Hunter’s budget snub

THE Berejikliangovernment is basking in the glow of $12 billion worth of budget surpluses, but the Hunter has been left in the shade.
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Treasurer Dominic Perrottet handed down his first state budget on Tuesday, unveiling a $4.5 billion surplus driven by stamp duties from the state’s property market and income from asset sales.

The government says it’s using that income to fund some $72 billion in infrastructure across the state in the next four years, includingprojects like a $720 million to upgrade Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick.

SLIM PICKINGS: NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet handed down a budget with few new announcements for the Hunter … it has been slammed by the region’s Labor MPs.

“We don’t run surpluses for the sake of it,”Mr Perrottet said. “We run surpluses to make NSW the best place to live, work and to raise a family.”

But despite coalroyaltiesdominated by Hunter contributions increasing by $839million across the forward estimates on last year’s budget predictions, the Hunter has mostly missed out on the cash splash.

The most significant new fundingmeasure was $1.7 millionto a business case for all stages of the Lake MacquarieInterchange –a commitment thatindependent Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper said was welcome but “didn’t go far enough”.

“Treasurer Dominic Perrottet today delivered a responsible Budget overall, but his assurances that it will ‘turbo charge the regions’will understandably be doubted by many in the Hunter,” Mr Piper said.

The government also committed$3.7 million on planning for the Rankin Park to Jesmond section of the Newcastle inner-city bypass, while the largest individual spend in the region wasthe 2.7 kilometre Newcastle light rail projectwhich received $206 million, though this was funding previously announced.

In health, the drip-feed to the new Lower Hunter hospital in Maitland continued, with $5 million contributed to the $450 million project before an expected completion date of 2024.

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison described that as “a drop in a bucket”, and proof the government had no plans to begin construction on the hospital before 2018.

But Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said planning work needed to be done before construction could begin.

“All these projects … the significant construction money will flow eventually over the next two years,” he said.

INSULT: Port Stephens MP says the Hunter has missed out at the expense of Sydney.

Shadow Minister for the Hunter Kate Washington though slammed the government for selling off Hunter assets and said the budget was an “insult” to the region.

NOT ENOUGH: Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper said funding for the interchange project didn’t go far enough.

“We are all bearing the burden of the sales but seeing no return,” the Port Stephens MP said.

“The needs in our community are not being met. It’s all going to Sydney.”

Mr MacDonald said Hunter residents should be pleased that they’re part of “the leading state”.

“The rest of the states [are] struggling with their finance and debt levels. It’s not very sexy, but it really constrains you in the years ahead,” he said.

But despite the rosy economic picture painted bya $4.5 billion surplus andnegative net debt, Mr Perrottet acknowledged there’s difficult days ahead for the government.

The budget papers indicate a “challenging” revenue outlook, thanks to declining receipts from the Commonwealth in the form of asset recycling funds, and falling GST receipts.

Budget surplusesare forecast to reach continue across the forward estimates, but will drop to$2.7 billion in 2017-18, $2.1 billion in 2018-19 and $1.5 billion in 2019-20.

That’s in part because NSW’s share of GST is set to fall to 25.5 per cent – or by $13.1 billion – by 2020-21.

But the government is also predicting that stamp duties will “moderate” over the forward estimates, while debt will increase from where it currently sits – at negative $7.8 billion – to $18.6 billion by 2021as the government borrows to fund its infrastructure program.

Mr Perrottet says the government iskeeping expenditure growth below its long-term revenue, at least partially through $23 billion worth of cost cuts.

The government will increase thebudget cuts imposed on government departments from 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent for three years from 2018-19, and will also keepthe 2.5 per cent cap on public servant wage increases and procurement savings.

The government anticipates savings of $23 billion over four years between 2017-18 and 2020-21.

With growth at above-trend across the forward estimates, Mr Perrottet said it was the regions outside of Sydney that were the “unsung success” of the strong budget position.

And according to the budget papers the Hunter has been at the heart of that growth.

