newcastle.Bookings attrybooking南京夜网.
NSW Pole Sports Championships 3pm to 7pm, Lake Macquarie Performing Arts Centre. All welcome to this family-friendly event.
Lake Macquarie Family History Group 10am to 4pm,Marmong Point Community Hall.Guest speakers: Judy Webster, genealogist; Anthony Oliver, surveyor and engineer. All welcome; research assistance available. PhoneWarren Oliver on 0249 595403 for further information and to register your interest.
Hands Across The Sand 10.45am for 11am start, Nobby’s Beach, Newcastle.Join hands with hundreds of people to say no to seismic testing and offshore gasfields in the waters off Newcastle and the Central Coast. As part of an international day of action against offshore oil and gas, a human chain will be formed along the entire length of Nobby’s Beach.
World Whisky Day Experience 3pm to 5pm, Coal and Cedar, 380-382 Hunter Street, Newcastle.A special whisky masterclass featuring some hard to find whiskies. Book at coalandcedar南京夜网.
Lovedale Long Lunch 2018Saturday and Sunday, various Lovedale wineries. Information and tickets at lovedalelonglunch南京夜网.au.
Newcastle: Defence Careers Information Session 10am to 11am, 528 Hunter Street, Newcastle.Book your spot at defencejobs.gov.au.
Port Stephens Triathlon Festival 6am to 2pm, One Mile Beach.
SUNDAY2018 NSW Variety Bash 8am, Newcastle Foreshore. Sponsored by the Australian Hotels Association.
ICN North Coast Classic 9am onwards, Wests New Lambton.
Planting Day & Walk at Kooragang 9.30am to noon, Kooragang Wetlands.Kooragang Landcare, supported by Intrepid Landcare and Local Land Services and Rotary Newcastle, is hosting a community planting day at Ash Island as part of ongoing restoration of formerly grazed land in the Hunter River estuary. Light lunch provided.
SAVE THE DATENewcastle Harness Racing Club Carnival of Cups night is on May 26, featuring the AVE Technologies Ross Gigg Newcastle Mile. There will be live music, Marching Koalas, Ruby the Clown, Jono the Juggler, face painting and a jumping castle. A fundraiser for John Hunter Children’s Hospital Kids Club. Cost$50 per person includes Paceway entry, a three-course meal and a $10 donation. Bookings essential on 4956 1750.
MARKETSWarners Bay Markets Saturday,8am to 2pm, Warners Bay Foreshore.
Hunt & Gather Markets Saturday, 9am to 2pm, Foreshore Park, Newcastle East.
Market MorningSaturday, 8am to 11.30am,Anglican Church of Windale,corner of Merrigum Street and Balemo Close, Windale.
Handmade in the Hunter MarketsSaturday, 9am to 3pm, Kevin Sobels Wines, Pokolbin.
Hamilton Clocktower MarketsSaturday, 9am to 2pm, James Street Plaza, BeaumontStreet, Hamilton.
Hunter Wine Country MarketsSaturday, 9am to 3pm, De Bortoli Wines, 532 Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin.
Newcastle Flower MarketsSaturday, 9.30am to noon, 1 Rural Drive, Sandgate.
Hunter Street MarketsSaturday, 9am to 3pm, Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle.
Adamstown LionsMarketsSunday, 7am to 12.30pm, corner Brunker and Glebe roads, Adamstown.
Newcastle City Farmers MarketSunday, 7am to 1pm, Newcastle Showground, Broadmeadow.
The Sunday Muster Artisan Markets Sunday, 9am to 2pm,Mortels Sheepskin Factory Thornton.
Respect All Markets Cooranbong Sunday, 9am to 2pm,Cooranbong Park.
Jesmond Monthly Markets Sunday, 8am to 1pm, Heaton Birmingham Gardens Bowling club, 48 Mordue Road, Jesmond.
Goodbye Autumn Market Sunday, 9am, Fly Point Park, Victoria Parade, Nelson Bay.
Toronto Lions MarketsSunday, 7.30am to 1pm,Lions Park (next to Fennell Bay Bridge) Toronto.
ARTFinite Gallery Caves BeachPortrait photography workshop with Joerg Lehmann on Sunday.
Art Systems WickhamDistracted by the View, byBron Lusted, Sally Reynolds, Jules Visser. Until May 27.
Wollombi Cultural CentreOil paintings byGuntis Jansons. Until May 27.
Cessnock Regional Art GalleryMembers Art Show. Ends Sunday.
