Questions about Rocky Hill mine water plans Beauty: The view at Gloucester towards where the proposed Rocky Hill coking coal mine could be established.
Protests: Residents are making their views on the proposed mine known.
Against: Gloucester residents (from left) Dimity Bowden, Helen Evans, Mick O’Brien, Denise and Bruce Gilbert, who oppose the proposed mine.
TweetFacebook Poll shows Gloucester residents overwhelmingly oppose Rocky Hill coal mineAn area known for its natural beauty is fighting a coal mine proposal, againTHE NSW Department of Primary Industries has raised serious questions about water management at the proposed Rocky Hill coal mine at Gloucester as a new poll shows residents overwhelmingly oppose the mine.
The department questioned a proposed water sharing arrangement between the mine, on the approaches to Gloucester, and Yancoal’s Stratford Duralie mine complex, in a letter to the Department of Planning on July 30. The Department of Planning is assessingthe mine application before making a recommendation about its future.
The Department of Primary Industries said the long term feasibility of the water sharing arrangement was unclear as it assumed no further development by Yancoal, and requires that both mine sites be “inextricably linked”.
The department requested more information on impacts to downstream water users, including discussions between Rocky Hill and downstream licensed users about theirbasic landholder rights.
On Monday Groundswell Gloucester released the results of a ReachTEL phone poll of more than 700 residents showing 73 per cent of residents do not want the mine, and only 19 per cent think it should go ahead.
Women outnumbermen in opposing the project on environmental, health and tourism grounds, and people aged over 50 also opposethe proposal in greater numbers.
Only 16 per cent of women polled support the mine, with 76.5 per cent opposed to it. The largest group to oppose the mine are people aged 51-65, with 77.9 per cent opposed.
Groundswell Gloucester spokesperson John Watts said the poll on the night of July 27 showed the community “has had enough and the government and MPs will ignore these results at their peril”.
“Over 200 people recently attended a public meeting in Gloucester and voted unanimously to tell the government that it must act to stop this flawed proposal. This poll shows that the community overwhelmingly does not want a 220m deep, dirty and polluting coal mine on the doorstep of the township.
“Noise, dust and toxic blast fumes will be what the Gloucester community will be forced to endure sixdays aweek until 10pm. That is simply unacceptable.”
Mr Watts quoted Mid-Coast Council administrator John Turner, who grew up in a mining town and made a submission that “this mine is simply too close to town”.
The ReachTEL pollfound that 58 per cent of residents thought the mine would adversely affect tourism while63 per cent said it would adversely affect the health of the Gloucester community.
Gloucester Resources, which first proposed a Rocky Hill mine in 2006, has applied to operate three open cut pits up to 220 metres deep to mine for coking coal, and use Yancoal facilities to transport it to Newcastle.
READY FOR ACTION: n Flying Corps squadron aircraft waiting for their pilots to take them into action.Photo courtesy of The Digger’s View by Juan Mahony.Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for July 30-August 5, 1917.
AUSTRALIAN AVIATORSMr Andrew Fisher, High Commissioner for , who was accompanied by Colonels Griffiths and Reynolds, visited the n Flying Cadets, quartered at Oxford, where 136 are undergoing a practical course of training.The men were chosen from the ranks. All were picked for their physique and youth, and mostly because they possessed considerable mechanical knowledge.Training is very thorough in all departments of aeroplane work. So keen are the students that they are able to complete the course in half the usual time. The majority of the instructors are British, although there are several ns who gained experience on the various battle fronts.The consensus of opinion among the British instructors is that ns are peculiarly fitted for air work, and will make first-class fliers. All speak in high terms of the men’s exemplary conduct during training.After daily study in the workshops the men are compelled to indulge in athletics, the University authorities providing every facility. When the technical course is completed the men will be drafted to various aerodromes in Britain to undergo flying tests. Some hundreds have already passed to the final stage. An interesting feature of the instruction consists of a scale model of a famous war salient, on which, by electrical means, mimic shells burst over the ground, while an embryo aviator views the ground from a high gallery. Thus he is able to accustom himself to the appearance of trench systems, and to acquire a knowledge of aerial photography.Mr. Fisher visited the various colleges and saw the men at work. He was afterwards entertained by the corps in the dinner hall at Queen’s College.In a speech, Mr Fisher said he was glad to meet the ns’ latest arm of war service. It proved that was able to keep in line in every new venture. He was delighted to hear praise concerning their conduct. Upon them rested ‘s reputation in competition with men from all parts of the Empire. He hoped the name of would long be their inspiration. He looked to them to bring to the air service that initiative and boldness which had characterised their part in the war.
