Townson Oval, field of screamsphotos, video

Townson Oval, field of screams | photos, video TweetFacebookTownson Oval the day after #[email protected][email protected]@[email protected]南京夜网/1KDw0gQy4E
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— Josh Callinan (@joshuacallinan) June 19, 2017He added that a council representative inspected the field on Saturday“andon Sunday I had discussions with the council officers about the potential of playing.”

He said the weather forecast indicated the rain would clear, but:“It got very wet during the middle of first grade. The half-time break wasa hell of a shower.”

South Newcastle have three more regular-season games at Townson but the next is not until July 2.Merewether-Carlton have seven home games remaining, the next four in a row, starting with the annual blockbuster against Wanderers on Saturday.

“We have been in contact with council tomake sure they understand we have consecutive home games against Wanderers and Hamilton,” Merewether president Steve Reid said.“Our expectation is that council will be able to get the ground up. Wanderers and Hamilton are massive revenue games for us.”

Reid said he was hoping to attract a crowd of more than2500 for the clash with the Two Blues.

“It isthe greatest rivalry in Newcastle sport,” Reid said.“That is borne from the amount of people who turn up and passiondisplayed irrespective of where both clubs are on the ladder.Non-rugby people go there just to see the contest.”

Saturday also doubles as Merewether’s sponsors’ day.

Merewether cricket club president Ken Beckett was in disbelief when he visited the ground on Monday.

“I just can’t believe they played on it,” Beckett said.“It’s out of our control in terms of the cricket club, but it’s a mess.We take a bitof pride in the place and ourcurator does a wonderful job. Helooks after the ground like it’s hisown backyard…it was looking a picture at the end of last season.”

Mitch hopes return proves magic tonic

A-GAME: Former Jets and Glory midfielder Mitch Oxborrow hopes to play his way back to the A-League via a strong season with Broadmeadow Magic. Picture: Max Mason-HubersMITCH Oxborrow was the first at a sodden Magic Park for a recovery session on Monday night.
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The 22-year-old had a smile on his face and a spring in his step. It wascompletecontrast to the midfielder’s final training session atPerth Glory in May.

Oxborrow had been told by coach Kenny Lowe that he wasn’t inhis plans.Itwas a conversation thatOxborrow had not envisaged.Professional football was all he knew.

“When I was released I panickedbig time,” Oxborrow said.“I havebeen relatively lucky andalways landed on my feet.Youwant to stay in the A-League, but sometimes you have to take a step back and re-evaluate.”

He started training with a local team in Perth to ensure he was ready“if something came up”.The break also rekindled the fire in his belly.He needed an opportunity and former teammate, now Magic coachRuben Zadkovichwashappy to assist.The pair played together for the Jets, where Oxborrow debuted aged17,and in Perth.

Mitch hopes return proves magic tonic TweetFacebook Mitch OxborrowPictures: Max Mason-Hubers, Peter Stoop, Getty Images“When I was at Perth he matured a lot,” Zadkovich said.“He will give you his heart and soul if you show him that you do care and do believe in him.”

Oxborrow was man-of-the match on debut for Magic in a 3-1 victory over Valentine at Cahill Oval on Saturday.

“He deserves to be in the A-League,” Zadkovich insisted.“He is willing to come back to NPL to prove how good he is, lay it on the line and be judged on his performances.He started fivegames last year ata star-studded Perth Glory. The guy is a special player.”

Oxborrow met girlfriend, Charlotte Coleman, during his two years at the Jets and they are back staying with her family.

“I just want to play and I want to win,” Oxborrow said.“Wherever that takes me–if it is Magic for the rest of the season or it goes on from there–we will see. Playing for Rubes wasa major part.He is a bit like an older brother to me.I could have stayed in Perth but I wanted a change. Even though I have been here before it is something fresh.”

Oxborrow, a youth international with a sweet left foot, returned from a broken foot and played the final four rounds for Glorybut did not feature in the finals.

“You need a coach who believes in you,” he said.“I have played 30-odd games in the A-League and don’t thinkI have played more than fivein a row.When I was here under Dutchy (Gary van Egmond) he believed in mebut I was 17. When you get to 21-22, you know how to play the game, you know how to grind out a game.I think I have come back a different player.”

The Jets have two places to fill on the their 23-man roster, earmarked for visa players.

“At presentwe don’t have any spots available,” Jets bossLawrie McKinna said.“But if anyone is doing well in the local premier league we are keen tobring them in for a look. It might not be for something straight away but there are injury replacements and other opportunities down the track.”

Oxborrow’s desire to return to the professional ranks remains strong.

“Where ever you play you want to go to the step above and keep moving on,” he said. “In some aspects it is my last shot. After the weekend I was buzzing. I wantto win, I want to do something at Magic andI want to make a difference.”

Lloyd breathes new life into amazing song

LUCKY STAR: Alex Lloyd’s soaring vocal and ability to create emotional melodies made him one of Australia’s leading songwriters in the early 2000s.
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ALEX Lloyd describes it as bubblegum. A hit song that becomes so flogged on radio that it loses its flavour.

Ed Sheeran’s monster hit Shape Of You has earned bubblegum status withLloydand his four children in theirCentral Coast home.

Many would argue Lloyd’s own career-defining hit Amazing over time has become overexposed. It was Triple J Hottest’s 100’s winnerin 2001 and claimed the APRA song of the year award a year later. Eventually it became a staple of commercial radio and a karaoke favourite.

Last year Lloyd re-imagined his soaring anthem along with other beloved material like Coming HomeandGreenon the album Acoustica. The fragile folkre-interpretation of Amazing is Acoustica’s highlight and re-invigorated the song.