Lake Macquarie City Art GalleryFirst Class: First Decade. Ends Sunday.
Gloucester GalleryNu Feminin, by Christopher Steele. Ends Sunday.
The University GalleryFrom The Studio, byImants Tillers. Until May 26.
The Lock UpjusticeINjustice, by Corinne Brittain, Rob Cleworth, Blak Douglas, John A Douglas, Leah Emery, Lezlie Tilley and Richard Lewer. Ends Sunday.
Watt Space Gallery Friends of the University Student Art Prize. Until June 3.
Maitland Regional Art Gallery Maitland International Salon of Photography; The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize 2017.Ends Sunday. Luminous Maitland; Stuart Scott. Until August 12. Hunter Red: Razzamatazz. Until July 22.
Cooks Hill GalleriesIntertidal, by Brett McMahon. Until May 28.
Port Stephens Community Arts CentreNelson BayQuilters Exhibition. Until May 22.
Newcastle Art GalleryArchibald Prize 2017; Young Archie: Newcastle. Until June 24.
Newcastle Studio Potters & Back To Back Galleries Flora & Fauna, byKara Wood, Mel Pegg, Holly Marlin.
Timeless TextilesIncubating Fibre. Until June 9. Run in conjunction with The Creator Incubator.
Gallery 139Love and Friendship, byJohn Heaney. Ends Sunday.
Creator IncubatorCracked –First Anniversary Exhibition. Ends Sunday.
THEATREDisney’s Alice in Wonderland JrLively musical for young performers from Lewis Carroll’s novel that has a young girl finding herself among colourful creatures when she falls into a rabbit hole. Young People’s Theatre, at its Hamilton theatre. Saturday at 2pm and 7pm (final shows).
Friday the 14thTensions arise when former high school classmates have a reunion party, with a murder occurring; amusing send up of horror films, written and staged by Newcastle University Drama Society. The Factory Theatrette, St Pius College, Adamstown. Saturday and Sunday at 7pm.
The HollowA murder unexpectedly occurs when a woman invites diverse and eccentric people to visit her rural estate; thriller by Agatha Christie. Maitland Repertory Theatre, at its theatre. Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm (final shows).
Julia Morris: Lift & Separate Golden Jubilee TourComedian Morris looks amusingly at her life over the past two years, trying to make sense of her actions. Live Nation, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. Sunday, at 7.30pm.
A Mystery MusicalA well-known and award-winning musical, with audience members only knowing what it is when the overture begins. The Very Popular Theatre Company, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. Saturday, at 2pm and 8pm.
MUSIC5 SawyersSaturday,DJ Sean Andrews. Sunday,Sundays Record Duo.
Adamstown Uniting Church –The DungeonSaturday, Expresso.
Anchorage Port StephensSunday, James Naldo.
Anna Bay TavernSaturday, The New Cool.
Australia Hotel CessnockSaturday, Romney Watts.
Bar PetiteSaturday, Crocq.
Battlesticks BarSaturday, Tim Rossington. Sunday, Elisa Kate.
Beach HotelSunday, Mark Wells.
Bellbird HotelSaturday, The Core. Sunday, Hendo’s Jam.
Belmont 16sSaturday, Love That Hat, Emily Smith. Sunday, John Noble.
Belmore HotelSaturday, Alias.
Beresfield Bowling ClubSaturday, Triple Zero. Sunday, Red Dirt Country Band.
Blackbutt HotelSaturday, Captain Risky.
The BradfordSaturday, The Search Party.
Burwood Inn Saturday, Bucko.
Cambridge HotelSaturday, Grace Turner, Max Quinn, King Single; Silverstein, Comeback Kid. Sunday, Eastside Grammar.
Catho PubSaturday, Murray Byfield. Sunday, Alias.
Caves Beachside HotelSaturday, Adrianna Mac Duo. Sunday, Good Company.
Central Charlestown Leagues ClubSaturday,Pete Gelzinnis.
Central HotelStroudSaturday, Ngariki.
Cessnock Leagues ClubSaturday, 2GoodReasons.
Civic TheatreSaturday, Tex Perkins –The Man In Black. Sunday, Julia Morris –Life and Separate Golden Jubilee Tour.
Club KotaraSaturday, Kwozzi.
Club LemonTree Saturday, Kellie Cain.
Commercial Hotel MorpethSaturday, The Bad and the Ugly.
Country Club Hotel Shoal BaySaturday, Shivoo.