FREE PHOTOS FOR SOLDIERSDuring the past six months enthusiasm has been shown by the honorary workers of the Snapshots from Home League, of the YMCA, in providing free photographs of home scenes, relatives, and friends to those on active service. The total membership of the various leagues throughout the Commonwealth now numbers 5090, serving some 700 different centres, as against 2600 members, and 400 centres in February last. Since the Snapshots League was first formed in , thousands of applications have been received from our men abroad, on troopships, in camps in , and from their friends in the Commonwealth. This does not merely represent the amount of work carried out by the army of snapshotters belonging to the leagues, as the largest part of the work is done by the members getting the names of men at the front from rolls of honour, etc., and visiting the homes of the men, and taking photographs of their friends, to be forwarded to them. In a letter recently received, a member of the AIFstated: “The snapshots taken by you of my parents and sisters have reached me, and I cannot express how deeply grateful I am. You are engaged in a noble work, and I can assure you we appreciate the spirit in which it is done. So often the soldier becomes despondent and anxious for those at home, and a glance at their likenesses does one a great deal of good. I have watched soldiers on different occasions gazing for quite a long time into the likenesses of the ones they love.” Amateur photographers in this district, who are not already members of the league, may become enrolled as such, and gain much interesting and pleasurable experience by applying for membership to Miss Scott, care Scott’s, Ltd., Newcastle.
CARRINGTONAt the school of arts hall on Saturday night, the members of tile Carrington Football Club presented Private P. Scully, captain of the 4th grade team, who is leaving for the front, with a wristlet watch and money-belt. After the toast of The Kinghad been duly honoured, the president of the school of arts said he was pleased to see such a large number of the members of the football club present to do honour to their departing comrade. He hoped that in the near future they would have the pleasure of welcoming home Private Scully as safe and sound as he was leaving them. MrH. Hogan, in proposing the toast of The Guest,said they were sorry to lose Private Scully as a member of the club and a comrade, but hoped it was only for a short time. He wished him luck whilst away. The toast was enthusiastically received. Private Scully, in responding, said he would not forget the Carrington boys whilst away. He was sorry that he was severing his connection with the football club, but hoped that it was only for a short time. Mr J.A. Devon, secretary of the Carrington Football Club, in making the presentation, said they were losing one of their best players by the departure of Private Scully. If he fought the enemy as well as he fought his opponents on the football field he would render a good account of himself. It gave him great pleasure, on behalf of his clubmates, to present him with the watch and belt. MrC. Bushy, on behalf of the younger members of the school of arts, then presented Private Scully with a fountain pen, after which Private Scully was presented with a safety razor.
KILLINGWORTHA memorial service was held in St. Peter’s Anglican Church on Sunday in memory of the late Private Joseph Pritchard, who was recently killed in action in France.MrsJames Cherry, senior of Killingworth, received a letter from her son, Private Oliver James Cherry, from a Canadian hospital in England, where he is convalescing from a severe attack of trench fever after serving 11months in France. Private O. J. Cherry enlisted in July, 1915, and served in Gallipoli and Egypt before going to France. His friends will be glad to learn that he is well on the way to recovered health. Another son, James, is now a warrant officer on the headquarters’staff in France; while a third son, Robert, is also at the front “somewhere in France”.
NEWCASTLE’S WATTLE DAYIn Newcastle on Wednesday there was no mistaking the character of the day, for wattle was seen in every direction. The members of the Newcastle Wattle Day League had organised their forces with excellent effect, and there was an ample supply of the popular flower and also many buyers. This was evident from the fact that nearly every person wore a sprig of the n national flower. The weather was perfect. The blooms had been gathered in every direction, and quantities came from distant places. The league had established their headquarters at the Central Methodist Mission Hall and early in the morning there were ample supplies for a start, and these were replenished as the day wore on.A short ceremony was held under the auspices of the league at the Anzac Memorial in front of the Newcastle Post Office at noon, in the presence of a large crowd. Three wreaths of wattle were placed on the monument.
HEXHAMNews has been received that Corporal D. Julien Weinberg has been wounded in France. The young soldier was a Russian, from Lodz, Poland, where his parents reside. Joining the British forces in Egypt he fought at Gallipoli, where he was wounded. After his discharge he came to , where he again enlisted in the 34th Battalion.
PRIVATE W. EAGLESMr and MrsEnoch Eagles, of Victoria-street, Adamstown, received word Tuesday that their son, Private W. Eagles, who was wounded on June 7th, is progressing favourably. He received a wound in the right leg and right arm and shoulder. Private Eagles has been awarded the Military Medal for gallant action on May 17th and 18th. Private Eagles volunteered to carry despatches under heavy fire, and for his gallant action he was awarded the Military Medal. Private Eagles previous to enlisting was a miner at Burwood Colliery.