“It was good fun doing that record,” Lloyd said.“It was fun to pull those songs apart and put them back together again. I do like the new Amazing version, it’s not as grandiose and poppy. It’s still a good song, but ina more laid-back folk environment.”

However, messing with a beloved song can earn the ire of fans as Lloyd learned. At last year’s AFL Brownlow Medal some fans, including cricketer Glenn Maxwell, criticisedLloyd’s re-working of Amazing on Twitter. It led to several news sites hammering the performance.

“I actually thought I did it pretty good,” Lloyd said with a laugh.“My voice has changed since I was 22. When I was 22 my voice was a lot cleaner and now I sound like an older man.

Alex Lloyd – Amazing“I think a lot of people were expecting the pop version of Amazing and they got a different version, andwithin the room at the Brownlow it felt really good. I got nothing but people wanting to buy me drinks at the end of that, lots of famous footballers.

“I don’t know with the Twitter thing. I think there was only five or six really bad comments and the news made a story out of it. I think it happens quite a bit these days.”

Currently Lloydis focused on the future. New material is being written for the follow-up to2013’s Urban Wilderness, but Lloyd admits being a 42-year-old with four children makes songwriting harder than in his halcyon days ofthe early 2000s.

“Ihave thousands of ideas, but turning an idea into a song is a different thing,” he said.“Atthe same time I’m writing, I’m looking for something a bit different to what I’d usually do for my own satisfaction.”

Lloyd plans to continue working on the record inNashville as the musical city left a lasting impression on him last year. While there he worked withother artists, includingAustralian country duo O’Shea, who recently released the single Start Over, co-written by Lloyd.

Co-writing is becoming increasingly attractive.

“Well, I’m not a young good-looking pop star anymore,” Lloydsaid.“If I ever was. I’m not as marketable as I hope I once was, so it’s good to be able to write with other people and help them on their journey and also get a little bit of satisfaction from hearing a song on the radio every now and then that you had something to do with.”

Alex Lloyd performs up close and acoustic at Central Bar on Friday.

Corridor changes get back on track

In Progress: The Newcastle Interchange construction site at Wickham. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers. The rail corridor rezoning planmade progress on Tuesday night, after NSW government officials revealed details of 10- and 40-year transport plans for Newcastle.
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The officials briefed Newcastle City Councilon these plans, whichconvinced lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes that therail corridorrezoning planshould be releasedfor community consultation.

The councilhaddelayedthe rezoning plan, while calling for thegovernment to meet several conditions.

Thisincluded a requirement thatthe governmentdevelop a“comprehensive, evidence-based plan for public transport” in the Lower Hunter.

Transport for NSW executive director for future transport Tim Raimond told the council that a draft of the 40-year “Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan” would be released in the fourth quarter of this year.

Mr Raimond said a final plan was due forreleasein the first quarter of next year.

He also spoke about the 10-year “Newcastle Transit Network Plan”, which he hoped would be released “by the end of the year”.

Thistransit plan will covercorridors for light rail, buses andferries, along with cost estimates and economic analysis.

Cr Nelmes pressed Mr Raimond about including within this plan,options to extend light rail beyond Hunter Street to other areas including the University of Newcastle, Newcastle Airport, John Hunter Hospital, Merewether and Glendale.

Mr Raimond confirmed that route options would be “considered in the transit plan”, to which the mayor replied “that’s wonderful to hear”.

After the briefing, the mayor said the council would proceed with a report for the corridor rezoning plans to be released for community consultation.

She was happy for this to occur “now that the transport officials have confirmed that an integrated transport master plan for the Lower Hunter is under way”.

She expectsthe report to be put before councillors before the end of the council term in August, after which the election will occur.

The mayor said the lack of an integrated transport plan had held back the growth of the greater Newcastle area.

The next elected council mustcontinue to press the government to ensure the transport plans become reality, before the corridor rezoning is considered for approval, the mayor said.

The rezoning plan, which the state government instigated, includes options for open space, development, tourism, affordable housing and an education precinct for the university.

Hamptons on the lake

Hamptons chic: This three-bedroom waterfront property at Brightwaters has a large covered deck that overlooks the lake, private jetty, and landscaped garden. It is set on 1648 square metres of level grounds.A BRIGHTWATERS property boasting 270-degree views of Lake Macquarie has attracted plenty of attention from Sydney-siders, who are making up to 70 per cent of the market for properties on the western side of the lake.
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Agent Brad Nicholson, of McGrath Charlestown, said the bright and airystyle of thisButtaba Road property – last sold in 1992 – was reminiscent of the Hamptons.

“It’s an amazing location, and the property has a real ‘wow factor’ about it,” Mr Robinson said. “It isabsolute waterfront, on a huge block on the point.”

The property has three bedrooms, one bathroom, andis set on 1648 square metres of level, private grounds. It has a private jetty and boat shed.

Mr Nicholson expects it will fetch between$1.4 and $1.5 million.

Since being listed earlier this month, it had mainly attracted interest from Sydney buyers lured by the appeal of the lake lifestyle.

About70 per cent of Mr Nicholson’s customers were now coming from the city.

“The feedback I’m getting is that you are paying $4 million for a waterfront in Sydney, and you can buy one for $1.5 or $2 million here,” he said. “The area around the lake is a bit of a secret for people in Sydney at the moment, and I think in the next few years it will become even more popular.”

New DestinationIRIS Capital is set to launch a $60 million master-plan estate in the Hunter Valley next month.