Employment in regional NSW has grown 4.9 per cent since April 2015, and the greater Hunter – including Newcastle and Lake Macquarie – has led the way, growing by 11.2 per cent or 32,000 people employed in the same period.

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Merely amazing zoo job not so simple | Photos

Merely amazing zoo job not so simple | Photos The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott
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The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

The lion enclosure opens at Hunter valley Zoo. PHOTOS: Stuart Scott

TweetFacebookMORE ABOUT THE ZOOBaby boom at Hunter Valley ZooHunter Valley Zoo celebrates 10th birthdayAin’t no party like a meerkat party #huntervalleyzoopic.twitter南京夜网/ydLTTR6N2V

— MaitlandMercury (@MaitlandMercury) August 11, 2016The lions settling in to their new home at Hunter Valley Zoo pic.twitter南京夜网/qpRl0VDnqR

— MaitlandMercury (@MaitlandMercury) December 17, 2015This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Interchange funding not enough, says MP

ROCKY ROAD: The state government has sought to end a disagreement over funding for the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange by promising money in the budget for a business case for the project.THE state government will complete its own business case for the long-awaited Lake Macquarieinterchangeafter rejecting the council’s request for $13 million for the next stage of the project.
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In Tuesday’s budget,nearly $2 million was pledged to “prepare a strategic business case” for the Glendale interchange,“including cost of rail bridge, station and bus interchange”.

By announcing the funding, the government has attempted to calm the waters between the council and Transport for NSW over the cost of the project.

The council had been asking the state and federal governments to each contribute $13million for the next stage, which includes the Pennant Street Bridge, the missinglink between the Glendale retail precinct and Cardiff industrial estate.

The council says a future railway station and bus interchange at Glendale would drive housing developments in the area.

The project has the support of allHunter councils as well asthe region’s MPs.

However, the government disputed Lake council’s costings for the restof the project, and feared a cost blow-out.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said he hoped the $1.7 million business case would put a stop to the“finger-pointing” and“negative cycle” between various parties.

“Lake Macquarie had done their own [costings] but it just wasn’t supported by the department of transport,” Mr MacDonald said. “It’s not a lot of money, but it does mean Transport and Lake Macquarie council are working very closely now.”

Independent Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper welcomed the funding but said it didn’t go far enough.

“If the government was serious about driving the economy in the Lower Hunter we would have seen significant capital works funding for projects such as the planned Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange and Pennant Street Bridge,” he said.

Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser saidthe business case was an“essential step” in receiving more funding.

“This infrastructure project has the potential to establish Glendale as a new employment super-hub and regional transport interchange, and aligns with afuture expansion of the light rail network beyond the Newcastle CBD to Glendale,” she said.

Meanwhile, Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison said she was “deeply concerned”about a lack of funding forupgrades of Hillsborough Road, which had been campaigned for after the death of teenager Jade Frith.

However, Mr MacDonald said Roads and Maritime Services had confirmed to him that it wascommitted to a new intersection with traffic signals on Hillsborough Road.

NSW budget 2017: $1.7 million to end interchange stand-off

An artist’s impression of the Pennant Street Bridge.THE state government has pledged nearly $2 millionto prepare a business case for the remaining stages of the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange.
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The project has been lauded by all 13 Hunter councils, and has the support of the region’s Labor MPs.

But funding for the remaining stages of the project has been non-existent, with the Turnbull Government snubbing the interchange in the May budget.

Lake Macquarie council had been asking both the state and federal governments to contribute $13 million each for construction of the next stage, which includes the Pennant Street Bridge.

However, Transport for NSW disputed the council’s costings, and is fearful of a cost blowout if it commits major funding to the project based on the council’s estimates.

On Tuesday, the Berejiklian Government attempted to end the stand-off between the two parties by announcing $1.7 million to “prepare a strategic business case” for the transport interchange“including cost of rail bridge, station and bus interchange”.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the funding showed the government was prudent with how it spent money.

He said the government did not want the “hangover” that went with other projects that had blown out.

“Lake Macquarie had done their own [costings] but it just wasn’t supported by the department of transport,” Mr MacDonald said.