PRIVATE H. SHEARSMiss Shears of Minmi, has received the following letter: “You will have heard the sad news of the death of your brother, Harry, who was killed in action on the 9/6/’17. I wish to convey to you the sympathy of the men of his company. He was one of the original members of the battalion, and was of particular value among the men, because he had gone through so much and done so well, consequently we all feel his loss very keenly. He proved himself to be a splendid soldier, cool in danger, and fearless in action. It will be some comfort to you to know that he was not called upon to suffer pain. He passed quietly to his rest, and was buried in a grave, with some of his friends behind our lines. We thought of you and all your family, and ask, in prayer, that God would give you comfort in your sorrow, and that you might be proud of the way that your brother had been faithful in duty until his death. Yours (Signed), Private A. Bamback and Jock Fullocks.”
PRIVATE J. BARKERMrs Annie Barker, of the Selections, Abermain, has been notified officially that her husband, Private James Barker, was killed in action in France on July 20th, 1917. He left with a local battalion, and had three sons at the front. One was killed and another invalided home, leaving one still in action.
ENLISTMENTSWilliam Read Beeston, Hamilton; Oliver Carlow Capararo, Carrabolla; Frederick Clarke, Karuah; Henry Gunn, Scone; William Haddow, Gateshead; Ralph Peel Scott, Stanford Merthyr; William Henry Smith, Linwood; Thomas Clifton Storey, Mayfield; George Frederick White, Islington; Andrew James Wilson, Carrington; John Herbert Young, Lambton.
DEATHSGnr Arthur William Black, Lochinvar; Pte George Arthur Blanch, Karuah; Pte Aaron Herbert Hayes, Islington; Pte Ernest Reign Urwin, Plattsburg.
David Dial OAM is a Hunter-based military historian. Follow his research at facebook苏州夜总会招聘/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory
A highly intoxicated driver who twice failed to register a reading has indicated he will plead guilty to having a reading more than six times the legal limit – .316.
Haydn James Blennerhassett, 47, of Wall Street, Camperdown, indicated he would plead guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to driving under the influence of alcohol and drink driving.
But, magistrate Cynthia Toose declined to hear the case as Blennerhassett was not represented and was at severe risk of going to prison.
The case was adjourned for a hearing before another magistrate on August 14.
Police said that on the afternoon of November 16 last year Blennerhassett was driving a silver Camry along the Daylesford-Trentham Road towards Trentham, which is 70 kilometres north-east of Ballarat.
Two witnesses watched him driving for 20 minutes, noting he was extremely erratic and swerving wildly from the extreme left-hand side of the road into oncoming traffic.
The witnesses tried to get Blennerhassett to stop but he refused.
Blennerhassett then crossed double white lines into oncoming traffic and missed collisions with about 10 cars only because other drivers took evasive action.
Two drivers actually stopped their cars on the side of the road.
Blennerhassett finished up stopping in the middle of the T-intersection of the Daylesford-Trentham Road with the Trentham Falls Road.
He got out of his car with a 700ml bottle of Johnny Walker whisky, which he placed on the top of his car’s roof.
The witnesses took his keys and police were called.
Officers found Blennerhassett slumped in the driver’s seat, he had difficultly lifting his head, drool was coming from his mouth and he had appeared to have vomited on himself.
He was unable to get out of his car without assistance and had to be helped into a police vehicle.
Blennerhassett also had great difficulty keeping his pants up.
His preliminary breath test reading said: “out of range”.
He was taken back to the Daylesford police station and his first reading there said: “blowing not allowed”.
A second reading later recorded .316.
Because of two prior drink driving offences Blennerhassett had a zero alcohol licence condition and he was that drunk police took him to hospital.
He initially denied drinking alcohol but then broke down crying, saying: “I’m stuffed”.
The magistrate said Blennerhassett was looking at a term of imprisonment and he needed to be represented by a lawyer.
She said it was his third drink driving offence and the intersection where Blennerhassett stopped his car was extremely dangerous.
The Standard, Warrnambool
Scientists have found that a large mammal cousin lived with dinosaurs in the Triassic period.A stoutly built mammal cousin the size of an elephant that munched on plants with its horny beak roamed the European landscape alongside dinosaurs during the Triassic Period about 205 million to 210 million years ago, scientists say.
Scientists announced the surprising discovery in Poland of fossils of a four-legged beast called Lisowicia bojani that demonstrated that dinosaurs were not the only behemoths on Earth at that time.
It also showed that the group of mammal-like reptiles to which Lisowicia belonged, called dicynodonts, did not die out as long ago as previously believed.
“We think it’s one of the most unexpected fossil discoveries from the Triassic of Europe,” said paleontologist Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki of Uppsala University in Sweden.
Lisowicia, the largest-known non-dinosaur land animal alive at its time, was about 4.5 metres long, 2.6 metres tall and weighed 9 tonnes. The only other giants around at the time were early members of the dinosaur group called sauropods that had four legs, long necks and long tails.
“The Lisowicia skull and jaws were highly specialised: toothless and the mouth was equipped with a horny beak, as in turtles and horned dinosaurs,” Niedzwiedzki said, adding that it was unclear whether it had tusks as some of its relatives did.
