Month: March 2019

Accused boxer faces sex trial

DENIAL: Newcastle boxer Scott Edwards is facing a child sex trial. A NEWCASTLE boxer accused of repeatedly having sex with a teenage girl has faced the first day of a trial in Newcastle District Court.
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Scott Edwards, 31, was arraigned before a jury on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to six counts of aggravated sexual intercourse with a person between the age of 10 and 14 and one count of indecent assault person under 16 years of age.

During his opening address, Crown prosecutor Rob Munro said Mr Edwards was accused of having sexual intercourse with the girl on two occasions in late 2012.

Mr Munro said the prosecution would need to prove that the sexual intercourse took place, that the girl was underage and that she was under the authority of Mr Edwards at the time.

During his opening address, Mr Edwards’s barrister, Robert Cavanagh, told the jury it was a case involving “essentially one on one”.

“The sexual activity complained of is clearly denied by Mr Edwards,” Mr Cavanagh said.

The trial, before Judge Tanya Bright, continues.

Finding love in the wake of a fiery devastation

Tathra Wharf … a haven for local fishermen.It was late 2013 that I visited the Blue Mountains not long after they’d been through bushfires described as constituting the worst natural disaster to ever hit the area.
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I found plenty of tales of heroism but the overwhelming desire was to get on with the job — which in the case of the tourism industry meant filling beds, satisfying mouths and generally showing people a good time.

All they were missing were the actual visitor numbers.

It was much the same just a few days ago when I drove to Tathra, on the NSW Far South Coast, where the town had recently lost some 70 homes in a most fearsome fire storm.

They’d survived by hanging together as a community, and by selflessly helping anyone who needed help.

The local tourism and fine-food industries weren’t after a hand-out. They just wanted visitors to come back, though some were mighty glad they hadn’t heard all the rumours that spread almost as quickly as the flames had.

At one stage it was rumoured that the fire station itself had been destroyed.

Jo Rodely … glad she hadn’t heard the rumour of the fire station next door burning down.

Jo Rodely, who’s been running Tathra Oysters in partnership with her husband Gary for 30 years, is quite happy not to have heard that one on the day.

“It definitely would have scared me. The station is straight across our back fence, and it would almost certainly have meant we’d lost our home and our business.”

And Tathra Oysters is a business that the town should be proud of.

It sells directly to some of Sydney’s top restaurants, and has received accolades from the likes of TV cooking-show guru Curtis Stone and renowned Sydney chef Greg Doyle, who said: “I love the depth of flavour, slight steeliness and the fact they are not overly meaty. But it is the aftertaste that is memorable — like a refreshing dumping in the surf.”

Oysters from Tathra … the taste of the sea, the texture of clotted cream.

Having shared a couple of dozen premium Sydney rockies with the Rodelys in their home, which doubles as a shop, I can vouch for the supreme quality of the product.

They do taste of the sea and they do have the texture of clotted cream. In short, they’re delicious.

I love the ‘oysterometer’ that the Rodelys keep at the entrance to their shop. It very neatly sums up the status of what they’re selling and on my visit was dialled to ‘fat & delicious’ just a category below the top billing of ‘gold-medal busting fat’.

Gary Rodely … running a top oyster business that’s turning Sydney heads and palates.

I also love Gary’s and Jo’s pride in the town, their pride in being privileged to grow the slow-maturing Sydney rock oyster — a privilege largely reserved to growers along the NSW coast — and their pride in winning the inaugural President’s Medal in the food section at the Royal Sydney Show.

They certainly take very seriously the show’s drive to ‘improve the breed’ and, obviously successfully, strive daily to produce a better oyster.

The shop is at 1 Reservoir St, Tathra, phone 02 6494 1453 or visit www.tathraoysters南京夜网.au

Definitely worth visiting in Tathra is the historic, deep-water wharf, quite rightly described in the tourism literature as ‘sitting like a pink jewel in a sapphire sea’.

Allen Collins … the fruits of much dedication and hard work are evident at the Tathra Wharf Museum.

I had the enormous pleasure of being given a personal guided tour of the wharf’s delightful museum by the president, Allen Collins, and can only have been mightily impressed by the committee’s devotion to preserving a genuine Australian tourism icon — and incidentally to the foresight of those who undertook the enormous task of building the wharf more than 150 years ago.