“It’s not a not of money but it does mean Transport and Lake Macquarie council are working very closely now.”

Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said Tuesday’s funding was an “essential step” in the council continuing to press its case for future funds.

“The business case is an essential step in bidding for government funds to undertake the remaining stages of the LMTI. It will also ensure that the priorities outlined in Hunter Regional Plan 2036 are realised for both Lake Macquarie City and the wider Hunter Region,” Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said in a statement.

“The benefits of this project are solid – it has the potential to create affordable housing for 2740 dwellings and 3,800 new jobs in this emerging strategic centre.

“This infrastructure project has the potential to establish Glendale as a new employment super-hub and regional transport interchange, and aligns with afuture expansion of the light rail network beyond the Newcastle CBD to Glendale.”

MORE INFORMATIONWhat’s in it for the Hunter?Stamp duty revenue, privatisations push to $12b surplusGovernment pledges $5 million for Maitland HospitalHunter misses out on big infrastructure spend

Phoenix regain Willard after false start

Luke Willard, left, in action for Lambton Jaffas.Valentine will bring in former Lambton JaffaLuke Willard as a replacement for Zac Sneddon in next week’s window for roster changes.
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Willard switched to Valentine in pre-season before taking a break from the game due to work commitments. Valentine coach Darren Sills has coaxed him back and the addition will soften the blow of losingSneddon, who joins Santa Barbara City College in the US next month.

** Caretaker Adamstown coach Nick Webb wants tomake the most of his chance at Rosebud but he could still join Maitland next season.

Webb was in talks with theMagpies before Adamstown asked him to take over from Peter McGuinness three weeks ago.

THIS WEEK: Thursday (8pm): Lakes v Jets Yth. Saturday: Valentine v Jaffas, C’town v Jets Yth. Sunday: Hamilton v Maitland, Lakes v Magic, Weston v Adamstown.

“Everything is up in the air at the moment,” the former Magic lower-grade coach said after Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Edgeworth. “I was speaking to Maitland pretty much the whole year about next year, then this opportunity came up.

“I’m just going to see out the next three to four weeks, or how long Adamstown want to make a decision, then after that I can see where I might end up.Every opportunity is a good opportunity and I’ve just got to rally the lads and see if we can turn it around.”

Webb is tipped to be part of Michael Bolch’s new coaching unit at Maitland next season but he is “happy to jump on board and help rebuild” Adamstown if the club gives him the job beyond this year.

** Cooks Hill’s grip on top spot in Northern League One loosened in a 1-1 draw with Wallsend on Saturday.

Belswans beat Cessnock, and West Wallsend defeated Kahibah, both 2-1, in the other matches.

Isaac Reeves scored an 89th-minute equaliser for seventh-placed Wallsend. Nick Russell scored for Cooks Hill, who are two points ahead of Belswans atop the league.

** Coach Anthony Richards said referee Glen Peterkin made the right decision in calling first gradeagainst Charlestown off at a water-logged Macquarie Field on Sunday, even though it left Lake Macquarie facing four games in nine days.

The Roosters host the Jets Youth on Thursday night, Magic on Sunday, Charlestown the following Wednesday night and are away to Jaffas the next Saturday.

“It’s not ideal but the boys are buzzing and ready to go,” Richards said.

Richards, meanwhile, said he had held positive talks with Lake Macquarie officials about staying on next year but he was yet to commit.

Training focus on awards

Overall Apprentice Of The Year For The Hunter Region winner Ben McDonald, who trains with Hunter Valley Training Company and is hosted by Peabody Wambo.Excellence in training was recognised at the 66th annualHunter Regional Apprenticeship & Traineeship Advisory (HRATA) Awards at NEX – Wests City on Friday, June 16.
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NSW Excellence In Non-Traditional Trade Or Vocation For A Female winner Molly Miller, right, with category sponsor UAV air’s Leigh Killian.