The Triassic was the opening chapter in the age of dinosaurs, followed by the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The first dinosaurs appeared roughly 230 million years ago. Many of the earliest dinosaurs were modest in size, overshadowed by big land reptiles including fearsome predators called rauisuchians and crocodile-like phytosaurs.
“The late Triassic Period wasn’t just the time of the rise of dinosaurs, it was also the time when the last dicynodonts decided to compete with dinosaurs. Finally, dinosaurs won this evolutionary competition,” said paleontologist Tomasz Sulej of the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Paleobiology.
Dicynodonts blended reptilian and mammalian traits. First appearing millions of years before the first mammals evolved in the late Triassic, these plant-eaters ranged in size from small burrowers to large browsers. They became the dominant land herbivores in the middle and late Triassic, but until now were thought to have died out before dinosaurs became the dominant land animals.
The scientists unearthed some 100 bone specimens representing several Lisowicia individuals at the Polish village of Lisowice.
An analysis of the creature’s limbs showed its bones had a fast growth rate akin to a mammal or dinosaur.
The research was published in the journal Science.
n heavyweight boxer Joe Goodall (r) with stablemate Jeff Horn in Brisbane.Joe Goodall’s planned push towards a world title belt is far clearer than who he’ll actually be fighting next Friday at Suncorp Stadium.
The Brisbane-based heavyweight will contest his fifth professional bout on the Horn v Mundine card, having won all four previous fights with first-round knock outs.
Cronulla veteran Paul Gallen was initially in Goodall’s sights but a shoulder injury to the NRL star has put that encounter on ice.
Match-ups with New Zealand, Mexican and Argentinian opponents were established then scrapped, leaving the 26-year-old with a mystery match-up next week.
“I believe he’s from Cameroon I think he’s 3-1 (in wins and losses) or something, but apparently a tough guy,” trainer Glenn Rushton said.
“I’m looking forward to that fight and again Joe Goodall doing what he always does and that is putting people away.”
From the same gym as good friend and former world champion Horn, Goodall’s imposing physique and quick feet have already netted him Commonwealth Games silver in Glasgow and world amateur championship bronze in Hamburg.
That bronze was ‘s first medal at the world titles for 26 years, with his split decision semi-final loss coming against the same man that stopped English superstar Anthony Joshua to win a maiden world title six years prior.
Tipped to win gold at his home Commonwealth Games earlier this year, Goodall didn’t even make the team after bombing in the trials loss that still mystifies the man himself.
Now happily in the professional ranks, Rushton has charted a four-year journey to the top but says, just like it did for Horn, it could happen sooner for Goodall.
“Life can change pretty quickly in this game,” Goodall told AAP.
“You just have to be ready.”
He says his days as an amateur have helped him prepare well despite the uncertainty around the identity of next Friday’s opponent.
“You can have a different opponent every day; if you win you fight someone else the next day,” he said.
“You just rely on your skills.”
Back Home: Comedian Sarah Kendall, who grew up in Newcastle, stars in a new TV series to be screened on the ABC. Are you feeling a bit frayed?
If so, you’ll probably relate to thebittersweet comedy/dramaFrayed, which has been filming in Newcastle.
Stand-up comedian Sarah Kendall, who was born inNewcastlebut lives in London, stars in the show.
She’s also the show’s creator and writer. And she’s written Newcastle right into it.
“I just wanted to visit my family in Newcastle but I ended up shooting a six-part comedy here,” Sarah joked.
“I’m incredibly excited to be given this opportunity. And I also love free flights.”
The show is beingfilmedin Newcastle,Sydneyand London. It’llbe broadcast on theABCin and Sky in England next year.
Apparently it’s the first “scripted collaboration” between the two broadcasters.
Sky’s head of comedy Jon Montague talked up Sarah’s pulling power.
“Sarah Kendall is an exceptional lead,” Jon said.
He said Frayed wouldbe added to “Sky’s line-up of original British comedy”.
Set in 1989, Frayed follows the journey of Sammy Cooper (Sarah Kendall), a “fabulously wealthy” London housewife who is forced to return to her hometown in .
In coming home, Sammy must revisit her past and the events that led her to flee as a teenager many years ago.
The show’s synopsis states: “Painfully funny and sometimes dark, Frayed is full of complex characters, dubious decisionsand unfortunate events”.
It’s also about a flawed family “confronting its secrets and trying to find a way back”.
Jon reckons we can all relate in some way to complex family drama, which he said was “at the heart of this ingeniously written comedy”.
ABC head of comedy Rick Kalowski said Frayed was afunny “but alsomoving” series.
“I’d been a fan of Sarah Kendall’s stand-up for years,” he said.
Sarah has previouslyused her teenage years in Newcastle in her comedy.
She’s also done athree-part series titled, Sarah Kendall: n Trilogy, which was broadcast onBBC Radio. It’s now available online with the slightly-adjusted title,Sarah Kendall: n Tales.
The trilogy has been described as cinematic stories that “blend comedy and tragedy in equal measure”.