On the rise: Construction of stage one of Wyndham Ridge Estate, located minutes from Greta and Huntlee, has begun, with 248 lots to be launched this week.

Construction has begun on the Wyndham Ridge Estate near Greta.

The development willconsistof 248 subdivided lots ranging from 600-to-2000 square metres, priced from $190,000 to $280,000.

Plans for the estate, which will goon display at 85 New England Highway, Greta, show mature trees, gentle slopes and parks.

It isdue to be completed byFebruary, 2018.

Iris Capital is behind the planned $400 million development of Hunter Street Mall, where ithopes to introduce newresidential, retail, commercial and dining spaces to the inner city.

Hamptons on the lake Hamptons chic: This three-bedroom waterfront property at Brightwaters has a large covered deck that overlooks the lake, private jetty, and landscaped garden. It is set on 1648 square metres of level grounds.

Hamptons chic: This three-bedroom waterfront property at Brightwaters has a large covered deck that overlooks the lake, private jetty, and landscaped garden. It is set on 1648 square metres of level grounds.

Hamptons chic: This three-bedroom waterfront property at Brightwaters has a large covered deck that overlooks the lake, private jetty, and landscaped garden. It is set on 1648 square metres of level grounds.

Hamptons chic: This three-bedroom waterfront property at Brightwaters has a large covered deck that overlooks the lake, private jetty, and landscaped garden. It is set on 1648 square metres of level grounds.

Hamptons chic: This three-bedroom waterfront property at Brightwaters has a large covered deck that overlooks the lake, private jetty, and landscaped garden. It is set on 1648 square metres of level grounds.

Hamptons chic: This three-bedroom waterfront property at Brightwaters has a large covered deck that overlooks the lake, private jetty, and landscaped garden. It is set on 1648 square metres of level grounds.

TweetFacebook Hamptons chic on the lake

Centenary of the Great War

TOUGH GOING: Australian machine gunners firing at an enemy aircraft above the Western Front. Photo courtesy of Juan Mahony.Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for June 18-24, 1917.
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SOLDIERS’ LETTERS:WITH THE LIGHT HORSETrooper Niau, of the Light Horse, writing to his mother from Gaza, says: “I think I told you we went into action on the 19th of April. We left here at 8pm, and travelled till midnight, had three hours’ sleep, and travelled some more. All next day we were practically in the saddle. We watered our horses and grazed them on the wheat and barley. The whole country round about here is under wheat or barley. I think it was done to provide German cavalry with fodder. Anyway, it won’t be harvested, as most of it is ripe now. The following evening we went to within a few hundred yards of the Turks, and relieved one lot that had been in position all day. That night we were mostly occupied in digging trenches, our horses being looked after by the horse-holders, i.e., one man out of every section of four. We got a few hours’ sleep, and the following day did a little bit of mounted patrol work, getting sniped at occasionally by the Turks, who were entrenched. On the night of the 18th we had one and a half hour’s sleep. All this time our horses were kept ready saddled, and at 1.30 a.m. on the 19th we moved into position for the main attack. Before daylight, our horses were sent to the rear, and we advanced on foot in extended order. The Camel Corps and Tommies, who were advancing abreast of us, on our left, got slops, and we got into a pretty hot quarter after we had advanced nearly a mile. Our artillery had shifted the Turks back a bit, but as the attack on our front for three miles or so was supposed to be only a demonstration, we were satisfied to just keep the Turks from sending reinforcement to where the main attack was to be made, i.e., Gaza. However, the Turks thought we were pushing them a bit too much, so called up reinforcements from Jerusalem, and really our centre bore the brunt of the scrap. We got properly peppered, as we were out in the open all the time, running forward in short dashes, then lying down to fire at the Turks in their redoubts. One of the British tanks got to work. It was the first one I had seen in action, and we couldn’t help laughing. It reminded me of an old hen with a batch of chickens following it, as the Tommies were advancing with it in hundreds. It drew a lot of artillery fire, and the Tommies lost a lot of men. Finally it struck a mine near a Turkish redoubt, and got put out of action. I was in the front line, and behind us were the other squadrons, yet our troop only lost one man. The others at the rear lost up to 10 each. Taking it all through our losses were pretty heavy, 33 per cent of the regiment. Our colonel died from effects of wounds. I can’t make out how so many of us missed getting hit, as the shrapnel was pretty thick, and fired at point blank range at that, besides rifle and machine gun fire. Anyway, we were going all day; had one water bottle full, 1 tin of bully, a bit of bread, and a few biscuits. That night we retired to a commanding position half a mile back, and dug ourselves in. I was dead sleepy, but we had to take our shift at standing patrols. Next day we dug trenches, and had things pretty easy for another couple of days, and when relieved, came back here, where we are out of artillery fire. But it is a rotten hole, too far to water, and heaps of dust. We just dig a hole in the ground and get inside. Our blankets on top make a bit of shade. We expect to move off any minute. Can’t get tobacco high or low, and a Y.M.C.A. canteen, which is five miles away, has run out. Of course, we get a small military issue once a week; we still get bread; it comes out by train from Kantara. I wash with about half an egg-cup full of water every day. Our horses take up most of our time. It’s a wonderful country, in a way, yet I don’t like it, from a soldier’s point of view; no firewood and no water.”