The Tathra Wharf and its museum are located at the end of Wharf Road, Tathra, phone 02 6494 4363, visit www.tathrawharfmuseum.org

The wharf is also home to a foodies’ haven in The Wharf Locavore, but that and other dining — and accommodation — tips in Tathra deserve their own article and will just have to wait a few weeks.

For general information about Tathra see www.visitnsw南京夜网

John Rozentals was a guest of Destination NSW.

Rezoning on the cards for piece of former Pasminco smelter land

The former Pasminco smelter site at Boolaroo in 2008. Picture: Brock PerksPart of the former Pasminco site at Boolaroo could soon be rezoned to allow light industry and commercialdevelopment.
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Lake Macquarie City Council willsend aproposal to the NSW Department of Planning and Environmentto change 7380 square metres of land next to the toxic material containment cell at the former smelter site from a Hazardous Storage zone to a Mixed Use zone.

A report tabled for councillors on Monday said the piece of land known as Site H,which fronts Munibung Road, was initially intended to be part of the containment cell footprint but was ultimately not needed for that purpose.

The report said the sitehad been remediated to a levelthat could allow residential developmentwithrestrictions on growing food and a moratorium on ground water use.

Read more: Policychanges over contaminated soil a double-edged sword

But, despite the remediation, itlabelled Site Has“potentially contaminated”.

During this week’scity strategy committee meeting, Cr Barney Langford asked how the site could be considered potentially contaminated givenremediation had been completed.

“If it’s potentially contaminated, that implies that we’re not sure if it’s been contaminated,” he said.

But city strategy director Tony Farrell said theremediation had been finishedand independently audited.

“It will remain forever potentially contaminated because of the past use of the site and people will need to inform themselves, as potential purchasers, of the action that’s been undertaken to decontaminate it,” he said.

Contamination from Pasminco, which operated for more than a century until 2003, has been a significant issue for Lake Macquarie.

Boolaroo Action Group spokesman Jim Sullivan in 2015.

Read more:The whole story: Pasminco’s toxic legacy

Boolaroo Action Group spokesman Jim Sullivan said on Tuesday council shouldn’t refer to the site as “potentially contaminated” if it hadbeen remediated.

“If the material has been removed and the site’s been remediated and cleaned, it should be clean. Either it’s contaminated or it’s not,” he said.

“The council continues –and they’ve done it for years and years –to put a cloud over the community’s head by calling [land] potentially contaminated. The word [‘potentially’] is onerous.”

Green’s NRL finals equation is positivity

Coach Paul Green is trying to ignore how many games Nth Queensland must win to reach the NRL finals.North Queensland coach Paul Green will do his best to distract himself from the uphill task the side face to make the NRL finals.
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Last year’s runners-up have gone from premiership fancies to distant battlers in the first 10 rounds this season, winning just three games despite the return of Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott from long-term injuries.

Teams traditionally need at least 12 victories to play finals, meaning the Cowboys must win nine of their final 14 games to be a realistic shot.

Acknowledging indecisiveness had crept into their game, Green said the last thing they needed to do was start thinking about how many games they could afford to lose.

“You can’t think like that, otherwise you do start to put pressure on yourself which you can’t control,” he said.

“To say we can only lose five more games is the wrong mindset to have.”

The Cowboys play in-form South Sydney this weekend, facing injury concerns to star forward Jason Taumalolo (ankle) and brave sidekick Shaun Fensom (elbow).

Green said his gut feeling was Taumalolo would play and Fensom might miss up to a month, but could also run out this weekend given his remarkable habit of shrugging off injury.

“We are talking about Shaun Fensom … we’ve all seen how tough he is and he’s team first but, at the end of the day, he’s got to be able to do his job, too,” Green said.

“We’ll give him a chance and see.”

Australian Associated Press

IPART conditionally approves Muswellbrook rate rise

THE Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) conditionally approved a Special Rating Variation of 10 per cent, in real terms,to Muswellbrook Shire Council’s rating on Tuesday to fund a number of projects in town.
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IPART chair Dr Peter Boxall said the decision to support council’s application for one year enabled the council to implement its expenditure program in 2018-19, while considering whether to apply for a special variation in future years.