The evening saluted the exceptional dedication to the chosen careers of apprentices and trainees from the Hunter Region across 35 vocations, as well as the commitment of their employers in the provision of quality training, thereby ensuring a highly skilled future workforce in the Hunter.

Ben McDonald was named Overall Apprentice of the Year across All Trades.

Phil Darby Memorial Award Winner Maddison Alcorn, who studies at Hunter River High, with employer Hunter New England Health’s Martin Losurdo.

Reece Arday was named Overall Trainee of the Year across All Vocations.

Ben is employed by Hunter Valley Training Company and hosted to Peabody Energy. Reece is employed by Port Stephens Council and trained with TAFE NSW.

“In 2012 I was inspired to follow in my father’s and great grandfather’s footsteps so I applied for an electrical apprenticeship through HVTC,” Ben said.

Currently the Hunter Region employs over 13,000 apprentices and trainees.

“This is a significant contribution to the state’s training needs especially with the current skills shortage,”Regional Manager – Training Services NSW Mrs Rebecca Anthony said.

The keynote speakers for the evening was Mr Russell Young, Director, Training Market Support Services, Training Services NSW, Economic, Skills and Regional Development, NSW Department of Industry.

The awards are made possible by the support and sponsorship of local employers and organisations that epitomise the apprenticeship and trainee system byassisting numerous apprentices and trainees with training and job placement.

“As a region within the state,Hunter always has the highest number of submissions –480 this year – and recognised award categories–37 this year,” HRATA executive committee spokesperson Amber Bibby said.

The overall winners and the winners of NSW Excellence awards move forward to the interview stage for NSW state awards.

NSW Excellence award winners were: Molly Miller (Excellence in Non-Traditional Trade or Vocation for A Female – Employed by AGL Macquarie), Maddison Alcorn (Phil Darby Memorial Award Winner –Studies at Hunter River High School,Employed by Hunter New England Health), Jake Barry (NSW Excellence in Trade Skills –Employed by Origin Energy), Joshua Terrace (NSW ExcellenceTop in Auto Trade Skills – Employed by Komatsu Australia), Jackson Harvey (School-based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year –Studies at Belmont, High, trains TAFE NSW, Employed by HNEH)and Michael Wilkinson (Excellence in STEM –Employed by Programmed Skilled, hosted by Telstra).

Twice as many NSW school projects in government-held seats

Coalition-held seats are in line for twice the number of school infrastructure projects than Labor-held seats under a $2.2 billion program announced by the NSW government, sparking claims of pork-barrelling before the 2019 election.
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The electorate with the most projects is Monaro, held by Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro, who faces a fight defending his slender margin of 2.5 per cent.

One of the projects in Monaro is a new special needs school, which Mr Barilaro has been pushing for despite Department of Education advice previously indicating it was not a priority.

TheNSW government announced on Monday that 123 schoolswill be built or upgraded across NSW with $2.2 billion in new funding to address overcrowding fuelled by a surge in student enrolments.

RELATED CONTENTWinners and losers in the NSW budgetNSW Budget 2017: Where’s the money going?The projects are slated to begin within the next two years, meaning they will likely be under way in time for the March 2019 election.

An analysis shows that 56 are in Liberal-held seats and 21 in Nationals-held seats, for a total of 77 projects in Coalition-held electorates.

This compares with 39 in Labor-held seats. Four projects have been announced in Greens-held seats and three in seats held by Independents.

Monaro is in line for seven projects, exceeding even the number earmarked for the Sydney growth areas of Riverstone and Camden, with six each and Ryde, with five.

Labor’s education spokesman Jihad Dib accused the government of “playing politics” with children’s education.

“Class places should be allocated on a needs basis – such as those areas that are undergoing the greatest growth – not in the electorates where the Liberals and their junior partner are under the greatest threat,” he said.

But Education Minister Rob Stokes said the accusation was “ridiculous”.

“Clearly the opposition doesn’t understand that the parties in government represent more electorates with more schools, more people and more growth – hence more school projects,” he said.

Mr Stokes said the Coalition held electorates in many of the state’s high-growth areas “including new subdivisions and urban renewal areas”.