ARMY MEDICAL CORPS IN FRANCEPrivate Garnet Wilton J. Dart, writing to his father, Mr James Dart of Newcastle: “I am penning this letter in one of the small triangular shaped wooden huts that dot the country within the war zone. They resemble much in appearance large sized dog kennels. The first night in them was somewhat cool, but now that a nice fire radiates its warmth, comfort is again with us. The hut I am in now possesses a nice improvised small table that affords me ease and pleasure as I write this letter. By my side is a hut mate committing his thoughts to paper, and gathered around the cheerful fire are four chaps getting things ready to have something good for supper. Although we do little physical work, the eating powers have not decreased correspondingly. I hear the familiar noise of a primus stove in use by one of the four chaps to prepare the supper. It awakens memories of the past. It is a very useful asset to the hut, and I can just picture myself when I did make use of a similar stove in the old home, well over a year ago. I cannot hear the noise of war without, but if I were to go out I could see the lightning-like flashes of the artillery guns in action. The weather during the fortnight has been generally mild and cloudy, but I cannot say that the spring conditions are with us. Yesterday we had several falls of snow, covering the ground about an inch thick. A frost set in during the night, so the snow still lies on the ground. It looked a pretty sight yesterday afternoon. It reminded me much of what I first saw when Salisbury Plain was covered with the great ‘white cloak.’ Since writing last I have travelled into some strange land, but where I cannot relate. In one place war has done its work too well. In another place the entrance of the warm season will supply a most picturesque change. During this week the motor ambulance has carried me over some miles of this country. Every appearance of the sun witnessed the big birds out on the wing. Last Sunday many of them could be seen carrying on the work required of them – one never tires watching them. No air duels, or bagging them by anti-aircraft guns, has yet been witnessed; the guns always have a hard try to wreak destruction on the intruding machines, but I have not seen them successful yet. Last Wednesday night I witnessed a most entertaining show given by one of the divisional theatre parties. It put in the shade the previous ones I have seen given by the “Coo-ee Pierrots.” The entertainment was very bright and cheerful, and was thoroughly appreciated by those present. The orchestra – well, when I heard it strike up, I thought I was attending some large theatre at London or Sydney. The music rendered was, indeed, a pleasure to walk miles to hear. Some 20 to 30 persons playing instruments, from flutes to big bass fiddles, gave forth music that I never thought I would hear so close to the real thing. It was simply delightful to be one of those present at the show. I guess I will be there again at the change of programme. One of the performers masqueraded as a girl, and he takes the part almost perfectly. To express the performance in French, it is ‘tres bon.’ The other lads who attended from this unit thoroughly enjoyed the show. The two page letter limit is nearing so I guess I had better call a halt. I am enjoying the best of health, and still manage to eat three meals a day and sleep in a comfortable bed. Kindly remember me to all good friends who may be inquiring as to my welfare.”

NO USE GRUMBLINGPrivate Sid Scowcroft, who left Newcastle in October, 1914, and was at the landing in Gallipoli, and who is now in France, writes to his mother in New Lambton:“I fully expected when I came out this time that there would be a lot of letters waiting for me as it is a long time since I received any mail. Needless to say I was very disappointed on arriving here to find there was only one from Dick (Private Aynsley). I suppose you read in the papers every day about big advances that are being made on this front. It is of no use me trying to describe things to you, sufficient for me to say is that the Australians are taking a good hand in the game. The Australians have kept continually on the Hun’s heels ever since he started to retreat. Some of the villages we had to fight for, but at others all we had to do was to walk into them. But it’s practically all the same. We always get the villages, that’s the main thing. We had a big stunt yesterday morning, and gave Fritz one of the biggest knocks he has ever had. You will read about it all in the papers long before you receive this letter. I just got a very pleasant surprise. The mail boy came in with five letters for me. I don’t think I will be able to answer them today as we are expecting to move at any minute. The weather here is not too good, and as I have only a few bags and a sheet of iron for a shelter one cannot get at all comfortable. It is a very funny sort of a day. The sun is shining brightly one minute and the next minute it is snowing, and to make things worse a bitterly cold wind is blowing. My right hand is almost frozen. The reason this letter has such a smudgy appearance is that the snow is blowing all over the paper, and I am trying to write over the top of it. I don’t suppose it’s any use grumbling – grumbling won’t win the war, and that’s what we are here for – to win. I was very pleased to hear that Mr. and Mrs. Bleazard had been kind enough to call on you and give you those photos. I will be able to give you the details of each one when I return. I have been where all the photos were taken. I often wish it were permissible to carry a camera here in France. I could have got some “bonser” snaps on the Somme, and now that we are advancing through all the deserted and devastated villages I could get some very interesting snaps to show you what German “Kultur” means. The cold has made my hand numb, so l will have to draw to a close. Remember me to all my friends. I am keeping in the very best of health and spirits, and living in expectations of being home this year.”

ENLISTMENTSArthur Stewart Cobcroft, St Clair; Norman Davidson, Wallsend; Kenneth Albert Farley, Stroud; Leonard Spencer Gluyas, Waratah; David Shiach Gregory, Bellbird; Thomas Innes, Hamilton; William John Jenkins, Newcastle; Archibald Johnston, Boolambyte; John Joseph Kavanagh, West Maitland; John Broughton Keightley, Newcastle; Edward Charles Kent, Newcastle; Felix Charles McDermott, East Maitland; Allen Robertson Miller, East Maitland; Norman Edgar Phillips, Cooks Hill; George Baden Powell Pike, Waratah; Percy Thomas Sheffield, Newcastle; Henry James Shoesmith, Newcastle; Gordon Smith, Boolaroo; Phillip Stapleton, Oakhampton; David Robert Stewart, Boolaroo; Arthur Edward Young, Adamstown.