Criterion Pub & KitchenCarringtonSaturday, Jon Schatz. Sunday, Todd Schmoo.
Crown & Anchor HotelSaturday, Gerda & Dave, Devultra.
Customs HouseSaturday, Perry Carter. Sunday, Tyler John.
Cypress Lakes ResortSaturday, Bobby C.
Denman HotelSunday, Brendan Watson.
Doyalson RSL Saturday, Hummdinger.
East Maitland Bowling ClubSaturday, 24 Hours.
Edgeworth Bowling ClubSunday, Jade & Willow.
Edgeworth Tavern Saturday, Katie N Feff.
The EdwardsSunday, One Song Sing –Never Tear Us Apart.
Emma’s CottageSaturday, Sunday, The Big Bang Band.
FinnegansSaturday, House and Party Tunes.
FogHorn BrewhouseSaturday, Gareth Hudson.
Gartelmann Wines LovedaleSunday, Gen-R-8, Matt McLaren Duo.
Gallipoli Legion ClubSaturday,Loose Change.
Gateshead TavernSunday, Paparazzi.
Grain StoreSaturday, Matt McLaren.
Harrigan’s PokolbinSaturday, Kirsty J, Dos Eager, GENR8. Sunday, Tim Rossington.
Hexham Bowling ClubSaturday, Tim Harding.
Honeysuckle HotelFSaturday, Soundabout. Sunday, Karen O’Shea, Crocq.
Hotel Beatty –GresfordSunday, Stp.
Hunter River HotelSaturday, Chad Shuttleworth Duo.
Iron Horse InnSaturday, Two Fires –Chisel Barnes Show.
Jewells TavernSaturday, Wanted Dead or Alive –Bon Jovi Show.
Kent HotelSaturday, DJ, Gen X. Sunday, Grant Walmsley & Friends.
Khartoum HotelSunday, Sunday Jam Session.
King Street HotelSaturday, Luude.
Lake Macquarie Yacht ClubSunday, Murray Byfield.
Lakeside Village TavernSaturday, Viagro.
Lass O’GowrieSaturday,The Craw, Motherlode, East Coast Low, Not Nots.
Lizotte’sSaturday, My Leonard Cohen. Sunday, The D Majors Cancer Choir Memorial Lunch Concert.
Lochinvar HotelSaturday, Reg Sinclair.
Lucky HotelSaturday, Marissa. Sunday, The Gleesons.
Mark Hotel Saturday, Bob Allan.
Mary Ellen Saturday, Wild Oats. Sunday, Bonny Rai.
Maryland TavernSaturday, Paparazzi.
Mattara HotelSaturday, Karaoke.
Mavericks On The BaySaturday, Kazzie. Sunday, Greg Bryce.
Mavericks On DarbySaturday, Matt McLaren Duo.
Metropolitan Hotel MaitlandSaturday, Blue on Black. Sunday, Marriah Band.
MEX Club MayfieldSaturday, Anthology.
Mezz Bar at Wallsend DiggersSaturday, The Years, The Smarts + DJ. Sunday, Jesse Fiddes.
Moonshadow CruisesSaturday, Mick Jones.
Morisset Country ClubSunday, Darren Rolling Keys.
Murray’s BrewerySunday, Brien McVernon.
Nag’s Head HotelSaturday, Jason Bone.
Neath HotelSaturday, Crawfish Stew.
Nelson Bay DiggersSaturday, Rave On, Redline. Sunday, Anyerin.
Nelson Bay Golf ClubSaturday, Ryan Daley.
Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club Sunday, Loko.
Newcastle HotelSaturday, NEWY Saturdays with Cassette.
NEX –Newcastle Exhibition and Convention CentreSunday, Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle.
Northern Star HotelSaturday, Rooney West, Dennis Val.
Pedens CessnockSaturday, Troy Kemp.
Pelican RSL ClubSaturday, Grant Walmsley & Friends. Sunday, Chris Saxby.
Pippis At The PointSunday, Ashley Knight.
Potters Brewery Saturday, Zane Penn.
Premier HotelSaturday, Loko. Sunday, The Years.
Prince of Wales HotelSaturday, Holly Mae.
Queens Wharf HotelSaturday, Uptown Duo, Iguana. Sunday, Love That Hat, Wharf Life.
Railway Hotel CessnockSunday, Sunday Sessions Launch Party with Code Red.
Raymond Terrace Bowling ClubSunday, Pistol Pete.