“Demographic projections in these areas confirm the need for more investment in education infrastructure in these areas,” he said.

He said Monaro needed to be “assessed in context”.

“One of these schools is a School for Specific Purposes while a number of other upgrade projects are small in scope,” he said. “Queanbeyan has a growing population due to its proximity to Canberra.”

Mr Barilaro said Monaro was “often overlooked when it comes to establishing specialist services”.

“For some time now, I have been lobbying the NSW government to build a School for Special Purpose (SSP) in Queanbeyan with specially designed programs that meet the requirements of children with a disability,” he said.

“Currently we have no such facility in the Monaro for special needs school students.”

Innovation and flexibility at work

From left to right, Forsythes Training’s Mark Maguire, Di Sweeney, Chad White, Tracey Saggus and Julie Carroll.Innovation and flexibility have helped HRATA Awards platinum sponsorForsythes Training to skill many of the region’s leading businesses for greater success, according to CEO Chad White.
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Mr White said the registered training organisation has introduced new methods of delivery and student support as well as new services to an expanding range of businesses and industry sectors.

An increasing number of participants complete courses via e-learning or combination of workshops and online delivery. A student portal combined with ongoing online support has improved training effectiveness and accessibility.

“We’ve introduced special support days at our offices so clients use our equipment and have additional access to trainers,” Mr White said.

Another innovation has been the establishment of Forsythes Careers Institute to help people looking to get into the workforce to have the right, job-ready skills.

“Our in-depth understanding of the local labour market and the needs of business has seen the Institute asked by industry and government to develop a number of pre-employment training programs,” he said.

Those include a pre-employment program for Indigeneous people to work on the multi-billion dollar RAAF expansion project. A programthe Stockland Greenhills redevelopment. Another is planned for the Cessnock Gaol development as well as other infrastructure projects. An industry-first partnership with WorkSkills has produced pre-employment programs for people seeking customer engagement roles.

Mr White said one thing that hasn’t changed is Forsythes Training’s use of expert trainers and its constant revision of courses to meet the latest requirements and industry needs.

“Our platinum support for the HRATA Awards is part of more than a decade-long commitment to advancing the highest quality skills training in the Hunter,” fellow Forsythes Training director Julie Carroll said.

Forsythes sponsored the Overall Trainee of the Year Award, won by Reece Arday.

What does it mean, this house of cards?

Deep Meaning: A bloke builds a house of cards in a Newcastle Permanent ad. We couldn’t help but notice one of Newcastle Permanent’s latest advertisements.
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Guess that’s the whole idea of advertising. Itmakes you notice it.

As you can see, this ad features a bloke building a house of cards.

Let us, for a moment or two, put on our Gruen Transfer hat. Indulge us while we analyse this ad. Analysing ads is fun. Try it some time.

So what exactly is going on here? Is this ad saying that this bloke has hismortgage sorted with the Perm, so he can relax and play frivolous games?

Let us put on our reverse psychology hat for a second. Is the ad saying that if you get a loan with the Perm, your life won’t be like a house of cards?

It could be saying that the Perm is a safeinstitution and would never be a house of cards (phew!).

Perhaps it’s saying that the economy could be considered a house of cards (think the global financial crisis), but if your savings arewith the Perm you’ll be protected?

Let us know your thoughts at [email protected]南京夜网.au on the Perm ad, or other ads that fascinate, bamboozle or interest you.

The Power of Flubber Anti-gravity is an energy source that powers UFOs in science fiction.

The Herald rana story online todayabout the future of energy. The story reportsBloomberg New Energy Finance sayingsolar and wind willdominate the future of electricity. The company was talking around the year 2040.

The Herald ran an online poll on this issue. We asked, what energy source will be most prominent in future?

As we wrote this piece, solar was in the lead with 34per cent of the vote, followed by coal with 29 per cent. Nuclear received 20per cent of the vote. Wind got a measly 4 per cent.