The projects include:

* Improvements in stormwater management;

* Upgrades to Muswellbrook’s Olympic Park sporting precinct;

* A new Regional Entertainment and Convention Centre for the region;

* Additional support for job creation across the Shire; and

* The recovery of rating income lost as a consequence of the conversion of mining biodiversity offsets to voluntary conservation agreements.

The approval has been granted for 12 months with an invitation to apply in March next year for the increase to become permanent once the Delivery Program (a document updated only every four years) is reviewed on an ad hoc basis to include the projects.

IPART noted that council demonstrated community awareness, that the impact on ratepayers was reasonable and that there were demonstrable productivity improvements and cost containment in the council organisation.

Council’s financial spokesperson Cr Scott Bailey spoke in relation to the decision.

“It’s a validation of the projects and it speaks to IPART’s satisfaction with council’s financial management,” he said.

“IPART is clearly satisfied with our community consultation and the decision permits council to begin more detailed design work in readiness to roll out those projects over the forthcoming years.”

Council will carefully consider IPART’s determination and community feedback before announcing its position with respect to IPART’s decision on the special rate variation in coming weeks.

“We are satisfied the [Muswellbrook Shire] council has demonstrated the need for additional revenue to ensure its financial sustainability and to fund operating and capital costs,” Dr Boxall said.

“But, we are not satisfied that the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) documents that were exhibited and adopted were sufficient for this application.”

IPART’s decision follows an unsuccessful application made by the council last year.

If the council adopts the temporary variation, the average residential rate will increase by $91, average business rates will rise by $292, while farmland rates and mining rates will go up by $350 and $55,989 on average respectively from July 1, 2018.

Rates would decrease in 2019-20 to previous levels, adjusted by the annual rate peg increases unless another special variation is sought and approved.

IPART has attached conditions to its decision on Muswellbrook Shire Council, requiring the additional income to be used for the purposes outlined in the application in 2018-19, and that the council report to the community about how the additional revenue is spent.

Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook were among 13 councils across NSW (of a total of 128) to make a special variation application to increase rates for 2018-19.

IPART approved nine applications in full, two applications were approved in part, and two were not approved.

IPART will set the next rate peg, to apply from July 1, 2019, in September this year to provide councils with more time to prepare annual budgets and consult with their communities if they are considering applying for a special rate variation.

Muswellbrook Shire CouncilRequested special variation – 14.7 per cent single year increase to be retained permanently in the rate baseOutcome (including rate peg) – 14.7 per cent single year temporary increase, the increase above the 2.3 per cent rate peg (or 12.4 per cent) is to be removed at the end of 2018-19.Increase in the average residential rate 2018-19 – $91Summary of purpose – fund new and existing programs and infrastructure, including the development of a Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre and Olympic Park Precinct UpgradeThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Lawry confirms retirement after 40 years

Ex-Australian captain Bill Lawry (C) is retiring from cricket commentary after 40 years in the job.Bill Lawry is putting down the the microphone after four decades of cricket commentary for the Nine Network.
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The 81-year-old confirmed on Tuesday he had turned down offers from Fox Sports and the Seven Network, opting for retirement after Nine’s loss in April of cricket media rights.

“I’ve had 40 great years at Channel Nine and I’ve been very, very lucky … I don’t want to spoil a great journey,” he told SEN’s Whateley program.

Lawry said he viewed Nine as a “home” where he’d been very happy since his recruitment by Kerry Packer in the 1970s to commentate World Series Cricket.

“Packer called us together way back there in 1975-76. I remember Keith Stackpole and I went to the first meeting or two and we said this will only last for a couple of years – let’s enjoy ourselves,” he said.

“So we were way off the mark there.”

The former Australian Test captain credited Nine with helping to revolutionise cricket by bringing the modern game into people’s homes.

“The replays, the third umpires, stump-cam, Greiggie and his pitch report way back in the early days – sticking a key into the pitch – brought to the people just how Test cricket was played,” he said.

“It was new territory for everybody. Richie (Benaud) was the key to it all and Richie was so calm and collected and then we had guys like Greiggie and Ian Chappell come in.”

Lawry, who went on to form a famous commentary partnership with Tony Grieg, said he hoped to “pop up” on Nine from time to time.