Royal Federal HotelBranxtonSaturday,StateFX.
Royal Hotel SingletonSunday, Arcane.
Royal Motor Yacht Club TorontoSunday, Layth Gunn.
Rutherford HotelSaturday, Joel Oakhill.
Seabreeze HotelSaturday, Mojo Bandits. Sunday, Matt Bowles, Sunday Soothin Sounds.
Shenanigans at the Imperial Saturday, The Faves.
Shortland Hotel Saturday, Anyerin.
Singleton DiggersSaturday, Spank N The Monkey.
South Newcastle Leagues ClubSaturday, Robbie T.
Stag and Hunter HotelSaturday, Bonnie Kay & the Bonafides.
Stockton Bowling ClubSunday, Boney Rivers.
Stockton RSLClubSaturday, Jumpin Jukebox.
Swansea HotelSunday, Soundabout.
Swansea RSLClubSaturday, Cover 2 Cover.
Swansea-Belmont Surf Life Saving ClubSunday, Obed Macy Duo.
Swansea Workers ClubSaturday, Smoke and Mirrors.
Tatler WinesSaturday, Sunday, Hornet.
Tea Gardens Country ClubSaturday, Neil Diamond –The Man, The Music.
Tea Gardens Hotel MotelSaturday, Kevin O’Hara.
Tilligerry RSL Saturday, Louis Burt.
Toronto DiggersSaturday, John Noble.
Toronto HotelSaturday, Tim Pringle.
Toronto Workers ClubSaturday, Kristy J.
Victoria Hotel HintonSaturday, Bernie. Sunday, Kempy.
Wangi HotelSunday, Jacinta.
Warners At The BaySaturday, Mardmax.
Westfield KotaraSaturday, Jake Folbigg.
Wests CardiffSaturday, The Snape Trilogy.
Wests Nelson BaySaturday, Rave On.
Wests New Lambton Saturday, The Smarts.
Wickham Park Hotel Saturday, The Lamplighters.
Windsor Castle HotelSaturday, Beth Gleeson, Megan Core.
MOVIESAurore(M) Agnès Jaoui is a middle-aged woman in the midst of major personal and professional life changes in Blandine Lenoir’s warm-hearted rom-com.
Avengers: Infinity War(M)The Avengers and their allies take on the powerful Thanos.
A Wrinkle In Time(PG)One girl’sjourney led by three celestial guides.
BPM(MA15+) Early 90s-set French AIDs activism drama and winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes 2017.
Cargo(MA15+) Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) leads this outback post-apocalyptic thriller as a father looking for salvation for his baby daughter.
Chappaquiddick(M) A political drama that revisits Ted Kennedy’s car accident with Mary Jo Kopechne and the ensuing cover-up.
Crooked House(PG) A screen adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery novel.
Deadpool 2(MA15+) Sequel to the Golden Globe-nominated comic book action romantic comedy starring Ryan Reynolds as the foul-mouth murdering anti-hero. Deadpool forms a team to protect a young mutant from time-travelling mercenary Cable.
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool(M) True story of the playful but passionate relationship between a young working-class Englishman and an eccentric Oscar-winning American actress. (Regal)
Finding Your Feet(PG)A posh woman seeks refuge with her bohemian sister.(Regal)
I Feel Pretty(M) Renee desperately wants to be one of the “pretty” girls (Lake)
I Kill Giants(PG) A young misfit escapes into a fantasy world of magic and monsters in Oscar-winning director Anders Walter’s feature debut.
Life of the Party(M) Melissa McCarthy enrolls as an adult student at her daughter’s university in this comedy by McCarthy and Ben Falcone.
Midnight Oil 1984Documentary chronicling a crucial year in the life of Midnight Oil.
Mr Church(M)Based on the true story of a unique life-long friendship. (Regal)
Rampage(M)Based on the1980s video game featuring apes and monsters destroying cities.
Ready Player One(M)When the creator of an MMO called the Oasis dies, he releases a video where he challenges users to find his Easter Egg.
Redoubtable(MA15+) Slice-of-life biopic on legendary French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard.
Royal Wedding(G) Fred Astaire and Jane Powell are a brother and sister act booked to perform in London for a royal wedding. (Regal, 3pm Saturday)
The Divine Order(M) Ahousewife bands together with a rabble of hippies, grannies and other colourful types. (Regal)
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society(M)A writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island. (Lake)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri(MA15+) After seven months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move. (Regal)
Tully(M)Mackenzie Davis is Charlize Theron’s night nanny in this comedic drama.