Edgeworth RoosWehad a few stories about goannas last week –the fat goanna, the surfing goanna and the swinging goanna.
Reader Simon Kelly is keen to shift the attention to another animal.
“Following on from your goanna stories, you might be interested to hearabout a few kangaroos hopping around Edgeworth,”Simon said, in an email to Topics.
“I was running my wife out to Cameron Park a couple of weeks ago to join a busload of other ladies heading for a charity shopping trip to Sydney.”
It was about6.30am. Theyweretravelling through Edgeworth.
“My wife suddenly shouted ‘roos!’.
“This in itself was not a strange call, as we lived in Singleton for 20 years. But in Edgeworth? Sure enough, threelarge kangaroos crossed in front of the car.”
As he drovetowork early the next morning, he turned right at Edgeworth Tavern.
Soon after, he was forced to “pull up for a kangaroo making its way towards me”.
“A blast on the car horn got it moving, but it took a few seconds to move off the road.”
Are the roos multiplying orjust thirsty?
The Roosters hope to become the first club since Brisbane in 1992/93 to defend their premiership.YOUR NRL TEAM’S TOP EIGHT CHANCES FOR 2019
Matt Gillett, Jack Bird and Jaydn Su’a return from injury. Have lost Josh McGuire and Korbin Sims but have a brilliant young pack.
2019 prediction: 2nd.
Out go Junior Paulo and Shannon Boyd, in come Englishmen Ryan Sutton and John Bateman. After Blake Austin’s departure, questions remain about Sam Williams and Aidan Sezer.
2019 prediction: 15th.
After a horror year, look set to lose David Klemmer. Nick Meaney, Christian Crichton and Corey Harawira-Naera could prove astute pick ups.
2019 prediction: 16th.
Have lost four of their back five – Valentine Holmes, Edrick Lee, Ricky Leutele and Jesse Ramien. Josh Morris has been their only pick up. Still have a great pack.
2019 prediction: 8th.
* GOLD COAST
Tyrone Peachey, Shannon Boyd, Brian Kelly and Ryley Jacks fill the holes that have plagued them. They have strike in their backline for the first time in a long time.
2019 prediction: 10th.
Despite suffering never-ending problems, they still have a great side on paper. Should climb under Des Hasler but top eight looks like being a year away.
2019 prediction: 12th.
Billy Slater’s gone, leaving Cameron Smith as the only remaining member of the big three. It shouldn’t be underestimated how much of an impact Slater had on their defensive systems.
2019 prediction: 6th.
With Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga in the halves, the sky is the limit. Tim Glasby, Jesse Remien, Edrick Lee and David Klemmer shapes as the missing pieces in their puzzle.
2019 prediction: 4th.
* NORTH QUEENSLAND
Johnathan Thurston is gone but Michael Morgan and Jake Clifford are a halves pairing which can take them into the future. Josh McGuire and Ben Barba are big ins.
2019 prediction: 9th.
Blake Ferguson will give them thrust out of the back field. Junior Paulo and Shaun Lane are the big bodies that they needed.
2019 prediction: 13th.
Ivan Cleary is a defensive specialist and it’s here that the Panthers must improve. The loss of Trent Merrin and Corey Harawira-Naera has left a massive hole in their pack.
2019 prediction: 7th.
* ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA
Korbin Sims is a straight swap for Leeson Ah Mau. They must improve in the back half of the year. There’s no reason it can’t be their season.
2019 prediction: 3rd.
* SOUTH SYDNEY
Angus Crichton is gone, but outstanding young prospect Cameron Murray is ready to step up. If the coaching swap does go ahead, expect Wayne Bennett to have a point to prove.
2019 prediction: 5th.
* SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Blake Ferguson’s loss is a hammer blow. Brett Morris is a great competitor while Ryan Hall is expected to miss the start of the season with a knee injury. Angus Crichton only strengthens an already great pack.
2019 prediction: 1st.
2018 finish: 8th
Shaun Johnson has been told he’s free to look elsewhere – this could prove a distraction. Despite breaking their finals drought, still one of the most inconsistent teams in the competition.
2019 prediction: 11th.
* WESTS TIGERS
2018 finish: 9th
Have picked up Paul Momirovski and Ryan Matterson from the Roosters but other than that haven’t been active in the market. Will need to find something in attack.
2019 prediction: 14th.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says decentralisation puts money into regional businesses.The Nationals are ramping up their push to shift government workers out of Canberra, with up to 50 maritime safety bureaucrats setting sail for Coffs Harbour.
The NSW coastal town will host an n Maritime Safety Authority regional headquarters with new and relocated jobs to make up the positions.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the coalition’s decentralisation agenda would put more money into local businesses.
“Last time I looked there weren’t too many boats or ships in Canberra, so it makes it sense to have services such as this based in the regions, where they are needed most,” the Nationals leader said.