But in an interesting turn of events,flubber received 4 per cent of the vote. For those who don’t know (or forget), Flubber was a 1997 filmstarring Robin Williams as a professordeveloping a new energy source. This energy source was called flubber, because it was “flying rubber”.

Also in our poll, anti-gravity received almost 1 per cent of the vote. Anti-gravity is supposed to be the energy source that powers UFOs.

Nick Cook, whowas aviation editor ofJane’s Defence Weekly, wrote about anti-gravity in his book The Hunt for Zero Point. We’re not sure if anti-gravity is a thing…there’s more than a touch of sci-fi about it. But it sounds a lot more advanced than burning coal.

In hundreds of years, we wonder how humanity will look back on the burning of coal? If humanity is still around, that is.

Best Drop of Tooheys OldMaitland’s Brian Donne tells us there’s an event called The Great Wheelbarrow Race, which is held each year from Mareeba to Chillagoe in Queensland.

Held over three days and covering about 150 kilometres, it honours the pioneers of the gold rush days.

“The first day ended at Dimbulah about 60 kilometres from Mareeba. The hotel there had the best drop of Tooheys Old I have ever tasted – and it was on tap. Maybe it was because of the effort required to get to Dimbulah, but it certainly was worth the effort.”

Peter from Swansea sent us this image of his five-ex beer.

Speaking of Queensland beer,Peter from Swansea asked us: “Have you ever seen a five-xcan of beer (as opposed to a four-ex beer)?

“When I was in Queensland years ago, four-ex brought it out becauseQueenslandwon State of Origin five times. I bought a couple of cartons. I’ve got two cans left.”

Peter saidthe beer had won him quite a few bets over the years against people who couldn’t believe five-ex existed.

Wines match offbeat saga

UNIQUE: Christian Canute is making offbeat varietals that reflect a fascinating family story.THE Barossa wines Christian Canute makes for the Rusden brand have unconventional names like Black Guts, Chookshed, Poco Loco, Ripper Creek, Full Circle and Good Shepherd and trace an intriguing family saga.
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The names fit because for more than a decade the portfolio has featured such offbeat varieties as zinfandel, malbec, cinsault, chenin blanc and mataro (aka mourvedre) as well as the familiar Barossa standards of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and grenache.

The Rusden story begansimplyin1979 with teachers Dennis and Christine Canute buying 16 hectares of Vine Vale land as a hobby farm on which they could relax with their kids.The relaxation didn’t materialise because the land had a rundown vineyard that challenged Christine’s background as a fifth-generation member of a pioneer Barossa wine family.

She quit her school job to devote herself and the family to restoring the vineyard and today Rusden has 13 hectares of hand-tended vines that produce an annual grape crush of 80 to 100 tonnes processed in a winery run by Christian.

The zinfandel that Christian first made in 2005 is called Chookshed because that was where the vines were planted.Ripper Creeks are so named because they reprise the “ripper” 1960s and 1970s Barossa shiraz-cabernet blends, the Poco Loco grenache-cinsault-matarorosés relate to the sometimes crazy antics ofChristian and wife Amy’s four children.

The Full Circle mataro is so named because 80-year-old vines of that variety were ripped out and burnt in the 1970s by previous owners only to be replanted 20 years later by the Canutes.

The Drifts and grenache-shiraz-mataro, first made in 2005, is named for the white sand over clay on which the Canute vines grow. The name also recalls the vine destruction undone by Dennis, Christine and Christian as they spent months kneeling in the sand to replant grenache and shiraz.

Black Guts dates back to 1994 when Dennis Canute and his teacher pal Russell Gehling teamed up to make a big shiraz for consumption by their families and other locals. It earned the nickname “Black Guts” – and the tag went on the bottles.

Then Russell, the Rus on the label, dropped out and big wineries cut prices for the grapes the Canutes sold them – propelling Dennis, Christine and son Christian into commercial winemaking for their Rusden brand.

In 1997 Christian made the first Rusden wines and he cautiously labelled the former Black Guts “Barossa Shiraz”. It caused such a storm of protest from customers that the original name was restored next vintage.