Last Flag FlyingThirty years after serving together in the Vietnam War, Larry “Doc” Shepherd, Sal Nealon and the Rev. Richard Mueller reunite for a different type of mission: to bury Doc’s son, a young Marine killed in Iraq. Forgoing burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Doc and his old buddies take the casket on a bittersweet trip up the coast to New Hampshire. Along the way, the three men find themselves reminiscing and coming to terms with the shared memories of a war that continues to shape their lives.
New Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says he will remain in office for one or two years and that Anwar Ibrahim, the jailed reformist he had vowed would replace him, will be released on Wednesday.
Mahathir, 92, said he thought that “in a short while” the government could have a case against his predecessor, Najib Razak, who has been dogged by a multi-billion-dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
A four-party alliance driven by Mahathir and Anwar won the general election last week, ousting the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition for the first time in the history of the Southeast Asian nation. Mahathir was sworn in as prime minister on Thursday, making him the world’s oldest democratically elected leader.
In “an initial stage, maybe lasting one or two years, I will be the prime minister”, Mahathir said, speaking by live video link from Kuala Lumpur to a Wall Street Journal CEO conference in Tokyo.
“I will play a role in the background even when I step down.”
The pardons board in Malaysia’s capital will meet on Wednesday to discuss Anwar’s release and Mahathir said he would be released the same day.
Anwar, 70, is serving a second five-year jail term for sodomy. He and his supporters have said the charges are politically motivated.
A royal pardon would reverse Anwar’s conviction and make him eligible to actively participate in politics. He has been in hospital for a few months recovering from a shoulder operation.
During the campaign, Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years in a previous stint from 1981, promised to step aside and make Anwar prime minister once he was pardoned.
But there have been differences between the two over the cabinet formation, and Mahathir made it clear on Tuesday that he was in charge.
“I expect him to play the same role as the leaders of the other three parties. There will be no special powers given except as are given to ministers or deputy ministers or deputy prime ministers,” Mahathir said. He added that he would make the final decision about cabinet posts.
Australian Associated Press
Liberal candidate Georgina Downer should be judged on her merits rather than her family’s connection with the Adelaide Hills electorate of Mayo in the upcoming federal by-election, a senior party figure says.
Ms Downer will be up against Rebekha Sharkie, who won the seat in 2016 as part of the Nick Xenophon Team, but was last week forced to quit after being caught up in the dual-citizenship saga.
Ms Sharkie is facing an uphill battle to regain the seat with Ms Downer seeking to follow in the footsteps of her father, Alexander, who held Mayo from 1984 to 2008.
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham described Ms Downer as a smart and capable young woman.
“I’m confident that voters of Mayo will judge Georgina Downer on her merits,” he said.
“(Her election) would give the people of Mayo and South Australia an additional, powerful voice inside the Turnbull government.”
But the minister also acknowledged Ms Downer was up against a political precedent dating almost 100 years.
“Winning by-elections whilst in government is something that, essentially, is unheard of in Australia,” he said.
“It’s only once, back in 1920, that a government of the day has snatched a by-election from an opposition.”
Meanwhile, Ms Sharkie said on Tuesday Nick Xenophon was unlikely to play a starring role in her campaign.
Mr Xenophon quit the Senate to make an ultimately unsuccessful tilt at South Australian state politics.
She said Mr Xenophon was busy rebuilding his life – caring for elderly parents and restarting his legal practice.
“If Nick wants to come up and help he knows where my tiny little campaign office is,” Ms Sharkie told reporters in Adelaide on Tuesday.
“I think I’ve already asked enough of Nick over the years, I think it’s time for him to take care of himself.”
Australian Associated Press
Cameron Smith knew his decision to call time on his glittering representative career was right when he told Queensland coach Kevin Walters and all he felt was relief.
The Australia and Queensland captain dropped the bombshell news at a Melbourne press conference on Tuesday, just three weeks out from the State of Origin series.
The physical and mental toll of Origin, as well as a desire to spend more time with his family were behind his decision, while Smith said he hoped it would extend his NRL career with the Storm.
Flanked by Walters and with his wife Barbara and three kids watching on, the 34-year-old said now was the right time to finish up a career that encompassed a record 42 Origin appearances – including 11 series wins – and 56 Tests including two World Cup triumphs.
“The decision is a combination of the impact that representative football had on me and my family,” Smith said.