DEATHSPte Samuel Campbell, Kurri Kurri; Pte Joseph Jenkins, Adamstown; Sgt Arthur William Mounter, Hamilton.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter-based military historian. facebook南京夜网/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory

NSW Budget 2017: Where’s the money going?

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has unveiled budget surpluses worth almost $12 billion, underpinned by stamp duty from a booming property market and asset privatisations as well as $23 billion worth of cost cuts.
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Describing his first state budget as “the envy of the western world”, Mr Perrottet outlined measures squarely focused on the provision of “social infrastructure”. Read more

Winners and losers in the NSW budget:In summary: Koalas and kids win, baddies and foreigners lose. Read on

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet

‘Nurses and teachers’ budget delivers investment to regions “largest in modern history”: A $1.3 billion regional fund to turbocharge the regions leads a large infrastructure spend on roads, water, schools and hospitals in the NSW budget. Read more

What’s in it for the Illawarra, South Coast?The 2017 NSW budget had plenty of cash to continue the region’s work-in-progress projects – on the roads and at our hospitals – but little to satisfy those looking for a new, big ticket item. Read more

Hunter misses out on big infrastructure spend: The Hunter has missed out on any major new spending commitments in Tuesday’s state budget, despite the government boasting of record infrastructure spending and surpluses as far as the eye can see. Read more

$65 million super-school to be built in Armidale: Duval and Armidale High Schools will be demolished and replaced with brand new, state-of-the-art high school for 1500 students. Read more

Farm sector bags $12m tax cuts:From January 1, 2018, duties on crop and livestock insurance will be abolished which will save farmers $12 million over the next four years. Read more

Pacific, Princes highways funds boost and $500m to fix country roads in transport budget:A bypass for Scone and the continued upgrade of the Pacific Highway feature in the NSW Government’s road spend including $500m promised to fix country roads.The big ticket items include the completion of the Berry bypass and the Bomaderry-Berry upgrade on the Princes Highway ($137m) and completing all projects on the Pacific Highway between Port Macquarie and Glenugie near Grafton, and the planning of a Coffs Harbour bypass. Read more

State government pledges $5 million for Maitland Hospital site preparation:Despite the state government’s claim of enabling “the biggest ever capital investment in our healthcare system”, only $5 million has been announced for the new Maitland Hospital. Read more

PRE-BUDGET COVERAGEBerejiklian unveils record school infrastructure spendThe Premier and Education Minister Rob Stokes announced the new funding in the lead up to Tuesday’s budget, calling it the“biggest NSW government investment in education infrastructure in history”.

The funding will help to pay for120 new and upgraded schools that the government says willcreate 32,000 more student places and 1500 new classrooms across the state,and brings total spending on new and upgraded schools to $4.2 billion to 2020-21.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes unveiled $2.2 billion in new funding for school infrastructure projects in the lead up to Tuesday’s state budget. Picture: Edwina Pickles

New hall plus expanded schools: In the Hunter the funding would go to five schools: Rutherford Public School, Belmont High School,Newcastle East Public,Nulkaba Public School and Callaghan College Jesmond Campus. Read more

Newcastle light rail funding continues: TheBerejiklian government will allocate $206 million to revitalising Newcastle’s city-centrein Tuesday’s budget. Read more

Millions for Berry-Bomaderry highway upgrade:The NSW government will spend about $400 million over the next four yearsto upgrade thePrinces Highway between Berry and Bomaderry –bringing what was a planned, yet unfundedroad project to life. Read more

An artist’s impression of the Meroo and Pestells lanes overpass (looking south towards Bomaderry) – to be built as part of the Berry to Bomaderry Princes Highway upgrade. Picture: RMS

Maitland waits for NSW budget over new hospital funding: When the state government hands down its budget on Tuesday night there will beone question on the city’s mind –where is the money to build the new Maitland hospital? Read more

Werris Creek water treatment plant funding expected in NSW budget:The Liverpool Plains mayor is quietly confident the state government will put up $10m for the much-needed upgrade of the Werris Creek water treatment plant in the upcoming budget. Read more

Hopes for funds to start mental health unit construction:Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams says she ishopeful that the Budget will include funding for the start of construction on the new mental health unit at Port Macquarie Base Hospital. Read more

NSW Budget to contain money for new Bathurst ambulance station:Though he couldn’t confirm the location for the new station, Member for Bathurst Paul Toole could confirm that budget fundswould be allocated to the project and a development application for it was likely “in the coming months”. Read more

Inverell Hospital redevelopment will be revealed: The green light for Inverell Hospital’s $30 million redevelopment depends on theState Budget. Read more

A decade in the making: The fight to redevelop Inverell Hospital could see victory in the NSW Budget 2017. Photo: Heidi Gibson

Channel Ten: is network  about to be switched off

TEN STABLE: What’s the prognosis for favourite shows such as Offspring.As news that Channel Ten is to be put into voluntary administration echoes around Australia, many are asking what this really means for the network. Concern is rife also for some favourite shows, including Offspring, Neighbours, Masterchef and The Project.
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What happened?

Channel Ten’s billionaire shareholders decided they would no longer guarantee a key loan, which put the Network Ten business at risk of insolvency. Channel Ten has since appointed voluntary administrators. The corporation owes a large debt to Commonwealth Bank and at a meeting of the shareholders, it was agreed that the network’s financial backers were unwilling to absorb this $200 million cost.

What does it mean for a company to go into voluntary administration?