Three AMSA jobs will be sent to Airlie Beach in Nationals MP George Christensen’s electorate, with a further 16 in Hobart, Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Darwin, Geraldton, Karratha and Port Hedland.
Labor’s regional affairs spokesman Stephen Jones said the ad hoc shifting of jobs in and out of regional cities was bad policy.
“Decentralisation has to be about more than blatant pork barrelling in the lead up to an election,” Mr Jones said.
The n Law Reform Commission is also moving from Sydney to Brisbane, a shift which has enraged the opposition.
Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said the commission had been moved under the false pretence of decentralisation with no detail about how many jobs would be lost.
“What is the real reason for this move? Is it purely coincidental that the current president, appointed by the coalition, lives in Brisbane?” Mr Dreyfus said.
Coffs Harbour is in the federal electorate of Cowper, which is held by retiring Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker who fought off a spirited challenge from Rob Oakeshott at the last federal poll.
Mr Oakeshott, who was pivotal in allowing Julia Gillard to govern after the 2010 election when he held the seat of Lyne, is yet to confirm another tilt at Cowper.
The Nationals have chosen Port Macquarie lawyer Patrick Conaghan to run in the seat.
The latest centralisation push comes after the n Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority headquarters was controversially relocated from Canberra to Armidale in Barnaby Joyce’s electorate.
Despite the original plans to move the entire staff, it was announced in July a satellite office would remain in the national capital where about 40 regulatory scientists would be based.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews spent time campaigning at a school in Cranbourne.Buoyed by two positive poll results, it was a confident Daniel Andrews who hit the road for a final day of campaigning before D-day in the Victorian election.
Flanked by wife Cath, a familiar face late in the campaign, the Labor leader seemed relaxed in the company of happy children as he made another school-related promise.
If re-elected, he would double the amount of schools taking part in a free breakfast scheme plus throw in lunch too as part of a $58 million promise.
“We will not only double the number of schools that are part of the breakfast club program from 500 to 1000, we’re going to include lunch club, a second meal each and every school day, for those kids who without this program, would go hungry,” Mr Andrews told reporters at Cranbourne West Primary School.
The incumbent premier said about 10 per cent of children being served breakfasts through the program also do not have lunch and the participating schools would be selected according to need.
With Friday being White Ribbon Day, Mr Andrews also promised to continue working on the recommendations of the family violence royal commission.
In a separate announcement, Labor has promised to invest $4.6 million to provide another 10 full-time financial counsellors to help family violence victims negotiate with creditors and debt collectors, protect assets from repossession and access financial hardship programs.
Mr Andrews was in a calm and reflective mood on Friday, coinciding with the release of a uComms/ReachTEL poll, published by The Age, pointing to the government being returned to power with 54 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.
Labor is also ahead of the Liberal-Nationals coalition in a second poll published by the Herald-Sun and conducted by YouGov Galaxy, with a 53-47 per cent two-party preferred split.
Mr Andrews even paid respect for Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and the role of the press during the campaign.
“The leader of the opposition and I, we are away from our families like many people across Victoria. This can be a bruising business,” he said.
“Anyone who stands up in politics or in any other way for the things that they believe in, I have nothing but praise for them and all of us are involved in a process.”
More than 1.1 million people have voted early in the election.
“I would ask Victorians to vote for a local Labor candidate so we can continue to keep delivering for all Victorians,” said Mr Andrews, recommitting to a full term if voted back in to power.
“A handful of votes in a handful of seats can make the difference between getting things done or returning to a time when hospitals and services were cut.”
IN sharing the deeply personal and tragic story of the disintegration of her family, of the devastating impact domestic abuse had on her mother, and the trauma witnessing that horror caused her, Maddison Passarelli has opened wide a wound that many would dare not touch.
Roger Yeo. Picture: Simone De Peak
And she is determined to keep that wound in plain sight because, she argues, there is no justice in silence.
Another person touched by domestic violence is Roger Yeo, whose daughterRachelle was murdered in her home by a former partner. He said violence against women by men was a“national human rights disaster”.
Mr Yeo and Ms Passarelli will both speak at the Hunter White Ribbon Breakfast at Wests New Lambton on November 30.They are two strangers, linked by the woundsof domestic violence. In both cases they were not the intended victims of that violence, but they carry the scars.
Alarming statistics from the nBureau of Statistics show onein three women hasexperienced physical violence since the age of 15, one in five hasexperienced sexual violence and one in six has experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner.
On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner, a figure Mr Yeo, Ms Passarelli and a growing chorus of fed-up ns say should be causing a national outcry.Indeed it should.
And there are signs the anger is registering. NSWpolice chief Mick Fuller on Friday called for domestic violence killers to be locked up life, as the state government ordereda review of sentences.
Calling for the 20-year standard non-parole period for murder to be raised,Commissioner Fuller said: “Dying in your own home at the hands of someone that’s supposed to love you has to be one of the worst crimes.” While any increase in sentences would be welcome, there is also a seismic cultural shift that needs to take place.