“It’s a decision that I did take a lot of time to come to but in the end the reasons for not playing on far outweighed reasons to play on this year.
“I feel really good. I feel happy. When I spoke to Kev about the decision it was almost as though a weight was off my shoulders.”
Smith said he’d started thinking about it last year, when he was unable to back up and play for the Storm the weekend after each Origin game as he’d done in the past.
“Last year, more than any other year, the Origin series in particular had an effect on me both physically and mentally,” said Smith.
“Looking back on it now I just don’t think that’s fair for myself, I don’t think that’s fair on my family and also my teammates back here at Melbourne Storm.
“I couldn’t back up after any of those Origin matches and maybe that was a sign there that it was time, because I have always been very proud of my ability to back up and it’s something I’ve looked forward to.”
Smith said those weekends, when unable to play for Melbourne, he was lying on the couch or in bed exhausted, and he believed few realised the drain of playing at that level.
His absence from his family through the Origin period and then six weeks away on World Cup duty with the Kangaroos also contributed to the decision.
“There’s a few important things happening now with my family with school and with their junior sport that I miss out on,” Smith said.
“That’s a big sacrifice but it’s a bigger sacrifice for them.”
Maroons coach Kevin Walter said he had an inkling that Smith was wavering about Origin in their discussions through the year.
“I just didn’t get the same vibe that I’ve had over the last couple of years with him, with his enthusiasm and drive,” Walters said.
“We’ve lost our captain, our leader and our goal-kicker so it’s a big loss for Queensland but it had to happen one day.”
Smith’s exit follows the representative retirements of fellow Australian and Queensland greats Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk announced last year, leaving a huge void for Walters to fill.
But Smith said he didn’t let the absence of his longtime teammates influence his call on his own future.
Queensland State of Origin captain Cameron Smith announces his representative retirement. Photo: AAP Image/Daniel Pockett
“At no time did any other person’s retirement or what the make up of the team this year come into my calculations,” he said.
“I still believe Queensland can win this year.”
Making his debut for Queensland in 2003, Smith has captained the side since 2012.
In his Origin career he missed just one game – the series opener in 2010 due to injury – and won a record 26 matches.
Smith’s exit is likely to springboard Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough into a Queensland Origin debut in the June 6 series opener at the MCG, while Jake Granville of the Cowboys could be another option.
Darius Boyd, Billy Slater or Greg Inglis are the most likely candidates to take over the captaincy, however Boyd has battled form and fitness at Brisbane this season.
Australian Associated Press
Mickey Arthur has coached South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.Western Australia hope to have their new coach in place by early June but WACA chief executive Christina Matthews has quashed speculation it could be Mickey Arthur.
The Warriors are on the lookout for a head coach after Justin Langer was appointed coach of Australia earlier this month.
There is a strong chance the new coach could come from within the WACA set-up, with retired batsman Adam Voges and assistant Kade Harvey leading the charge.
Geoff Marsh could also be considered.
There were some rumours that Pakistan coach Arthur could come into contention.
Arthur coached WA for 18 months before taking charge of Australia in 2011.
However, his tenure at Cricket Australia (CA) was short-lived, with Arthur sacked on the eve of the 2013 Ashes in England.
Arthur has since taken up the head coaching role in Pakistan, guiding the team to the Champions Trophy title last year.
Given he still has family connections in Perth, there were rumours he could be in the running to coach WA again.
However, Matthews said that was highly unlikely.
“That is currently not on the agenda,” Matthews said.
“We know people who are currently under contract to different organisations.
“We’re not in the business of encouraging people to break contracts. Mickey was not on our list.”
Matthews said if it was deemed that the WACA’s internal applicants weren’t suitable for the head coach role, then the job would be advertised for outsiders to apply.
Meanwhile, banned batsman Cameron Bancroft won’t need to move interstate this year after his bid to play club cricket in Perth was approved.
Bancroft is serving a nine-month CA suspension for his role in the ball-tampering incident in South Africa earlier this year.
That CA ban ends in late December, at which point Bancroft will be free to play for WA and Australia again.
But under WA Premier Cricket rules, any CA ban automatically extends to WA club ranks, meaning Bancroft wasn’t allowed to play for his local team Willetton while serving his suspension.
However, Bancroft has been granted an exemption after the 16 WACA sides held a vote on Monday night.
Bancroft only needed a simple majority, and it’s believed the vote went 14-2 in his favour.
The 25-year-old is also allowed to start pre-season training with the Warriors in June.
Australian Associated Press