When a company goes into voluntary administration, it has determined that it is no longer financially sustainable in its current form and sought the protections available under the Corporations Act to explore a formal restructuring. An independent, third party is appointed to assess all options available and find the best outcome for all those affected.The administrators will undertake a financial and operational assessment of the business while business, as far as possible, continues as normal. In their assessment, they will be analysing all the data they can in order to draw a conclusion about the best way forward for the network. The objective of a voluntary administration is to save the company so it can continue to operate. This could mean a potential sale or recapitalisation of the business.

Who will be affected?

In the challenging situation of a voluntary administration or insolvency, there are many affected parties, including the creditors of the business. One of the key creditors in this situation will be employees. Network Ten’s employees and their families will be facing a stressful and uncertain period with many wanting answers over job security and assurance they will continue to be paid. Suppliers, content partners and financiers of the business will also have concerns about outstanding invoices, payment for services and ongoing commitments to repay loans. While Channel Ten continues to operate, suppliers and employees will no doubt be seeking assurances that they will continue to be paid. But until the voluntary administrators have finished initial assessments, there will be limits to the assurance they can offer.

An industry threatened?

Some commentators are seeing the demise of Channel Ten as a sign of the times as more and more people (especially Millennials) are ‘switching off’ free-to-air TV in favour of digital options. TV streaming sites like Netflix have stolen a big chunk of the market and, when looking at today’s children, they are turning to user-generated content streamed online, such as YouTube. With Channel Ten seen as targeting the younger demographic they could be facing an up-hill battle and may need to change direction to see success.

What next?

Early speculation suggests that the inherent value of a television licence will see the network continue to trade and the business ultimately sold. As viewers, it’s doubtful we’ll see any major changes to broadcasting and scheduling, so popular Channel Ten shows will continue to air. In the meantime we wait for more news and for the voluntary administrators to draw their conclusions in order to find the best way forward.

Brad Tonksis a partner, business recovery andinsolvency atPKF

Australia’s best-travelled residents revealed

The Australian suburb with the most well-travelled residents has been revealed in a new report.
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According to new data from Flight Centre, residents from the affluent suburb of North Sydney – postcode 2060 –are the most travelled Australians in the country –they have the highest number of bookingsand spend the most money while they’re travelling.

Indonesia is one of the most popular destinations for Australians. Photo: Getty Images

The most popular destination for North Sydney residents is Britain, followed by stopover favourite Singapore and then Italy.

Other well-travelled postcodes include Werribee (3030) in Victoria, Brisbane City (4000), Caloundra in Queensland (4551), Rouse Hill in NSW (2155) and Wangara in WA (6065).

When it comes to states and territories, Northern Territorians are the most travelled residents of Australia.

According to the Flight Centre report, Northern Territorians each travel an average of 537.52 kilometres per person to reach their holiday destination.

People living in Australia’s Capital Territory were the second most travelled, clocking up 525.65 kilometres per capita.

The report also found that Victorians travel more than New South Welshman, and Tasmanians travelled the least amount of anyone.

The Turner Report, named after the Flight Centre’s SEO Graham “Skroo” Turner, taps into the company’s database of customers, which is then used to explore Australian travel trends.

Information obtained from the report feeds into adedicated online website that allows you to search for travel information based on postcodes.

CalledPostcodes and Postcards: Australians on the Move in the Golden Age of Travel, you can find, for example, the top five locations people who live in Fitzroy, Victoria, travelled to (the US and Papua New Guinea were the top two), if they’re travelling in a group or independently, and how much they are spending.

The report also gives other insights into travellers, such as which age group travels the most (25-29) and the most popular time of year to travel (December).

The average Australian traveller is reportedly a 47-year-old male who travels for 15 days.

Australia’s most well-travelled suburbsNorth Sydney, NSWCampbelltown, NSWWangara, WARouse Hill, NSWWerribee, VICCranbourne, VICLiverpool, NSWSuccess, WAGosford, NSWMandurah, WAAustralia’s biggest spenders on travel

$1m reward over 2004 baby’s death

MILLION DOLLAR REWARD: 11-month-old Dylan Robert James Lindsay pictured with family members before he died in 2004. (Published with permission of his sister.)A $1 MILLION reward has been announced in a bid to solve the case of the death of 11-month-old Dylan Robert James Lindsay in Port Lincoln in 2004.
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Dylan Lindsay was found dead at a property in Ellen Streeton Sunday, March 28, 2004.

Investigators saidhe was found with visible abdominal injuries after a serious assault.

Someone attempted to disguise his injuries by using a texta to cover the bruising and marks.

Dylan’s death is being reviewed by investigators from the Major Crime Investigation Branch as part of Operation Persist.

The long-running cold case operation uses a range of strategies, including rewards, targeting prison inmates for information, detailed reviews of the evidence, new technology and seeking assistance from members of the public to resolve outstanding murder and missing persons cases.

New rewards were announced by the state government on Sunday in connection with 10 unsolved cases,including the investigationinto the deathof Dylan Lindsay 13 years ago.

“This is a heinous crime and somebody should be held responsible for taking the life of this child in a severe assault,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Mathew Bengelsaid.

“We did a lot of work with the texta pens we found in the house – fingerprints and DNA testing and so forth.

“We certainly believe we have identified the texta usedbut we’re unable to determine who drew on him.

“It certainly appeared that it was designed to hide the bruising on the lower and upper abdomen.”

Along with his older sister, Dylan had been left in the care of friends at the Ellen Street property by their mother who was struggling with drug and alcohol issues at the time.

Police said there were three other children at the house that night and varying reports of the movements of adults and children, with at least one report of loud yelling by a man in the area of the property early on Sunday morning.