Australian Associated Press

Hunter students relieved after first day of NAPLAN 2018 tests in language conventions and writing

Mark my words: Callaghan College Waratah students April Rodgers, Minh Pham, Mitchell Moore, Matilda Newton and Lucy Williams, who said she expected numeracy to be “pretty easy” compared to reading. Picture: Simone De PeakHUNTER students who are sitting NAPLAN for the last time say they are pleased to be leaving the controversial tests behind them, but grateful for the insights provided into their academic growth.
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Year nine Callaghan College Waratah students were among32,338 years three, five, seven and nine Hunter and Central Coast pupilswho sat the language conventions paper and the writing taskon Tuesday.

“I’m pretty glad I’ve got it done,” Minh Pham, 14, said. “I tried my best, so I’m feeling pretty good.”

Hunter students tackling NAPLAN set eyes on end of test prizeTeachers question timing of debate over future of NAPLANThe students gave the language conventions paper that tested spelling, grammar and punctuation ratings of between six and eight out of 10, saying it was “reasonable” but got progressively harder.

They had varied opinions on the writing topic, but said they felt well prepared in terms of techniques to use in their response.

“When I write I either have good days when the ideas flow, or I get stuck –today was a good day,” Mitchell Moore, 14, said.

“The topic was relevant to me and I knew I had some good ideas about it.”

Matilda Newton, 13, said she was “relieved” to not have to sit NAPLAN again and had always looked forward to grades when she didn’t have to participate, “but it’sbeen good to see how I’ve improved over the years”.

“I’m glad to get it over and done with and leave it in the past, but the results have been helpful,”April Rodgers, 14, said.

Students will sit the reading paper on Wednesday and numeracy test on Thursday.

Principal Hayley Macdonald said the students sat fourpast papers last termto refamiliarise themselves with the test conditions and the classrooms in which they would sit NAPLAN.

“Our growth in writing has been enormous and that’s because most of our subjects have thought aboutthe explicit teaching of writing and embeddedthat through content,” she said.

“So we’re not teaching to NAPLAN or preparing for the test, but preparing them withskills they will need to naturally perform their best in the test.”

Ms Macdonald said teacherstried to not misrepresent the importance of NAPLAN.

“It’s more for us,” she said.

“We do look at the data and use that data to inform where we head in the future, but it’s not an individual measure that they need to be worried about.

“It’s a point in time and the majority of information isuseful to us, notthem.”

Insight into career options

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: With over 4000 students from all school sectors attending, the Expo is testimony to the importance of such an event for the region’s youth.ADVERTISING FEATURECAREER Links will hostThe Newcastle & Lake Macquarie Career Expo on Thursday, May 17 at the Newcastle Racecourse.
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The Career & Training Expo is the largest event of its kind in the region, attracting local and interstate universities and colleges from leading education and training providers. Career Links, in conjunction with Regional Development Australia’sHunter Me program have invited some of the region’s largest employers andskilled industries.

With over 4000 students from all school sectors attending, the Expo is testimony to the importance of such an event for the region’s youth, looking to their future.

This advertising feature is sponsored by the following business. Click the link to learn more:

Career LinksAttending the Career Expo gives students the opportunity to gain insight into the realm of further education, training and skill sets required by Industries in the Hunter Region as part of their Journey toward learning and employment.

The contribution of the major sponsors and supporting partners for this event is integral to its ongoing success. Major sponsors The University of Newcastle, TAFE NSW and Regional Development Australia – ME program with supporting partners – Defence Force Recruitment, Avondale College and the Department of Education, ensures that Career Links will continue to offer the region’s youth the chance to explore career options. Their support gives Career Links the opportunity to continue to expand the Expoeach year.

CAREER LINKSCareer Links was established in 2000 to service the Youth of the Region.

Career Links is a community focused, not for profit organisation servicing Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. Operating since 2000, we facilitate a range of initiatives which connect young people with business, education, community and families. We help to create links and opportunities for young people to be their best. We achieve this through the creation of employment pathways and school to work transition programs. The chief driver of Career Links’ success is the effective and longstanding relationships with education providers, the business sector and the local community.