In an interview with theNewcastle Herald, Mr Yeo shared his passion for White Ribbon, the organsation tasked with creating a nation that respects women, in which every woman lives in safety.While much of the rhetoric around violence against women is about educating adults, Mr Yeo is looking further.He wants to reach today’s boys to change tomorrow’s men.
“I’m not going to change the behaviour of a 45-year-old man that’s beating his wife,” he said.“But it’s the next generation of kids and the one after that.”
Domestic violence most certainly is a national tragedy. It most certainly is a human rights disaster and it most certainly has to change. Both Ms Passarelli and Mr Yeo recognise that silence is not the answer. And if keeping painful wounds open for all to see will make people stop, listen and act, then that is what we need to do. We need to raise our voices. We need to be heard.
For support: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)Lifeline:13 11 14ISSUE: 39,065.
Rohan Dennis has received another accolade after winning the road world championships time trial.Winning his second n cyclist of the year award caps a dream year on and off the bike for Rohan Dennis.
In September, the road time trial star won his elusive first world championship in the event.
He also won time trial stages at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana and led the two Grand Tours.
That made him only the third n after Bradley McGee and Cadel Evans to hold the overall lead in the three Grand Tours – the Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta.
He won the Sir Hubert Opperman medal as the cyclist of the year.
But it’s also been a massive 2018 away from cycling for Dennis.
He was unable to attend Friday’s cycling awards lunch in Melbourne because Dennis and wife Melissa have had their first child, a boy, and are in Europe.
In February, Dennis married Melissa Hoskins, the retired world champion track cyclist.
Dennis, whose long-term project is to become an overall contender in the Grand Tours, overcame several years of frustration to win the time trial world title in Innsbruck, Austria.
A perennial favourite in the event, he was thwarted at the worlds and other major events such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games by bad luck.
Dennis crashed out at last year’s world titles and at the Rio Olympics, a broken aero bar robbed him of a probable silver medal.
Apart from being named overall cyclist of the year, Dennis also took out the men’s road category.
World championship silver medallist Amanda Spratt won the women’s road honour.
The world record-breaking team pursuit squad narrowly beat world sprint champion Matthew Glaetzer to take out the men’s track section, while three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Stephanie Morton won the women’s track category.
Olympic gold medallist and Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur was among four n cycling Hall Of Fame inductees honoured at the awards function.
Track greats Danny Clark and Michelle Ferris and mountain bike course design guru Glen Jacobs round out this year’s inductions.
MAJOR AUSTRALIAN CYCLING AWARD WINNERS
The Sir Hubert ‘Oppy’ Opperman Medal – Rohan Dennis
Elite Para-cycling – Alistair Donohoe and Emilie Miller
Elite Track – Men’s Team Pursuit (Alex Porter, Sam Welsford, Leigh Howard, Kelland O’Brien) and Stephanie Morton
Elite Road – Dennis and Amanda Spratt
Elite MTB – Sam Hill and Tracey Hannah
Elite BMX – Logan Martin and Saya Sakakibara
Coach of the year – Tim Decker
OUT IN FRONT: Scott McLaughlin leads championship rival Shane van Gisbergen into a corner opposite Newcastle beach during practice on Friday. Picture: Mark HorsburghThe crowd was down, but Ford driver Scott McLaughlin looked up to the task of defending his Supercars lead on the opening day of the Newcastle 500.
Last year’s inaugural Supercars race in Newcastle drew a bumper Friday turnout, but the novelty appeared to have worn off this time as a relatively modest crowd filtered through the gates.
A howling north-west wind which gusted up to 87 kilometres an hour at Nobbys also might have had something to do with the thinner crowd.
Prime viewing spots such as Watt Street and Nobbys Road were fouror five deep with spectators on Friday last year but not nearly as busy this time.
Supercars representatives said practice-only days typically drew smaller crowds, and this year’s turnout was a more realistic long-term figure for Fridays in Newcastle.
Many traders in the race circuit reported numbers were down on last year, but they were still predicting a busy weekend for the two 250km races that will decide the championship.
McLaughlin, who is looking to atone for a horror Sunday race last year which cost him what would have been his first title, powered through the gale to top the time sheets in Friday’s second practice.
His main rival, Holden driver and fellow Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen, finished well down in seventh before Saturday’s qualifying session and first race.
Crowd down, wind up as McLaughlin blows away title rival in practice SMILE: The wind spoils Michelle Plain’s selfie with retiring Holden legend Craig Lowndes. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
BLOWN AWAY: A near-empty grandstand facing the howling gale at the start of pit straight on Friday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
LEADER: Scott McLaughlin powers up Watt Street during practice on Friday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
The crowd in Foreshore Park this year.
The crowd in Foreshore Park on Friday last year.