“About 8am one of the adults approached the other and said ‘there’s something wrong with Dylan’ – they then run to neighbours because they don’t have a phone, and seek assistance.” Detective Brevet Sergeant Bengel said.

Two people were arrested in May 2004 in connection with Dylan’s deathbut the case was later dropped for lack of evidence.

Officer in charge of Major Crime Detective Superintendent Des Braywelcomed the reward.

“We know that a range of factors can influence someone’s decision to speak out about an unsolved crime and the passage of time does not diminish the grief of families connected with these cases,” he said.

“We have had success with this operation which is revisiting some of the state’s toughest cold cases and we hope that the offer of these rewards may be another reason for someone to examine their conscience and consider coming forward with vital information.”

Anyone with information about thecaseis asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report it online here.

Major privatisations deliver $4.5 billion NSW budget surplus

Privatisations have supercharged NSW finances, with Treasurer Dominic Perrottet set to announce an expected surplus of $4.5 billion for 2016-17when he delivers his first budget today.
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The surplus is $500 million higher than forecast in the December half yearly review, which predicted a 2016-17 surplus of $4 billion, thanks to $488.9 million in stamp duty from the partial privatisation of electricity “poles and wires” company Ausgrid.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet will today announce that the state’s net debt is the lowest in Australia. Photo: Janie Barrett

Since then the 99-year lease of 50.4 per cent of electricity distributor Endeavour Energy and to a lesser extent the 35-year lease of the Land and Property Information service have delivered stamp duty receipts worth more than $700 million.

Mr Perrottet will announce that NSW is on track to become the first state with a net worth of a quarter of a trillion dollars.

He will also say that net debt is the best result since records began in 1996-97 and the lowest in Australia.

“This budget realises the rewards of our poles and wires reforms and invests them back into our local communities with record investments in social infrastructure,” Mr Perrottet said.

This meant the government was “delivering exactly what we promised we would”.

“Our strong financial and economic management means we can meet the needs of today while building for the future,” he said.

On Monday, the government announced the budget will feature an extra$2.2 billion for 123 new and upgraded schoolsover the next five years to address a surge in enrolments.

It has also pledged $632 million for an upgrade to Campbelltown Hospital, $500 million for an upgrade of Tweed Hospital and $550 million to upgrade Nepean Hospital.

The budget will also contain $244 million for theArt Gallery of NSW’s Sydney Modern expansion, $40 billion in planning money for the F6, M9 and M12 motorways and $123 million to revitalise neighbourhoods along Parramatta Road.

The result also comes amid a surge in stamp duty receipts from property transfers in the booming Sydney property market.

With a nod to this, the budget will contain measures to improve housing affordability – an issue Premier Gladys Berejiklian pledged to make a priority upon taking the job in January.

From July 1, first home buyers of existing and new properties costing up to $650,000 will be exempt from paying stamp duty from July 1 – up from $550,000 and adding existing homes to the scheme.

Buyers of first homes worth between $650,000 and $800,000 will receive stamp duty discounts – up from between $550,000 and $650,000 and again reintroducing existing homes to the scheme.

To help fund the changes, the stamp duty surcharge for foreign investors will be doubled to 8 per cent and the land tax surcharge lifted from 0.75 per cent to 2 per cent.

Mr Perrottet will say in his speech to Parliament that the budget is “our growth contract with the people of NSW – that while we will grow bigger, we will also grow better, with the services and infrastructure we need”.

But on Monday shadow treasurer Ryan Park predicted that the budget would be “a little bit like the Liberal Party itself: big on promises, very small on reality”.

He described the stamp duty reforms as “too little, too late”.


Polaris recalls 13,000 youth quad bikes containing asbestos-laden parts

The Polaris Outlaw 50 is being recalled after it was found to have asbestos-laden parts. Photo: PolarisA nationwide recall of 13,000 off-road vehicles is to be launched by car manufacturer Polaris Industries, after an investigation revealed asbestos-laden parts in at least 12 models.
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The recall of certain Polaris youth quad bikes, sold in Australia and New Zealand, was prompted by recent testing in the US, which identified asbestos in brake pads, brake shoes, gaskets and washers in some models.

“Polaris is recalling certain youth all-terrain vehicles [ATVs]and associated service parts in Australia and select other countries because we believe they contain asbestos, which is banned in these jurisdictions,” Polaris country manager Alan Collins said.

“Polaris has been working and continues to work collaboratively with the appropriate authorities in each jurisdiction, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to quickly develop the appropriate remedy for these vehicles.”

About 13,000 Polaris quad bikes are believed to have been supplied in Australia since 2001.

Models affected by the recall include the Scrambler 50, Predator 50, Outlaw 50 and the Ace 150 produced between 2001 to 2017.

Use or importation of asbestos has been prohibited in Australia since 2004, although the ACCC understands Polaris only recently became aware of the presence of asbestos in some of its quad bikes.

“Fortunately, the advice we have currently received indicates that the presence of asbestos in the quad bike parts is unlikely to present a safety risk while riding the quad bike,” ACCC acting chairwomanDelia Rickard said.

“Nonetheless we are treating this issue extremely seriously and working closely with Polaris to gather all relevant information that enables a fast, efficient remediation of any bikes that contain these parts.”

Ms Rickard said any asbestos was more likely to present a safety risk to owners who conducted their own mechanical work, and to professionals who repair and service quad bikes.

Mr Collins said third-party expert testing had concluded that riding the affected quad bikes “does not result in asbestos exposure to the rider, and third-party expert review has concluded that servicing gaskets found in the affected vehicles does not pose a threat to health”.