Core services:

Structured Workplace LearningNewcastle & Lake Macquarie ExpoIndigenous Advancement StrategyLinks 2 LearningCareer &Training Links (subscription)Social Enterprise HunterCareer Links GTCareer Links Young People, Bright FuturesThe Newcastle Lake Macquarie Career and Training Expo is open to parents and community members from 1pm to 3pm. Entry is $5 per person. For more information, ring 02 49671050 or visit www.newcastlecareerexpo南京夜网.au.

Cross, Petersen named in squad of rising stars

RISING STARS: Eloise Petersen and Arizona Cross have both been named in the 22-girl NSW/ACT Youth Girls representative squad, after shining at a recent selection carnival.
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Eloise Petersen and Arizona Cross, both 16, have been named as part of the NSW/ACT Youth Girls representative squad for 2018.

The selection comes a month after their participation in a Regional Academies of Sport gala day, where their football skills were put on show in a clash of 13 academy rosters in Lake Macquarie.

Both young footy stars currently play for the Cardiff Hawks in the Black Diamond AFL Women’s competition, having risen through the junior ranks at the club.

“It’s really exciting, I’m looking forward to getting a chance to test my ability on this level,” Petersen said afterthe squad announcement.“Hopefully it will lead to some pretty big things down the road.”

“All the girls in the team are incredibly talented and to work off them and increase my talent, it really helps me to get involved and aim for that next level.”

Cross, Petersen named in squad of rising stars Eloise Petersen playing for the Cardiff Hawks in the Black Diamond AFL Women’s competition.

Eloise Petersen.

Eloise Petersen.

Eloise Petersen.

Arizona Cross, wearing 7, playing for the Cardiff Hawks in the Black Diamond AFL Women’s competition.

Arizona Cross.

Arizona Cross.

Arizona Cross.

Eloise Petersen.

Eloise Petersen.

Eloise Petersen.

Eloise Petersen.

TweetFacebookIn Black Diamond AFL news:Cardiff soar to first victory on Ladies DayHardman key in Bulldogs’ win with spectacular markThe Entrance Bateau Bay recordfirst ever league victoryThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Man on trial over Family Court bombings

Leonard John Warwick has pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to four murders.A former firefighter accused of a string of Sydney bombings and murders in the 1980s allegedly told his ex-wife a Family Court judge “won’t be there much longer” weeks before he was shot dead.
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Opening the crown case on Tuesday, prosecutor Ken McKay said when the ex-wife asked if the judge was going on holidays, Leonard John Warwick replied: “No, he won’t be there at all.”

Warwick, 71, had pleaded not guilty to four murders – including the shooting deaths of his brother-in-law and a judge – and 20 other offences relating to seven events which occurred between February 1980 and July 1985.

Mr McKay told the judge-alone trial in the NSW Supreme Court that Warwick had been involved in a long-running Family Court dispute which “inextricably linked” him to the seven events and provided him with the motivation the crown said existed for him to commit the offences.

They included the 1980 shooting murders of his brother-in-law Stephen Blanchard and Justice David Opas; the bombing of Justice Richard Gee’s home and of the Family Court building in Parramatta in 1984; and, in the same year, the bombing of the home of Justice Ray Watson in which his wife Pearl was killed.

Warwick in 1985 allegedly set off a bomb that ripped apart a Jehovah’s Witnesses hall, killing Graham Wyke and injuring 13 people.

The organisation had offered support to Warwick’s ex-wife Andrea Blanchard.

Her brother went missing from his room in the home he shared with the family on February 24, 1980 and his body was found in a creek in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park days later.

Attached around his waist were 11 bricks which were similar to those found at Warwick’s home, the prosecutor said.

Soon after, the legal dispute came before Justice Opas, who made orders and comments which Warwick allegedly would have regarded as being adverse to his case.

During the break, Warwick allegedly told his ex-wife: “You don’t have to worry about him anymore. He won’t be there much longer.”

The judge was shot dead in the courtyard of his home with a .22 calibre rifle, the same type used to kill Mr Blanchard, Mr McKay said.

Warwick previously allegedly told his ex-wife: “You know I can shoot your father at any time.”

Justice Gee replaced Justice Opas in hearing the court case and a bomb exploded at the front of his house early one morning. It destroyed the building.

Mr McKay said Warwick’s father had worked at a colliery using explosives and detonators for decades while the accused himself had been in the army from 1967 to 1969.

The trial continues.

Australian Associated Press