MAKING A STATEMENT: Scott McLaughlin at the top of Watt Street. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
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123456789101112131415 – McLaughlin, who leads the championship by just 14 points entering the final weekend of the season, stopped the clock at one minute, 10.47 seconds, ahead of seven-time series champion Jamie Whincup and Ford’s Cameron Waters.
Van Gisbergen was 0.35 seconds off McLaughlin’s pace, andretiring Holden great Craig Lowndes was 12th fastest.
A last-minute decision to cover the new light rail tracks in Scott Street did not appear to hamper the drivers, though workers performed some running repairs on the temporary covering midway through the day.
McLaughlin said the tracks had not affected his car at the start of the Watt Street straight.
“We’re half airborne there, anyway,” he said.
Whincup, who snatched the championship from McLaughlin in Newcastle last year, said he believed the covering had been added “so we don’t rip up the tracks” rather than to protect the cars.
The Holden driver said the strong wind had brought deposited dust on the track, increasing lap times.
Waters joked that he had run over“two hats and a palm tree” blown onto the seaside circuit.
McLaughlin’s teammate, Fabian Coulthard, described the Newcastle street circuit as a “tough little joint”.
“It’s a bit of a bull ring,”Coulthard said after the second Supercars practice session.“It’s bumpy and you’ve got to have a car set up for all elements.
“You can drive down the front straight and you feel the gusts of wind restricting the car a little bit.
“I’ve never felt that in a Supercar before.”
Lowndes said he had been busy meeting corporate commitments and was satisfied with a time only 0.4 seconds off pole in his special gold-coloured Commodore.
Newcastle’s Aaren Russell missed out on a drive in the premier Supercars class this weekend but topped practice in his SuperUtes debut.
He piloted his Mitsubishi Triton around the 2.6km circuit in one minute 31.3215 seconds, about20 seconds slower than a Supercar but a positive result nonetheless.
“It’s awesome to be racing at my home track and topping the time sheets today,” he said.“Hopefully I can stay there in qualifying.”
The wind is expected to drop on Saturday, giving the drivers no time to adjust their car set-ups to calmer conditions.
Saturday’s qualifying session is at 11.35am before the first 250km race at 3.45pm.
Off the track, many parents appeared to have heeded the warnings of doctors and covered their children’s ears with headphones while the cars were running on Friday.
A Newcastle ear, noseand throat surgeon, who asked not to be named, said on Friday that he would wear ear protection when he attended the race this weekend.
“I will be, for the same reason I don’t smoke,” he said.
He said the car noise had the potential to cause internal cochlear damage.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott (left) is seen with his Davidson Brigade as NSW Rural Fire Service crews battle a bush fire burning near houses along Lemon Tree Passage Road, in Salt Ash, NSW, Friday. Photo: AAP/Dan HimbrechtsFormer Prime Minister Tony Abbott is on the fire ground at Lemon Tree Passage Road, where he is working as a volunteer with the Davidson Brigade to fight the fires burning at Salt Ash.
More than 180 firefighters were on the ground Friday working to bring the blaze under control.
The Davidson volunteer brigade was called up to Port Stephens at around 3.30pm Thursday.
LIVE: Immediate updates and fire warnings from the ground at Salt Ash
A firefighter attacks the blaze at Salt Ash on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Max Mason-Hubers
RFS Inspector Rolf Poole was on the fire ground and said crews were battling challenging, windy conditions to bring the fire to heel.
The fire was pushed toward Lemon Tree Passage and Rookes Road in the early morning under dry and windy conditions, prompting an escalated fire danger warning around 6.30am.
Crews have since been working in the area to control hotspots and to prevent the fire flaring up at the edges.
Firefighters have also taken positions along Nelson Bay Road where they were ready to protect properties as required.
Fire news:Residents say “you never get used” to the threat of fire
Meanwhile, a second fire has broken out to the north at Twelve Mile Creek.
Multiple crews and aircraft responded quickly to the grass fire, which was burning close to the roadside near the intersection of the Pacific Highway and The Buckets Way.
A NSW RFS spokesperson said they did not expect the fire to escalate, but that it would prove a “minor disruption” for crews as they work to contain the larger blaze burning at Salt Ash.
Traffic has been affected in both directions on the Pacific Highway, with smoke over the road and crews working near the road to bring the fire under control, the spokesperson said.
All northbound lanes were reopened around 2.40pm, but one of two southbound lanes remained closed due to the fire.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott (left) is seen with his Davidson Brigade as NSW Rural Fire Service crews battle a bush fire burning near houses along Lemon Tree Passage Road, in Salt Ash, NSW, Friday. Photo: AAP/Dan Himbrechts
Drivers have been urged to take care travelling in the area.
Meanwhile, to the south, both Richardson and Medowie roads have remained closed as the bushfire burns, and Nelson Bay Road has been closed after it opened under a reduced speed limit for a number of hours earlier Friday.
The closure of Nelson Bay Road means road access to Nelson Bay has been cut off.