Other countries, including the US and Canada – which do not have similar bans on asbestos – have not been affected by the recall.

In 2015, the ACCC issued a recall on asbestos-laden counterfeit brake pads designed to fit Toyota Hilux utes and Hiace vans, after it was discovered they were being sold illegally in Australia.

Before that – in 2012 – almost 25,000 Great Wall and Chery Chinese cars were recalled by Ateco Automotive when asbestos was found in the engine and exhaust gaskets.

Chief executive officer of the Motor Traders’ Association of Australia Richard Dudley said it was concerning to hear of yet another asbestos-related recall.

“Polaris vehicles predominantly end up in regional and rural Australia land holdings on farms. Obviously after the initial warranty period, farmers are quite adept at maintaining their own machinery and tend to do so. So that is of significant concern,” he said.

“The secondary issue that concerns us is the need to tighten importation rules … this highlights an issue we’ve had about government proposals to allow for the personal importation of vehicles that are not destined for the Australian market.”

The ACCC will trigger the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) Imported Materials with Asbestos Working Group Rapid Response Protocol.

Triggering the protocol ensures all relevant agencies work together to implement a whole-of-government response.

Consumers who own a recalled Polaris quad bike are encouraged to contact their nearest authorised Polaris dealer to arrange the safe replacement of affected parts.

Affected Polaris models:

Scrambler 50Predator 50,Outlaw 50Scrambler 90Predator 90Outlaw 90Outlaw 110Sportsman 90Sportsman 110Phoenix 200Sawtooth 200Ace 150 produced between 2001 to 2017Customers with concerns should contactPolaris directly. The formal recall notice with further information will published as soon as it is available


Germany too good for Socceroos in Russia, winning 3-2

Like the surprise local concert before a rock band’s world tour, the Confederations Cup is rarely remembered.
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It’s a chance for FIFA to test the infrastructure, the local organisers to run through security and logistics, teams to sample tactics, personnel and most importantly, learn valuable lessons before the World Cupa year later.

The question is, what will Ange Postecoglou take from Russia 2017? Thus far, the Socceroos’ coach has shown a complete unwillingness to waver from his all-out attacking ethos.

His dogmatic adherence to his philosophy is commendable when it works, but becomes frustrating when it falls flat andAustralia’s 3-2 group stage loss to Germanywas another case of the latter.

After spruiking his ambition to win the Confederations Cup, his pre-tournament statements drifted further into the realm of lofty ambition as Australia’s defeat raised more questions over the direction of the squad. A spirited fightback and two fortuitous goals made for more respectable reading than their performance deserved as the scoreboard masked a pedestrian performance for the Socceroos.

For the most part, Australia looked defensively frail, remained largely rudderless in attack and disjointed throughout the spine. In their last friendly, the Socceroos’ lasted just 12 seconds before conceding against Brazil. A week later, they kept a second-string Germany scoreless for only five minutes as elementary defending gave Lars Stindl a chance to open their account, and critics of Postecoglou’s new 3-2-4-1 formation a chance to sharpen their pitchforks.

Attacking brightspot: Tommy Rogic shoots for goal for the Socceroos against Germany. Photo: Getty Images

In its fifth deployment, Australia’s tactics showed no ease of letting-up from the defensive problems it has presented. Germany ran riot down the unguarded flanks and roamed free inside the box. It made for uncomfortable viewing as the Socceroosambitiously tried to beat the world champions with a high press and attacking system, one Postecoglou admits didn’t work.

“There’s no question [Australia] is a team full of character and courage. We’re trying to play a certain way against the very best and it’s not easy to do,” Postecoglou said. “In terms of a result it’s a loss and the loss falls on me. It’s my responsibility.”

A firebrand of attacking football, Postecoglou’s determination to play fast, risky, aggressive football stems from his faith in Australian players’ ability to match it with the best. But he can only work with what he’s got and in expecting players whose employers are Huddersfield, Bristol City, Celtic, Jiangsu Suningand QPR to outplay regular starters of Schalke, PSG, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma and Arsenal, a system proudly boasted as ambitious is at risk of being remembered as naive. In its deployment against the world champions, it failed to leave an impression.

The Germans were far more concerned by their erroneous goalkeeper Bernd Leno than any problems caused by Australia’s playmakers. The headlines of national sports newspaper,Kicker, praised the new-look German side, while labelling the Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper a “loser” after his role in conceding goals from Tom Rogic and Tomi Juric.

If Australia are trying to make a statement, they need to first learn exactly where they sit in world football. Some of the most successful nations don’t go out to prove a point in every match, they balance ideologies with pragmatism.

While Postecoglou seems on a steadfast mission to purge Australian football of every last remnant of the Pim Verbeek years, others show how football doesn’t have to be a definitive choice between “Tiki-Taka” or “Catenaccio”. The lack of a middle ground between two polarising ideologies is becoming a sore point of frustration for the Australian public.

While there is no shame in losing to the world champions in a competitive game, there is cause for concern in expecting to outplay them with such an aggressive, attacking style.

Australia’s latest defeat was a further drift away from the balance and character that provided so much hope for the national team after the 2015 Asian Cup.

By contrast, the Confederations Cup carries little significance beyond its conclusion. It’s why Germany arewithin their right to field an inexperienced team to Russia and Postecoglou free to trial his renewed attacking system.

He will likely stick with it for the last two group games against Cameroon and Chile, but the true success of the tournament won’t just be determined by progress to the next stage, but whether he can discover the flexibility required to make his mark at a World Cup.